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Itinerary Feedback Request

I am just beginning to plan our trip to Scandinavia for next May/June. We have 13 days, and I'm thinking of the following:

Monday: Fly into Bergen, stay for 2 nights
Wednesday: Norway in a Nutshell, Part 1, staying overnight in Flam
Thursday: Norway in a Nutshell, Part 2: do Fjord Safari before continuing trip to Oslo
2 nights and nearly 2 full days in Oslo
Saturday night: Overnight Ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen
3 nights and 3 full days in Copenhagen
Wednesday: Copenhagen to Stockholm (not sure about car, train, or flight)
4 nights and nearly 4 full days (depending on how we get there) in Stockholm
Sunday: Depart Stockholm for home

Unfortunately, we have no flexibility about the number of days, and the days of the week are fixed (we already have our flights). We would like to see more of the countryside in Sweden and Denmark, but we are opting to see Stockholm and Copenhagen instead.

We do not enjoy tours, so I am a bit concerned about doing NIN. But, given that we'll be there in late May (before the season really gets underway?), we are hoping that it won't be too crazy. And it really does seem like a great way to cover so much territory. Also, we are not fans of cruises, but the overnight ferry seems like a great experience.

Any thoughts on any of this would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by
8010 posts

We're flying into Copenhagen on Norwegian Air Express for about 1/2 the fare of current European flights.
After 3 days, we're getting on a 9 day cruise to Rostock, Germany, Tallin, St. Petersburg (2 nights), Helsinki, Stockholm and back into Copenhagen for 1 night.
We're then flying to Oslo on Norwegian Air Shuttle ($71), spending the night and taking the Norway in a Nutshell trip to Bergen (2 nights).
We're flying home from Bergen with a stopover in Oslo.
We too are not tour people, but day tours are the only way you'll see St. Petersburg. The Russian government won't let you off the ship without $500 Visa otherwise.

When you consider the cost of rooms and meals in Scandinavia, we find the cruise to be an especially thrifty and efficient way to see the region.

Posted by
636 posts

Thanks, but we are only considering a "cruise" for the overnight from Oslo to Copenhagen.

I'm really looking for feedback on the overall itinerary.

Posted by
243 posts

Leslie,

We had a very similar visit this spring at the end of May. We only stayed one night in Bergen and wished that we had two. We drove to Aurland which is just 10-15 minutes farther than Flam. The natural beauty in Flam cannot be denied, but the town seems more like a depot of train station, ferry, and port for mega cruise ships. If you only have one night, it may be your best logistical choice. There is bus transport between Flam and Aurland, but not sure of the frequency. We stayed 3 nights in Aurland and had one day just for hiking. The fjordside cabin was amazing and we cooked salmon that we got at the Bergen Fish Market right in our cabin. We did not get the package, but purchased the cruise on the fjord separately. One additional note if you are interested in driving, Voss is the closest place to return a car and it is about 60 minutes away from Flam. The trip from Myrdal or Voss can be purchased on-line through the Norwegian Railway; economy fares are offered in advance and may be cheaper than going through a tour. A 5 minute taxi ride gets you to the train station. Let me know if you want more info. In my opinion, you definitely want at least 2 complete days in Oslo; we stayed three nights. So much to do in Oslo. We did not go to Copenhagen, so cannot comment. We took a flight from Oslo to Stockholm at a very reasonable price (nearly the same price as a train ticket. We stayed 4 nights in Stockholm and even though one day was devoted to the Stockholm marathon, we felt like we only scratched the surface. There are many things for us to see and do on our next trip. Make sure that you have adequate warm, rain resistant jackets. Our weather was mostly 50's and drizzle in Norway, but we were fine with our clothing options.

Posted by
3171 posts

If you visit at the the end of May/beginning of June, the meadow flowers will likely be in bloom. The countryside in Sweden is lovely, so the blooming flowers are icing on the cake. Consequently, I'd rather take the train than fly. By flying, you loose part of your vacation, IMO. I'd also suggest an overnight in Eskjö or Gränna (from what I hear Gränna is a lovely town on the lake, but I did not visit). Your express train likely stops in Nässjö, which would then require a fairly quick bus ride to either town. Eskjö (pronounced somewhat like Ee-ah-keur) has a lovely old town with, allegedly, the most 17th century wooden buildings in Sweden, and cobble/lake stone lanes. An overnight here would allow enough time to visit the town, see one or two little museums (most aren't open yet due to the time of year) and visit the church. The stop at Nässjö (loosely pronounced Ne-keur) would break up your train ride as well. The busses are just outside the station. This would reduce Stockholm to three full days, but those days would allow you to see a lot, and with the weather so nice, you might not be interested in the indoor activities anyway. Definitely go to Skansen and if you are traveling with young people or young at heart, go to Grona Lund as well, ride the ferry, walk Gamla Stan, etc. This is a beautiful area. Stockholm reminds me a lot of Boston, but on a smaller scale. Wray

Posted by
16893 posts

Flying or train can both be pretty cheap between Copenhagen and Stockholm. Direct, high-speed train takes 5 hours and has deep discounts ("non-rebookable," on limited number of seats) if you book ahead at www.sj.se.

Posted by
11294 posts

Looks good to me! Of course, everyone will do this slightly differently, but I think you'll have a great trip. NIN is not a "tour"; it's just a bunch of trains, buses, and ferries that are timed to connect. Yes, lots of people taking it will be tourists, but especially if you break it up so you aren't on ones going at the popular times from Oslo and Bergen, you should see Norwegians too.

If you don't want to take the ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen, look into flights. As said above, with budget carriers these need not be expensive.

Posted by
636 posts

Thanks for all the feedback so far. I will dig deeper and make some adjustments. A few comments, though, in response:

  • Usually, we do enjoy the flexibility of a car on our travels, but I'm not sure we will do it on this trip. The one exception might be getting from Copenhagen to Stockholm, if we do end up staying overnight along the way. Although, I will look into the train. I'm convinced not to fly.

  • We are looking forward to taking the overnight ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen. While we avoid cruises like the plague, this is just one night, and we are thinking that it will be fun and a way to see more spectacular fjord scenery.

That's it for now. Thanks again for the helpful feedback, and keep those thoughts coming!