Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Copenhagen, Brief Norway & Sweden Itinerary Attempt!

Copenhagen, Brief Norway & Sweden Itinerary Attempt!

Nov 4th, 2009, 10:33 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 323
Copenhagen, Brief Norway & Sweden Itinerary Attempt!

My daughter is studying abroad next semester in Copenhagen and my family will visit her. While she's away in Turkey, my family will arrive and spend a couple of days in Copenhagen discovering where she's been living. We will have a 7 year old so I'm concerned we may be flying too much. My daughter gets back on a Friday at 5. Then, we're the next day to:

4/3 Bergen morning flight or early afternoon. Spend day walking around.
4/4 Norway in a Nutshell back to Bergen
4/5 12:40 flight to Stockholm (1night; very brief stay; too short???)
4/6 13:10 flight to Kiruna
3 nights in Kiruna to stay 1 night in ice hotel and go dog sledding, snow mobiling, a Sami culture excursion with reindeer for my little one; maybe ice sculpting and a moose safari if we can fit it in. If I can do this in 2 nights, I would prefer it so we can have more time in Stockholm

4/9 1:45 flight back to Copenhagen arriving at 17:25
4/10 Free day with no planes! Time for our daughter to show us her favorite places and where her classes are and maybe a 1 1/2 hour drive to see where my great grandmother was born in Hoganas, Sweden.
4/11 Morning flight back to the States

I've been trying to do all the SAS flights using Onepass frequent flyers but we have too many stops. I'm questioning if I need to drop Norway in a Nutshell and then spend more time in Stockholm. Stockholm is on the way from Copenhagen to Kiruna so we're allowed to stop there and stay as long as we want. The only other ways I can figure out to create more time in Stockholm is to drop 1 night in Kiruna or switch things around.

Instead of travelling to Stockholm from Bergen after the long day on the Norway in a Nutshell tour, we'd go straight to Kiruna. But, that involves 2 connections and takes over 5 hours. This might be awful to do after the nutshell tour. That's why I was stopping in Stockholm on my way up to Kiruna. Going straight to Kiruna first, will give me more time in Stockholm. We'd arrive at 14:40; stay overnight and then leave for Copenhagen either at 6:05pm or 8:35pm. I really don't want to be on a plane on Saturday since we're flying home on Sunday. So, is it worth pushing this all because I want to do Norway in a Nutshell? Figured we should stop in Stockholm since we're connecting through there and we will be in Sweden! My original plan was to stay at the ice hotel in Alta, Norway but the prices were totally outrageous. $1400 for one night. So, switched to Sweden.

Sorry for the long report. Really torn. Seems like my idea doesn't make sense. Lots of time on planes.....
samejia is offline  
Nov 4th, 2009, 11:55 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
I think you're trying to do way too much in too little time.

Copenhagen needs 3 days - 4 if you want to do a day trip. Stockholm needs 3 days to do it justice - again more if you do day trips. Trying to fit in Bergen, Oslo (I assume that's what y you mean by the Nutshell) and Kiruna - is just way too much.

You will have to make some hard choices to avoid spending all your time in airports and train stations.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 4th, 2009, 12:24 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 323
Nytraveler, my daughter really wanted to see the fjords so that's way we were trying the Nutshell tour roundtrip to and from Bergen. Not going to Oslo. We'll be in Copenhagen for 3 days. Our first two and then our last before leaving for home. I know my kids will take Kiruna and dog sledding over Stockholm. The pictures of Stockholm look beautiful. I was trying not to miss it while there. Besides, I'm 1/4 Swedish!

I guess reducing Kiruna to 2 nights and adding another night to the Stockholm part doesn't make this much easier...
samejia is offline  
Nov 4th, 2009, 12:26 PM
  #4  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,180
I agree with nytraveler. Good luck with your decisions!
kja is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 01:36 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 87
www.grb.dk This is Greenlands Travel Agency. I saw an add today in a Danish newspaper. They have a 4 day trip to Kiruna with a stay in the icehotel. Incl. flight from Copenhagen to Stockholm and transfer to Kiruna D.Kr. 5.325 per person. Trip number 3001. Maybe you could book that?
Soljet is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 03:48 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 323
Solijet, thank you so much for thinking of me today when you saw the ad. I did go to the website and do not see anything other than Greenland on the site. I have sent an email to the company with the tour number that you provided. It will be very interesting to see if this package is cheaper than what I'm coming up with on my own. Regards, Susan
samejia is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 05:35 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,049
Another possiblity is to fly to Stavanger, Norway. We really loved Stavanger. There is a fjord cruise out of Stavanger. You can then take a ferry boat to Bergen. Then the Norway in a Nutshell from Bergen.

Depends upon what you decide where you want to go.

The entire NIAN trip from Bergen to Oslo is wonderful with the fjord tour (we stayed overnight on the fjord but it isn't necessary), the Flam Railroad, and the train ride to Oslo. Perhaps that would be something to consider if you decide against Sweden.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 09:13 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,743
Something to consider with your stop in Stockholm. The airports (different one for the discount airlines) are outside of town, so you spend 30+ minutes on the train, shuttle or taxi to get to the city center. Not sure when a 12:40 flight from Bergen would get you to Stockholm. Then you would need to leave for the airport next day by 11am.

I did the Norway in a Nutshell RT Oslo with overnight, so I can't comment on the Bergen segment. The Flam train was fun and the fjord trip pretty. Also the scenery before Myrdal was starkly pretty.

Doing NIN then traveling to Kiruna does not sound fun and arriving in Stockholm at 14:40; stay overnight and then leave for Copenhagen either at 6:05pm or 8:35pm next day is not much more time.

So, if you want to cut a day/night from Kiruna, it makes a 2-night stop in Stockholm possible. I haven't been there, so I don't want to advise.

Would it help to use Oslo instead of Bergen to access the fjords? I know it makes a VERY long day trip RT NIN, but would it help with flight routing and choices of flights? I remember when we were traveling to Norway that there were many more choices between Stockholm and Oslo than Stockholm and Bergen.
Kay2 is offline  
Nov 7th, 2009, 12:54 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 87
We will hear what comes of your trip. One thing that might happen, is that your trip is too late into spring, and your icehotel will have started melting. It does some time in April every year. Normally mid- to late April. By June the last of it is swept into the river. So every autumn they build a new hotel, which might explain the price.
Soljet is offline  
Nov 7th, 2009, 06:16 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 323
Thank you for the additional replies. The ice hotel is available until April 15th so we're ok there.

As far as the NIN goes, I did consider Oslo but it was just such a long day but it does have better connections... I'm still not clear on what more you actually see doing NIN from Oslo rather than Bergen. I got the impression that it was another very long train ride but the spectacular scenary part is fully covered with the Bergen roundtrip.

Stavenger is an interesting option. If we drop Stockholm, that will be definitely something to consider. I will have 3 full days in Copenhagen before we leave for NIN or Kiruna. When my daughter is home for Thanksgiving break, we'll have a family sit down to make a decision. I'm building in a day in Copenhagen before we fly home to the States. Just wish Tivoli was open but it opens the week after our visit!
samejia is offline  
Nov 7th, 2009, 10:39 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,743
I can only tell you of the Oslo-Myrdal-Flam-Gudvagen section of NIN taken in June. I will let others tell you of the bus up to Voss and the Voss-Bergen train part. RT from Bergen is certainly shorter than Oslo.

The ride down the train to Flam is a steep valley with a stop at a waterfall, in and out of snow shelters for the tracks, then reaching the floor of the fjord. We rode it both ways and I think I liked the ride down better, just more fun. We rode the boat trip to Gudvagen both ways; I liked starting in the more open part in Flam then turning into the narrower fjord more than narrow opening up, but you see the same scenery each way on both segments.

Roughly, the first few hours by train from Oslo were along a river, series of lakes, hills, mostly wooded. Then you climb up to a high plain that looks harsh, rocky, few trees, scattered summer cabins. Then a lake with a glacier. I thought the entire route was scenic, although the section Geilo to Myrdal was most dramatic.
Kay2 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 02:50 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 323
BratsandBeer, I've been researching the Stavenger region website and learned that one particular fjord cruise only runs when they have 15 passengers. Since we're trying to do this on Easter Sunday or the day after, that might be a little risky. I'm thinking not too many people will be on a fjord cruise on Easter. I know Norway in a Nutshell runs that day and since everything will be closed, we thought that might be the perfect day for the Nutshell. I've emailed a couple of of the Stavenger fjord tour companies to see if they'll be running.

Kay2, thanks for sharing your NIN experience. My husband is now wondering how it would be if we drove our own Nutshell. That makes me nervous since there are connections to make. Haven't found too many posts here that go into details about doing it by car.

I did read lots of posts on the another website today where people talked about staying in Stalheim or Balestrand. Not sure if these are stops on the Nutshell where you can easily get leave the tour and then continue it. I believe Stalheim is a stop. They mentioned a hotel with an unbelievable view. If we drop Stockholm, we would have a night to stay along the Nutshell route on the way back to Bergen.
samejia is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 03:44 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 323
More.... My husband has a book titled, 1,000 Places To See Before you Die. Bergen is in this book as well as the Kvikne's Hotel in Balestrand. From the hotel's website, it looks like you can take part of the Norway in a Nutshell, but I'm wondering what you miss out on if we skip the train to and from Bergen. The hotel's website also mentions an express ferry from Bergen to Balestrand that takes 4 hours. Here's what the hotel's site refers to as their Norway in a Nutshell:

Norway in a nutshell


Travel by boat to Flåm, then by train to Voss via Myrdal, up the dramatic Flåm Railway. From Voss, return by bus to Vangsnes, over the Vikafjell pass. From Vangsnes take the ferry to Dragsvik, then a bus for the last 9 km to Balestrand. If desired, the tour can be shortened by taking the return rail trip from Myrdal to Flåm, returning to Balestrand by boat.
samejia is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 05:04 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 323
Hold your comments!! Spent all this time today reading reviews etc.. and just figured out that the Stalhiem Hotel and the Balastrand Hotel don't open until May. The timing of our trip is off by a month. Too late for the Northern Lights and too early to do some of the different fjord tours. Norway in a Nutshell will be running on Easter but we can't do any of the additional fjord tours. Bummer....
samejia is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 07:57 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,049
We stayed overnight at the Fretheim Hotel in Flam. We took a hike from the hotel up to a waterfall. It is a very quiet place. We had a large buffet dinner in the evening and breakfast the next morning. The hotel was okay but nothing to great.

We were in Stavanger in September. There were several on the fjord tour. There is also Pulpit Rock if you like to hike.
http://www.stavangertravel.com/news/...ock-norway.cfm

My sister and I have driven in Norway twice with no problems. We have relatives northwest of Lillehammer and also about one hour west of Oslo. We thought the next time we go to Norway we will drive across to Bergen. Not sure of April what the weather would be like. We have only been there in the months of September.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 06:06 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 898
My suggestion for the Nutshell tour would be to not return to Bergen. Do the fjord cruise to Flam, take the Flamsbana train to the top and then the train from there to Oslo, you can then take the train to Stockholm (or drive, or fly).

I think this would probably be less hassle and actually take less time than going back to Bergen and dealing with airports, flights, etc.

BTW, having just gotten back from Norway, I really liked Oslo. We only had 1/2 a day there (as opposed to a day and a 1/2 in Bergen). While we had a great time in Bergen, I was really impressed by Oslo. If you have time (even just a few hours), it's a really nice city (loved the Vigeland Gardens).
astein12 is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 11:07 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 323
Finally have streamlined our plans. We've added an extra night in Bergen and will not go to Stockholm. That will have to be another trip.

So, after our first 3 nights in Copenhagen, we'll go to Bergen on Easter Sunday. The Floibanen will be open so we'll have something to do when we arrive in the afternoon. The next day will be the Nutshell tour (works out since Easter Monday is still a holiday)and then will spend Tuesday taking a break after the Nutshell and enjoying Bergen. Then 2 nights in Kiruna for the ice hotel and dog sledding, etc.. and then back to Copenhagen for 2 nights before flying back to the States. I was able to do all the flights including the one from the States using frequent flyers. I do have to pay for the leg between Kiruna and Stockholm but that is cheap on Norwegian, $292 for all four of us!

Originally, we were not going to be in Bergen when the fishmarket is open but now we'll experience that. I did read some negative reviews on it. One being that the fish is not fresh and there are better alternatives in the city. I read somewhere that you could pick up a decent sweater from a vendor in the fishmarket.

Since the Roundtrip NIN Bergen does not involve reserved seats, I was advised to just buy the trip from the train station and it would be cheaper. Is that the case?
samejia is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 10:40 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 898
Your plans sound great... a couple of random notes on Bergen:

The Floibanen is very nice. Lots of nice trails at the top. You can spend a 1/2 hour or all day (pack a picnic). My favorite part was actually walking back down. If you follow trails for the 1st part then can break off and wander thru the little streets that meander thru the neighborhoods. It's very nice.

Great hot chocolate at any of the Godt Brod locations.

We liked the Opera Cafe and especially Pingvinen for dinner. Inexpensive (for Norway) and nice atmosphere.

The fish market (at least in November) was underwhelming. Very small with only a couple of stalls and not much to see. We spent maybe 5 minutes there.

The area around Rosenkrantz Tower is nice. If you're not too tired from the trip up the Floibanen, walk along the waterfront, thru the Bryggen, and over to that area. Things might be closed on Easter, but it's still very nice.

Enjoy!
astein12 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 11:40 AM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 323
Astein12, thanks for your recommendations. I was thinking of walking down the Floibanen trails but will that be too long or harse for a 7 year old girl?

Things will be open on the Tuesday after Easter so we'll be sure to go to the Rosenkrantz area.

I'll have to check out your restaurants. The trick will be finding one open on Easter Sunday. We may just be eating up at the Floibanen.
samejia is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 04:36 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 898
We did see a lot of kids walking down (and up). It will probably depend on how much walking you do at the top. Buying two one way tickets is the same price as a round trip, so you can hedge your bets and not buy your return ticket until you decide whether or not you're going to ride down.
astein12 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
alovesa
Europe
4
Feb 24th, 2016 06:46 PM
traveler91
Europe
26
Jan 24th, 2016 01:20 PM
sobepal
Europe
14
Jul 10th, 2014 04:36 AM
alexsst
Europe
7
Apr 24th, 2012 09:17 PM
angel025
Europe
8
Mar 9th, 2011 05:47 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:00 PM.