We’re going to Scandinavia….what should we see?

by Dana on July 11, 2014

Happy Friday friends!
I hope your summer is going well!

And for some of you, summer means living among these fantastic views and buildings that make my heart smile.

Absolutely. Breathtaking.
I need to see that with my real eyes.

So….Casey and I are planning a trip to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark!  And I’d love your expert advice.  If you have any restaurants, destinations, touristy must-sees, or local hang-outs you recommend, please let me know in the comments!

We’re spending 2 days in each city:
• Oslo
• Stockholm
• Copenhagen

(photo source below here and here)


And I really, really want to see some fantastic Fjords in Norway.
Does anyone know the best spot?  the best route?  the best way to do that?

(photo source below)

Thanks for your help!
Have a fantastic weekend.

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erin July 11, 2014 at 4:27 pm

The Astrid Lindgren museum! The world of Pippi Longstocking was so fun!

http://www.alv.se/pages/startsida_2009.asp?Lang=eng&sida=Ettan&language=en

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2 Jackie July 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm

One of the ladies over at Pretty Prudent went to Norway (Oslo) a few weeks ago. She should have some great ideas for you.

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3 Julie July 11, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I have never been to Sweden. All this time reading your blog and I didn’t know that was an interest of yours. I am including a l ink to a quilt that I made my mom for Christmas one year. It is an interpretation of the Swedish flag in different blue and yellow prints. I also found dala horse fabric for the backing. Enjoy your trip!

http://thedomesticgroove.blogspot.com/2013/01/swedish-dala-horse-and-flag-quilt.html

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4 Megan W July 11, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Wow that’s a fast trip! We’re headed to Norway for the first time this summer too. The beautiful landscape of Lofoten is what’s drawing us there.

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5 Mette M July 11, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Hi Dana, I’m Danish and have been to Norway a few times. I LOVE the nature in Norway, its fantastic :-) I would prefer the city Stavanger over Oslo. Stavanger is a smaller and very nice city, close to the sea and Stavanger is close to Lysefjorden You can read more here: http://www.regionstavanger.com/en/
Also Sognefjorden (a bit more to the north) is absolutely fantastic and you can go for several trips along the fjord, lasting from a couple of hours to a day trip (at least when I was there, years ago). You can take a trip along Sognefjorden from the city Bergen, read more here:
http://www.visitbergen.com/en/WHAT-TO-DO/Fjord-tours–Round-trips/?TLp=179637&gclid=Cj0KEQjwlv6dBRDC7rGfrvidmJgBEiQAjd3hMOH15qFhJmXCisvWEog0zh0rVnekFJXV1EpUs61kkUUaAk5o8P8HAQ&Sognefjord-in-a-nutshell=

In Copenhagen you might want to visit Nyhavn (the last picture you show) and many also like to visit Tivoli (a very old Garden in the center of Copenhagen with restaurants, carousels, etc) http://www.tivoli.dk/en
And much more, which I can’t remember, since I live nearby and somehow never go there as a tourist… :-)
Br,
Mette

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6 Charlotte July 11, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Lucky you! We spent somesome of our honeymoon in Denmark and Norway and they are just the best countries. You can get an overnight ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo and the trip is so much fun, it’s like a mini cruise. DFDS Seaways are the company who run it. We also visited Bergen on the west coast of Norway and it is one of the prettiest cities ever, we much preferred it to Oslo and it seems to be the starting point for a lot of people who go on to explore the fjords. The seven hour train ride from Oslo to Bergen is *awesome*, was genuinely the highlight of the trip! Nice Lonely Planet piece on it here http://bit.ly/1mHpWfJ

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7 Ingvild S July 11, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Hi!
I live in Bergen, Norway. It’s the biggest city in the west of Norway. If you want to see the fjords this the best town to start from.
You can take the boat from Bergen and all the way to the end Sognefjorden.
I just came home from a week in beautiful Balestrand (3 h from Bergen) and I love the small town, you can se photos on my blogg and from Solvorn!

More info here: http://www.norwaynutshell.com/en/explore-the-fjords/

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8 Landen July 11, 2014 at 5:47 pm

So excited for you!!! My husband and I went on a trip to Norway in May and LOVED it! It was SO cool! We spent some time in Oslo and liked it quite a bit. We went and saw a fjord outside of Stavanger on the west coast (about a 45 min plane flight from Oslo) and it was AMAZING! http://www.visitnorway.com/us/where-to-go-us/fjord-norway/ryfylke/what-to-do-in-ryfylke/hiking-to-preikestolen-the-pulpit-rock-/
We got the Oslo pass while we were there (only for one day, which seemed like plenty to us), and went to see the Viking ship museum, the folk museum, the Kon Tiki Museum, the Framm Museum and the National Gallery where Edvard Munch’s The Scream is on display. That sounds like a ton, but I felt like we had plenty of time to see everything in one day. Food in Norway is CRAZY expensive, but we found a little place called Asian Express in the downtown plaza (with the fountains and stuff) with delicious crispy pork that we got two days in a row! Can’t wait to here about what you decide to do!

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9 christina July 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm

I’ve been to Stockholm twice and I would suggest the Modern Art Museum, Old Town and Circle Square.

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10 Sarah July 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm

My sister in law works at a not for profit volunteer run cafe in Copenhagen called Sweet Surrender. You should definitely stop by for a cuppa and stay for lunch! They do some great work for the community around them!

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11 Jen July 11, 2014 at 7:15 pm

I have family in Denmark and have been there a couple of times.
LaGlace is the oldest confectionary in Copenhagen – delish!
Stroget is a great walking mall in Copenhagen as well. Two of my other favorites are to see the Little Mermaid statue and Rosenberg castle – where the crown jewels are kept.
Amalienborg is the home of the Danish royal family and Tivoli Gardens – the inspiration for Disneyland are in Copenhagen too. Lastly, Frilandsmeet, an open air museum in Lyngby, near Copenhagen. It is pretty great place to see buildings re-setup in the style of the era (homes that are hundreds of years old, a windmill that is still used to mill flour, old farm houses, etc.) – and its free.
Enjoy your vaca!

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12 anna July 11, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Oh my gosh!!!! you are so so lucky!! dream vacation!!! I cannot wait to see all your pictures and hear all about it. Someday I’ll go!

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13 Muriah July 11, 2014 at 11:27 pm

I don’t know if there is anything you can do about it, but there have been some very annoying ads recently on your blog, that open a video you have to watch to get back to the blog. It’s frustrating.

Anyway, enjoy your trip!

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14 Darci July 12, 2014 at 12:07 am

Pretty sure Design Mom has a blog post on fjords. I think they went to celebrate a ‘fjordieth’ birthday

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15 Kate July 12, 2014 at 2:14 am

I am an Aussie living in Gothenburg Sweden. I love Oslo but would recommend the west coast if you want to see fjords. We did a trip four years ago to the west coast of Norway and went to the “preacher’s chair” rock. Amazing!
In Stockers I would recommend gamlestan for sure. If you end up in Gothenburg I have a whole bunch of things you should see. Like the free park that includes a zoo with real Swedish elk, Haga and the botanical gardens.

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16 Nadeen July 12, 2014 at 2:36 am

We’re headed to Oslo and Stockholm the 22-29 of this month, but we went to Copenhagen last July. Here are some of my notes on the city: http://4fourcorners.blogspot.it/2013/07/travel-copenhagen.html

No matter what you do, you’re sure to have fun!

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17 Katri July 12, 2014 at 2:55 am

Too bad you’re not going to Finland. You’re really missing out. :)

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18 Anne Rosa July 12, 2014 at 4:14 am

Dana, when are you arriving in Copenhagen? I’m a native Dane living in Copenhagen and I would love to show you around. Send me an email and we can talk more. If the dates don’t fit, I’ll send you lots of tips.

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19 julis July 12, 2014 at 4:54 am

I got to go on Copenhagen on a trip a few months ago…wonderful!
you have to see the mermaid and have a ride on the boat to get a general view..if you spare some time go to the amusement park :)
have fun!

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20 Jessica July 12, 2014 at 4:59 am

I would say come visit me — but that’s where this whole blog thing gets strange. I feel like I know you, as I’ve been a “follower” for years now, but you don’t know me at all! Anyhow, I’m a Canadian who’s been living in Denmark for the past 10 years now, the first couple of which were in Copenhagen. Now I’m about an hour and a half out of the city on the west coast of the island of Zealand — it’s a beautiful spot and you are welcome to visit! I mean it!
But back to Copenhagen — you’re not there so long, so I would definitely suggest a canal boat tour (kanalrundfart in Danish) to see the sights from the water (including the Little Mermaid, the Opera House, the library, parliament, the queen’s castle, etc.). Boats leave out of Nyhavn (New Harbour — the pic you have with all the colourful buildings along the water there) and I’ve tried the different operating companies now and there’s not a huge difference tour-wise, so I would actually just go with the cheaper company called Netto boats: http://www.havnerundfart.dk/ It’s a relaxed hour or so with a guide speaking three languages at least. And then for a bird’s eye view of the city, I would head to Rundetårn (the round tower): http://www.rundetaarn.dk/en/ It’s a nice view of the city and there aren’t any stairs until right up at the top, so you’re actually walking up a spiralling incline nearly the whole way (so the king could make a grand entrance by riding a horse out of the tower apparently).
I don’t know if you’re into museums, but I can second the recommendation for Frilandsmuseet, the open air and living history museum: http://natmus.dk/en/frilandsmuseet/frilandsmuseet/ I can also recommend Thorvaldsens Museum: http://www.thorvaldsensmuseum.dk/en It’s a beautiful museum, created specifically for Thorvaldsen’s sculptures. Thorvaldsen is the creator of the Christus statue, which the LDS church has copied many times over now. You can also see the “original” Christus along with all His disciples in Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady): http://www.koebenhavnsdomkirke.dk/ It’s a beautiful cathedral.
Right next door to Thorvaldsens Museum is Christianborg Slot/Castle, the place of parliament. You can take a guided tour of the castle, including the great hall, which house some remarkable tapestries of modern design (a present to the Queen in 2000).
Between Christiansborg and the Royal Library is a little green oasis, a lovely park where you can sit and eat your lunch, getting away from the throngs on Stroget (the main shopping street, which is just over the canal). I’ve enjoyed more than a few lunches there.
The National Museum (http://natmus.dk/en/nationalmuseet/nationalmuseet-prinsens-palae/) is also right close by and it naturally has some great exhibitions concerning Danish history and pre-history: aurochs bones and viking jewellry and Bronze Age relics, including the Chariot of the Sun. Right now, the museum has a special exhibit on wallpaper — Danish wallpaper designs from 1930-1965.
As mentioned, Stroget is the main drag, cobbled walkways full of people and shops. Here you find some big department stores, Illums and Magasin, and big name Danish designers like Georg Jensen and Mads Nørgaard, etc. As also mentioned, La Glace is a lovely bakery on Stroget — can be hard sometimes to get a seat though.

If you’re in the mood for something a little sweet, I can highly recommend Sømods bolcher, handmade candy: http://soemods-candies.dk/en/ They have a shop, but if you go a wee bit past the shop and into a courtyard, you’ll find their workshop, where you can see them making the candy, as well as buy some the old-fashioned way, with weights and such. Great ambience. They’re located close to Nørreport Station.

Also close to Nørreport is Torvehallerne, a market full of fresh produce and other wares: http://torvehallernekbh.dk/english Great place to find something to eat.

And now that I’m discussing food, well, there is something called the New Nordic Cuisine, of which Noma is the king: http://noma.dk/ Noma is expensive, booked up and exquisite. I had the finest meal of my life there — truly. But in the same vein, I can highly recommend Restaurant Radio: http://restaurantradio.dk/ and Dragsholm Slot/Castle (okay, this one is out in my neck of the woods): http://www.dragsholm-slot.dk/en. You can check out any of the Michelin-starred restaurants: http://www.visitcopenhagen.com/copenhagen/gastronomy/michelin-starred-restaurants
And I really could go on and on here….Have fun!

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21 Luisa July 12, 2014 at 7:22 am

If you get the chance – pass a lake in the middle of Sweden. Its so lovely. calm. clear water and pretty little houses. I went to a lake in the area around Jönköping.
Enjoy the trip. Its very pretty in Scandinavia

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22 Sabine July 12, 2014 at 8:43 am

Hei Dana,

If you’ll be in Oslo for only two days, it’s going to be difficult to get to the fjords, as most of them (including the ‘famous’ ones) are along the west coast, which makes Bergen, the country’s second city, a more logical ‘base camp’ for fjord trips. Norway is a very mountainous country, so travel by land doesn’t go fast…
The best option, I think, with Oslo as a base, is to take the ‘Norway in a nutshell’ package, which includes a train trip towards Bergen, where you’ll pass a high plateau, glaciers included, add a short ‘side trip’ by a special train (every carriage has four sets of brakes) towards a fjord, which takes you in under an hour from the high plateau to a fjord at sealevel, and a boat trip. You can pick and choose between a few options to add to your trip. The ‘full option’ trip already takes three days, so you’d have to be picky. And you won’t see much of Oslo.

Oslo itself is actually located at the ‘top edge’ of a fjord, aptly named the Oslo fjord, but within city boundaries, it is ‘built in’. You can take an easy stroll along the waterline at Akerbrygga, though, there are also boat trips that you can take across the Oslofjord and which start from Akerbrygga. At the eastern side of the fjord is an old castle, if you climb its slopes, you have a nice view across the fjord.
The Oslofjord itself, however, is not the most characteristic of fjords and does not boast such a beautiful mountainous backdrop as the one featured in your picture above :-)

Other interesting sights in Oslo are the viking ship museum, the ‘heritage museum’ and the KonTiki museum, all three located on the city’s ‘museum island’; the Munch museum (Edvard Munch is one the country’s most famous painters, especially known for his painting(s) ‘The Scream’); Vigeland Park, which holds hundreds of beautiful sculptures of the human body, all made by Vigeland, and the Holmenkollen ski-jump. Those are all the ‘classic’ tourist spots, but they are quit worthwhile.
The town’s main street, Karl Johans Gate, runs from the train station in the east all up to the royal palace in the west, and boasts a remarkably ‘southern’, lively atmosphere, with lots of street animation, especially if the sun is out (and remember that Norway is the land of the midnight sun, so in summer, there’s LOTS of daylight :-) ) What always strikes me as rather special and sort of insightful in the country’s character, is that you can walk up right to the royal palace and even ‘touch its walls’, there are no gates or anything.

More info on the Norway in a nutshell tours can be found here: http://www.norwaynutshell.com/en/explore-the-fjords/norway-in-a-nutshell/
All the other names I mentioned can be easily found on a google search.

One last word of ‘warning’, though: Norway is VERY expensive… So come prepared :-)

Have fun!

(If you’d like some more info, don’t hesitate to drop me a line. I’ll be off to sweden myself next week, but should have internet access along the road (I hope!))

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23 Sara July 12, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Hi Dana,
What a exciting trip! Stockholm is very walker friendly, stroll around Gamla Stan and see the changing of the guards at 1215 at the Royal Palace. Stop for “Fika” and enjoy one of the cute courtyards. Explore the modern city and be sure to take a boat ride around the harbor. My favorite parts of Sweden are the countryside, but you can get a glimpse by taking a boat to the Arcapellago, which will show some of the thousands of tiny islands that make up Stockholm. Oh and you absolutely must see The Vasa! Enjoy!

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24 Holly A July 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm

So fun! My husband is norwegian and we spend about a month in and around Oslo every summer. We have two kids, so if you ever go with kids, take them to the Folk Museum next to the Viking Ship museum. There is also a great playground at Vigeland’s Parken, where the famous statues are (it is worth seeing for adults, too).

Norway in a Nutshell tours are worth checking out if you want to fit a fjord tour in to a 2 day visit there. And in Oslo, one of the best things to do is just walk around by the waterfront, up to Karl Johan’s Gate, then up that street (they call it the Parade Street) to the palace, which also has a lovely park around it.

See if you can check out a store that carries bunads in Norway. They are the traditional women’s dress, which people actually wear at least once or twice a year. They are made to grow with you – sometimes you get it at 14, and just let it out as you grow older, keeping the same one your whole life. The fabrics and embroidery on them are amazing.

Looking forward to seeing your pics from there.

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25 Siri July 12, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Some good tips for Oslo already (and yes, if you’re here for two days, you won’t see much of the fjords), but lunch at the Opera (at the café called Sanguine) is usually good with modern Norwegian food and if the weather is nice you can sit outside and enjoy the views of the Oslo fjord at least. It’s also not horrendously expensive in Norwegian terms…

Ekebergrestauranten is a fantastic place to have a coffee (anything else is vety expensive) with views of the city. The National Gallery is worth a quick visit, just do the highlights and don’t try to see everything. I’d say skip Holmenkollen, but that might just be me. It’s a bit of a trek and the view from Ekebergrestauranten is just as good.

A walk around Akershus fortress in the afternoon/early evening if the weather is nice. The botanical gardens as well, if you’re in the Munch museum area (bring a picnic). And the Museum of decorative arts and design is worth a visit if you’ve got the time!

Quite a few galleries and parks are free, but you can also get “the Oslo pass” which includes public transport travel. If you’re gping to travel on public transport without the pass, check this site for info on tickets: https://ruter.no/en/tickets/oslo_and_akershus/ (travelcard with pay-as-you-go is often a good option)

This site is good for finding out more:
http://www.visitoslo.com/en/activities-and-attractions/10-suggestions/top-attractions/

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26 Siri July 12, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Oh, and in Stockholm, strolling around Gamla Stan is a must, and I recommend the museum Livrustkammaren.

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27 HeatherM July 12, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Check out Traveling Mama’s blog: http://travelingmama.net/

Her family has been living there for a while. She’s a great resource for Denmark.

Have fun! Cannot wait to see the pictures!!

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28 Catriona Stevenson July 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm

What a fun trip! In Copenhagen I can highly recommend the astronomy tower which has great views over the city, and a really good way to see the city is by taking a canal tour. Have a fantastic time!

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29 Holly A July 12, 2014 at 7:52 pm

ok, one more. Consider a lovely evening stroll in the long twilight – it takes the sun several hours to go down this time of year, and the light is fantastic. There’s a road called Telthusbakken which has incredibly charming little houses along it, with gardens on one side. Wonderful places to take pictures.

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30 Dee July 12, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I read this wonderful blog and the author went on her honeymoon to Norway and Sweden. A great read. Now I want to go!

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31 Dee July 12, 2014 at 8:37 pm
32 meghan July 12, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Hit up an Ikea. I hear it is awesome. ;o)

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33 Henna-Maria July 13, 2014 at 1:58 am

Hi!
I’m with Katri (16): why aren’t you going to Finland!? :)

In Stockholm Gamla Stan (Old city) is really beautiful. You could actually take an overnight ferry to Helsinki, Finland, for a day from Stockholm (Viking Line, Silja Line etc.) Helsinki is such a amazing summer city. It’s small enough to walk and visit beautiful places in the inner city and there is a good tram too if you get tired. We love going there with kids, it’s so green and interesting.

Whatever you do, you will get to enjoy light summer nights and beautiful scenery. I love Northern Europe!

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34 Martina July 13, 2014 at 2:42 am

An absolutely great place to see a Fjord from above is the Preikestolen. And when you are in Norway, don’t miss to see Bergen.

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35 Chrissy July 13, 2014 at 2:43 am

I think most of it has been covered but I just spent 2.5 years living in Ålesund, a small city on the western coast of Norway, and I thought I would way in. If you can, I would skip Oslo and go to Bergen, like a few other people have said. Oslo is okay, but Stockholm and Copenhagen are way better. (I’m sure I’m going to get a lot of flack for that statement, but in my opinion and most of my friends who have seen all think the same thing.) Although Ålesund is the kicking off place for the BEST fjords :), I would recommend Bergen. It was our favorite Norwegian city, outside of Ålesund (which is pretty impressive as one of 5 European Art Noveau cities, but if you only have to choose one Norwegian city, I’d go for Bergen.) And that’s where you’ll see the fjords. Oslo likes to think its on a fjord, but it’s not even close if you’ve seen the western fjords. :)

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36 Reine July 13, 2014 at 6:16 am

In Oslo, go to the Vigeland Park. Wonderfully beautiful statues that represent all stages of life. Very touching.

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37 deeanna July 13, 2014 at 10:08 am

My nephew is on a mission for the LDS church in Norway right now and he adores it. (if you see an Elder Newey, tell him hi!) He was in Bergen for a few months and loved it, his pictures were gorgeous. Have a glorious time, I’ll visit vicariously through your pictures!

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38 Madoka July 13, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Hello, Dana!
I wonder why none of the people who have written here haven’t mentioned the well-known out-door museum Skansen in Sweden.
http://www.skansen.se/en/kategori/english
It’s not far from Stockholm, and I’m sure it is one of the best places for family tourists to visit.

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39 Kristen July 14, 2014 at 2:27 am

I spent 2 months traveling through Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, Italy mostly, and two weeks in Denmark) and LOVED the days I spent in Copenhagen. It is insanely expensive, but fun to wander the Stroget (the pedestrian mall), shop in Magasin- the Dane’s answer to Harrod’s, eat little red hot dogs (polser) from street carts, eat old timey open faced sandwiches called smorrebrod, and wander the streets and waterways merrily. Also, real Danish pastries should factor heavily into your trip! I know its a chain, but my Mom and I loved the snegel from lagkagehuset (there is one on the stroget). Have a wonderful trip!

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40 ornella July 14, 2014 at 4:09 am

Hi Dana,
I’ve visited Copenaghen last year. It’s a perfect city for the kids, you can find many public area to play open air, public trasport suitable also for children with stroller, lots of entertainment for them like Tivoli park.
I love Norrebro district, with its Assistens Cemetery, Superkilen (http://www.superflex.net/tools/superkilen) and more nice shop, like Stof2000, a big fabric and pattern shop!!!
I can recomend a good online guide about the city written by an Italian girl (she lives in Copenaghen) -> http://chasinghygge.wordpress.com/category/miniguide-di-copenaghen/
good trip and enjoy!

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41 Kristen July 14, 2014 at 4:45 am

I’m not usually a blog commenter, but I love traveling to this area! I don’t know what your time constraints are, but when we went a few times ago we flew Iceland Air and they allowed up to have a “layover” of up to 7 days for no extra charge, so we were able to go there as well.

I read some people have mentioned the Norway in a nutshell, we did it and it was great. Good way to see lots of the area in a short time. We ended in Bergen and highly recommend it just like everyone else.

In Stockholm you could spend hours just wandering Gamla Stan. While in that area we had some mango ice cream at a cute shop called Muren that I still have dreams about. It’s also worth dropping in some of the subway stations, they are very unique. We also had lunch at the Cafe af Chapman. It’s on an old boat on the water, it’s just a really fun place to eat. We did a boat tour that was really interesting and a great way to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time.

I’m sure you’ll want to see the Christus in Copenhagen. We hit up just the normal touristy spots, and it was wonderful!

Can’t wait to see pictures when you come back!

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42 Anna July 14, 2014 at 5:48 am

Hej!

I’m from Holland but love Scandinavia very much! I visit Norway, Sweden en Denmark at least 2 times a year over the past 8 years.
When you are in Stockholm I would recommend Hermans to have a dinner. Great vegetarian buffet with a very nice view over the city. And visit Skansen and the Vasa museet. Both very nice!
Göteborg in Sweden is also very nice. A small cosy town with some nice shops! I think you would love the store called ‘Lagerhaus’ you can find them in a lot of (bigger) cities in Sweden.
My favorite destination in Norway are the Lofoten. Wow, what a great nature!! Nice cities in Norway are Stavanger and Trondheim.
Copenhagen in Denmark is great. Also Billund where you can find Legoland.
In general I think that Sweden and Denmark have the nicest cities and Norway the most beautiful nature.
To ‘prepare’ your holiday I would suggest to watch the series ‘The Bridge’ and ‘The Killing’ and ‘Borgen’. And of course Pippi Långstrump!

Have a wonderful and an amazing holiday in Scandinavia!

Anna

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43 Stephanie July 14, 2014 at 5:29 pm

We lived in Stockholm for 4 years.
Definitely visit the Vasa Museum (www.vasamuseet.se/en), a war ship that sunk on it’s maiden voyage in 1628 and brought to the surface in 1961. It’s very near the Astrid Lindgren Museum.

the children (and children at heart) should enjoy the swedish pancakes (not a breakfast food). In Scandinavia museum cafes are quite good and are not as expensive as their North American counterparts.

Enjoy!
Stephanie

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44 Ellen July 15, 2014 at 8:47 am

If you’re only in Stockholm for two days I would say walk through Gamla Stan (Old Town).
Eat ice cream while in Gamla Stan – the small shops there make amazing ice cream!

If you’ll visit in the summer (or early autumn) I would also recommend taking a boat tour in the archipelago – Stockholm’s archipelago is to me the most beautiful place on earth.
A visit to Sandhamn (by boat) is also worth the time, but only during june-august. (http://www.destinationsandhamn.se/en – the site is kind of boring, but google Sandhamn to see what’s like)

When it comes to museums my favorites are the museum of natural history (Naturhistoriska – http://www.nrm.se/english/themuseum.53_en.html) or Nordiska muséet (which focus entirely on Swedish history and culture – http://www.nordiskamuseet.se/en). Or the amazing Hallwylska palatset (The Palace of the Hallwyl family – http://hallwylskamuseet.se/en) which has become another favorite for me.

Oh, one more thing. If you want to do some shopping, I would recommend walking on Söder (just south of Gamla stan if you look at a map). Closer to Gamla stan there’s a lot of more expensive shops but there are also tons of beautiful second hand shops.

Or if you want to see Stockholm from above – http://www.kaknastornet.se/eng/

Have a nice trip!

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45 Emilie July 15, 2014 at 12:30 pm

How wonderful that you want to visit the north! We’ve actually been having some warmth this summer in Sweden and I live just 1 hour from Stockholm and I go there a lot!
It’s rather windy just so you know! (;
As other above I highly recommend going to “gamla stan”, it’s the eldest parts of town just a 15-20 minutes stroll from the central station. There’s a lot of tourists there and rather prizey in the stores but there are a lot to look at! They have ghost walks you can go on that has a guide showing you around the old town. There’s a lot of churches everywhere if you like them! The castle is located in between city and old town and you won’t miss it!

In a part of the city you have a great fabric store called Sundbybergs Textilcentrum and it is located at Järnvägsgatan in Sundbyberg, they’re only open mon-fri and some hours during saturdays and it takes a walk to get there but it’s really nice, not like the ones in the states but nice.
In the middle of Stockholm you have a main street called Drottninggatan which is really long and goes from Odenplan to Gamla stan, it has shops after shops of all kinds of nature.

There’s a lot of museums and the Astrid Lindgren museum Junibacken is located on Djurgården as well as a big park called Skansen. Skansen is a nature museum with old buildings that they’ve collected from around the country. There is a lot of animals, both the wild type and more pet like animals like kittens and guinea pigs. they have people walking around in historical costumes (some are original clothing) and they have a lot of markets on some weekends.

There’s a lot of things to see and most museums etc has great websites so I recommend that you plan your visit ahead so that you can see how much time you have to see everything!

Some stores I like to visit when I’m there is:
Old Touch – Upplandsgatan 43 113 28 Stockholm (a vintage/antiques store that is rather cheap)
Ohlssons tyger (a fabric store located around the city, the biggest one is located near Hötorget in city)
Panduro (a crafts and arts store that has a lot of fun things, sadly rather expensive if you compare to us prices but they have a lot of sales during the summer)
Buttericks (located at Drottninggatan, if you go there you won’t miss it! It’s a costume store with 2 levels and on the lower level they have all the fun stuff!!)

Here is some links to some fun!
http://www.junibacken.se/lang/english
http://www.visitstockholm.com/en/
http://www.skansen.se/en/kategori/english

Enjoy your stay in the “cold” and I look forward to see photos!

(Ps. Norway is awsome too but a bit more expensive to tourist in that Sweden and the Us dollar is rather low now so you might be a bit shocked by the prizes )’: )

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46 Jess July 15, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Stockholm, so beautiful. I loved everything about it. A few things really stood out for me: a boat tour (Stockholm has many islands, cliffs and some of the best views of the city are from the water), the Rathaus where the Nobel Prizes are presented (lovely gardens as well), and a neat little cafe that hugged a cliff, but the name of which escapes me now. Another thing that was so wonderful is how easy the city was to navigate. I grew up in a Scandinavian area in the US and so it probably felt more familiar to me than most, but it is a lovely city with wonderful, kind people. Expect people might be more reserved with you simply because you are new, but also I imagine for the most part you’ll find politeness and kindness

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47 Hlin July 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm

You will love the nature of Norway, the design in Sweden and the people in Denmark :)
Next stop Iceland?

In Denmark you should visit the Tivoli Garden (Bakken), Legoland (Lego is from Demnark) and The H.C Andersen museum. The country is also very “flat” so bike rides are fun and easy way to see the countryside.
In Sweden you should se Astrid Lindgren’s world (and shop fabric and children clothes)
In Norway I have only been in Bergen at a relatives house, and at their country house close by. But the mountains, and stunning nature is something you will enjoy :)

I also think you’ll love Scandinavian childrens clothes. Look for Polarn O. Pyret, Smafolk, Katvik, Duns, Maxomorra, Mini Rodini, Urban Elk, Ej sikke lej, Molo, Sture&Lisa and Muru.

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48 Jennifer July 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Hi there,

Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen is currently rated #1 in the world. Check out this link:
http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50-winners/noma

If I was heading over there, I’d check it out for sure – although it is probably expensive.

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49 Elizaveta July 16, 2014 at 7:40 am

Hi, Dana!
If you are planning to go to Scandinavia, you really need to go to Russia, Saint-Petersburg for 2 days by the visa free ferry from Stocholm or Helsinki. Here is the link to the Web-site where you check on the prices and shedule http://www.stpeterline.com/en/OnBoard/News.aspx I advise you to go because I live in this city and it’s really beutiful. I also have a nice flat in the historical city centre near the State Hermitage Museum which is absolutely great and must see. So, if you are interseted, I’m ready to accommodate your lovely family for these two days. My e-mail: elizaveta.v.fomina@gmail.com
Anyway have a nice time in Scandinavia! Best wishes from Russia!

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50 Katrijn July 16, 2014 at 9:43 am

I can strongly recommend Hotel Rival in Stockholm. We had a fantastic stay there last June, we liked everything about it.

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51 Kristen July 17, 2014 at 12:22 am

Vigeland park in Oslo is by far my favorite part of Oslo. So beautiful. My mom sews Norwegian bunads here in the US. You can find them in the Husflids.The embroidery is amazing. Also, find the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen.

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52 Erica July 18, 2014 at 12:42 pm

I love Copenhagen! Don’t miss the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek! It is a beautiful museum with stunning rooms full of sculpture and art radiating out from a plant- filled conservatory at the center. Go see the Crown Jewels at Rosenberg castle. Stroll down the Stroget for fun shopping. Then dine on Nyhavn (or “Blankets and Beer street” as I call it.) So many restaurants with outside seating next to the canal. Blankets if you get cold. So fun. If you have extra time and love modern art, take the train north to the Louisiana Museum. Enjoy!

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53 Kathryn July 18, 2014 at 4:36 pm

I just got back from those very 3 countries a few days ago!! I went on a fantastic Scandinavian trip with my fam, and you will have a blast! We did the Norway in a Nutshell fjord tour (via Flåm w/boat + bus + train) and it was breathtaking. I highly recommend it.

Have so much fun! :)

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54 Anna July 19, 2014 at 8:55 am

hi Dana,

Three quick tips;
1. Oslo – a wonder around town and a visit to the Viking museum. I would try to go somewhere else on one of the days, especially if you get an opportunity to see the fjords.
2. Stockholm – Gamla Stan (Old Town) for the quaintness and architecture and a boat trip out to the Archipelago which showcases some of the natural beauty of Scandinavia.
3. Copenhagen, a visit to Tivoli (not the same as Bakken as someone mentioned) which is at the top of the shopping street Stroget. From there walk all the way down Stroget until you get to Nyhavn, Beautiful! The biggest thing to do is to eat, drink and soak up the atmosphere. The food is beautiful (their crumbed fish with potatoes and remulade, a cold beer and a schnaps is a MUST!), the danishes, the ice creams with cream and jam on top, the toasted almonds, the hot dogs with the strong mustard, spicy tomato sauce and roasted onion.. The list is too long..!! Not to mention the gourmet options such as Noma.

Have a great time!!

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55 Bente July 21, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Hi Dana,

I live in Oslo, Norway and would love to help you with any question you might have! Email me if there’s anything I can do :) Welcome to Norway and Scandinavia!

Bente

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56 Charlotte/VisitOSLO July 22, 2014 at 3:24 am

Hi!
I see you have already gotten a lot of tips about Oslo :)
I also saw that Pretty Prudent was mentioned here and I was working with Jaime while she was in Oslo.
Feel free to send me an e-mail about when you plan to be in Oslo and I might have even more tips for you :)
Best regards

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57 Erna July 24, 2014 at 3:19 am

If you are flying through Iceland, as many flights from US have a layover there, you definitely need to extend that layover. I am from Iceland and every time I go home (I´m an expat in Asia) I am reminded of the amazing beauty of the raw and vibrant land I come from. Just the drive from the airport to the city is magic, pure magic. And you can stop at the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal bath with natural silica mud. After the long flight it is so nice to stop there for a massage as they float you in the lagoon on a yoga mat so it’s really like you’re floating on a cloud. From the city, Reykjavik, it’s a short drive to see some amazing natural and historical wonders like Þingvellir where the oldest parliament is and the euro and American tectonic plates meet, Gullfoss (Gold Waterfall) and Geysir (a huge hot spring that all other big hot springs draw their noun geysir from). Reykjavik has a lot to offer too, a stroll around the city central is always fun, some great museums of our ancestral history, olden times museum where everyone wears traditional costumes, great restaurants, hot dogs called Pylsa (Bill Clinton and the guys from Metallica are regulars at Bæjarins Bestu), the cute harbor, pop up markets all year round the petting zoo with seals and horse back riding, swimming pools everywhere and so much more.

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58 Marianne August 10, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Hi, I have been following your blog a course og hear sand really love it! So Nice to hear you are visiting Norway,denmark and Sweden..I happen to be a norwegian, and lining in one the most spektakular states in Norway:) Close to the Geiranger fjord, Trollstigen and AAlesund..If you are not going this far north, I would really recommend a trip to Bergen City,Stavanger is also a beatiful city,,,Please Check out :

http://www.visitalesund-geiranger.com
http://www.visitnorway.com/no

Best regards, hope you have a great trip:)

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59 Stacy September 16, 2014 at 11:19 pm

I have not been to Norway, but I have been to Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. I recommend eating at Operakallaren while in Stockholme. The Swedish meatballs were heavenly, and considering that food is outrageously expensive everywhere in Scandinavia, I thought that the meal was reasonably priced. I second the Vasa Museum, it is a must-see. In Copenhagen, I mostly ate Danishes (yes, for breakfast , lunch and dinner). I wanted to try all of the different bakeries, and my favorite Danishes came from Andersen which is located just outside the gates of Tivoli Gardens (it is a Japanese bakery, but their Danishes were better than the Danish Danishes I had). I also really enjoyed the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum while in Copenhagen. The building is stunning and even my young children enjoyed the many, and varied works of art. If you go, don’t forget to go downstairs to see the Egyptian antiquities.

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60 Stacy September 16, 2014 at 11:27 pm

Update: we ate at Operakallarens bakficka. I think Operalallarens is an upscale restaurant, whereas the bakficka was reasonable, and is similar to a bar (although it is family friendly, we ate there with our children and they loved sitting on the tall stools).

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