While the sun-soaked destinations of the Mediterranean often steal the show, Northern Europe is full of undiscovered gems. From the raw natural beauty of the lush forests to the urban wonderlands, there are countless Scandinavian destinations for families that are perfect at every age.
We especially love Nordic and Scandinavian destinations for families because they have such a kid-friendly culture. It’s easy to get around anywhere and everywhere. There are countless child-friendly attractions and accommodations. Whether you want to climb volcanoes or curl up with a coffee and experience that coveted hygge, this region is a true bucket-list destination.
Grab your jacket, and let’s look at the top Nordic and Scandinavian destinations for families.
Copenhagen with Kids
When it comes to kid-friendly cities in Scandinavia, Denmark’s capital city is a popular pick. With 125 public playgrounds dotting the city and easy-to-navigate public transportation, this Nordic wonderland is highly kid-friendly.
Whether your kids are expert bicyclers or still working with training wheels, this safe city was made for long afternoons exploring on two wheels.
With countless world-class attractions, it’s easy to see why this is amongst the favorite Scandinavian destinations for families.
Spend a day at the Bakken, the world’s oldest amusement park then make your way to Tivoli, the second oldest amusement park on the planet.
Explore some of the other record breakers like Frilandsmuseet, the largest open-air museum in the world, or National Aquarium Denmark, Den Blaa Planet, the biggest aquarium in Northern Europe.
And, did you know that Copenhagen is just a three-hour drive to Billund, the birthplace of Lego? Another prime day trip is Malmo. You can cross the Öresund Bridge and hop over to this Southern Swedish city.
Family-Friendly Hotels in Copenhagen
When it comes to kid-friendly hotels in Copenhagen, the family suites at Meininger Hotels are unbeatable. Just 200 meters from the central station, it’s a perfect home away from home.
Planning Tip: If you bring a stroller onto a bus in Copenhagen, you ride for free.
Family Travel in Stockholm
You can take a direct train from Copenhagen to Stockholm in under five hours, and it’s well worth the trip. Book a room near right in the City Center like the Hotel With Urban Deli, which has the popular Urban Deli restaurant and marketplace below, or if you prefer a family-friendly Condo Hotel, try the Victory Apartments which has an ultra-easy location, and The Royal Palace is just 1,300 feet away).
Once you are settled in, make a beeline for Junibacken. Located on the picture-perfect island of Djurgården, this adorable museum is dedicated to Swedish children’s literature. Whether you’re familiar with the tales or not, it’s a fun day out.
When you are ready to get your sealegs, go kayaking through the Stockholm Archipelago. The city itself is made up of 14 islands, and you will find a scattering of 30,000+ islands to explore just outside of town.
Iceland With Kids
The otherworldly beauty of Iceland will take your breath away at every turn. This land of fire and ice is unlike anywhere you have ever been before. While there is plenty to do in the capital city of Reykjavík, plan on packing in as many outdoor adventures as you can here.
Planning Tip: Before you book your trip, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to seeing the Northern Lights.
Once you walk out the door of the airport, you will never want to be inside again. Hike up a glacier. Take a Jeep tour along the rim of a volcano. Swim in the geothermal pool. Ride an Icelandic horse down the coastline. Go whale watching. Hike amongst the waterfalls.
I would highly recommend renting a car or van and traveling around the country. If you are short on time, base yourself in the city. The Grand Hótel Reykjavík is a dream home away from home. They’ve got a fitness center, spa, lounge, bar, and on-site restaurant. You can take their free shuttle bus to Reykjavik city center and plan day trips around the area.
The Blue Lagoon between Reykjavik and Keflavik is easily the most iconic site in the country and it’s a must-see. For a kid-friendly dose of history, check out the Saga Museum in Reykjavik Just outside of town Viking World, which is just over half an hour outside of the city.
Know Before You Go
Unlike much of Europe, every country has its own currency: Swedish krona, Norwegian krone, Danish krone, Icelandic króna, and euros in Finland. Fortunately, it’s easy to get by just using your card. In fact, Sweden is the second most cash-free country on the planet. Check with your bank before you go, but in most cases, it’s much cheaper to pay with a card rather than convert money.