help us narrow our plans for Scandanavia

Jul 10th, 2019, 02:43 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
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help us narrow our plans for Scandanavia

DW and I have decided to tour Scandinavia next late May/early June - an area completely new to us. We're planning on 17 or 18 days. We want to start in Berlin (flying from Miami), for 3 nights,as we are both interested in WWII. We're thinking of taking a train to Hamburg (ancestral city) before flying to Stockholm.

We had considered Denmark, too, but don't think we'll have time, if we also want to see a bit of Sweden (perhaps just Stockholm and outlying areas on our way to Oslo (where we'll spend a few nights with friends). We'd also like to see other areas in Norway, ending in Bergen, and flying to Iceland (very brief stop) before returning home. We have not researched any airlines, or trains vs car rental in Sweden and Norway. Right now we need help focusing; later, we'll have specific questions.

This is not the usual style of trip for us...usually it's renting a car and taking our time in a smaller area, sometimes renting an apartment for a week.

We appreciate your suggestions, as we have always used this site when planning our past trips to Europe.
Wilhelm is offline  
Jul 10th, 2019, 05:07 PM
  #2  
kja
 
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IMO, 3 nights is very little for Berlin. While it depends on your interests, I would think 5 days not unreasonable for a first visit to Berlin, more if you'll be jet lagged when there.

Likewise, Stockholm easily warrants 5 days.

I haven't been to the other places you are considering.

I would think you would benefit greatly from getting a better sense of what, exactly, you hope to see and do in these locations so you can begin to develop reasonable estimates of how much time you will want to spend visiting them.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Jul 10th, 2019, 07:53 PM
  #3  
 
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Even though you want to focus on details later, some can already affect the rough outline of your itinerary with regards to which places you can visit in which order.

For example, flying Bergen to Reykjavik may be expensive as your options are limited to one airline. While flying Oslo to Reykjavik may have more competition on that route.

Stockholm and the greater area are very well accessible by public transport. I would not see any reason or extra benefit to rent a car.

While Bergen is a good starting point for excursions, keep in mind that Norway's coastal topography is quite "alpine". While I usually also prefer to have one base for several days as a hub for day trips, you may also want to consider doing a loop drive from Bergen with one or two nights on the road. But this also depends what you want to do or see. Otherwise there are also several options for "car-less" explorations from Bergen, and also taking the train between Oslo and Bergen is an option.
Since you have friends in Oslo, and they probably know you better than we do, I think you want to involve them to see which type of travel is best for you while in Norway.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jul 11th, 2019, 02:46 AM
  #4  
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Yes, I should have mentioned what we like to do when we travel: enjoy the culture primarily. Spend time at outdoor cafes, etc. to relax and soak in our surroundings, including people-watching, of course. Museums - limited. Not for art, but for history and archeology. We prefer to see the outside of churches to take in the architecture, not the arts inside. No classical concerts, either, in Berlin. There, the wall and other areas part of history, especially WWII. Drive through scenic areas to appreciate the landscape, perhaps stop for easy walks (no hikes).
Wilhelm is offline  
Jul 11th, 2019, 10:32 AM
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
DW and I have decided to tour Scandinavia next late May/early June - an area completely new to us. We're planning on 17 or 18 days. We want to start in Berlin (flying from Miami), for 3 nights,as we are both interested in WWII. We're thinking of taking a train to Hamburg (ancestral city) before flying to Stockholm.

We had considered Denmark, too, but don't think we'll have time, if we also want to see a bit of Sweden (perhaps just Stockholm and outlying areas on our way to Oslo (where we'll spend a few nights with friends). We'd also like to see other areas in Norway, ending in Bergen, and flying to Iceland (very brief stop) before returning home. We have not researched any airlines, or trains vs car rental in Sweden and Norway. Right now we need help focusing; later, we'll have specific questions.

This is not the usual style of trip for us...usually it's renting a car and taking our time in a smaller area, sometimes renting an apartment for a week.

We appreciate your suggestions, as we have always used this site when planning our past trips to Europe.
Fly direct to Copenhagen and skip Germany?
menachem is offline  
Jul 11th, 2019, 10:47 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
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We found that flying into Iceland with a two night stop-over gave us a chance to acclimate to time difference after a shorter flight. We then flew to Bergen and did the Norway in a Nutshell trip to Oslo. We took a train to Stockholm and then on to Copenhagen. We flew home from there with only a short stop in Iceland.
The usual guidebooks have several suggestions for this trip as do trip reports online. Good luck!
buferson is offline  
Jul 12th, 2019, 06:24 AM
  #7  
 
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I would save Berlin for a future trip. It deserves more time and make this trip all in Scandinavia. I would add three nights to Copenhagen. Five nights in Stockholm and then Oslo and Bergen divided as you wish. We liked Oslo a lot more than we expected. Many interesting sites to visit and a nice vibe in the city center. Bergen is an attractive, charming town with access to many available excursions. I have not been to Iceland so can’t comment.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 12th, 2019, 06:49 AM
  #8  
 
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Out of Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm my favorite was Stockholm, and I agree that you need several days there. You certainly don't need a car in the cities, nor for Scandinavia as a whole. I had a very satisfactory trip without one.

I agree with skipping Germany on this trip. I would also suggest considering a Hurtigruten cruise or part cruise to see the fjords.

For my Scandinavian trip see here (links at the top of the page): https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...s-in-roskilde/
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Jul 12th, 2019, 07:18 AM
  #9  
mms
 
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We also flew to Iceland and stayed for a couple of days. Then off to Copenhagen then Norway. Worked great for us.
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Jul 12th, 2019, 09:31 AM
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
Out of Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm my favorite was Stockholm, and I agree that you need several days there. You certainly don't need a car in the cities, nor for Scandinavia as a whole. I had a very satisfactory trip without one.

I agree with skipping Germany on this trip. I would also suggest considering a Hurtigruten cruise or part cruise to see the fjords.

For my Scandinavian trip see here (links at the top of the page) https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...s-in-roskilde/

Bergen - Ålesund - Trondheim by Hurtigruten and then take the train from Trondheim to Oslo. It's an overnight trip and you don't have to sleep on the settees in the Observation Lounge. Taking Hurtigruten overnight, with an outside cabin and all meals and tea and coffee included will set you back between €250 - €320 pp. You'd leave Bergen around 10, arrive in Ålesund in the morning, do an overnight there, and get on Hurtigruten to Trondheim by day on the second day: no cabin necessary. (The bit between Bergen and Ålesund is perhaps the least spectacular of the Hurtigruten route). You can also extend your stay in Ålesund and visit Geiranger Fjord by yourself.*

www.hurtigruten.no for port to port bookings (NOT the hurtigruten.com website)

Geiranger Fjord excursion from Ålesundhttps://www.geirangerfjord.no/fjord-...sund-geiranger

Last edited by menachem; Jul 12th, 2019 at 09:37 AM.
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Jul 13th, 2019, 07:55 AM
  #11  
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We appreciate all of your suggestions. Yes, we probably should limit this trip to Scandinavia only (and plan Berlin and other German areas for another trip). We'll spend time rereading your posts and checking out the specific areas you have mentioned.
Wilhelm is offline  
Jul 14th, 2019, 05:35 AM
  #12  
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We have decided to limit this trip to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Thank you for helping us!
We'll research the areas you all mentioned and talk to our Norwegian friends. We'll post specific questions with another post - being more specific with country in our title.
Wilhelm is offline  
Jul 14th, 2019, 05:51 PM
  #13  
kja
 
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A wise decision, IMO!
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