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Scandinavia - '08

We’re planning to do Scandinavia in ’08. The tentative itinerary is Copenhagen to Stockholm, Stockholm to Oslo, Oslo to Bergen (via Norway in a Nutshell), then taking the Northbound Hurtigruten cruise (taking some of the excursions that are offered) ending in Kirkenes, then flying home.

Not sure if we want to drive, take trains, or combine the two. With a car, we don’t have to worry about carrying luggage and we will have a little more flexibility with stops in route.

We’ll spend about 3 weeks, a few days more if we should. No desire to see Helsinki. Any thoughts would be welcomed.

Posted by
505 posts

Greetings

Given the expense of getting across the Øresund Bridge, expensive parking in Copenhagen and how expensive petrol in Scandinavia (around $6 a gallon), you'd probably be best sticking with trains until Stockholm.

The train to Stockholm doesn't have the most stunning scenery, but it's efficient, smooth and comfortable. You can also take the slower trains and stop in towns along the way - public transport in Denmark and Sweden is excellent, so you shouldn't have a problem.

Kate

Posted by
2788 posts

We toured Scandinavia in summer 2006 and found RS Scandinavia book most helpful. We also found that part of Europe to be VERY expensive, especially Norway. Happy travels.

Posted by
389 posts

We just returned from our trip to Stockholm and Copenhagen. Did all on trains and public transport which were very easy. I reccommend booking a room through the www.visit-stockholm.com/ site and getting the free Stockholm alacarte card. Six of us stayed for under $300/night, including all public transportation, entry into every site and some great boat trips to outlying areas. It ended up being the cheapest place we stayed.

Posted by
18 posts

I did Rick's Scandinavian Tour in 1998 when you used a train to get to most places. We trained from Copenhagen to Stockholm overnight--probably not possible now. We also trained from Stockholm to Oslo as well as the Norway in a Nutshell.

I returned to Norway this year and took the Hurtigruten to Kirkenes and back. I loved it. But, be very sure that this is not a typical cruise. It attracts an older, well-educated and well-traveled crowd. The food is good but not great. There is only one choice at dinner. You do not need dressy clothes.

Private message me for more information on the Hurtigruten.

Barbara, Connecticut USA

Posted by
2641 posts

If you plan on seeing any of Kirkenes you will need a car or use the bus. There are no trains up there.
It if a pretty town, sits right on the Russia border.
Wonderful restaurant that had great food, you can eat and look over in Russia. Not sure what time of year you are going, but in June there will probably still be some snow on the ground. Kirkenes airport is very small. We spent a wonderful week in Kirkenes wsith friends that live there. Have a great trip.

Posted by
19 posts

Thanks so much to all for your responses. The replys are most helpful in my planning. Thanks again.

Posted by
19 posts

Robin - What was the name of the restaurant?

Thanks!

Posted by
769 posts

I highly recomend a stay in Balestrand, on the Sognfjord. Great small town that lets you really relax away from crowds. The Balestrand Hotel is a home away from home - the owners are so nice, and the price is great! Same views as the very expensive hotel 2 doors up the road (but go for the buffet).

Bergen was also amazing. Plan on a day or two there if you can. The Floyenbahn tram up the hill and walk down is great. Then go to the small wine-bar at the bottome of the hill by the tram for a "locals" hangout.

I just returned from the RS_Tour and relaized as much as we did visit - there is so much left to go back for in Stockholm, Kopenhagen, Aero, Oslo and Bergen.

The Norway Mountain ranges were also so amazing - stay a nite in ELVESTER if you can! its very "Tolkien-ian" sytle lodge was amazing and beauitful away from crowds! See if you can add some of these places into your journey!

Posted by
71 posts

In 2003 I traveled all through that area. It was fabulous! I used Rick's book, but also other sources. I bought a Scan Rail pass, and it was great. You have to pay a little extra for the Norway in a Nutshell. Be sure to book it a day or so before you plan to leave Oslo.

Helsinki is lovely!! You can get on the ship in Stockholm, great dinner buffet with free wine and beer. The next morning you wake up in Helsinki. I took the half day city tour and then had plently to time before boarding the ship for an overnight return. Please read about in Rick's book and reconsider. Food on the ship was wonderful!!

While in Stockholm, I went out to visit the UNESCO site where the Vikings lived. Neat stuff!!

Enjoy! Ann