WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO IN SCANDINAVIA IN MAY?
There are so many things to do in Scandinavia in May, whether you want to experience the cultural cities or immerse yourself in the picturesque countryside.
At this time of year, there is more daylight to explore attractions as the days are growing longer. This is also when the weather conditions are improving, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy more warm weather for outdoor activities.
And if you’re wondering where to go in Scandinavia in May, we recommend visiting Sweden, Denmark and Norway in one incredible tour. Why? Because these countries share a similar cultural heritage and are well-connected via modern motorways, railways and waterways.
As such, you could enjoy a tour of the brilliant Scandinavian Triangle, a route that incorporates the capitals of all three countries. In May these cities are quieter than at the height of summer, so you’ll have more of them to yourselves.
Travel between Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen via train, plane and ferry. Or you might prefer to do a road trip around the region.
May is also a great time to visit Scandinavia if you’re looking to explore rural regions and national parks. You could head to Bergen on the west coast of Norway to witness the stunning fjords. Or join a Scandinavia cruise in May to head north towards the Arctic Circle.
As a Northern European travel specialist, Nordic Visitor organises holidays to this beautiful corner of the world. We have many more ideas to help you explore Scandinavia your way!
Here’s one of our suggestions for a trip to Scandinavia in May:
Day 1 - Arrive in Stockholm, Sweden
Fly into Stockholm Arlanda Airport and head to your hotel in the city centre. Spend some time walking through Gamla Stan (The Old Town), and enjoy a fika (a Swedish coffee break) with a nice pastry at one of the local cafés in this medieval neighbourhood. Or, why not hop on a city sightseeing tour?
Day 2 - The highlights of Stockholm
Spend a full day in the Swedish capital, discovering the city’s attractions and districts. You could join a sightseeing tour to experience the best of Stockholm in a day, taking you to must-see spots like the City Hall, Royal Palace and trendy Södermalm quarter.
Or, a ferry ride will whisk you off to the island of Djurgården, home to the Vasa Museum and Skansen, the world’s oldest open-air museum. Meanwhile, a day trip to the Stockholm Archipelago means you could hike through forests and dip your toes in the sea.
Day 3 - Fly to Copenhagen, Denmark
Head to Stockholm Airport after breakfast and board the plane to Copenhagen. Once in Denmark’s capital, take a walk down Strøget, the city’s popular shopping street for a bite to eat. Be sure to try a Smørrebrød, a traditional open sandwich with a variety of toppings to choose from.
Day 4 - Discover Copenhagen
Soak up the charms of Copenhagen today, either on your own or as part of a guided tour. You might want to visit Rosenborg Castle, the Botanical Garden, Torvehallerne food market, and Tivoli Gardens amusement park which is open from mid-May.
We also recommend hopping on a boat tour to see Christiansborg Palace, the Royal Danish Opera House and the colourful Christianshavn Canal from the water.
Day 5 - Overnight cruise to Oslo, Norway
Ahead of your journey to Oslo, Norway’s largest city, spend the day enjoying more of Copenhagen. Why not make like the bicycle-happy Danes and rent a bike? You could check out the exquisite Amalienborg Palace, as well as the colourful Nyhavn harbour and the Little Mermaid statue.
Later, head to the port to board your overnight cruise. Watch as the sun sets over the horizon on your way to Oslo.
Day 6 - Explore Norway’s capital city
After your ship arrives early in the morning, the whole day is yours to roam Oslo. Take a walk to the bustling Aker Brygge waterfront area and visit the Akershus Fortress. Or, head to the Bygdøy peninsula to see the well-preserved vessels at the popular Viking Ship Museum.
If you love art, make sure to take a walk through the delightful Vigeland Sculpture Park. Don’t miss a visit to Oslo City Hall if you want to see where the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is held.
Day 7 - Scenic train journey to Flåm
This morning, go to Oslo Central Station to begin your Norway in a Nutshell® experience – one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. Look out the window to see picturesque landscapes and quaint villages like Gol and Geilo.
Change at Myrdal to board the Flåm Railway for one of the top highlights of the entire trip: a 900-metre (half-mile) descent to the picturesque village of Flåm, where you’ll stay for the night.
Day 8 - Norwegian fjord cruise
Prepare to witness breathtaking Norwegian scenery today, as you hop on a cruise that takes you through the fjords. You’ll be able to admire the glittering waters, cascading falls and forested mountains of Sognefjord, passing through Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord.
Afterwards, it’s an exciting coach and train ride to Bergen via Stalheimskleiva – the steepest road in Europe, with 13 hairpin bends.
Day 9 - Discover Bergen
Known as the gateway to the fjords, Bergen is Norway’s charming second city with plenty of its own attractions to uncover. You can visit the medieval houses of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bryggen, and take the funicular up Mount Fløyen for panoramic views over the city and fjords.
There are also plenty of museums, shops and restaurants to check out on your last full day in Scandinavia
Day 10 - Depart from Bergen, Norway
Fly back home from Bergen-Flesland Airport, having enjoyed 10 days in beautiful Scandinavia.
What other ideas are there for a Scandinavia tour in May?
There are many other ways you can make the most of visiting Scandinavia in May, such as venturing to the neighbouring Nordic countries.
You could begin your tour in the capital of Finland, Helsinki. Here in this exciting city, spend your time uncovering attractions like Senate Square, Uspenski Cathedral, and the Old Market Hall. Don’t miss the chance to visit local restaurants for a taste of Finnish cuisine.
Then, step aboard a vessel that whisks you to Stockholm, crossing the Baltic Sea overnight to begin your exploration of the Scandinavian countries the following day.
If you’re planning a trip to see the northern lights in Scandinavia, we recommend you visit Norway or Lapland. For the optimum chance of spotting the aurora borealis, the best times to visit are actually during winter. Come soak up the snowy landscapes, enjoy fun winter activities and even meet Santa Claus.
Or hop on a plane and visit Iceland as part of your Nordic experience!
Good to know: Most of our itineraries aren't set in stone, and there are many possibilities for tailored routes. We can modify your tour if you'd prefer to arrive in a different city, spend more free time in one destination than another, or add other towns to your trip.
Just ask your Nordic Visitor travel consultant for advice.
Find out more about visiting Scandinavia earlier, in March and April, or later, in June and July
How about a Scandinavia road trip?
On a self-drive tour in Scandinavia, you’ll have the freedom to pull the car over at any attractions that catch your interest.
The best part? You won’t have to worry about where you’re going or sleeping, because your Nordic Visitor travel consultant has already sorted those local arrangements for you. You’ll also have access to our 24/7 emergency helpline should you need to call us at any point.
Travel to Scandinavia in May for incredible scenery right outside your window, watching how the landscapes shift between Sweden, Denmark and Norway. You could opt for a circular road trip between Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo, flying in and out of the Swedish capital, for example.
This way, you could soak up the spring landscapes, rural villages, and grand castles and manor houses in this corner of Scandinavia.
Day 1 – Arrive at Stockholm Airport.
Day 2 – Pick up rental car and drive through southern Sweden. Overnight in Kalmar area of Sweden.
Day 3 – Overnight in Ystad area of Sweden.
Day 4 – Overnight in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Day 5 – Overnight on the ferry to Oslo, Norway.
Day 6 – Overnight in Oslo.
Day 7 – Overnight in Oslo.
Day 8 – Drive back towards Stockholm. Overnight in Örebro area of Sweden.
Day 9 – Drop off rental car and spend the night in Stockholm.
Day 10 – Depart from Stockholm Airport.
If you want to slow down the pace, spend more time in Scandinavia in May. Got 12, 14, 15 days to spare? Skip the ferry to Oslo and instead drive to Norway via Gothenburg, Sweden, or delve deeper into rural Scandinavia on an extended trip through the region.
All of Nordic Visitor’s Scandinavia self-drive packages can be tailored by our local experts with extra nights at select locations or modified driving routes. If you have any particular attractions in mind, just contact us to ask.
Prefer a self-guided tour of Scandinavia?
If you would like to discover Scandinavia on your own but prefer not to drive, then an independent tour is the perfect choice. Public transportation in Scandinavia is fast, reliable and punctual, so getting around by train and ferry is a great alternative to driving.
By opting for a train and cruise tour of Scandinavia, you’ll benefit from having your itinerary arrangements made for you but with the freedom to spend your days however you please. Nordic Visitor will book all your accommodation and travel tickets between destinations, and you can add on activities too.
Plus, by booking an independent tour of Scandinavia you’ll still be able to enjoy the usual Nordic Visitor benefits. These include access to our 24/7 helpline, a detailed personal itinerary, helpful travel guide and daily breakfast.
Interested in a guided tour of Scandinavia?
To see the region from a local’s point of view and make some new friends along the way, a guided small group tour of the Scandinavian capitals is an excellent option! These take place in May, June, July and August, so you can enjoy summer travel in Scandinavia.
A small group tour of Scandinavia offers an enriching experience, allowing you to get the most out of your trip thanks to the expertise of a local tour guide. What’s more, you’ll be travelling alongside 16 people at most, so the trip is still personal for you.
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