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Trip to Scandinavian countries

We have 2 weeks in mid Sept to travel from Amsterdam to see as much of Scandinavia as possible with a stop in Bruges and Brussels before/after.
Where to go? for how long each stop? travel options between stops (plane, boat?) recommended hotels, restaurants and sights.

Posted by
97 posts

From Amsterdam I would consider flying, you can probably find inexpensive flights on KLM or SAS to Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, etc. Once you are in Scandinavia you can take the train, it will be fast, clean, and efficient. But it does take some time to get around, it's about 5 hours on the train from Oslo to Stockholm, then Stockholm to Copenhagen, etc. Pickup Rick Steves Scandinavia guidebook, will give you a good intro. There are lots of options, and 2 weeks sounds like a lot of time but you will use it up quick. So you first should focus on specific things you really want to do. I personally enjoyed Oslo a lot, the Viking Musuem is great, Resistance Museum is cool, Frogner Park, etc. We did not have time for Norway in Nutshell, but lots of people on this site will tell you the fjords are amazing, wish we had time. My favorite is Stockholm, fantastic city. If you go there, I recommend the Rival Hotel in Sodermalm, www.rival.se, is owned by Benny Andersson of ABBA.

Posted by
12 posts

thanks so much for your reply. That's great info to help in our planning. Love the idea of the hotel owned by a member of ABBA. Love them.

Posted by
11805 posts

My preference was a Baltic cruise. The capitals all face the water because that's how everyone was connected historically. Scandinavia is infamously expensive, both for lodging and food, so a cruise is also a really good budget option (shop at vacationstogo.com). We took a ten night cruise out of Copenhagen that included a stop in Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Gdansk, and Oslo, and two days in St. Petersburg. We flew directly into Copenhagen and stayed three days there on either side of the cruise. Since you will be in Amsterdam, you can also pick up a Baltic Cruise from there, but you lose two to four days traveling to and from the Baltic from there. If you don't do a cruise, at least use a ferry (maybe a triangular route Stockholm, Helsinki and Tallinn) to see the Swedish archipeligo and spend some time on the Baltic Sea.

Posted by
3101 posts

We just returned from a 21-day trip that included Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius. For the time that you have here's one option: Fly from Amsterdam to Stockholm (stay 4 nights); take an overnight ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki (it's fun) - spend 2 or 3 nights in Helsinki; take a ferry to Tallinn (spend 2 or 3 nights) and fly back to Brussels from Tallinn (check flights on Air Baltic.) Tallinn is interesting and is much less expensive than the Scandinavian countries. It has some good restaurants too!
As suggested, Rick's Scandinavia book is great for planning. If you need a budget hotel in Stockholm, we thought that the Omena Hotel was a good choice for the price. Have a great trip!

Posted by
2779 posts

There are great and inexpensive ferry connectiongs between Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Turku and St. Petersburg (and the island of Aland half way between Stockholm and Helsinki). The two companies that offer those services on boats that look and feel just like cruise ships are Viking Line and Tallink. You leave one city in the evening and the next morning you are in the other. You would have to pay for accommodation anyway so this is a great and relaxing way to see the region. The ferries run crossings of the Baltic sea. So an itinerary could be: Flight from AMS to Stockholm, ferry to Helsinki, ferry to Aland, ferry to Tallinn, flight back to AMS.