This upcoming winter, I will be venturing to Scandinavia. Learn what I'll be doing during my time in Northern Europe and help give me advice.
I am excited to say that I am officially booked in for my next big trip. This December through January, I will spend a little under three weeks exploring both the cities of Scandinavia as well as the Arctic Circle. Here’s what I know so far, what I want to do, and what I could use some help on.
What I Know
So far I am booked in for a round trip to Helsinki, the capital of Finland. This past summer while in Copenhagen, I met a group of college students from Helsinki and they could not have spoken higher of it. From what I’ve heard it’s an amazing city full of cool things to do and amazing people. While Helsinki will probably be the place I spend most of my time, I will be venturing to the Arctic Circle either in Northern Sweden or Norway (depending on COVID restrictions).
You may be thinking “this guy is absolutely nuts to visit the Arctic during winter.” You would be absolutely correct but the truth is I love cold weather and I love the snow. More than this however, the main goal of my trip is to cross of the number one item on my bucket list, seeing the Northern Lights. For the first time in years I’ll be bringing my photography gear along with me to capture the Aurora.
What I Want to do
So far my plan consists of arriving in Helsinki, heading to the Arctic Circle for 7-8 days, and coming back to Helsinki. However, I know my travel style which usually doesn’t consist of staying in any city for more than 4-5 days. I am making a bit of a stretch here simply because I will be spending a lot of time in nature on this trip. However, I am looking into additional places to visit. The first and most obvious addition to my itinerary is to head to Tallinn, Estonia. I have heard nothing but good things about it and am very curious what it has to offer.
My time in Helsinki and Tallinn will be spent how I usually do cities, staying at party hostels. Given the holiday season and new years, I think it will be a very different and truly exciting experience. While up North, I would like to stay in hostels however, I know that hostels are far and few in the Arctic and especially in less crowded cities. The main activity while traveling in the Arctic Circle will be chasing the Aurora Borealis. This takes both time and compliant weather and so I will be there for upwards of a week to ensure I maximize my chances. I will be bringing my Canon DSLR camera, my Go Pro, plus my phone to ensure I have the best chance of capturing the spectacle. In addition to the Northern Lights, I'll be looking to do activities such as skiing, ice climbing, snowshoeing, and more.
Now I Need Travel Tips
I'm usually the one giving travel tips or recommendations of the places I've been, but now it's your turn. While I have traveled quite a bit, I've never done something like this. For anyone reading this, I would love recommendations on things to do and places to stay both in Helsinki and Tallinn. If you know of any other cities in Scandinavia or the Northern Baltic region, let me know. I have more time than I thought I would during this trip. If you have travel tips on saving money or how to navigate winter in Scandinavia. I also need some recommendations for winter jackets, snow pants, and snow boots that can take the extreme conditions of the Arctic. If you have any of these or anything else I should know, please feel free to DM me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. You can also leave a comment on Youtube or on this article. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form in the contact page.
I'm so excited for this adventure and I know it will be the experience of a lifetime. While I have been to Sweden, I simply went for a day trip to Malmö for the day while in Copenhagen and I'm thrilled to be able to see more of the country. This will be my first time in Finland, Norway, and Estonia. I'm happy to start staying within regions in Europe instead of crossing as many borders as possible. I know now that it's more about the experiences versus the number of countries you've been to.