Scandinavia is not a cheap option but a visit is always very worthwhile.
There are so many Scandinavian cities waiting to be discovered that it would be impossible to do them justice in one blog. The capital cities alone – Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki – are plenty to take on in one holiday, and there is so much more to see besides. Cities Direct offer a multi-centre break to Oslo, Bergen & Copenhagen including the Norway in a Nutshell tour and this holiday is probably a very good introduction to some of the splendours that Scandinavia has to offer.
A good starting point on any visit to Oslo is the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History which is one of the world’s oldest and largest open-air museums. Exhibits here include traditional houses from all parts of Norway and a stave church from the year 1200. For anyone interested in skiing, the Ski Museum at the Holmenkollen Ski Jump presents the history of skiing over the past 4,000 years, as well as the expeditions of Norwegian polar explorers Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen. Before leaving Oslo, it is well worth fitting in a visit to the Viking Ship Museum. Two of the highlights displayed here are the world’s two best-preserved wooden Viking ships built in the 9th century,
A journey through spectacular mountain scenery will take you from Oslo to the charming city of Bergen, on Norway’s west coast. Bergen is known as “The Gateway to the Norwegian Fjords” and is a well- established cruise port. Take time to wander around the old wooden houses of Bryggen, formerly the wharf of Bergen, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The old Hanseatic wharf is a reminder of the town’s importance as part of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire from the 14th to the mid-16th century. There are several small local museums which aim to give visitors an insight into Bergen’s history.
Whilst in Bergen you can take the incredible Norway in a Nutshell® day tour – a full day out by rail, fjord steamer and bus to marvel at some of the most stunning scenery in Norway. Starting from Bergen you first set out on a scenic train journey to Voss on the Bergen Railway. From Voss you travel by bus through charming villages and wonderful scenery towards the village of Gudvangen. You then continue the tour by taking a fjord cruise on the on the narrow Nærøyfjord and the magnificent Aurlandsfjord. Next follows a train journey from the small village of Flåm, nestled in the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord, to Myrdal, where you change trains to the Bergen Railway for the journey back to Bergen. I have been lucky enough to ride on the Flåm Railway, and cannot recommend it highly enough.
A stay in the Danish capital, Copenhagen, reached by a short flight directly from Bergen, provides an ideal contrast to the spectacular scenery of the previous few days. The city dates back to the 11th century and is full of historic landmarks, interesting sights and museums. Christiansborg Palace, located on the tiny island of Slotsholmen, contains the Danish Parliament Folketinget, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of State. A visit to the Amalienborg Palace is a must for anyone with a taste for royal history and the life of Denmark’s royal family who still reside inside the palace.
The area of Nyhavn, former home of the fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Anderson, was originally a busy commercial port.. Today the beautiful colourful old houses have been renovated and classy restaurants and quayside cafés dominate the old port.
These are just a few of the possibilities to be considered when planning a visit to Scandinavia. What a feast of experiences this captivating part of our continent has to offer!