Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stockholm, Sweden

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Time Frame: July/August, 2 Nights


Type. At this time, we only had three kids, and, especially in Europe, we were generally required to get two hotel rooms. Sometimes, one room was possible (if the room limit is at least 4 people), since our youngest was still in a port-a-crib. We were able to find a hotel in Stockholm that allowed us to use just one room.  We stayed at the Gustav Vasa Hotel.

Cost. Since we only required one room, the cost was 1450 Swedish Krona (about $214) per night.

Amenities. The room we had had a wonderful view of the Gustav Vasa Church.  It had one double bed, two single beds and a couch.  The room also had a phone, a desk, a hair dryer, and a bathroom.  The bathroom was a bit of a strange layout.  The shower (there was no bathtub) was located in the middle of the bathroom, and blocked the toilet from the rest of the room....so you couldn't take a shower and have the toilet available at the same time.

The hotel offered an breakfast buffet every morning. It was included in our reservation.

One downside was the fact that the elevator was too small for all of us (or our luggage) to go in at the same time...so it took a bit of huffing to get ourselves and our bags up to our room (we were on the third floor).

Other. The hotel was well located in Stockholm.  It was in a fairly residential urban area.  It was less than a block from the nearest Metro (subway) station, and there were a variety of bus lines as well.  There were many options for restaurants within a reasonable walking distance of the hotel (including both Burger King and McDonalds).

The hotel has no parking of it's own, but does contract for parking spaces at a nearby garage for 150 SEK a day (about $23).  We were lucky and found a public on street parking space right in front of the hotel, which was 20 SEK per day (about $3)...we just had the inconvenience of making sure that we updated our parking ticket every morning.

Kid Friendly Rating: I would give this hotel two stars (**) for kid friendliness.  There were no overtly kid-friendly aspects, but they were also welcoming to families.

Driving. We did take our car from our home in Germany, and made it to Sweden via an overnight ferry from Germany to Oslo Norway, and then driving (nearly two days worth) from Oslo to Stockholm.

Public Transportation. There was great bus and subway links throughout Stockholm.

Walking. Stockholm is like most European cities, and is very friendly to pedestrians.


Luckily breakfast (which for me is the hardest meal to deal with when traveling) was provided at the hotel We ate heartily, which helped us last until we could find lunch.

Fast Food. Sweden is home to many of those restaurants which we know and love (McDonalds, Burger King, etc). They also have several that are more cultural. We found a good Kebab restaurant not far from our hotel, and generally used places like Subway or food stalls to provide lunch.

Sit Down. There were a large variety of sit down restaurants ranging from casual cafes to upper crust fancy places. We didn't patronize any of the sit down places during our visit.


Since we planned to spend a few days in Stockholm, we purchased the Stockholm Card.  This pass allowed us access to many of the local attractions for one price (and in the end saved us a ton of money).  The card also allows for free access to the transportation network of Stockholm for the duration of the card.

Most of the museums, and several of the larger attractions are located on Djurgarden, and island in Stockholm once part of the Royal game park.

If you choose to visit single attractions, keep in mind that like most European museums and attractions, children under 18 are free, but check each attractions admission information to be sure.

Vasa Museum

1 Jan-31 May: Mon-Tue,
Thu-Sun 10:00-17:00
Wed 10:00-20:00.
1 Jun-31 Aug:
Mon-Sun 8:30-18:00
1 Sep-31 Dec: Mon-Tue,
Thu-Sun 10:00-17:00
Wed 10:00-20:00
CLOSED: 1 Jan, 23-25 Dec.

Cost: 110 SEK ($16.50) for adults, Children (0-18): free.  Free admission with the Stockholm Card.

Comments: This was our first stop, as my husband was very intent on seeing it (and it was his major motivation for coming to Stockholm).  The Vasa was a sailing ship built in the 1600's, and built poorly.  It was too top heavy, and sank just after being launched.  It was hauled up from the bottom of the harbour in 1961. It is now housed in the  museum and you can look at it, and visit several exhibitions on maritime life at the time of the Vasa.

Kaknaes TV Tower

1 Jan-31 Mar:
Mon-Wed 10:00-18:00
Thu-Sat 10:00-21:00
Sun 10:00-18:00.
1 Apr-31 May:
Mon-Sat 10:00-21:00
Sun 10:00-18:00.
1 Jun -31 Aug:
Mon-Sun 9:00-22:00
1 Sep-30 Nov:
Mon-Sun 10:00-21:00.
1 Dec-31 Dec:
Mon-Sat 10:00-23:00
Sun 10:00-21:00
CLOSED: 1 Jan, 24-25 Dec.

Adults: 35 SEK ($5.20)
Children: 15 SEK ($2.20)
Free admission with the Stockholm Card.

Comments:  This tower offers a great view of the Stockholm area.  There is an elevator which takes you up to the observation area.  There are a few stairs to get from one level of the viewing area to the other.  There is also a cafe at the observation area (which is where we stopped to have a snack and drink, which we had brought ourselves).  The restaurant in the tower also has landmarks etched on the windows so you can tell what you are looking at.  The shop at the base of the tower offers the normal variety of tourist trinkets, and free access to the internet.

Aquaria Water Museum

15 Jun-15 Aug:
Daily 10:00-18:00
16 Aug-14 Jun:
Tue-Sun 10:00-16:30
CLOSED: 1 Jan, 20 June, 24-25 Dec & 31 Dec.

Adult: 80.00 SEK
Child: 40.00 SEK
Free Entry with the Stockholm Card

Comments: This was a nice little stop on our tour.  Most of the museums in Stockholm are on Djurgarden, so you can walk between most.  The day was hot, so stopping inside this small cool aquarium was nice.  It was no wonder of aquariums, but the kids enjoyed seeing the fish.

The National Maritime Museum

1 Jan-31 Dec:
Tue-Sun 10:00-17:00.
CLOSED: 1 Jan, 20-21 Jun, 23–24 Dec & 31 Dec.

Adult: 50.00 SEK
Children (0-18): Free
Free Entry with the Stockholm Card

Comments:   This museum was located outside the city center, closer to the TV tower.  We were able to take a bus from Djurgarden to the museum.  If you really like Maritime history, or model ships, or maritime related artwork, this is the place for you.  Our kids were less than impressed, but my husband enjoyed it.

Skansen Open Air Museum

1 Jan-29 Feb:
Mon-Fri 10:00-15:00,
Sat-Sun 10:00-16:00.
1 Mar-30 Apr:
Mon-Sun 10:00-16:00
1 May-18 Jun:
Mon-Sun 10:00-20:00
19 Jun-31 Aug:
Mon-Sun 10:00-22:00.
1 Sep-30 Sep:
Mon-Sun 10:00-17:00.
1 Oct-31 Oct:
Mon-Sun 10:00-16:00.
1 Nov-31 Dec:
Mon-Fri 10:00-15:00,
Sat-Sun 10:00-16:00.
CLOSED: 24th Dec.

Adult: 70.00 SEK
Senior Citizens: 60.00 SEK
Children: 30.00 SEK
Free Entry with the Stockholm Card.

Comments:  We've discovered that most Scandinavian countries have open air cultural museums.  Here you can see styles of buildings that existed in the past, information about the indigenious peoples, and cultural displays.  There is also a zoo of sorts, which exhibits both native and exotic animals to see.  It does require quite a bit of walking, so bring a stroller, and be prepared to take a few rest stops as there are a lot of uphill bits.  Skansen also has an aquarium on site, which does have an additional entry cost.


1 Jan-31 May:
Tue-Sun 10:00-17:00.
1 Jun-30 Jun:
Mon-Sun 10:00-17:00.
1 Jul-31 Jul:
Mon-Sun 9:00-18:00.
1 Aug-31 Aug:
Mon-Sun 10:00-17:00.
1 Sep-31 Dec:
Tue-Sun 10:00-17:00
Extended opening during school/public holidays.
CLOSED: 24-25 Dec.

Adult: 145.00 SEK
Child (2-15): 125.00 SEK
Child (0-2): Free
Free Entry with the Stockholm Card.  Free entry is only valid for one child aged 3-6 with each adult.

Comments:  Have you ever wondered what a museum dedicated to Astrig Lindgren's character Pippi Longstocking woudl be like?  Well, head to Junibacken to find out.  This has to be one of the best children's museums ever.  Your tour starts off with a short train ride through the world of children's fiction (there is a bit of a scary part with a dragon toward the end).  You then get to explore the rest of the museum.  There are puppet shows, storytelling, plenty of things to climb on and explore.  There is also face painting (there was a huge line for this), a huge pit of giant legos, coloring and crafts, and a giant playhouse.  Our kids had a blast, and it took us a while to get them to leave.

Stockholm Historic Canal Tours

30 May-30 Aug: Tours run hourly from 10:30-18:30

Adult: 150.00 SEK
Child (6-11): 75.00 SEK
Child (0-5): Free
Free entry with Stockholm Card.

Comments:  This was a great way to explore the canals and big sights in Stockholm.  The tour is offered in a variety of languages (through audio headsets). 

When you travel with little ones, bathrooms are an important thing to be able to find. Europeans are generally not big on public restrooms.

Availability: Public restrooms can be found, but are scattered and not always easy to find. Your best bet is to make sure to make use of restrooms offered in the restaurants, museums, and other attractions that you visit. Most of the major attractions have restrooms.

Public/Private: Most available restrooms are actually going to be in some type of business, whether it is a restaurant or attraction.

Cost: Costs for restrooms can run from free to around about $1 per person. Occassionally bathroom attendants will allow an adult to take a child into the restroom and only charge for one person (I did this with my kids, and even when I took both potty trained children, I usually only had to pay for me).

Nearby Amenities

Laundry: We didn't notice any laundry faciilties near our hotel, but scattered around the city we did see some laundry facilities. Ask your hotel where the best facilities are located.

Groceries: There were a variety of local shops and grocery stores in the area of our hotel. You can ask at hotels or tourist information points for locations.


We had a great time in Stockholm, and there was plenty to see.  We didn't make it to the amusement park (Grona Lund Tivoli), but we managed to see the majority of the major sights.  The end of summer was a good time as the weather was warm (and hot at some times) without being overbearingly awful.  Sweden was green and beautiful.

Trip Highlights

- Canal Tour
- Vasa Museum

Overall Rating
 This was a great family city, we give it 5 stars.

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