Architecture + Design in Scandinavia + Finland itinerary
Replies: 12 - Last Post: May 27, 2012 10:10 PM Last Post By: mizanna
May 20, 2012 10:11 PM
Architecture + Design in Scandinavia + Finland itineraryHi everyone!
I will be travelling in Scandinavia + Finland from 11th June (flying from YUL to London due to work, and then London --> Helsinki) for about 4-5 weeks budget depending.
My objective: architecture, design, general travel experience.
I am in my late 20s, generally solo traveler, thrifty, sleeping in hostel/grocery meals, will travel with backpack, no hiking gear (except for running shoes).
I have to admit I am overwhelmed with the information (and panicking about my late organisation) but would love to hear thoughts about my skeleton of itinerary until it fleshes out.
My issue for now is, apart from main cities, which smaller towns would show me alternative sides to scandinavian design from big name architects to vernacular architecture. I only have between 5-9 days per country (incl. travel time between).
1. Worthwhile to buy citypasses in the main cities (Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen each seem to have their own).
2. From preliminary research, it looks like flying is the most efficient + economical means of skipping between cities. However, I would like to do the scenic Oslo-Bergen by train and Oslo-Copenhagen by ferry (please correct me if I am wrong). I know there is a ferry between Helsinki - Stockholm, but worthwhile for the time + maybe lack of sleep (booking passenger seems budget friendly) vs paying for a night at hostel + flying?
3. I am pretty confused with the Norway in a Nutshell tour (tired). I understand we can stop in each city for a longer time, but is similar to booked tour where every stop is timed? Are minipris prices better?
4. I will have my smartphone with me: worthwhile to get SIM cards in each country or can get away with wi-fi for general emailing + communication (hostel, cafe, etc)?
5. Discounts with student ID (Canadian University)
Fly from London --> Helsinki
3 full days in Helsinki
Day trip to Tallinn (for the hell of it)
2 days in Savonlinna? (worth while if 5hrs train one way?)
Helsinki --> Stockholm most probably by plane where it looks like I will be travelling back in time
3-4 full days in Stockholm
From what I've read Goteborg doesn't really any much more to offer (please no offense to residents)...
Day trip to Uppsala from Stockholm
2 days in archipelago (no idea what mode of transportation or where to go)
Fly Stockholm --> Oslo
1 day in Oslo (2 nights)
General confusion about Norway in a Nutshell (3-4 days) -->Round trip via Bergen back to Oslo seems $$. Would the Scandinavian Rail Pass offer the same options and would be more worthwhile? Worthwhile to stop at the smaller towns of Myrdal, Flam?
2 days Bergen
3-4 days: Heard suggestions to visit Alesund, Trondheim and Bodo: Bergen to Trondheim to Oslo via plane?
In all cases, return to Oslo to take ferry to Copenhagen
Ferry from Oslo --> Copenhagen ($$)
3 full days in Copenhagen
Day trip to Malmo
Day trip Orestad development (or combined with Copenhagen segment)
Day trip to Helsingor on bike (recommended by friend)
2 full days Odense
Day trip to Kolding ? (beautiful church there I believe)
Copenhagen --> home
I have been combing the forum from questions/suggestions from other users, but would most appreciate feedback and tips about the above cities!
As well, if you know any of the architects whom I could interview...
Thank you in advance!
Edited by: mizanna
May 21, 2012 2:00 AM
1Ørestad is 10 min by metro from City center - 10 min by train from CPH-airport. - not a daytour.
Odense is NOT a tourist top destination - that HCA was born there does not make the place interesting.
Wonder why Kolding.
Have the impression that is is "contemporaty" archi -or at least last 80 years you are interested in.
Think the major things are in CPH-area. Would be nice for you to visit the country also - but you ARE on an extremely rushed tour - and then with budget problems on top. But I think you have to look up general things that interests you at www.visitdenmark.com or find single pieces of architecture that you want to see.
You want to bike TO and BACK between CPH and Helsingør. Nice - 2*50 kms? - tour but a top thing to do in Denamrk ??? - not IMHO. Visiting Helsingør/kronborg is a very fine daytours although.
You can sleep well on the ferries, but of course need a good cabin for that (costs!) - if you reverse things a bit the train between Stockholm-Copenhagen can compete with plane on total time - sometimes also on total price. (mostly due to transfer Stockholm-Arlanda airport either is slow or costly - or both)
May 21, 2012 5:57 AM
I should have mentioned that I would be flying out of Copenhagen, hence the start at Helsinki and making my way back. Are you suggesting to go from Stockholm to Copenhagen directly and then make a detour to Norway?
Point taken for Orestad - didn't have the time to review transportation yet.
The other alternative would be to leave out Norway - -I believe the costliest of the countries and then have more time and money to visit Denmark, Finland and Sweden.
Indeed, I was planning on biking between copenhagen and helsingor -- there is a Zaha Hadid building on the way. Perhaps going there by bike and then taking the train back from Helsingor would be an alternative?
I am definitely interested in contemporary architecture, but would like to compare to older vernacular as well (stave churches for example). If I understand correctly, not much leftover from the viking era however.
Will visit the website to inform myself a bit more thoroughly -- would you have any tips on the rest of the trip?
I also wanted to visit the sculptures in Ladonia...they look mesmerizing.
May 21, 2012 7:13 AM
3You will find very good pieces of Art Nouveau and Art Déco buildings in Helsinki and Stockholm (prob. in Copenhagen too, but it didn't strike me as much...), next to classical and contemporary. Vernacular, I found quite similar in all of these countries.
Interesting alternative architecture in Copenhagen's Christiana, too, if you are curious.
May 21, 2012 11:05 AM
4not much leftover from the viking era however" -this is 1000 years ago! you are correct nothing but the ships in Roskilde and the heavily restored ones in Oslo are left - rest is reconstructions.
I do not suggest to make Norway a detour - woiuld have suggested flying out of Oslo - or going Copenhagen-Oslo-Sweden-Finland. Had not noticed that all your flights were fixed.
To visit Ladonia you need a rented car - a trip from Helsingør by public transport willl take for ever I am afraid. Or you could bike from maybe Ängelholm (if there are places to rent bikes there).
You CAN take the bike on the train Helsingør-CPH IS THERE IS ROOM - and you need a ticket for it.
Re #5: Sorry Copenhagen nearly lacks Art Nouveau (5 buildings or something). Some Art Deco but modernism/Bauhaus is much better here.
May 22, 2012 10:59 AM
5Re Finland, there are large areas of art nouveau (in its local guise of national romantic) in the Helsinki districts of Katajanokka and Ullanlinna. Then of course the Alvar Aalto buildings (mainly Enso-Gutzeit building also in Katajanokka, several other works in the city centre) http://www.alvaraalto.fi/info/guide/helsinki.htm
And of course, in addition to Aalto, that old tourist favourite the 'rock church', a 1960s masterpiece. Get there early to avoid the busloads of cruise tourists.
There is also an area of beautiful, late 19th - early 20th century timber buildings a short walk from the station. Walk along the left side of the tracks northwards from the station to Linnunlauluntie. Not yet discovered by the tourist hordes. Few facilities other than a foksy outdoor cafÃ© overlooking TÃ¶Ã¶lÃ¶ Bay with great views of Aalto's Finlandia Hall, the National Opera and other public buildings on the far shore. It's very close to the Olympic Stadium hostel if you happen to stay there.
Edited by: emd_two on Mar 18, 2013 5:15 PM
May 24, 2012 8:07 PM
May 24, 2012 8:12 PM
May 24, 2012 8:13 PM
May 24, 2012 8:15 PM
What other cities would you suggest in Denmark other than Copenhagen and day strips from there? You seem to be pretty well traveled in the area so your suggestions would be appreciated!
As well, I found the guide for architecture in Denmark -- the only thing will be to minimize the roaming..
May 24, 2012 8:40 PM
May 25, 2012 2:48 AM
11For Aalto, Jyväskylä would be good. But you can get all the info you need about locations of his work on the site I linked to in my first post.
You might find the large area of old timber buildings + medieval cathedral in Porvoo interesting (one hour from Helsinki by bus). If you hire a car, the area west of Helsinki has some rich pickings (artisans' village of Fiskars, Snappertuna village with castle Raseborg, plenty of vernacular rural architecture).
May 27, 2012 10:10 PM
12After detailing my trip a bit more, I will finally be arriving by ferry from Turku to Stockholm on the morning of the 22nd of june. I just realized that this will be the midsummer weekend!
I've read from other posts that there are options to celebrate in Skansen or go to one of the islands. I am not too sure that I will be able to organize myself quickly enough to get accomodation for the islands...is the city really all that boring during that weekend?
Is this more of an afternoon affair or evening drinking games? Will shops still be open during the weekend?
Any pointers would help!
Thank you again for all these lovely tips..
Edited by: mizanna
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