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Recently my son and I went on a trip to Stockholm Sweden. This is part of our series of what we call “long distance dates”, where either my wife or I will go with one of our kids somewhere. We’ve been to the Grand Canyon, New York City, and other places but this was the first international trip with one of the kids. I thought I would share some of the top things to do in Stockholm for kids and families. We were provided a Stockholm Pass by the Stockholm tourism board which provided free or discounted admission to some of the attractions below. Without further ado, here are 11 of our top things to do in Stockholm
Top thing to do in Stockholm – Vasa Museum
If you were only going to be able to do one thing in Stockholm, I’d recommend the Vasa Museum. The Vasa Museum is on the island of Djurgarden, along with Junibacken, the ABBA Museum, the Skansen outdoor museum and Grona Lund (see below). The Vasa Museum is a big building housing the Vasa, a 64 gun warship that sank in Stockholm harbor on her maiden voyage in 1628.
Being in a building with a ship that big is amazing in and of itself, but the Vasa Museum also has a variety of exhibits about 17th century sailing and marine line which are very interesting. Adult admission is 130 SEK (about USD$16), student admission is 110 SEK and children ages 0-18 are free. You do receive complimentary admission to the Vasa Museum with the Stockholm Pass
The Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in all of Scandinavia and #1 ranked thing to do in Stockholm on TripAdvisor as well!
Fotografiska is a contemporary photography museum in Stockholm. We did not visit Fotografiska while we were there but I have heard good things. Tickets are 145 SEK; 115 SEK for students and seniors, with free admission for children under 12. You do receive complimentary admission to Fotografiska with the Stockholm Pass
Gröna Lund is an amusement park and outdoor concert venue located on the island of Djurgarden. Coming from Ohio (home of Kings Island and Cedar Point), I would not rate Grona Lund as anywhere close to either of those two parks, but it does have a few decent roller coasters. Admission to the park is 120 SEK (about $15 USD) for ages 7-64 and free for the very young or the very old. You do receive complimentary admission to Grona Lund with the Stockholm Pass, though one thing that we did NOT realize is that unlike most American amusement parks, in addition to the entrance fee, you have to buy additional ride tickets (25 SEK per ticket though there are packages that give you more tickets for less) to ride nearly every ride. We bought a few tickets, and although my son looks like he is terrified out of his mind in the picture below, he did report that it was fun 😀
Canal boat tours
The Stockholm Pass offers free hop on, hop off boat and bus tours along with a variety of boat tours. We did the Royal Canal Tour as one of our first things to do in Stockholm
The 50 minute tour came in a variety of languages and was a great introduction to Stockholm to help give us an idea of where things were located
Skogskyrkogården is a woodland cemetery and UNESCO World Heritage site located about 30 minutes south of central Stockholm. It is easily accessible by transit
We spent part of our Sunday afternoon walking through the cemetery. Swedish actress Greta Garbo is buried here
Here is a video that I took of part of the cemetery
On our way back into the main part of Stockholm from having visited Skogskyrkogården, we stopped by the Ericsson Globe, which is the largest hemispherical building in the world.
Here is a video I took of our time at the top of the Ericsson Globe, with views of Greater Stockholm
Gamla Stan (Old Town)
The Old Town of Stockholm is called Gamla Stan, and it is in between the Stockholm Central transit station and the island of Slussen. Gamla Stan has a variety of shops as well as the Royal Palace and the PostMuseum (see below)
Here’s what the outside / courtyard of the Royal Palace in Gamla Stan looks like
A ferry ride and admission to Drottningholm Palace is also included the Stockholm Pass. Drottningholm Palace is another UNESCO World Heritage site and I wrote a completely separate post about it
Tekniska museet (Technical Museum)
On Monday, we took a bus over to the Technical Museum, which is part of a campus of several museums, also including the Swedish Maritime Museum, the Police Museum, the Riksidrottsmuseet (National Sports Museum) and the Museum of Ethnography. It was a rainy day and tragically all of the other museums were closed :-(. Still ,the Technical Museum was a LOT of fun.
They also had a very nice kids play area which my son really enjoyed
After visiting the Vasa Museum, we walked a short way down the path to Junibacken, which is a museum based on the writings of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.
The Swedish PostMuseum tells the history of the mail and post service in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. Admission is 80SEK for adults and free for guests under 18. You do receive complimentary admission with the Stockholm Pass
One of the cool exhibits that they had was a place where you could try to write your name (or I guess anything) by looking in a mirror, which my son tried out to a hilarious effect
Of all the top things to do in Stockholm Sweden, this is definitely one that is focused towards younger kids or people that are really into the mail. If you are traveling with older kids or with only adults, this might be one of the things to do in Stockholm that you skip.
Skansen open-air museum
The Skansen open air museum is on the island of Djurgarden and also is the Stockholm Zoo. You do receive complimentary admission with the Stockholm Pass. We walked through on our way from Junibacken to Grona Lund and didn’t really get to take in all of the museum
Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite and benefactor of the Nobel Prizes, has a museum in Gamla Stan. Admission is 120 SEK (about USD$15), with kids under 18 free, and you also receive complimentary admission with the Stockholm Pass.
They had tons of information about the Nobel Prize and all of the winners of the Prize throughout history, along with various interactive exhibits – here’s one of my son doing an experiment on how to type different types of blood.
Similar to Drottningholm Palace, the Nobel Museum also had a scavenger hunt for kids, which was much appreciated and enjoyed.
Other top things to do in Stockholm
A few other top things to do in Stockholm for families include the ABBA Museum, the Royal Palace or the Nordic Museum. There are also a variety of other day trips / longer boat or ferry rides available if you’re spending a few days in Stockholm. One that we wanted to go to but ended up not getting to was a day trip to Birka, which is another UNESCO World Heritage site.
And of course, I like to go to church while on vacation, so we made a stop there on Sunday morning
For other things to do in Stockholm, you might check out the list of top Stockholm attractions on TripAdvisor
Where to stay in Stockholm
We were in Stockholm for 4 nights and stayed in 3 different hotels. You can check out our hotel reviews of
- Clarion Hotel Sign – this was our first hotel and very convenient to the main Stockholm city center and rail staion
- Hilton Slussen – The island of Slussen is a bit south of the main part of Stockholm but still very easily connected by transit
- Best Western Arlanda Hotellby – this was
You can also check out Stockholm hotel prices at hotels.com
If you’re flying into Stockholm’s Arlanda airport, be advised that it’s about 30 miles away from the city of Stockholm proper – so check out our guides on the best way to get from Stockholm city center to Arlanda and the best way to get from Arlanda airport to Stockholm city
Have you been to Stockholm Sweden? What would you recommend as the top things to do in Stockholm?