The Nordic countries are among the top European travel destinations. Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark are amazing to visit any time of year — as long as you can handle a bit of cold and snow in the winter!
With the world opening back up, it’s the perfect time to plan a vacation across the North Sea. Like any destination, there are some special things that you should keep in mind when visiting the Nordic countries. Here is our list of the most important ones:
Don’t act like they’re all the same
All the Nordic countries may have many similarities due to their proximity. Cultural traditions, foods and music may all overlap to a certain extent. Just like in the United Kingdom, however, each country has its own unique character and history.
If you went to Wales and constantly compared it to Scotland or said it was just like England, you would probably not make any friends. The same is true in the Nordic countries. No one likes to feel like their identity is being erased, so while you may notice similarities between the countries, don’t feel the need to compare them when talking to the locals.
Many people visit Scandinavia to take advantage of the extensive hiking trails and walking paths to enjoy the beautiful scenery. From the mountains to the fjords, there is an amazing view around every corner.
As with any hiking or backpacking excursion, it is essential to pack smart. Forgetting your comfy heels might mean your night out in Oslo ends with blisters on your heels, forgetting your tent on a camping trip could have far more serious consequences.
Even if you’re not planning on spending a lot of time outdoors, it is always smart to pack well. If you prefer not to look like a tourist while travelling, spend a bit of time researching Scandi fashion before your trip. This can help you select a wardrobe that lets you look more like a local.
Plan indoor activities too
Though beautiful, the climate of Nordic countries does mean that sometimes the weather doesn’t play nicely and your planned activities may be cancelled. The marine climate on the coasts can mean a lot rain and the farther north you go the colder it gets. Just because a heavy snowfall or an unexpected summer rainstorm has hit doesn’t mean your day has to be wasted.
There are plenty of great museums to visit across the Nordic countries. In particular, The Fram Museum in Oslo is a must see. It takes its name from the Fram, the wooden ice ship designed by Fridtjof Nansen that took Roald Amundsen on his expedition to Antarctica where he became the first person to reach the South Pole.
In Copenhagen, a trip to the Carlsberg Brewery is a great way to spend an afternoon. You can learn about the history of the beer and the science behind the brewing process. Capping off the tour with a tasting makes it even better.
Sometimes you just don’t want to brave the weather. Alongside these other indoor activities, playing at online casinos is a very popular pastime across the Nordic countries, especially in Finland. Use a guide like Kasinonetti.com – an online casino portal in order to find an online casino that is licensed in the country you’re visiting. Who knows, you just might want to keep playing once the sun comes back out!
Give people space
It’s not just a silly stereotype or online joke that most Nordic people value their personal space, it’s a reality. These countries are less densely populated than much of the rest of the world. This has contributed to an intrinsic cultural appreciation of having personal space.
This doesn’t mean that people are aloof or standoffish. You shouldn’t take a desire for space as rudeness, it’s simply the norm. Being respectful of other’s space is a good practice no matter where you are but it is especially important here.
Get ready to sweat
Saunas aren’t just for the gym. In the Nordic countries, they are an important part of daily life. Sauna culture exists across the Nordic countries and if you don’t want to feel awkward, it’s best to follow the rules.
The most important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. Dehydration can be dangerous and at the very least ruin your day. The other essential is to bring a towel. In many saunas, nudity is the norm. A towel keeps things hygienic and if you’re uncomfortable with being naked, it can provide a bit of coverage.