While Stockholm is a very child-friendly city with plenty of things to do with the kids, it can be notoriously pricey. Here is my pick of 10 Free Things to do in Stockholm with Kids:
#1. See some Art in the Subway
Did you know that the Stockholm subway system is full of great art? Over 150 artists helped to decorate 90 out of the 100 stops with sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations, and engravings.
Don’t miss Kungsträdgården, a particularly beautiful station.
#2. Watch the Changing of the Guards
The Changing of the Guards takes place in front of the Royal Palace in Gamla Stan, daily during summer and the ceremony takes about 40 minutes. The guards march through the city, accompanied by a military band, before arriving at the palace.
“They’re changing guard at the Royal Palace, Christopher Robin went down with Alice.” with a nod to A.A. Milne
#3. Enjoy Culture at the Children’s Room
The Children’s Room (Rum för Barn), located on the fourth floor of the Culture house (Kulturhuset), is a library-like room divided into sections which accommodates children from 0-11 with books, toys and games.
There is also a picnic area for snacks or packed lunches. It does get very popular particularly during peak hours, so go at off-peak times and enjoy the facilities.
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#4. Stroll around Gamla Stan
With its winding alleyways, old buildings, small squares and the Royal Palace, Gamla Stan (Old Town) is a super place for wandering around and is mostly pedestrianised so you don’t have to worry about kids and traffic.
Full of sights and attractions such as the Royal Palace which has a daily Changing of the Guard during the summer, restaurants, cafés, bars and places to shop, you’ll enjoy the narrow winding cobblestone streets, with their buildings in different shades of gold.
See if you can find Mårten Trotzigs gränd (Mårten Trotzigs alley), it’s the narrowest alley in Gamla Stan, only 90 centimeters wide at its narrowest point!
#5. Go Swimming at a City Beach
Yes swimming in the city at a proper beach! Långholmsbadet and Smedsuddsbadet are two beaches within the city that have sandy beaches and offer good swimming for families. They do get busy in the summer months.
Smedsuddsbadet is very popular with families with its sandy beach and a large lawn for sunbathing, it also has amenities such as showers, toilets and a café.
Långholmsbadet is just ten minutes’ walk from Horstull subway station, it is a family friendly sandy spot, although the beach is on the small side so if it is too crowded, head to the other side of the bridge and you can get into the water from the rocks.
Hägerstensbadet and Kampementsbadet are two free outdoor pools both with toddler pools, if beach swimming isn’t your thing.
#6. Enjoy Great Views from the Cliffs
Walk the Monteliusvägen cliff path for some breathtaking views of the city. Monteliusvägen, located on the northern shore of Södermalm island is a narrow footpath, approx 500m long, that runs along the cliffs. As you go you will be able to see impressive views of downtown Stockholm.
NB Monteliusvägen is not always listed on maps because it is only a small walking lane. It runs parallel to Bastugatan. If you’re coming from the central station you reach Monteliusvägen via the Centralbron bridge, take Hornsgatan and finally Bellmansgatan. The path begins near the Skolgränd.
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#7. Have a Picnic at Djurgården
The island of Djurgården is not very large but it’s a great place to head off for an afternoon of picnicking and relaxing. Several of Stockholm’s top museums and attractions are located here, as well as plenty of cafés and restaurants. But you don’t need to spend money.
- wander along Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel’s path, Kärleksstigen
- take a look at Carl XI’s hunting lodge
- sit under the oak tree where it is reputed that Swedish bard Bellman wrote his famous song “Epistle 25″.
- explore the island and enjoy a picnic.
You can reach Djurgården on foot, by the Djurgården ferry boat from Gamla Stan/Slussen, by tram from Norrmalmstorg or by bus.
#8. Bergius Botanical Gardens
The outside areas of the Bergius Botanical Gardens are free to visit and open all year around, and it’s a beautiful place to have a walk and maybe even a picnic. Children will enjoy the spaces and exploring the gardens with features such as the Japanese Fishpond, Italian Terrace and Herb Garden.
The hothouses, the Edvard Anderson Conservatory and the Victoria House, are where you’ll find the more exotic plants such as giant waterlilies. There is a fee for adults to visit these but 2 kids can go free with every adult.
#9. Climb on some Fruit
This has to be one of the most unusual playgrounds in the world! The Fruit and Scent Playground (Doft och Fruktparken) on the island of Liljeholmen in the south of Stockholm has fruity equipment such as a banana slide, strawberry spinners, a pair of cherry swings, an orange see-saw and a watermelon jungle gym are all part of this unusual, small park.
The playground is located near Trekants Lake in the Triangle Park. There is a large open area for ball games, sunbathing and picnicking.
#10. Museum of Modern Art
The Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art) located on Skeppsholmen, an island in central Stockholm, has a fine collection of art & photography – you’ll find works by Picasso, Matisse and Dali there.
It is also a very family friendly museum with a kids’ reading corner, push chair parking, kiddie carriers and baby changing facilities. On Family Sundays there is a special guided tour for families followed by a practical Workshop session, and during school holidays, kids are welcome to join in Moderna Museet’s holiday activities.
Kids under 18 go free and for adults there is also free admission on Fridays from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
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Over to you now! Have you got a favourite free fun thing to do in Stockholm with kids? Share it with us in the comments below.