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We are going to be on a cruise that ends in Copenhagen. My wife is from Sweden and Norway is a great place to see. We are thinking that we would like to visit Stockholm, Goteborg in Sweden and Stavanger and Kristiansand in Norway. We aren't sure how to visit these areas. We can rent a car, take a train or fly some. We will be leaving Copenhagen and then not sure which way to go first. We can end up any place. We will fly back from any city in these countries or return to Copenhagen. What are your thoughts? We will have about a week or so. Thanks. This will be the first week of June 2015.

Posted by
353 posts

Hi Bill,
If you only have a week, I'd probably limit my visit to just 2 or 3 locations. For instance, for Sweden, you could take a train from Copenhagen to Goteborg (about 4 hrs.) , spend 2 or 3 nights, then take a train to Stockholm (3 hrs.) and spend 4 nights, with a daytrip to the Stockholm archipelago, Drottningholm palace or Uppsala, flying home from Stockholm. If you want to see Norway, you could take a train to Goteborg (4 hrs.), spend 2 ngihts, then continue to Oslo by train for 3 nights, then take the "Norway-in-a-Nutshell" trip from Oslo to Bergen for a 2 or 3 nights, flying home from Bergen. See this webpage for details on the Nutshell trip:

If Stavanger and Kristiansand are must sees, you could fly from Copenhagen to Stavanger, spend 2 nights, train to Kristiansand (3 hrs.) for 2 nights, then train to Oslo (4.5 hrs.) for a 3 nights, flying home from Oslo. See for flight options within Europe

Posted by
11289 posts

When I was in Scandinavia in summer 2003, SAS had a deal; if you flew them trans-Atlantic, you could add segments within Scandinavia for a very reasonable price. Flying is the way to go for your destinations given your limited time, except maybe Stockholm to Goteborg or Goteborg to Cophenhagen. Check the latest schedule information before taking trains; I learned that they're not nearly as popular in Scandinavia as elsewhere in Europe (my train from Stockholm to Oslo was practically empty, and I later was told that locals mostly fly that route).

If you're not using SAS or if that deal is no longer offered, be sure to use Skyscanner to check all your flight options:

EDIT: Cross posting with Rich.

Posted by
544 posts

Train from Copenhagen to Gothenburg (3 to 4 hour train), stay one night.
Train to Stockholm (3 to 4 hours), stay 2 or 3 nights in Stockholm
Fly to Kristiansand (3 hours with connection in Oslo), stay one night in Kristiansand
Train to Stavanger (3 or 4 hours), 2 or 3 nights in Stavanger.

If you aren't dead set on Kristiansand, I'd skip it. There are direct flights from Stockholm to Stavanger and I think more to do in both Stockholm and Stavanger.

All of these cities are compact and made for walking, so a car is pretty useless. Also the trains are faster than driving. The trick is packing in such a way that you don't hate lugging your luggage around town and to the train stations.

Posted by
107 posts

BTW, Rick Steves always says to travel light. I'd like to refine that and say that weight is not the issue; it's bulk. So my mantra is, "Travel Thin." I always avoid cotton clothing and instead use Gore-Tex, nylon, and some of the other synthetics. For example, instead of a sweater I pack a Nike, long sleeve warm-up top. It has a fourth of the volume, all of the fashion, and a good measure of the warmth of a sweater. Choices like this reduce bulk, improve your options for getting your clothes quickly laundered, and reduce weight as well. For socks, it's another story. I still use primarily cotton or wool since there's no synthetic alternative that I've found, unless you're just going to be fancy and wear dress socks all the time.