Monday, October 30, 2017

2 Weeks in Northern Europe: Itinerary

      The Europe continent is a popular travel destination among Americans and Asians. Everyone loves the old town vibes, quaint villages, and the food… However, do you realize that most people drop Northen Europe, especially Scandinavia off their list? One reason is that those countries are a little out of the way geographically, and another reason… is the high expenses.

      But if you don't mind the extra miles and do plan a visit to the North, how should you plan your itinerary to make it budget-friendlier? While there is too much to see and too little time, I genuinely hope that this sample itinerary of Northern Europe in 2 weeks will help you make the most out of your trip.
     Last summer when my family visited me, I figured that I might just as well let them experienced the route lesser traveled by. Hence, the creation of the below itinerary, the exact itinerary we used during our trip.

2 Weeks in Northern Europe

1. Saint Petersburg, Russia

        I've always urged my readers to check out the Russian city of Saint Petersburg. Although it is geographically in Russia, it has more of a European vibe to it. This is one of my favorite Russian cities and I hope you’ll get to enjoy it as much as I do.
        You can reach Saint Petersburg conveniently via the Russian Railways or budget airlines like "Pobeda". Getting around St Petersburg is easy as most places are very walkable. Uber and Gett come in handy too (you can get free €5 for taxi here. 
)
       For a great kick start, book your stay as close to the main street, Nevsky Prospect as possible. We spent 3 days in the city checking out various monuments, bridges the Hermitage and a day trip to Petergoff…
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        While I think 3 days aren’t enough to see everything, you’ve got to put at least 3 days aside for this city to get a nice introduction. For those who are really interested in exploring deeper, I recommend a 4-nights stay.

Where to stay: Airbnb Apartment / Hotel Elle >> (3 nights)
Read the detailed Itinerary: 3 Days in Saint Petersburg Itinerary Sharing 
2 weeks northern Europe itinerary

       For budget travelers, I recommend taking a night bus to Tallinn. Buses are affordable and comfortable but you’ll have to stay awake for passport checks and the custom. Unlike most Western Europe countries where border control is non-existence, it’s quite a hassle in the Eastern part. After the border control, congratulations, you can go back to your beauty sleep.
2 weeks northern Europe itinerary

       This is a step-by-step tutorial post on how I always get cheap bus tickets on the GoEuro website. If you have some doubts on overnight buses (don't worry, we all do!), definitely check out this guide. You can also download their Europe travel app here for easier reference.


2. Tallinn, Estonia

       If you wish to at least catch some rest before visiting attractions, I advise you to book the night before at your hostel too, as the bus will be arriving at 5 am, and generally no hostel do early check in at 5. I myself booked an Airbnb and I wouldn’t recommend you this because 1), you’ll have to wait until 3 pm for the check-in, 2), you will not have a free place to leave your luggage until the host is ready. So if you arrive that early, get a hostel/hotel room.
2 weeks northern Europe itinerary
2 weeks northern Europe itinerary

      Tallinn is a great city to explore on foot. It is a perfect blend of modern comfort and old town presence. The picturesque walled, cobblestoned streets will lead you from one quaint cafe to another ... and if you are up for a quick exercise, go up to St. Nicholas Church, the 13th-century landmark of Tallinn to marvel at the skyline.

Where to stay: The Knight House >>/ Tallinn Apartment Hotels >> (1 night)
Read the detailed Itinerary: 2 days in Tallinn

       To travel from Tallinn to Stockholm, I am happy to let my family experience a night on the Tallinn Silja cruise. This is one of the most budget-friendly cruise ships on the surface of Nordic waters and it provides amazing services. My family enjoyed the night-long activities on board, a good night sleep, as well as a picnic on the deck.
2 weeks in Northen Europe itinerary

3. Stockholm, Sweden 

       In the land of Ikea, we are excited to grab the most incredible deal in my whole Airbnb-ing life. We stayed in a tastefully Ikea-furnished luxurious apartment (3 rooms) for only $96 per night! What a steal! On top of that, our hosts are very friendly and accommodating. So there you go, there will be hits and misses in Airbnb-ing and this, is obviously a huge hit.
2 weeks northern Europe itinerary

       Stockholmers don't call their hometown 'beauty on water' for nothing. The canals and the bridges on the extensive Baltic Sea archipelago and the lush greenery by the waters are real sights to behold. Gamla Stan is my favorite part of the city where it features winding cobblestone streets, holes in the wall, royal palace and the famous ochre-colored old buildings. In Stockholm, we used a 2 days Stockholm pass to get around. The pass easily saved us up to 845 SEK ( $104 USD) per person and I highly recommended that you get one.
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Where to stay: Airbnb! (2 nights)
Unfortunately, the house we stayed in is only made available when the hosts are out of the city, but to make it up to you, enjoy this $30 credit (RM105) for your first Airbnb experience!
Alternatively, you can stay at the Generator Hostel >>.
Read the detailed itinerary: 3 days in Stockholm 
2 weeks northern Europe itinerary

       From Stockholm, we took a night bus to Copenhagen.
2 weeks northern Europe itinerary

4. Copenhagen, Denmark

       Copenhagen is the town of fairytales. I am a fan of Hans Anderson for as long as I remember so naturally, a visit to the grave of Anderson is a must… and guess what, the grave lies just around the corner from our Airbnb home.

       Copenhagen has excellent public transportation, but I feel that one will get the most out of a day walking the city. A walk between my Airbnb and the Little Mermaid took us around 1 hour, but we found endless photos opportunity along the way, which we will most probably miss if we were to go with a public bus. Copenhagen is a city that often tops those happiest-places- on-Earth lists, a visit to the city yourself and you'll get all the explanations. Also, it is worth to note that it is the city with most bicycles in Scandinavia... so always make way for the bikes!

Where to stay: Airbnb / Urban House Hotel >> (1 night)
Read the detailed itinerary:  2 days visiting all the free sights in Copenhagen

       After 2 days exploring Copenhagen, its time for a night bus journey again, this time, heading to Oslo for another 2 weeks worth of adventures.
2 weeks northern Europe itinerary

5. Oslo, Norway

       We ended our 2 weeks in the capital of Norway. From there, we will be exploring as much of Southern Norway as we could, for another 2 weeks. So stay tuned for the next blog update!

       Oslo is your place if you are a fan of museums and green spaces. Definitely, dont miss a visit to the Vigeland Sculpture Park to see the angry babies... the weirdest reason to visit a park... but you'll be amazed... or confused... or feeling a confusing combination of both.
2 weeks northern Europe itinerary

       One of the best reasons to end your trip in Oslo is that Norwegian Airline offers pretty cheap flight to Asia (Bangkok, to be exact.)

Where to stay: Express Central Station Hotel >> (2 nights)
Read the detailed itinerary: 2 days in Oslo

       You might realize that I’ve dropped Finland from my itinerary. Not because it is not interesting enough, but I have too little time.

Summary on this "2 Weeks Itinerary in Northern Europe": 

Day 1: Arrive in St Petersburg, sleep in St Petersburg
Day 2: Explore St Petersburg, sleep in St Petersburg
Day 3: Day Trip to Petergoff, sleep in St Petersburg
Day 4: Explore The Hermitage, sleep in night bus to Tallinn
Day 5: Explore Tallinn, sleep Tallinn
Day 6: Explore Tallinn, sleep in Cruise to Stockholm
Day 7: Explore Stockholm, sleep in Stockholm
Day 8: Explore Stockholm, sleep in Stockholm
Day 9: Explore Stockholm, sleep in night bus to Copenhagen
Day 10: Explore Copenhagen, sleep in Copenhagen
Day 11: Explore Copenhagen, sleep in night bus to Oslo
Day 12: Explore Oslo, sleep in Oslo
Day 13: Explore Oslo, sleep in Oslo
Day 14: Start of new adventure/ Home Sweet Home


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Thank You for Reading! This "2 weeks in Northern Europe" Itinerary is based solely on my honest opinion and personal experience. 
Feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!

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