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4.18.2018

Two days in Stockholm, Sweden in winter (with the kids!)


The #FabFam recently went to Scandinavia (Sweden and Finland) for spring break.  I know... people usually go somewhere warm for spring break.  But not us - we decided to travel to the arctic!  In the coming weeks I will share more about our time there (I'll have posts on our time at the Icehotel in Sweden's Arctic Circle and our day in Helsinki, Finland).  Today I am sharing about our brief visit to Stockholm, Sweden.

 

Our time in Stockholm was actually centered around discovering some of our family history (like our trip to Spain in 2010 and last summer's road trip in England and Scotland).  I'll share about that, as well as general tips and recommendations for a quick two-day trip to Stockholm with kids. 
 
My great-grandfather was born in Stockholm and moved to the US, where my granddaddy was born.  I had a sketch of the area my great-grandfather was born that I wanted to compare to the existing surroundings, and to generally explore the part of Stockholm where my family lived, and where my great-great-grandfather may be buried.

My mother helped with some research before our trip, and discovered that my great-great-grandfather, a frisor (barber), was born with a different last name than what was used after that.  That particular name opened up some interesting chapters of our family history.  Though his line likely made it to Sweden in the 1600's to mine and forge for iron, they were of Belgian descent.  This makes a lot of sense from when I did my Ancestry DNA test (see the video of my results here), as a much smaller percentage of my DNA was Scandinavian than I would have thought. 



We did get to explore the old neighborhood, and see how remarkably similar the street view is today for where my great-grandfather was born:


We also got to visit the Maria Magdalena Church, but unfortunately there was too much snow on the ground to find any family gravestones.  It was still a beautiful church and churchyard to see. 

 


As this was all in walking distance from our hotel in a great part of Central Stockholm, we were lucky to get to spend some time just exploring!  It is always special to have physical memories of my own in places where my family had lived for generations.  And now my kids have some memories of their own, too.

 

We will definitely need to go back someday, as our time there was brief, and there is so much to do!  The people are also incredibly friendly.  Here are some specific tips, reviews, and recommendations for a two-day trip to Stockholm:



Hotel in Stockholm

Hilton Stockholm Slussen
I am a HiltonHonors gal, so I do like to seek out Hilton family hotels when not at a boutique hotel.  The Hilton Stockholm Slussen is an ideal place to stay in Stockholm.  The service was friendly and impeccable, our room was great (look at the view from our room in the pics below!), and the location in Central Stockholm could not be better. 



Airport Transportation from ARN

As taxis in Sweden are noted to be hit-or-miss (some are famously rip-offs and scams), we decided to try some different options to get to and from the Arlanda airport.  Both were reasonably-priced (as far as Scandinavian prices go) and easy.  Both also accommodated our luggage. 

Arlanda Express Train
From the airport to a few spots in the city.  Quicker than the bus, but more expensive.

Flygbussarna Airport Bus
From the airport to multiple stops in the city.  Takes a little longer than the train due to more stops, but a good price, clean, and comfortable. 


What to Do in Stockholm with Kids

Since much of our time in Stockholm was around our genealogical explorations, we didn't do much of the traditional tourist activities.  Click here for a great article on things to do with kids in Stockholm, like the popular attractions The Vasa Museum and Skansen, which seem to be pretty universally recommended. 

Since our Texan kids rarely ever see snow, we personally spent a fair amount of time in parks playing in the snow (they had been planning an epic snowball fight with daddy for weeks), and walking around to appreciate the local architecture. 

 
 
 
 



Where to Eat in Stockholm

When I went to research kid-friendly restaurants in Stockholm, my biggest takeaway was that most places in Stockholm are kid-friendly.  We did experience that firsthand, and found Sweden and Finland both to be very friendly and accommodating to families and children.  If you want to see a great list of child-friendly Stockholm restaurants, click here.  Here are a few of the restaurants we visited:

Texas Longhorn
We came across this burnt orange sign as quite a surprise when walking around the area my family is from in Central Stockholm.  I had been craving tacos randomly, and the universe delivered.  The décor felt like home, and the tacos and burgers were delicious. 
 


Pong
Pong is an Asian buffet with a few locations in Stockholm.  The food was of great quality and freshness, and the whole family was able to find things they loved.  The price is higher than you'd pay for an Asian buffet in the US, but then again, everything in Scandinavia was more expensive than the US. 

Speaking of food, the Swedes must love their candy, because we saw these candy buffets in every grocery and convenience store!  The kids loved trying lots of different candies (of course they did).  I didn't complain either...


Our time in Stockholm was brief, but FUN!  The kids loved it, and we are looking forward to visiting again someday.  Stay tuned for more from our trip to Scandinavia in the coming weeks! 



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