Guidebook Updates for ‘Rick Steves Scandinavia’

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our Scandinavia guidebook, we post them here. (Of course, it's still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally.) Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you're set for a great trip!

Across Scandinavia

  • If your passport is due to expire within six months of your ticketed date of return from Europe, you need to renew it. Allow plenty of time to renew or get a passport, especially while a backlog of applications is causing significant slowdowns — see the US Department of State's travel site for current estimated processing times.

Ærø

  • To ride the Ærø–Svendborg ferry, both vehicles and foot passengers must purchase tickets before boarding. Drivers should reserve online a month in advance, especially for trips on weekends and in summer. Foot/bike passengers can buy tickets at machines at the Svendborg and Ærøskøbing docks, but especially in July and August, it's smart to book a spot up to an hour ahead.
  • Ærø's night watchman walk is now only on Sunday nights from late June through mid-August (advance reservations required — either call, text, or message on WhatsApp to +45 40 46 66 75; pay via cash or mobile payment).
  • Blommenslyst B&B in Odense has closed.
  • Børnekulturhuset Fyrtøjet (the Tinderbox Cultural Center for Children) in Odense has closed.

Bergen

  • The Bryggen Walking Tour now runs daily mid-May–mid-Sept at 11:00 and 13:00.
  • Bus and tram tickets can now be purchased with the Skyss app, but are no longer available at convenience stores. You can also now pay on board with a card (and buses still also accept cash).
  • The Beffen — the ferry that chugs across the midpoint of the harbor — no longer runs on Saturdays (just Mon–Fri).
  • There are currently no guided tours of Håkon's Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower, but they may return in 2024.
  • Troldhaugen (Edvard Grieg's home) is now closed on Mondays (new hours: Tue–Fri 11:00–16:00, Sat–Sun until 17:00). The home no longer hosts evening concerts.
  • KODE Art Museums have renamed their buildings: KODE 4 is now "Lysverket" (contemporary art), KODE 3 is now "Rasmus Meyer" (international and Norwegian artists, including Munch), KODE 2 is now "Stenersen" (contemporary art), and KODE 1 is now "Permanenten" (decorative arts). Major renovations are planned for Permanenten and Lysverket that could involve closures in coming years.
  • The Ulriken643 Cable Car is now open later in high season (until 23:00). It is now closed Mondays in the off-season.
  • The Hanseatic Museum on the Bryggen harborfront is closed for renovation until 2028. However, the newly redone Hanseatic Assembly Rooms (Schøtstuene) are open to visitors (guided tours are offered daily at 11:00 and 16:00).
  • Buses running to the Gamle Bergen Museum are now #3, #4, #12, #16E, or #19. Guided tours of Gamle Bergen are now only offered on weekdays (ask at the museum).
  • Enhjørningen Restaurant is now closed on Sundays.
  • Guest House Skiven has closed.

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • The shuttle bus between the Hanseatic Museum to the Fisheries Museum has stopped running. To link the two, it's an easy 15–20-minute walk or a 20-minute ferry ride. Buses also connect the two museums in 5 minutes.
  • The Bergen Card now covers the Norwegian Fisheries Museum and gives you 20 percent off the admission price at the Schøtstuene (Hanseatic Assembly Rooms).
  • Several recommended restaurants have closed: Anne Madam, Lido, and Dickens.
  • Bergen YMCA Hostel has permanently closed.
  • The correct email address for Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz is [email protected].
  • The correct email address for Thon Hotel Orion is [email protected].
  • The correct email address for Citybox Bergen City is [email protected].
  • Bergen's tourist train is no longer running.

Copenhagen & nearby

  • The Carlsberg Brewery reopens December 1, 2023, as the Home of Carlsberg with triple the exhibit space — which now includes a visit with the brewer horses, bottle collection, restaurant, and of course, beer. Guided tours of the old cellars (about 40 minutes) and beer tastings (about 30 minutes, includes taste of three beers) are both always in English and cost extra.
  • As the Copenhagen Metro has completed its expansion project, it's once again the best way to get around town (it's generally better than the bus). Public transportation tickets and passes are now best purchased through the Copenhagen DOT app or at ticket machines in train and Metro stations.
  • Københavens Cyklebørs has closed, and Copenhagen Bicycles no longer rents bikes to individuals (just hotels). Meanwhile, the Bycyklen public bike-rental program has folded. (Fortunately, the recommended Cykelbasen is still in business.)
  • Netto-Bådene boats no longer stop at the Langebro bridge near Danhostel or from near Christiansborg Palace. Canal Tours Copenhagen also no longer stops near the Lanegbro bridge nor in Christianshavn.
  • Canal Tours Copenhagen no longer does a hop-on, hop-off boat, but they now have a combo-ticket with the hop-on, hop-off bus (or Tivoli).
  • The Copenhagen Card now includes all Netto-Bådene cruises as well as Canal Tours Copenhagen tours that depart from Gammel Strand.
  • Red Badge Guides' walking tour is now offered only on Fridays and Saturdays in the season (May–Sept), and only cash is accepted as payment.
  • Hans Christian Andersen tours led by Richard Karpen are also cash-only.
  • Copenhagen History tours now run only in July and August.
  • Tours of Christiania led by residents now leave from near the main entrance (look for the Rundviser sign) and are cash only.
  • We now recommend booking reservations for visiting Rosenborg Castle, where lines are often long. Even those with a Copenhagen Card need to book a timed-entry ticket. The castle is now open daily 10:00–17:00 in season, and Tue–Sun 10:00–16:00 in Nov–April (closed Mon in the off-season).
  • In summer, advance tickets are required for the tower climb at Our Savior's Church.
  • The National Museum no longer stays open until 20:00 on Thu. They now offer free one-hour tours in English on weekends from mid-Aug through Oct (reservations required).
  • English tours of the National Museum's Victorian Apartment are now offered on weekends between late June and early Aug at 12:30.
  • The Museum of Copenhagen and Thorvaldsen's Museum now offer a combo-ticket (good once per museum for 48 hours).
  • Thorvaldsen's Museum is no longer open until 21:00 on Thursdays.
  • Hotel Jørgensen has closed.
  • Several recommended restaurants in Copenhagen have closed: RizRaz Vegetatian (Kompagnistræde location), Café Norden, Royal Smushi Café, Spicy Kitchen, BioMio, and Bøf & Ost.
  • Roskilde's tourist information office has closed, but a "tourist inspiration center" at the Sankt Laurentius tower, near the cathedral, fills in as one.
  • Roskilde Cathedral is now open daily year-round; its organ concerts are no longer free (now 50 DKK) and held on the third Wednesday of every month at 17:00.
  • The tourism office in Helsingør (home of Kronborg Castle) has moved to The Culture Yard, at Allegade 2.

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Copenhagen Jazz House is now called Alice.
  • Shuttle buses from the Oslo ferry terminal to the city are now marked Banegård or Nørreport. The Banegård bus drops you at Banegårdspladsen — in front of the main train station, near Tivoli, recommended hotels, and the start of Rick's "Copenhagen City Walk."
  • The overnight boat to Oslo now leaves at 14:00, usually arriving in Oslo at 9:00 (same schedule for return trip).
  • Because of changes to the bus system, buses #14, #1A and #6A are no longer useful.

 

Helsinki

  • Helsinki's tourist information office has moved to a new location on Senate Square (Mon–Fri 9:30–17:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–16:00, shorter weekend hours off-season, Aleksanterinkatu 24 — at the corner with Sofiankatu street, +358 9 3101 3300). All other tourism office locations, including at the airport, have closed.
  • By late 2024, tickets for trams and buses will only be available via contactless payment, not cash. (Helsinki is now essentially cash-less across the board.)
  • The National Museum of Finland is closed for renovations, likely until spring 2027.
  • Uber now operates in Helsinki and is generally a better option than taxis, as their cars are cheaper and more plentiful than taxis.
  • The Lutheran Cathedral, previously free, now charges €8 in summer (June–Aug).
  • In summer Kamppi Chapel also now charges visitors (€5).
  • Finlandia Hall is closed for renovations until late 2024.
  • Kulttuurisauna now requires advance reservations.
  • Strömma's Helsinki Panorama bus tour now only runs in winter. City Sightseeing's 1.5-hour hop-on, hop-off bus tour is the only bus tour running in summer.

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Because of route changes, the Helsinki Tram Tour, which features a loop through Helsinki on public trams #2 and #3, now requires a transfer at the Auroran Sairaala stop (which is several stops past the original transfer point of Töölön halli).
  • Hotel Torni, home to the Ateljée Bar, with excellent city views, has reopened.
  • Academica Summer Hostel has closed.
  • Linda Line has ceased ferry service between Helsinki and Tallinn.

Jutland

  • Tickets for Aarhus' buses and trams are no longer available onboard — buy them from the Midttrafik app or site.
  • The Occupation Museum in Aarhus has reopened after a renovation, with different opening hours and digital installations that immerse visitors in 1940s Aarhus with sights, sounds, and music, including an intimidating German interrogator. And each visitor receives the ID card of one of 20 individuals who lived through the war, so as to follow an their personal wartime experience and better imagine the moral dilemmas and issues with which people were forced to grapple.
  • As Aarhus' Moesgård Museum can have long lines, it's smart to buy tickets in advance. It's now closed Mondays but stays open until 21:00 on Saturdays as well as Wednesdays.
  • The AarhusCard is no longer available.
  • The ARoS Art Museum in Aarhus remains open as it's undergoing a major expansion (set to wrap up in 2025) with the building of a new underground gallery, purpose-built for "The Dome, a Skyspace" by American artist James Turrell. The museum is now closed Mondays in the off-season (Sept–May).
  • Hotel Guldsmeden in Aarhus is now under new ownership and has been rechristened SOFS Boutique Hotel ([email protected]).
  • The City Sleep-In hostel in Aarhus has closed.
  • Legoland is no longer free during the last 30 minutes before rides close. You can now pay extra to book times for the most popular rides (via the Legoland app or website). It's most crowded Tue–Wed during summer school holidays (July–mid-Aug), and is least crowded on weekends during this time.

Kalmar

  • In summer Kalmar Castle now stays open later on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (now open late June–mid-Sept Fri–Mon 10:00–18:00, Tue–Thu until 20:00, off-season daily 10:00–16:00, Nov–Dec open Sat–Sun only).

Norway in a Nutshell (Flåm, Aurland, Undredal)

  • It's no longer possible to do the Nutshell trip as a same-day loop from Oslo — the transit connections don't work. (It does still work to do the Nutshell as a day trip from Bergen.)
  • The boat company formerly called "The Fjords" is now Norway's Best (though the boats are still labeled "The Fjords"). They now run just one boat (rather than different "classic" and "premium" boats), and it now takes two hours to get between Flåm and Gudvangen.
  • The twisty road called Stalheimskleiva, which had led to the Stalheim Hotel between Gudvangen and Voss, is permanently closed following a landslide.
  • The Torget Café in Flåm has closed.
  • The Aurland Fjordhotel is now Hotel Aurlandsfjord, and is part of the Norway's Best group, with new contact information: +47 94 86 21 00, [email protected].
  • The Vangsgården Guest House in Aurland no longer rents rooms in the Aabelheim Pension.
  • Duehuset Pub in Aurland is now the Vangsgården Gastropub.
  • Undredal Overnatting is no longer bookable at the Undredal Bryggje Café.

Oslo

  • OsloGuideservice has gone out of business. But licensed guide Pål Johansen offers Oslo walking tours when not leading Rick Steves tour groups, and has helped considerably with the Rick Steves Scandinavia guidebook ($300/half-day tour, $550/full-day tour, [email protected]). If Pål's not available, the easy-to-work-with Oslo Guidebureau can tailor a tour to meet your interests (+47 22 42 28 18).
  • The Viking Ship Museum is closed while it undergoes a multiyear expansion. It's scheduled to reopen, as the Museum of the Viking Age, by 2027. In the interim, some exhibits may be on display in the University of Oslo's Historical Museum, and you can see a real Viking boat at the National Maritime Museum.
  • The Munch Museum has reopened at a new location on the harbor, facing the Opera House at Bjørvika.
  • The National Gallery has reopened as part of the National Museum.
  • A "Munch–Bygdøy" ferry now operates April–October between Bygdøy island (with the Kon-Tiki and Fram museums, and currently closed Viking Ship Museum) and the Bjørvika neighborhood (with the Munch Museum).
  • Comfort Hotel Karl Johan has a new email address: [email protected].
  • Perminalen Hotel is now in use by the military only.
  • Villa Marie has closed.

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Viking Biking no longer offers walk-up rentals; you must reserve in advance (daily flat rate of 2,000 NOK for 1–10 bikes, includes helmet, lock, and map).
  • On Olaf Ryes Polass, dive bar Ryes has closed.
  • On Olaf Ryes Plass, Quesadilla (Mexican fare) is now Skaal Matbar (sophisticated small plates).
  • Ma Poule wine bar (in the Mathallen Oslo market) is now called Galopin.
  • Troy's Burger, on Torggata, has closed.
  • Pisco restaurant, on Badstugata, has closed.
  • Ellingson's Pensjonat is now Villa Marie.
  • Comfort Hotel Karl Johan's phone number is now +47 23 01 03 52.
  • Thon hotels have changed their email domain from "thonhotels.no" to "olavthon.no" For example, the new email for the Rosenkrantz location is now [email protected].
  • The House of Oslo shopping mall has closed.
  • Open Top Sightseeing no longer runs hop-on, hop-off buses in Oslo.
  • Båtservice no longer operates bus tours of Oslo.

Setesdal Valley

  • Holland Norway Lines no longer runs a ferry between Kristiansand and Eemshaven.
  • Valle Motell has closed.

Sognefjord

For books printed before July 2021, the following may apply:

  • In Balestrand, the Pilgrim restaurant in the Golden House Gallery building has closed.
  • Sjøtun Camping (in Balestrand) has closed for good.

Stavanger

  • Parts of the Stavanger cathedral may close to visitors for restoration as the church gears up to celebrate its 900th (!) birthday in 2025.
  • The Maritime Museum is closed for renovation, likely until summer 2026.
  • Sjøhuset Skagen restaurant has closed.
  • Several recommended restaurants have changed names: Vågen Spiseri (in the fish market) is now Fisketorget, Renaa Xpress (inside the cultural center) is now Sirkus Renaa, and the Skagen Bageri lunch spot is now called "No. 18."
  • There is now a high-speed option for touring the Lysefjord: Stavanger RIB, which operates an inflatable Zodiac-style boat that runs from the harbor three times a day in the summer.

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Rødne Clipper Fjord Sightseeing is now Rødne Fjord Cruise and runs daily bus trips and cruise-plus-bus combo trips to Pulpit Rock. Bus tours from Stavanger to the Rock are now operated by Go Fjords and Pulpit Rock Tours; Tide Reiser and Boreal no longer run these buses.
  • The underwater Ryfast Tunnel is now open. Bus tours to Pulpit Rock and travelers with cars use the nine-mile tunnel, which burrows under the sea at Stavanger and emerges near Solbakk on the other side (140-NOK toll). From there it's a short drive on highway 13 to the parking lot and trailhead at Pulpit Rock.
  • There is no longer a viable bus connection between Bergen and the ferry that departs from Kristiansand, Norway, to Hirtschals, Denmark. The ferry is still running.

 

Stockholm

  • The Stockholm Pass has been replaced by the "Go City Pass," which has similar but not identical offerings (most notably it doesn't cover the Royal Palace or have a transit-covering option). Purchase the pass on the Go City app, then present the pass on your phone at each sight it covers.
  • Visit Stockholm, the downtown city-run information office, has closed.
  • The most efficient way to buy tickets for public transit (subway, tram, and bus) is now via the SL-Stockholm app, where it's easiest to pay with a credit card linked to your mobile wallet. Single-ride tickets can also be purchased by tapping a contactless credit card at subway turnstiles and bus/tram scanners, but drivers no longer sell tickets on board, and most T-bana stations no longer have ticket machines.
  • The Nobel Museum now stays open late (until 21:00) on Fridays, but otherwise now closes at 19:00.
  • The Royal Armory, National Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and Swedish History Museum — all of which used to be free to enter — now each charge 150 SEK (about $14).
  • Restaurang Volt in Östermalm has closed.

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Kaknäs Tower has closed to the public.
  • To reach Thielska Galleriet from Odenplan, take bus #67 (not #69).
  • Stockholm no longer has a City Bikes program.
  • Sushi Yama Express at Nybrogatan 18 has closed.

 

Tallinn

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Tickets for Tallinn's public transportation are now available as QR tickets for use on a mobile phone (€1.50 for any ride up to 1 hour, can purchase up to 10 rides per ticket, shareable with other riders, purchase at tallinn.pilet.ee or with the mobile app Pilet.ee). For travelers staying longer, the Ühiskaart smartcard can be purchased for €2, then loaded up with credit (€1.50 per ride, €4.50/24 hours, €7.50/72 hours).
  • Linda Line has ceased ferry service between Helsinki and Tallinn.
  • The Museum of Occupations is now the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom. The museum has been upgraded and expanded to include a new permanent exhibit exploring Estonia's occupations, resistance, and rise to freedom. The former audioguide has been replaced with an "etour guide" mobile device that brings the displays to life.
  • The KGB Prison Cells in Tallinn's former KGB headquarters are now open to the public, with a small exhibit presented, in part, in English.
  • Baltic Hotel Imperial has closed.
  • Rixwell Old Town Hotel is now, as part of the Rija chain, Rija Old Town Hotel.
  • Recommended restaurants Grillhaus Daub and Wadabus have closed.

Uppsala

  • Buses to Gamla Uppsala now leave from stops on Dronninggatan or Vaksalagatan (near Uppsala's Stora Torget).

Växjö and Glass Country