The Scandinavian Dream

scandinavia Jun 25, 2020

Finland, Sweden, Norway. In general terms, even the thought of these three countries is enough to give us goosebumps since they all are engraved in our brains with their brutal colds, frozen lakes, and never-ending night-times in the winter. Hence, this fact makes us, the warm-blooded Mediterranean people, choose warmer places to add to our trip routes. However, there is always a good end of every tricky bend and, believe me, this situation works for Scandinavia very well!

I have been able to acknowledge this idiom when I first learned about the location of Estonia on the map. The deeper I researched about the "extremely cold" places that I was planning to visit in June, the more I got embraced by the charming atmosphere that Scandinavia shapes into in the summers. Here, I am more than excited to offer you a trip plan which I am sure will be one of the craziest yet soothing experiences of your lifetime!

Stockholm, Sweden

Have you ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome? Well, I am not sure if there is anything you should worry about, but I 100% believe that this city will always call you to come back to it no matter how many times you visited. As you can understand from the title, the first stop of our enchanting trip will be Stockholm, Sweden. Being one of the most important harbors of the world and the organ point of tourists from many different nations, I highly recommend you to take your time to visit every corner of this little "Northern Venice". Buy your one-way flight ticket, check into one of the several hotels that are gathered around the Sergels Torg, and let yourself be encircled by the vivacious summer of Stockholm.

Wandering Around Stockholm

After having a tour around the Sergels Torg, I think you would not want to miss the opportunity of walking down the Vasastaden, the busiest street of Stockholm, on a sunny day and visiting the luxurious shops to buy some souvenirs for your family. If you decide to follow the street till the end, you will find yourself on another path above the bridge which leads to the Gamla Stan, a small but live island that is mostly famous for its colored houses and cobblestones. In addition to being the perfect Scandinavian style background for your photographs, Gamla Stan will offer you some traditional appetizers that are served in the tiny bistros of it.

Talking about the food, there is a certain thing you should know before visiting Sweden: Swedish people tend to eat everything with sugar; including bread, cabbage, sauce, etc. and this situation is not generally perceived decently among tourists. However, there are still many local foods like Reindeer Hot Dogs you should definitely give a try during your trip. Reindeer Hot Dogs are served with dijon mustard and red pickled-onions on top, offering the taster an array of delicacy.

My second food recommendation might sound a little strange, however, I bet you would be bewildered by the crunchiness of the golden french fries and sour cream and fresh onion sauce of Burger King which is located just across the Stockholm's City Library.

In addition to the places I managed to visit during my 7 hours in Stockholm, there are still a few places that I wish I could get a glimpse of; I think you should not forget adding the Royal Palace, the Nobel Museum (which has a free entrance) and the Modern Arts Museum to your list.

Tallinn, Estonia

At this point in my writing, I feel a little guilty for not continuing with Norway, since it's one of the only three Scandinavian countries. However, being almost forgotten with its 1.3 million population, I think you will love this little detour Estonia, and agree on discovering the beauties of Norway for your next vacation.

Estonia, located just beneath Helsinki and the Gulf of Finland on the map, is one of the small, Baltic Sea countries that have a culture on its own. It is also known for its technological developments and super fast WIFI connections in the latest years.

Both having shore to the Baltic Sea, there are a lot of cruise ships that take off from Stockholm and arrives in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, or the other way round. Taking one of those trips will both serve you cheap transportation between two countries, and beautiful long-lasting sunset views that will warm your heart up. As far as I've researched, Tallink Silja Line is the most reasonable cruise company by far and they offer many trips in a day so that you could choose the most convenient time for yourself.

Stockholm-Tallinn trips take almost 16 hours, which means you will have a cabin to sleep in. The cabins may appear to be too small at the first glimpse, however, they are designed as useful as they could ever be and they can easily inhabit 1-4 people at a time. In this way, you can take advantage of the many facilities that the cruise ship has, watch the beautiful sights of the Baltic Sea from the deck, and get a rest in your private cabin whenever you want.

Wandering Around Tallinn

Once you set your foot on the borders of Estonia, the first thing you should do is to purchase a transportation card for how many days you are planning to stay (the officials would tell you about the choices) and a 5 GB mobile data card for only 3 Euros. Both of these cards will make your trip much easier. After getting out of the station, you could either hire a cab or take a tramway that just has a stop by the harbor with your transportation card for getting to your pre-arranged accommodation spot. Depending on your comfort choices, this spot could be either a hostel or one of the fanciest hotels in the city center but in both ways, I am sure that the antique yet modern atmosphere of the town will make you want to savor the never-ending brightness of the day.

Get out of your room, there are a lot of beautiful places that can't wait to have you out there. But do not let the golden sun trick you with its warmth and never forget to take a jacket with you, because even in June, it's freezing cold outside! If you are all set, take the nearest tram, and let the fresh trees accompany you through your trip to the Vabaduse Väljak(The Freedom Square). Going directly past and up the St. John's Church, the Old Town will start to show its traces with the Finnish-Russian style buildings that are gathered around the main street that finally leads to the ancient Viru Gates.

After buying Vikings-themed souvenirs and magnets from the little shops that are lined on the sides of the street, it's finally time to start your low-tempo climb to the Old Town. This ancient area that makes you feel like you are in a completely different city, inhabits many consulates, a beautiful observation terrace, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, and many more important places that you should definitely visit. Also, I would highly recommend visiting the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments, the Kunstimuseum, the Piano Museum, and the Opera House that are within walking distance to the Old Town area, which I believe will help you to have a better glimpse on the country's ancient culture.

Depending on my experience, 3 days would be just enough to discover most of Tallinn; however, if you want to visit nearby towns as well, I recommend you to spare a few extra days for your trip. Before leaving this lovely country, do not forget to taste some of the traditional Black Bread and Venison or Mushroom soups that are served in terra cotta cups!

Helsinki, Finland

Now, we are sadly getting close to the end by leaving Estonia for the last destination of our dreamy Scandinavian trip, Helsinki. The same situation in the Stockholm-Tallinn trip also works for the Tallinn-Helsinki trip, even more simply, because there is only a small gulf of water between these two cities that could be crossed with a 2-hour-long cruise trip. Many trips within a day will easily take you to Helsinki from Tallinn, however, you could also find discounted tickets on the Tallink Silja Line's website if you decide on booking your tickets early.

The Cathedral of Helsinki, Suomenlinna, Temppeliaukion Church, The Cathedral of Uspenski, The Parliament House... Even though learning about all these beautiful tourist attractions of Helsinki still makes me feel sorry for not being able to visit Helsinki and having to cut my trip off in Tallinn, I also find myself setting a goal of visiting there one day. Unfortunately, I will not be able to describe all the beauties of this enchanting city because I did not have the chance to see over there in person, but I definitely advise you to take that trip and come to Finland if you do not want to regret as I do! In this way, you could either take your flight back home from Helsinki after completing your trip or head north to continue discovering the mysterious atmosphere of Scandinavia!

For more information on popular attractions of Helsinki, go visit: https://www.visitfinland.com/helsinki/

This was another fun and considerably affordable experiences that I have had so far. You can even make this trip cheaper by paying no money for your flight tickets with the help of Pabbler! For more information, please visit: https://www.pabbler.com/

I hope you enjoyed while reading! Stay tuned!