With its rich history, culture and stunning landscapes, Northern Europe makes for a beautiful holiday destination. Vibrant cities, glistening mountain tops and oozing European culture – this is what you will experience on your Scandinavia trip. If the never-ending list of places to visit is overwhelming you, check out our top 10 suggestions.
- Lake Geneva
The largest freshwater body in Scandinavia, Lake Geneva, is sandwiched between Switzerland and France. Its unusually clear water and stunning surroundings of the Swiss Alps, villages and vineyards attract tourists from both countries, and not just to enjoy the views. You can also sunbathe while peeking at snowy summits nearby, although the water usually stays a bit too cold for swimming.
- Swiss National Park
A part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the Swiss National Park is home to stunning greenery and various hills, diverse wildlife and, of course, the Alps. It is located in the Western Rhaetian Alps, eastern Switzerland, and there is an 80km route prepared for tourists to hike and take in the beauty of the surroundings.
- Chateau de Chillon
If you visit Lake Geneva and decide to book a journey on a boat, make sure to get to Chateau de Chillon, a stunning medieval castle nestled on a rock island in the middle of the lake. The view is fairytale-like from afar and even more magical when you get closer. You can visit the chateau on the inside as well and learn about its thousand-year-long history.
A picturesque city of medieval architecture, Bern is one of the smallest but one of the most stunning capitals in Europe. In the very heart of Switzerland, the city is framed by hills which gives it an even more mesmerising look. You can visit many world-class galleries and museums, or simply take a walk through the small, energetic streets of Bern. Not to mention the stunning Old Town!
Sitting between Germany and France, the city of Basel is the perfect combination of the two. A mixture of Germanic and French architectures and cultural diversity, Basel is the perfect place to visit if you wish to see how these two countries coexist together. There is plenty to see and do, including more than 40 local museums, beautiful squares and Gothic buildings.
If you love the feeling of cold, fresh air filling your lungs as you gaze at white mountain tops with one hand protecting your eyes from the sunlight, visiting the Jungfraujoch region is for you. Famous for its summits, Jungfraujoch serves as a saddle, connecting to major tops of the Bernese Alps. You will also be able to drive through a tunnel to reach the Ice Palace, a magical-looking place filled with ice sculptures, or you can take a short trip to the Sphinx observation terrace.
- Atlantic Ocean Road
If you love long rides in your car, with windows down and wind in your hair, go on the Atlantic Ocean Road. A gem of Norway, this road gives a rollercoaster vibe, with multiple dips and turns and interesting bridges. However, no rollercoaster can compare with the sights along the way.
Glistening water, nearby mountains, and greenery will make you want to slow down and simply take in the beauty of Norwegian scenery. If you are lucky, you might even get to see seals and whales in the water!
8. Koli National Park
Voted the best place to hike in Finland, Koli National Park is an excellent place to visit. Completely untouched by a human hand, unurbanised and all-natural, this is what you will see upon arriving. There are many routes for you to try out and tops to climb to, so if you want the best natural views in Scandinavia, choose Koli National Park, Finland.
9. Abisko National Park
You probably cannot think of Scandinavia without an image of Northern Lights immediately popping up in your head. Well, Abisko National Park is a great place to see them, full of accessible nature trails, Abisko lake and flowery surroundings. Just make sure to check the timing for the lights – they are a rare phenomenon.
- Ice Hotel
Now that is an unusual hotel! If you feel quite extreme and tired of the usual accommodations, Ice Hotel in Sweden is definitely one to book. The temperature here stays from about -8°C to -5°C, so you will have to spend the night in warm clothes and a sleeping bag, but it is all worth it. The ice creates a romantic setting, and the silence inside is calm and relaxing, despite the negative temperature.
Now that you have a grip on what to see in Scandinavia, get ready for the fun part! Planning an itinerary and looking for tickets. Before you know it, you will be on Northern European soil for your once-in-a-lifetime holiday.