Helsinki, Bergen, or Both??

May 26th, 2007, 12:58 PM
  #1  
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Helsinki, Bergen, or Both??

Hello:
My husband and I are planning a trip to Scandinavia in late August. Weve mapped out 3 different itineraries (including expected costs, mode of and estimated time for transportation, etc) that we think are reasonable based on the amount of time and money we have. Im hoping you can help us narrow our list:

Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki (cruise or fly from Stockholm)
Copenhagen, Stockholm, Bergen (to do the Norway in a Nutshell tour)
Stockholm, Bergen, Helsinki

Unfortunately, theres no way we can swing all 4 cities.

Wed appreciate any suggestions you have and would be particularly happy to hear from people whove been to both Helsinki and Bergen. Just a bit about uswere in our mid-thirties, tend to cover a lot of ground in relatively short time, and have very broad interests (art and architecture, nature, history).

Thanks so much!
Noslo is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 06:59 AM
  #2  
 
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I have only been to Stockholm, Helsinki and Bergen - not to Copenhagen. So my comments are based on somewhat incomplete knowledge.

If time does not permit you to visit four cities (you don't say how much time you do have), then these three are doable. The train to/from Bergen to Oslo (and then on to Stockholm) is spectacular. The Oslo-Stockholm portion is flat terrain and less interesting. Stockholm is a fabulous city with much to see. The Stockholm Card <http://tinyurl.com/2pnrm7> is a particularly good deal.

From Stockholm, the ferries <http://www.vikingline.fi/index.asp?lang=en> and <http://www.silja.com/en/> are a very enjoyable and scenic way to travel to Finland. Instead of Helsinki, you could also go to Turku, Finland's second largest city. It is smaller but still an interesting place to visit. Some rail passes even give discounts on these ferries. I think the Silja line does.
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:29 AM
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We have been to both Bergen (and we did the Norway in a Nutshell tour) and Helsinki. I think there is no comparison between Bergen and Helsinki. Bergen wins, hands down (esp. adding in the Nutshell tour). Norway is just a gorgeous country. I also would not miss Copenhagen or Stockholm, so I think that itinerary is the best one of your three.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:31 AM
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We have just visted both Copenhagen and Bergen. We thought we saw quite a bit of Copenhagen in 2 days so that is quite doable. We had one night in Bergen before doing the Norweign Coastal Voyage and 2 nights at the end. The first time we were there it was very, very cold with an icy wind blowing and sheeting rain though we did our best to see what we could before we sailed. On our return it was beautful sunny weather, very warm which made sightseeing so much easier. It is a very nice city and again in two days you can see most of the sites. We spent one day doing the Norway in a Nutshell round trip. We just purchased the complete set of tickets the day before at the tourist office and turned up the next morning at the station on hopped on the correct train. When we reached Voss there were buses waiting, clearly marked to Gudvagen, we were then dropped right by the ferry that took us up the Sognefjord, a spectacular 2 hour trip. We then had time to spend walking around Flam before the Flamsbana train took us back to the station at Mryndal where the regional train was waiting to take us back to Bergen. These were the only seats that were booked and we had to sit in the correct seat numbers.
Goodluck with your planning.
Maudie is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 07:33 AM
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To add some detail to my comments above, we started in Bergen, did the Nutshell tour to Oslo, overnight cruise(ferry) to Copenhagen, train to Stockholm. Very nice trip. In both Oslo and Stockholm we bought the package of a card that covered all sites and hotel. This got us quite nice hotels for pretty budget prices and then we felt free to see as much as we could see in the days we were there.

We flew in to Bergen and out of Stockholm.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 07:53 AM
  #6  
EPC
 
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This is exactly the trip I need to plan. How many days did you do the Bergen/Oslo/Copenhagen/Stockholm tour?
I am going from NY to Iceland for a couple of days and then onto Bergen and out of Stockholm. What hotels would you suggest? I might be better skipping Iceland and going right to Bergen. Any thoughts or comments?
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Jun 28th, 2007, 08:12 AM
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The Nutshell trip is one of the very most stunning things i've done in 38 years of Euro travels - so if going to Helsinki, a far more interesting town than Bergen means forgetting the Nutshell, i'd go to Bergen.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 01:25 PM
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I second palenq, the fjords are amazing and something not to be missed.
cmf46 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 03:15 PM
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How many days do you need to do the NIN? I would love to stay at the Salheim (?)Is 5 days enough to do Norway? I know you should always have more but you have to take what you get Any input is welcomed!
Thank you!
EPC is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 07:58 AM
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NIN www.norwaynutshell is a one day loop from Bergen-Voss- train - bus to Gudevagen (sp?) vis Stalheim Hotel - boat on fjord to Flam, mountain train to Myrdhal, train back to Bergen or if shceudles are better reverse the whole loop as all transit runs both ways

all set up for a one day loop.

from Stalheim you could just do the most fab part, the boat ride though the Flam train, which makes photo op stops at waterfalls, etc. is great too - ride train up and back and return to Gudvagen & Stalheim that night.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 08:23 AM
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I think we had two weeks for Bergen, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. It was a couple of years ago, but I think it was a two-week trip. I think we had about 4-5 days for Norway, 4 days for Copenhagen, 4 days for Stockholm, plus travel time, something like that. I used Rick Steves places in Bergen and Copenhagen -- both rather simple and borderline OK -- and then used OsloPass and StockholmPass (I think it's called something like that) to have a pretty good hotel AND passes for all transportation and sites. We were very pleased with the latter two situations.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 01:09 PM
  #12  
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So if the train is only one day where are the best places to stay over and then continue the trip? I know Stalheim.....anything else? So you think we should stay in Bergen one or two nites, the NIN train get off and stay one night in Stalheim, continue the NIN train to Oslo and stay in Oslo one or two nites? Are two nights too much in Bergen and Oslo?
EPC is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 04:37 PM
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I don't think two nights for Bergen and two for Oslo are too much if you like historic sites as there are a couple in each place. Others might stay out in the fjords more -- if you prefer scenery to historic sites and museums.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Jun 30th, 2007, 05:48 AM
  #14  
EPC
 
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For this particular trip I think I am into Scenary! If I cut it down to one nite in Bergen and 1 nite in Stalheim and no nites in Oslo than maybe I can add the ferry to Copenhagen stay 1-2 nites and then a train on to Stockholm for a couple of nites before we fly home. I see the ferry to Copenhagen from Oslo is pretty easy and I believe there are direct trains from Copenhagen to Stockholm. Has anyone done this or should we fly to stockholm if we actually add this on?
I know it is alot but we do tend to like to move around when we travel. This might be overdoing it though!!
EPC is offline  
Jun 30th, 2007, 08:11 AM
  #15  
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PalenQ when you did:
"from Stalheim you could just do the most fab part, the boat ride though the Flam train, which makes photo op stops at waterfalls, etc. is great too - ride train up and back and return to Gudvagen & Stalheim that night." did you stay one or two nights in Stalheim. It seems to me you arrive, spend the night, do this wonderful excursion, stay another night and then move on. correct?

EPC is offline  
Jun 30th, 2007, 09:59 AM
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We took an overnite ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen. This was a nice trip and also saved a siteseeing day. We took a train from C to S. I think there was a change in Malmo, but that may have changed by now. It was right after the bridge between C and Malmo had been built. I think it was about a 5 hour train trip. I don't recall that it was a particularly scenic 5 hours, altho going across the bridge was fun.
Kristinelaine is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 10:36 AM
  #17  
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Our plan is to spend 2 nights in Bergen
Do the NIN tour with an overnite in Stalheim and then 1 nite in Oslo.
Someone said this would take 5 days...I see 4? Does anyone know how we can add Balestrand to this trip?
EPC is offline  
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