2 Week Scandinavian Itinerary: Everything you need to know to visit Sweden, Denmark, Amsterdam, & Norway!
I don’t know about you, but when I think of Scandinavia, the first thing that comes to mind is SUPER tall, blonde hair, blue eyed beauties! And let me be clear, they are EVERYWHERE over there, it’s like heaven! I mean….if you’re into that sort of thing (wink wink). My best friend and I recently traveled throughout Scandinavia for two weeks and it was amazing! I wanted to share a few of my favorite photo memories and stops as we made our way through Sweden, Denmark, Amsterdam, and Norway.
This was one of my all time favorite trips, so I had to share how I felt about traveling to Scandinavia! I loved it so much, I am now using Rosetta Stone to learn how to speak Swedish. #obsessed
Check out my 2 week Scandinavian adventure and everything. you must see and do when you visit Sweden, Denmark, Amsterdam, & Norway!
First stop: Copenhagen, Denmark
Bikes are the #1 way to get around Copenhagen and really all of Scandinavia. What a better way to explore the city, than hopping on a bike and cruising the town? On our list: Tivoli Gardens, lunch in Nyhvan, followed by a Canal Tour departing from the Harbor, lunch or dinner at Manfreds, and drinks at Cafe Taxa. There was a beautiful view from the Harbor at Nyhvan. After a 10 minute bike ride from our Airbnb in Nørrebro (fantastic location), we enjoyed lunch on the water before hopping on a Canal Tour.
We stumbled into a random restaurant thinking we could, like America, just sit somewhere. Not the case with Manfreds, but as luck would have it, it was between meals and this Michelin Star had us seated with a glass of wine and tasting menu for two in no time. This place is a MUST SEE. Chef’s Christian F. Puglisi and Kim Rossen, who own many local favorites (Relae & NOMA), opened Manfreds in 2010 and is one of the worlds only veggie focused restaurants, famous for its raw meat.
Tivoli Gardens is a great place to stop with the family – OR – for those of us who love the thrill of a rollercoaster and sweet smell of fresh cotton candy. With it’s beautiful gardens, loads of sweet treats, and rides for adults and children alike; Tivoli is a great way to spend the afternoon.
Three and a half hours on a train heading NW, we arrived in Aarhus, Denmark, at the most beautiful hotel in the center of the city. Hotel Guldsmeden is the place to stay in Aarhus, which is the 2nd largest city in Denmark. The city also houses the University of Aarhus, giving it a vibrant mix of youthful energy!
A few quick steps out of the hotel, and we were off to explore the city of Aarhus. Aarhus stops included: Langhoff & Juul, AROS Museum, and many of the quaint local restaurants who happened to be packed due to the annual Aarhus Festival. The AROS Museum was incredible! The contemporary art museum featured works from Robert Mapplethorpe, The 9 Spaces, Meriç Ringbor, and the AROS famous Rainbow Panorama!
One of my favorite parts about exploring a new city, is walking around its streets without a map. We found so many unique streets, like the one above, each leading to a new part of the city and opening doors to an entirely new experience. Once we walked through this passage way, we found ourselves sitting in on a local flamenco dance performance. It was WILD! We stuck out like sore thumbs, and the entire show was spoken in Dutch. We just nodded our heads and clapped when we were supposed to, it was a truly unforgettable moment! Shortly after, we found ourselves at the Aarhus Festival, listening to live music and dancing the night away. To say that Aarhus is a must see, is an understatement!
While not totally considered to be in Scandinavia, we couldn’t get this close and not make a much needed
pot pit stop! We stayed in the heart of the Red Light District, which in hindsight, was completely by accident but totally worked out! Hovering right above one of the many canals, it made the perfect spot for people watching. Check out our Airbnb for your next trip.
Merchandizing is on point here with the Nutella placed directly below the “goods.” Well played Amsterdam, well played!
While Amsterdam in my mind is all about
weed partying, there are some really awesome things to check out while you’re in town. We stayed for 4 days and stumbled into some amazing finds: Van Gough Museum, Vondel Park, Red Light Secret Museum, explaining the history behind prostitution, Shopping in the Nine Streets; OU. Boutique was my favorite, Moco Museum featuring Andy Warhol and Banksy, Anne Frank House, Boozey Canal Tours and much more! Did I mention this was Fashion Week in Amsterdam?! We were lucky enough to stumble upon and get access to the Elle Style Awards after party at Wink , it was UNREAL! After we entered the party we met up with some of the tallest men I’ve ever encountered. #heaven
Quintessential I AMsterdam shot. What you might not know, is the meaning behind this touristy structure and phrase. The phrase represents the people of Amsterdam. It shows the pride, confidence and dedication to the city and its cultures. It’s a personal endorsement for the city and what makes it so unique.
A few highlights, I remember seeing Dorothy on the side of the truck by Banksy in the Moco Museum. I also found the raddest bookstore I’ve ever been to (pictured above). They had magazines I’ve never heard of, travel magazines from around the world. I purchased my new favorite called Drift, featuring Stockholm, our last stop, and all it has to offer by way of Fika. Time to study up.
This picture was taken just outside the Anne Frank House, which was an experience I will never forget and a book that everyone should read. Anne Frank was an incredible young lady, inspiring people form a young age and continuing to inspire long after her short life with us. If you haven’t read Diary of a Young Girl, read it, it’s a life changer!
Thanks for the memories Amsterdam, here we come Norway!!
We stayed at another amazing Airbnb and had a lot planned! Amongst the sights, there a few activities in relaxing Oslo: Cruise the Fjords, Oslo Opera House, The Thief Spa for some R&R, Vigeland Sculpture Park, Holmenkollen for lunch and hiking, shopping in Bogstadveien and restaurants galore!
I have so many pictures of this beautiful city, it was hard to choose which ones to share. Our first night was a no brainer, Fjord Sunset Cruise. Especially since after just stumbling on it (Thanks Google), we’d heard this Mother/Daughter group planned over a year ago, to make this specific sunset cruise. #winning The sunset was spectacular and we were served a traditional Norwegian cuisine of fresh prawns and buttered bread. Heaven!
Picture form the top of the Oslo Opera House the next day. The clouds make this shot almost heavenly. It felt like you were close! Hours later, we had our butts in the seats inside watching our first opera. Thank goodness for subtitles!
Last stop on this fantastic adventure has forever been my dream! Sweden still sits at the top of my list and Stockholm is by far my favorite city so far in Europe!
Saved the BEST for last! Side note, this was the BEST Airbnb experience I’ve ever had. Amazing location, had a blast with the owner and hands down would recommend staying here to anyone staying in the city!
Okay, so I am not usually one for pastries BUT Swedish pastries are some of the best I’ve ever had! Specifically, in Stockholm the phrase often used is “Ska vi fika” meaning “lets take a break.” Locals are known to fika 3-4 times everyday. America, let’s take a lesson here!
Stockholm has dozens of quaint neighborhoods, each with it’s own personality. The neighborhoods are separated by water ways, making it yet another wonderful city privy to boat tours. Gamla Stan is considered Stockholm’s old town and has the most beautiful architecture filled with history and ready to explore.
Stockholm is a walking city with every neighborhood presenting a different side, each turn can be mesmerizing! I could spend hours wandering the streets and popping into restaurants for wine and fika! So many wonderful places to go and to see in Stockholm. Here are a few of my favorites: Sturehof Restaurant, fantastic food with a chefs tasting menu of all the local favorites. Best fika (per me and my Drift book): Cafe Pascal & my personal favorite, Johan & Nyström.
A few of the treats you MUST not miss out on during your fika break: Cardamon Bun (seriously like crack, phenomenal), Pistashio Cake, Haga and you MUST overdose on “chokladbollar” or better know as chocolate/coconut balls! Trust me, you need nothing else!
We took a 2 hour tour (I just sang the Gilligan’s Island theme song) throughout Stockholm, which I would highly recommend as it’s also narrated and provides a lot of history behind the beautiful city and its culture.
Outside of the fabulous shopping that can be found sprinkled throughout downtown there are a few places that you should definitely peak your head into, Haymarket Hotel is GORGEOUS and has a super swanky bar called Paul’s inside with an awesome atmosphere. I also recommend dinner at Grill, which was fantastic and had a really cute interior with a warm and welcoming feel.
This was the trip of a lifetime for me! There is not one thing I would change about our Scandinavian adventure. I’m in love with Sweden and hope to be back again, speaking fluently of course, very soon!
Never stop exploring!