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Scandinavian tour

Hi,

I am just starting to think about my next European trip in 2024. We, my wife and I, are thinking of a Scandinavian trip, visiting Copenhagen, Oslo (including Norway in a Nutshell) and Stockholm. My question is this doable in two weeks. I was thinking of flying into Copenhagen, then to Oslo, lastly to Stockholm and then flying back home from there. Not sure best way to travel from each location to the next. I was thinking three nights in Copenhagen, three nights in Oslo, three to four nights touring the Denmark in a Nutshell and then three or four nights in the Stockholm area. Open to any thoughts. Open to other area to explore and what order to see them.

Thanks,

Steve

Posted by
2499 posts

A Scandinavia trip is always a good idea and roughly doable in two weeks.

I recommend to include a little more landscape, e. g. by flying from Copenhagen to Bergen and using Norway in a Nutshell to travel back to Oslo by train. Also Denmark and Sweden offer a lot more experiences than teir capitals only depending on your interests which you did not mention. It would help others to help you if you tell us what you are looking for or fan of, e. g. outdoor, hiking, history, foodie, culture, architecture, ...

Posted by
149 posts

2 weeks would be a good amount of time. I had 10 nights and skipped Sweden. I didn’t feel rushed and also visited friends in Denmark.

If you’re able to begin or end your trip in Bergen: Copenhagen-Stockholm-Oslo-Norway in a Nutshell-Bergen (or in reverse) is an efficient route with no backtracking. You could do it entirely on trains or fly the CPH-Stockholm-Oslo legs depending on your pace and travel style. The train is the best way to get to the fjords for the “nutshell” part of the trip and worthy sightseeing in its own right.

The nutshell route doesn’t need 3 days to complete. 1 overnight is helpful, especially coming from Oslo, to break the journey and simplify the timings of the different transportation legs but extra nights aren’t necessary unless you’re exploring beyond the fjords. You could spend the extra 2 nights in Bergen to give a full day there before returning home.

Really enjoyed this trip - I hope you will too!

Posted by
904 posts

We have just returned for 3 weeks, no Sweden, but several days in Hamburg, Germany instead. I wouldn't have wanted to do our trip in less than our time and I have been to Copenhagen and Hamburg before. But, my interests are probably not yours! It can probably be done in your timeframe.

I laid out an itinerary of must-see, must-do attractions, arriving at the length of our trip. That was then tweaked for optimal airfares, attractions closing days, hotel availability. It takes a while to plan the detail up front, but has become my approach to traveling. My first trip to Copenhagen, focusing only on departure and return dates, I missed realizing that there are many easy day trips to places within an hour of Copenhagen. This time, I felt much better prepared to see what was of the most interest to us.

Warning - we flew SAS Chicago to and from Copenhagen. Our return flight was cancelled with only a couple hours warning. There was an issue with the plane (learned later). That route didn't fly either direction for several days, apparently SAS doesn't have enough extra planes to cover contingencies. I found a solution that worked for us, but SAS's re-routes were ridiculous. Just passing on the experience!

Posted by
2499 posts

By the way: all travellers who want to do a car round trip in Scandinavia - what is really recommended for landscape lovers, not for city visitors - shall know that it is a good idea to rent the car in Copenhagen and not in Oslo. The prices for two weeks from/to the airports are very different. In average rental cars in Norway cost 3-4 x the price of Denmark and Germany for example.

Posted by
45 posts

Thanks. All good information to start. While we are both in our 70's we get around fairly well. First of all are preference is to stay in B&B's. We thoroughly enjoy meeting people from all over. We like exploring small and big cities always trying to stay in the old part of town. We have on previous trips taken all kinds of mode of transportation. Best of all when renting a car, I can drive a stick shift. We like to go to museums to learn about the culture of the area. We also will do easy/moderate hiking to get a feel for the beauty of countryside. We had planned on visiting Bergen. I need to check out how convenient flights or ferries are to this area. I would consider driving but past experience tells me that picking up in one country and dropping it off in another is costly. Trains may be better than flying because the time wasted going to the airport and waiting for your flight. Basically, we are up for anything to get a feel for the area we are visiting.

Posted by
904 posts

I am in my 60s. We spent a day hiking above Bergen, blessed with perfect weather a couple weeks ago. Funicular up and there are lots of trails. Actually, more like “walking roads” with the option of more challenging. We did get into one path that involved a small rock scramble and lots of uneven terrain. Easy to avoid that. We walked down from the funicular overlook with many others. Quite easy.

If you take the funicular up, consider an online ticket or first thing in the morning. At least in high season, lines can get long and the over look was crowded. Hiking paths were not full. Some nice views of Bergen and fjords.

Posted by
6520 posts

Yes, it's doable. But Copenhagen-Oslo-Stockholm is a bit of an odd route. The most common route is Stockholm-Copenhagen-Oslo-Bergen, but you can also start in Copenhagen and then continue to Stockholm. There are many other places to see as well, but with only 14 days you don't have time to see much more than the capitals and Norway in a Nutshell. But if you can add a few days, there are many other opportunities. Sweden and Denmark is a lot more than Copenhagen and Stockholm.

I would consider driving but past experience tells me that picking up
in one country and dropping it off in another is costly.

Not to mention it takes time driving from one place to another. The train takes you from Copenhagen to Stockholm in 5 hours, if you're driving it takes 8+ hours.

Posted by
904 posts

We flew SAS from Copenhagen to Oslo, then took the train to Bergen followed by SAS plane back to Copenhagen. No problems with any of that route.

We weren't interested in any typical NIN stops, just took the train straight through (Oslo to Bergen). Even that train ride became long for us. We picked up a short fjord tour with Rodne from Bergen and enjoyed that experience. 3.5 hours to Mostraumen fjord and return. We enjoyed that and it was enough fjord viewing for us. There are some other options for day tours. Other people enjoy a 12 hour NIN journey with train, bus, and boat and/or additional fjord tours. Personal preferences! Our reactions and choices are not necessarily applicable to anyone else.

When researching, in addition to the sights in Copenhagen proper, take a look at Helsingor for Kronborg Castle, Maritime Museums, interesting city center, ferry to Sweden and back (20 minutes); Roskilde for cathedral and Viking Museum; Louisianna Museum of Modern Art; Fredricksborg Castle in Hilerod. All easy to reach within an hour on public transport. Another option from Copenhagen in about 90 minutes - Odense - birth home of Hans Christian Andersen with many sites and a historic city center.

Enjoy the planning! I have to agree with the above post. With only 14 days, there are major decisions to be made. We spent 3 or 4 nights each in Oslo and Bergen in addition to the day long train ride across Norway. I am glad we had the time and feel we saw all I was interested in for those two cities and NIN. It's probably easy to shorten the stays in Norway if you aren't interested in full days hiking and visiting multiple Oslo and Bergen museums in depth.