On the third day I figured it was time to explore the neighborhood where my hotel was based some more. Södermalm lies in the south of Stockholm and is known as the hipster neighborhood. Stockholmers themselves just call this neighborhood Söder or SoFo (south of the street Folkungagatan, which supposedly marks the beginning of the hip area). Södermalm is the heart of great food and bohemian lifestyle, and because of that the area really spoke to me when searching for accommodations. At first I had booked an Airbnb, but one month before departure my hosts informed me that there were some last-minute renovations planned in the building, so I decided to cancel my booking and search for a hotel instead. In retrospect I’m really happy I did, because I got to stay in the amazing NOFO Hotel & Winebar and explore the lovely Södermalm district to the fullest. In the previous posts I already gave you some tips for dinner spots, but naturally Söder is so much more than, Kvarnen and Meatballs for the People. So here we go!
Enjoy the views from Monteliusvägen
I started my day with a walk towards Monteliusvägen, a 500 meter walking path from where you have the most beautiful view over Lake Mälaren, Stadshuset, Riddarholmen and Gamla Stan. There are terraces, park benches and picnic tables along the path, making it easy to stop and enjoy the view. One of my favorite spots along the path is Ivar Los Park, one of Stockholm’s most beloved public parks.
After you’ve enjoyed the up high view, you can take the staircase down the hill towards Mariatorget via Blecktornsgränd. Along the stairs that make up this street you will find several cafes and art galleries such as Magnolia and Cafe Mariaberget.
Fotografiska is one of the largest museums for modern photography in the world. It’s located in the old toll house near Slussen. Every year there are more than 20 exhibitions from both famous and less known photographers at the museum. Fotografiska should be on every photography lover’s itinerary.
Lunch at Café Pom & Flora
By then I was starting to feel hungry, so time for lunch. Originally I wanted to have lunch at the Greasy Spoon, but as they were enjoying some vacay during the Midsummer weekend, that wasn’t possible. ☹ Another hotspot I wanted to try was Café Pom & Flora, a sweet little french-inspired cafe just next to the ‘Vitakbergsparken’. Pom & Flora offers breakfast all day, and you can also find smoothie bowls and specialty coffees on the menu. Honestly not much to say about my creamed avocado with egg on Danish raw bread. Simple but oh so yummy.
Visit Bergsprängargränd & Mäster Persgränd
In the 17th century Södermalm was a working class area. In the streets surrounding the Sofiakyrkan; Bergsprängargränd & Mäster Persgränd you can still find some charming working class cottages. The now iconic (and phoyogenic) red houses of Sweden were once ordinary working-class homes; often shared with more than one family. It’s said that even nowadays some houses have not been equipped with electricity and sewerage. Hard to imagine right?!
The charming Nytorget is the heart of SoFo. The square is a park and playground and all four sides are lined with shops, cafés and restaurants. I saw so many foodie hotspots that I wanted to try, but not enough time. Haha! Note to self, next time make sure to try Urban Deli Nytorget! The food really looked super fresh and tasty! #takemebacktostockholmnow!
SoFo is also where you can find the loveliest little boutiques, including my personal favorite ‘Grandpa’. At the store you can find a mix of fashion, accessories, home décor and gadgets. Even if you don’t buy anything (which I hardly doubt), you will leave the store with tons of inspiration. Also not to miss is Pärlans konfektyr, a cute candy store, where the most delicious fudge is baked!
Oh and FYI: every last Thursday of the month, many of the shops in SoFo stay open until 9 pm and treat customers to special offers, events and surprises. Just in case you’re there 😉
Stay at NOFO Hotel & Wine bar
Finally I would like to tell you more about my favorite spot in Södermalm and my home away from; the fabulous NOFO Hotel & Wine bar. The atmosphere at this four star boutique hotel is relaxed, vibrant and international, which I absolutely loved.
All 103 rooms at the hotel are unique. For the interior design they worked with four different concepts based on international cities. There’s the ‘Scandinavian design’ rooms representing Stockholm and Copenhagen with light colors and classic Swedish patterns on the wallpaper. The ‘Belle Epoque’ rooms will take you back to Paris in the 19th century. The ‘Uptown Classics’ drew their inspiration from the big cities’ posh neighborhood e.g. the Upper East Side in New York, Soho and Carnaby Street in London and Trastevere in Rome.
I got to stay in one of the recently opened ‘Industrial Vintage’ rooms; based on the environments such as the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens in New York. Off course that made for one happy Freija! I had booked a single room, so my room wasn’t very large. I have to say though that it offered all the comfort I needed during my trip; comfy bed; rain forest shower and fast Wi-Fi.
Breakfast is a feast! I can honestly say that is one of best breakfasts I had ever had. The buffet is filled with local specialties, home-baked bread, freshly-made smoothies and basically everything else you need to start your day off amazing!
NOFO also has its very own wine bar! The ambition is to serve as many organic and bio-dynamic wines and beers as possible. And of course there are also plenty of cocktails and non-alcoholic alternatives to choose from. During the warmer months of the year, you can relax in the outdoor patio at the inner courtyard of the hotel. By the time I settled in on the first day, I did not really feel like walking around and search for a restaurant anymore, so I ordered a yummy pizza with a lovely glass of rosé and sat in the patio. Such good times! The courtyard quickly became my happy place after a busy day of sightseeing in the city. In short; if you are looking for a great hotel in Stockholm, book that room at NOFO!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION STOCKHOLM
- Sweden’s national airport, Arlanda, lays about 40 kilometers north of Stockholm. Brussels Airlines flights arrive at the smaller airport in Bromma. In any case the easiest and cheapest way from both airports to the city center is by Flygbussarna Airport Coaches.
- Stockholm is easily walkable, but the metro is also a quick and convenient way to get around the city. I bought a 72 hours travelcard, which I was able to use for bus, tram and some ferry’s too.
- Currency: Swedish Krona (SEK)
- I get often asked about which travel guides I use to plan my trips. When I’m doing my research, I look to travel magazines and other blogs too, but when I’m out and about in the city I prefer to have a paperback with me. Since many years I am using the time to momo guides (back in the days called 100%). What I mostly love about the time to momo city guides is the different walking routes you can follow per area. The stops upon the walking routes are divided in different categories: sightseeing, food & beverages, shopping and fun things to do. And in case you have some time left in a city, timo to momo always suggests some hidden gems off the beaten track too.