There’s a lot to explore in Europe. But northern Europe is like a world of its own. From the outdoor beauty of the fjords to the grand design and architecture of the museums and cathedrals, there’s always something to discover unlike anything you’ve seen before. Take a trip through the capitals of northern Europe to experience the wonder of these unique lands firsthand.

Day 1-4
Distance: 530km / 330mi

Oslo to Stockholm

  • Start your northern Europe exploration in Oslo, Norway.

  • Spend an afternoon at the Viking Ship Museum, where you can see Viking ships up-close and learn more about Oslo’s heritage.

  • See an opera, ballet or concert at the world-famous Oslo Opera House.

  • Take a day for an excursion to the town of Haugensund, where you can see some of the most breathtaking fjords in all of Europe.

  • Head back to Oslo to visit the quaint surroundings of the Norwegian Folk Museum.

  • On your way to Stockholm, go for a swim at the waterpark known as Gustavsvik in Örebro, Sweden.

  • In Stockholm, see the entire city from above at Skyview. The giant dome takes you via lift to the top of Sweden’s capital.

  • Then, hit the slopes. Even tourists with disabilities can ski in Stockholm with the help of Totalskidskolan, an organization with special resources that assist disabled people on the slopes.

Day 5-8
Distance: 550km / 340mi

Stockholm to Riga

  • After seeing the sights in Stockholm, embark on a night ferry to Latvia’s capital, Riga.

  • Explore Art Nouveau in the architecture of Old Riga, as it is one of the city’s most distinct styles.

  • Discover the history of European transportation at museums like the Riga Motor Museum, Riga Aviation Museum and Latvian Railway History Museum.

  • Try ice surfing on the frozen waters of Ķīšezers, Riga’s largest lake.

  • Get a taste of the local Latvian flavor by eating at the Central Market and don’t miss the opportunity to try the popular local drink, Black Balsam.

  • Head south and make a stop at Rundale Palace, where you have to see the Throne Room’s ceiling mural.

  • Then, it’s off to Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, to enjoy the local flavor over a bowl of Lithuanian beet soup.

  • Spend an afternoon browsing rows of local goods at the famous Gariūnai market.

  • Next stop: Trakai. There, stop by the Trakai Castle.

  • Return to Riga for a relaxing day exploring Viesturdārzs, the breathtaking garden park.

Day 9-12
Distance: 400km / 250mi

Riga to Helsinki

  • After exploring Riga, arrive in the quiet city of Parnu, Estonia, and immediately go to Tervise Sauna Centre to enjoy a soothing salt sauna.

  • Walk out along the seawall, a famous local site where a man-made rock bridge from Vallikäär to the beaches of Tervise Paradiis.

  • Then, make the short trip north to Tallinn. Once there, go to Kumu, one of the largest and most fascinating art museums in Europe.

  • Venture into the grandiose walls of the Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour to experience a close-up look at the history of boats and planes of Estonia.

  • Make your way across the Gulf of Finland for your final destination, Helsinki, Finland.

  • Enjoy a peaceful afternoon at the Rock Church, an architectural wonder constructed entirely of stone and complete with a copper roof.

  • Escape to the Helsinki islands and visit Suomenlinna, a fortress off the shores of Helsinki and UNESCO World Heritage site

Before you go

1. Bring plenty of warm clothes. The northern capitals of Europe can get very cold.

2. Bring a durable camera. If you go skiing or ice surfing, you’ll want it to be tough enough to handle the elements.

3. Mix up your transportation. From train rides to boat rides, getting from one destination to the next is part of the fun.

4. Check on accessibility of locations before you go. Some of the older parts of the capital cities can be difficult to maneuver for people with disabilities.

5. Stay in hostels. Not only are they affordable, they’re one of the most unique ways to experience European culture.

6. Try plenty of new foods. Northern Europe’s cuisine is part of what makes it such a special place.

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