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Solo Trip To Scandinavia

Sequim, Washington
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126 posts
80 reviews
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Solo Trip To Scandinavia

I am planning to wander around Europe this summer (July) and am having difficulty figuring out the best route to see the major cities in Scandinavia. I will be flying in from Seattle after spending a few days in Iceland. Helsinki makes sense as a starting point, but after that I am unsure if I should ferry, fly, or train to the different locations. I would like to spend three days in Helsinki, a day in Tallinn, three days in Stockholm, three days in Oslo, and four days in Copenhagen. Then I will be off to Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Munich.

I will be traveling alone and am trying to be pretty conservative with the budget. If I buy a rail pass, I can get discounts on ferries, but it almost looks cheapest to fly. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

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Seattle
Seattle
Washington
Iceland
Iceland
Europe
Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm County, Sweden
Oslo
Oslo
Eastern Norway, Norway
Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Zealand, Denmark
Berlin
Berlin
Germany
Prague
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Bohemia, Czech Republic
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Vienna Region, Austria
Munich
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Upper Bavaria, Germany
Oulu, Finland
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for Helsinki, Oulu, Lapland
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1. Re: Solo Trip To Scandinavia

Flíghts can often be cheaper than single rail tickets. However, the Eurail Pass might be a favourable option íf you use it for all possible transfers. However, it will also eat out some of the time you could use in your destination cities (fast trains are not available everywhere, and even less in the former Eastern Europe).

My suggestion:

1) Helsinki, make a day trip to Tallinn on one of the days

2) Take a cruise ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm (overnight, ca 16 h).

4) Train Stockholm-Copenhagen (direct)

5) Ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo (overnight)

6) Fly to Berlin (e.g. by Norwegia Air Shuttle)

You could also take a ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn and continue from there to Stockholm. However, ships (esp. Silja Line) on the Helsinki-Stockholm route are somewhat fancier and bigger than those on the Tallinn-Stockholm line.

In Central Europe distances are often shorter than here in the north, so train may even be the fastest option of travel. You can find most train timetables in Europe in the timetable search of the German railways: www.bahn.de/i/view/overseas/en/index.shtml . Berlin - Prague for instance is less than 5 hours by train and if you book it early enough you can get it rather cheaply (from 29€). Prague-Vienna is also less than 5 h journey by train or by bus. Vienna-Munich is under 4 h by train.

If you buy advance rail tickets only for the said connections (Stockholm-Copenhagen, Berlin-Prague, Prague-Vienna, Vienna-Munich), I believe single tickets will be way cheaper than a rail pass (advance tickets for the said connections are only ca 30 - 40€/leg).

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Stockholm
Stockholm County, Sweden
Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Zealand, Denmark
Oslo
Oslo
Eastern Norway, Norway
Berlin
Berlin
Germany
Prague
Prague
Bohemia, Czech Republic
Helsinki, Finland
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for Tallinn, Finland, Helsinki
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2. Re: Solo Trip To Scandinavia

It makes little sense to spend a day in Tallinn and return to Helsinki when you can take an overnight ferry direct from Tallinn to Stockholm. Tallinn is worth at least one overnight stay, particularly in view of your budgetary constraints - Estonia is somewhat less expensive than any of the Nordic countries.

The most scenic ferry routes in the Nordics are between Finland and Sweden as they are thick with islands. The ferry from Tallinn also sails through the dense Stockholm Archipelago. You should definitely experience one of these, but otherwise I'd let the price tag decide between ferries and planes.

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Sequim, Washington
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3. Re: Solo Trip To Scandinavia

Thanks, I hadn't considered flying from Oslo to Berlin. That makes sense to save time. It sounds like I should take at least one overnight ferry ride though.

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Eastern Norway, Norway
Berlin
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Germany
Helsinki, Finland
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4. Re: Solo Trip To Scandinavia

Not to diss Copenhagen, but why 4 days there and only 3 in the other capitals? I'd recommend taking the overnight ferry to Tallinn, it leaves at 9pm from Helsinki, and in the morning when you disembark you'll have more than enough time to explore the old medieval city before the return journey to Helsinki. We got two cabins for 4 people for less than 50€ this summer, and there are offers like this all the time!

Although traveling through the archipelagos is beautiful, whether or not you want to spend a few hours watching island after islet stream by or whether you'd prefer to sleep and then spend the time exploring a city is one to ponder. Also, if you decide to travel between Turku and Stockholm, it might be worth your while spending a few hours in Finland's oldest city.

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Copenhagen
Zealand, Denmark
Stockholm
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Stockholm County, Sweden
Finland
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for Helsinki, Finland
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5. Re: Solo Trip To Scandinavia

My suggestion:

1. Helsinki-Tallinn

2. Tallinn-Stockholm overnight ferry

3. Stockholm-Oslo flight

4. Oslo-Copenhagen flight or overnight ferry

Companies like SAS and Norwegian have prices that are hard to beat by train or ferry.

6. Re: Solo Trip To Scandinavia

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