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How to Escape the Heat and Crowd This Summer?

Twelve Cool Places to Visit in Scandinavia

Photo by Jarand Lokeland/Unsplash

Summer in Scandinavia offers a refreshing escape from the sweltering heat in southern Europe. Explore these Norwegian, Swedish or Danish cities and their surroundings for a perfect summer retreat with their cool temperatures, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant cultural scenes.


Photo by Unsplash

Nestled between seven mountains and stunning fjords, Bergen is a picturesque city that blends natural beauty with rich cultural heritage. Known for its wooden houses, vibrant cultural scene, and maritime history, Bergen is the perfect starting point for exploring Norway's fjords.

Bryggen Wharf

This UNESCO World Heritage site is a historic wharf lined with traditional wooden buildings dating back to the Hanseatic League era. Wander through its narrow alleyways, visit the Hanseatic Museum, and discover local crafts and boutiques.

Mount Fløyen

Take the Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen for breathtaking panoramic views of Bergen and the surrounding fjords. Then, enjoy hiking trails, a troll forest for kids, and a serene lake, perfect for a peaceful retreat.

Fish Market

Located in the heart of Bergen, the fish market offers a bustling atmosphere where you can sample fresh seafood such as salmon, king crab, and fish cakes. The market also features local produce and souvenirs.

Bergenhus Fortress

One of Norway's oldest and best-preserved fortifications, this medieval fortress offers guided tours that delve into Bergen's history, from Viking times to the present. Don't miss Haakon's Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower.


The home of famous composer Edvard Grieg, Troldhaugen is now a museum dedicated to his life and works. Tour the beautifully preserved house and the composer's hut by the lake, and enjoy concerts in the intimate concert hall.

Read more about Bergen: The city with a village vibe


Photo by Sven-Erik Knoff/Region Stavanger

Stavanger is Norway's oil industry capital. It is a vibrant city known for its historic old town, modern cultural institutions, and proximity to some of the country's most stunning natural landscapes. Its charming white wooden houses and thriving oil industry uniquely blend old and new.

Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock)

A world-famous natural landmark, Preikestolen offers a thrilling hike and a stunning flat-topped cliff with panoramic views of Lysefjord. The hike is challenging but rewarding, making it a must-see for adventure seekers.

Stavanger Cathedral

This cathedral, dating back to the 12th century, is Norway's oldest and features Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Admire the intricate woodwork, stained glass windows, and a beautiful organ inside.

Norwegian Petroleum Museum

This unique museum provides an in-depth look at Norway's oil industry. Its interactive exhibits, scale models, and multimedia displays are both educational and engaging for all ages.

Gamle Stavanger

Wander through the cobblestone streets of Old Stavanger, lined with over 170 preserved wooden houses from the 18th and 19th centuries. The area is also home to galleries, museums, and quaint cafés.

Flor & Fjære

A botanical paradise on an island near Stavanger, Flor & Fjære features lush gardens, exotic plants, and beautifully landscaped grounds. Guided tours offer insight into the garden's creation and maintenance.


Photo by Christian Roth Christensen/Visit Norway

Located above the Arctic Circle, Tromsø offers a unique blend of Arctic adventures and cultural experiences, with 24-hour daylight during the summer months. Known as the "Gateway to the Arctic," it's a hub for exploring the northern wilderness.

Arctic Cathedral

An architectural marvel, the Arctic Cathedral features a striking modern design with large glass mosaics illuminating the interior.

Tromsø University Museum

This museum covers diverse topics, including Sami culture, Arctic wildlife, and the northern lights. It offers a comprehensive insight into the natural and cultural history of the Arctic region.


Polaria is an Arctic experience centre with an aquarium showcasing Arctic marine life. It also includes exhibits on climate change and a panoramic cinema that takes visitors on a journey through the Arctic wilderness.

Fjellheisen Cable Car

Take a scenic ride to the top of Mount Storsteinen for spectacular views of Tromsø and its surrounding fjords and mountains. The area offers hiking trails and a café with stunning vistas.

Mack Brewery

Visit the world's northernmost brewery for a tour and tasting session. Learn about the history of brewing in Tromsø and sample various local beers, including seasonal and speciality brews.

Read more about Tromsø: The coolest city break in Europe


Photo by Steven Erixon/Unsplash

Ålesund, known for its stunning Art Nouveau architecture, is spread across several islands and offers dramatic views of fjords and mountains. Rebuilt after a fire in 1904, the city features colourful buildings and a charming waterfront.

Aksla Viewpoint

Climb the 418 steps to the top of Mount Aksla for breathtaking views over Ålesund and its surrounding islands and fjords. The viewpoint is perfect for photography and offers a café for refreshments.


The Art Nouveau Centre showcases Ålesund's unique architectural style with exhibits on the city's reconstruction. Explore interactive displays, beautiful design elements, and the history of Art Nouveau.

Atlantic Sea Park

One of Northern Europe's largest aquariums, the Atlantic Sea Park features a variety of marine life from the North Atlantic. Visitors can enjoy feeding shows, touch pools, and panoramic underwater views.

Sunnmøre Museum

An open-air museum with historic buildings, boats, and exhibits that highlight the cultural heritage of the Sunnmøre region. The museum offers insights into traditional Norwegian life and maritime history.


Take a scenic cruise through Hjørundfjord, surrounded by steep mountains and lush greenery. The fjord is perfect for kayaking, hiking, and enjoying the tranquillity of Norway's natural beauty.


Photo by Pixabay

Sweden's second-largest city, Gothenburg, is known for its maritime heritage, lush parks, and vibrant cultural scene. Located on the west coast, it offers a mix of urban excitement and coastal charm, making it a perfect summer destination.

Liseberg Amusement Par

 One of Scandinavia's most popular amusement parks, Liseberg features thrilling rides, beautiful gardens, and live entertainment. The park is a favourite for families and thrill-seekers alike.

Gothenburg Archipelago

Explore the nearby islands of the Gothenburg Archipelago, accessible by ferry. In this serene coastal setting, enjoy swimming, hiking, and exploring charming fishing villages.

Haga District

Stroll through the picturesque Haga district, known for its well-preserved wooden houses, quaint shops, and cosy cafés. Don't miss trying the famous Haga bulle, a giant cinnamon roll.


Universeum is a science centre with interactive exhibits. It features an indoor rainforest, aquariums, and hands-on science experiments. Visitors of all ages will enjoy this educational and fun experience.


This large park is a green oasis in the city. It offers a zoo with Nordic animals, playgrounds, and beautiful walking paths, perfect for a leisurely day out in nature.

Read more about Gothenburg: Sweden's West Coast Gem


Photo by Pixabay

Malmö, Sweden's third-largest city, offers a blend of historic charm and modern innovation. With its scenic waterfront, diverse cultural offerings, and vibrant neighbourhoods, Malmö is a dynamic city perfect for exploration.

Turning Torso

This architectural marvel is Scandinavia's tallest building, featuring a twisting design that dominates the skyline. Visitors can admire it from the outside or enjoy the views from nearby vantage points.

Malmö Castle

Dating back to the 16th century, this historic fortress houses museums of art, history, and natural history. Explore the castle's rooms, dungeons, and the beautiful surrounding parks.

Lilla Torg

Lilla Torg is lined with outdoor cafés, restaurants, and shops in a picturesque square with cobblestone streets. It's a perfect spot for people-watching and enjoying Malmö's vibrant atmosphere.

Moderna Museet

This modern art museum showcases contemporary art from Sweden and around the world. It features rotating exhibitions, interactive installations, and a beautiful location by the harbour.

Ribersborg Beach

Known as "Ribban," this famous beach offers sandy shores, bathing huts, and stunning views of the Öresund Bridge. It's ideal for swimming, picnicking, and enjoying the sea breeze.


Photo by Visit Sweden

Uppsala is a historic city known for its prestigious university, ancient architecture, and botanical gardens. Just a short train ride from Stockholm, Uppsala offers a peaceful and intellectually stimulating retreat.

Uppsala Cathedral

The largest church in Scandinavia, Uppsala Cathedral, features stunning Gothic architecture and houses the tombs of Swedish kings and notable figures. Its grandeur and history make it a must-see.


The university museum, Gustavianum, includes fascinating archaeology, art, and science exhibits. Highlights include the Augsburg Art Cabinet and the anatomical theatre.

Linnaean Gardens

Named after the famous botanist Carl Linnaeus, these historic gardens feature various plants and beautifully maintained grounds. It's a tranquil spot for a leisurely stroll.

Gamla Uppsala

This ancient site features large burial mounds, a historic church, and a museum that explores the area's rich Viking history. Gamla Uppsala is a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts and offers picturesque landscapes for walking and picnicking.

Fyris River

The serene Fyris River runs through the heart of Uppsala, offering beautiful pathways along its banks. Rent a canoe, enjoy a boat tour, or relax in one of the riverside parks.


Photo by Pixabay

Located on the island of Gotland, Visby is a medieval gem known for its well-preserved city walls, cobblestone streets, and historical charm. The city's rich history and stunning coastal scenery make it a perfect summer destination.

Visby City Wall

This impressive medieval wall encircles the old town of Visby. Walking along the wall offers panoramic views of the city and the sea, and it's a great way to explore the town's history.

Gotland Museum

This museum showcases Gotland's history, from prehistoric times to the present. Highlights include Viking artefacts, medieval art, and interactive exhibits that bring the island's past to life.

Botanical Garden

The Visby Botanical Garden is a beautiful and peaceful place to explore. It features various plants, flowers, and trees, making it ideal for a relaxing stroll.

St. Mary's Cathedral

Dating back to the 12th century, this historic cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Its interior is adorned with beautiful stained glass and intricate woodwork.

Almedalen Park

Located by the sea, Almedalen Park is a lovely place to relax and enjoy the coastal views. The park is a central location for various events and festivals, making it a vibrant part of Visby's community.


Photo by Unsplash

Denmark's second-largest city, Aarhus, is known for its vibrant cultural scene, historic charm, and beautiful green spaces. With its mix of modern architecture and ancient history, Aarhus offers a rich and diverse experience.

ARoS Aarhus Art Museum

This contemporary art museum is famous for its rainbow-coloured panoramic walkway on the roof, offering stunning city views. The museum features diverse and thought-provoking exhibitions.

Den Gamle By

An open-air museum that recreates Danish urban life from different periods, Den Gamle By features historic buildings, shops, and actors in period costumes. It's a fascinating journey through Danish history.

Moesgaard Museum

Located in a beautiful natural setting, this museum focuses on archaeology and ethnography. The building itself is architecturally impressive, and the exhibits include the famous Grauballe Man.

Aarhus Botanical Gardens

These extensive gardens feature a variety of plants, greenhouses, and themed sections. It's perfect for relaxing, walking, or enjoying a picnic.

Tivoli Friheden

This amusement park is set in a scenic forest and offers rides, games, and entertainment for all ages. It's a fun and lively spot for a day out.

Read more about Aarhus: 10 Must-Sees in The City of Smiles


Photo by Visit Odense

Odense, the birthplace of the fairytale writer Hans Christian Andersen, is a city steeped in literary history. It offers charming streets, beautiful parks, and a rich cultural scene where the past and present blend seamlessly.

Hans Christian Andersen Museum

This museum is dedicated to the life and works of the famous fairy tale writer. It offers interactive exhibits, personal artefacts, and a comprehensive look at Andersen's legacy.

Odense Zoo

One of Denmark's best zoos, Odense Zoo is home to various animals and features engaging exhibits and educational programs. It's an excellent destination for families.

Egeskov Castle

Beautiful gardens and a moat surround this Renaissance castle. Explore the historic interiors, extensive grounds, and attractions like tree-top walking and a vintage car museum.


Brandts is a cultural centre in a former textile factory that features contemporary art exhibitions, a cinema, and workshops. It's a hub for creativity and innovation in Odense.

Munke Mose

A large park by the river, Munke Mose offers lush green spaces, playgrounds, and boating opportunities. It's a favourite spot for locals to relax and enjoy the outdoors.


Photo by Mette Johnsen/Visit Denmark

Aalborg blends historic and modern attractions, including striking architecture and a vibrant waterfront. This northern city is known for its lively cultural scene and beautiful coastal landscapes.

Utzon Center

Named after Jørn Utzon, the architect of the Sydney Opera House, this cultural centre showcases architecture, art, and design. The building itself is a modern architectural gem.

Aalborg Historical Museum

The museum offers a deep dive into Aalborg's past, showcasing engaging exhibits and artefacts from the Viking Age to the present.

Aalborg Zoo

Aalborg Zoo is home to a diverse range of animals and focuses on conservation and education. Visitors can enjoy close encounters with animals and learn about wildlife worldwide.

KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art

This museum, located in a beautifully designed building, features an impressive modern and contemporary art collection. It's a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

Jomfru Ane Gade

Known as Denmark's longest bar street, Jomfru Ane Gade is famous for its nightlife. The street is lined with restaurants, bars, and clubs, making it a lively spot for evening entertainment.


Photo by Pixabay

Located on the west coast of Denmark, Esbjerg is known for its striking Man Meets the Sea sculptures and maritime heritage. This port city offers a mix of cultural attractions and natural beauty.

Man Meets the Sea

These iconic 30-foot-tall sculptures by Svend Wiig Hansen overlook the North Sea and symbolize the meeting of Man and nature. They are a striking landmark and a popular photo spot.

Fisheries and Maritime Museum

Learn about Denmark's maritime history, fishing industry, and marine life through interactive exhibits, aquariums, and outdoor displays. The museum is engaging for all ages.

Wadden Sea National Park

The Wadden Sea National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its unique tidal flats and rich birdlife. Explore the park through guided tours, walking trails, and birdwatching opportunities.

Esbjerg Art Museum

This museum features a diverse modern and contemporary art collection, focusing on innovative and experimental works. It's a vibrant cultural hub in the city.

Fanø Island

Just a short ferry ride from Esbjerg, Fanø Island offers sandy beaches, charming villages, and beautiful landscapes. It's perfect for a day trip to experience traditional Danish island life.



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