My family will be joining our daughter, who is studying at Uppsala University, for Christmas in Uppsala/Stockholm. We (4 of us) are planning to spend the week after Christmas, 26th - 31st exploring Oslo and Copenhagen. We are thinking about renting a car and driving but I am concerned about the weather, distance and lack of daylight. Also looking into flying or taking a train. Has anybody traveled this area in the dead of winter? Any thoughts and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
If you are only planning on visiting the capitals, I would not rent a car. Trains or planes are much faster and more convenient when going from city to city, a car is only more usefull if you plan on visitng the country side. You also have to consider finding and paying for parking. This is true even in summer, when you factor in the lack of daylight and the possibility of heavy snow in winter the car becomes even less convenient.
The budget airline Norwegian and the national airline SAS have decent priced flights between all the Scandinavian Capitals. But when you also consider the time spent checking in at the airport, waiting for baggage, getting to and from the airport and the city center, then the train is also a very good option, since it goes from city center to city center. Have a look at the Swedish railways at www.sj.se for prices and timetables.
Between Oslo and Copenhagen you can get a night ferry with http://www.dfdsseaways.us/. Its a nice way to travel, the ferry leaves at 17.00 and you arrive at 8 the next morning. They usually have some good deals on tickets and you get a nights accommodation as well. The tickets are cheap, however they make their money on the restaurants and bars onboard.
I agree with Morten, a car would not be a good idea unless you plan exploring the countryside along the way. Flights and trains are the way to go. Given your time frame and the time of year, I would suggest flying from Stockholm to Oslo, then taking the DFDS Seaways cruise or flying from Oslo to Copenhagen and the train from Copenhagen back to Stockholm. Tickets for flights and trains are usually cheaper if purchased ahead online. See www.sj.se for Swedish trains, such as the Copenhagen-Stockholm train and www.skyscanner.com for flights. Hope that helps!
Thank you very much for taking the time to respond to my post. We are flying from Stockholm to Oslo and from Copenhagen to Stockholm and taking the overnight ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen. I have another question. When arranging transportation between airports and hotels is it best to book it in advance or just fine a shuttle when we're there. Also, the same question when booking city tours. Thanks
Oslo Gardenmoen OSL has train service to central Oslo (Oslo Sentrum). The Flytoget express train is slightly faster and more expensive than the NSB train. Alternative to train service is the SAS Flybussen that may be an advantage depending on your hotel location. Advance tickets not needed. Flybussen return ticket is cheaper than two singles.
We're heading for Copenhagen in January and understand that train service connects CPH to town.
From the ferry dock in Copenhagen its a 10 walk to Nordhavn train station or there is a bus that can take you to the city centre. Copenhagen Airport is served by both metro an regular train. Which is easiest depends on the location of your hotel. Use www.rejseplanen.dk as your travelplanner for all public transport in Denmark.