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What to pack for April-May travels in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Estonia?

I normally travel in the winter months and take long underwear, shirts, pants, light weight sweater, beanie, north face jacket, north face gortex shell, gloves, ear muffs, scarf and wool socks. What do you suggest leaving home for the April-May Scandinavia/Baltic States visit? I'll be out for 30 days. Headed primarily to Copenhagen area, Stockholm/Uppsalla, ferry to Tallinn, city on the coast of Estonia, Norway in a Nutshell trip, Oslo and Bergen?

Thanks

Posted by
20569 posts

Bring it all. You probably need it. It will be chilly and potentially rainy during that time period.

Posted by
5017 posts

Indeed. We did the Baltic countries in the height of summer, and we experienced all kinds of weather, including torrential rain on several days. I live in Seattle so I shrug off a little rain, but one day it really kicked our butts. That was in July. In early spring, you will need to be prepared for every kind of weather. Be ready to shed layers when necessary, but have good rain gear, warm layers, and shoes that won't turn into sponges that make your feet miserable for days and days. FWIW, Tallinn is great but quite touristy, and there's plenty more elsewhere in Estonia (and the rest of the Baltics) that's worthwhile. Have fun.

Posted by
72 posts

Thanks for the replies so far. I've got the gear and it sounds like I should bring it. Good suggestion on the shoes. I'll bring my Lowa hiking boots rather than the merrells I was thinking about wearing. Any other suggestions are welcome. Also, I will be based for five days in Tallinn. I intend to day trip to Helsinki. Other than that, what day trips do you suggest?

Posted by
1043 posts

Swedish word of the day: Aprilväder (April weather), a varied and unpredictable weather common in April.

So basically bring everything :) Joking aside, layers is the key. Expect temperatures from around 0 or so to 20 in the day time, the evenings and nights can be cold with temperatures dropping to 5-10 below zero, but can also be a lot milder. And don't be surpised if it snows. You are staying in southern Scandinavia so it will not be too cold (in the north, the ski resorts will still be open), but higher up (like on the NiN trip) it will be bit colder and can be snowy. Bergen can also be very rainy. So, I would leave the long underwear and scarf home. As for jackets, I use a thin wind- and waterproof jacket this time of the year and then add layers underneath if needed.

As for day trips from Tallinn, Tartu is a popular choice. A bit more odd is Narva on the russian border, most of the medieval old town was destroyed by the Soviets in the 2nd world war, but the 13th century castle is still standing. As well as the fortress on the other side of the river. Visiting the fortress will require a russian visa, but it can be admired from the Estonian side of the river.

Posted by
5449 posts

Spring happens quickly in the Nordic region. We arrive in Helsinki early April in the middle of a snowstorm. Flew north for two weeks above the Arctic Circle. Returned to Helsinki mid-april in time for Easter and outside cafe seating in the sun.

Posted by
5311 posts

I would never leave the scarf home! In fact I usually bring at least a couple, of different weights. I find a scarf helps a LOT with my layering — I can feel a lot warmer with a scarf with the rest of my outfit being the same. And if the weather turns milder /warmer, the scarf is by far the easiest piece to remove and stash in (or on) my bag.

Posted by
2081 posts

I was in Tallinn last year in early May and it went from sunny and low 70s one day to cold and rainy and snow overnight the next, so you'll be fine with layers, and save room for some gorgeous handknit Estonian mittens.

My previous trip had me there for 6 days and I made a day trip via ferry to Helsinki, also spent 2 days with EstAdventures--they do small group tours and as it was Sept one trip had me and a couple, the other was just me and the owner and we had a great time going off the beaten path. Check out their website for tours, I did one that included Haapsalu and a ruined monastery and other sites, another went to the Vana Viru bogs, waterfall at Jagala and toured a couple of manor houses. Other things I enjoyed in Tallinn included a visit to the Rocca al Mare outdoor living history museum, the zoo is nearby, toured Kadriorg palace and the KUMU museum, the excellent Museum of Occupation and Freedom and I especially liked the wonderful marketplace at the old train station, Balti Jaama turg--great local food options, handmade craft sellers (quality stuff), antiques, fresh fruit & veg, generally a fun atmosphere.

Posted by
1043 posts

Spring happens quickly in the Nordic region.

*Spring can happen quickly in the Nordic region. But it can also arrive slowly.

Posted by
72 posts

What great and enthusiastic feedback. I'll have my multi-season gear and now have a list of possible places to visit. On with the adventure and keep on traveling.