Scandinavia is made up of Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland. The Nordic region makes more than one dream of traveling. Scandinavia inspires adventure, the great outdoors, and nature so many refreshing notions in these pandemic times. Wondering what are the best places to visit in Scandinavia? Let’s discover them together!
25 most beautiful places to visit in Scandinavia.
With its wide-open spaces, forests, and lakes as far as the eye can see, Finland is a small Scandinavian paradise for nature lovers in every season. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter, the country offers exceptional landscapes and a whole range of outdoor activities.
Obviously, we can’t talk about the most mesmerizing places to visit in Scandinavia without mentioning Lapland. Without a doubt, a magical destination that makes more than one dream. This immense territory in Northern Finland can be discovered every season. In winter, go hunting for the northern lights, learn to sled dogs, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing. In summer, enjoy 24 hours of sunshine and marvel at the midnight sun and in autumn, attend the Ruska where the leaves of the trees are adorned with red, yellow, and orange.
Among the must-sees in Finland is Rovaniemi, the Santa Claus village and capital of Lapland. There you’ll find several activities including Arctic Snow Hotel tour, Husky Safari, Ice Karting, Canoeing, Mushroom Picking, River Fishing, ATV Ride, River Rafting, Hiking, Sauna, Surf and Quad Bike Rides. Also don’t miss Inari (the capital of Sami culture), Levi, Ranua, and Ivalo.
2. Åland Islands.
The Åland archipelago lies between Sweden and Finland. It stretches across the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia. It is composed of 6,500 islands and reefs that offer a striking contrast with the mainland by their landscapes. The Åland Islands are also distinguished by their unique traditions and culture, making it one of the most unique places to visit in Scandinavia. The inhabitants of the archipelago live mainly from commerce and fishing. Regarding places to explore in Åland, do not hesitate to visit the Maritime Museum and the maritime district of Mariehamn. These two places are definitely worth a detour to understand all the history of Åland.
If you look for a medieval town in Finland, look no further. Located east of Helsinki, Porvoo was for a long time the place of residence of many Finnish artists. Take a short daybreak in Porvoo’s medieval old town. You will be enchanted by the incredible charm of the red-toned wooden houses bordering the water. Let your steps guide you through the cobbled streets dating back more than 800 years. Additionally, don’t miss the 600-year-old cathedral and the old town hall square where a culinary activity of cafes and restaurants is bubbling up.
Formerly, Turku was the capital of Finland. Since the Middle Ages, the city of Turku has had a unique connection with the sea. Located in the southwest of Finland on the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the Aura River, Turku dates back to the 13th century. On a human scale, Turku is easily explored on foot or by bicycle, which is quite practical. In this city, you’ll find many restaurants and bars on the banks of the Aura River. It’s the perfect place to spend a romantic weekend and a foodie’s paradise. Among the historical treasures of Turku, do not miss the medieval castle, the imposing cathedral with its mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and neo-Gothic styles, or the Forum Marinum. This last place will make you want to explore the Turku archipelago made up of more than 20,000 islands and reefs spanning 500 km2.
You can’t spend time in Finland without spending a few days in Helsinki. The capital of Finland is one of the most unique places to visit in Scandinavia. Helsinki is dynamic, pleasant, and endearing. Its historical affiliation to the Kingdom of Sweden and then to Russia and its industrial past make it the unique city that it is today. There is so much to see, do and eat in Helsinki. We invite you to explore the City Museum which tells the story of the city. Head afterward to the imposing neoclassical cathedral, formerly known as the Church of St. Nicholas. From the top of its steps, the view over the Finnish capital and its Gulf is breathtaking. If you want to discover all of the Finnish capital take part in our unique Helsinki tour! Additionally, you can benefit from a special Suomenlinna tour and discover this beautiful Finnish island.
Fjords, huge parks, pristine glaciers, and steep waterfalls are what distinguishes Norway. It is arguably one of the best places to visit in Scandinavia. The Nordic country offers visitors an unlimited collection of wild and austere landscapes.
Built on an island, Tromsø is the gateway to the Arctic. It is also the largest city in northern Norway and an ideal destination for viewing the Northern Lights and watching whales. The polar charm of Tromsø is reflected in the scenery of its fjords and snow-capped mountains. But the Norwegian city is also famous for its nightlife, music scene, and culture. Moreover, in the 19th century, Tromsø was called the Paris of the North. Among the must-see attractions in Tromsø is the Arctic Cathedral. This emblematic building is the Arctic Cathedral, whose particular silhouette recalls the tip of a transparent iceberg. Additionally, the most beautiful point of view is Mount Storsteinen. You can reach it on foot or by cable car.
One of the most popular seaside resorts in Norway and must-see places in Scandinavia is Kristiansand. This Norwegian seaside is appreciated for its very pleasant climate. Kristiansand is famous for its Gothic cathedral, one of the largest in Norway. But the Norwegian city is also famous for its zoological garden, zoo, and amusement park. The symbol of Kristiansand is the Kilden Theater, it is very scenic with its curved wooden roof. For nature lovers, don’t hesitate to explore the Ravnedalen Nature Park. We also invite you to go rafting or an excursion to Odderoya Island. It is a great opportunity to bathe in the warm and clear waters of the Norwegian Riviera.
3. Lofoten Islands.
North of Bodo Fleet is Lofoten Islands, a true natural wonder in Norway. The landscape of the Norwegian archipelago is astonishing, with the high mountains plunging headlong into the sea. Visit the best-preserved fishing villages in Scandinavia and enjoy the fish in the Rorbu. Additionally, the Lofoten archipelago is home to several villages. The most picturesque of these are Svolvær, an ancient town famous for its breathtaking scenery, and the village of Henningsvær. Additionally, the Lofoten islands are a great place to watch the Northern Lights spectacle.
Norway’s second city and former capital is Bergen. The notorious Norwegian city is the ideal starting point for visiting the fjords making it a must-see place in Scandinavia. Additionally, the former capital of Norway will welcome you with a picturesque view of its pointed-roof wooden houses. When it comes to the must-sees in Bergen, don’t miss the medieval Bryggen district. This district has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a real historical treasure that evokes the atmosphere of the old port. Also, admire the red and ocher Bergen houses that were once used as warehouses. Today these houses serve as cafes and restaurants. Regarding food, the most suggestive place to taste the local specialties is the fish market. The dishes are delicious and The natural landscape is unforgettable.
A former Viking city and the capital of Norway, Oslo is located at the mouth of a fjord. It is surrounded by lakes, hills, and mountains. Oslo is a dynamic Scandinavian metropolis that offers happiness with nature and is rich in green spaces. In the Norwegian capital, the most representative architecture is the Akershus fortress which dominates the facade of the port. It is a beautiful medieval setting that houses the bodies of Norwegian sovereigns. However, Oslo’s beating heart is Aker Brygge. It is a former shipyard and a pleasant window on the fjord of the capital, where one can walk and rest.
Democracy, pop music, and parental leave for dads, Sweden is arguably one of the best places to visit in Scandinavia. The Swedish cities are green, their nature unspoiled, and their northern lights are available by the thousands. Additionally, Sweden is an eco-luxurious country that would almost make you want to settle there forever.
The city of Stockholm is built straddling the mainland and fourteen small islands. It sits at the mouth of Lake Malar, Sweden’s third-largest lake, and the Baltic Sea. Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, is the country’s largest city. Moreover, all Stockholm’s islands are part of its archipelago, itself made up of 24,000 islands. To discover the city you’ll go from island to island, linked together by more than fifty bridges and numerous boat connections. So there is a lot to discover in Stockholm, one of the most unique places in Scandinavia. Especially since the Swedish city has a rich cultural and architectural heritage. Sonema offers you a unique Stockholm experience, do not miss it!
If in Sweden you see colorful houses, islets, and sailboats dotting the sea and waves lapping under the pontoon, you are in Fjällbacka. This village is a gem located on the coast of Bohuslän, one of the most fantastic regions in Sweden. After discovering this little piece of paradise, you’ll just want to pack up and take the first plane to Scandinavia. In the past, Fjällbacka’s main activity was herring fishing. Until today, fishing has an important place in Fjällbacka’s daily life, in the village’s reputation, and especially in its gastronomy.
3. Öland Island.
In south-eastern Sweden, the island of Öland is connected to the mainland via a 6-kilometer bridge. Sunny most of the year, Öland is a favorite holiday destination for Swedes and foreign tourists, who go there to enjoy a milder climate than elsewhere in the country. Do not miss the long sandy beaches, the outdoor activities for young and old, and the hikes to meet a very varied flora. In addition to its exceptional natural landscapes, this Scandinavian destination also has a historical charm. Some sites allow you to go back to prehistoric times, including the necropolis of Gettlinge, a burial site dating from the Bronze Age, and Stora Alvaret, a limestone plain in the south of the island.
Located on the west coast of Sweden, Göteborg is a very dynamic city. It is one of the most important cities in Sweden and it is also the largest port in Scandinavia. Göteborg is particularly famous for its innovative gastronomy and its lively culture and nightlife, making it one of the unmissable places in Scandinavia. Between its many parks, its lively quays, and its charming old town, life is really good in Göteborg. Additionally, the city has another asset, its magnificent archipelago. Göteborg opens onto a myriad of small islands, the former of which are very easily accessible.
Malmö is the third-largest city in Sweden. Located in the far south of the country, it has been linked to Denmark by the Öresund Bridge since 2000. Malmö is an endearing city, it was once a large industrial center, and now, it is a very dynamic Metropol. It is due to its students, but also to the bridge that connects it to Copenhagen. Additionally, we invite you to take a look at the Turning Torso, the apartment building that has dominated the city since 2005.§
Denmark is a small kingdom with green landscapes, white sandy beaches, and many different islands. It is also one of the best places to visit in Scandinavia.
Capital of the Danish kingdom from the 10th to the 15th century, Roskilde has one of the most remarkable cathedrals in Denmark. It is in this building, built in the 12th century and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that all the Danish monarchs are buried. Additionally, Roskilde is home to the Viking Ship Museum, the tourist site that highlights the famous Viking era.
The town of Ribe was founded around AD 700, therefore, it it the oldest town in Denmark. The Danish city, therefore, has a rich history and has seen several important figures over time. Ribe was first an important trading town during the Viking Age, and later became one of the residential towns of the Valdemar dynasty. However, at the end of the Middle Ages, Ribe experienced a period of decline. It wasn’t until the development of modern tourism in the 19th century that several decisions were made in order to preserve the historic city center of the city. Today, Ribe is one of the must-see places in Scandinavia.
3. Møn Island.
A small Danish island with well-kept secrets, Møn Island is a wonderland full of fantasies and natural gems. With ancient houses and fields as far as the eye can see, Møn Island does not fail to dazzle with its originality. This little island will capture your heart and soul. Additionally, Møn Island is a must-see getaway during your Scandinavian trip.
Located in the Billund in the heart of Jutland, Legoland is Denmark’s most famous theme park. Open since 1968, Legoland is located not far from the family business LEGO, where the famous bricks were imagined and created for the first time. Ideal for a family excursion, Legoland Park offers many themed worlds and attractions for the young and old. Among the attractions not to miss is the Polar X-Plorer, it is full of thrills. This roller coaster consists of vertiginous descents and takes participants on a journey through an arctic universe where icebergs, penguins, and polar bears are legions.
Bordered by waters and Sweden, Copenhagen has over the years become one of the most popular places to visit in Scandinavia. Its Nordic character, colorful architecture, Nyhavn port, design, and emerald green church roofs appeal to visitors. Everything seems perfect in the Danish capital, moreover, it has been voted the happiest city in the world. Additionally, in Copenhagen, the streets are clean and lively and people cycle through ocher, then blue, then emerald green facades.
One of the Scandinavian dream destinations is Island! This northern European country stands out by its raw nature. It is an explosive mixture between fire and ice!
Located in west-central Iceland, Kerlingarfjoll is a geothermal area of Hveravellir. The area is very beautiful and you will often find a lot of people at the tourist site. However, you’ll find all around the region is desert. The Kerlingarfjoll area is absolutely sublime. Moreover, its landscapes are very similar to Landmannalaugar but there are fewer people because it is less known and less accessible. In short, Kerlingarfjoll is definitely worth exploring and spending a few hours there.
With an austere appearance, Askja is one of the most sublime places in Scandinavia. Access to the Askja volcano is via the F88 trail from Myvatn. The atmosphere in this Icelandic region is truly sensational with very large settings. Once you arrive in Askja, do not hesitate to take a swim in Lake Viti. The water is warm there and, under the water, you will hear the breath of the volcano. You can also pitch your tent all over the volcanic area. However, be aware that the ground is often made up of lava or pumice stone and it will therefore be necessary to provide a good survival blanket to put under the groundsheet to not damage it.
Located in the center-west of the Island, the Snaefellsnes peninsula is a bit like the Finistere of Iceland. In this part of the world, you will find a rainy atmosphere and the wild coasts with isolated villages. You will also find the surprising mountain Kirkjufell with a waterfall at its feet. Additionally, Snaefellsnes houses multitude of seabirds that live on the cliffs.
4. Vestmann Islands.
Who wants to experience wild Iceland, must discover Vestmann Islands. Nicknamed the Western Men’s Archipelago, Vestmann Islands is one of over 15 islands populated by countless puffins. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because the puffins have emerged very recently. It happened in 1963 following a volcanic eruption. Only Heimaey is inhabited by men but also by a volcano. Additionally, you will find there the unique atmosphere of the islands, however, you will also find a harsh climate.
How to go to Iceland without visiting Reykjavík? One of the best destinations in Scandinavia. You must spend a few days discovering the Icelandic capital. Above all, Reykjavík brings together more than a third of Icelanders. A scent of serenity and relaxation hangs in the streets of the capital. Additionally, you will be charmed by Reykjavík by discovering its colorful facades, the architecture of its cathedrals, its port, its swimming pools, its nightlife, its northern lights, its southcoast and its blue lagoon.