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Trip Report stockholm Copenhagen and Oslo

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HI.. I am not the type of writer that jots down everything, so I will give you my report bullet points style! We are a couple, 6o years young, from San Francisco bay area. We went on the trip for a conference in Oslo for my husband. I am the type that has restaurant reservations for at least 60% of the trip and an excel spreadsheet of the days adventures, although free time is listed!!

Things I learned (and relearned) on the trip
1. Lots of cobblestones. Took one pair of dinner shoes with cute heels that never came out of the bag. We walked average 10 miles a day.
2. Bring eye shades for the summer! Out of three hotels (one even a Radisson in Oslo) not one had ac and so the drapes were open. Bright!! The sun sets at 11:30 pm and sunrise was 3 am..
p.s. there was also no ac in most of the museums. Sometimes there was a bit in just a main area. One room had a thermometer at 80 degrees!! We couldn't stay very long.
3.I need to look up what is going on in the city. Distortion was on in Copenhagen, a three-day rave. VERY disrupting.
4. Be sure to have the hotel or site seeing place your’e going to on a map or written out. We stayed at boutique places and went to the Cisterns in Copenhagen. The cab driver had no idea. I was so glad to pull out my info.
5. I need better tag words to describe the type of restaurant we are looking for. There is such an interpretation to 'casual.'
6. There was a lot of cigarette smoking.. Which I cant deal with, very allergic. I was glad I had some Allegra.. so disappointing to want to sit outside in cute cafes..but have three people chain smoking around you while you are trying to enjoy an expensive dinner.
7. I ALWAYS mix up our luggage so its half hubby, half mine. Didn't do it to Copenhagen as it was just an hour flight..bummer.. 48 hours later his arrived, mine 24.. The conveyor belt broke down at the airport so everything was delayed

8. Lastly… there should be chocolate croissants for breakfast everyday!!

Stockholm

1. I did think we were going to have to do the big line at Heathrow for immigration. But it was the tiniest line at Stockholm, in a deserted airport at 8:30 pm. It was so odd, all of the restaurants were closed.
2. I had emailed Stockholm Taxi and arranged for a car. Loved that. He was standing right there with our name on a sign and whisked us away. I think it was 65.00 to the hotel. I know there is a train, but this was totally worth it.
3. We stayed at the Collectors Victory Hotel in Gamla Stan, a boutique hotel that looks like a maritime museum. LOVED it! Two claw foot tubs!! We stayed on the top floor. The only glitch was we didn't know that first night that there were electric shades on the skylights... at three am were were agh!!! Eye shades were used the rest of the trip as the window was opened.
4. The City hall tour was great We didn't realize that you could purchase tickets for the tower and they are timed. The opening is across the courtyard from where you buy the tour tickets for the Hall. We missed out on that.
5. The fabulous Torvehallerne Food Hall has been closed for awhile for renovations.We didn't go to the new temporary one across the street based on the hotel clerk, but we should have gone anyway. It would have been a nice place for lunch. Very contemporary architecture.
Note to self: not everyone likes the same thing. We also missed out on the area of Sodermalm based on something I had read. The last day we walked through it early in the morning while I drooled in all of the shop windows. Of course they were closed.. and our last day. We had walked over there but missed the cool area by a few streets.
6. We took the free Old Town walking tour... for about twenty minutes. Should have done a paid one. Too many people and the info was not very good. We walked away. The tour starts way up in the city area by a completely noisy metro area. You then walk 15 minutes back to Old Town.
7. We walked through the palace, which was very interesting. We then stood outside to watch the changing of the guard. It is worth the wait, they also arrive with music from the streets, which I happened to see while sitting in the grass, That was almost just as fun. My new pet peeve though.. iPads. We stood waiting for twenty minutes, then as soon as they arrived a woman in the front stuck up her iPad and folder for the entire time. We had to move as it blocked everything.
8. Ocean bus.. we took that , it was very good doing the land and water. It’s a 90 minute trip I think. Very nice to see everything from the water as well.
9. Vasa muséum .. excellent!! something different.
10. Fotografiska , a very nice gallery/museum . It has a great view, a nice cafe and a restaurant for lunch or dinner. On the way there from Gamla Stan there is a fabulous place to sit for coffee and I think they had croissants, a coffe stand. It is RIGHT across the bridge with wood stadium style seating overlooking the trains, biycle commuters and the view. Very nice.
11. Where we ate.
The first night Bar Bistro in Gamla Stan a locals spot. Very nice and buzzy.
next night our favorite a VERY old restaurant. mostly locals. In Gamla Stan,
Den Glydene Freden
Grill. not our favorite. too trendy ,commercial. Written up as a top spot, but it was not to us. We spent between $150.00 to $220.00 for dinner each night. But I believe we had some very nice wine.

There are a lot of tourists from the cruise ships. We did one night the Italian thing in a buzzy spot( I fell for the cute guy pulling us in), for very average food. I have vowed since to find the off the beaten path.

We were there four nights. The perfect amount of time for us.

Top things. City Hall, dinner Den Glydene Freden, Hotel.. the very cool ceramic deer(?)found in this small ,really neat shop of all local contemporary artists.

Sorry Im not posting links/bold type, as I am having a hard time to post.

Copenhagen

1.We arrived at the airport, although without luggage. SAS was very nice and easy to fill out the form. They also have a great website where you can track somewhat where your bag is. At least if its on its way.
2.We took a taxi, which was very easy. It was difficult to find the exit though as it is behind you when you come out.
3.I did need our paper on the address and map for the hotel. We stayed at CPH living. It is a floating hotel on the water across from the library (the black Diamond). This was very fun and unique. There are twelve rooms. It has a fabulous deck where we had cocktail hour and breakfast every morning. You couldn’t have a better view. It did have the odd European glass door to the bathroom, which just makes me shake my head. It was a bit noisy as it was hot and so the windows were open. It was the first really warm time there and people were out everywhere.

4.We did the hop on off bus for two days. It was such a waste. They didn’t start when they posted and we waited twice for over 40 minutes past times they were supposed to pick up. I had done my whole two days based on the bus, in the end we took a cab . The water part of the trip was nice though.
5. I took the Royal Castle tour one day. You leave by the City Hall at 10:30am and are back 5 o’clock pm. There are three castles, Kronborg, Hamlet’s Castle and Fredericksborg. One of them you just look at from the road. The other two you spend an hour or so in. You can stay with the bus guide or walk on your own. They also provide a sandwich on the bus for an additional fee that was actually very good. There was a choice of vegetarian, chicken and roast beef.
6. You can actually take the train also to get to Hamlets castle; this is by the fabulous Louisiana contemporary art museum. We left at 11 am and got back at 4pm.We could have stayed longer though. There is a very nice café with beautiful ocean views.
7.The Cisternes by the zoo were very unusual, very cool (in temperature for a hot day). A nice outing and then a walk around the palace gardens across the street. A very fun little boat ride through the gardens. Small children might find the cisternes a bit scary because of the project artwork. This is where we gave up on the hop on bus.
8. We walked over to the Opera house and I unfortunately had the wrong information for the tour in English. You also need to buy tickets online ahead of time. So we missed that one. We walked through Christiania instead which was quite interesting and sat for a coke. They had little booths there selling weed and who knows what but I did read that just last week the police took them down. There is also a large street food area set up close by which we were going to do. It was so warm that it looked so crowded and the Distortion group was over that way so we walked through but did not have lunch or dinner there. It looked like fun though.
9. We should have done a Go boat. Little boats you rent. They were all whizzing underneath our hotel door and window. Looked like a lot of fun. Everyone having wine and brunch etc in the boat.

10.We did not like the Nyhavn area at all. It might have been as it was so warm ,but there were people EVERYWHERE! In the am around 8 it was better but quite a bit of litter and bottles leftover from the night before. Some people did say this was a by-product of Distortion.

Gosh ! Now I see why I came back so tired! This is really just part of the trip! Too much to write. There is a trip report from someone else ,’Warm days in Copenhagen’ I believe it is, that covers everything else we did in detail.

Dinners out
The Olive Kitchen and Bar, up by the university. Very hip small spot. Nice clean ,interesting menu.

Peder Oxe, a spot that has been there a very long time. A traditional menu. (Women servers in aprons) Small patio, large noisy areas inside.

Maven, hip eclectic spot, everyone outside as it was so hot. A very nice patio. Great rib eye, pomme frites and even a salad!!

Zeleste around the corner from Nyhavn..away from the maddening crowd! Lovely patio (and interior) Very small menu though.

Verandah on the way to Nyhavn. Sat outside. Fabulous Thai food. They also have a more Danish spot right next door.

Aamanns Establissement for lunch. Fabulous Smorrebord.They have a more formal with reservations side and a café as well .They also have a spot at the airport.

We enjoyed all of these very much.

Top things.. All of the restaurants, on the boat through the canals, Louisiana Museum

OSLO
We flew here as we were short on time. I had considered the ferry which looked to be fun.

1. We stayed at the Radisson by the business school, which is not downtown. Pretty nice, but there is really nothing else up I this area. Three restaurants I think. The subway was very easy to navigate although a bit funky. You could not buy a round trip ticket .It was either 24 hours or something like 7 days, not a three day option. This was the hotel, which was pretty new, with no ac. Hence eyeshades again and a scarf around my head for me!

2. We took the subway to the Vigeland sculpture park, which was very lovely, and worth the trip.
3. Dinner was at the Aker Brygges part of town. It is an area that has been made into hip restaurants, over a million dollar apartments, art museum, parks etc. Worth going for at least a drink or lunch and dinner for people watching. There is a very cool private contemporary museum /gallery,Peder Lund. The lounge areas are playing to be ultra hip with the dj etc. and it is like begging to get served though.
4. We did the two-hour fjord tour, which was very nice. Nice little lunch spot connected to the ticket sales hut. I was on my own for two days and did the free walking tour, went to the Viking ship museum and the Fram museum, all worth a stop. The City hall is also very lovely and worth a visit, as well as there are restrooms! The new opera house also fabulous, and tours at 1pm.
5.We also went up to the Holmenkollbakken, the ski jump for the Olympics that is now a summer cross-country skiing etc park. It was very fun to see this jump and I even did the simulator, which I thought was going to be just the jump, but also had downhill skiing. Very exciting!! Although perhaps not the thing to do right before dinner!

We were there four nights, with a conference in there as well, which was plenty of time. I know someone who went with a stop on her cruise. She said “You can do Oslo in five minutes”. Well no.. I would say two days to three days.

Restaurants
Olivia at Akers Brygge, very popular and quite tasty. MANY others to choose from.
Scandic Holmenkollen Park, fabulous view up by the ski jump and exceptional nouvelle type cuisine. It is a four star hotel as well.

We did sit out with all of the locals for a happy hour experience in this great café, however we were finally told we would have to wait to be served, since we were only ordering drinks. It was fun, but we went across the street instead, where we were promptly served in another cute patio. I have gotten to the point that if its not working, move on. Life is too short to wait too long for a glass of wine at happy hour!!

The last night was Mr. India…a quick Google search, and a fine spot for the last dinner of our trip.Excellent food, great friendly service.

Top things… the fjord trip, dinner up at the ski jump. Oh and I bought a really cool dress from a fabulous Nordic Design shop.

I think that’s it!!

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