For the inhabitants there's a tribal status to each of the city's islands. But for the visitor, Stockholm's archipelago location primarily helps to dissect the city, both in terms of history and in terms of Stockholm's different characteristics, conveniently packaging the capital into easily handled, ultimately digestible areas.
The central island of Gamla Stan wows visitors with its medieval beauty, small café-lined squares, and winding, narrow lanes. To the south, Södermalm challenges with contemporary boutiques, hip hangouts, and left-of-center sensibilities. North of Gamla Stan is Norrmalm, the financial and business heart of the city. Travel west and you'll find Kungsholmen, site of Stadshuset (City Hall). Turn east from Norrmalm and Östermalm awaits, an old residential neighborhood with the most money, the most glamour, and the most expensive street on the Swedish Monopoly board. Finally, beyond Östermalm lies the island of Djurgården, once a royal game preserve, now the site of lovely parks and museums.