rainbow over a traditional Swedish house in Stockholm
Since I’ve not been living in Sweden full time for the past 18 months, whenever I travel there now, I’m always on the look out for great family accommodation in Stockholm. This great rainbow picture is taken from my house in Sollentuna a few years back, but when you’re travelling on holiday you can’t always get this type of accommodation. Many people will resort to hotels but I think this is a big mistake, especially when travelling with the family. I far prefer to be self catering when I have the children with me and I also like the space and flexibility that holiday rentals normal provide.
In recent years, especially now that tripadvisor have got into the market for holiday rentals, there are more and more opportunities for finding good value and excellent accommodation in the Stockholm area. When I was there 3 months ago I did some searches on trip advisor and I found some OK-ish stuff, but a lot of it was over priced and often targetted at the couples weekend break market. I was looking at their lists again last night, and this was still the focus of their market, but you might find a few interesting family ones as well. In the end I recently rented with Cocoon Stockholm and I can’t recommend them enough. They have a good selection of properties, but more over their booking and customer service was excellent.
The key I think though in finding value is some local knowledge about the areas. I rented a great apartment in Birkastan / Vasastan and it was about 50% cheaper and about 50% bigger than all the equivalent ones on the trendier Södermalm. Don’t get me wrong, I do like Söder, but it’s fairly overpriced, whether you’re rented for a holiday or even if you’re buying property as well (in my opinion at least!).
Cocoon and others also have some amazing family houses in and around Gustavsberg and Värmdö. Now if you’ve got a car these represent amazing value, and you’re only 20-30 minutes drive from the centre of town. Even if you don’t like to drive into town (and I’m of that nature) there are still good quality public transport links from these areas, and if you’re kids are older and not in pushchairs then you can easily hop on the express bus (hey, even if your kids are in pushchairs you’ll be fine as Swedish bus services are very accommodating to young families and I spent innumerable happy trips on these buses with my daughters who just love to travel on buses). The other benefit of these eastern suburbs is that you’re really in the archipelago edges and there will be a lot more space and scenery and opportunities for outdoor activities.
Now I know that some people will have the need to be right in the middle of town, and I don’t dispute that, but personally if I can have a 150 sqm house with space and garden 20 minutes away compared to a 40 sqm 1 bedroom apartment, I know which was I’d go, especially when I’m with the family. So if you’re browsing for family accommodation in Stockholm on the web, don’t just limit yourself to the Stockholm keyword, as when you do so, most often you’re unwittingly filtering out many of the outlying suburbs. For example on tripadvisor, trying using the search word Värmdö and you’ll find a whole other host of opportunities you didn’t realise were there. Once you’ve seen this you can check out other suburbs on the map and search around these as well.
If you’ve any questions about the suitability of specific areas or any such matters, leave a comment and we’ll get back to you.