Northern Lights and Cities

Scandinavia is by no means a new tourist destination. It is not necessarily, however, the first European destination that travelers (particularly American travelers) tend to visit. With stunning natural beauty along the fjords, small towns full of heritage and charm, cutting edge cosmopolitan cities and the ?happiest people in the world?, this is not a region to be overlooked. Besides, there are few other places in the world where you can enjoy the sunshine at midnight!

Unless you have a month to travel, it will be impossible to visit even all the attractions in this region, let alone some of the more ?out of the way? places less populated by tourists. Here some suggestions to get you started!

Northern Lights

– The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis by their proper name, are an absolute must if in Norway. They are most frequently viewed from Tromso and Finnmark, though can be seen several times each month even from southern Norway. Though they are visible year round, the best viewing time is September through April.

– The North Cape: Located in Finnmark, Norway, this cliff formation is considered the northernmost point in Europe and is one of the most visited destinations in Scandinavia. In the summer, you can experience the midnight sun when the sun does not ?set? (it does disappear below the horizon but it does not get dark). This allows for experiences such as midnight rafting and other adventures that take advantage of the lack of darkness.

– Norway?s landscape is one of its top ?attractions?. The fjords, mountains and glaciers create an opportunity for breathtaking scenic cruises, glacier walking, mountaineering, skiing, hiking, sea kayaking and plenty of other ways to enjoy the natural surroundings.

– Denmark is known for their beautiful gardens, particularly the Danish Royal Gardens in and around Copenhagen. The most popular are the King?s Gardens at Rosenborg Castle in the city. Others include the Hirsccholm Garden and Museum, Tivoli Gardens, and Frederiksborg Castle Gardens. Weekday visits to the Gardens help to avoid crowds (which can get pretty large), especially in the summer.

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

– Copenhagen, in addition to having the self-proclaimed ?happiest people in the world?, has the longest pedestrian shopping street in the world, the Stroget, which runs through the heart of the city and with stores for everything from designer labels to second hand goods.

– Amelienborg Palace is an actual royal palace where the queen spends her winters. Visitors can explore the chambers that are not in use while the royal couple is staying here.

– Stockholm, Sweden is in itself a major ?attraction?. With the world?s highest concentration of museums, an old town – Gamla Stan – that?s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an equally as enthralling modern side with shopping, restaurants and nightlife, Stockholm is considered to be one of Europe?s top cities to visit.


– Skeppsholmen Island is home to some of Stockholm?s most enjoyable museums including the Museum of Eastern Antiques and Museum of Modern Art (Moderna Museet). This island is also home to Stockholm?s Jazz Festival. The island is reached by a bridge that connects it to the mainland.

– Visby is a preserved medieval town on the island of Gotland. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this town?s most notable landmarks are its two mile stone wall and 12th Century Cathedral. The Hanseatic Harbor and Botanical Gardens here are also worth a visit

In addition to all that it has to offer, Scandinavia serves as the easiest jumping off point for visiting Finland, Iceland, Greenland and Lapland. This is just a small sample of what visitors will enjoy in the region. Some travelers choose to focus more extensively on one country at a time, while others choose to visit the highlights of the region.


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