With its captivating blend of breathtaking natural scenery and vibrant modern cities, Scandinavia entices visitors from around the globe. From majestic Norwegian fjords to charming Nordic capitals, there are countless sights to experience across Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Norway.
Key Takeaways: Top 10 Places to Visit in Scandinavia
|Atlantic Ocean Road
|Coastal highway with breathtaking ocean vistas
|Magical hotel made completely of ice
|Contemporary Baltic seaside sauna
|Dramatic Arctic archipelago with fjords
|Majestic UNESCO-listed fjord
|Denmark & Sweden
|Engineering marvel bridge-tunnel combo
|Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse
|Picture-perfect lighthouse being swallowed by sand dunes
|Koli National Park
|Pristine Lakeland wilderness with hills and lakes
|Santa Claus Village
|Festive Arctic Circle home of Santa Claus
|Geothermal spa in black lava fields
10 Must-See Destinations for Your Scandinavian Holiday
If you’re planning an upcoming trip to experience Scandinavia’s highlights, here are 10 iconic destinations to add to your holiday itinerary:
1. The Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway
This thrilling 8.3 km highway snakes along Norway’s rugged western coastline through picturesque islets and skerries emerging from the sea. With the vibrant blue Atlantic on one side and towering cliffs on the other, the magnificent views around each hairpin bend redefine road trip adventures.
Stop along the route to admire sights like the gracefully curved Storseisundet Bridge spanning the mouth of a windswept bay.
2. IceHotel, Sweden
Why settle for an ordinary hotel when you can spend the night in a majestic icy world inside Sweden’s famous IceHotel? Each winter this ephemeral accommodation is recreated using pure ice from the Torne River. Bundle up in provided Arctic-grade sleeping bags atop reindeer hides to sleep in amazing themed suites carved by artists from pristine ice.
By day, marvel at ice sculptures in the chilled hallways. An utterly unique Scandinavian experience!
3. Loyly Sauna, Finland
While public saunas are ingrained in Finnish culture, Helsinki’s stunning Loyly sauna takes relaxation to new heights. The contemporary building on the Baltic shoreline features smoke saunas heated with birch logs as well as electric saunas.
After working up a good sweat, cool off with a dip in the sea or lounge on the wooden terraces outside sipping local craft beer.
4. Lofoten Islands, Norway
Far above the Arctic Circle, this isolated archipelago emerging from the Norwegian Sea remains a place of unspoiled natural wonder. Sheer granite peaks rise directly from the sea, while red wooden fishing huts cluster on shores with vistas of perfect fjords.
Visit from late fall to early spring for the best chance of witnessing the ethereal Aurora Borealis dancing across the night sky.
5. Geirangerfjord, Norway
Plunging cliffs, gushing waterfalls, and quaint farmsteads dot the epic 15-km length of Norway’s majestic Geirangerfjord. Take in views from Geiranger town or join a sightseeing cruise along the UNESCO World Heritage Site waters.
For an active perspective, hike uphill through lush birch forest along Norway’s famous Golden Route to cross dizzying heights over Åndalsnes by footbridge.
6. The Øresund Crossing, Denmark and Sweden
Connecting Copenhagen in Denmark to Malmo in neighbouring Sweden, this incredible 8 km bridge-tunnel combination enables you to travel between countries uninterrupted. While crossing by car or train, admire the elegant cable-stayed bridge section spanning a narrow strait.
At its lowest point 170 metres below the water’s surface, the underwater tunnel protects vibrant marine ecosystems.
7. Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse, Denmark
Perched high upon sand dunes on Denmark’s North Sea coast, this now-abandoned lighthouse offers a romantic, windswept sight. Built in 1900, shifting sands gradually entombed the original tower. The existing lighthouse dates from 1968, a futile attempt to halt the relentless advance of the dunes.
Walk the scenic hiking trail to reach its rustic red-roofed silhouette on the golden sands.
8. Koli National Park, Finland
Protected since 1991, Finland’s beloved Koli National Park enables visitors to experience iconic Lakeland scenery. Deep peaceful waters reflect towering hillsides blanketed in Scandinavian forest. Explore scenic lookouts like the Ukko-Koli hilltop, wander nature trails past historic sites like the Koli Heritage Farm, and overnight in a traditional log cabin to soak up the tranquility.
9. Santa Claus Village, Finland
What better place to get into the festive spirit than the official hometown of Santa Claus himself? At Santa Claus Village on the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, reindeer pull sleighs, elves share Christmas tales, and Santa greets children year-round from his stately cabin. Write a letter at the Main Post Office to take home a special Arctic Circle postmark from Santa’s hometown.
10. Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Surrender to the legendary healing powers of the Blue Lagoon’s rich geothermal waters in a lava field outside of Reykjavik. Dimly lit by an eerie blue glow, clouds of steam obscure the inky black lava rocks surrounding the manmade lagoon. Soak up benefits like silica mud masks, saunas, massages, and a swim-up bar while being transported to Iceland’s relaxing waters.
With thrilling roads, wintry stays, Nordic spas, majestic fjords, sand-swallowed lighthouses, and even Santa’s hometown, Scandinavia impresses at every turn. Add these 10 top destinations to your upcoming travel plans for an unforgettable Nordic holiday!