We spent an amazing 10 nights in Scandinavia with our kids (ages 3 and almost 6). We just did the capitals and there is so much more we want to see on another trip (or two!). Our basic itinerary was a flight to Copenhagen, Denmark (EgyptAir has a direct one from Cairo! Yippie!), 3 nights at an AirBnb, overnight Ferry to Oslo, Norway, 2 nights in a hotel, flight on Norwegian Airlines to Stockholm, Sweden, 3 nights in an AirBnb, train to Copenhagen, 1 night in hotel, and flight back to Cairo.
I’ll be blogging about the specifics of each leg and city over the next week or two. But this post will give a quick summary of what we did, who we booked with, and where we stayed so you can get started planning your trip!!
Day 1: Flight to Copenhagen
EgyptAir direct flight Cairo to Copenhagen. Surprisingly it had great timing for flying with little kids–10 am departure, 2 pm arrival! (Setting clocks back 1 hour). Only complaint was the airplane didn’t have inseat entertainment! Luckily I had the iPad loaded with Netflix downloads, headphones, and a splitter!
We taxied from the airport to our AirBnB. It was expensive. I think about $75. But our other option was train and bus and walking. Did I mention it was pouring? For us, a taxi is always worth the extra cost when luggage is involved! But there is a train from the airport depending on where you are staying.
We did an AirBnb (referral link). Copenhagen has many options at a range of price points. Ours was near Kastellet and the Little Mermaid Statue. To stretch our legs a bit, we bundled up for the cold and rain and walked to the Little Mermaid Statue and back. Also got some groceries at the local shop and ordered take away from a yummy Thai place 🙂
Day 2: Exploring Copenhagen
Walked a ton this day! Walked through Amalienborg Palace, along Nyhavn (the harbor with really pretty houses), stopped at a playground, and then met my childhood friend and her family for lunch at her house. Then headed to Rosenborg Castle, played at the playground in the King’s Garden and went through the Castle. Wandered around Copenhagen a bit more and made our way back to our apartment.
Day 3: Experimentarium
Took the train and a bus to the Experimentarium, a very cool science museum for kids. It was crowded (a wet Sunday), but there was plenty to do. Spent about 3.5 hours there before DS3 needed a nap. Ate lunch there as well–good food, though pricy! After a nap, we walked around Kastellet, a military area where you can walk/run and enjoy pretty views.
Day 4: Exploring Copenhagen and Departure on Ferry
In the morning we walked downtown again and wandered through Christiansborg Castle grounds and then headed home for lunch and nap before the ferry. We had tickets on the DFDS Pearl Seaways, a large ferry cruise boat that sails from Copenhagen to Oslo and back. 17 hour trip from 4:30 pm to 9:30 am. We had a room with 2 sets of bunkbeds. They have rooms that hold up to 5 people. Several restaurant options. We prepaid for the buffet dinner and buffet breakfast. DS3 was free and DD5 was a reduced rate. The boat had bars, coffee shop, small kids club, small pool (for warm weather), and several restaurants. The buffet was good with a range of Scandinavian, seafood, and more American type options. Plus a separate kid buffet section with spaghetti and meat sauce, chicken nuggets, and raw veggies. Lots of delicious desserts. Breakfast was a bit range as well.
Day 5: Exploring Oslo
Getting off the boat took a while. Large line (tip: do the stairs or elevator, NOT the ramp! The stairs and elevator drop you off near the front while the ramp puts you at the back of the line) and non EU people had extra security. Took a taxi to our hotel, the Radisson Blu Scandinavia (not to be confused with the other Radisson Blu hotel). Our hotel room had a queen bed and a pull out sofa. It was very near the palace grounds.
After dropping off our things, we walked through the palace grounds to the Akershus Fortress and wandered there before doing the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum (both free!). We got lunch at a cute little place that had pizza and salads and it was over $100 for 2 12″ pizzas, 2 salads, and 1 beer! Whew! Definitely prepare for pricy food!Then walked over to the Opera House where you can walk on the roof and get great views of the harbor (also free!). From there we wandered down the road Karl Johans gate back to our hotel.
After a break, we headed to my cousin’s house for dinner via a very cool old cemetery and the oldest structure in Oslo–a neat church.
Day 6: Exploring Oslo
Today was museum day. The museums are on an island often called Museum Island. Technically it is a peninsula, but it’s always referred to as an island! We walked down to the docks and got on a ferry headed there. We got off at stop 2 and did the FRAM Museum (old polar ships and polar exploration) and the Kon Tiki Museum (about raft journeys). Then we walked to the other area of the peninsula, had a quick lunch at a small restaurant, and did the Viking Ship Museum and Folk Museum.
From there we decided to walk to Vigeland Park. This was possibly an error with 2 tired kids and a stroller for 1. It was supposed to be a 40 min walk. But was over an hour given their leg size! A bus does travel that route and would have been the smart thing to do!
In Vigeland Park, we found a cafe and had a delicious snack and then explored the sculptures of Gustav Vigeland. There is a bridge in the park lined with statues. Angry Boy is a very famous one. There was a cool playground in the park, but we were worn out by then!
Day 7: Flight to Stockholm
This was supposed to be our easy, relaxing day! We didn’t need to leave for our flight until noon. So in the morning the kids and DH hung out in the hotel and relaxed and binged on Netflix. I went out and did a little photography walk. At the airport it was scheduled to be a 1 hour hopper flight from 3-4 pm on Norwegian Air Shuttle. We take off, fly for 30 mins, and then hear an announcement that Sweden’s radar is down and we have to return to Oslo! End up getting a 7 pm flight to Stockholm, which is then delayed and doesn’t take off til 8:30 pm. So it is close to 11 before we get to our AirBnb. Oh, and our luggage didn’t make it!
Day 8: Gamla Stan
We stayed on an island called Gamla Stan, which is the old part of Stockholm. Very cool, narrow streets, lots of photography opportunities, and fun to wander. As we were waiting for our luggage to be delivered, we spent the day wandering Gamla Stan. Kids and I checked out a playground and we watched boats. While DS3 napped in the afternoon, DD and I did a little photography walk.
Day 9: Stockholm
Took a ferry over to another island to check out the Vasa Museum and the Junibacken Museum. The Vasa is an old warship that sunk 10 minutes into its maiden voyage and then spent over 300 years on the bottom of the Stockholm Harbor before being brought to the surface and placed in the museum. The Junibacken is a kid literary museum with things to climb on and play with that related to Swedish kid literature, including Pippi Longstocking! We didn’t know any of the other characters, but it was fun and very creative. Then we walked back (about 30 mins) to our apartment and did the playground again.
Day 10: Train to Copenhagen
We took the 8:40 am train to Copenhagen. It was supposed to be a direct trip, but a train problem meant we had to change trains in Malmo. Our train was SJ. This was the only thing I didn’t book direct because the site was having a few problems. I booked via GoEuro. However, if possible, I’d book direct next time as you can pick your own seats on the SJ site but GoEuro randomly assigns seats and ours ended up facing backwards, which makes me motion sick. Train ride was about 5 hours. Our hotel in Copenhagen was just a 5 min walk from the station. The Absalon Hotel was very nice and our junior suite was spacious with a king bed in a separate bedroom. There is also a family room if you don’t need a suite. The color scheme focused on purple and felt very luxurious! We walked to Orsteds Park and played on their playgrounds.
Day 11: Departure Day
Took the kids to Skydebanehaven, a park with a fun playground and a ton of ride-on toys. Then left our hotel at 11 am for the ride to the airport and our flight back home!
I booked everything on the trip myself directly with the providers, except the train ride which I used the GoEuro site
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