Please sign in to post.

Traveling in Scandinavia with two small children

My husband, our two small children (2.5 year and >1 year) and I are considering doing a 10-12 day trip through Scandinavia. I am trying to decide what cities to visit. This is my list of possible places (I think I'll choose the best of three!):

Oslo
Stockholm
Copenhagin
Helsinki
Bergen

What do you think? Any other must visit locations?

We will arrive in Copenhagen and hopefully depart from on of the other cities.

I was thinking it would be fun to do the trip only using public transportation, but not sure if that's feasible in all locations.

Also, any tips on traveling through this area with two young kiddos would be very much appreciated!

Thanks

Posted by
533 posts

Five cities is a lot for a trip of that length. And because they're so spread out (Copenhagen is as far from Helsinki as London is from Budapest), you're looking at a very substantial travel day every second or third day. You'll probably want to trim your list of cities down to two or at most three.

Public transportation in Scandinavia is generally very good, but it depends a lot on where you want to go and how much stuff you'll be carrying for the little ones.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you! I didn't mean that we could do them all! But if you were to do 3 off that list, what would you recommend.

Thanks for your help!

Posted by
11355 posts

Oslo , Stockholm and Copenhagen. Bergen gets so much rain.

Posted by
5837 posts

I've visited all except Stockholm. Public transportation is very good but the center cities are also very walkable. Young parents with large prams use transit and walk everywhere. You should have any easy time with a stroller.

Posted by
4171 posts

What time of year are you planning to go? The weather and the amount of daylight hours will have a big influence on what you can do and when.

Also be aware that there may be issues with small kids and public transportation or museums. For example, prams are not allowed on the special boats that go to the island near Oslo that has the Viking ship museum and other maritime museums. The obvious reason? Getting them on and off the boat is a serious struggle up and down stairs and they take up an enormous amount of space on board. You may be limited to bus or tram options.

Likewise, maybe they were there, but I noticed no prams or baby equipment of any kind in museums, castles, city halls or any other kinds of public facilities we visited on the RS Best of Scandinavia tour I was on last month. If anyone else has observed anything different, please correct my impression.

On the positive side, there are tons of great things for kids to do, especially outdoors. Again, that's highly dependent on the weather and hours of daylight.

I agree that you have too many locations for your number of days. Think in terms of nights, not days and keep in mind that your first night is on the plane, your first day will be your jet-lagged arrival day and your last day is on the plane home. Two nights are required to have one full day between.

Most people fly. Here's why.

The train ride from Copenhagen to Stockholm is at least 6 hours. From Copenhagen to Oslo is at least 9.5 hours. From Stockholm to Oslo cross country is at least 7 hours. Driving would probably take longer.

Helsinki is definitely the outlier. Of course there is no train option directly from Stockholm to Helsinki. By boat, then by train it is at least 14 hours.

You can use DB BAHN to check out these routes and see maps of them, although you can't buy tickets for them from DB BAHN.

I'm sure you're researching the cities you listed for kid-friendly opportunities, although most of what you find will probably be more appropriate for kids a few years older than yours. Based on that and your short timeframe, two locations would likely be the maximum, flying into one and back home from the other. Renting an apartment in those places might be the best option for your very young family.

Posted by
4613 posts

Oslo to Stockholm by train is 5-1/2 hours, not 7.

With this short time, I’d suggest Copenhagen, Stockholm and a stop somewhere in between.

Alternatively you could make Bergen to Oslo to Stockholm work also.

Posted by
5837 posts

Oslo public transportation with children:
https://ruter.no/en/buying-tickets/on-board/travelling-with-prams-and-children/

Travelling with children and prams

Price for children Children below the age of 4 travel free.

Price for prams You may bring a pram free of charge if there is
sufficient space on board.

How to travel with pram

The driver determines whether there is sufficient space, taking safety
into account. Ensure that the pram is stationary with the brake on,
and hold on to it if necessary. You yourself are responsible for any
harm the pram causes to others. Due to safety concerns there are
size restriction for prams.

Maximum size for prams The pram's length must not exceed 1,200 mm,
while the width must not exceed 800 mm.

Exceptions: On the Metro, the newest trams (lines 13, 17 and 18) and
the ferries between Aker brygge, Nesodden and Vollen, you may bring a
pram with a length of up to 1,460 mm and a width of 800 mm. On the
old trams (lines 11, 12 and 19) the doors are narrow, such that the
length of the pram must not exceed 1,200 mm while its width must not
exceed 700 mm. Note that you yourself are responsible for
complying with the maximum sizes
.

https://ruter.no/en/journey/accessibility/

Most buses, trams, metro carriages and ferries in Oslo and Akershus
are accessible so that it is easy to board with wheelchairs and prams.
However, in order to wheel straight on board, you are also dependent
on the platform/stop being adapted for this for both boarding and
disembarking.

All metro carriages have low floors with no steps. At certain stations
there may be differences in levels between the carriage and platform,
for example Nationaltheatret.

The newest trams (SL95) have low floors to facilitate easy boarding.
Use the wheelchair/pram button to notify the driver. Ordinarily there
is space for one wheelchair or two prams at each middle door.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to board the older trams (SL79) with
a wheelchair, as they have steps. If you are travelling with a pram,
we recommend using the left side of the tram's two middle doors.

All city buses have low floors, so that they are easy to board. Use
the middle doors for as much space as possible. Ordinarily there is
space for one wheelchair or two prams at each middle door. Use the
wheelchair/pram button to notify the driver when boarding or
disembarking.

B10 between Nesodden and Aker brygge All ferries are adapted at both
ends, so it is easy to board and disembark.

B11, B20, B21 and B22 The ferries have a ramp that can be hoisted up
and down, but at low tide the ramp can be very steep and can pose a
problem for prams and wheelchairs. The crew will be of assistance for
boarding and disembarking.

Posted by
3241 posts

For that amount of time, I'd suggest only doing Copenhagen and Stockholm with perhaps a stop for a night or two in Vimmerby for your oldest...start reading Pippi Longstocking books now. I don't know why you wouldn't stick to public transportation, with a stroller that allows both to fall asleep...or two. I find my 2 1/2 year old grandson much prefers trains and buses to a car. Easier on the parents as well, not having to navigate, IMO.

Posted by
42 posts

We just did a 10 day trip with our grandson (age 13): 4 days in C'hagen, 4 days in Stockholm and 2 days in Visby on the way from CPH to Stockholm. I would say the timing was about right though you always want a few extra days in the places you enjoy. If you want to add a city, I'd add Bergen since Oslo is in many ways similar to CPH and Stockholm but not as pretty. Bergen and the fjords are very different and spectacular. And I don't see the need for renting a car. The public transportation is great.

Posted by
971 posts

Without knowing you or your interests, it is very hard to give you any recommendations about where to visit. Do some research and see what appeals to you and ask more specific questions here to get more tailored answers.
Regarding transport you can get almost everywhere with public transport. For train trips starting or ending in Sweden use the Swedish railways at www.sj.se. Trains might be a bit slower than flying, but it is much more convenient than flying, especially with kids.

Posted by
1334 posts

It would also help us help you if we knew which time of the year you want to travel.

Remember you can sail from Copenhagen to Oslo: https://www.dfdsseaways.com/. It is a different pace from flying, because you don't have the long wait in the airport, but spend the whole night on the ferry.