Hello everyone! We recently came back from our third trip with baby Liam (now 7 months old), and had, again, a really nice time. Family time!
My husband works really unpleasant hours and the only time real time we get as a family (and by that I mean just the three of us) is when we are away. This time our flight took us to Stockholm.
I read a lot about the city before we left, and what really caught my attention was the fact that no matter where I looked, it was always described as being very child friendly..so at the end of the day we thought to ourselves “oh ok why not, let´s book this trip”. And there we were, about to fly to Sweden 🙂
Even though we booked through Lufthansa, the flight was operated by the Nordic Airline SAS: our very first encounter with the Swedish mentality. The airline is not a low cost one, being part of the Star Alliance should meet some requirements after all, and yet you have to pay for food in case you want to eat, except Coffee and Tea. Those were for free. This kind of annoyed me, not because I particularly like the food on planes, but because I thought I paid for a service I didn´t end up getting. I guess I should have made my research a little better. Frankfurt-Stockholm is an only 2 hour flight, and we ate at the airport so we werent hungry. On the positive side, the flight was not fully booked so we got an entire raw to ourselves, which (let´s be honest) makes things a whole lot easier with an infant.
What you have to know about me is that I am not a backpacker and I am the kind of person who cannot just fly with hand luggage, in fact, I hate hand luggage. Ever since we started travelling with Liam I learnt how to pack “properly” and fit a lot more in a lot less space (still more than 8 kg hand luggage, but who knows, maybe one day I will get there), but our luggage and our stroller got to the bag drop really fast (plus point!) and as a little extra, we could borrow a buggy just in case we needed one while waiting! So there you go, child friendliness expectation: met (for now).
We spent the first afternoon/evening “in” with my husband actually getting us some take out, I like to get a couple of hours to just make myself comfortable, shower and make sure Liam is doing well..with the flight landing in the afternoon,by the time I was done with all of that it was just too late to go out.
The next morning we decided to go on a “walking tour” by ourselves. We usually buy a “Marco Polo” city guide and check out the walking tours they suggest. I am not a huge museums fan (even though some I just really love, for instance the El Prado in Madrid), and I love talking long walks and hikes, and this just really seemed like the best option.
Our tour started in Gamla Stan, the “old town”, known for the narrow streets (there you can find Stockholm´s narrowest street as well, called “Mårten Trotzigs gränd”) and little caffés. We didn´t want to have breakfast in Grand Square (Stortorget) because we felt it was overcrowded and the Cafés were totally stroller-unfriendly (very narrow, no place to walk in between tables and no changing tables), so we looked for a place in an inner street and ended up sitting on the mini terrace at Cafe Sten Sture (the cafe had no changing room but at least there was enough place for our stroller!). I ordered a Shrimpmix toast of which I cannot recall the name but it was amazing (if anyone knows the name of this typical Swedish toast pls let me know) and I got the waitress to heat up Liam´s meal, which was really kind of her. So even though Gamla Stan is not the place to be with a stroller and a child, the staff and people in general are really nice when it comes to young parents and small kids!
On that day we walked around Gamla Stan, the Royal Palace, and walked to Norrmalm: today´s city centre, which was built after Gamla Stan became too small to house the city´s growing population. Once we got there it really started pouring rain so we went and had early dinner at the first place we found: Fridays. Yup. And guess what, we are never ever going there again! First of all, the staff was not accomodating at all, secondly, you are not allowed to take the stroller in, even though it was pouring outside. We eventually managed to get a table next to the door and fit “our baby” as well, but oh my. Liam couldn´t sit on his own yet but the waitress had no idea and yet she did not ask if we needed a high chair or not. Also, the bathroom is not equipped with a changing table for babies, which (in an international chain such as Fridays) I find extremely weird. Also, my husband got a stomach bug from the cold fries he got, the already cold and hard melted cheese in his burger and the not so well done meet so we definitely cannot recommend this place to anyone and we will surely never ever step into a Fridays again (as a note: we usually don´t eat in such chains, but we really needed to get away from the rain!).
Once the rain finally stopped we got out of Fridays and walked to the City Hall, the best place to take pictures of the city in my opinion.
We did not go inside but we walked around the garden and by the water. While Liam was enjoying his nap, we enjoyed taking some pictures. Afterwards we walked back to our Airbnb (check it out by clicking here!)
On the next day we had breakfast around the Vasaparken (sorry I cannot remember the name 😦 ), it was a small place and still rather empty so I had enough space for the stroller. I eventually improvised and turned a piece of furniture in the toilette into a changing table so thumbs up to that! I had my favouorite Eggs Benedict on an Avocado toast, and dude the portion was huge!
We continued our walk through the park and decided to explore Södermalm (the southern part of the city), which my hubby loved the most. The reason for that is that this area is quite hip, full of small bars, cafés and little vintage stores, definitely very interesting. It also offers “views from the top” , another great landscape to take pictures of. We definitely enjoyed the walk, it was sunny and we spent the entire day outside.
We eventually got back to Gamla Stan where we had an amazing three course dinner at a restaurant called Under Kastanjen. I highly recommend this place, incredible staff, super child friendly, really tasty food, good value for money and central location. What do we want more, right?
On our last day we had breakfast at the famour “STHLM Brunch Club” – absolutely loved it! We got in without having to wait in line (we went on a monday, that´s why!) and it was both early and empty enough for us to be able to bring our stroller in as well (usually you are not allowed to!). I loved their brunch, their infamous portions and the place itself, but I hated how you don´t really have a changing place for babies and how, when full, you have the feeling to be sitting on your neighbour´s lap. It is a small place and in my opinion it just tries to fit a whole lot of people in it. Nevertheless the food was excellent!
Once done with our brunch, we strolled around the city center, managed to get into a mall called “NK” where I wanted to check something our for baby Liam. There I had a chance to nurse him in a really clean nursing room and change his as well before travelig back to Frankfurt. We even took a walk in the city´s market hall, filled with yummy fresh food. We were way too stuffed from brunch to actually eat something.
Once back at our apartment, we waited for our taxi to come and smoothly checked out. At the airport I was really upset that they took our stroller away at check in, but I was happy to find out we could use an airport buggy till the gate. The buggy is not suitable for babies under 6 months, so if you ever travel to Stockholm make sure to have a carrier with you as well.
At the gate there was a playground for children (!) and I was about to go with baby Liam but we had to go to our flight so we didn´t have time to play.
Overall we enjoyed our trip a lot! We walked to almost everywhere and only took the metro once. We were surprised at the amount of children and babies in the cities. Mummys but mostly daddies walking around with strollers everywhere! I have to say I have never seen so many kids in a city before, maybe I never cared to noticed but Stockholm is really baby booming in my opinion! I guess the rule and regulations they have for parental leave and nurseries is way better than here in Germany, but I do not know for sure. I think Germany is still a lot behind when it comes to that. Parental leave comes with a lot of bureoucracy and a lot of paper work, also it comes with too little money unfortunately.
Overall I enjoyed my time in the city, but I was a little disappointed to find out it didn´t meet my expectations in terms of “Nordic architecture”. I found a lot of similarities to some German cities, I don´t know why I thought it would look a little different then it does. I loved the water landmarks though, and the fact that you can truly walk with a baby everywhere!
Have you ever visited? Are you planning to? Let me know if this was useful to you either by a comment here below or per E-Mail 🙂