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Scandinavia Itinerary

Looking to plan a trip to Scandinavia in late May 2014 for 7-12 days including Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Bergen, and the Norway in a Nutshell trip. I have traveled to Europe quite a bit, but am a first timer to Scandinavia. Hubby's first time out of US. We can get great airfares but looks like all of Scandinavia is quite expensive. What are recommendations for must see and also what to avoid. How many days in each? I am thinking an overnight in Voss or Flam during the Norway in a Nutshell from Oslo to Bergen would be good.

Any recommendations for reasonably priced accommodation? Anyone use the voucher/checks/coupons for hotels? Looks like several require a coupon plus an additional fee.

We are general interest travelers: history, culture, art, churches, shopping, and eating. Afterwards, we will be heading to Paris for a week.

Any recommendations and advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help!

Posted by
2081 posts

Kate + 1

welcome,

I was over there this past Sept. Didnt see as much as youre going to do, but i was in the major cities.

What really impressed me was.

  • Stockholm. The VASA ship.
  • Oslo - Frogner Park and the statues. & Norwegian Museum of Cultural Histoy on Bygdoy.
  • CPH - Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

there were others things, but for me those things in each city was fun/interesting.

I travel solo and apparently my inexpensive tastes in lodging are far too cheap to satisfy others.

But i will say to look at the Cabinn, City in CPH. Its about 2 blocks away from the Main Train station. The rooms arent fancy, but my "single" had 3 twin beds in it (bunk bed + slider). It comes down to square footage if you want a larger room. Ive been in smaller and larger, but i enjoyed the proximity to the central station.

I budgeted 3 full days in CPH, Stockholm and Oslo when i was there. I could have spent more time and maybe a little less, but i will leave that for the next time since i definately will go back especially to Norway to see the Fjords and probably Sweden and Denmark. My schedule wasnt rushed and i was able to relax every day and do my wash in Oslo.

you may want to say WHERE youre willing to stay too. Not just the $$$.

happy trails.

Posted by
2127 posts

I think you are going to need all 12 days to see what you want to see. I would suggest 3 nights in Copenhagen, 3 nights in Stockholm, 2 nights in Oslo, 2 nights in Bergen plus one night between Oslo and Bergen (we stopped in Balestrand).

Copenhagen is a great place for strolling. I especially liked the history museum, the Nyhavn area and the Danish Resistance Museum (which I don't think is open now). Tivoli is wonderful, except it was insanely crowded when we were there. A day trip to Roskilde to see the Viking ship museum and cathedral is an easy and enjoyable day trip.

Stockholm is a spectacularly beautiful city. I particularly enjoyed Gamla Stan, the Vasa Museum and a boat cruise around the islands. The open air museum (Skansen) is also very nice. If you had another day, you could take an overnight round trip cruise to either Helsinki, Finland or Tallinn, Estonia. You get two nights lodging on the ship and a chance to see a really interesting city.

Oslo is a nice city, but pales in comparison to Copenhagen and Stockholm IMHO. The Viking ship museum and other museums at Bygdoy are a short ferry ride away and were my favorite things to do there.

I just loved Bergen -- a fun place to walk around, especially by the Bryggen Hanseatic wharf and fish market. Nice size and wonderful atmosphere.

Posted by
783 posts

I stayed at several Radisson Blu hotels on a trip to Sweden, Norway, Finland. They are everywhere. I know a big hotel chain lacks some of the personality of smaller establishments. But the rooms were nice and reasonably priced. They usually had free wifi and ample breakfasts. have a good trip!

Posted by
11270 posts

If you don't already have Rick Steves Scandinavia, get it right away. He has found reasonably priced accommodations and restaurants in these expensive places. And once you're there, you'll see that Norway is notably more expensive than Sweden or Denmark.

If you really want to see all of the places on your list, you will need 12 days, and will only have 1-2 days in each place, once you factor in travel times (remember that 2 nights in a place is only 1 full day). That's fine, as long as you're prepared to have a "tasting platter" of Scandinavia. Do consider flying some of your legs. When I was there in 2003, I had problems on the Stockholm to Oslo train, and learned that locals fly that route (which explained why the train was nearly empty). When I went, SAS had a deal where you could add local segments to your international ticket for not too much extra. Now, there are also budget airlines on these routes.

Since you want to go to Paris afterward, it would probably be easier to start in Bergen than in Copenhagen, and reverse your itinerary. Do look into the logistics in both directions, to see if one is easier or cheaper. You want open jaw tickets, into Scandinavia and out of Paris; to find these, use the "multi city" option on Kayak.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks all for your invaluable input!

Ray, I'm with you, I'd rather stay cheaper and longer. Harold, I have RS Scandinavia 2014 on order. I have seen there are many cheap flights between cities. Would I be missing any beautiful scenery by flying Copenhagen to Stockholm and Stockholm to Oslo?

Any thoughts on Oslo to Bergen vs Bergen to Oslo, does it make any difference in time, cost, or viewing of scenery?

Thanks again!

Posted by
2081 posts

@ KAte

with regards to transportation between Oslo, Stockholm and CPH.

If i remember correctly, a train was approx 8+ hours between the citis above. My limit is approx 4. anything over im looking at Air Travel. Flight times were less. I wanted to do an overnight train, but i wasnt sure about how i would sleep and with it being the start of my trip, i didnt want to loose anymore. So i opted for air travel between them. Not alot of regrets, but i will probably do a train(s) when i go back.

Also, the cost of the short hops wasnt that bad.

happy trails.

Posted by
11798 posts

Vasa was our favorite in Stockholm, Frogner Park in Oslo, Copenhagen had lots to see - our favorite in town was probably Rosenborg Slot. It's in town and small scale, so an easy visit, plus the crown jewels are in the basement. I also liked the main Museum downtown, particularly the bronze age relics. Out of town Roskilde, Fredericksborg, and Helsingor were our favorites.

We stayed at the Phoenix (but had booked the Strand) and the Opera. All three are walking distance from Kongens Nytorv and Nyhavn - which I think is the nicest area to stay (and an amazingly easy metro ride from the airport). We paid 125 euro per night for a double including breakfast, which wasn't bad by Scandinavian standards.

Posted by
3157 posts

You are going to need to accept the fact that you'll be paying quite a bit more for everything in Scandinavia than you do at home. We were doing a house exchange in Copenhagen, so didn't pay for lodgings; however, I have read that there is a super hostel in that city with private accommodations for couples and families. Worth investigating, if you're very budget-conscious. To the sights already mentioned, I'd add the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. It's a short distance outside the city. Be sure to do one of the canal boat tours. We very much enjoyed the archaeological and cultural exhibits at the National Museum, which has another attractive feature; a good, reasonably-priced cafe. The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek has one, too.

Posted by
687 posts

You might consider the overnight ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo. An economy cabin for 2 right now is about $105. That gets you transportation and a bed and private bathroom. Well, actually a bunk bed. Prices go up for more plush facilities.

We did the Nutshell beginning in Oslo, stayed 2 nights in Balestrand, and ended it in Voss skipping Bergen. From Voss we returned to Oslo and then went on to Stockholm via train. Just another route for you to consider. Enjoy your trip.