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Please help with tight Scandinavian Itinerary

My teenage daughter and I have 7 nights in Scandinavia next month and we'd like to visit Oslo, Bergen and Stockholm. Is that to tight? Where should we start from? How would you divide it? Do you think Copenhagen would be more fun for her than Stockholm? We've never been to any of these places. Thanks.

Posted by
544 posts

Here's what I would do:

Fly into Stockholm
2 nights Stockholm, than an evening flight to Oslo, so you'd still have the morning and most of the day in Stockholm.
2 nights Oslo
Norway in a Nutshell to Bergen
2 nights Bergen, fly home from Bergen

If you cut out Stockholm entirely, instead of one full day in Oslo, you'd have 3.

If you visit Copenhagen instead of Stockholm, you could travel between Copenhagen and Oslo using the overnight ferry. People like that trip a lot. Norwegians will take the boat to Copenhagen for a weekend to enjoy Copenhagen and do some shopping since Denmark can be a little cheaper than Norway.

If you book a one-way flight to connect one of your Scandinavian destinations, take a look at booking your daughter separately on a youth ticket on the SAS website. Those fares aren't advertised except through the airline's website. SAS flights include a checked bag, so consider that as well when you compare ticket prices with Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Posted by
11197 posts

Nordheim's suggestions are excellent. I'll only add a few things.

Consider reversing his itinerary. Bergen is smaller and easier to adjust to with jet lag than Stockholm, Oslo, or Copenhagen. You can walk everywhere in Bergen with no transit necessary. There are also fewer "must see" sights - it's more about ambiance, so again, less difficult if you're not up to formal sightseeing on arrival - just walk around and enjoy it.

Whether your daughter will find Stockholm or Copenhagen more fun depends on her. You should both read Rick Steves Scandinavia, as well as other books and websites, and see which appeals more. Both will have plenty to fill 2-3 days. If you prefer watching to reading, Rick's videos are here (scroll down and click "Scandinavia): https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/video/tv-show

The RS book is a must-have because, in addition to sightseeing tips, it has money-saving tips - crucial for this expensive region.

For Bergen to Oslo or vice versa, definitely take the Norway In A Nutshell route (all details are in the RS book). For other travel, you will probably want to fly between cities. Nordheim's points about how SAS can be cheaper in the end than budget carriers like Norwegian are very important; be sure to check total prices on both before booking. When I went in 2003, SAS had a promotion where you could add flights within Scandinavia to your trans-Atlantic fare for a discount; check if this still exists.

Posted by
159 posts

Right now the cheapest flight I can find is Denver-Oslo via Frankfurt ,one stop, but I have to return through Oslo. Retracing means I lose a day, I think.
I have an older RS Scandinavia guide, but the transportation section is sketchy . I can use all the help I can get !

Posted by
11197 posts

Yes, on such a short trip, you don't have time to backtrack.

Are you looking at "multi city" flights, all on one ticket (e.g. Denver to Bergen and Stockholm to Denver)? These are usually much cheaper than two one-ways (although these days, not always - check both ways). But even if it costs more than a round trip flight, having to go round trip means you'll use up both time and money getting back to your origin point - so it may not be cheaper in the end.

Posted by
243 posts

Lisa,

I think that 7 nights is a bit short for the itinerary if you are the type of traveler who likes to linger at destinations. There is considerable amount of travel between destinations. I did the same itinerary, but over 10 days with a 3 night stay in the Aurland and I could have added days to each part of the itinerary. Remember that your arrival day will be shortened due to travel/connecting flights, etc. Bergen will be good for a two nighter at the beginning of the trip, but Oslo, and Stockholm definitely have a lot to offer and could easily be 3 or 4 nights. A possible itinerary would be
Bergen 2 night
Flam, Aurland, or somewhere near the Sognefjord: 1 night
Oslo: 3 nights
or
2 nights Copenhagen
1 night in Swedish lake region
3 nights in Stockholm

The Swedish lake region and Copenhagen were eliminated from my trip due to time factors, so I cannot comment from a first hand experience.

Posted by
5593 posts

As Harold notes, the efficient way to go would be a multi-city airline itinerary. Are their flights from Denver that would hub in Copenhagen, Oslo or Stockholm? Norwegian Air hubs in Oslo and serves but doesn't have a Denver departure. Scandinavian Air hubs in Copenhagen and serves Oslo, Bergen and Stockholm, but again, not Denver.

For example, SAS to Copenhagen for 2 or 3 nights, fly Oslo for two or three nights, Norway in a Nutshell to Bergen for a night or two nights. Depart Bergen for home.

I would personally do fewer cities and more time in each city.

Posted by
11197 posts

"Are their flights from Denver that would hub in Copenhagen, Oslo or Stockholm?"

According to the airport's Wikipedia page, no (and these pages are usually quite accurate on these matters). However, there are nonstop flights from Denver to the following European cities: London Heathrow (British Air), Frankfurt and Munich (Lufthansa), and Reykjavík–Keflavík (Icelandair). Of these, the last jumped out: there should be good and easy connections on Icelandair from Keflavík to all your desired Scandinavian cities. And as a bonus, Icelandair is often more affordable than other carriers. The only things to be aware of are that they fly single aisle planes across the Atlantic (some people don't like these for a flight of this length), and they don't have free food (you can bring your own or buy it on board).

See if they will work for you; here's the direct link to their multi-city page: http://www.icelandair.us/flights/book/?type=multicity

Posted by
159 posts

You guys are amazing and so, so helpful! The point about Iceland Air is well taken but since they're so few nonstop flights from Denver those good fares vanished ages ago. The good news is things have evolved but I can still use your help.I took your advice and arranged not to trace our steps. I managed to change my flight to an open jaw: arrive Copenhagen and leave from Stockholm for the same price ($817 RT) while now having 8 1/2 days. Regarding Bergen, our desire was to see a quaint Norwegian village, but the travel between 3 major cities will eat up time, too. I can't seem to find anything on the net, so do any of you know of an excursion that will be like 6 hours or less that will give us the vibe we're looking for? Geez... we leave in 10 days and I haven't even looked at hotels. I appreciate all that you can pass on. And if any of you enjoyed anything in particular in any of these places, sights, restaurants, etc. please advise. Thanks again.

Posted by
1359 posts

I was in Norway last week and the week before. I had three full days in Oslo, which felt like one day more than necessary. On the third day I took the train to Fredrikstad. It might be just what you're looking for. It's just a tad over an hour from Oslo. It's very popular as a weekend getaway for the local folks, but I don't think many Americans know about it. I was there on a drizzly Monday, and it was very quiet. If you're there in June and the weather is nice, you might find a lot more fun activities than I did; however, it was just a pleasant town to wander about in. Walk out the front of the train station, walk two blocks to the riverfront, take the free ferry across the river, and you're in the old town. The woman in the TI seemed so delighted when I came in; it was obviously a slow day. The fort and the more modern town along the river both have lots to offer.

Posted by
159 posts

It's so funny you should mention that. My daughter saw Fredrikstad on A website and thought it would be a good choice for day trip. She also saw another place called Drobak if you know anything about that place. If not we'll sit with Fredrikstad because at least now we know someone who's been there!
Well the trip is only four days away now. Any other advice anyone would like to give us we would be happy to receive, Especially things to do in the evening.
Thank you for all your help. I've taken a lot of your advice.