November-December time, Jared and I try to squidge in a little city break. Last year we went to Krakòw, the year before that was Berlin, and two years before Berlin was Copenhagen. This year we were torn between Zürich, Stockholm and Barcelona, but the price of flights we found to Stockholm, and it’s reputation as the most child friendly city in the world, made our decision a straightforward one. The geography of Stockholm is really interested. It is a cluster of fourteen islands, and the city centre is situated right on the water.
We flew on a Thursday morning and landed back in Stansted close to 7.30pm on Sunday night. On both flights we all sat together, and we didn’t hear a sound from the two eldest thanks to a few books and Paw Patrol (!)
Soon after landing in Stockholm, we quickly ran (literally) to catch a coach to the city and then hopped on an overground train to our apartment. It was so nice to finally relax, run around our lodgings and then a little later on we headed out for dinner. We put the boys to bed early, my mum babysat and Jared and I went into the city to get our bearings.
Friday was spent walking around the city. We visited The Royal Palace and The Museum of Medieval Stockholm. My favourite thing about being somewhere new is simply walking around – noting what is different, how the people are different, how their culture feels and watching the children soak it up. Rufus was randomly sick in the afternoon, so Jared took Win and Ru back to the apartment, whilst my mum, Otto and I did some shopping. By the time we got home, Ru was running around, absolutely fine and Jared spent the evening out exploring.
Saturday was our designated museum visiting day. Our first stop was the Vasa Museum. The Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia and it was easy to see why. The Vasa sank on its maiden voyage 25 minutes after setting sail in 1628. It was raised slowly and carefully 333 years later in 1956, and is restored beautifully. The museum is really brilliant, and the cafe was divine.
In the afternoon we went to Skansen Museum and Zoo. Skansen was founded in 1891 and is the world’s first open air museum. It is a huge collection of historical building and dwellings with actors, actresses and old artisan methods preserved. It also had a Christmas market, singing, native animals and it is open all year round. We stayed until closing, but could have stayed much longer as it was huge, and there was so much more to see.
On Sunday we packed up and headed off early to find a church to attend. We found it, but it wasn’t open, so we ended up spending the whole morning playing in the snow. We enjoyed exploring a Swedish neighbourhood and the boys loved being able to run around. After a morning in the snow it was time to collect our luggage and catch the coach back to the airport.
Stockholm – I hope we will be back! I have listed a few travel tips below.
Points to note:
- There isn’t an airport in central Stockholm. The closest is a 45 minute coach journey. We flew to Stockholm Skavsta airport which is an 80 minute coach ride to central Stockholm. Miraculously both journeys were drama free. It cost just under £23 return, and is valid for 3 months. Skavsta is a small airport with just six gates.
- You can get a 72 hour public transport pass. It lasted our whole trip and covered the underground, the overground, trams and buses. It was just under £20 and children under 7 are free.
- In all honesty we didn’t find Stockholm any extra child friendly than other cities we have been to. At times we found it tricky to find a cafe, or restaurant that could cater for our (indiscreet) party. However, every single station we used (including smaller ones) had a lift, or buggy tracks – really fantastic.
- Both the main train station and the bus station have a great left luggage facility.
- Get ready for some serious interior envy! My mum and I couldn’t help popping into shop after shop. So many beautiful things, that I have never seen before.
- Both Jared and I commented within a few minutes of each other how many double buggies we saw – they were everywhere and it was so nice to see!
- I feel like we only just scratched the surface of Stockholm. There are so many more things we could have done – and bought!
- I loved visiting in the winter, but it would be nice to visit in the summer and feel a totally different vibe.