Mini Piccolini! Only the best for your little minis

Stockholm with Children

A couple of you have asked me for tips and advice about visiting Stockholm with children. So today I’m teaming up with fellow Stockholm-based blogger Gina of Willowday to give you our best tips!

Stockholm from a family-perspective is relatively new to me and obviously, most of my tips are a little more baby/toddler-appropriate, since that is what I have. But Gina has three big kids and a whole list of her own Stockholm tips! So, definitely head on over to Willowday (click here) for Gina’s tips!

Here are mine (highly personal and in no way comprehensive):

Fun fact – the general Stockholm pics featured here (including the above) are all from Visit Stockholm – where you can find up-to-date info, tips and deals for your visit. And the model featured here and all over Visit Sweden is actually my gorgeous sister Sofia!

Stockholm is a great city to visit with kids of all ages. It’s clean, friendly, safe, beautiful and family-friendly. Stockholm is expensive, but there is a lot you can do without spending too much money too. Visit any time of year but be prepared for the cold and dark if you choose to come in the winter and keep in mind that spring comes later here and that even summer can be a little chilly.

The city of Stockholm is made up of 14 islands connected by bridges. But Stockholm is also part of an archipelago of 10,000 islands. Seeing Stockholm from the water is a must and it’s easy to do with an “Under Stockholm’s Bridges” tour, which you can do as a hop-on-hop-off type of tour over a day or two. You can take the same boats to visit Fjäderholmarna, which will give you a taste of the archipelago without going to far.

SHOPPING

You cannot visit Stockholm without spending some time at our big department store, NK. There is a gorgeous children’s department with Polarn O. Pyret, Mini Rodini and Livly outlets – all Swedish kids brands that are so worth checking out. Have lunch and people watch at Entrékaféet by the main entrance (have a shrimp salad or the chèvre chaud and a glass of white wine). And if you are on the hunt for souvenirs, you can get all the Swedish must-haves on the bottom floor. Some other Swedish brands that are worth looking at and that are all housed at NK are Ordning & Reda, Design House Stockholm, and fashion labels Filippa K, Whyred, Acne and Dagmar to name just a few.

DJURGÅRDEN

Gorgeous to walk around, and home to some Stockholm must-sees. My dad grew up here and has fond memories of this piece of countryside in the middle of the city. I don’t think much has changed here since his childhood, Djurgården still has a small-town feel. You can get here by boat, bus or just walk across the bridge.

Have lunch at Rosendals Trädgård. Either indoors in the greenhouse, or out in the garden at a picnic table or on a blanket under a tree if the weather is nice.

You simply cannot travel to Stockholm with children without visiting Junibacken. Let your children immerse themselves and disappear into Astrid Lindgren’s fantasy world. They can explore Pippi Longstocking’s Villa Villekulla and older children (I would imagine they should be three or four years old since there are some slightly scary parts) will absolutely LOVE the story train. It’s so so so cool.

If you are here in the summer, Gröna Lund is a fabulous amusement park and somewhere you can really hang out all day long. Get a great view of Stockholm before you drop from the free fall.

Older children will appreciate Vasamuseet, which houses the Vasa ship, which sunk in Stockholm on it’s maiden voyage in 1628 and was brought to the surface again 333 years later in 1961 . I’m not sure I really get it, but everyone I know who has been says it’s really really cool.

Skansen is the world’s largest open-air museum. It’s our local zoo (where you can see moose and bears and other animals which are indigenous to Sweden) and there is a great petting zoo for kids. This is also where Swedish children come to give their pacifiers to the kittens when they grow too big for their paci!

Other museums (in other areas) that are well worth visiting even with small children, are Fotografiska (the photography museum) and Moderna Museum (the museum of modern art). Both have children’s programs.

And the Royal Palace and Old Town are well worth a visit with kids of all ages. The Old Town will really spark their imagination and there is a changing of the guards that is fun to watch at the palace – not to mention the very real chance that you might catch a glimpse of some of the royal family.

VASASTAN

This is my neighborhood (and obviously the coolest neighborhood in Stockholm)! Full of great shops, cafés and restaurants – you can’t walk a block without finding a place to buy a latte and a loaf of sourdough bread. We live on Rörstrandsgatan in a part of Vasastan called Birkastan. Rörstrandsgatan is full cafés and restaurants. And children. Literally every other woman you pass will be either pregnant or with a stroller or both. Vasastan is also sort of the official home of the “latte dads” – fathers on paternity leave with their little ones.

On date night you might find us at Raw (Japanese) or Paus (nice neighborhood bistro) and at any other time of the day, chances are, I will pass by the café Xoko to either grab a soy latte and a loaf of bread or I’ll be sitting outside under the warmers with some mommy friends while our babies sleep in their strollers.

On the weekends – grab a coffee at Mellqvist’s stroll-by coffee bar on Rörstrandsgatan and then stroll into Vasaparken which has a great playground. In the winter you can borrow a sled and go tobogganing or go ice skating and in the summer there is a soccer field. They also have big outdoor grills up at the playground where you can buy burgers and hot dogs to grill. And there are toilets etc indoors.

On Odengatan there is a great unisex kids shop called Uni – they have such a great selection of gender-neutral children’s clothes and toys.

Another lovely park (on the other side of town), with a great playground is my childhood park, Humlegården.

And if the weather is bad – bring you baby to a “stroller movie” – current movies shown in lit cinemas with lower sound and a break in the middle for feeds and diaper changes. Bring babies and toddlers and enjoy!

BABY ESSENTIALS & PRACTICALITIES

You can buy Ella’s Kitchen products in any supermarket, but do also try Hipp which have a good range of organic baby food. If you need to buy formala you can choose from Nestle, Semper or Hipp. It can be a little difficult to see what is what since it’s illegal to advertise formula.

You can buy Pampers diapers anywhere – Swaddlers are called “New Baby”, Cruisers are called “Active Fit” and the night diapers are called “Baby Dry”. And Natusan newborn wipes are fabulous because you can use them on faces and hands and everywhere.

You will find high chairs at pretty much any restaurant and you will have no trouble getting places to warm a bottle or a jar of baby food.

All public transportation is stroller-accessible. There are elevators down to the platforms. You are also allowed to use escalators with your stroller. Buses are stroller-accessible – you just get on the middle of the bus and you ride free with a stroller. Taxis have car seats, just ask for one when you order the car.

There is a 24-hour pharmacy on Klarabergsviadukten near the central station if you need anything at night. You can also buy simple over-the-counter stuff at grocery stores or 7eleven etc.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted February 26, 2013 at 11:48 | Permalink

    Beautiful photos and a slice of life I agree with completely! (I agree – your sister’s a wonderful face for Stockholm!) Oh, I used to love the “Mama bio” — in fact, I actually think I made more movies when the kids were 3 and under than I do now: 7 and up — due to this! I love that you’ve shared something about Vasastan — your neighborhood. Exploring each area of the city is a great way to make real and interesting discoveries. We’ve spent a lot of time running in Vasaparken and I love all three of your food recommendations, too. I used to love the walk along Karlbergslott in the Springtime — one of the warmest spots. Thanks for sharing this great post.

  2. Alexandre
    Posted February 4, 2014 at 11:28 | Permalink

    Hello Mina!

    Thanks for the lovely post. We’re considering the opportunity for a weekend in Stockholm in February with a 2-year-old. Do you think it’s worthwile for him and will we find enough to do at this time of year?

    Thanks.

    Alexandre (in London)

    • Mina
      Posted February 4, 2014 at 11:44 | Permalink

      Hi Alexandre!

      Thanks so much for stopping by Mini Piccolini. I am biased for sure, but I really do think Stockholm is worth a visit at any time of the year. Our children are 18 months old and 3 years old and I think there is quite a lot to do for that age, depending on your interests.

      Stockholm is easy to navigate with a stroller, walking and using public transportation, and it’s quite a small city so you will be able to see a lot even with only a weekend. Junibacken, the museum focused on Astrid Lindgren’s characters, can be quite hectic on the weekends, and in my opinion, it’s not super for smaller children. But I think the Museum of Modern Art could be quite a good match (they have children’s programs and a good restaurant for lunch). Our children enjoy Tekniska Museet (also quite busy at the weekend). They’re especially fascinated by the model railway which is only shown twice a day (I think it’s 11 or 12 and then 15 in the afternoon). Our 18-month old could stand there for hours if we let him. Our kids love Skansen, the open-air museum, which has a children’s petting zoo. It’s actually great even in the winter.

      The butterfly house in Hagaparken is meant to be really great, although we have not visited it ourselves. And Kulturhuset has a great area for children to explore freely. Also our inner city parks are great at this time of year. At many of them you can borrow a sled to have a go down the hill and there are always many children out to play with.

      But besides specific attractions, Stockholm is simply very child-friendly. You can bring children with you almost anywhere (restaurants, cafés, museums etc) and everything is set up for them (high chairs in restaurants, elevators in all the subway stations etc). And it’s a great city for walking.

      I would bring a stroller. And lots of winter layers, since it can be very cold in February. H&M does have some cheaper winter clothes if you need to stock up (and there is an H&M on almost every corner in town).

      I hope you decide to come and visit our beautiful city – and do let me know if you need any more tips!

      Best,
      Mina

      • Alexandre
        Posted February 4, 2014 at 12:18 | Permalink

        Thank you for all the info and the prompt reply! I’d love to come back to Stockholm and we’ll certainly consider it.

        Cheers!

        Alexandre

  3. Dominique
    Posted February 25, 2014 at 00:34 | Permalink

    Hi Mina,

    I will be traveling to Rome with my 3 1/2 year old daughter in July and we have a layover in Stockholm from about 7am – 5pm. I would like to take her into the City for a mommy-daughter day. Do you have any suggestions for things to do during that time that are easily accessible?

    Thanks,
    Dominique

    • Mina
      Posted February 25, 2014 at 09:58 | Permalink

      Hi Dominique!
      What a great idea to make a mommy-daughter day of your layover!
      I would take the commuter train (pendeltåg) into town. Hop off at Karlbergs Station which is one stop before the central station. Follow the crowds up from the station and one block up to Rörstrandsgatan. On this street (where I live) you will find a grocery store (Ica) in case you need any diapers or drinks or anything else for the day. Across the street is a lovely café called Xoko where you can have a Nicke breakfast together. My kids love their smoothies and croissants and they also do nice hot chocolate and typical Swedish cinnamon buns. Either sit there or bring your breakfast with you to the park (right when you come out from Xoko, 2 blocks down to a big intersection and you will see the park ahead and to the left a bit. There is a great playground here to enjoy. Play for a while!
      Then continue through the park, past the football field up to Dalagatan where there is a bus stop. If you have a stroller with you, you can ride the buses for free, just get on in the middle. Bus 69 runs every 10 mins or so. You can take this all the way to either the Technical Museum (bus stop Museiparken – Etnografiska, the museum across from Tekniska has good lunch), or get off at Djurgårdsbron and walk over the bridge to Junibacken or Skansen (see post). If you are ready for lunch after the park, get off at NK and head upstairs for Swedish meatballs (and great shopping) or try Max (Swedish fast food) nearby. From NK it’s not far to the old town and royal palaver if you prefer sightseeing.
      Bus 69 stops at the central station, as do all subways, so when you’re ready, head back there and take the airport express train back out to Arlanda.
      Have a fabulous day!!
      xo
      Mina

  4. Molly
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 20:10 | Permalink

    Hi, I think your site is fantastic and so helpful to me as we are coming for 2 weeks the first part of June with 4 children ages 9-1:) We are looking for apartments to rent and I would love to know your opinion on what neighborhoods are best to be that would be family friendly, and also have the most to do and see right around us. thank you, Molly

    • Mina
      Posted April 11, 2014 at 21:14 | Permalink

      Hi Molly! Thanks so much for stopping by Mini Piccolini!
      I have to recommend our neighborhood – we live in Birkastan which is part of Vasastan. It’s super child-friendly and really well connected to both the airport and all different parts of the city. It’s really ideal.
      Östermalm is nice and has great parks but can be a little more quiet. But it’s close to many museums and summer attractions (many of which are situated around Djurgården).
      Södermalm is also very lively with lots of quite relaxed restaurants etc – definitely kid-friendly.
      The important thing is to choose an area within the city centre – what we call “inom tullarna” (within the toll gates). Once you are in the centre, you are within walking distance of everything you need and have easy access to buses, the subway, airport transfers, restaurants and cafés, attractions, parks, etc. Air BnB should have good options in all of these areas.
      Have a great stay!
      Mina

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