A Taste of Scandinavia
8 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1 Berlin
Welcome to Berlin! If you're a bit daunted by the size of the city, there are countless bus tours that operate throughout Berlin and they're an ideal way to find your feet. Alternatively buses 100 and 200 are perfect to reach many of the main tourist sites for just the regular bus fare. There are many unique memorials and sites holding significance in Berlin's more recent history, which are all designed to provoke thought as well as commemorate. These include the Jewish Memorial, the empty book shelves of Bebelplatz and the confronting Topography of Terror. The 19th century Reichstag, whose cupola was designed by British architect Norman Foster, holds a special and symbolic meaning outside of its role as the home of parliament. The great glass dome that crowns the building also offers sweeping views over Berlin. Make sure you book your visit early in the morning, as queues can snake around the building for hours on end.
Day 2 Berlin
After a morning orientation walk of the city, enjoy a free afternoon to explore the cafes, bars and galleries of bohemian Berlin. Find the crumbling remnants of the Berlin Wall that are scattered all over the city. Checkpoint Charlie is also a significant site in German history, as its museum overlooks the former border checkpoint dividing East and West. The city has a unique nightlife that presents delicious food, bars, pubs and clubs (if that's your thing). The Brandenburg Gate, Germany's symbol which is minted on the Euro coins, is a great place to visit at night, as the whole area is completely lit up. Other areas great for night life are the inner-city neighbourhoods of Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg, perfect for all-nighters. 24-hour public transport makes venturing around the city a breeze.
Day 3 Hamburg
Travel by train to Hamburg (about 2 hours), leaving in the morning in order to maximise time spent in the port city. Upon arrival enjoy an introductory walk of the city with your leader which will set you up for your own explorations. Make sure you spend time in the historic Speicherstadt (‘Warehouse City’) and check out parts of the harbour for a closer look at the the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, a brand new glass and steel structure set atop an old brick warehouse from around 1900. Perhaps climb the tower of St Michaelis Church (nick-named "The Michel") for great views over the city. Alternatively mingle with the locals at a cafe on the Binnenalster lake, or at Reeperbahn with its multitude of bars and clubs.
Day 4 Copenhagen
Early this morning travel by train and ferry via the southern Danish archipelago to Copenhagen (approx 5 hours). Enjoy a free evening to visit the pastel-coloured waterfront houses in the Nyhavn area. Drop in at an industrial-chic bar for a drink or stroll around the famous Tivoli Gardens which has the world's oldest rollercoaster. You may also decide to venture into the Freetown of Christiania, a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood south-east of the city centre. It is regulated by a special law, the Christiania Law of 1989, and has been a source of controversy since 1971 when squatters took over a former military area. Another area worth checking out is Norrebro, a residential area known for its wide range of restaurants.
Day 5 Copenhagen
When in Copenhagen, do as the locals do and explore the city by bike, undoubtedly the best way to explore the city's many hidden corners. The bike-friendly streets mean cycling to the city's major sites are a breeze. The afternoon is free for you to further explore this Scandinavian city. Stroll along the harbour or head out to the classicist palaces of 18th century Amalienborg, to this day the main residence of the Danish Royal family. Perhaps pay a visit to Frederik's Church, also known as Marble Church, the Court House on Nytorv Square or check out the facade of the red brick town hall. Alternatively the National Museum is not to be missed, as is the Christiansborg Palace in the very centre of Copenhagen.
Day 6 Gothenburg
Another morning train ride will get us to Gothenburg in Sweden (approx 4 hours) via the famous Øresund Bridge that spans the strait separating Denmark and the Scandinavian peninsula. After a first orientation walk, embark on a cruise through Gothenburg's many waterways, passing the opera house, the famous fish market Feskekörka, and the old docks. Afterwards enjoy a free afternoon. Perhaps visit the Göteborg City Museum, housed in the former East India Company House, built during the time when Gothenburg's role was that of a major maritime trading centre. Take in the architectural ensemble on Gustav Adolfs Torg, go shopping along the main boulevard Avenyn, check out the iconic Skansen Kronan, stroll along bohemian Långgatan street or sip a coffee in the charming Haga quarter, known for its picturesque wooden houses, 19th century atmosphere and the so-called hagabulle, a cinnamon pastry similar to kanelbulle.
Day 7 Oslo
After a free morning in Gothenburg catch an afternoon bus across the border to Norway's capital Oslo (approx 4 hours). Time permitting your leader will take you on an initial orientation walk so you get a first taste of this quirky, colourful city. In the evening say 'skal' ('cheers') to the group at your last dinner together. Why not seek out some traditional Norwegian fare based around cod and mackerel dishes.
Day 8 Oslo
Your trip ends today after breakfast and you can depart your accommodation at any time. If you would like to extend your stay in Oslo please speak to your travel agent at the time of booking as we will be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
All This Included
Do as the locals do on this urban adventure reaching from the bohemian quarters of Berlin to the stylish boutiques of Oslo. Explore the cobbled streets of Copenhagen by bike, nibble traditional cinnamon rolls at a Swedish coffee house, and wander through the famous markets of Hamburg.
Hotel (6 nights)
Pension (1 night)
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.