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Finland/Sweden/Copenhagen itinerary – your suggestions welcomed!

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Hi Fodorites! I am a 25yo Canadian female preparing to tour a bit of Europe this summer. I am starting with a 18-day trip around the Greek Islands and Turkey with a friend (but that's a topic for another post!). Following that, I'll be heading up by myself for 13 days in Scandinavia . I would appreciate any comments you have on the following itinerary and your suggestions for things to do and see! I have noted 7 specific questions here, but any other general comments you have would also be appreciated.

First, a bit about me so you know what I’m looking for...
* I have travelled “backpacker style” in Europe and Australia before.
* My budget is a step above shoestring... I look to keep costs low wherever possible, but do not stress out about money.
* I appreciate clean, safe accommodations in central areas (hostels or budget hotels).
* I am physically active and like to get around by walking, biking or taking public transit.
* I enjoy a huge variety of activities and sites from dense city centres, to historic buildings, to wide open natural spaces. On this trip, I want to see the main cities (Helsinki, Tallinn, Stockholm, Malmo and Copenhagen) and also would love to do some hiking and maybe some water activities (canoeing/kayaking) in the lake or coastal areas of Finland or Sweden.
* I have an educational background in Environmental Studies and Urban Planning and I am going to Scandinavian cities with a specific interest in seeing neighbourhoods/sites with aspects of energy efficiency and production (ex. Urban neighbourhood of Hammarby Sjostad in Stockholm, and redevelopment of the Western Harbour in Malmo, Sweden).
* Lastly, I am well aware that this is a bit of a rapid-fire itinerary, and YES, I am okay with packing up and moving around a lot.

TENTATIVE ITINERARY:

Thurs 8th - Arrive in Helsinki by plane from Istanbul, 7:50pm

** Question #1. Any recommendations for a place to stay in Helsinki? Looking to stay in a budget hotel or hostel in a central area.

Fri 9th – full day in Helsinki

** Question #2. What are must-do things to do and see in and around the city of Helsinki?

Sat 10th – Day trip to Tallinn via ferry, return to Helsinki to sleep

Sun 11th – Turku or smaller town outside of Helsinki?

Mon 12 – ?

** Question #3. For these few days I am wondering about two options. A) bus to Turku and spend a day and night there before taking the ferry to Stockholm from there. Is Turku well worth seeing? OR B) head out of the city of Helsinki to find somewhere “outdoorsy” to spend a day and night... are there any parks or small seaside or lakeside towns that you would suggest that are a relatively short trip out of the city that would be a good place to spend a few nights? I would like to possibly do some hiking, canoeing or kayaking, or maybe just a lot of staring at pretty lake views. Suggestions??? Then I would return to Helsinki to take the ferry to Stockholm from there.

Tues 13 – Depart from either Helsinki (5pm) or Turku (8pm) on evening ferry to Stockholm (Silja line)

Wed 14 – arrive on the ferry in the early a.m. in Stockholm ... spend the day touring around the city.

** Question #4 – Any recommendations for a place to stay in Stockholm? Looking for a budget hotel or hostel in a central area.

Thurs 15 – bus to Uppsala (I am meeting a colleague there for the day)

** Question #5 – I’m wondering about any places between Uppsala and Stockholm that would be nice to spend this night and the next day in (maybe even right in Uppsala itself)... it would be nice to spend some time near water (beach or lakeside).

Fri 16 – Return to Stockholm, depart around 11pm on overnight bus to Malmo

Sat 17 – Arrive in early a.m. on the bus. Spend day and night in Malmo.

** Question #6 - What should I do on a Saturday day and night in Malmo? Recommendations for a place to stay for one night?

Sun 18 – morning bus from Malmo to Copenhagen, spend the day in Copenhagen

Mon 19 – all day Copenhagen

** Question #7 - As a proponent of active transportation, I feel the need to experience Copenhagen by bike (let's hope for a decent weather day!). Does anyone know of any great guided city bike tours?

Tues 20 – depart 7:20am flight from CPH to London Gatwick, then LGW to Toronto.


Thank you all in advance!

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