If you have already made up your mind to visit the land of the Vikings, you will not be disappointed. Although it can be a little on the pricey side, Scandinavian countries are definitely worth visiting. Read more about Scandinavia for first timers: Trip ideas.
With their beautiful scenic landscapes, almost fairytale-like cities, and clear blue waters, these countries will simply take your breath away. Here are some gorgeous places to visit if you are traveling to Scandinavia for the first time.
What countries make up Scandinavia?
Norway, Sweden and Denmark are the three Scandinavian countries. Finland and Iceland are sometimes included in a broader definition by some, but the correct term for all is the Nordic countries.
Visit the capitals
Although this is a prominent tourist choice, when it comes to Scandinavian countries, visiting the capital cities is a must.
Gamla Stan is the sole one thing you need to see in Stockholm. The old town is beautiful, with its colorful buildings and fantastic restaurants. Also, make sure to see the Vasa museum and the only 17th-century ship that is preserved, and its full size and glory.
Next up is Copenhagen, the city of the fairytale heroine: The Little Mermaid. Copenhagen is also the city of excitement, and some people visit it only to see the Tivoli gardens, the fantastic amusement park.
If you are not bored of ships from your visit to Stockholm, also make sure to see the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. Also, prepare yourself for the most excellent adventure of all – the Flåm Railway, where you will be able to enjoy the gorgeous landscapes of Norwegian mountains. Flåm is a village in the Flåmsdalen valley which is located at the inner end of the Aurlandsfjorden, a branch of Sognefjorden.
Lofoten Islands, Norway
If you are not already in love with the landscapes in Scandinavia, the Lofoten Islands will change your mind. These small islands north of the Arctic circle are probably going to be the most beautiful places you have ever seen. The snowy, sharp mountains towering colorful fishing huts are something you could only read in a fairytale, or see in Norway. If you are an adventurer with a big love for outdoor activities, like hiking and kayaking, the trip to the Lofoten Islands will definitely be worth your time. Make sure to bring your camera, because you will find an Instagrammable landscape almost anywhere you go.
Visit Denmark’s amazing castles
Denmark is home to many beautiful castles. It is, after all, a very old monarchy. One of the tourists’ favorites is Amalienborg in Copenhagen, so make sure to visit it.
Frederiksborg Castle is also a good choice for everyone who wants to experience pure fairytale vibes. Beautiful lakes surround the castle, and the most magnificent gardens you will ever see. It is also a home to The Museum of National History where you can learn more about the fantastic history of Denmark.
See the whales in Norway
Whale watching is also a trendy tourist attraction, especially for the ones that have never seen these enormous creatures before. But also, for the returning watchers who simply enjoy the beauty of various whales you can see in these regions. Depending on which part you go, you can see minke whales, humpback whales, blue whales, sperm whales, and orcas. If you are really excited about the whales, you can sign up for a special offering from the whale safaris – swimming with whales.
If you are not already in love with Scandinavia, just by looking at its photos, you will be after you visit it. It is home to exciting adventures and beautiful architecture (also very odd at the time – like the ice hotel in Sweden), but it will definitely inspire you with its charm and beauty. Although pricey and cold, it is one of the most amazing corners of our Planet, and you will keep coming back for more.
Scandinavia for First Timers: Trip Ideas, written for Daily Scandinavian by Nemanja Marinkoff. Nemanja is the editor-in-chief at WalkJogRunnet. He was born in Srpski Itebej, Serbia, and has lived in many countries since then. He absolutely adores marzipan and basketball. You can find him on Twitter.
Feature image (on top): Flåm railway, Norway. Photo: Visit Flåm