Scandinavia is an attractive region in Northern Europe that attracts tourists for its progressive politics, clean streets, vegan food options, stunning scenery and reputation for happiness. Exploring the trifecta of Scandinavia is possible in just ten days for travelers willing to move at a brisk pace. Rent a car and drive this route, or book train tickets to travel between cities.
10 Day One: Arrival in Copenhagen
Travelers can plan to start their journey through Scandinavia in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. It 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 main places to try this nationally famous meal.
9 Day Two: Nyhavn and Tivoli Gardens
On your first full day in Copenhagen, start with breakfast in Nyhavn, the 17th-century waterfront and entertainment district. This cobbled street has colorful houses facing the water and boasts many cafes. For lunch, try smørrebrød, a traditional Danish open-faced sandwich. Schønnemann is one of the best places in town to try this delicious rye bread meal.
In the afternoon or evening, have fun at Tivoli Gardens. This amusement park is one of the oldest in the world and offers rides for adults, rides for children, 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 is possible to take a 30-minute train ride to Malmö instead. Once you’re in Malmö, pack up and head out to explore the quaint city on foot or by bike.
See the Turning Torso tower, St. Peter’s Church and take in the artwork at Malmö Konsthall. Travelers not interested in art and architecture can have more fun at the Museum of Disgusting Food or strolling through the 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 city in the south of the country. Travelers can have their first Swedish Fika experience mid-morning at one of the many cafes and bakeries that line the streets. Fika is a Swedish custom of taking a coffee break with something sweet in good company. The main Fika places in Lund include Ebbas Skafferi, Love Coffee and Coffee Break. In the afternoon, visit the botanical gardens and the Cultural 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 exploring, so check into a hotel or Airbnb and prepare to spend some time here. Visit the Gothenberg Art Museum, the Universeum (science center) and the Volvo Museum. Afterwards, head to the Gothenburg Botanical Garden and stroll through the greenery before dining at the restaurant.
5 Day Six: The Fish Market and Magasinsgatan
Spend another day in Gothenburg, waking up early to visit the fish market, Feskekôrka. For seafood lovers, this market is heaven. The large building features stalls selling fresh local fish and other seafood, plus there are restaurants inside where travelers can sit down to try the fish on a prepared plate. Gabriel is a must-try restaurant in Feskekôrka.
In the afternoon, go shopping on Magasinsgatan, an elegant neighborhood of shops, courtyards and cafes. Enjoy a final Swedish Fika experience here before traveling to Oslo for the night.
4 Day Seven: Explore Oslo
Make the most of a full day in Norway’s capital by getting up early and having breakfast at Erlik Kaffe in central Oslo. Next, head to the Vigeland Sculpture Park, where artist Gustav Vigeland displays many 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 lunch. In the afternoon, go to the coast and go out on a boat for a different view of the city.
3 Day eight: Arrival in Bergen
Depart 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 buy a train ticket to Bergen on the high-speed train. The trip takes anywhere from 6.5-7 hours, and there are daily morning, afternoon and evening departures. A one-way ticket ranges from £81 to £91 (~$97-109).
Departing Oslo on a morning train, travelers will have a chance to explore Bergen in the evening. Walk around Bryggen, a colorful quarter on the pier. Pingvinen or Bryggeloftet & Stuene Restaurant are both excellent 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 Norway’s incredible natural landscapes. Go hiking near Mount Fløyen 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 Stopover 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’ timelines, they may choose to book a flight to Stockholm, Sweden from Bergen and head to 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.