The Ultimate Guide to Planning your Scandinavian Adventure

The Nordic countries; Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark can be viewed as the icy crown jewels of Europe. Scandinavia offers breath-taking views, offbeat adventures and the best seat in the house to witness the awe-inspiring northern lights. Whether you’re a solo wanderer, an adventure-hungry group, a passionate couple or a quirky family, Scandinavia has something in-store for everyone.

If you’re planning to head off on a magical Scandinavian adventure, here are the main factors you need to consider

Read till the end for our list of must-do activities and must-visit attractions in each of the Scandinavian countries.Fjords in Norway

Planning – Taking the Road Less Travelled

The first and foremost secret to the perfect trip is to acknowledge what exactly lured you towards visiting Scandinavia in the first place. The trick is to prioritize cities or countries on the basis of activities and experiences that you are interested in. A popular approach for Scandinavian excursions is to focus solely on the mountain ranges and the arctic circle where you can travel north across Finland, Sweden and Norway by public or private transportation. Whether it is absorbing scenic views, experience Nordic cultures or even perhaps just tracking the northern lights, the clearer you are about your preference, the easier it is to pick the countries and cities that you want to visit.

Fjords in Norway

Stay – What is a Boatel anyways?

Nordic lands offer a quirky variety when it comes to hotels, inns, hostels and our personal favourite, boatels! The history and heritage of Europe are truly enchanting, and while you can always stay in well-known conventional hotels, it is the hundred-year-old inns and bed & breakfasts that steal our hearts. Stockholm, Sweden, offers quirky boat-hotels that provide a one-of-a-kind experience. Bergen, Norway has cozy wooden inns that seem like they’re right out of a fairy tale and Reykjavik, Iceland features old biscuit factories converted into hostels, combining the history of the establishment with hip bars and activity rooms.

Ice Hotel Sweden

Attractions – Fascinating experiences at the edge of the world

The Saunas in Finland, the Silfra snorkelling range in Iceland, the ice-hotel in Sweden, the Fjord mountain trips in Norway and LEGOLAND in Denmark, might be some of the most widely known attractions in Scandinavia. These popular trips and tours tend to get booked very quickly, even during Scandinavia’s freezing winters. It would be wise to book the tours that you absolutely cannot miss in advance. You’re traveling to the edge of the earth; it’d be a shame to miss out on these fascinating experiences.

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Transportation – Planes, Trains and Automobiles

When traveling through different Nordic countries, you’re bound to get on board a few different means of transportation, especially if you plan to include the Arctic Circle in your itinerary. If you’re short on time, choose to fly to the cities you want to visit. For stunningly scenic views, take inter-country trains that run across most parts of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Remote towns can be easily reached via local coaches and private vans. Another exciting option would be to rent out a car and drive through scenic Nordic country roads and hills. Most rentals simply require for you to have a valid driver’s license in your country.Traveling in Sweden

 Expenses – Spend Less, Experience More.

Scandinavia is known to be on the expensive end, however by budgeting your major expenses like transportation, stay and airfares, you can prance around Scandinavia like a Danish King or Queen. Ditch expensive restaurants and eat like a local at the weekly markets, save up on public transportation with city-specific transportation cards that may give you discounts or even unlimited traveling privileges within the city.

Swedish Market

Weather – Ice Ice Baby

Nordic countries are known for their ever-changing weather conditions and whether you’re visiting during summer or winter, wearing layers is your best bet. The average weather in the capitals of each of these countries ranges from 15°C – 20°C. The northern parts of these countries can, however, get extremely frosty, especially during winters. Invest in warm thermals, replace your traveling fancy shoes with sturdy boots that’ll help keep your feet toasty and a cozy scarf is always a safe bet for a Scandinavian traveller.

winter jacket in Scandinavia

Hunting down the Northern Lights – Seeing is Believing

Witnessing the Northern Lights is likely on every traveler’s bucket list. The magnificence of Aurora Borealis can be experienced from most of the northern parts of Finland, Sweden and Norway, while the entire country of Iceland falls under the Aurora activity belt. The lights can be seen most clearly during dark winter nights, away from the light pollution of cities. While most travelers do opt for tours that take them further away from the city lights, it is also entirely possible to go on a hunt on your own if you visit remote cities like Abisko and Kiruna in the north of Sweden where you can walk for a couple of kilometers on the lookout for a clear spot.

Northern Lights

Must do activities and attractions in Scandinavia

Iceland: Take a relaxing dip in Blue Lagoon, snorkel in the Silfra fissure, rent out a car and visit the Golden Circle, or embark on an organized glacier walks through crystal like caves.

Denmark: Take in the beauty of the little mermaid statue, stroll around Tivoli Gardens, walk through an architectural rainbow at Rainbow Panorama, visit different castles on day tours, and bring out your inner child at Legoland.

Norway: Explore unseen parts of Oslo on a ferry, go for a drive on the Atlantic road, walk around 2,300 feet above the ground on The Troll’s Tongue, witness natural beauty at it’s finest at the Fjords, enjoy the northern lights at the northern edge at Tromso, go for walking and trekking excursions and visit historic cathedrals.

Sweden: Walk around Gamla Stan, marvel over the artsy metro stations in Stockholm, breathe in the culture at Old Town, relish the irony at the Museum of Failure, have a drink at the Ice Hotel, relax and enjoy a Fika, get nostalgic at the Abba Museum, satisfy your sweet tooth with a blueberry soup and go for a music session or festival

Finland: Sweat it out in one of the many available traditional saunas, celebrate Christmas year long at the Santa Claus Village, sleep in a glass igloo, visit the alien church Kamppi Chapel and explore any of the seven Finnish UNESCO sites.

Dreaming of a Scandinavian adventure? Call us at 022-24919595 or e-mail us at info@destinationsunplugged.com & we’ll be happy to answer any questions and help you plan the adventure of a lifetime.

Written By Divya Bagaria

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