Got back from visiting Denmark and Norway, with a bit of Netherlands thrown in there. Here’s how we did it in 10 days, and a few of my recommendations.
Day 1–4: Copenhagen, Denmark
Did the obligatory walking tour to get a lay of the land, then a pastry making class with Chef Fredric. Fun fact, they don’t call it “danish” pastries there.
See the crown jewels at the Rosenborg Castle, followed by some shopping in Stroget. I picked up a Skagen watch for myself and my girlfriend, then get almost 20% back at the airport to make it tax-free.
Day 4–5: Bergen, Norway (west coast)
Get ready for Seattle’s sister city and non-stop, drizzling rain. I brought the right gear… except for my shoes! Constantly wet, we had to put a hair-dryer to them each night and hope they don’t stink.
Get a city view by riding the Fløibanen up to Fløyen, and enjoy some of the easy trails. Definitely visit the old wharf area Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and then stop at the Fisketorget for a whale burger!
Day 6–8: Finse to Flåm on the Rallarvegen road
Grab a rail to the tiny outpost of Finse, aka Hoth from Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back. That’s where our packaged tour started with an amazing stay at Finse 1222, then picking up our bikes to ride the 60km to Flåm. Apparently, remnants of Hurricane Dorian reached all the way up here, causing snowfall and heavy winds. We played it safe by starting out bike ride from Myrdal, spiced it up with a 1.3 km zipline down, and explored the UNESCO listed Nærøyfjord in open-air RIB boats.
Day 9–10: Oslo, Norway
Arrive via rail, book early and spring for the Komfort tickets to pick your seat and free coffee/tea). Loved the Oslo Opera House, where you can walk to the roof, and from afar is meant to represent a giant glacier and the people end up looking like penguins!
The Viking Ship museum and Stave Church from Gol did not disappoint, but the more than 200 bronze statues in the Vigeland Park was great fun!
BONUS: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Our flights were direct from Amsterdam, so we ended up spending a night here and enjoyed the canals running through the city. More chaotic than Copenhagen, still full of city bikers, and I don’t think I saw a person over 40 years old there.
- Scored first class tickets on the way home from AMS to MCO (9+ hour flight) on Virgin Atlantic by using the Chase Reserve sign-up bonus points. Read carefully to know what you’re getting yourself into! The card comes with Priority Pass, which gets me into some airport lounges for free (I.e. free food, drinks, maybe even a shower!), Global Entry (faster through US passport line), and TSA Pre-check (keep your shoes on!).
- Yes, my friends made fun of me for my Nike Tech Jogger Pants, calling them “leggings.” In my defense, they fit right in in Europe, have a zipper side pocket for my passport, and make my calves look great.
- Too many cords? So get a BUBM Travel Organizer Cord Bag and keep it all organized!