Scandinavia Itinerary

Stockholm: green, clean, and underrated.
By Rick Steves

So much to see, so little time. How to choose? To help you get started, I've listed my top picks for where to go in Scandinavia, and my plan for your best three-week trip, whether by car or train and boat.

Depending on the length of your trip, and taking geographical proximity into account, here are my recommended priorities:

  • 4 days: Copenhagen, Stockholm (connected by a 5.5-hour express train)
  • 6 days, add: Oslo
  • 8 days, add: Norway in a Nutshell fjord trip, Bergen
  • 10 days, add: Overnight cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki
  • 14 days, add: Ærø, Odense, Roskilde, Frederiksborg (all in Denmark)
  • 17 days, add: Aarhus (Denmark), Kalmar (Sweden)
  • 21 days, add: Tallinn (Estonia) and more time in capitals
  • 24 days, add: More Norwegian countryside or Stockholm's archipelago

Rick’s Best Three-Week Scandinavia Trip by Car

Day 1:  Arrive in Copenhagen (sleep in Copenhagen)

Day 2:  Copenhagen (sleep in Copenhagen)

Day 3:  Copenhagen (sleep in Copenhagen)

Day 4:  Sights near Copenhagen, into Sweden (sleep in Växjö)

Day 5:  Växjö, Glass Country, Kalmar (sleep in Kalmar)

Day 6:  Kalmar to Stockholm (sleep in Stockholm)

Day 7:  Stockholm (sleep in Stockholm)

Day 8:  Stockholm, night boat to Helsinki (sleep on boat)

Day 9:  Helsinki, night boat back to Stockholm (sleep on boat)

Day 10:  Uppsala to Oslo (sleep in Oslo)

Day 11:  Oslo (sleep in Oslo)

Day 12:  Oslo (sleep in Oslo)

Day 13:  Lillehammer, Gudbrandsdal Valley (sleep in Jotunheimen area)

Day 14:  Jotunheimen Country (sleep in Lustrafjord area or Aurland)

Day 15:  Sognejord, Norway in a Nutshell (sleep in Bergen)

Day 16:  Bergen (sleep in Bergen)

Day 17:  Long drive south, Setesdal Valley (sleep in Kristiansand)

Day 18:  Jutland, Aarhus, maybe Legoland (sleep in Aarhus, maybe Billund)

Day 19:  Jutland to Odense en route to Ærø (sleep in Ærøskøbing)

Day 20:  Ærø (sleep in Ærøskøbing)

Day 21:  Roskilde on the way into Copenhagen (sleep in Copenhagen)

Flying into Copenhagen and out of Bergen (with a likely transfer in Copenhagen) can be wonderfully efficient; if you opt for this, see Jutland and Ærø sights near Copenhagen at the beginning of your trip.

Rick’s Best Three-Week Scandinavia Trip by Train and Boat

Day 1:  Arrive in Copenhagen (sleep in Copenhagen)

Day 2:  Copenhagen (sleep in Copenhagen)

Day 3:  Copenhagen (sleep in Copenhagen)

Day 4:  Roskilde, Odense, Ærø (sleep in Ærøskøbing)

Day 5:  Ærø (sleep in Ærøskøbing)

Day 6:  Ærø to Kalmar (sleep in Kalmar)

Day 7:  Kalmar (sleep in Kalmar)

Day 8:  Kalmar, early train to Stockholm (sleep in Stockholm)

Day 9:  Stockholm (sleep in Stockholm)

Day 10:  Stockholm, night boat to Helsinki (sleep on boat)

Day 11:  Helsinki (sleep in Helsinki)

Day 12:  Helsinki, afternoon boat to Tallinn (sleep in Tallinn)

Day 13:  Tallinn, night boat to Stockholm (sleep on boat)

Day 14:  Stockholm, afternoon train to Oslo (sleep in Oslo)

Day 15:  Oslo (sleep in Oslo)

Day 16:  Oslo (sleep in Oslo)

Day 17:  Train and boat to Aurland (sleep in Aurland)

Day 18:  Aurland to Bergen via fjord cruise (sleep in Bergen)

Day 19:  Bergen (sleep in Bergen)

Day 20:  Free day: more fjords, resting, or whatever

Day 21:  Trip over; consider splicing in an extra day for sights in and near either Copenhagen or Stockholm

If you want to see Legoland (near Billund) and the "bog man" (in Aarhus), visit these from Odense (closer) or Copenhagen. You could save lots of time by flying from Tallinn to Oslo.