Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

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ColoradoNewBiker
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Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by ColoradoNewBiker » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:18 am

Dear BH,

My wife and I are planning a short trip in late May to early June (from Denver). We're considering Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo for two weeks (about 3 days a city). Our plan is to fly from Denver to London, then do city hop from London. The reason is the flight is cheaper to London than to other cities directly. Has anyone taken a similar route and anything we need to consider before booking the flights? I haven't done much research on the three cities yet. Any advice on "must-see" would be appreciated (choosing Copenhagen is mainly about the little mermaid that my 4-year old daughter has been longing for :-)

Thanks in advance for any advice,

ColoradoNewBiker

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BL
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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by BL » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:19 am

Western Norway (Bergen, area) is very beautiful with high mountains, steep slopes, and waterfalls.

anticrastinator
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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by anticrastinator » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:09 am

Great cities, lots to see. Make sure you don’t make it about the little mermaid, as it is quite underwhelming and anticlimactic once you get there, your daughter might have high expectations and be disappointed.

carol-brennan
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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by carol-brennan » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:57 am

anticrastinator wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:09 am
Great cities, lots to see. Make sure you don’t make it about the little mermaid, as it is quite underwhelming and anticlimactic once you get there, your daughter might have high expectations and be disappointed.
Second this re mermaid. Boring.

I'd go to these places in the summer, but there's a lot to be said for going in off-season, too.

StudentT
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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by StudentT » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:25 am

My wife, daughter, and I spent three weeks in Scandinavia in 2014. It was a great trip. We really enjoyed Oslo, Flam, and Bergen in Norway. We spent three nights in Copenhagen and it was at least two too many. The city is nice but it just didn't compare with the others. We were frankly bored and ready to leave. Rick Steves was right on this one.

If you have only a week or so, I'd suggest a couple of nights in Oslo, two nights in Flam (on a fjord between Oslo and Bergen, the railway spur which takes you there is simply breathtaking), a couple nights in Bergen, and the remainder in Stockholm.

caffeperfavore
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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by caffeperfavore » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:48 am

StudentT wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:25 am
My wife, daughter, and I spent three weeks in Scandinavia in 2014. It was a great trip. We really enjoyed Oslo, Flam, and Bergen in Norway. We spent three nights in Copenhagen and it was at least two too many. The city is nice but it just didn't compare with the others. We were frankly bored and ready to leave. Rick Steves was right on this one.

If you have only a week or so, I'd suggest a couple of nights in Oslo, two nights in Flam (on a fjord between Oslo and Bergen, the railway spur which takes you there is simply breathtaking), a couple nights in Bergen, and the remainder in Stockholm.
I've always heard that Scandinavia is wildly expensive. What are your impressions? Any tips for keeping costs in check?

onourway
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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by onourway » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:08 am

If the weather is decent, the Tivoli Gardens are a charming place to spend an evening in Copenhagen.

Weather in Norway can be all over the map in May/June. May 18 is Norway's national holiday and the entire country celebrates for the day, with lots of traditional festivals and dress. I would agree to a couple of days in Oslo. The Norway in a Nutshell train tours are a good option to see a lot of the country in a relatively short timespan for not too much money. With a four year old you'll want to spread this over probably at least two nights with overnight stops as suggested in Flam and possibly Bergen. Note that Bergen is lovely, but at any time of year the weather can be atrocious. Think 40 degrees and sideways rain.

Yes, Scandinavia is exceptionally expensive in some ways. Primarily eating out and even more so, drinking alcohol out. In most of Scandinavia, but especially Norway, your hotel may be fairly expensive, but there will nearly always be an excellent breakfast included in the price. Plan to fill up, and don't be afraid to ask for paper to pack a lunch. With fresh bread, cheese, jam and fish on offer you can make a full lunch from this as well. For a family of 3 this can easily save you $60-100/day over eating breakfast and lunch out at restaurants. In this context hotels will appear much more reasonable.

In general sit-down restaurants with service will be very expensive no matter what meal - $15-30 per person, however the many excellent bakeries and coffee shops often have excellent options at much more reasonable prices. Even 7-11 type shops and gas stations often have more than decent sandwich options.

Enjoy!
Last edited by onourway on Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by whodidntante » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:15 am

caffeperfavore wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:48 am
StudentT wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:25 am
My wife, daughter, and I spent three weeks in Scandinavia in 2014. It was a great trip. We really enjoyed Oslo, Flam, and Bergen in Norway. We spent three nights in Copenhagen and it was at least two too many. The city is nice but it just didn't compare with the others. We were frankly bored and ready to leave. Rick Steves was right on this one.

If you have only a week or so, I'd suggest a couple of nights in Oslo, two nights in Flam (on a fjord between Oslo and Bergen, the railway spur which takes you there is simply breathtaking), a couple nights in Bergen, and the remainder in Stockholm.
I've always heard that Scandinavia is wildly expensive. What are your impressions? Any tips for keeping costs in check?
Copenhagen is disgustingly expensive. Stockholm is bad indigestion expensive. Helsinki is relatively reasonably priced. I haven't been to Oslo. I just spent the money and grumbled. But if you want to save then:

Avoid renting a car. Use trains, bicycles, and walk.
Be flexible and go at a time when the hotel is less expensive.
Consider eating at a nice restaurant only once a day, maximum. Find cheaper eats otherwise. The service is also "relaxed" so this will also allow more time to do things other than sit in a restaurant.
Keep any souvenirs modest.
Limit alcohol intake as it's not worth the high price. In Denmark a glass of low quality beer is more than $10.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by Carson » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:18 am

caffeperfavore wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:48 am
I've always heard that Scandinavia is wildly expensive. What are your impressions? Any tips for keeping costs in check?
We are going to Copenhagen in April (family of 2 adults, 2 kids) I am planning for sticker shock.

Our strategies include - judicious use of the Copenhagen Card for activities and transit, booking a stay in an Air B&B which will allow us to cook breakfast and dinner at home, and have lunch out (works better for family anyway). The Air B&B is close to a Lidl supermarket, and I've already peeked at their sales flyers - I'm astounded at the price of meat, so we might need to just go a little easy on that part of our diet for the week. Additionaly, I'm planning to bring some key things from home that might make our trip easier - protein bars, and trying to think of some other things. Unfortunately all 4 of us have high metabolisms and seems hunger is often an issue.

ETA, I'm also REALLY trying to think long-range about this - I feel like if I can just plan for a relatively wacky amount for food, and LET IT GO, I could possibly enjoy things more. We have vacationed in HCOL areas and the sticker shock has really put a damper on those trips.
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by dubsem » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:12 pm

carol-brennan wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:57 am
anticrastinator wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:09 am
Great cities, lots to see. Make sure you don’t make it about the little mermaid, as it is quite underwhelming and anticlimactic once you get there, your daughter might have high expectations and be disappointed.
Second this re mermaid. Boring.

I'd go to these places in the summer, but there's a lot to be said for going in off-season, too.
Mermaid is worth seeing since it means that much to your daughter. It is underwhelming though.
G.O.O.D.

THY4373
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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by THY4373 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:18 pm

I am headed to Norway for two weeks June and July. We are going Oslo, Bergen and Longyearbyen (up in the arctic circle). Yes it is very expensive. The activities up on Longyearbyen really add up but hey it is the arctic.

To keep costs down I used a combination of the Citi Prestige fourth night free benefit as well as using Raddisson reward points (I finally found a somewhat decent use for them). For the most part I am just going to grin and bear the costs. Norway looks fantastic and I want my son to see the arctic circle as it is before it is gone.

Also you are travelling earlier than me so it likely won't be a problem but late June hotel availability in Oslo was very close to sold out back in early December. I could still find AirBnBs and some apartments markets as hotels but very, very few hotels anywhere near central Oslo.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by THY4373 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:20 pm

dubsem wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:12 pm
Mermaid is worth seeing since it means that much to your daughter. It is underwhelming though.
+1 My family drove from Belgium to Moscow in the 1970s. We got a ferry from Copenhagen to somewhere in Sweden I think. Anyway my mother totally wanted to see this and made my dad drive there. She was totally underwhelmed. It has become something of a family joke.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by Scrapr » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:50 pm

2nd the suggestion for Tivoli in Copenhagen. We went late in the day. It was magical at night. Just beautiful. We missed Nyhavn in Copenhagen and wished we had made it over.

We really enjoyed Stockholm as well. Vasa museum is a must see

I would try trains as much as possible. Look at website maninseat61.com for help there

stlrick
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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by stlrick » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:00 pm

Another vote here for including Bergen, the Oslo - Bergen train, and the side branch train to Flam. From Bergen, you are close to fjords, and you might look into a day trip. Stunningly beautiful. In Bergen, the KODE Art Museums, including a museum for children, are world class, and an easy walk from the waterfront, where you can see remarkably preserved buildings of the Hanseatic League. We stayed at the Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz with the best included breakfast buffet we have ever seen anywhere.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by DanishDynamite » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:24 pm

I live here in Copenhagen, so I'm probably biased. I think the city has an amazing atmosphere (when you go outside the turisty inner city), but for beautiful nature, you are dead out of luck. Go to Norway for that :)! A few suggestions for Copenhagen could be:

Canal tour, it's a nice way to see some of the old buildings and get some of the stories about Copenhagen (if it's with a guide).

Walking around the lakes. Us Danes love to go outside when the spring and summer comes, and a lot a people go for walks by the lakes and take a bottle of wine to Dronning Louise's bro (Queen Louise' Bridge) in the evening.

The food scene is really good here! There are great options from 15 dollars and up: if you have the budget for it, there are some of the best restaurants in the world (well, if you like the whole 'new nordic' thing), and there are a lot of great cheeper options, such as the different street food places (e.g. The new by tivoli or Refshaleøen).

Consider getting out of the inner city. Nørrebro is considered young and 'hip' while Østerbro and Frederiksberg is more grown up, I personally think that the atmosphere outside of the inner city is really nice, especially in the summertime.

The botanical gardens are lovely and free, so if you walk pass it, consider going in.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:44 pm

Saving money in Scandinavia

- stay at a hotel that has an included breakfast buffet. These are usually excellent and nothing at all like free breakfast in the US. You may not want lunch.

- consider some meals at markets, department stores, etc.

- check the price of water before passing up the beer.

- the overnight ferry between Copenhagen and Oslo is usually less than a hotel room and great fun.

- the fjords train/ boat tours in Norway will be enjoyable if you don't have time or inclination for more independent travel.

- agree that the Mermaid was underwhelming however it was a pleasant walk out in that direction.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:55 pm

Definitely stay someplace with breakfast. You get a full cold cut spread with rolls/bread to slice. We made sandwiches and ate them for lunch.

Personally I’d skip Oslo if I were going to go back. It was kind of meh, unless you really want to see the Vigeland Sculpture Park which is hilarious. Copenhagen and Stockholm are much nicer.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by jamacq » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:38 pm

Very surprised to see the negative comments on Copenhagen. I've traveled much of the world and Copenhagen is my favorite city. The city of spires has so much beauty at every turn and so much to walk about and see. Nyhavn is always a treat. Walk the city or rent a bike and tour around the entire city. Take a canal ride, walk to the mermaid...the sites along the walk are interesting. Walk up the outside spiral steps of the Church of our Saviour. Look for the twisting dragon tails of the Stock Exchange.

I generally hate cities...prefer the countryside, but Copenhagen is a treat. I've been there three times and it will always be on my list to return.

Jeff

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by epictetus » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:47 pm

would suggest researching Rick Steves' website on the areas you are planning to visit.
Focus on what you can control

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ColoradoNewBiker
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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by ColoradoNewBiker » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:14 am

OP here - many thanks for so much great advice! I guess my daughter will be delighted no matter what about the little mermaid. :-) we'll see.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by sawdust60 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:01 am

Check out the Copenhagen Card. I don't know how it compares vs. what we used, but it was very convenient to use for trains, metro, bus and attractions. It was so much simpler than trying to figure out fares. I think you can download the app and check it out in advance. You won't need it on the day you arrive, with jet-lag; just get a taxi at the airport, particularly if your hotel is close.
https://copenhagencard.com/whats-included

Download maps.me, and the maps for the cities, and you won't need cellular data.

Stayed at Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers. Used IHG points + cash. Close to train and metro. Near the airport. It was a good choice for us.

One day we took the train to Helsingør; walked to Kronborg Castle. Then train to Hillerød; bus to Frederiksborg Castle.

Tom's port guides - download the Copenhagen PDF. https://www.tomsportguides.com/port-guides.html

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by 123 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:17 am

When we visited Copenhagen we went to Tivoli every evening. It is just magical. Lots of entertainment.

Agreed that the mermaid is underwhelming.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by Watty » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:33 am

ColoradoNewBiker wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:18 am
Our plan is to fly from Denver to London, then do city hop from London. The reason is the flight is cheaper to London than to other cities directly.
I would research that more to confirm that you are really saving enough to make that worthwhile.

One risk is that if you do not plan on spending a day or two in London each way then you could miss your connecting flight if something happens like your return flight to London is delayed by 3 hours. Since you are not booked on one ticket they may require you to buy an expensive last minute ticket to get back from London.

I don't know if travel insurance would cover that or not since it was not on one ticket.

Even if it cost a little bit more I would really try to get a direct flight to your destination and avoid London altogether since each additional stop gives Murphy's Law another chance to cause problems. It is unlikely to be a problem but by avoiding London you would also not have to worry about the Brexit causing you any disruptions.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by THY4373 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:43 am

Watty wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:33 am
ColoradoNewBiker wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:18 am
Our plan is to fly from Denver to London, then do city hop from London. The reason is the flight is cheaper to London than to other cities directly.
I would research that more to confirm that you are really saving enough to make that worthwhile.

One risk is that if you do not plan on spending a day or two in London each way then you could miss your connecting flight if something happens like your return flight to London is delayed by 3 hours. Since you are not booked on one ticket they may require you to buy an expensive last minute ticket to get back from London.

I don't know if travel insurance would cover that or not since it was not on one ticket.

Even if it cost a little bit more I would really try to get a direct flight to your destination and avoid London altogether since each additional stop gives Murphy's Law another chance to cause problems. It is unlikely to be a problem but by avoiding London you would also not have to worry about the Brexit causing you any disruptions.
This is a really good catch. I often fly on separate tickets due to using points and some flights not being available on points. I am willing to take some risk long haul > short haul (cheaper) but not the reverse. If you are on separate tickets and check your luggage there is a good chance these days the airline you check in with will not interline your bags on separate tickets (BAs policy is so bad they wont' even do BA to BA on separate tickets). Thus when you get to London you will need to go through customs, immigration, get your bags, got back through security (this is a time consuming effort at Heathrow especially). This is made even more complicated by the Brexit risk. If you decide on separate tickets make sure you double or triple the allowed minimum connection time for the airport you are transiting (and I would probably consider an overnight at least for the return leg so you don't put your long haul tickets at risk). It is possible the airlines will still accommodate you on separate tickets but that is in general not guaranteed (AA has a good policy of accommodating you on separate tickets but only for OneWorld carriers). I am transiting London on my way to Oslo in late June (on a single ticket) and I am wishing now I hadn't done that with Brexit though I still think I'll be ok.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by carol-brennan » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:04 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:15 am
Copenhagen is disgustingly expensive. Stockholm is bad indigestion expensive. Helsinki is relatively reasonably priced. I haven't been to Oslo. I just spent the money and grumbled. But if you want to save then:

Agree. I have a friend in Finland, and I enjoy visiting her. Nice, laid back country. The rest of scandinavia I can do without. I prefer Germany (very reasonably priced).

lstone19
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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by lstone19 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:50 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:44 pm
- the overnight ferry between Copenhagen and Oslo is usually less than a hotel room and great fun.
I’ll echo that. My wife did Stockholm -> Oslo -> Copenhagen in 2017 ahead of a cruise departing from Copenhagen. A top level cabin on the ferry is less than a hotel and air or rail between the cities. We did it southbound - wonderful views of the Oslo fjord for the first two hours after departure. Depart before dinner, arrive after breakfast, and plenty of time for a good night’s sleep. Dinner was extra but breakfast is included with the top cabins. These overnight ferries are frequently called “cruise-ferries” as they are basically small cruise ships. DFDS Seaways is the company - easy to book online (oddly, their site for the U.S. market prices in Euros rather than Danish or Norwegian currency (neither country uses the Euro)).

For the Stockholm - Oslo part, we took the train (SJ Rail). It’s about five hours but you see the rural part of Sweden you won’t get to see if you just hit the big cities. If you do that and are selecting seats on SJ’s website (which shows seats relative to which way the train departs Stockholm), the train departs Stockholm southbound (before turning west and north).

Suggested things to do:
Stockholm - do an archieloago cruise. The ocean-navigable waters to the east of Stockholm, dotted with islands, are wonderful; also Vasa Muesum, and if you’re in to them, the ABBA Museum (I’m not but people we were with the first time we were in Stockholm wanted to go there - it was much better than I expected).

Oslo - Vigeland sculpture park, Munch museum, National Gallery (Munch’s The Scream is here, not in the Munch Museum), the fortress.
Last edited by lstone19 on Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

StudentT
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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by StudentT » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:19 pm

caffeperfavore wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:48 am
StudentT wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:25 am
My wife, daughter, and I spent three weeks in Scandinavia in 2014. It was a great trip. We really enjoyed Oslo, Flam, and Bergen in Norway. We spent three nights in Copenhagen and it was at least two too many. The city is nice but it just didn't compare with the others. We were frankly bored and ready to leave. Rick Steves was right on this one.

If you have only a week or so, I'd suggest a couple of nights in Oslo, two nights in Flam (on a fjord between Oslo and Bergen, the railway spur which takes you there is simply breathtaking), a couple nights in Bergen, and the remainder in Stockholm.
I've always heard that Scandinavia is wildly expensive. What are your impressions? Any tips for keeping costs in check?
Scandinavia is definitely very expensive!

This advice isn't specific to Scandinavia but we usually have one meal as a picnic every day when we're in Europe. Usually dinner. We've found that European museums and tourist places tend to have nice cafeterias which are lower cost than most other restaurants so we tend to do that for lunch. It is also more efficient use of time if we don't have to go hunting for a place to eat and they tend to be quick. And lunch is usually a cheaper meal in a restaurant than dinner. Breakfast is usually included with your lodging so we tend to have a larger breakfast than we do at home, a modest lunch, and then a picnic dinner with whatever strikes our fancy. All groceries have bread, meat, cheese, fruit, and some sort of dessert so it is easy to eat well and fun to try new foods.

There are often farmer's markets with wonderful produce at cheap prices. I remember we found one in Bergen. We bought a loaf of bread from one stall and a hunk of cheese from another. Then we sat on a bench and ate cheese sandwiches and watched the people go by. Neither the bread nor the cheese was sliced but ripped hunks of both made messy but tasty sandwiches.

Many of the grocery stores sell hot items and it is fun walking around looking for dinner. When we were in Stockholm we were at a grocery getting dinner one night. My daughter wanted roast chicken. There was a sign indicating a price for a whole and a half chicken but I didn't know how to pronounce the word and the clerk didn't know English. So I pointed to the chicken, made a chopping sign with one hand, and smiled. She grinned, got a meat cleaver, and packaged up half of a chicken. You can get a lot of mileage by being polite and smiling! Too many Americans just speak English at a higher volume which is rude and completely unproductive.

When we're outside of a major city, we tend to try to stay in smaller towns which are usually cheaper. If we have picnic fixings, we don't have to worry about going out again to find a restaurant when we're tired at the end of the day. We take along some reusable plastic plates, bowls, and cutlery to facilitate picnics. If we're staying in a major city, we tend to stay near the main train station, especially if we're arriving or departing by train. It just makes our lives easier and we spend less time traveling in and out of the city center.

And we always have our Nalgene water bottles along so we mostly drink water, refilling at water fountains, rather than buying soft drinks. That can easily save us $15 or more a day which adds up over 2-3 weeks.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by NOLA » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:29 pm

I was born in Sweden, but has lived the last 20 years in the U.S. We stayed in Copenhagen for a few days last summer and we loved it(haven’t been since I was a kid). Nyhavn is really neat and loved having a Tuborg beer, owned by Carlsberg, in downtown Copenhagen. Great place to rent a bike and enjoy the city. We swam in the canals and Copenhagen is kind of a mix of Scandinavia & Central/Southern Europe. People are not in a rush and enjoy getting off work early. Easily one of my favorite capitals.

Haven’t been in Norway since we moved here, but the fjords are amazing. Way different than Denmark, but it’s crazy how beautiful the countryside is. I would probably skip Oslo and I want to check out Preikestolen and/or Trolltunga next time I go.

I grew up 2 hours west of Stockholm and it’s definitely a beautiful and a pretty cool city. The archipelago is pretty unreal and lots of interesting museums. Has a cozy version of Six Flags that’s pretty much downtown and hosts a musical artists from around the world.

The negative is obviously the weather, and fairly expensive. About as expensive as New York City. You just don’t know what you are gonna get when it comes to the weather. Summers can be anywhere from 60 to high 80s. You might get a full month of sunshine, or 3 weeks of drizzle every day. However, I think last summer was the warmest they have had in 100-200 years.

Enjoy your trip and let us know how your experience was.

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Re: Copenhagen/Stockholm/Oslo in May/June

Post by Carson » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:20 am

I wanted to add some info here as we just got back from a week in Copenhagen with 2 adults and 2 kids under 10.

We had found a great deal of a flight for something like $340 round trip/pp. We stayed in an Air B&B about 20 mins bus from the city center.

We used the Copenhagen Card and I HIGHLY recommend that. We purchased the 5-day card for 266 Euro, and the cost of attractions we saw was 364 Euro (most places were 110 DKK for 1 adult ticket entry, FWIW). The card made it so that we could see a little of everything and genuinely enjoy our trip. And you didn't feel like you had to suck every last moment out of a place to get your money's worth.

The transit system is great, and while there is Rejseplanen transit app, we used Google maps with int'l cell phone plan and had no issues with incorrect times or routes. With kids, the Copenhagen card includes bus/train/metro for the 4 of us and that was a huge help for tired little legs. I have no idea how much transit would have cost us, TBH.

I was terrified about food costs since food is cheap for us at home. But it wasn't terrible, it just required some planning/strategy. We would eat a filling breakfast at the apartment, head out, and when everyone started clamoring for lunch, I'd pull out protein bars I brought from home to tide us over until we could find something for lunch. Grocery stores and 7-11s had a lot of really great grab & go options, eg, I got a really lovely pasta/chicken/veg salad for about $6 at a whole-foods type store. I'd make something quick at the apt for dinner- protein/pasta/veg type of thing. Meat was not terribly expensive, but I was shopping at Lidl and Rema. Groceries did seem to be very high quality and you can browse ad fliers online before you go.

We had two expensive lunches - one at a BBQ/Brewery for $90 would have cost us exactly $48 in Chicago. Another was a Smorrebrod that I wanted to try, but with inconvenient timing and we just ended up at a high-end place (and charged for water <wah!> ). Craft beer was about $8. We took a day trip to sweden and ate a 'fancy' lunch and that was probably 2/3 the price it would have been in CPH. A lot of locals do go to Sweden (either Helsingborg or Malmo) for an evening just to get dinner, but you need to think about transit cost.

One last thing, we did not ever NEED cash. I withdrew from my Cap 1 checking when we hit the airport, but never would have actually needed it. We had no problem using our Cap 1 CCs (we weren't asked for PIN, just signature) and my contactless iphone worked awesome.
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.

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