Scandinavia is an appealing region in Northern Europe that attracts tourists for its progressive policies, clean streets, vegan food options, stunning scenery, and reputation for happiness. Exploring the trifecta of Scandanavia is possible in just ten days for travelers willing to move at a quick pace. Rent a car and drive this route, or book train tickets to travel between cities.
10 Day One: Arrive In Copenhagen
Travelers can plan to start their journey through Scandinavia in Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. This is accessible from major North American airports and by train from Western Europe, particularly from Hamburg, Germany. After arriving in Copenhagen, spend the rest of the day recovering from jet lag and exploring the city on foot. Some important landmarks to walk to include Rosenborg Castle, Amalienborg, and The Round Tower.
For dinner, try the national dish, Stegt Flæsk Med Persillesovs (Fried Pork Belly With Potatoes and Parsley Sauce). Restaurant Klubben is one of the top spots to try this nationally renowned meal.
9 Day Two: Nyhavn And Tivoli Gardens
On the first full day in Copenhagen, start the morning in Nyhavn, the 17th Century waterfront and entertainment district. This cobbled street has colorful homes facing the water and boasts lots of cafés. For lunch, try smørrebrød, a traditional Danish open-faced sandwich. Schønnemann is one of the top places in the city to try this delicious meal on rye bread.
In the afternoon or evening, have some fun at Tivoli Gardens. This amusement park is one of the oldest in the world and offers rides for adults, rides for kids, souvenir shops, and relaxing green garden spaces. Theater and ballet performances take place at Tivoli, and tickets for all entertainment are available online.
8 Day Three: Explore Malmö
Leave Denmark and cross the Öresund Bridge into Sweden after picking up a rental car in the morning. For travelers who cannot drive, it’s possible to take a 30-minute train ride into Malmö instead. Once in Malmö, get settled and head out to explore the quaint town on foot or by bicycle.
View the Turning Torso tower, St. Peter’s Church, and take in the artwork at Malmö Konsthall. Travelers who aren’t interested in art and architecture might have more fun at the Disgusting Food Museum or walking through peaceful Kungsparken, a famous city park. For dinner, try authentic Swedish meatballs at Två Krögare Bullen.
7 Day Four: Fika In Lund
The next morning, depart Malmö and travel north to Lund, another charming Swedish town in the south of the country. Travelers can have their first Swedish Fika experience mid-morning at one of the many coffee shops and bakeries lining the streets. Fika is a Swedish custom of having a coffee break with something sweet in good company. Top Fika spots in Lund include Ebbas Skafferi, Love Coffee, and Coffee Break. In the afternoon, visit the botanical gardens and the Kulturen Museum.
6 Day Five: Gardens And Museums In Gothenburg
On day five, depart Lund and drive (or take the train) to the picturesque city of Gothenburg. This idyllic Swedish destination deserves more than a day of exploration, so check into a hotel or Airbnb and prepare to spend some time here. Visit the Gothenberg Museum of Art, Universeum (science center), and the Volvo Museum. Then, head to the Gothenburg Botanical Garden and stroll amongst the greenery before dining at the eatery.
5 Day Six: Fish Market And Magasinsgatan
Spend another day in Gothenburg, waking up early to visit the fish market, Feskekôrka. For seafood lovers, this market is paradise. The vast building contains stalls selling fresh local fish and other seafood items, plus there are restaurants inside where travelers can sit down to try the fish in a prepared dish. Gabriel is a must-try restaurant at Feskekôrka.
In the afternoon, go shopping at Magasinsgatan, a stylish district with shops, courtyards, and cafés. Enjoy one last Swedish Fika experience here before driving to Oslo for the night.
4 Day Seven: Explore Oslo
Make the most of one full day in Norway’s capital city by rising early and getting breakfast at Erlik Kaffe in downtown Oslo. Then, go to Vigeland Sculpture Park, where artist Gustav Vigeland displays plenty of unique sculptures in a city green space. Make a stop at the National Museum, the Royal Palace, and the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History before getting lunch. In the afternoon, go to the waterfront and get out on a boat for a different view of the city.
3 Day Eight: Arrive In Bergen
Depart from Oslo and embark on one of the most scenic train journeys in the world. Crossing Norway by train is a bucket list event, so it’s a good idea to return a rental car in Oslo and purchase a train ticket to Bergen on the high-speed train. The ride takes anywhere from 6.5-7 hours, and there are departures in the morning, afternoon, and evening daily. A one-way ticket ranges from £81 to £91 (~$97-$109).
By departing from Oslo on a morning train, travelers will have a chance to explore Bergen in the evening. Walk around Bryggen, a colorful neighborhood on the wharf. Pingvinen or Bryggeloftet & Stuene Restaurant are both great choices for dinner.
2 Day Nine: View The Bergen Peninsula From Fløyen
Another full day in Bergen means a chance to get outside the city center and appreciate the incredible natural landscapes of Norway. Go hiking near Fløyen mountain for beautiful views of Bergen and its surroundings. The popular hiking route is a 5.8 km out and back trail that takes just over 2 hours to complete and requires 308 meters of elevation gain. The trail is open year-round, and dogs are welcome to join their owners if they are on a leash.
1 Day Ten: Departure Flight (Optional Stop In Stockholm)
Start the day with a quick breakfast at Lovetann Café & Bistro or Kaffemisjonen before heading to the airport to catch a flight home. Depending on travelers’ timeline, they may choose to book a flight to Stockholm, Sweden, from Bergen and depart for North America from there since Stockholm is a bigger travel hub than Bergen. This also offers a chance for a final look at Sweden and some time to explore its capital.