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Helsinki, Oslo, and Tromso

I am taking a Collette tour leaving from Helsinki to see the Northern Lights tour in November. I decided that I wanted to spend another week in Finland. I discovered Tromso and Oslo (because I found it difficult to get to Tromso directly, 7 hours from Hellinski.) The flight stoped in Oslo. (1 hour 30 minutes from Helsinki) so I decided to stay there a couple of nights. . Flying time to Tromso from Oslo it about an hour. Now I have the same problem flying to DFW with a couple of stops and travel time fo 14.5 hours+ Any ideas on places I might stop on the way home in Finland, ie or any other favorite cities to visit in winter close to Finland??

Helsinki
We are staying at the Lila Roberts hotel for the tour so I'll just extend my room stay.
Any favorite things to do?
I have heathershelsinki food tour
.Seurasaari Island - open-air museum featuring traditional style Finnish buildings. Not sure it would be open in Nov or how to get there.
Should I do this? Ferry To Tallinn (2 hour ferry)
Central market, Old Market hall Not sure if this is the same place.

**Oslo, Norway
We are stopping here. I found two Christmas Markets that I would like to visit. I've been to the ones in Germany and Budapest. I thought these might be different in Norway
1. The biggest Christmas Market Jul Winterland
2.The glass village Christmas market at Hadeland Glassverk
Where is your favorite hotel to stay? I don't want the most expensive one but I don't want the hostel either.
Any favorite restaurants or things to do?

I found an article on Tromso and fell in love with a few things I could do there such as:
1.Whale watching by hybrid catamarran.
2.Ice Domes
3.Pust Spa to see the Artic Cathedral at night.
4.Cable Cars Favorite time, hike?
5.Glass blowing shop is it worth it since I will have been to Hadeland Glassverk?
Anything else you can think of? What was your favorite hotel to stay in the city center. Someone suggested Thom Hotel Tromso

Thanks for your help and suggestions!

Posted by
979 posts

Oslo is in Norway, not Finland. We were there for a week in September 2022 and stayed in a Frogner House apartment in the Grunerlokka district. Lovely area with lots of restaurants and cafes.

We particularly liked both the newly opened National Museum and the Munch museum. We also really enjoyed the round trip we took on the public ferry which gave us great views of the water and some of the nearby islands. Another highlight was the Vigeland sculpture park.

Oslo is a lovely city with an extensive tram and metro network. Where we stayed in Grunerlokka was about 10 minutes on the tram to the city, or a lovely 40 minute walk along the river.

Thon Hotels is a mid price chain in Norway. We stayed in a couple of Thon hotels and they were comfortable and with the included breakfast, good value. I think there are a few Thon hotels in Oslo.

Posted by
6566 posts

As always, what do you want to see and do?

Seurasaari Island - open-air museum featuring traditional style
Finnish buildings. Not sure it would be open in Nov

It won't.

Should I do this? Ferry To Tallinn (2 hour ferry)

If you want to visit Tallinn, which is not a bad idea.

or any other favorite cities to visit in winter close to Finland??

Stockholm would be a great place to stop on the way to Oslo.

Where is your favorite hotel to stay? I don't want the most expensive
one but I don't want the hostel either.

Scandic is a good mid range hotel chain.

When in November is this trip? The days get shorter and shorter, and in Tromsø the sun sets on the 27th. Something you need to take into account when doing outdoor things like whale watching.

Posted by
38 posts

Badger, I did put in my original post all the things I wanted to do. I'm looking at locals who suggest these activities but I like the input from tourists even though I know everyone has different tastes.

I loved Stockholm but don't want to go again. Maybe I'll look at flying home from Stockholm.

I'll check out Scandia hotels, by the airport in Oslo so not convenient. Didn't see them in Tromso. Thanks!

​November 8th-16th is the original tour. I was going to stay at least a week longer.. Thanks for the tip on daylight hours! I'll revisit what I'm doing. The whale watching was 8 hours, not sure what you would see in the 3 hours of darkness so I'll ask them about it.
I did google and find this..
"The average day in Tromso during November has 5.1 hours of daylight, with sunrise at 9:19 AM and sunset at 2:25 PM." I'm not sure I could live somewhere where it was dark from November thru...I can visit though...

Posted by
38 posts

Aussie
Oslo is in Norway, not Finland. It is convenient to fly there on the way to Tromso!
Thanks for the input on Thon.

Posted by
979 posts

Oslo is in Norway, not Finland. It is convenient to fly there on the way to Tromso!

Hi Terry, I know as we went there on our 4 week trip around Norway last year. Before you edited your original post it read like you thought Oslo was in FInland, glad you have your countries correct! Scandinavia has some very big distances between locations and knowing which country you are in is an important start.

If you haven't looked into airlines yet, we flew both SAS and Wideroe to get around some parts of Scandinavia and both were excellent.

Posted by
6566 posts

Badger, I did put in my original post all the things I wanted to do.
I'm looking at locals who suggest these activities but I like the
input from tourists even though I know everyone has different tastes.

You did ask for things to do and other cities to visit, but it's a lot easier if you actually tell us what you are interested in and what you are looking to get out of this trip.

I loved Stockholm but don't want to go again.

Why not? It is a city well worth returning to…

I'll check out Scandia hotels, by the airport in Oslo so not
convenient. Didn't see them in Tromso. Thanks!

Scandic has hotels all over Oslo, not just at the airport.

"The average day in Tromso during November has 5.1 hours of daylight,
with sunrise at 9:19 AM and sunset at 2:25 PM."

The problem with averages is that they are averages. If you're staying in Finland until the 16th and then spend a few days in Oslo, you might be in Tromsø by the 20th, and that day you have around 3 hours of daylight. As well as some twilight.

Posted by
27357 posts

I suggest also looking for hotels on booking.com. you may uncover some additional less-expensive chains that way. It's always worth going to the hotel's website to see whether you can get a better rate. I was usually able to save 5% by joining the chain's affinity program. 5% isn't much, but hotels in Scandinavia can be very costly.

Posted by
1 posts

Here are some ideas for Helsinki in November. It is cold and dark in that time of the year, so I list things many locals enjoy.
I'm suggesting you some sauna experiences. It is a very big part of Finnish peoples life, and please study beforehand how to do sauna. Please respect locals, laid back, enjoy. I'm sure you'll have lovely experience.

This sauna is suggested to be part of cultural heritage and protected. It is tourist friendly. Check carefully times when it is open. It is close to station Sörnäinen (metro, bus and trams 7, 1, 6, 8).
https://www.kotiharjunsauna.fi/en/home/

Open air swimming - it is cool experience specially in winter:
https://allasseapool.fi/?lang=en

Another sauna experience as well:
https://www.loylyhelsinki.fi/en/

If you like old market Halls, there is 3. Last one mentioned was at National geographic list, but I prefer the first one in the list:
https://hakaniemenkauppahalli.fi
https://hietalahdenkauppahalli.fi
https://vanhakauppahalli.fi/vanha-kauppahalli-ja-kauppatori-national-geographicin-listalla/

If you are interested open air markets, Kauppatori is very touristic, but also running during whole year. But in November, it is not so liveable as in summertime.
https://helsingintorit.fi/torit/#kauppatori

If you are interested in architecture, Helsinki in very famous about art nouveau architecture. Go to hang around street "Huvilakatu", and surrounding area, it os not so far from your hotel Lilla Roberts. Also National museum, main railway station and National theatre are all art nouveau style.

If you want to se something very nice new architecture, Finns everyday life, go to visit new main library Oodi.
There is downstairs and upstairs cafe, terrace where you can see city and it's life. It is opposite to our parliament building, so library and national's important decisions are equally important :)
https://oodihelsinki.fi/en/

For inspirational modern art (and Steven Holl's exiting museum architecture) please se Kiasma. It is next to Oodi.
https://kiasma.fi/en/

Museo about Helsinki, I personally love it:
https://www.helsinginkaupunginmuseo.fi/en/

If you prefer see more hipster areas,
go to Kallio area. In Karhupuisto, there is another beautiful public library from 1880's,
cafe https://www.flathelsinki.fi, as well another cafe's and bars. Take tram 3 or 9 to Karhupuisto.
Also loveliest wooden house bar is Pikku Vallila (https://pikku-vallila.business.site) located in protected wooden house area. It will be nice walk around it in crispy November day. It is easy to reach with trams 1 and 7, stop Vallilan Kirjasto.
Walking is local option as well!