South of Gamla Stan lies the island of Södermalm, usually referred to by locals simply as Söder. Long the poorest district of the city, it's now one of the most vibrant. Remnants of the old Söder can still be seen in places such as Vita Bergen and the eastern end of Åsögatan, where quaint 18th-century working-class dwellings have been preserved in isolated pockets. For the most part, however, the neighborhood is now a thoroughly modern place, filled with lively pubs, restaurants, and nightclubs, as well as an abundance of trendy shops, particularly in the district known as SoFo (South of Folkungagatan). The atmosphere is generally relaxed, with a hip, somewhat bohemian vibe. For a respite from the modern bustle, wander through Tantolunden, a large park with more than 100 community garden patches and colorful garden sheds. The steep cliffs of Söder also offer some of the city's best panoramas; head to Fjällgatan for views of Djurgården and Gamla Stan, or Monteliusvägen and Skinnarviksberget for views of Stadshuset, Riddarholmen, and Lake Mälaren.
A region with a cultural history like nowhere else in the country has its own ways of celebrating the holidays.More