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5/13 - Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo for 3 nights each. Q's?

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Hello fellow travelers. Planning a trip to Scandinavia at the end of May 2013 for 10 days, maybe 11. Coming from DC, where would you suggest flying IN and OUT of?

Did a lot of searching on this site for the "Just Back" reports but am still very confused. Considering 3 days in each place (could possibly do 4 in one of them if absolutely necessary) - Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo since I want to get a small taste of these 3 countries.

I never rent cars or fly in between countries once I"m on a trip but rely solely on trains and buses. I'm 52 and in very good shape so I can walk far too if it's a matter of getting to and from remote bus and trains stops. I'd be most likely traveling solo since no one else would want to see as much as I stuff in in a small period of time.

I sometimes sign up for walking tours of cities when I get there and have found this a great way to meet other cool travelers and see a city

I LOVE big cities (I hike enough mountains in the US out west so I'm fine with big cities while vacationing in Europe). Love doing museums, walking around a town, doing a city rented bike tour, maybe a day trip to the country to see cool stuff and back that same day (by bus or train).

Sample itinerary help anyone? I've read so many trip reports on here that my head is dizzy.

If I'm flying in from Washington DC, what city do you suggest flying into and then out of at the end? I arrange all travel plans by bus, etc while on my trips, not before. Don't really care if it costs more to do it this way.

I have Sheraton Points saved up so my first 3 nights in Stockholm could be covered if I choose to use them but they are very expensive points for this hotel. 16K points a night (used to be 10K pts a night 3 yrs ago when I last looked into this trip). I may have to just pay out of pocket and do a cheap hotel there and save these valuable points. Suggestions on Stockholm hotels right in the heart of it all that are budgetary?

Then I'll need cheap ($65-100 nt if possible) hotel recommendations for Oslo and Copenhagen too that are in great walking areas, not on the outskirts but centrally located since I won't have a car. It can be bare bones like an Ibis hotel but not seedy or awful. Can't do hostels. Too old for that now.

Suggestion on great day trips for this very short amount of time per city? Maybe 1 per country? Or should I simply concentrate on doing the city and that's it due to the small length of the stay?

Or is this plan pure folly, kind of stupid, and I should stick to 2 countries and not try to "bag" that extra country? In that case, it would almost definitely be Copenhagen and Stockholm.

The thing is, I spent 5 nights in Prague last year and 4 in Budapest and did Budapest in 3 days instead of 4 so I took a very long day trip to Vienna and had a total blast even though it was just for 1 day. It was SO worth it. Did 3 bus tours and saw so much - ok, from the bus. That's why I was trying to fit in the 3 countries. In theory, it just seemed cool to get to all 3! No other reason than that. Sometimes, that's all the reason I need. Kind of crazy, I know, but that's how I roll.

Thanks in advance if you can offer an advice on my questions or musings.

I promise to post a very thorough just back report to "give back", with pics, once I return as my way of paying it forward.

Steve R
Gaithersburg MD

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