Spontaneous trip time!!! Alright guys I was just sitting here and suddenly I said fuck it and decided to start planning a spontaneous trip. I need your help for suggestions and planning. First a little background info: I’m a 25 year old American Male based in Italy. Really open-minded, like trying new things, open for anything really, not a picky person, adapts well, loves food, cultures, chatting with people, meeting new people, getting to know new places, exploring the world, learning from people, having fun and relaxing.
Here’s my idea so far: I’ve been to Denmark and Finland already and I really liked the whole Scandinavian culture and vibe so far and since I’m still missing Norway and Sweden, I thought why not see all of Scandinavia and cross those two places off the list. I’d love to see all the differences among the Scandinavian countries, so I’m planning on taking the plunge and heading off to explore some more. I plan to fly out from Milan, Italy and make a stop in another country before heading to Scandinavia. I have three options based on connecting flights. First fly out of Milan and go to 1. Riga, Latvia, 2. Vilnius, Lithuania, 3. Estonia Tallinn and stay for 3-5 days (not really sure how long I should stay in these places). I was thinking Riga, Latvia, but I’m not sure which one is the best out of these three choices. After my first stop I plan to take a flight from one of those three cities to Oslo, Norway and spend around 10 days in Norway (open to ideas and suggestions on where and how many days to spend in each place.) I thinking about spending around 5 days in Oslo and maybe a few days in Lillehammer, Norway or somewhere else in Norway ( No idea where to go to be honest). Then from Oslo fly to Stockholm, Sweden spend around 5-7 days there and then go to Gothenburg, Sweden and spend around 4 days there. Then it’s back to Italy.
CONTINUED: So I’m a bit confused and clueless on how many days I should spend in each place. I am traveling on a tight budget (Scandinavia is very expensive from what I hear) and I plan to do Couchsurfing the whole time, so I must keep that in mind when choosing which places to go to. I prefer to avoid museums because they eat up a lot of time and cash. I prefer to get out there meet locals really get a feel the place, its people and culture. I’d rather spend my money on food then museums, but if there’s a must do or must see things, then I’ll consider it. So what do you think guys? What are your suggestions? How much spending money will I need? Transportation? I don’t want to spend too much money going around, so unless I can get there with affordable public transportation, then it’s out of the question. Any help would be much appreciated. Anyone else do a similar trip? Share your experiences please! Will respond to your comments as soon as possible.
I'm from Sweden and I can honest to god not say what people are looking for here, but if you like our culture, go ahead.
I haven't been much in Norway so I can't comment on that, but you will not need much more time than you have planned out for Sweden. I will say that you need to go to museaums, many of them are subsidized by the state and thus aren't that expensive to visit.
Connecting with locals could be hard. As you may already know, swedes and scandinavians in general are notoriously bad at socializing with strangers and hard to reach.
How many days should I stay in Stockholm and Gothenburg? I'm think of allocating 10 days in Sweden, can add a few more if needed. What museum do you recommend or what do you recommend doing in Stockholm? I know Scandinavians can be hard to break, but I'm a really easy going guy and I'm good at making people feel comfortable, so I'm sure I'll manage something. Also I will do Couchsurfing, so I'll try to get in touch with a few locals at least. And like most people around the world, give them a few drinks and they open. When I was in Finland it was the same thing. Hard to get people to open up, but once they did everything was fine.
I think 10 days are more than fine. In Stockholm, definitely pay a visit to the armory and the Museaum of the Vasa ship.
For Gothenburg, make sure to check out the Natural History museaum for the dusty-ass whale that used to be a café and also take a trip to Masthuggskyrkan as the cliff makes for a great view of the city.
I am not very optimistic of you managing to couchssurf, especially during the working week where there are few people at bars and no one is drinking.
Thanks for the suggestions, I'm using couchsurfing to find a local to stay with, even if they are busy during the day, I'm sure I can find someone or a fellow traveler to hangout with from Couchsurfing.
Alright so here's what I'm thinking: 5 days in Riga, Latvia, then fly to Bergen, Norway and spend 5 days there, then go to Lillehammer, Norway for 2 days, then go to Oslo, Norway for 5 days, then fly from Oslo to Stockholm, Sweden spend 7 days there (or a few days in a nearby city to Stockholm any worth visiting?), then fly, bus, or train to Gothenburg, Sweden (whichever method is cheaper), spend 3 days in Gothenburg and then fly back to Italy. What do you think?
When are you going? In the summer you could easily spend two weeks in an around Stockholm, but there's not as much to to in the winter. But there's plenty of nice museums, the Vasa museum and the armory has already been mentioned, and whatever your interests are there's a museum for that. Also take a ferry out in archipellago and visit some islands, they are very beautiful in the winter. Go to Drottningholm and visit the royal palace. Make sure spend one or two days just walking around town and see what interesting stuff you might find, especially in the old town and on Söder.
If you want to you could always reverse a part of your trip and start with the baltics, then Stockholm and Gothenburg, and then norway, as there are -very- cheap ferries from Riga/Tallin to Stockholm.
Close to Stockholm there's Norrtälje, Sigtuna, Uppsala, all cozy towns. If you wanna be a bit more ambitious you could take the ferry to Visby on Gotland, which is an incredibly beautiful medieval town. If you have more than a week in Stockholm I'd strongly recommend going there, three days should be enough.
I have been to all the places you have mentioned and would say you're allocating a bit too long in each city. It depends what you want to do when there though? If it's mainly walk around and do any free / very cheap things you can as I did then I would say 3 days in each as a maximum.
Tallinn - Old Town (the only bit worth seeing, I lived here for a summer) takes an absolute maximum of 1 day to see. But if you're in to partying and drinking you could easily spend many days there.
Riga - A bit bigger than Tallinn so could stretch to 2 days.
Vilnius - Personally found boring but many liked, maybe just a bad point of my trip.
Stockholm is very pretty but maybe 3 days max.
Gothenburg - a couple of days.
Norway - I have visited the country for 6 years and live here now.
I think you might have hugely underestimated the travel times in the country though.
Bergen & Lillehammer I have never been but I think you have underestimated the journey times in the country. Between the 2 takes around 10 hours and the train between Oslo and Bergen takes 7 hours.
Lillehammer - Is there any reason why here? Such as Winter Olympic fan? There's much better places to go.
Oslo - You don't need 5 days here, it's a very bland tourist city. You'd be better spending your time in Norway not here. A couple of days max.
What time of year are you planning on coming?
When I first came I visited Stavanger and went walking in the that area which was amazing and went up to Tromso also.
Taking internal flights might be a better plan than using buses or trains as their journey times between the major towns are very long. Norwegian are the cheapest and there is also Wideroe who fly to the smaller towns.
Sorry if that's long I just don't want you think Oslo is Norway as it is so far from the reality!