Scandinavia is an extraordinary region of the world. The people are friendly, the architecture is stunning, and the food is pleasant. Though it is currently an expensive part of Europe for Americans to travel to, the exchange rate is more favorable for other foreigners.
A recent trip to several Scandinavian countries revealed that June is not a major tourist month – or perhaps Norway, Denmark, and Sweden are simply less trafficked than other, more popular areas of Europe. Many travelers choose Paris, London, or Rome for a taste of their unique cultures, and backpackers tend to visit cities known for their inexpensive room options and cheaper food and drink.
But, for those individuals fortunate enough to visit the great North, here are 3 tips to keep in mind for the summer months.
Prepare for the cold
Even though it’s summertime, the weather is extremely unpredictable. The last weeks in June typically hover around 70 degrees F, but can dip as low as the mid-50’s. Nighttime is chilly even though it stays light out considerably later than you might expect and if it’s cloudy or drizzling the air takes on a damp, unpleasant quality. Of course, as a tourist, you are likely ill-equipped for this cold and while the residents will walk around in shorts and sandals the moment the snow melts, you will probably want a jacket and long pants to stay comfortable.
Of course, there’s no telling what the weather will do, so it’s smart to wear several layers each day. Make sure you have some form of water resistant jacket in case it starts to rain (which it often does) and a sweater over a lighter shirt. When the sun comes out and the wind dies down, you might find yourself baking in the warm air under a heavy coat. With layers, you can pile on clothes or strip down at a moment’s notice.
Avoid major airports
If it’s possible to fly to Scandinavia direct, do it. If you need a layover between countries, try to avoid stopping at the more hectic European airports like Heathrow or Charles de Gaulle. Copenhagen’s main airport is clean, organized, and full of great shops and restaurants. Looking up at the screen we saw no delays and the boarding process for each flight was far less chaotic than in other countries. Travel is a far more enjoyable experience when you’re calm and composed.
Summer is a great time to travel because work typically becomes less demanding and the weather is better. If you decide to take a trip to Europe, Scandinavia is worth considering. The sites are remarkable and the people are welcoming. Try the danishes in Denmark and the Toast Skaagen in Stockholm and you will experience the true happiness that comes with fulfilling travel adventures.