Scandinavia is the northern European peninsula that includes the countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and several thousands of islands. It is the largest peninsula in Europe and actually an amazing place. Scandinavia offers beautiful wilderness with glaciers in the north, forests and lakes in the south and vibrant capital cities. Have a look at these facts and discover why Scandinavia is a cool place to go!
Scandinavia has unrivaled natural phenomena (for free)
Scandinavia puts on year-round quite a show as it is known for spectacular phenomena created by ‘Mother Nature’ including the Aurora Borealis and the Midnight Sun. The best performances of the show can be witnessed in the region of the Arctic circle, e.g. in the northern parts of Sweden or on the Lofoten Islands in Norway. But even if you are visiting the southern regions of Scandinavia you have a chance to get a glimpse of these magical moments.
The capital cities of Scandinavia offer a fascinating history, a cosmopolitan atmosphere, a traditional cuisine and welcome visitors with an open mind. Stockholm (Sweden) has a lovely old town filled with castles and medieval alleys, an extensive collection of museums and a plethora of parks. Moreover, the abundance of water and the vibrant nightlife, make it one of the cities you cannot miss when visiting Scandinavia.
Oslo (Norway) is a fascinating metropolitan city that still retains its small fishing town feel. It is a truly magnificent place where the vibrant atmosphere merges with its beautiful landscape and where outdoor activities are waiting for you to be practiced. Elegant Copenhagen (Denmark) – one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cities – has it all, from gorgeous architecture, remarkable galleries, cool neighborhoods, trendy cafes, a super long shopping street (Strøget) and even a couple of beaches with the “Blue Flag”.
Countless festivals and local events
Considering Scandinavia’s size, it’s rather amazing how many festivals the region offers throughout the year. Scandinavians just love to celebrate outdoors, especially in the long pleasant summer months. Not a weekend goes by that Scandinavia does not offer live music, street art, theater groups or concerts. So before you leave on your vacation, take a look at the event calendar and find out what’s happening when you will be there!
It’s cheaper than you think
Scandinavia tends to have the reputation of being expensive, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy your days on a budget. Especially in summer, you can find numerous free things to do like a free guided city tours or opt for a self-guided walking tour. Or what about swimming in the numerous Swedish lakes, hiking around the beautiful fjords in Norway or exploring the beaches in Denmark. Be flexible when you travel, because holiday rentals are much cheaper at the end of August and early September when most tourists are back home! Some things in life are not as expensive as you think, if you’re ready to explore.
Great transportation and relatively short distances
Take a look at the map and discover how close are some destinations. You can even see two destinations on the same day by flying from one city to another in the neighboring country. It is surprising how just a couple of hours in the car can take you from one ambiance into another. Public transportation is excellent and relatively inexpensive with city passes. Or rent a bike, with bike paths and lanes all over you can easily (and cheap) get around on your two-wheeler.
The way north is not always cold
Scandinavian summers that go from late May to early September are mild and pleasant. Its days and nights stay bright and pleasantly balmy and are best enjoyed outdoors at the side of close friends and good foods and drinks. Though be prepared that there is a chance that you’ll hit the rain. When it’s rainy and cloudy, it can be pretty chilly. Thus, make sure you pack clothes that will keep you warm on a brisk day (or while sitting in front of your tent in the fjords).
And, don’t forget to bring one nice outfit to wear while enjoying Scandinavian nightlife or its upcoming dining scene.
Scandinavians speak English!
In fact, nearly anyone you’ll meet on your Scandinavian trip will have an almost perfect understanding of the English language, on top of their native tongue (Danish, Swedish or Norwegian). So, why is it that Scandinavians have an aptitude for learning English as a second language?
The answer is exposure, English is everywhere in Scandinavia, and the Scandinavians are mass consumers of English speaking media. They watch British and American TV shows and see movies in original language with subtitles, as opposed to dubbed versions. So even if it’d be good if you can order your morning coffee in Swedish, don’t worry if you cannot make it, English will be widely understood!