A fishing village and mountains in the Lofoten Islands, Norway, at sunset

Your Perfect Scandinavia Itinerary (1 week, 2 weeks, or 3 weeks)

As far as European travel destinations go, Scandinavia is easily one of the most captivating. This enchanting region is your gateway to out-of-this-world natural beauty, the northern lights, and an enviable lifestyle that’s considered to be one of the happiest and healthiest on the planet.

I could wax poetic about Scandinavia all day long, but don’t worry — I won’t waffle on. If you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you’ve already decided you want to explore this breathtakingly beautiful corner of Northern Europe and you’re looking for some itinerary inspiration. Mapping out a Scandinavia itinerary can be as frustrating as it is fun, so let’s dive right in! 

If you’re not sure what to do with your time in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, here are a few itinerary ideas that’ll give you a taste of the region’s greatest hits.

Travel to: Scandinavia

A boat and colourful houses along the harbour in Nyhavn, Copenhagen
Nyhavn, Copenhagen’s colourful waterfront district | © Nick Karvounis/Unsplash

One-week Scandinavia itinerary

  • Route: Copenhagen -> Stockholm -> Oslo

Thinking of visiting Scandinavia and only have one week to spare? Not to worry! You can still get a feel for the region by visiting its effortlessly cool capital cities over the course of seven days. 

The perfect introduction to Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, this route is great if you’re after a mix of stellar historical attractions, bohemian charm, and a dose of hygge for good measure. Get ready to explore everything from opulent palaces to top-notch museums and world-renowned cuisine in these stylish capitals. 

Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo are connected by frequent and reliable high-speed trains, so travelling between the cities is a breeze.

People walking on the roof of the Opera House in Oslo, Norway
See a different side of Oslo from the roof of the city’s Opera House | © Arvid Malde/Unsplash

Two-week Scandinavia itinerary

  • Route: Copenhagen -> Stockholm -> Oslo -> Bergen -> Flåm -> Sognefjord

With two weeks to spend in Scandinavia, you can travel through the contemporary capital cities and explore one of the most spectacular regions in this part of the world: the western coast of Norway.

Immerse yourself in Copenhagen’s superb cafe and culinary scene. Stroll through the cobbled, medieval streets of Stockholm’s Old Town. Learn about Viking history in Oslo. Take in the spectacular vistas on a train ride from Oslo to Bergen. And get ready to be blown away by the spellbinding scenery in Sognefjord. 

Pink skies at sunset over Stockholm, Sweden
Exploring Gamla Stan and the Stockholm Archipelago are a few musts in Sweden’s capital | © Raphael Andres/Unsplash

Three-week Scandinavia itinerary

  • Route: Copenhagen -> Gothenburg -> Stockholm -> Oslo -> Trondheim -> Bodø -> Lofoten Islands -> Tromsø

Planning to spend three weeks travelling around Scandinavia? Lucky you! This itinerary will take you through the region’s capital cities before heading to Northern Norway for a glimpse of the country’s wild, unspoiled wilderness and (hopefully!) the northern lights.

You could follow this itinerary any time of the year, but Northern Norway is especially magical during the winter months — and, of course, it’s also the best time to see the northern lights

Speaking of the northern lights, Tromsø — a small city located 350km north of the Arctic Circle — is renowned for being one of the best places in Europe to witness the remarkable phenomenon that is the aurora borealis. If you have your heart set on seeing those otherworldly celestial lights dancing in the night sky, plan to spend at least a few days here to increase your chances of spotting them.

Want more itinerary ideas? Explore our range of Scandinavia tours and trips to find your perfect adventure now.

The northern lights over water in Northern Norway
Head to Northern Norway if you want to tick the northern lights off your bucket list | © Max Stoiber/Unsplash

Can’t-miss sights and experiences in Scandinavia

Now that you’ve got your itinerary sorted, it’s time to start planning the most exciting part of your Scandinavia sojourn: everything you’re going to see and do in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

Fuel your wanderlust and get even more amped up about your trip with these can’t-miss attractions and experiences.

  • Sail Norway’s fjords. It’s no secret that Norway has some of the most astonishingly beautiful fjords on the planet. There are more than 1,000 fjords dotted around the country’s coastline, but Geirangerfjord and Sognefjord are two of the most famous.
  • Visit Copenhagen’s famous landmarks. The colourful facades at Nyhavn, the famous Little Mermaid statue, and Tivoli Gardens are a few musts when you’re sightseeing in Denmark’s laid-back capital.
  • Go island-hopping around the Stockholm Archipelago. Made up of roughly 30,000 islands, this is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle and go hiking, sea kayaking, or cycling alongside fields of wildflowers and sweeping views of the Baltic Sea.
  • Try an open-faced sandwich. Smörgås in Swedish, smørrebrød in Danish, smørbrød in Norwegian — the pronunciation of this traditional Scandinavian sandwich may change depending on which country you’re in, but one thing they all have in common? They’re delicious (and you have to try one while you’re in this part of the world).
A traditional red and yellow house on the water with mountains in the background in the Lofoten Islands, Norway
Northern Norway is especially magic in winter | © Andreea Chidu/Unsplash
  • See the stunning landscapes of the Lofoten Islands. You’ve probably seen photos of the Lofoten Islands’ craggy mountains and idyllic fishing villages on Instagram, but nothing compares to seeing the rugged beauty of this remote archipelago in person.
  • Explore Denmark’s fairy tale castles. Frederiksborg Castle (which can be visited on an easy day trip from Copenhagen) is a highlight for any castle fanatic, but there are plenty of grand palaces scattered throughout the country.
  • Celebrate Midsummer in Sweden. Thinking of heading to Scandinavia in June? Try to plan your visit to coincide with Swedish Midsummer, an annual festival that celebrates the start of summer with traditional food, music, and a whole lot of pickled herring and schnapps.
  • See the northern lights. Head to Tromsø — Norway’s gateway to the Arctic — for the chance to cross this once-in-a-lifetime experience off your bucket list.
Traditional huts and houses on the Stockholm Archipelago in Sweden
Get close to nature and explore traditional villages on the Stockholm Archipelago | © Hakan Tas/Unsplash

Getting around Scandinavia 

Thanks to an extensive network of train, ferry, and bus services, travelling between Scandinavian countries is both easy and convenient.

Express trains are available between popular destinations (like Copenhagen and Stockholm, for example) and overnight trains are ideal for longer journeys. However, like almost everything else in Scandinavia, train tickets are expensive. Booking ahead and buying an Interrail or Eurail pass will help to keep costs down.

Buses are surprisingly comfortable in Scandinavia, and they offer a viable alternative to the region’s rail network. It’s also worth noting buses are the best transport method of choice when travelling to remote destinations or around the northern reaches of Sweden and Norway.

Mountains and a waterfall in Geirangerfjord, Norway
Geirangerfjord is one of the most scenic fjords in Norway | © Matt Lamers/Unsplash

If you’re short on time — and if you’re planning to travel to the far north — hopping on a flight with a local carrier is your best bet.

Ferries are also an essential part of the Scandinavia travel experience, so don’t forget to pack your motion sickness remedies.

Keep in mind that it may be more difficult to get around the northern part of Sweden and Norway during the winter — especially if you’re planning to rent a car or travel by bus. It’s entirely possible to run into service disruptions or road closures due to inclement weather, so extra planning and preparation is necessary for a Scandinavian holiday in winter. 

What does your dream Scandinavian itinerary look like? Let us know in the comments!

Ashley is a Content Editor at TourRadar. When she’s not writing, travelling, or obsessively checking flight prices on Skyscanner, you can find her attempting to fine-tune her photography skills or watching a shark documentary.

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