If you’re the kind of traveller who likes to get beyond a destination’s usual tourist haunts and take the pulse of today’s trends – especially when it comes to culture – then while visiting Sweden’s capital you definitely won’t want to miss SoFo (short for “south of Folkungagatan”, a major business thoroughfare, and of course meant to evoke SoHo in London and New York City).
As with many other cities across the world, this small corner of Stockholm’s Södermalm island – just over 20 minutes’ walk south of Gamla Stan (the historic centre) and also easily reachable via the Metro’s green line – is a case of a once dodgy area being taken over by artists and other creatives and evolved over the past 15 to 20 years into a hotbed of hip. So these days "Söder" is packed with cool cafés (like Omayma, top, open daily till 6 pm, serves breakfast (all day long) and lunch, including gluten-free, vegan, and raw meu items but also delicious stuff with real sugar), restaurants, galleries, vintage and other shops, bars, and nightspots.
SoFo is anchored by a lively square called Nytorget, and one cultural lodestar you must visit is on the waterfront, a ten-minute stroll away. The Fotografiska (above) is a museum and cultural centre especially of interest to photography lovers, and stages all kinds of exhibitions, concerts, and other interesting stuff.
There’s plenty else to explore along these broad streets amid a mix of classical and brick-industrial architecture. Especially be sure to stroll along Bellmansgatan and then Götgatan, one of Stockholm’s busiest and most vibrant streets, a hipster mecca packed with shops hawking everything from vintage clothing and accessories to music, books, decor, and upmarket fashion, all interspersed with various cool bars, cafés, and restaurants. If you want to base yourself out here during your visit to Stockholm, check out hotels like Clarion Hotel Stockholm and NoFo Hotel and Wine Bar.
Get more info on SoFo and Södermalm here and here.