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

Scandanavia Trip Planning --- Advice, please

Scandanavia Trip Planning --- Advice, please

Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 05:07 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Scandanavia Trip Planning --- Advice, please

Hi,
As a new Fodors member, I am amazed & pleased at the vast resources available here.
We will be visiting Scandanavia from 21 AUG - 2 SEP, and need some advice. We don't really want to take an escorted tour. We plan on staying 3 nites Copenhagen/2 nites Oslo/2 nites Bergen/4 nites Stockholm. Any hotels that you really liked? OR really didn't like? We'd like 4 star, but not necessarily a US chain hotel. We'd like to experience some local charm. Also, getting from one location to the next --- any advice on trains? boats? buses? Scanrail? How much will these things cost? Resources for independent travel?
Thanks for your anticipated advice.
Joe in Boston
JoeBoston is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 05:38 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,904
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As much as I hate to admit this - I found Rick Steves book on Scandinavia a good resource for traveling in that part of the world and would be a valuable resource for trip planning.

IMHO - I would spend more time in Denmark than in Sweden or Norway. The country is much more compressed and user friendly, as well as easier on the travel budget. Norway was shockingly expensive.
Dutch is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 05:59 PM
  #3  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi,

I think you are spending too much time in Norway and not enough in Denmark.

Whatever you do, do not miss going to the Tivoli Gardens in the late afternoon and staying all night.
ira is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2003, 02:13 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 103
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
hi joe.
in oslo radisson sas hotel, grand hotel,continental hotel, all of this hotels has a great location, but the price will be 100-120 us dollar pr night. if you are coming from copenhagen, its up to you if you want to go by air,bus,train,or boat.the bus ride will take about 8 hours, by air 1 hour, and the boat is 14 hours, but you will see a lot of the landscape before you enter oslo.the bus ride will cost you 30us,and the boat about 130us,with a cabin.take 3 days in stockholm, and 3 days in oslo..what do do you want to do in oslo??
jannik is offline  
Old Jul 24th, 2003, 07:50 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 143
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In March I stayed at the Palace Hotel on the City Hall Square (Radhuspladsen) in Copenhagen; it was my fourth stay in 1 1/2 years, so you know I like it. It is a 4-star, and I had an Ambassador suite that looked out on the square each time. It is only a couple of blocks from the walking street Copenhagen is famous for, from the Central Rail Station, and from Tivoli. You can check it out at www.palace-hotel.dk My favorite restaurant in Copenhagen is the Degas on Jernbanegaden; several on Greyfriar's Square are also very good. Just north of Copenhagen is the Sollerud Kro, one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten in. Copenhagen has quite good museums, two of which are just minutes from the Palace.
I have reservations in August at the First Hotel Reisen on Gamla Stan (Old Town) in Stockholm. We have a sea view room. I'm not sure I would like the alley view. You can do a search for Reisen or check it out at www.concorde-hotels.com Last summer I stayed at the Sheraton Towers on Tegelbaken with a view of the lake and Gamla Stan. I prefer the Gamla Stan area. I also checked the Rica Gamla Stan, but the prices at the Reisen were a bit better. So that this doesn't get too long, I will skip sight-seeing suggestions.
In Oslo, I have stayed at the SAS Radisson and the Ambassador. Neither are far from the city center, but are not city center as is the Grand which is on Karl Johans Gate. It is the former hangout of the Norwegian intelligentsia. I have stayed at the Anker also when I was leading a group, but I would avoid that Railroad station area. Some rather seedy characters hang out in that area. Oslo is my least favorite of your four cities; I return because of ex-students from there. I like the National Gallery.
The trip from Oslo to Bergen goes through breathtaking scenery. I particularly like the Bryggen area of Bergen.
Enjoy Scandinavia!
Boots
Boots is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2003, 05:20 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the advice, folks. Less time in Norway sounds reasonable. Any suggestions on the best way to get from Oslo to Stockholm --- that won't be outrageously expensive? Favorite restaurants in Copenhagen and Stockholm? Hotels to avoid? Trying to keep hotel under $150 US per nite.

thanks!
JoeBoston is offline  
Old Jul 27th, 2003, 11:49 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 103
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
hi joe
you can go by train or bus. the most inexpensive way is by bus.the bus leaves from stockholm every day. have a nice trip.
cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
jannik is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2003, 04:08 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 342
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Boots - I too have stayed at First Hotel Reisen and only have one small comment on your post.....

The seaview rooms are nice, but the "alley" view rooms, IF they are on the top floor, also have small balconies that are very nice to come home to after a long day of walking!!!

I'd shoot for one of those if I had the chance to return...Best wishes, Dave
Dave is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2003, 04:17 AM
  #9  
Intrepid
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
By rail from Oslo to Stockholm takes 4 hrs 45 minutes (using X2000 services) with regular Eurocity services taking 6 hours.
There may be a way you could fly between
the two although i am wondering if it would require a change in Copenhagen.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2003, 02:01 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 33
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My wife and I just came back from a 12 night wonderful stay in the Western Fjords part of Norway (including a frantic day of missing luggage upon landing... turned out someone took my bag!)

At Bergen, we stayed in the Strand Hotel which is just by the Fish Market/Wharf/Bryggen area, which we found to be extremely well located and convenient (opposite the Tourist Info Center too!)... They have different prices... rooms facing the wharf/fish market are generally more expensive than the ones facing the inner square. I actually stayed in both rooms during the trip and would actually recommend the wharf rooms, although there are pros/cons.

Wharf Rooms: Pros: Spectacular views of the wharf, fish market (watching them set up the market in the morning is a sight, seeing the bustling nightlife from the room was fun too) and the tourist-laden Bryggen area. Cons: It was pretty hot in Bergen during the 2 stays so the windows had to be wide open - you hear traffic and the usual nightlife noises so if you're a light sleeper, it might not be a good idea to stay facing the wharf.
Inner Courtyard Rooms: Pros: Smaller and cheaper. Much quieter since the courtyard contains the back entrances to various buildings and the very small Strand Hotel carpark. Cons: Stuffy - There's little wind entering the windows and it got very very warm and uncomfortable in the room (although I'm told it's not often that Bergen had such heatwave!). Small room. Toilet had a shower curtain as partition between shower and rest of toilet so the entire floor got wet quite often.
Breakfast was usual fare - We had much better ones at Kviknes and Alexandra at Loen but Strand's breakfast was okay I guess.
They have a website: www.strandhotel.no but unfortunately it's being updated (for a while now). I took some photos of the rooms but we just came back today so I'll only download them onto the PC once I've recovered from the trip! Let me know here if you want to have a look at the rooms (I think the pics were taken post-inhabitation so it's messy!)

Saidean
saidean is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2003, 09:12 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 453
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi JoeBoston-
I, too, got back from a tour of Norway just a bit ago and stayed 2 days in Bergen. We stayed at the Clarion Admiral hotel and were thrilled to have a room directly on the water with our own little balcony looking out onto the Bryggen. Check out the internet fares under either Clarion or Choice hotels- I do remember it being under $150/night including a really good breakfast buffet in the morning. As far as recommended sights, we enjoyed the Hanseatic Museum in the Bryggen quite a bit- make sure you take the guided tour in English to get the full history of the place. Afterwards pick up some yummy salmon sandiwiches in the Fish Market, and sample the smoked whale meat and fresh shrimp, too! We also took the Floibanen funicular up to the top of Mt. Floyen, overlooking the city, and then followed the #4 switchback-heavy trail and hiked our way back down to the harbor - took about 45 minutes and you go by some gorgeous houses! Be warned about the wicked expensive food and beverages, though - on the night of our arrival we were exhausted from driving up from Arendal and spent $30 for a large Peppe's pizza (they're everywhere, and I wanted to see what they were like!). The next night we just hit a grocery store and bought Jordbaer, bread, cheese,, meat, and some beer and had a picnic in our lovely room...Sorry for the long post!
AHaugeto is offline  
Old Jul 31st, 2003, 10:13 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you arrive in Copenhagen you could travel by train through Denmark to Hirtshals (www.dsb.dk) Then the fast ferry to Kristiansand in Norway( 2.5 hours - colorline) You can buy a combined ticet train-boat from Kristiansand-Stavanger- Bergen-Oslo.(www.nsb.no)I think the trip from Bergen to Oslo can include the Norway-in-a-nutshell tour. Then you will see a fiord on the westcoast of Norway. From Oslo you can continue on to Stockholm. Many direct flights every day. Ryan air also operate the distance but they leave from Sandefjord south of Oslo.
svithun is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2003, 05:12 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,579
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Joe, Svithun has a great idea for you: Kristiandsand to Bergen for two nights (one full day in Bergen) then Norway in a Nutshell for three nights in Oslo (two full days). I think there is plenty to do in Oslo to use up 2 days and I'd sacrifice one of the nights in Stockholm for the extra day in Oslo.
jsmith is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2003, 01:39 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all of the great advice, folks. This travel planning is exhausting --- but fun. Plese keep the info coming. Choosing a hotel is difficult. found some interesting deals the The Square/Copenhagen and The Clarion Stockholm. Has anyone stayed at Pensionat Oden (b&b in Stockholm)?
JoeBoston is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 01:33 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 161
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Joe, we recently came back from a 3-week trip to Scandinavia. It puzzles me that several have encouraged you to spend less time in Norway. All depends what people are looking for, but we loved Oslo and Bergen. Norway is such a beautiful country. I think one can easily spend 3 days or more in each !
In Stockholm we stayed at Clarion Hotel Stockholm. Great room - fabulous breakfast, but that was true in most places.Have a terrific time !!!
jenny is offline  
Old Aug 3rd, 2003, 01:52 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,904
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
jenny - nothing against Norway but JoeBoston doesn't have three weeks. Given his time frame, I recommended he spend his time in a smaller country that he could travel from one end to the other in less than a day. If time and money were no constraint, I would spend much if not all of my time in Norway.
Dutch is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2003, 07:58 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 161
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dutch, you are right, of course,that Joe has a tighter schedule, but I did not want readers to think that Norway did not "rate" a longer stay !
jenny is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2003, 10:02 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 420
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry to contest other messages, but just returned from our 2nd trip to Scandinavia in 3 years, this time just Norway 3 nights in oslo and 2 in Bergen are perfect. You could see Oslo in a day, if you delete a day and 1/2 other great sites and not allow yourself to pig out, especially at the Brygge..shorefont. And Bergen is the jumping off point for the fijord trips. A basic one and cog rail back to Bergen via Flamm takes a full day. Then the most scenic trip is the rail from Oslo to Bergen. That takes almost a whole day from early morning to mid afternoon.
The Norwegans were much warmer than the Swedes, in our opinion and more relaxed than the Danes, unless it was after hours! All Scandinavians were polite and kind to us. If you ever really want to get adventurous and see Svalbard Islands just 700 miles south of the No POle...We did that cruise last month and it was fantastic!!!Ice burgs, polar bears, walrus, reindeer, fox, glaciers, etc etc.
Deloris is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2003, 02:37 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bergen to Stockholm
Can anyone suggest a good (and not too expensive) way to travel from Bergen to Stockholm? Is the train best? Or flying? Other ideas? Thanks!
JoeBoston is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2003, 03:49 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,296
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We just came back from a Baltic cruise which we combined with visits to Copenhaguen, Stockholm and Oslo. My favorite was Stockholm where we stayed at the Radisson SAS Viking. If money is no object , stay at the Grand. It has a great location. I also liked Copenhaguen. Don't miss going to Tivoli. We stayed at the Radisson SAS in front of Tivoli. I didn't care too much for Oslo and wish I had not wasted time going there from Stockholm. We traveled by train ( the linx) which took a little less than 5 hours. One way was approx$120 per person. We stayed at the Hotel Continental which is very nice and near the water. Since it was the weekend they had special weekend rates which were much lower than regular rates. If you're going to be in Stockholm over a weekend you might want to check the weekend rates at the Grand. Have a great trip.
cruiseluv is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -