Is visiting Sweden with kids on your radar yet? If you’re interested in a family travel destination that is interesting, clean, and supremely accommodating for families, it’s a perfect choice. Here are 7 reasons to visit Sweden with kids!
If I’m being perfectly honest, Sweden with kids wasn’t really on our radar. We knew we wanted to go to Scandinavia during one summer of travel since none of us had ever been. But we were mostly thinking of visiting Copenhagen and the fjords in Norway. But we have some friends who were living in Stockholm, and they’d mentioned to us before how Sweden is such a lovely place to visit. So we decided to take them up on their very generous offer to come stay.
BOY were we blown away. We had no idea how pristinely beautiful, historically interesting, and kid-friendly Sweden was (not to mention how lovely the Swedes are). It was truly one of the very most family-friendly destinations of our entire trip. Here’s why!
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Sweden with Kids: 7 Reasons to Visit
Outdoor Activities when Visiting Sweden with Kids
If your kids are anything like ours, they’d gladly live every day entirely out of doors. Swedes are famous for caring about their land and enjoying it to the fullest. And no wonder – it’s gorgeous!!! Stockholm is actually built on a number of islands, and getting out on the archipelago outside the city is just magical.
There are truly endless outdoor activities when visiting Sweden with kids – boating, hiking, beaches, winter sports, and on and on. Nature is a big deal even right in the middle of the city, so our kids were thrilled to run through green spaces galore. Plus, animals are incorporated into a lot of the places! It’s really a lovely and calming way to live.
Kid Friendly Museums and Accommodations in Sweden
Sweden has museums unlike any other place we’ve visited. Of course, they have traditional art museums. But we really loved all the museums that were so unique to Swedish culture and heritage. Nordiska is specific to cultural heritage, Junibacken is based on Swedish children’s literature, and the Vasa Museum is all about the great ship and the history surrounding it.
Best of all is that EVERY single museum went out of its way to cater to young children. You know how some museums have a “children’s exhibit” that’s tiny and clearly just there to check off a box? All the museums in Stockholm that we visited could not be further from that. Each of them had activities and exhibits that were practically museums unto themselves. They provided depth and insight and understanding when visiting Sweden with kids.
Our kids definitely had fun, but they also gained a deeper appreciation for Swedish history and culture. Which is exactly what we all want as parents.
On top of that, every museum and restaurant had plenty of kid-friendly accommodations. High chairs were clean and abundant (of course, they were all this Ikea one that we love and have at home, as well!). Children’s portions were smaller but still healthful. We didn’t stay in a hotel or home rental, but I feel confident that many would provide a baby bed so you wouldn’t need to bring your own (here’s our favorite lightweight baby travel bed). There were stroller parking areas and free stroller drops.
The entire country seemed very aware of kids’ needs, and interested in providing resources for them. It made visiting Sweden with kids easy and relaxed.
Cost of Visiting Sweden with Kids
Yes, Sweden is expensive. There’s no getting around that. However, practically everything for kids is free! Museums, exhibits, activities, and transportation were all either completely free or wildly inexpensive when visiting Sweden with kids. There is such a culture of providing space for children, and making it easy to bring them along because there are provisions for them.
Swedish Food with Kids
Swedish food? Really? No one was more surprised than my vegetarian self. You know what’s even more surprising? Some of the best food we had was at museum cafes! We had a couple of incredible cafe experiences with delicious, healthful food.
I was talking to my friend, who then told me that apparently Swedes really go out of their way to serve incredible quality food at museum cafes. Apparently many locals actually just go and eat in the cafes without even visiting the museum!
Every single cafe meal had loaves and loaves of self-serve freshly baked bread with heaps of fresh butter, delicious soups, fresh and veggie-friendly meals, and, of course, Swedish pancakes. I was shocked that every cafe had not just one, but multiple vegetarian-friendly meal options. It was much easier finding interesting veggie-friendly fare there than even parts of Italy, where we were occasionally limited to simple pastas. They were a bit pricey, but considering they truly were nice, restaurant-quality lunches, it felt worth it.
Swedish People when Visiting Sweden with Kids
I alluded to this before, but Swedes really did seem to have a cultural recognition of children. So much seemed to be planned with children in mind right from the beginning. Even our ferry had a high chair and elevator!
Swedes aren’t necessarily super warm and fuzzy, and they did not tend to fawn over our kids. Instead, they tended to treat the kids like actual people, talking to them, and not just to us. There was a recognition of children as humans that was very special. It translated to a regard for others as important and worthy of respect.
Swedes also tend to be very proud of their heritage. We were lucky enough to be in Stockholm during Midsommar, and seeing some traditional celebrations was a highlight of our visit.
Creative Opportunities when Visiting Sweden with Kids
So much of the learning that happened in Sweden was open-ended and available for interpretation. Even the kids guides had very little, “find this person” or “what date this happen?” Instead, even those asked thoughtful questions and encouraged all of us to broaden our perspectives.
Millesgården had a scavenger hunt of statues, but asked the kids questions about the stories, the design, and the layout. It got them walking and appreciating. Nordiska had a model old Swedish children’s village with which the kids could interact. Play is so important, and the Swedes seemed to understand that. They encourage children to be children when visiting Sweden with kids.
Cleanliness when Visiting Sweden with Kids
Everything in Sweden was just so pristine. Even the construction seemed somehow cleaner. Swedes take a lot of pride in cleanliness and health and it showed. There were lots of lovely castles and palaces that were all fincredibly well maintained and organized. The air was practically drinkable, it was so clear and crisp – perfect for little lungs when visiting Sweden with kids. It made for such a peaceful, enjoyable experience.
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