Student Life in Södermalm: Navigating Stockholm's Trendiest District

Explore Södermalm, Stockholm's vibrant district, through a student's lens. From finding accommodation to embracing local culture and attractions, this blog unveils the essentials of student life in one of Stockholm's most dynamic areas.

Student Life in Södermalm: Navigating Stockholm's Trendiest District
Photo by Lesley Williamson

Embarking on a journey as an international student in Stockholm's Södermalm district opens up a world of opportunities and experiences. Known for its eclectic mix of culture, education, and urban charm, Södermalm is a haven for students seeking a balanced and enriching life abroad.

This blog delves into the essentials of student living in this vibrant district, from navigating the nuances of finding the perfect accommodation to immersing oneself in the local culture and attractions. Södermalm is not just a backdrop for academic endeavors; it's a place where education, lifestyle, and personal growth intertwine, offering students a unique and memorable experience in the heart of Stockholm.

If you're moving to Stockholm for your studies and looking for shared accommodation in the city, check out our listings on Hemavi!

What makes Södermalm a suitable city for international students?

Södermalm, often referred to as Söder, is a district in Stockholm that offers several features making it an appealing choice for international students:

  • Cultural Diversity and Vibrancy: Södermalm is known for its cultural diversity, artistic vibe, and a lively atmosphere. This environment can be very welcoming for international students looking to immerse themselves in a multicultural setting.
  • Educational Institutions: The proximity to several universities and educational institutions in Stockholm makes Södermalm a convenient location for students, such as Karolinska Institutet (KI), Stockholm School of Economics, Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and Stockholm University. The well-connected public transportation system allows for easy travel to campuses.
  • Affordable Living Options: Compared to other parts of Stockholm, Södermalm offers relatively more affordable living options, including student housing, which is crucial for students on a budget.
  • Rich Cultural Scene: Södermalm is famous for its rich cultural scene, including art galleries, theaters, and music venues. This provides students with ample opportunities to engage in cultural activities and entertainment.
  • Cafés and Social Spaces: The district is dotted with numerous cafés, restaurants, and social spaces where students can meet, study, and interact. This social aspect is vital for creating networks and friendships.
  • Scenic Beauty and Outdoor Activities: Södermalm offers beautiful parks and waterfront areas, ideal for relaxation and outdoor activities. This adds to the quality of life for students outside their academic commitments.
  • Community and Support Networks: The presence of various international communities and support networks in Södermalm can help students in adapting to life in a new country and finding a sense of belonging.

In summary, Södermalm's blend of cultural richness, educational convenience, affordable living, and vibrant social life creates an attractive and supportive environment for international students in Stockholm.

What is the cost of living in Södermalm as an international student?

The cost of living in Södermalm, Stockholm, for an international student can vary based on lifestyle choices and personal spending habits. Here's an overview of the average costs you might encounter:

  • Accommodation: Rent in Stockholm can range widely. For student dormitories, the cost is about 2,500-5,000 SEK ($240-$480) per month. Shared apartments can cost between 3,000-6,000 SEK ($290-$575) per month, and studio apartments generally range from 5,000-9,000 SEK ($480-$865) per month. One-bedroom apartments are more expensive, costing between 8,000-12,000 SEK ($770-$1,155) per month​.
  • Food and Groceries: The monthly expenditure for food and groceries is expected to be around 2,000-3,000 SEK ($190-$290). For instance, a basic lunchtime menu in the business district costs about 144 SEK, and a combo meal in a fast-food restaurant is around 100 SEK​​​​.
  • Transportation: The cost for transportation, such as public transit, is approximately 700-1,000 SEK ($70-$100) per month. A monthly public transport ticket costs about 969 SEK​​​​.
  • Personal Expenses: Other personal expenses, including clothing, entertainment, and leisure activities, are estimated at around 1,500-2,500 SEK ($145-$240) per month. For example, a cinema ticket costs about 120 SEK​​​​.
  • Health Insurance: Insurance costs can range from 1,000-2,000 SEK ($100-$190) per month, depending on the provider and level of coverage​​.

Overall, the average monthly cost of living in Stockholm, including Södermalm, for a student is estimated between 10,000-12,000 SEK ($960-$1,152)​​. However, these figures can vary based on individual choices and lifestyle. To manage expenses, students often use student discounts, cook at home, and work part-time. Another approach to saving on costs is to live in shared accommodation, which Hemavi can help you find!

How can I find accommodation in Södermalm as an international student?

Finding accommodation in Södermalm as an international student can be challenging due to high demand, but there are several strategies you can employ:

  • Housing Queues: Joining a housing queue like Stockholms Studentbostäder (SSSB) is a common approach. You accumulate credit days in the queue, which are then used to allocate housing. It's advisable to join as early as possible, even before you move to Stockholm. The SSSB is popular among students due to its affordability and good locations​​.
  • University Resources: Universities often have housing offices that provide guidance and support to international students looking for accommodation. Stockholm University, for instance, assists students but does not guarantee housing, emphasizing the need for students to also explore the private rental market​​.
  • Private Market: Exploring the private rental market is another viable option. Websites like Hemavi are popular for finding accommodation. Ensure to have a video call with the owner and never pay anything in advance. Be cautious of scams, particularly on less regulated platforms like Facebook​​.
  • Subletting: Renting a sublet or 'andrahand' apartment is common in Stockholm. However, be wary of scams and try to confirm the legitimacy of the apartment and the landlord before making any payments.
  • Social Media Groups: Facebook groups can be useful for finding available rooms or apartments. Groups specific to students or the area you want to live in can be particularly helpful. Be quick to respond to ads and if possible, arrange to see the apartment in person​​.

Remember to start your search early and be prepared for Swedish housing customs, such as the common practice of renting unfurnished apartments. Also, consider the proximity to your university and public transport when choosing your accommodation.

Södermalm, a trendy and vibrant district in Stockholm, offers a plethora of attractions that are particularly appealing to international students. Here's an overview of some popular activities and spots to explore:

  • Museums and Cultural Venues: Södermalm is home to Fotografiska, a renowned museum of photography, and The City Museum of Stockholm. For those interested in cinema, Bio Rio in Hornstull, one of the few remaining 1940s single-screen movie houses, is a must-visit. The district also features concert venues and theaters like Debaser and Södra Teatern, as well as an array of art galleries along Hornsgatans eastern edge​​.
  • Parks and Nature: The district boasts several public parks like Vita Bergen and Tantolunden, offering lush green spaces amidst the urban environment. For scenic views and relaxing walks, Fjällgatan and Monteliusvägen are popular routes. The nearby island of Långholmen, a green oasis, is perfect for a summer swim​​.
  • Shopping and Dining: Södermalm is known for its eclectic mix of vintage stores, Swedish fashion boutiques, galleries, and design stores. The SoFo area (South of Folkungagatan), Hornstull, and Mariatorget are particularly known for their trendy shops and an abundance of dining options. From cozy cafes to innovative restaurants, there's something to suit every taste​​.
  • Exploring the Local Scene: For coffee lovers, there are numerous cafes offering great coffee and Swedish kanellbullar. The neighborhood is also ideal for enjoying cocktails, with various bars providing a vibrant nightlife experience. If you're interested in shopping, there are plenty of design and fashion stores, as well as second-hand shops offering Swedish fashion designer pieces at a fraction of the price​​.
  • Scenic Walks and Views: Södermalm, being an island, offers amazing walks with views of nature and parts of Stockholm. Places like Fjällgatan, Långholmen, and Tantolunden are great for experiencing the local landscape and city views​​.

Whether you're interested in culture, nature, shopping, or just exploring the local lifestyle, Södermalm has something to offer for every international student looking to experience the best of Stockholm.


Södermalm stands out as an ideal spot for international students in Stockholm, offering a harmonious mix of education, culture, and vibrant city life. It provides various housing options to suit different needs and budgets, while its proximity to major educational institutions and an array of local attractions enriches the student experience. Södermalm is not just a place for academic pursuits but a lively district where students can enjoy a fulfilling and diverse lifestyle.

Check out our listings on Hemavi, for shared accommodation properties in Stockholm and across all of Sweden.