4 weeks - The Nordic Countries, Travel Suggestions

Travel Forums Europe 4 weeks - The Nordic Countries, Travel Suggestions

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1. Posted by Kelvin Ang (Budding Member 49 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hello from New Zealand!

We've been bitten by the travel bug again (I don't think the bug has ever left us, to be honest) and we're exploring the idea of visiting the Nordic Countries next. We should have about 4 weeks for the trip, in the northern Summer, and we're wondering if anyone has any suggestions for anything at all in the following countries - Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

We're no longer fit and with limitless energies, and our recent trips tend to be to museums, galleries and the (ugh!) typical tourist sites, preferably with an attached café. That said, if a particular out-of-the-way location is truly worth a visit, we will consider it! After all, we're travelling and if there's a chance to meet a local that would be fascinating. Nothing like enjoying an unplanned city tour and having (modern) Dutch pancakes with an actual Dutch person while travelling in the Netherlands :-)

Appreciate any thoughts, suggestions, comments etc. that may help us formulate a more concrete plan.

Cheers,
Kelvin

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5284 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Stockholm is an absolute must, and worth 4+ days. Helsinki and Oslo are nearly as good. Goteborg is skippable. When in Helsinki, take 2 extra days for an overnight visit to Tallinn in Estonia (also in the Schengen zone; the ferry will get you there in an hour and a half, several times a day; you could do it as a daytrip, but worth staying overnight - great mix of Hanseatic and Russian influences, with a gorgeously preserved inner city - very picturesque at night).

Nature wise, Norway is where to be (mountain peaks and plateaus, glaciers, fjords, etc), so I'd spend at least half your trip there. I absolutely love the desolate beauty of the Hardangervidda highlands, though there's not much more to do there than hiking, which might not be your cup of tea. Going far north takes a lot of time, but more than worth it if you make a beeline for the Lofoten. Just do an image search online for that, and you shouldn't need more convincing. It's somewhat lacking in tourist infrastructure, but still has several museums and picturesque villages to stroll through, and beyond that, those surroundings are all the attraction anyone should need.

3. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1051 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Take a cruise along the Norwegian coast, which I did years ago with Hurtigruten. My friend in Oslo also recommends Hurtigruten, which has an interesting history.

4. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 1260 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

It might be a bit late to book a cruise now but I took one up the coast of Norway & then around the Baltic .. A lovely gentle way to see the area. My TP Blogo of the trip starts in Bergen. It might give you some ideas & there are museums there too .. this one at Alta was really great.

That was on a Princess cruise but if I were to go again I would look into going with Hurtigruten https://www.hurtigruten.com/

Steve

[ Edit: Edited on 03-Jul-2017, at 03:45 by hasbeen ]

5. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3931 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I'd also recommend the walk up to Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) which is a nice day trip from Stavanger.

6. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1051 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Kjeragbolten, too.

See these links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXiFgNm9LrQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmCzANPiCSc

There are other videos to give you an idea of hikes in Norway.

[ Edit: Edited on 03-Jul-2017, at 08:14 by berner256 ]

7. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1253 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

What can I add that hasn't already been said? :-)

Oslo is my favourite of the Nordic capitals. On a sunny day take a ferry from the centre over to the Bygdøy peninsula, there are 5 good museums there. Take the metro to Holmenkollen skijump stadium and then to the end of the line for a stroll in the forest to Tryvann tv tower. Tours of the palace are available, tickets from the post office!

If you like driving through scenery, yes head from Oslo towards Bergen. Pulpit rock / prekestolen has been mentioned, it's on the Lysefjord near Stavanger. Equally look out for Flåm, Geiranger, Ålesund. Separate to the fjords is Lofoten - it's a long way out but absolutely jaw-dropping scenery. The drive down to Å at the end of the islands outclasses anything I've seen, and that includes Scotland and New Zealand!

I second the suggestion of Tallinn. Both the old town and Kadriorg Palace are worth a visit.

8. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5284 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andyf

Equally look out for Flåm, Geiranger, Ålesund.

FWIW, I found Ålesund to be a severe disappointment of a town when visiting. We had it on our itinerary for a day and a half, but left after barely two hours, in that time having walked throughout it without anything capturing our interest. The relatively long detour it took to get there made the disappointment even worse; we could've spent all that time around Jostedalsbreen instead, or lingering longer in Bergen or Trondheim.

No disagreement with any of the rest. :)

[ Edit: Edited on 03-Jul-2017, at 09:32 by Sander ]

9. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1253 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I guess the architecture did it for me in Ålesund. A bit different to the rest of the Norwegian experience. :-)

10. Posted by Kelvin Ang (Budding Member 49 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Wow, thanks everyone! It's a great response to wake up to :-) That ought to get us started with our planning.

Driving in a foreign car, in a foreign country, on a foreign side of the road always make me anxious. That said, I suppose driving is recommended over traveling by trains?