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Conf. in Finland next week -- stay or flee to warmer climes?

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It's been years since I last posted, but thank goodness I remembered Fodors!

My husband is going to Tampere, Finland next week (March 24/25) for business and I'm coming along. We'll have a few extra days (Friday - Wednesday, ish) to spend in Europe.

We're excited to experience the beauty and history of the north, but this is our first visit to Scandinavia and I'd hate to waste it huddling indoors. Also, I'm a planner. I'm befuddled by the lack of time I have to put everything together. Scandinavia seems to shut down in winter/spring, which makes it harder to know what sights will be open and what transportation will be running.

So, I need your advice:

Will Scandinavia be enjoyable this time of year, or should we flee somewhere warmer, or at least to a city big enough to not shut down in winter? I'm thinking a place I've been before but haven't adequately explored, like Paris or London. Somewhere not too challenging that I can just grab a hotel room and relax knowing there will be more than enough things to keep us happily engaged for a few days, but that also won't cost an arm and a leg to get to from Helsinki (or home to Washington DC).

Or...does Stockholm qualify? Or should we save Stockholm for better weather?

Are Paris and London also dreary in March? Any better suggestions?

(Travel background: active, non-drinking couple in young thirties with no kids. Previous trips include N. Ireland & Dublin, Scotland, Belgium & the Netherlands, and S. France. Loved the friendliness, accessibility, and small-town feel of Belgium in late summer.)

Many thanks,

Faile

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