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Finland, Norway, Sweden

Discussion in 'Holidays & Travel' started by drunkntigr, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. drunkntigr

    drunkntigr Member

    Joined:
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    Been wanting to go to the Nordic countries for a while.

    I hear they're happy places vs the rest of Europe.

    I don't like tourist attractions as much as just finding an area to just chill out, activities sorta chore me.

    Yes, yes, covid, but once this all blows over No. 1 on my list, any experiences?
     
  2. Zee

    Zee Member

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    Very interested, have yet to go to any of the Nordic countries, but have seen awesome pics of Iceland, and many great tales.

    Z...
     
  3. Agg

    Agg Lord of the Pings

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    Went to Helsinki in summer in ~2016, loved it. Worth spending a day going over to Suomenlinna. Otherwise not sure what else to say, I was only on foot and wandered around doing geocaches and stuff. Very nice city, clean and modern, great infrastructure for bikes etc, very pleasant climate in summer. It was just one leg of a trip to Estona, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Finland but it was definitely somewhere I want to go back to and explore more.

    Flickr photo albums:
    St Petersburg to Helsinki: https://www.flickr.com/photos/r6geek/albums/72157668230223053
    Exploring Helsinki: https://www.flickr.com/photos/r6geek/albums/72157668409156193
    Suomenlinna: https://www.flickr.com/photos/r6geek/albums/72157670278600190
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
  4. nav

    nav Member

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    I’m also a fan of Helsinki, it’s such a cute little city - reminds me of Hobart. I like that it’s out of the way and not really rated by Europeans. I found the locals to be super friendly. Qantas is partnered with Finnair, so it’s pretty connected to Australia.

    -nav.
     
  5. tobes

    tobes Member

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    Took the Family to Finland,Sweden, Russia and Estonia in December 2019 just before the pandemic shit storm.

    Now I'll preface this by saying one of the reasons we picked there was to get into the whole Santa thing with the kids. That is Rovenami with kids in December is a total Santa's wonderland thing.

    Anyway, we flew into Helsinki spent a couple of days there. Great city to walk around and agree with Agg Suomenlina is great the science museum near the airport was also great for kids.

    We caught a train from their to St Petersburg and wandered around for a couple of days which was amazing and I would like to do it again without kids although that was mainly experiencing the city and seeing the tourist sites so not your thing.

    Caught a train to Talinn Estonia and again spent a few days working around there, went to the Ballet and wandered the old city. The oldest intact medieval village apparently.

    Ferry from there to Stockholm and hung out a bit before getting the Ferry back to Helsinki and the train up above the artic Circle. Did go to Santa's village and do that sort of stuff with the kids but the thing we all enjoyed the most was we hired a cabin at Gulu Gulu the Artic Zoo and spent a few days there, went cross country skiing, snow mobiling, visited the Zoo etc and general absorbed the frozen wilderness. It was amazing.

    Trains, Ferrys are excellent ways to get around especially in winter and are super easy to use.

    Honestly I could spend time wandering around all of the cities we went to again except Rovanemi which was flattened during WW2 and rebuilt afterwards.
     
  6. Agg

    Agg Lord of the Pings

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    Estonia is definitely worth visiting if you are in the area. There's a ferry between Tallinn and Helsinki which takes about 3 hours. As mentioned above the "old town" in the middle of the city is cool, nice medieval tower you can go up into, and a cool dungeons type history show I forget the name of. Estonia is a strange mix of old former Soviet hangovers and new young exciting tech stuff. The craters on Saaremaa are pretty cool if you like geological history stuff - some theorize that the iron fragments of the meteor that hit there moved the local civilisation from the bronze age into the iron age.

    St Petersburg is absolutely stunning. I was there in mid summer and seeing the midnight sun, or more accurately, the sunset that lasts for hours and hours and never quite goes dark, the colours spread across the front of the Hermitage and the other huge facade buildings, just magical.
     
  7. Smoothie

    Smoothie Member

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    Nice choice, I love Scandinavia I spent a few weeks there in 2018 went to Norway (Oslo, Tromsø) Finland (Helsinki) and a quick stop over in northern Sweden for the lights.. It will suit your idea of chilling and not worrying too much for attractions, I mean they have lots of things to do - but nothing is shoved down your throat. You can just come and go and do what you want or wander around in an extremely nice, safe location.. Definitely check out the Oslo gallery - see The Scream!

    I also took the ferry across to Tallinn which I cannot recommend more - spend the day wandering the old town of Tallinn Just incredible old medieval city - there's plenty of ferry's, I took a bath buying a ticket online - get a local to help out, there's heaps of company's trying to rip off tourists.
     
  8. clonex

    clonex Member

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    Tbh Helsinki is abit meh, rather visit Turku or if you insist on Helsinki do trips within the archipelago tho Turku has better offerings again.

    Less than an hour from Helsinki by car Porvoo is worth the visit but if you wish to just chill maybe the City library in Helsinki will do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
  9. SpaceFrog

    SpaceFrog Member

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    Was in Helsinki in 2008, and was lucky that my mates new a local, and he was very happy to show us around. Nice & clean city, comfortable weather in the summer. The language is what interested me the most. It's very unique, the closest language is Hungarian, so I'm told. The locals are friendly, Most of them speak English. And a lot of the signage is written in Finnish & Swedish. The latter is less foreign to an English or German speaker.
     
  10. SpaceFrog

    SpaceFrog Member

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    Somewhat off topic, this just came up on my spotify. I'm like is that Russian, Portuguese, Slavic? Google... Oh it's Finnish
     
  11. chainbolt

    chainbolt Member

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    It's not for everybody as you stay for some time on a ship - but have a look at the "Hurtigruten" cruise. They offer an absolutely spectacular cruise through the Norwegian fjords.

    Norway Cruises: In the land of Fjords & Northern Lights | Hurtigruten

    There are various courses along the Norwegian coast line, in some cases you can even board already in Germany (Hamburg), or Denmark.

    And you are definitely not joined by the usual package tourists. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021

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