The European region of Scandinavia is an ideal destination for solo female travelers for many reasons.
The countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark all rank as some of the safest countries in the world, and in addition to safety, English is spoken by almost everyone, and navigating transport is easy in English too.
The only downside of traveling within this picturesque region is the high prices, but even that can be helped by using the newer low-cost airfare available directly from the U.S., not to mention all the budget carriers that service these cities from all over Europe.
If you can choose a visit in the shoulder season, utilize the user-friendly public transport, and eat local street food, keeping the cost low in Scandinavia is not impossible.
The capital cities of Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo are all so beautiful and different and really perfect as bases for exploring. They are also easy to get between them via inter-country trains (with some great pitstops in between), making planning an itinerary around them painless.
More great reasons the area is wonderful for solo female travelers (especially first-timers) include friendly locals and group tours that are easy to find.
In addition, there is usually very little language barrier, wifi almost everywhere, great transportation within each country and connecting the region, not to mention the Scandinavian high regard for health and safety.
Note: The term Scandinavia has many interpretations, some of which include Finland and some which reach all the way to Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The term “Nordic Region” is sometimes used interchangeably as well, and there is much more to see in Scandinavia than included here.
This article covers the countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, as they are the three main countries that are commonly included when referring to Scandinavia.
3 Beautifully Scandinavian Capital Cities
While each country offers so much more than its capital cities, exploring further afield can be done easily with great public transportation or even group tours if interested.
There is so much that could be written on traveling throughout each country in Scandinavia as a solo female traveler, but let’s focus on a trip along the 3 capitals of the region, each offering a great way to soak up their respective countries’ culture and atmosphere.
The capital cities of Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm each offer a great way to dive into the Scandinavian way of life and see some pretty sights in the process. You can break up the trips between them by including some other great locations along the way or just focus on the capitals; it all depends on your time and preference.
Oslo might be the least postcard perfect of these three cities, but it makes up for it with its coolness. A walk along the roofs of the stunning Opera house cannot be missed, nor can watching (or joining) the locals in the riverside saunas, no matter the weather.
The hip area of Grünerløkka is a great area to stay, and the small city is well-connected by easy-to-use trams. If you are flying from the U.S., Oslo is likely to be your first stop if using low-cost options such as Norse Airways.
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If getting your photo in the famous colorful Nyhavn harbor isn’t iconic Copenhagen, then what is? Besides the harbor, don’t miss climbing to the top of the Church of Our Savior, with arguably the best views over the city.
Wander around Tivioli, one of the world’s most historic amusement parks, and don’t forget to eat the street hot dogs and some Smørrebrød washed down with a shot of schnapps. Remember to watch out for the millions of bikes crisscrossing the city at every turn.
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It might come as a surprise that one of the most photogenic places in stunning Stockholm is actually underground. Many of the metro stations of this Swedish capital are more or less art exhibits in their own right and are simply unmissable.
The metro itself is easy and painless, making an afternoon spent finding these stations enjoyable. Above ground, the best place to head is Gamla Stan, and while it will be crowded, there is beauty to be found down every alley. Don’t miss taking the water taxis around the city as well; all included in your metro ticket.
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Get Outta Town
Of course, there is so much more to see in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark than just the capital cities. The good news is that the entire region is well connected via trains buses and flights, meaning the solo traveler shouldn’t have any problems getting out of town.
While the list of places to visit is simply too extensive for one article, some highlights include heading up north for the Northern lights. Tromsø is a good choice.
Norway also has the can’t-miss Bergen, and the train ride from Oslo will take you across some pretty otherworldly landscape. If you make this trip, don’t forget to experience the famous Flåm Railway and stop for a Fjord day cruise as well.
In Sweden, the cities of Gothenburg and Malmö are gaining more attention from travelers recently, and of course, those looking to get into nature can’t miss Swedish Lapland.
Denmark’s second city of Aarhus is becoming another favorite, as is Aalborg, located in the Jutland region of Northern Denmark.
Those with more time can check out the Skagen coastline, located at the northernmost end of Denmark, with stunning landscapes and unique cultural heritage.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com