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Nordic Cities Explorer

Copenhagen, Stockholm & Helsinki
Holiday information
Nights: 7
Accommodation: two 4-star hotels; one 3-star hotel; one overnight cruise ship
Meals: 7 breakfasts
Included extras: 24-hour city card in each city
Extend your stay
You could easily add in a two-night stay in gastronomic Gothenburg between Copenhagen and Stockholm. See our 9-night holiday, Nordic Cities Explorer with Gothenburg, for details.
Starting point:

Your holiday begins with two nights in colourful Copenhagen, where your hotel – the Strand – is ideally located close to the waterfront, just a short wander away from some of the city’s most renowned restaurants.

Day 1

Copenhagen oozes ‘cool’ from every pore, and is regularly rated the world’s happiest city. There’s an enormous variety of things to see and do here: world-class galleries and museums, some of Europe’s best shopping along Strøget, and Tivoli Gardens – perhaps the world’s most tasteful amusement park. You could also spend half a day pedalling around the world’s most bike-friendly city, pausing at one of the cafés alongside the Nyhavn canal to sit and watch the world go by.

Day 2

Today's rail journey (5h30) takes you over the Øresund Bridge (the  bridge of ‘Nordic noir’ fame) from Copenhagen to Malmö, then across the heart of southern Sweden to reach smart and sleek Stockholm. You stay for two nights at the Hotel Riddargatan, tucked away on a quiet street in a central location.

Day 3

The Swedish capital, a waterborne beauty spread over 14 islands, is a delight to explore on foot. Wander the medieval lanes of Gamla Stan, relax amid the wide-open green space of Djurgården, and take in some remarkable museums: Skansen was the world’s first open-air museum when it opened in 1891; the Vasamuseet is home to Sweden’s most famous – and fatally top-heavy – warship, Vasa; and the ABBA Museum is, well, just a whole lot of fun!

Day 4

See more of Stockholm, perhaps taking to the canals on a boat tour or visiting the island of Fjäderholmarna, before boarding the Tallink Silja cruise ship for an early-evening departure to Helsinki.

Day 5

Having seen the Stockholm archipelago recede into the setting sun the previous evening, you awaken, revitalised, while gliding through the narrow gap between the islands of Suomenlinna, the remarkable, 18th-century sea fortress in the Bay of Helsinki. Your arrival in the Finnish capital just after breakfast means you have most of the day to explore this uber-fashionable city. You might decide to head first to the incredible, excavated Temppeliaukio (‘Rock Church’), or to take a stroll along the waterfront trail that begins by lovely Hietniemi Bay. Your two nights here are spent at the elegant Hotel Lilla Roberts, in the heart of the Design District.

Day 6

You have one final, full day in Helsinki. Wander the Design District – bursting with boutiques, workshops and galleries – to admire the work of iconic producers like Iittala, Marimekko and Artek; and browse a traditional kauppahalli  (market hall) to sample local specialities. In fact, foodies will be in heaven, what with the city’s ever-increasing array of sleek eateries, craft-beer bars, contemporary cafés and micro-distilleries. But this is also a place where cultures collide: Uspenski Cathedral, the largest Orthodox church in Western Europe, wouldn’t look out of place in central Moscow, and it’s perhaps this combination of enduring icons and modern, quirky charms that defines Helsinki’s unique allure.

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