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5 days in Northern Scandinavia in December?

In cooperation with: Visit Norway
Los Angeles...
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5 days in Northern Scandinavia in December?

I posted the following in other forums here on TA but am hoping that the "experts" on the Norway forum can specifically address my question with regards to Northern Scandinavia:

"My husband (51yo, born/raised in Switzerland - has traveled extensively) and I (44yo born/raised California, have traveled a lot, have been to Europe 15ish times) are going to Europe in December (again...) to visit family in Switzerland for Xmas and family/friends in Hamburg for NYE. The really fun part is the 5-days/6-nights in between where we get to travel somewhere new and exciting, just the 2 of us. I have narrowed down my list to the following and would love some input/suggestions/advice or other ideas:

Prague, Czech Republic

Budapest, Hungary

Southern Spain - Seville, Cordoba, Granada

Italy - Venice/Florence


Portugal - Lisbon/Port

Northern Scandinavia - Norway/Sweden/Lappland (to see the aurora borealis)

My list is based on: where I have not already been (Paris, London, Amsterdam, Rome, Vienna, and pretty much everywhere in Switzerland and Germany). I'm not interested in the Christmas Markets (seen 'em), skiing ("retired"), or warmth (as if there is any in December in Europe, i.e. don't want to go to the islands). What is important: not spending too much time getting from one place to another, history/culture, making the most of 5 full days without exhausting ourselves (we go back often enough to not have that "5 countries in 5 days" attitude - every place I listed above that I've been to I spent a full week in each).

What say ye, oh great trip advisors?! :-) Thanks!!!"

Harstad, Norway
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for Bergen, Norway
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1. Re: 5 days in Northern Scandinavia in December?

There is hardly any daylight beyond the arctic circle in December which is ok for observing the northern lights but you will not be able to see the much of the landscape around you.

Personally I would have gone to southern Spain for the longer daylight hours and the better climate.

Trondheim, Norway
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for Trondheim
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2. Re: 5 days in Northern Scandinavia in December?

If you want to see the northern lights December is a good time.

Head for Tromso as you've got more than enough things to fill the days with as well (the nights are filled with watching/hunting the aurora). Other Aurora-"hotspots" in the Nordic Countries tend to be a lot more remote and have less in the way of things to do and see (lack of a decent selections of restaurants is my pet peeve with these sites).

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3. Re: 5 days in Northern Scandinavia in December?

In any case I would recommend trying to "do" Northern Scandinavia & Northern Finland at this time of year. It's a wide area and the remote interior can be very cold (-30 or - 40 C is likely).

It's possible to go whalesafari south of Tromsø (then you need to allow more days)


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4. Re: 5 days in Northern Scandinavia in December?

Thanks for the information!

5. Re: 5 days in Northern Scandinavia in December?

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