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Her Scandinavian Secrets -- 50 Travel Tips


Evelyn Hannon

We asked our readers to give us their best tips about Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden from their women's point of view. Then we checked our Journeywoman data base for all the juicy tips that members of our JW Network have contributed over the years. We compiled them all into one complete article designed to help females everywhere to research and plan their trips to Scandinavia. Here they are -- everything from (1) a floating B&B in Stockholm (2) dinner with a Danish family (3) a hotel in Oslo with a floor just for women to (4) Talking Trash in Helsinki -- we know you're going to love it.

Of course, as in all our Journeywoman articles, if you have something else to add, just send it in an email addressed to: We'll welcome all your wonderful advice.


An entire floor for women in Oslo hotel...
Located right in the centre of Oslo, the fabulous 130-year-old Grand Hotel has reserved an entire floor for women guests. Named after contemporary Norwegian female personalities in the arts, sports and business, the 13 rooms are designed to fit the needs of women travellers. En route to the rooms is a portrait corridor and the Ladies Floor Path, featuring paintings by local artist Trine Folmoe. The rooms have toiletries from L’Occitane, plenty of books and magazines, a CD and DVD-player, a yoga mat and a Ladies Floor room service menu (without the service charge) and
Anne-Sophie, Drammen, Norway


Day trips from Bergen, Norway...
When in Bergen, Norway look for a kiosk in the old town center where you can purchase tickets for different day trips. The trips are made on bus, train, ship -- all public transportation coordinated so that you don't have long waits between modes of transport. You can design your own itinerary. I heartily suggest the one that includes Sognefjord, but all the possibilities are fascinating. Bergen is a wonderful hub for these trips, and the train ride between it and Oslo is one of the most brilliant in the world -- second only to the one between Fort William and the coast of Scotland.
Norma, Jerusalem, Israel


Night train from Oslo to Bergen...
I suggest other JourneyWomen take the night train from Oslo to Bergen; stay in the town for an afternoon or overnight. In July or August you very well will see the northern lights from the train's window. I was on the train which runs over the tips of the mountains: I awoke looking out the window and thought I was still dreaming. The lights were dancing. Beautiful colors. If you go, bring a warm blanket for the ride as it is cold along the mountain tops.
Mara Fisher, Miami, USA


Explore Akershus Fortress...
Use one day to roam around in Akershus festning (Akershus Fortress) to see the four museums there. We Norwegians are very proud of our World War Two occupation history, and it's all documented in Akershus festning. There are also great views of Oslo Harbour and the city hall from here and the cruiseships also dock right next to Akershus Festning.

After Akershus Festning you can get on the Metro to Holmenkollen to go up one of the most famous skijumping hills in the world. Just follow the signs from the Metro Station. There are also great views over all of Oslo from Holmenkollen.

You can also catch a ferry out to 'Hovedøya' (leaves from Aker Brygge, next to City Hall) to see ruins from an old cloister built some 800 years ago and also the old defensive structures located on the island. Norway's first Airport was located here, but now the Hangar is a storage room for private boats and that's about it..

Any JourneyWomen interested in snakes? If its getting late skip Hovedøya and go back to the main square and then up to Storgata (5 minutes) to visit the Oslo Reptile Park. It's not really worth the admission, but if you have an Oslo pass and have some time to kill this is a perfect choice.

P.S. In Norway, if you are 67+ you are able to travel half price on trains and buses but you must have proper ID to prove your age.
Melvin, Germany Website:


Don't miss Vigeland Sculpture Park...
When in Oslo, do not miss the Vigeland Sculpture Park. The park covers 80 acres and features 212 bronze and granite sculptures created by Norwegian, Gustav Vigeland. You can easily lose track of time walking among these works of art. Photos do not do them justice. These are wonderful lifelike statues depicting stages of life with which, as women, we can all identify with. The sculptures are all in a garden setting decorated with large fountains. According to Wikilpedia,com, 'at the end of the bridge lies the Children’s Playground, a collaboration of eight bronze statues, all in the likenesses of children at play. In the centre, mounted on a granite column, is the representation of a fetus. In this area there is also a pond where ducks and geese swim'.
Kathy, Woodstock, USA


Go to Norway for Independence Day...
If you can, go to Norway for the Independence Day celebration, May 17th. Norwegians wear their bunads -- the traditional costumes from each village -- and many come to Oslo for the big parade. It's all school children, walking in groups past the palace where the King and Queen wave to them. No corporate pandering here. Bringing up the rear are the Russ (roos), students about to enter university. Dressed in red overalls, they've been on a traditional but crazy adventure around the country, fueled by booze and fun.

Eat an exquisite mango mousse from a bakery near the palace, then (as Kathy in the USA suggests) head to Vigeland Sculpture Park, where Gustav Vigeland's 212 granite or bronze creations celebrate all the human stages of life. (Don't miss the Sinnataggen, the angry little baby boy.)

The Resistance Museum in the Akershus Castle reveals the brave character of common Norwegians faced with Nazi occupation during the Second World War. Norway is expensive, but totally wonderful!
Jayne, Toronto, Canada


Facts I offer about Norway...
I just got back from eight days in Norway in June. What a beautiful country! I found the people very friendly and helpful. I also discovered that it stays light out almost 24 hours of the day. I needed a light windbreaker most of the days as the wind was chilly. I was able to wear my capris comfortably. Food and lodging is expensive so plan to eat a big breakfast; most are provided by hotels and very substantial. The best way of travel is by train -- these connect most areas daily. The scenery in Norway is amazing -- I highly recommend a trip up the fjords, especially on the Flambana railroad. It is a good idea to stay close to the main stations as taxi fares are very expensive. I enjoyed my time in Norway immensely and would definitely travel there again. P.S. Norway in a Nutshell ( was a good tour as it took the tourist to Flam from Oslo by boat, bus and train. Additional nights could be added if wanted.


Trekking and Skiing in Norway...
If you're an outdoors enthusiast traveling in Norway, you should not miss the fantastic network of huts and trails managed by the DNT or Norwegian Trekking Association ( The terrain and weather can be challenging (when a trail says "expert", they really mean it), but Norwegian nature is breathtaking, the DNT facilities are affordable and superbly managed, and it's a great way to forge bonds with locals. My husband and I were there last spring, and the helpful staff at the Oslo headquarters helped us organize the perfect once-in-a-lifetime ski trip in the Jotunheimen mountains.
Catherine, Montreal, Canada


What to wear in Norway...
I travelled in Norway during the summer, and found comfortable casual clothes acceptable everywhere. If you have dress pants, you won't need a skirt. Plan your summer wardrobe so that you can layer as it can be quite cool. Be sure to take a sweater, rain jacket and light folding umbrella as there may be rain squalls many days.
Ruth, Ottawa, Canada

When travelling in Norway, wear comfortable, casual clothes and you'll fit right in: For the winter, pack walking shoes/boots, jeans, sweaters and ski parkas/wool coats. For dining out, a skirt, tights/stockings and low shoes will be appropriate. It's a pretty sure bet that casual dress is the norm for the summer months, too, but I can't say definitely as I visited in the winter only. Also, just a side note: As a rule, Norwegian women wear little if any make-up--I found this very freeing, especially when on vacation!
Kristin, San Mateo, USA


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