Travel: Scandanavia June 2018 (Norway, Sweden, Helsinki, Reykjavik)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by man jerk, Nov 28, 2017.

  1. man jerk

    man jerk SS.org Regular

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    I've been planning this trip for quite some time now. Myself, my wife, my 9 year old daughter and my 7 year old son will be spending 3 weeks in Scandinavia next summer. Tentative dates are June 8 thru June 29. I'm really excited about this trip and have been putting most of my energy toward it lately. I've pretty much put the household on a spending freeze and told the Kids that they are getting passports for Christmas and not much else.

    I'm getting ready to spend about $3500 on airplane tickets in the next few weeks so I thought I'd throw this out there an see if anyone has some feedback. I'm hoping to get some recommendations from some of our northern members here too.

    We are not doing a whirlwind tour and trying to see everything we can possibly see. We want to have enough time to see a lot of the sights, but also have off days where we can hang out at the park, go out for coffee etc. Just relax and enjoy time together as a family.

    Planning on getting a Scandinavia train pass, and most if not all of our lodging will be AIRBNB. My plan is to do most of the cooking ourselves and do as little eating out in restaurants to save money. We will generally be relying on public transit in cities and am looking at getting city passes for transit and museums/sights. I may rent a car in Gothenburg so we can drive up the coast a bit but not sure yet.

    Itinerary as it stands now.
    Travel dates June 8 - June 29.

    Land in Oslo.

    Spend 3 Nights in Oslo

    Take train from Oslo to Bergen

    Spend 2 nights in Bergen.

    Take train from Bergen to Gothenburg.

    Spend 5 nights in Gothenburg.

    Take train from Gothenburg to Stockholm, then board ferry to Helsinki. Would love some input on the ferry if anyone has any. It's a chance to go to Helsinki for a day, and a chance to travel through the Stockholm Archipelago. I'm still on the fence about this but am currently planning on it.

    We are planning on doing the out and back from Stockholm to Helsinki. Board in the afternoon, travel overnight, disembark in Helsinki in the morning, then board again in the evening and travel back to Stockholm.

    Spend 6 nights in Stockholm. We are timing our stay in Stockholm to coincide with Midsummer.

    Then we will fly to Reykjavik and spend 2 nights. I think all we will really do in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon. We will essentially be on our way back to Denver and will probably be pretty fried, so a good soak in the hot springs will be just the ticket.
     
  2. p0ke

    p0ke 7-string guitard

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    Sounds like a pretty good plan.

    A few notes:

    * Personally, I'd get bored with 6 nights in Stockholm. If you're really into shopping and stuff like that or you're planning on visiting Skansen, Gröna Lund, etc. then I guess you'll be fine. Same with Gothenburg too, 5 nights can be a bit much unless you've got a pretty solid plan of what to do and see.
    * If you're trying to save money, I'd say minimize your stay in Norway. Everything is expensive there.
    * AirBNB is certainly a valid option, but do check Trivago.com or other sites for hotels/hostels as well! It's often possible to find something cheaper there than on AirBNB.

    As for the boat cruise - I'd definitely recommend that. I do that with my wife every once in a while (just the other way around), as it's way cheaper than staying at a hotel and it's essentially the same. Just make sure you don't pick the cheapest rust bucket there is :lol: If you take the "day in Helsinki cruise", all those boats are pretty nice. There's also plenty of activities for kids. You won't see much of the archipelago though, it passes through quite quickly.
    Also from Gothenburg, you can do a day cruise to Denmark.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  3. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    OP: Why?
     
  4. man jerk

    man jerk SS.org Regular

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    Strange question. Because I want to I guess. I want to take my kids and show them the world.
     
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  5. man jerk

    man jerk SS.org Regular

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    I'd spend more time in Norway if I thought I could afford it. I would say we are already limiting out time in Norway at 5 days.

    I'm pretty comfortable with the time frame we have chosen in both Gothenburg and Stockholm. I know I'm running the risk of staying too long, but we are planning plenty of downtime. Kids are still pretty young and we are hoping to have plenty of downtime together. I'm buying 5 day train passes, which is one day more than we need so we have the option of travelling more if we want to.

    Thank you for the feedback on the Ferry. I think we are looking at taking the Silja line which is supposed to be nicer and more family friendly. We are just getting a very basic room, one on the outside of the boat but with the fold down beds.
     
  6. Chiba666

    Chiba666 SS.org Regular

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    Been to Helsinki twice and well worth spending abit more time there, great city.

    Wasser museum in Stockholm (I think I've spelt it correct) is well worth a look. spent a great few hours walking around there.

    Iceland is fantastic and somewhere I will go and visit again. The Blue Lagoon is nice but will be busy.
     
  7. p0ke

    p0ke 7-string guitard

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    That's what all the cabins are like, unless you choose a cabin for just two people with a double bed (that's what we usually go for, since we don't bring the kids) or a really expensive suite. Both Silja and Viking Line boats are pretty nice in general. If you'd be going to Turku instead of Helsinki I would suggest Viking Grace , that's the newest and nicest ship here, but doesn't go to Helsinki. My wife loves that boat, we're going on a 24h cruise next Saturday, once again :lol: It's like a mini holiday at a hotel where you also have all the services close by. There's also a metal festival on that boat in February, with Dark Tranquility, Kalmah, Finntroll and a few other bands playing :)
    I don't know how the Viking Line ships that go between Stockholm and Helsinki are, but Silja Line seems to put their nicer boats on that route. Apart from restaurants and shops, there's also a spa on most of those boats. I recommend also getting the breakfast buffet (we always take the "special breakfast" option, it costs a few euros more than the normal one but it has more fancy things, my wife pretty much demands it :lol: ) on the boat before you get to Helsinki - that way you don't waste time on eating in Helsinki straight away, and you pretty much won't be hungry before you return to the boat.
     
  8. thraxil

    thraxil cylon

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    Personally, I'd allocate more time to Iceland. It's like being on a different planet entirely.

    Otherwise, I'd also recommend spending a day or two checking out Copenhagen (easy day trip from Gothenberg), and doing some exploring of the smaller islands in the Stockholm Archipelago (I spent a wonderful week on Grinda once).
     
  9. Ebony

    Ebony "The Sugarcoater"

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    +1 on the Copenhagen recommendation. Great city, especially if the alternative is more time in Gothenburg...

    I recommend taking a day trip to Uppsala when you're in Stockholm. Great place for sightseeing, and it's only 40 minutes by train.
     
  10. Acme

    Acme SS.org Regular

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    My thoughts exactly. I would skip Helsinki if I were you in favor of Iceland or Copenhagen. Easily the most boring place out of all.
     
  11. man jerk

    man jerk SS.org Regular

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    Thanks guys. I'll ponder Copenhagen some more. I was really on the fence about it. Being that we are travelling with kids I'm trying not to spread ourselves too thin, and I wasn't sure what Copenhagen had to offer, but I've heard its a great city.

    Regarding Gothenburg, we are kind of thinking about renting a car and checking out the coast, plus we may be spending a night or 2 in the archipelago.

    Regarding Helsinki, a big part of it is the ferry trip. In fact we will spend a lot more time on the boat than we will in Helsinki, plus it's pretty cheap compared to a hotel for 2 nights.

    I really appreciate any and all comments and suggestions. Keep them coming.
     
  12. man jerk

    man jerk SS.org Regular

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    Damn. Looks like the airfare through Iceland Air has gone up $2000 since I last looked, so Iceland is out which is a major bummer. I'm going to look at spending 3 nights in Copenhagen instead.
     
  13. Blytheryn

    Blytheryn Musical Adam West

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    Have you tried looking for flights with Norwegian?
     
  14. man jerk

    man jerk SS.org Regular

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    I actually have. Right now it looks like my best option is Swiss Air, connection in Zurich. for round trip tickets from Denver to Stockholm I'm looking at $2800 which is actually a really good deal. I was looking at $3500 through Iceland air with a stopover in Reykjavik, but it's gone up to $3500. Norwegian is right around $4k.

    So no Iceland, but the good thing is that I'm going to save about $700 anyway.
     
  15. 1b4n3z

    1b4n3z SS.org Regular

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    You're traveling right around the summer solstice, so it might be a treat to experience the nightless night in full up north.
     
  16. man jerk

    man jerk SS.org Regular

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    The timing is on purpose! We plan on participating in Midsommar in Sweden.
     

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