5 Most Charming and Beautiful Cities in Sweden (+ A Few Towns)

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Sweden has some of the most beautiful cities in Europe, and there’s plenty of family-friendly fun to be had. Here is the ultimate list of the most beautiful cities in Sweden to help you plan the perfect city break in Sweden with kids

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Beautiful Cities in Sweden Map

1. Stockholm

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Stockholm, Sweden’s capital city, is a city of water. 

Located on a series of islands and peninsulas and surrounded by the Stockholm Archipelago, you are never far from the sea. 

It’s a beautiful city with classic Scandinavian simplicity in the coloured walls and black roofs of the historic buildings. 

Things to do in Stockholm with Kids

There are plenty of things to do and see. 

  • Skansen is the oldest air museum in the world. You can easily spend a day exploring the historic homes, discovering Swedish history from costumed guides, and shopping at the markets.  Kids will especially love seeing the animals at the onsite zoo and Baltic Sea Science Center. Buy your tickets here.

  • The Stockholm City Hall is one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The famed Golden Room is an over-the-top feast for the senses, and the incredible Blue Hall is where the annual dinner for the Nobel Prize winners is held.  Guided tours are offered frequently throughout the day.

  • In summer, you can rent bicycles on Djurgard and cycle past canals and through city parks. Stop off for lunch and/ or fika at one of the many cafes.  Explore lavish pavilions that look Chinese and Turkish.  Go for a dip in a lake in summer.  And keep an eye out – you may even see a small flock of sheep wandering around the lawns. Why not try this 3-hour private guided bike tour.

  • The Vasa Museum is home to an enormous wooden ship that sank in Stockholm in 1628 on its maiden voyage. Today, kids and adults alike will be fascinated by the incredibly well-preserved warship.  There are loads f informative displays to learn more about the ship and the city’s history. Buy your tickets here.

  • For something completely different, head to Gronlund Amusement Park. Centrally located right on the harbor’s edge, there are plenty of rides for kids of all ages. 

Where to Stay in Stockholm

There are several areas to stay in Stockholm, but the most central area is Gamla Stan.   

You will be close to shops, restaurants, and ferries. 

Recommended by James Ian from Travel Collecting

2. Malmo

Located in the southwestern part of Scania County, Malmo is a small culturally diverse city where you can visit churches, squares, parks, food stalls, shopping centres, a fortress, and tall skyscrapers within a small area.

Malmo is not only one of the most beautiful cities in Sweden but also an eco-friendly city that offers a bubbling restaurant scene, lots of vegan options, and cafes.

Things to do in Malmo with Kids

There are plenty of things to do in Malmo for families travelling with children.

  • Gamla Staden or Old Town of Malmo is the most charming place in the city. You can see the well-preserved old colorful houses, picturesque alleyways, cobblestone streets in the western part(Gamla Vaster) of the city. It has beautiful squares, shopping centers, many historical buildings, and impressive churches.

  • Stortorget is the largest square in Gamla Staden. The square was built in 1546 with Dutch Renaissance style. It features an old city hall and a big horse statue.
  • You shouldn’t miss Folket’s Park when visiting with your kids. This oldest park in Sweden offers fun playgrounds, amusement rides, mini-golfs, food stalls, and live music events.

  • Lilla Torg is another charming square in Gamla Staden. This cobble-stoned square is filled with colorful wooden cafes and restaurants that have been carefully restored to the 16th-century charm.

  • Turning Torso is the most impressive and tallest building in Sweden. You can spot this 190 meters skyscraper from anywhere in Malmo. It can be a great place for summer dining with families after exploring the city.

Where to Stay in Malmo

I will highly recommend staying at least one night in Malmo. Ohboy Hotell is located near Vatra Hamnen and offers unique industrial-inspired design apartments with kitchens and free WiFi at a reasonable price.

By: Trijit Mallick from Dog Travel Buff

4. Västerås

Västerås is just one of the many beautiful cities in Sweden that are perfect for a family holiday. The city of Västerås is Sweden’s fifth-largest city and is easily accessible in an hour by road or rail from Stockholm.

Being one of the oldest cities in Sweden and Northern Europe, officially established in 990 AD, Västerås offers many historical sites from the Nordic Viking Age, and mediaeval churches and castles.

Things to do in Vasteras with Kids

Some of the most popular things to do in Västerås for families include:

Vallby Open Air Museum – One of the largest open-air museums in Sweden with over 50 buildings from the region along with exhibits that represent the county through time. Vallby seeks to recreate and show the environment that Swedish people once lived and worked in.

Anundshög – This is Sweden’s largest Viking burial mound measuring over 64 meters across and nine meters high and there is also a stone labyrinth that dates back more than a thousand years.

Västerås Cathedral – One of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, it has been awarded three stars by Guide Michelin, with the explanation: ”worth making a tour for”.

Frösåkers Brygga Open Air Museum – This museum showcases Viking heritage in a replicated village setting. The main attraction of the village is Sweden’s largest floating boat museum with a collection of 25 antiques, fully restored wooden ships. The kids will enjoy the Viking hall with activities such as rowing, sailing, testing their archery skills, Viking games, and firing a catapult.

Kokpunkten Water Park – Located just behind the Steam Hotel (this is an amazing place to stay in central Västerås!), the kids (and adults) will love the rides in this action-packed water park.

Recommended by Peta and Jonas of Exit45 Travels

4. Goteborg


Göteborg is the second-largest city in Sweden, but contrary to the capital it has a much more relaxed atmosphere and scandic charm.

It lies on the west coast, closer to Oslo than to Stockholm and has been a student city for centuries. It has many historic sights, but also a lot of cool and modern influences.

Things to do in Goteborg with Kids

Here are the best things to do with kids in Göteborg:

  • Try the fun rollercoasters at Liseberg amusement park, the largest in Scandinavia
  • Wander around Slottsskogen and try to spot reindeer and elks.

  • Have a fika in a pretty cafe. It involves some sugar, but it’s a special occasion after all.

  • Check out Universeum, kind of a jack of all trades, including a tropical zoo and a chemistry laboratory.

  • See what the inside of a submarine looks like at Maritiman

Where to Stay in Goteborg

The best area for a stay, especially with kids, is close to Liseberg park. If your budget allows it, Gothia Towers has everything one can think of, including an indoor playground and an outside hanging glass pool with warm water on the 17th floor.

Even if you don’t stay there, in case you have two hours for yourself, this is the perfect place for parents to relax. Keep in mind that the spa area is adults only, but Liseberg park and Universeum are just across the street.

Recommended by Raluca of TravelWithASpin

5. Kiruna

kiruna sweden

When you think about reindeer sleigh rides, dog sledging, and chasing the northern lights, what location comes to mind? Let me guess… Lapland, right?

If you are keen on experiencing wonderful winter wildlife and nature activities, you are in the right place.

But did you know that Lapland includes Finland and Sweden? And that Kiruna is the most popular Swedish city to visit for a cosy family holiday? Let me show you.

Kiruna is known as the most northern city of Sweden. With a thin white layer of fresh snow covering the roofs, this city reminds you of a scene from a Hollywood Christmas movie.

In the morning you can enjoy a family fishing trip. During this trip, a group of professional fly fishers will teach you and your family how fun fly fishing in Sweden can be.

Get ready to catch a trout, salmon, or a massive winter pike! The Riverside Lodge is the perfect place to stay after a long day of casting and catching.

In the evening it is time to dress up warm and start chasing the Northern Lights by visiting the Abisko National Park. Here the Aurora Sky Station is located.

More interested in just hiking? Try the Kungsleden hike between Abisko and Hemavan. It is one of the world’s most famous hiking trails.

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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.

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