10 Days in Scandinavia

May 29th, 2011, 06:02 PM
Original Poster
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10 Days in Scandinavia

My wife and I are planning to spend 10 days in Scandinavia this June/July. Neither of us has been before. We are relatively experienced travelers, but don't speak the language.

We are in our early 30s and my wife is pregnant. We're looking to spend our time relaxing and mostly outdoors - we plan to visit some museums - and also do some hiking, strolling. Obviously nothing too strenuous as my wife will be 5 months pregnant.

Our itinerary:
Fly to Copenhagen (2 days)
Train to Goteborg (2 days)
Train to Oslo (3 days)
Train to Bergen (2 days)
Fly to Stockholm (1 night)

Any thoughts? Between Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, how would you split up 6 days? How would you rank those 3 cities for quick visits?
mbk4380 is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 07:23 PM
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There is nolanguage. Each contry has it's own and while similar they are not all mutually understandable. Howeer, most people - or someone in most places - will speak at least basicEnglish.

But you are doing way too much bouncing around and spending the least time in Stockholm, which IMHO has by far the most to see and do. With only 10 days I would stick with no more than 3 locations and that in 2 countries. I would do Stockholm and Copenhagen but I'm a city person - and found Norway pretty but a day is definitely enough to see the fjords. As for hiking - I prefer city walkaing to see the sights.
nytraveler is offline  
May 29th, 2011, 08:02 PM
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Agree with PP .
One can take a boat tour or stroll to some big parks in both cities.
Stockholm is gorgeous !
I was in Stockholm for 5days and found it a very relaxing city.Copenhagen is interesting but less spectacular.

never been to Oslo.
danon is online now  
May 30th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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I haven't been to Copenhagen or Goteborg, so I cannot comment on those parts, but I have been to Oslo, fjords, and Stockholm and I prefer the natural outdoors to the manmade cities except to see a museum and architecture.

With that in mind, I would spend no more than 2 days in Oslo--see the viking ships (if you don't in Denmark), a walk along the harbor and in the sculpture park, see city hall and other museums.

You could consider an overnight enroute to Bergen to get outdoors away from the cities. You will see the Stalheim Hotel recommended repeatedly here. It is expensive and isolated, but in a great spot above the fjord. Walks from hotel.

Stockholm is a nice city for walking in the old town and along the waterfront to see the historic buildings, the nice houses, and the boats. A boat tour is a nice way to see some more while resting your feet. The Vasa is the most unique museum there. There are some islands you can access via ferry that would give you more natural and small town feel. I haven't gone to any of those yet.
Kay2 is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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I've been to all but Bergen. Definitely think you are giving too little time to Stockholm. I'd shorten your stay in Oslo; there's a lot more to see and do in Stockholm than Oslo, and Stockholm is a much prettier city. A city of islands, there are lots of waterside strolls, parks, boat cruises, the old city (Gamla Stan), the new modern city center with its great shopping, the Vasa ship museum, Skansen (open air museum of traditional Swedish life), plus night life if you're up to it. A few interesting places are a short trip away --- Drottningholm Palace (the Royal palace on the outskirts - the in-town palace is in Gamla Stan) or the Stockholm archipelago in the Baltic are both reached by boat from the city. If the weather is rainy, there are some great art museums. Boats, busses and the metro (the T) make getting around pretty easy for your wife.
pal440fcv is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 02:16 PM
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Flying from Bergen to Stockholm means you will arrive at your hotel after lunch or in the afternoon (direct flights from Bergen to Stockholm are not that frequent, most connections are via Oslo), staying one night and then fly out the next day? What's the point going to Stockholm? My suggestion is to skip Gothenburg and take the night ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo or a flight (trains Copenhagen - Oslo take more than 9 hours and the leg Gothenburg - Trollhättan is temporarily closed and replaced by buses), maybe cut one day from Oslo and add these days to Copenhagen and Stockholm. If I had 8 days to split up between Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm I would do 3, 2, 3.
hoxa61 is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 03:12 PM
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We have been to all three and preferred Stockholm over the other two. See if the Stockholm card is still offered, it gave us free admissions to museums, trolley, and all boat tours with the booking of our hotel. It will save you piles of money, which is good because you will be spending an unbelievable amount on food and drink. Very expensive countries.
oliverandharry is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 04:05 PM
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The Stockholm Card is still on offer and could be good value if you plan to visit at least a few museums and do a boat trip. The price is 425 SEK for 1 day, 550 SEK for 2 days and 650 SEK for 3 days. Admission to museums are usually 100 - 120 SEK, 1 hour boat sightseeing approx 150 SEK. A metro/tram/bus ride is 40 SEK or 22:50 SEK if you purchase 8 single tickets in advance. I would never have the energy to make the 1 day card good value for money though.
hoxa61 is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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You really have to decide what you and your wife want to do/are up to doing.

I have been to all of these places several times and Stockholm is head and shoulders above the others, followed by Copenhagen. Oslo is cute but can be seen in a day. Bergen ditto. No real reason to see Goteborg.

If you really want to hike in the countryside don't waste time in Oslo - head out to the hinterlands (but IMHO very flat and boring except for fjords) and spend time there.

As for Stalheim - I think it;s highly overrated, the food is poor and much isn;t open for most of the year (plus I find the Nazi memories too gruesome).
nytraveler is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 07:44 PM
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We just were in Copenhagen, Goteburg, Oslo, Voss and Stockholm. We spend more time that you will but I offer up the following:

We absolutely loved Norway and cruising on the fjord was unlike anything we had ever done. We did a Norway in a Nutshell and it was really perfect.

Copenhagen was really nice, I think 3 days would work well there.

We went to Goteburg because we bought a new Volvo and picked it up there [we drove to Oslo and then on to Voss before returning to Goteburg. Skip Goteburg, nice but other cities are better.

Oslo was nice, we only spend a half day going and coming and that was a good taste of what it was like. You can do a Nutshell from Oslo in a pretty long day.

Stockholm was also really nice, 3 days there too, would be a good time spent.

So, I would do 3 full days in Copenhagen, 2 full days in Oslo including Nutshell [I would skip Bergen], and 3 full days in Stockholm. That would leave you 2 days for travel between cities.

Also, take into consideration jet lag and how your wife might be feeling. She may not be up to a whirlwind trip through lots of cities.
DebitNM is offline  
May 30th, 2011, 07:45 PM
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oh, language will not be a problem. We only encountered 1 person who didn't speak English in our travels through Scandinavia. And it isn't basic, they are fluent in English.
DebitNM is offline  
May 31st, 2011, 12:35 PM
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First, thank you all for your feedback!! My wife and I talked about our trip and some of the points folks made, and we decided to scale back a bit.

Now we're thinking:

Fly to Copenhagen
3 days in Copenhagen
Train/Fly to Oslo
3 days in Oslo, including "Norway in Nutshell" for 1 day (possibly staying overnight in Bergen)
Fly or Overnight Train/Ferry to Stockholm
3 days in Stockholm, including exploring islands

What do folks think? Any thoughts on the fly/train/ferry options for Copenhagen-Oslo or Oslo-Stockholm?
mbk4380 is offline  
May 31st, 2011, 12:47 PM
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That sounds better to me. I have been to Copenhagen and Stockholm, not to Oslo so can't comment on that.

I, as one of the poster above, enjoyed Stockholm more than Copenhagen enjoyed all my time in Sweden and Denmark.
crefloors is offline  
May 31st, 2011, 01:06 PM
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I do not think there is a ferry Oslo - Stockholm. I have taken the train both ways. It is a long trip with OK countryside scenery, but nothing like the train to the fjords. I took the trains during the day, so I cannot comment on the night train. A search here will find some earlier travelers who have used it, though. Because of the time and lack of impressive scenery, lots of folks like to fly Oslo-Stockholm. You will have to use a train or bus to get into town if you fly vs. the intercity train takes you from city center to city center.
Kay2 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2011, 05:51 AM
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There is no ferry between Oslo and Stockholm

The ferry is between Copenhagen and Oslo and travels overnight. There are no night trains on this leg, only day trains with change of train in Gothenburg.

I would highly recommend flying between Oslo and Stockholm. The night train has been suspended and the two day trains are kind of slow trains making stops at every tiny station on the way. If you feel you have enough time the train is more comfortable and relaxing than flying and you will see the country side. However, there will be rail works this summer making the journey even longer since the first leg from Oslo will be replaced by buses.

Your new initerary seems more relaxed and realistic.

Good luck!
hoxa61 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2011, 09:14 AM
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I forgot my own earlier post about the train work in Norway this summer. Affects Oslo Central Station, so this would complicate train plans.

Kay2 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 11:46 AM
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Thanks to everyone's (2 rounds) of suggetions. My wife and I have revised our tentative itinerary (again!) based on all of your feedback. AS a reminder, we're in our early 30s and my wife is pregnant, so we're looking to have enough time to take our time, but also to see enough of an area we've not visited before.

Our plan is to now travel:

Day 1 - 4: Copenhagen
Day 5 Copenhagen, overnight ferry to Oslo
Day 6 - 8: Oslo
Day 9: Train to Bergen, Bergen
Day 10: Bergen, fly to Stockholm
Day 10 - 12: Stockholm
mbk4380 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 12:45 PM
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Your new plan sounds great. We loved stockholm, copenhagen was great too, just not as breathtakingly beautiful. One place I wish we would have visited in sweden is Kalmar.
RainyDay09 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2011, 02:00 PM
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Your latest plan is far more realistic than the first one. I highly recommend you taking the ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo. De sure to be on deck the last hour or so before docking in Oslo.

I simply want to draw your attention to two facts:

The rail journey from Oslo to Bergen takes almost 7 hours, and in spite of the partially spectacular landscape, this makes for a loooong train ride. The journey is worth it, but don't forget that your wife will be 5 months pregnant, and being locked up in a train for such a long time might be uncomfortable.

There is just one direct daily flight from Bergen to Stockholm by SAS (except on Saturdays) and one direct flight on Norwegian on mondays, thursdays, fridays and sundays. Travel time is about 1hr 30. All other flights (there are plenty) connect via Oslo or Copenhagen and total travel time will be between 3 and 6 hours. So just be aware of the fact that you will spend almost one vacation day travelling and waiting at airports unless you catch the direct flight (you may want to check http://www.flysas.com/en/us/?vst=true and http://www.norwegian.com/en/).

So the only potential snag I see is your side trip to Bergen.

On a more personal basis: I would spend more time in Stockholm than in Copenhagen. I think Stockholm to be the more beautiful and more interesting place. But I admit that Copenhagen never really clicked with me.

Hope this helps, enjoy your trip.

Phil is offline  

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