Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen, and Stockholm

Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 10:11 AM
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Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen, and Stockholm

We are heading to Scandinavia next summer with our 8 & 10 year old daughters for around 12 days. We'd like to train, fly or ferry between cities. We'd like to see Copenhagen, Stockholm, Bergen & the fjords. Does anyone have a suggested itinerary? Should we add Oslo or skip it and go directly from Copenhagen to Bergen? How should we travel from city to city? One idea I had is to fly to Copenhagen for 3 days, take an overnight train to Oslo and stay there one night. The next day we'd go to Bergen and check out the fjords. I'm not sure how to 'do the fjords', where we should stay, and how long we should give to that area. Finally, we'll fly to Stockholm from Bergen for our remaining days and depart home from Stockholm. Any insight? What time of the summer is the best time to go?
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 10:33 AM
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A search on your destinations in this forum will give you many opinions.
Many of us enjoyed a day or two in Oslo to see the viking ships, etc. before boarding the train to the fjords. The scenery out of Oslo is a forested river valley, then up onto the high elevation plateau above the tree line with lakes, rocks and a glacier in view.

You'll the see the varying opinions. One is take the standard "Norway in a Nutshell" route of train Oslo-Myrdal, train Myrdal-Flam (with stop at waterfall), ferry Flam-Gudvagen, bus Gudvagen-Voss, train Voss-Bergen, with all the connections timed for little/no waiting for a long day. Another is to break your trip between Oslo and Bergen at Flam or Stalheim. Another is to take the ferry across the fjord from Flam or Gudvagen to Balestrand and break there (glacier trip possible). There are supporters of the other fjords such as Hardanger. And supporters of heading to Starvanger. You can get some idea of the itineraries and sights on www.norwaynutshell.com, although you do not have to book through them. You will also see suggestions that you drive so you can spend time in any small towns you like and only have to worry about ferry schedules.

Many people "do" the fjords as a single day on transport all day. Others take two days and get off the transport, do some walking, bicycling, kayaking other activities such as checking out stave churches, glacier, etc. Sort of depends on whether you more want to see the views or engage in more outdoor activity.

We found flying between Bergen and Stockholm to be expensive when we were there, but many people do it.

I have only been in Scandinavia in June three times and can attest that at that time the days are long, everything is open, it isn't crowded most places, but I always hit a heat wave.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 11:21 AM
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I have only been to Oslo as a day trip, so I cannot speak to that city well, but have been to the other 3.

If I were to go back to that area, this is what I would do:

Fly into Stockholm, stay for 3 or 4 nights,
Train to Oslo, stay for 2 or 3 nights
Train to Bergen Stay for 3 nights, do the Norway in a Nutshell tour as a day trip
Fly to Copenhagen, stay for 4 nights
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 11:26 AM
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Forgot to mention, I agree that June is a great time to go, but even in June it could be cool (light jacket or sweater) and drizzly some days.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 12:30 PM
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Do the Norway in a Nutshell trip while going from Oslo to Bergen. To do it separately is adding a tremendous amount of travel time for something that represents only a 3 or 4 hour detour if taken as part of the Oslo to Bergen trip. On the other hand, if you want to see a stave church in its original location, you will need to either break the NIN trip with a side trip to a town with a stave church or do a separate fjord trip. But Oslo has a stave church in its outdoor folk museum.

You may want to look at my report on Norway and Stockholm. Just click on my name to find it.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 04:30 PM
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Bulldogs, I am planning the same trip next July except we have 17 days. I too am perplexed about the Norwegian fjord portion of the trip.

The different “in a Nutshell” excursions seem the most efficient use of time but I would prefer to do more than a quick run-though of the fjord area.

I have considered adding an overnight or two in Flam or Aurland but I am not sure if hikes or more exploration by boat is the way to go. Hopefully our fellow Fodorites can share their experiences.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 04:54 PM
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I believe that you can interrupt your NIN trip. All it is is a series of tickets for connecting transportation modes. Stopping for an overnight in Flam, for example, would thus not be a problem.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 04:55 PM
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We stopped in Flam for two nights, walked to Aurland (OK trail, some nice views), wandered around Aurland, took bus back. Wandered through Flam, up the valley some, to the waterfall, I think. Not serious hiking because of the heat. We would have liked to take the bus up and done some walking in the Aurland Valley, but ran out of time.
http://tinyurl.com/23xgfu8

Many people don't like Flam because it is so small. There is just the small town, the train up the valley (you can walk or bike back down), kayaks, and the road/trail to Aurland. We used it as our nature/quiet break. I think you could do the same across the fjord in Balestrand. We also considered an overnight at Stalheim with the hikes there sounding good, but the prices turned us off.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 05:42 PM
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