Where and how would you spend 4 weeks in Denmark, Sweden and Norway?

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My wife and I plan to spend four weeks in Scandinavia. We will fly into Copenhagen around mid May, and then fly back from Oslo mid June. We don't have any fixed plan in between.

The general idea is to spend some days in Denmark, then take a train to Stockholm, after that work our way northwards for a bit, before crossing west into Norway. Once on the coast somewhere, hopefully we can catch a ferry to Bergen, and then eventually work our way to Oslo. I want to keep things fairly flexible, staying longer or shorter at a place depending on how we feel. Good photography opportunities (scenic, cultural, historical) are important for me. I will be taking with me two E-M1 with Oly12-40Pro and Oly40-150Pro, plus a small and light tripod. I am considering data backup options that are light and portable. I might also take along a Pana42.5 and an Oly75mm.

I would really appreciate forum members who know or have traveled some part or all of these three countries to share ideas with me.
 

pdk42

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Interested to hear any replies here since I'm thinking of a trip to Scandinavia myself this summer. Being from the UK, I have the option of a long car journey via ferry to Hamburg and then northwards - or I could just fly and rent a car. I think fly/rental car is probably the best option.

Regarding gear - not sure I'd want to have 12mm as my widest option. For sure, I'd be taking my 8-18 and 8mm FE :)
 

pake

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Skip those 3 countries and travel to Finland instead. :laugh1: Just kidding. Stockholm is definitely worth visiting - especially Gamla stan. Unfortunately I haven't seen that much our neighboring countries (only brief stops to Copenhagen, Stockholm and northern Norway) so I don't think I can give good advice.
 

Adam CL

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I don't know much about Denmark, but I guess that the coastlines are the most rewarding. There are some quite big wind turbine parks at sea that might be fun to shoot, and then of course you have the Öresund bridge to Sweden (Öresundsförbindelsen – Wikipedia). In Norway you of course have Oslo with a mix of modern and old architecture. The opera is a must see. Up north you have have Bergen as you mentioned, but I also recommend Lofoten. It's far but might be worth it, just see this video and you'll be intrigued:

Sweden I do know however. We have some very different sceneries. In the south there is a lot of agriculture and open fields, and Malmö is one of the older towns in the area. In there you'll find some old and interesting buildings, for example Malmö – Wikipedia.

To the west you have the area surrounding Gothenburg. It's a city by the coast with a lot of fishing history, and if you go to the northern archipelago you'll find some nice old fishing villages (Hönö, Öckerö for example). A bit more to the north is Bohuslän, where there are some scenic vertical mountains. Not very high in comparison with Yosemite, but still quite impressive (Bohuslän är lika med klättring i världsklass).

On the eastern side you have more coast, and also the island Gotland. Gotland have an old city, Visby, with a lot of old buildings and landmarks. Northern Gotland is also nice.

Stockholm is nice but not very scenic, except for it being located on different islands with a lot of bridges. I live in Stockholm myself so maybe I just don't see the beauty :) From Stockholm you can take boat out in the archipelago, and boy what an archipelago it is. It's quite unique and there are a lot of old buildings and military bases to see. For boats, search for Waxholmsbolaget. There's so much to do in the archipelago that I couldn't fit it here, but Vaxholm with Kastellet is beautiful (http://www.kastellet.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Kastellet-i-Vaxholm-Stockholm.jpg). I can also recommend Utö and Sandhamn. It's quite crowded in the summer but in may I think you'll have a good time.

We're not even halfway through Sweden. The northern part of Sweden is huge and the distances feel even longer. If you rent a car, bear in mind that it's a 15 hour drive to go from Stockholm to the northern border. You can fly or take a night train from Stockholm. For trains, see www.sj.se. I recommend the area around Östersund (Åre, Duved, Järpen) and Kiruna. Östersund is located in the south of the truly northern part. Åre is Sweden's largest ski resort with downhill mountainbiking in summer. Kiruna is mining territory, and the city is being moved because of the mines. It's quite remarkable, here's a picture: http://ripan.se/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Camp_Ripan_Activity_Summer_Guided_city_tour_Kiruna_1_WEBB-1200x786.jpg

Anywhere you go in Sweden you'll have a chance of seeing moose, especially if you get out of the cities. You're travelling in the wrong season to see northern light, but the more north you go the more chance you'll have to see it. It's also worth noting that if you go north in may to Kiruna or Lofoten, it's cold. Don't expect temperatures above 15°C daytime and you can expect temperatures below freezing some nights. Also, starting sometime in end of may or beginning of june, the sun won't set so it's daylight 24/7 (a bit dimmer during night time of course). Even in the southern parts, it's only dark a few hours per night.
 
Last edited:
Joined
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I don't know much about Denmark, but I guess that the coastlines are the most rewarding. There are some quite big wind turbine parks at sea that might be fun to shoot, and then of course you have the Öresund bridge to Sweden (Öresundsförbindelsen – Wikipedia). In Norway you of course have Oslo with a mix of modern and old architecture. The opera is a must see. Up north you have have Bergen as you mentioned, but I also recommend Lofoten. It's far but might be worth it, just see this video and you'll be intrigued:

Sweden I do know however. We have some very different sceneries. In the south there is a lot of agriculture and open fields, and Malmö is one of the older towns in the area. In there you'll find some old and interesting building, for example Malmö – Wikipedia.

To the west you have the area surrounding Gothenburg. It's a city by the coast with a lot of fishing history, and if you go to the northern archipelago you'll find some nice old fishing villages (Hönö, Öckerö for example). A bit more to the north is Bohuslän, where there are some scenic vertical mountains. Not very high in comparison with Yosemite, but still quite impressive (Bohuslän är lika med klättring i världsklass).

On the eastern side you have more coast, and also the island Gotland. Gotland have an old city, Visby, with a lot of old buildings and landmarks. Northern Gotland is also nice.

Stockholm is nice but not very scenic, except for it being located on different islands with a lot of bridges. I live in Stockholm myself so maybe I just don't see the beauty :) From Stockholm you can take boat out in the archipelago, and boy what an archipelago it is. It's quite unique and there are a lot of old buildings and military bases to see. For boats, search for Waxholmsbolaget. There's so much to do in the archipelago that I couldn't fit it here, but Vaxholm with Kastellet is beautiful (http://www.kastellet.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Kastellet-i-Vaxholm-Stockholm.jpg). I can also recommend Utö and Sandhamn. It's quite crowded in the summer but in may I think you'll have a good time.

We're not even halfway through Sweden. The northern part of Sweden is huge and the distances feel even longer. If you rent a car, bear in mind that it's a 15 hour drive to go from Stockholm to the northern border. You can fly or take a night train from Stockholm. For trains, see www.sj.se. I recommend the area around Östersund (Åre, Duved, Järpen) and Kiruna. Östersund is located in the south of the truly northern part. Åre is Sweden's largest ski resort with downhill mountainbiking in summer. Kiruna is mining territory, and the city is being moved because of the mines. It's quite remarkable, here's a picture: http://ripan.se/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Camp_Ripan_Activity_Summer_Guided_city_tour_Kiruna_1_WEBB-1200x786.jpg

Anywhere you go in Sweden you'll have a chance of seeing moose, especially if you get out of the cities. You're travelling in the wrong season to see northern light, but the more north you go the more chance you'll have to see it. It's also worth noting that if you go north in may to Kiruna or Lofoten, it's cold. Don't expect temperatures above 15°C daytime and you can expect temperatures below freezing some nights. Also, starting sometime in end of may or beginning of june, the sun won't set so it's daylight 24/7 (a bit dimmer during night time of course). Even in the southern parts, it's only dark a few hours per night.
Wow, so much good information! I will study carefully! Thanks very much!
 

Adam CL

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Wow, so much good information! I will study carefully! Thanks very much!
Glad to help! I forgot one thing about Norway, check out Hurtigruten. It will take you from Bergen to the north. Here's a map of the stops:
Map

Also forgot to write that to get to Gotland, you go by boat from Nynäshamn. You get to Nynäshamn easily with public transport from Stockholm.
 

SVQuant

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As an non native who lived in Sweden and Denmark and has visited Scandinavia a few times, I'll add a few random suggestions
  • Roof of the world Train from Bergen to Oslo.
  • Jostedalsbreen glacier
  • Uppsala is worth a day trip from Stockholm
  • If you can swing it, the boat trip across the Baltic from Sweden to Finland is pretty cool
  • I have not done the Hurtigruten, but it is on my bucket list
  • Northern Sweden is awesome. I spent a day on a Sami reindeer farm more than 20 years ago, but still an awesome memory
  • All the capital cities are great for walking, sitting in cafes and watching humanity.
  • Roskilde cathedral and historic buildings.
 
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@Adam CL @pake @SVQuant
Thanks very much for your suggestions, very kind of you to take the time to do so! I believe I have more than enough for 3 months' worth! I have been thinking of using trains, buses and ferries, not driving. Trains for longer distances, and buses and ferries for "hopping".

As for Finland - definitely on my list, but there is only so many weeks in May/June each year during which I prefer to travel, to avoid the main tourist seasons.

@pdk42
I have been considering an UWA for a while, I may yet bite the bullet this time!

Thanks again everyone!
 
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@Adam CL @SVQuant

Thanks to your advice, I've booked a six-day south bound Hurtigruten voyage departing from Kirkenes. With that, I have now a fixed number of days to go from Stockholm to Kirkenes. I didn't intend to go that far north at first, but that seems like one of the best ways to get to Lofoten and then join a land excursion for a few hours and then continue on to Bergen from where I will take the train to Oslo. Now that leaves only 6 to 7 days for us to go from Stockholm to Kirkenes. I am now doing some research on how best to get to Kirkenes overland from Stockholm.

My current thinking is to travel by train northwards, stopping at two or three places along the way, and then hire a car at Lulea to drive to Kirkenes. I would like to hear your suggestion as to where I should stop along the way between Stockholm and Lulea.

Regarding Gotland and other places, I will have to leave them for another year, when I should like to go around the Baltic coast and Finland.

Regards.
 

Sniksekk

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Lofoten is the prettiest place I’ve been in Norway by far. Be sure to have the 40-150 close by, it’s a lot of eagles there.
I’ll try to reply later today with a real reply.
Oslo-citizen checking in. :)
 
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My better half is of Norwegian decent and she would like to go and visit again and take in "The Atlantic Coast Road". The link about it is here Atlantic Ocean Road - Wikipedia . It looks pretty interesting and very photogenic, especially when it is stormy. It would mean renting a vehicle to go and see it though.
Haha, I wish! Unfortunately I have not allowed enough time, or rather, in attempting to cover three countries of Scandinavia in only one month, I am overly ambitious!

So many places to go to, so many lenses to play with, brings to mind the line in "Mozart" when he was trying out different wigs:
 
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Lofoten is the prettiest place I’ve been in Norway by far. Be sure to have the 40-150 close by, it’s a lot of eagles there.
I’ll try to reply later today with a real reply.
Oslo-citizen checking in. :)
Thanks. Yes the 40-150 with M14 on my E-M1 for sure will be out there! For at least two months, I had intended to do micro focus adjustment taught by Phocal, and then practise CAF on some local birds, but I have not done either yet because there are always things intervening. There are several weeks from now till then, when I will be traveling and have my camera with me more hours than my wife (she won't be reading this!). I will do as much practice as I can during this time.
 

pellicle

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Skip those 3 countries and travel to Finland instead..
Ha ... beat me by that much:

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

pellicle

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My wife and I plan to spend four weeks in Scandinavia.
has anyone mentioned the Viking Museum?
Also:
Sweden > Jonkoping > flying weapon museum
album
Sweden > Huskvarna > Huskvarna museum (if into old bikes and stuff)
album

Its not going to be winter wonderland, so all the things I love are not going to be happening....
I'm more a winter guy

 
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Sniksekk

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Let`s see.
Trondheim: No idea how long the hurtigruten is in town, but if you got time, visit nidarosdomen (nidarosdomen.no)

Bergen: Be prepared for rain. Its one of the most rainy places in Norway. They have a aquarium there, never been at that aquarium, but next time I'm in Bergen, Ill go there. Try to visit fisketorget in Bergen (fish market). Look at the wooden houses close to the fishmarket.

Bergen - Oslo by train? Try not to take the "night train", but rather a trin where you can look out at the nature.
This should be a link to the train ride minute by minute

Oslo:
Yes, look at operaen (the opera), and when you are close to the opera and get hungry, go to vippa and feel the atmosphere Vippa – Akershusstranda 25, Skur 40, 0150 Oslo
Eat and drink there.

Want to look out over the city if the weather is great? Get to Ekebergresturanten, you do not have to book a table sitting outside. Its amazing in great weather. Buy some food, buy some beer. Close to ekebergresturanten is the ekebergparken statues in the hill around ekebergresturaten. Free to see.

Want to drink amazing drinks? Go to Himkok, in last year competition they placed 20th as worlds best drink-bar.
Go there when it opens. The drinks are bout 130 Norwegian kroner, about 20 kroner more expensive then a regular "vodka / red bull" other places. Its worth it! Just remember, the real drinks are in 1 floor. 2 floor is more high-lvl drinks (not handcrafted like 1 floor). Its a major difference between 1 floor and 2 floor (in my opinion, but I'm a drink-nerd) ;)

Want to see things?
Go to Bygdøy.
1: There they have a viking-ship museum.
2: They have folkemuseet, where you amongst other things, can visit a stavkirke Stavkirke - Norsk Folkemuseum
3: They have Kon Tiki museum (Thor Heyerdahl`s raft to easter islands).
4; They have the Fram Museum. (Polar expeditions museum).
These museums are different, and you have to pay to visit each. I think vikingskip and stavkirke (folkemuseet) is cool, but I do not want to say what you should and should not see / visit.

Want to see more things? Go to Munch-museet.

Consider visit Vigelandsparken / Frognerparken its free.

Got more time? Take the subway up to holmenkollen.

What exact dates are you in Oslo? Ill try to search and see if its anything special going on those days.
That's what I've got on the top of my head.


@JensM maybe you have something to add?
 

SVQuant

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My current thinking is to travel by train northwards, stopping at two or three places along the way, and then hire a car at Lulea to drive to Kirkenes. I would like to hear your suggestion as to where I should stop along the way between Stockholm and Lulea.
I would recommend Uppsala. It is a lovely university town with the oldest cathedral in Scandinavia. Gamla Uppsala is worth a visit with its burial mounds and the Viking museum. The gentler Baltic coast is a nice contrast to the Norwegian fjords. Soderhamn may be good place to explore that. I recall some great forest hikes around there as well. It is a sparse country once you get north of there to Lulea.

I will second @Sniksekk's recommendation for the fish market in Bergen. Definitely a must-visit. And if you don't mind getting your hands messy, get the shrimps cooked in the shell. Bergen was a Hanseatic League city and the wooden houses along the harbor are pretty. Haakon's hall and the fortifications on the mouth of the harbor are also nice to wander about for a couple of hours. And definitely do not take the night train from Bergen to Oslo. Some really awesome scenery along that route.

Sounds like a great trip.
 
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Thanks everyone! Definitely day time train from Bergen to Oslo.

Current plan is to arrive Oslo on 15 June, and depart on 17th.

We have so many good suggestions now that we will not run out of ideas, only time, money and energy, not necessarily in that order!
 

MarkNOTL

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In Oslo, purchase a daily bus pass, also good on the water ferries for a tour of the fjord.

Denmark, if you have time, try and include a trip to Jutland. A visit to Elsinore is worth a day trip. Lot’s of vestiges of the German Occupation.

Watch out for bicycles.
 

Sniksekk

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In Oslo, purchase a daily bus pass, also good on the water ferries for a tour of the fjord.

Watch out for bicycles.
That’s true, but not on the Yellow boats between Aker Brygge and Bygdøy.

If you take the boat from Aker Brygge, to Hovedøya it’s a microscopic chance you’ll spot a tame fox at that island.

Grünerløkka is the hipsterplace of Oslo.
A lot of the old buildings in that part of the city was built late 1890’s, before our first modern housing-bust.
 

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