What you could do is to fly into Copenhagen (must see - Tivoli gardens), then get the train into Sweden, go to Gothenberg (cool theme park there), get train across to Stockholm, spend some time there (the Vasa is a must see), and maybe get the ferry to Helsinki from there.
I've stayed in a few hotels in Stockholm - the food at the Stallmastaregarden is amazing, and it's on a lovely lake, but isn't v central (but the buses are cheap and easy to use) and pricey, and there is a very central Hilton which is OK.
I usually stay in a Hilton in Helsinki as I can walk to the office from there, but theres a few downtown
Haven't been since DS, but Copenhagen and Stokholm are both great for kids. In Copenhagen everyone rides bikes with children in trailer or similar, museums have lockers where you can store your stuff - its great. In Stockhom, go to the outdoor museum (forgotten its name) - houses from all over Sweden, with people in traditional dress, all the children will love it.
oohooh i am getting all excited. i think we're going to do a rather epic trip! dp has just said he wants to do Oslo too. so, Copenhagen, Oslo, somewhere sweden-y (prob southern cities and then up north for a bit) and Helsinki.
Stockholm is great for kids - so many places to play. Maybe spend a few day in a summerhose on an island in the archipelago too.
Helsinki I will always associate with hard drinking, only ever having been their pre-kids. But Kiasma is very special and there is lots of Moomin action around. Copenhagen also fab and easygoing - take a train along the shore to Louisiana - really special.
Went to Sweden this summer to visit friends on Gotland which is fabulous - great for cycling!
Before we went there we spent a few days in Stockholm as the kids hadn't been there before. Booked a hotel (turned out to be a Best Western) and got a 'Stockholm Card'- there is a website (will post this if I remember it) Anyway this card was fab - we got unlimited travel on buses, underground, trams, boats/ferries and free entry into all the sites you would ever need - Skansen, the Vasa, state appartments, Drottingholm Palace (including the boat trip) - I think thedy probably owed us money by the end!
Also I booked most stuff ahead - including bus tickets from the airport etc - and it was cheaper and less stressful once we got there. We stayed in a brilliant youth hostel at one point as well - Swedish Youth Hostels are generally of a very high standard but it is cheaper to join in advance.
I've been going to Sweden since I was a child (and thats decades now!) and I am now am enjoying taking my kids. My daughter (aged 11) tells everyone that Sweden is 'cool' and it is certainly a very family friendly place. Frankly if my Swedish was better I would go for good but as so many Swedes speak at least a little English and all my friends speak very good English indeed I have never had to learn!
Hi, if you end up in southern Sweden (Malmo area), there is a great kids place called Tosselilla (they have a website) - I took my 4yo DD there this summer and she loved it - water park combined with fun fair etc etc etc but VAST - easily a full day (only open for a couple of months in the summer).
I fly over quite regularly and find that if you book in advance Scandinavian Air has very reasonable prices (and they fly at much better times than Ryanair etc).