10 Cities to Visit in Scandinavia

The first association we get when someone says Scandinavia or Northern Europe in general is coldness. However, this historical and cultural region which consists of Sweden, Norway, Iceland,  Finland and Denmark has so much more to be famous for. We will provide you a short list of absolutely must-see places if you ever decide to make a tour de North. Take some time and check out what’s so special about these cities!

1) Stockholm, Sweden

The capital of Sweden combines rich historical background with modern attractions. Not one, but two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in this beautiful city, the Royal Palace Drottningholm (the residence of the royals) and the magical Skogskyrkogården (Woodland Cemetery), attract millions of tourists each year. Cobbled streets, picturesque bridges over the city’s canals, fantastic architecture and much more are the reason to visit this place. Don’t forget about the Old Town with museums, boutiques and, of course, the traditional food.

Classical view on the old town of Stocholm in a sunny summer day

2) Rovaniemi, Finland

If you dream of a winter wonderland, then the region of Lapland is as close as it gets to making your dreams come true. If you add to that the birthplace of Santa Claus, what else do you need? This is the northest part of Finland and a perfect place to see Aurora Borealis, which can be seen 200 nights per year. Do not think that it’s less magical in summer! For three months the region is bathed by a 24-hour sunlight that provokes the phenomenon called the Midnight sun, which calls for many out-door activities, festivals, cultural events, etc.

3) Roskilde, Denmark

Being the Danish capital for centuries, Roskilde is a city with rich historical background dating to the Viking age when a royal palace and a cathedral were built there by the founder of Denmark, Harald Bluetooth. The city is also famous for its Viking Ship Museum which is a home of 5 well-preserved Viking ships, unearthed from the Roskilde Fjords around the city. The city also houses Denmark’s biggest party and northern Europe’s biggest music festival, attracting more than 50,000 campers every summer.

4) Andøya, Norway

Most of you have probably already heard of Andøya Space Center on Norway’s northernmost island in the Vesterålen archipelago inside the Arctic Circle. This is not ideal place only for space lovers, but for nature enthusiasts as well. Andøya is Norway’s leading spot for whale and wildlife watching for which it has earned the name ‘Whale Kingdom of the North’, overrun by tourists both in summer and in winter season. If you decide to go, you can enjoy deep-sea fishing, husky sleigh rides, stave hot pools, bike tours, too, or see the Museum of Nostalgia, how Alveland soap is made and much more.  

5) Helsinki, Finland

Finnish capital and country’s largest city Helsinki is a perfect destination to visit at any time of the year. Most of the city sits on a peninsula facing the Baltic Sea. Helsinki is a city to explore on foot or on a bike. If you happen to be there, do not miss out on Mannerheimintie (Mannerheim Street) which expands from the Central Railway Station and where you can see the statue of Marshal Mannerheim, the most important man in Finnish history. You can see the Kiasma Museum as well, the Parliament building and much more. Linnanmäki Amusement Park is a great place to go if you’re looking for a bit of fun and relaxation after sightseeing.


6) Reykjavik, Iceland

Apart from being number one in the number of cultural institutions, Iceland’s capital city has developed a high-quality tourism offering wide range of volcano tours and diving in the waters of Silfra. You can also experience the worldwide famous salmon and wild trout fishing, whale and puffin watching, sea angling, northern lights cruises and the ferry to Viðey Island. Mount Esja is a popular destination for one day trippers, as well as a golden-sanded geothermal beach at Nauthólsvík in Reykjavík. Icelandic cuisine is a must-try when in Reykjavik, so keep in mind not to forget the fabulous Icelandic beer, hot dog, coffee and pizza.

7) Jukkasjärvi, Sweden

A tiny Swedish village locally known as Jukkas, 17km north of Kiruna in the region of Lappland. This place is known in the world as the location of Icehotel, by far the world’s largest igloo, built every year all over again in October next to the Torneälven River that lasts until the temperatures rise significantly above zero in May and then melts back to the river. The all inclusive package per night costs 220€ for 2 persons. After spending the night at Icehotel, don’t hesitate to visit the nearby city of Kiruna and see Kiruna Kyrka, one of the most beautiful buildings in Sweden, Ateljé Nord with handicraft masterpieces and collections, and if you’re there in January, Snöfestivalen, which is all about snow sculpting.

8) Bergen, Norway

According to many, Bergen is Norway’s most beautiful city. Country’s second largest place is also a gateway to majestic fjords. Called ‘the city between seven mountains’, Bergen is today a European City of Culture and an important centre for the shipping and oil industries, aquaculture and higher education. The old wharf of Bergen, Bryggen, serves as a reminder of city’s important role in Hanseatic League’s trading empire from the 14th to the 16th century. Its renewal maintained the traditional style following old patterns and methods. The Hanseatic merchants in the Bryggen area are now included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

9) Copenhagen, Denmark

By far the largest city in the country, Copenhagen is also claimed to be Scandinavia’s most relaxing city. A friendly street-life and a unique café culture wrapped in beautiful design of the city will make you want to never leave again. The colorful shore-side homes of Nyhavn give the city a nautical vibe, very present in the cuisine as well. Wander through the city and see the beauty of Tivoli Gardens, the city’s most popular attraction dating from 1843, especially magical in Christmas time, Christianborg Palace, the Danish seat of government, many museums and galleries or spend your leisure time in Strøget, a shopping area with all kinds of boutiques, shops, bars and restaurants.


10) Gothenburg, Sweden

Although not so famous as Stockholm or Malmö, Gothenburg is one of the most beautiful cities in the country and a popular tourist destination. Make sure to go to Liseberg, Scandinavia’s largest amusement park with all kinds of attractions, which opens its Christmas market for winter holidays. The Gothenburg Museum of Art is also worth visiting if you’re an art lover who wishes to see one of the finest collections in Northern Europe. Few other interesting places to go to are Feskekôrka, a fish market hall in the shape of a church, Garden Society of Gothenburg, one of Europe’s best preserved 19th century parks and Gothenburg archipelago within one hour drive from the city.


  1. Mahendar Pal Singh   •  

    Please et me know the duration of ’10 Cities to Visit in Scandinavia’ by bus tour From Oslo to Oslo. I am planning to tour during first week of April 2018, preferably from 2nd or 3rd April.

    Also let me know the total cost for a couple.

    • Melani   •  

      Dear Mahendar,

      Getbybus is an online agency which sells bus tickets, however, our blogs are focused on providing traveling tips for people who would like to organize trips themselves. Thus, we don’t have organized bus tours but you can buy individual bus tickets on

      Best regards!
      Melani, GBB Team

      • Payal Gill   •  

        Hey melani, I am a solo Traveller and planning to do the Scandinavian tour in September 2019 , how many days would suffice if I wanna visit finland, Iceland, Norway and sweden?

        I want to book my tickets and need to make the most of this travel please advice

        Thank you !

        Payal Gill

        • Melani   •  

          Dear Payal,

          It depends on your budget and how many cities you would like to visit but since you plan to visit 4 countries, I think two weeks (at least) will do for this trip 🙂

          Best regards,
          Melani GBB Team

        • abhishek roy   •  

          Hi payal
          Even i am looking to visit scandnavia in 2019.
          Do let me know if we could team up.

  2. Arnold   •  

    An interesting and informative read. I would however add to mention the relative expense of countries like Norway and Iceland.

  3. AJ   •  

    Hi Melani,

    We plan to travel to Norway for Northern light in mid-Nov 2019. Kindly advise which other parts of Europe that we can cover for 2 weeks.

    Appreciate your respond.


    • Melani   •  

      Dear AJ,

      Well, it depends on your personal preferences and whether you like touristy places or not. Since you plan to visit Norway in this period, I suggest you visit some great phenomena in Norway such as Trolltunga and Kjeragbolten. Also, some of the best views of polar night can be seen in Tromsø. You can check more about Norway on the following link:

      Have a nice trip! 🙂

      Best regards,
      Melani GBB Team

  4. Deepak   •  

    I would like to visit scandinavia for 10 days in 5 countries. Is that period enough to watch the whole tour ?

    • Melani   •  

      Dear Deepak,

      It depends which type of transport you plan to use. If you plan to go by bus or by train, your schedule might be pretty tight since Scandinavia is quite a large area. I recommend narrowing down the number of countries or increase the number of days.

      Best regards,
      Melani GBB Team

  5. Margaret   •  

    Hi Melani

    We plan to visit in Late April and early May 2020. Are we able to travel to all these cities by bus and how much does it costs?


    • Melani   •  

      Dear Margaret,

      The purpose of this post was to list down the best Scandinavian destinations, you don’t need to visit them all. Have in mind that Scandinavia is a really large area, especially Norway, Sweden and Finland. For example, it would take you 10+ hours by bus to reach Rovaniemi from Helsinki, so personally, I would not recommend.

      Best regards,
      Melani GBB Team

  6. rohit aggarwal   •  

    thank you getbybus for giving me wonderful information

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *