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Itinerary recommendations - Scandinavia

  • 23 May 2024
  • 8 replies
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Hello all,

Hoping to get some recommendations on the best routes for “efficiency”

I am planning a 2 week trip from Paris to Prague, middle of July, focusing on Scandinavia.

I don’t mind long train rides, even almost everyday - trying to hit most of the highlights.

Will have time for some hikes I hope - which should I not miss (in Norway, I imagine)?

How far in advance do I need to make reservations? Is 1st and 2nd class reservations the same price? Is there more availability in 1st class? (I am contemplating getting the 1st class pass)

Can I count on wifi working on all trains?

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Best answer by BrendanDB 24 May 2024, 10:57

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I need a bit more details to help a bit with an itinerary. What’s your main focus? Nature are more city/culture. Or 50/50?

Do you have must sees and places to visit? I don’t think you’ll have time to venture to far north, if you still want to visit places and hike.

First class pass in Scandinavia is okay, but there are many countries with a better first class product. Regional trains usually don’t have a first class equivalent, only long distance trains.

In first class you get some coffee or tea for free, and have (sometimes) better seats. Availability seems okay.

Wifi is usually available on long distance trains, but not always fast.

Thank you very much, Nature over cities.

I plan to work from the train during the days, so riding a few hours each day (and nights if needed), hike / sight seeing in the afternoons and weekends

Rough plan would be the get as far north as I can as quickly as I can, with stops in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen and the scenic trains (is Flam line going be very crowded?)

Should I try to get the northern Swedish routes (Inlandsbanan, Rauma )?

Then start south to Stockholm, Malmo, catch the ferry to Poland and rush to Prague.

Sounds like really a lot - is it feasible? Are there recommended stops?

 

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Seems like a very American itinerary, very rushed, and no time to properly visit any of the places you mentioned 😉.

2 full long travel days (with some night trains) get from Paris to Bergen by train (without visiting anything properly). Same for getting back to Prague, so that meas you’ll spend at least 5-6 days solely on transport of your two weeks. Some lovely views though, on the way, the Bergensbanen is really impressive.

Most straightforward route going will be: Paris-Cologne, Cologne-Hamburg, Hamburg-Kopenhagen (by day or night train). Kopenhagen - Göteborg, Göteborg-Oslo, Oslo-Bergen (possible by night train).

Or you take the night ferry Copenhagen-Oslo, also gaining some time.

Bergen is a good base to do hikes, you’re quickly in wild in unique nature in the immediate vincity of the city. Especially if you take some local busses. The hiking path from  Fløyen to Ulriken (or the other way around) is recommendable, Gulfjellet,… easy acces to the biggest fjords, Nærøyfjorden (region around Flåm). Plenty of possibilities there. Voss, Geilo, all quite good bases (but smaller and not so interesting to visit, except to hike).

I’lld skip Amsterdam, go immediately furthest to Bergen, spend 3-5 days there, and travel futher. You can maybe take a Kystbus to Ålesund, from where you can continue to Åndalsnes, take the Raumabanen en Dovrebanen back to Oslo to a large part of Norway that way. Than visit Oslo (can be limited to one day, not that big), Stockholm (or anything in between for a more nature), Copenhagen and head back to Prague.

Use www.bahn.com to plan your trip in different stretches. Make sure to provide ample buffer time for important changes in Germany at least 1 or 2 hours, since German punctuality is very bad lately.

If you plan to take Eurostar (ex-thalys trains) from Paris to Amsterdam or Cologne, best reserve them asap.

A lot of crossborder trains into and out of Germany willhave mandatory reservation. Long distance trains in Sweden and Norway also have mandatory reservations. Get them on www.sj.se or www.entur.no respectively.

I plead guilty, not my preferred way, but I only have 2 weeks (during which I must work - the North American way).

Is there wifi on the Inlandsbanan? where would be the best place for hiking along this  train line?

I am tempted to go  Ålesund to Gällivare and south to Mora (loops are always better) - is that route covered by Eurail?

If you had to pick between Norway and Sweden - which would you recommend?

Thanks for the tools tips and the valuable information

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There is WiFi on Inlandsbanan, but it might not be so reliable in the middle of the forest.

https://res.inlandsbanan.se/en/travelling-with-inlandsbanan/on-the-train

 

If you plan to travel with Inlandsbanan, make sure to reserve your seat well in advance. If the train is full, you are not allowed to board without a reservation. 

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I plead guilty, not my preferred way, but I only have 2 weeks (during which I must work - the North American way). 

If you had to pick between Norway and Sweden - which would you recommend?

Yeah, you poor things don't have many holidays. That's better on this side of the ocean ;)

I'm a bit prejudiced, but I'lld say Norway. Since I lived there (Sorry @AnnaB ;))

Dramatic landscapes, mountains, fjords, forests and very wild nature. For the waw-effect ;) 

Sweden is also very nice, but a bit different landscape wise. Rolling hills, lots of forests and lakes and a bit more lively cities. 

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Inlandsbanan is a lot of forrest so I agree with @BrendanDB. Go for Norway if you want nice scenery.

You’re right.

Amsterdam - Hirtshals - ferry to Bergen

Is there wifi on the ferry? says that business does

I’ll spend something like thursday to tuesday from Bergen - favorite trails? are local buses expensive?

Recommended overnight hike for the weekend? can i hang my hammock to sleep anywhere more than 150m from cultivated land? mosquitos?

should i go further north? get to the flam train?

 

Then to Prague via Copenhagen - anything interesting along the way?

I sleep well in planes, do you think that’s comparable to night train seat sleep?

should i invest in 1st class?

 

thank you

 

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