Scandinavia: A backpackers guide to traveling Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe, generally considered to comprise the countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark. It is sometimes used in a broad sense to include Finland but the term more commonly used in this case is “Norden”. Norway was under the domination of Denmark and Sweden for centuries before it achieved full political independence. Sweden is considered as one of the most prosperous countries in Europe whilst Denmark is one of the most advanced social-welfare states in the continent.
Norway’s coast is quite temperate during summer. Inland temperatures are more extreme where mountain lakes freeze and snow blocks many of the passes during winter. The climate of Sweden is much milder than that of most countries as far north but light showers of rain are frequent. Denmark on the other hand has cool summers and mild winters and has a temperate marine type of climate.
Most of the visitors of Norway travel through the spectacular western fjords and visit Oslo, the country’s capital. Here you can find unique attractions such as a medieval fortress and castles, museums and granite sculptures. Other regions have excellent parks and magnificent waterfalls. Sweden has Stockholm as its capital, which is best seen from the water in a guided tour. Other worthwhile stops are Gothenburg, the city of Malmo and the Gamla Uppsala. Denmark has Copenhagen, a city with numerous parks and gardens all over and an extremely lively nightlife. There are also notable museums and amusement parks. The biggest crowd drawer however is the Little Mermaid Statue.
The rail network of Norway is efficient but a little expensive. It is proud of having the most scenic rail routes in the world. The bus network is more extensive and will enable you to reach places not covered by the rail system. Sweden’s rail network is one of the most advanced in Europe. Its bus service is generally of good value. Denmark’s rail network is also efficient. There is a travel pass available for unlimited travel in the country as well as Sweden, Norway and Finland. Ferries are more common than buses.
Accommodation is no problem with the numerous hotels and hostels that are abound in the area. Employment opportunities include tourism related jobs, au pairing and crop picking. Volunteer work is also available.