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Scandanavia questions for recent tour members, please

I'm going on the Scandanvia trip on Augest and I'd love some feedback from recent travelers.
1. Did you use any cash? Typically you go th the ATM on arrival, but I hear most of Scandanavia is using credit cars for all transactions. With 3 countries and 3 currencies, I don't want to be stuch with unusable cash. So should I get out any money? How much do you think for a single traveler?
2. A swinsuit is on the packing list. Is there a place to use it?
3. How cold did it get up in Norway? Is a windbreaker and a long sleve shirt adequate?
4. I hear laundrymats are not convenient. Did any hotels offer laundry services?
5 Any other tips, must sees, food or drink, or other things you really were glad you did?

Posted by
91 posts

I don't recall any place to swim on this tour.
Eating out is expensive! Grocery stores have lots of pre-packaged options to make up fine picnics.

Posted by
42 posts

Swimsuits could be used for the saunas and even swimming in the fjords or at Aero. Oslo has several popular saunas on docks in the harbor. Truly hardy souls will jumps into the frigid fjord after getting their sweat on!

Posted by
24944 posts

I just completed 3 weeks of independent travel in Norway and am now on Day 7 in Sweden. You're probably going to run into at least as many places that don't take cash at all as places that don't take credit cards. The odds are you won't need any cash, but if you withdraw $20 or so per person (but see below), you shouldn't have trouble getting rid of it; just don't wait till two hours before you're going to leave the country.

Places where cash was absolutely required:

  • Pay toilet at Ekeberg Sculpture Park in Oslo (required 10 kroner coin).
  • Luggage lockers at Andalsnes, Norway, train station (cost 6 kroner in 1/2/5-kroner coins).

Places where only cards were accepted:
- Pay toilets in every Norwegian train station I checked (including Andalsnes!). Cost 10 kroner.
- Random food and retail establishments that had "We're cash-free" signs.

I've used quite a few museum lockers. All have either been free or were set up to take a free token supplied by the museum.

Don't expect to find a bank ATM easily. I looked all over Oslo for a bank ATM without success. Eventually I asked Google Maps for banks, which did not go well. It led me to any number of buildings with XXX Bank signs but no visible bank on the ground floor and no ATM. I eventually stumbled on a branch of DNB that had an ATM, but there was a line of over a dozen people waiting to use it. I later read that DNB has a substantial ATM fee.

Finally, I asked at the tourist office in the Ostbanehallen outside Central Station. The staffer pointed to a spot on the west side of the square (Jernbanetorget). When I got close enough to read the sign ("Forex"), I was not happy. I had noticed an ATM or Minibank (the local term) sign around the corner, on Karl Johans Gate, as I approached, so I thought maybe that's where the T.O. staffer meant for me to go. That turned out to be a Nokas machine, which I suspected was no better than the Euronet ATMs all over the place. But I had wasted a lot of time in my quest for Norwegian currency, so I caved in. I was amazed that the Nokas machine didn't charge a fee. It offered dynamic currency conversion, which I duly declined, but no fee.

It may be easier to find ATMs in other Scandinavian cities, but since most visitors will only need to make one small withdrawal per country, I'd recommend not insisting on that elusive creature, a bank ATM. Try a Nokas machine if you happen to see one.

Posted by
5198 posts

I found this website with a list of bankomats that let you withdraw in Sweden

It is in Swedish, but if you just scroll down, you can either click on the city you are in or enter your city in the ”Sök” box.

Posted by
215 posts

We did this tour in August pre-Covid. We got cash in Sweden and managed to spend it all but could have gotten by with minimal. We had a guided tour in Copenhagen that required cash but went to the atm. We did not get cash in Norway and did fine including an extra day in Bergen and the Norway in a Nutshell tour. Loved this tour.
It was quite warm the first half of the tour —warmer than usual and very dry. We had a downpour in Copenhagen (they were thrilled) and a little drizzle on Aero and in the mountains of Norway. A windbreaker and long sleeve shirt may have been enough but I had brought my down vest. It is very packable and can be used as a pillow.
For me the must see was the Norway in a Nutshell from Bergen to Oslo. The weather was sunny and clear. When we did the ferries to Bergen on the tour it was cool and drizzly.
Also loved the art museum with The Scream. Oh, and the reindeer hot dogs in Bergen—with lingonberry and crispy onions.

Posted by
24944 posts

Thanks, Laura. I may have need of that website. I used a machine at the Gotebirg RR station without incident, but I'm a bit nervous about heading to small places with very little cash. I don't want to be forced into using a machine that charges a fee because that's all I can find.