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Family trip to Sweden/Denmark June 2023 - Trip Report

Thank you to those who gave us advice! Here is how it went:

First, we are a family of 6 with children ranging from 5-16 years old. We packed light, everyone took only a standard school backpack (no special luggage was purchased) with roughly 5 day's worth of clothes each. Only electronics were 3 phones and one Kindle e-reader. Only one of the phones had an international data plan, the rest used wifi.

Train tickets were purchased in advance on sj.se as soon as they were available. The other advanced purchase was Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen.

Most meals were made in the hostel or cabin kitchen, this is just easier with kids.

We ended up not needing any cash the entire trip. Most places were credit card only (even the guy selling strawberries from a stall in a park in Jönköping). Sweden especially was mostly cashless everywhere we went.

We walked a lot, easily 10K-20K steps per day.

We kept the planned activities to one per day (shown in bold) with a second one (shown in italics) only if people still had energy to do it. This worked great with kids in tow and kept the stress level down.

  • Stockholm 5 nights, Castanea Old Town Hostel
    • Day 1 - Arrive 3:30PM, train/bus to central station, walk to Gamla Stan, eat, walk around, sleep
    • Day 2 - Vasa Museum, take ferry there, back to Gamla Stan and visit the Armory
    • Day 3 - Skansen, took the ferry there. Everyone had a great time but ran out of steam mid-afternoon so it was back to the Gamla Stan to relax. Some of us spent time exploring the alleys/streets.
    • Day 4 - half-day cruise to Vaxholm, kids played on playground, threw rocks in the water, ate ice cream, my teen bought a skirt since the weather was so warm
    • Day 5 - Medieval Museum, Noble Museum
  • Visingsö (Jönköping County) 4 nights, Stayed in a cabin
    • Day 6 - Travel to Visingsö, get to cabin, eat, walk to beach and watch the sunset over the water.
    • Day 7 - Day in Visingsö, Rented bikes near the ferry (this was on Sweden Day so lots of tourists were on the island), visited castle ruin of Visingsborg, rode through the forests and farmlands to the south end of the island, stopped at a cafe for lunch, did some swimming in the lake.
    • Day 8 - Day in Jönköping, a little under an hour bus ride here, the Match Museum was closed for refurbishment but the County Museum was open and nice, we also walked to the area where my wife’s grandfather lived in Bäckadal, the house is not there anymore (which we knew) but there was nice playground for the kids
    • Day 9 - Day in Visingsö taking it easy, more swimming (kids swan every day on the island),
  • Copenhagen 5 nights, Next House Copenhagen, 6-bed dorm, location is great close to Tivoli and the train station and close to the waterfront with piers, swimming, and kayak rentals.
    • Day 10 - Travel to Copenhagen, check into hotel and eat, train was delayed due to an electrical issue so this was longer than expected day.
    • Day 11 - Viking ship museum in Roskilde, highly recommend for kids, the museum was really nice and the kids had fun making little wooden boats and testing them out. Headed back to Copenhagen and explored the city center, got some ice cream. Then back to the hostel (they had lots of cool games and a sports arena in the basement which kept the kids busy until dinner). Walked along the water after dinner.
    • Day 12 - Kronborg Castle, another one I recommend to do with kids. Lots of areas to explore in and around the castle. Walked down the the beach area to watch the ships gow between Denmark and Sweden. Then back to the hostel for games and play.
    • Day 13 - spent the whole day at Tivoli until they closed at 10pm, this is a really nice way to spend the day, recommend going on a weekday if possible.
    • Day 14 - Rosenborg Castle tour (including crown jewels), visited playgrounds and took it easy the rest of the day.
    • Day 15 - Depart for home
Posted by
6685 posts

Thank you for sharing a trip report, I hope you had a great time!

Posted by
129 posts

This sounds like a wonderful trip! Thank you for sharing your trip report.

Posted by
11 posts

How did the public bus work with US credit card tap? Do you have to retap on every transfer?

Posted by
980 posts

How did the public bus work with US credit card tap? Do you have to retap on every transfer?

Usually we had a day ticket via the local transport app so we just scanned the bar code from the phone. In Jönköping the app was not available for download with a US apple account so the days we rode buses we just told the driver we wanted a day ticket and tapped in and he printed a physical ticket. There was one day the bus was having network connection problems and the driver said just get on and buy the ticket from the when we got into town at the main train station. They put the ticket onto an RFID transit card (like an oyster card) so we just had to tap in/out the rest of the time.

There was only one time we saw people getting tickets checked but it looks like they didn't fine anyone, just made them purchase proper tickets.

DJ

Posted by
980 posts

I almost forgot to add when I asked everyone what was their favorite parts of the trip it was unanimously Visingsö, with Stockholm second and Copenhagen third. Of course they thought the whole trip was awesome so it’s not a negative on big cities by any means.

DJ

Posted by
6685 posts

I can understand that, Visingsö and the surroundings are beautiful. I hope you spent some time in Gränna also.