Tailormade tour Three Scandinavian capitals by rail holiday Scandinavia

11 nights/12 days

Hamburg • Copenhagen • Oslo • Stockholm • Hannover

This luxury touring holiday by train introduces you to the three capitals of Scandinavia: Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm. Spend three nights in each city and travel out and back by rail with stops in Hamburg and Hannover.
Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from £2,640 per person.

Luxury 11-night touring holiday by train from London combining three Scandinavian capitals plus Hamburg and Hannover

Highlights

Hamburg • Copenhagen • Oslo • Stockholm • Hannover

Day by day

Begin your Scandinavian rail tour by travelling from London to Brussels by Eurostar on an early morning departure. Upon reaching Brussels, continue to Hamburg with one more change in Cologne and check in to your hotel for one night. Historically the second largest port city in Europe, Hamburg has a wide range of attractions which display its prominence as an important cultural and commercial centre. Start your time here by exploring the warehouses and canals of the Speicherstadt, now UNESCO World Heritage Site. Contained in one of these warehouses is the Miniatur Wunderland, home to the world’s largest model railway and thousands of miniature moving parts. Another major attraction is the Museum Mile, home to five major galleries including the Kunsthalle, which displays artwork ranging from Rembrandt to Picasso. Also worth exploring are the many waterways of Hamburg; the city has three rivers – the Elbe, Alster and Bille – and more bridges than anywhere else in the world. The Jungfernstieg is a waterfront promenade in the dynamic heart of the city with a large number of flagship shops and department stores. Perhaps the best way to see the attractions on the waterfront is with a boat trip along the river. You can take in the sights of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall and the HafenCity, a new waterside quarter which is quickly growing to encompass more and more land with its creative architecture. For those interested in history a visit to St Michael’s Church is a must; this Baroque church has been destroyed by lightning and fire in its time and now offers views of the harbour from its 106-metre high observation deck.

After one night in Hamburg it is time to travel into Scandinavia. The journey to Copenhagen takes just under 5 hours and gets you in at around half past one in the afternoon, giving you plenty of time to explore after you check in to your hotel for the next two nights.

Copenhagen straddles the two coastal islands of Zealand and Amager and is characterised by its canals and laid-back atmosphere. You may want to start your time here by visiting the Amalienborg Palace which has been the residence of the Danish royal family for centuries. The museum housed within the palace features exhibits on the lives of the monarchy with its well-preserved interiors and houses the Danish crown jewels. Copenhagen has a large number of museums, the most famous of which is the SMK National Gallery, which displays a huge range of Danish and foreign art dating from the 14th century to the present day. The National Museum’s exhibits stretch back to the Stone Age, whilst the Glyptoteket art museum displays ancient and modern artwork in unique surroundings. Perhaps spend some time exploring the peaceful botanical gardens in the centre of the city which display more than 13,000 species of plants. Copenhagen is also known for being one of the most cycle-friendly cities in the world. Its broad cycle lanes and the city’s flat landscape make for a relaxing ride around the friendly streets. Perhaps finish your day with a visit to Nyhavn, the famous harbour with its painted houses and many bars and restaurants.

Today you travel from Copenhagen to Oslo, a journey of roughly eight hours with a change in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. Check in to your hotel in Oslo for the next three nights.

Oslo, the capital of Norway, sits on the country’s southern coast at the head of the Oslofjord. During your time here we highly recommend visiting the Bygdøy Peninsula, home to five national museums: The Viking Museum, the Fram Museum, the Norwegian Folk Museum, the Kon-Tiki Museum and the Norwegian Maritime Museum. The Fram Museum displays the strongest wooden ship ever built which still holds the record for sailing the farthest north and farthest south. It is possible to board the ship and see how the crew and their dogs managed to survive in the coldest and most dangerous places on earth. There are also exhibitions on the Arctic and Northwest passage. The Viking Ship Museum displays finds from four different Viking burial sites around the Oslo fjord, whilst the Norwegian Folk Museum is an open-air attraction showcasing the diverse wooden architecture and history of the country and its traditions. Another major attraction is Akershus Castle and Fortress. Completed during the 14th century, this mediaeval castle had a strategical location at the very end of the headland and withstood a number of sieges throughout the ages. Guided tours of the fortress are available during the summer. As well as museums, Oslo is known for its green spaces, the most famous of which is the Frogner Park. Within this area is the Vigeland Sculpture Park, featuring more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and iron and one of Norway’s top tourist attractions. Housed in some beautiful gardens of its own, the Royal Palace is the official seat of the current Norwegian King and Queen. Take a tour of the palace during the summer or stop by to see the changing of the guard at 13:30.

The final Scandinavian capital of Stockholm is reachable by direct train from Oslo. Upon arrival check in to your hotel for three nights.

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, encompasses 14 islands and more than 50 bridges on an extensive Baltic Sea archipelago. Ferries and sightseeing boats shuttle passengers between the islands. We recommend spending some of your time here visiting some of the first-class museums it has to offer. The Vasa Museum displays the only preserved 17th-century ship in the world and a unique art treasure. More than 95% of the ship is original and it is decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures. It sank on its maiden voyage in 1628 and was salvaged 333 years later in 1961. Today, the Vasa Museum is the most visited museum in Scandinavia and tours take place every day. Five of the city’s other museums can be found within the Royal Palace. This magnificent building is the official residence of the King of Sweden and contains over 600 rooms. It was built largely during the 18th century in the Italian Baroque style and today is open to the public. As well as Queen Kristina’s silver throne you can see Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities, the Tre Kronor Museum and the Treasury. For those interested in architecture, Stockholm’s City Hall is one of the country’s leading examples of national romanticism architecture. It features three Golden Crowns (the Swedish national coat of arms) and its tower offers fantastic views of the city. It is also well worth spending some of your time in Stockholm exploring the “Gamla Stan” (Old Town) which dates from the 12th century and is one of the best preserved mediaeval city centres in Europe.

Today you travel back to Copenhagen for one more night. Perhaps spend your time here sampling some of the city’s excellent cuisine in one of its many fine restaurants on the waterfront.

Leave Scandinavia to spend one more night in Germany on your way home, this time in Hannover. You will have the late afternoon to explore the city’s beautiful gardens, in particular the Berggarten, which is now one of the world’s leading botanical gardens. The New Town Hall resembles a palace and offers incredible views from its 93.5 metre-high observation deck. Opposite this is the Lower Saxony State museum, housed in a splendid Neo-Renaissance style building. This displays a collection of 11th to 20th century art, as well as natural history artefacts and a huge vivarium.

On your final day you leave Hannover at around 10:30 in the morning for Brussels, with one changeover in Cologne. Check in to your Eurostar service in Brussels and arrive back into London St Pancras in the evening.

Holiday price guide From £2,640 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room and including second class rail travel. First class and standard premier on Eurostar at a supplement of £510 per person.

Holiday Code SCBR01

Luxury 11-night touring holiday by train from London combining three Scandinavian capitals plus Hamburg and Hannover

Holiday price guide From £2,640 per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room and including second class rail travel. First class and standard premier on Eurostar at a supplement of £510 per person.

Holiday Code SCBR01

Our prices include ● Rail travel from London to Hamburg and Hannover to London via Brussels
● Second-class/standard class travel on all trains (first and standard premier on Eurostar at a supplement)
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in a Small double room at Hotel Tortue, Hamburg
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard double room at Hotel Ottilia, Copenhagen
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Standard room at Amerikalinjen, Oslo
● 3 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Classic king room at Lydmar Hotel, Stockholm
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in a Standard double room at Central Hotel Kaiserhof, Hannover
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Possible local tourist tax, usually the equivalent of £1 to £3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel
● Transfers in any cities

Additional information This holiday can be arranged throughout the year. Timings can vary depending on the month and day of the week.

Luxury 11-night touring holiday by train from London combining three Scandinavian capitals plus Hamburg and Hannover

Highlights of Germany

Berlin’s world-class museums, bustling bars, galleries and monuments; Rugen Island, with its rugged chalk cliffs, windswept beaches, Romantic-era spa architecture and tree-lined country roads; Dresden, with its baroque beauty on the banks of the majestic Elbe; Cologne’s magnificent cathedral; the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bamberg; the sandy dunes of Sylt, a North Sea island with fabulous beaches and surf; the beer halls of Munich, ideally in September during the Oktoberfest; Lubeck, a Hanseatic gem; Muritz National Park, where you can go paddling and camping in a paradise teeming with birds; Bremen, a metropolis in miniature, with lovely red-brick and Art Nouveau architecture; the Alpine resorts of Bavaria, including Berchtesgaden, with dramatic peaks, dreamy lakes and superb walking trails; drive or cruise along the Rhine or Mosel, visiting castles, medieval villages and superb vineyards along the way; the walled medieval towns of Rothenburg and Trier, both with wonderful Christmas markets; the Christmas market at Nuremberg, oldest – and still most picturesque – in the world.

Facts in brief

Capital Berlin
Airport Several airports are served from the UK, including Berlin, Bremen, Cologne-Bonn, Dortmund, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Stuttgart and Munich.
Size 137,000 sq. miles
Population 82 million

Luxury 11-night touring holiday by train from London combining three Scandinavian capitals plus Hamburg and Hannover

Highlights of Norway

The numerous fjords: Eidfjord – branch of the Hardangerfjord, Geirangerfjord – precipitous, one of Norway’s signature images, Hardangerfjord – rolling hills and pretty villages, Jossingfjord – vertiginous fjord in the flatlands of the south, Lysefjord – plunging cliffs, cruises and look out points, Naeroyfjord – narrow and very pretty, Sognefjord – Norway’s longest and one of the most beautiful, Trollfjord – very steep fjord on Lofoten, Vestfjord – sheltered bays and pretty villages separating Lofoten from the mainland. The Hurtigruten ferry that covers over 2500 km from Bergen to Kirkenes with over 30 stops. The Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights. Stave churches, beautifully preserved in wood, dating from Viking times, for example at Borgund, Lom, Ringebu and Urnes. Viking ships and artefacts, burial mounds and trinkets in museums throughout the country. The red, wooden houses perched stilts over the sea on the Lofoten Islands. The modern architecture of Oslo. Picking wild blueberries, sampling aquavit made from potatoes and caraway, and tasting reindeer steak with cranberries. The charm of Oslofjorden with its pretty, arty village and towns, harbours with sailing boats, islands offshore and beaches. Hike over the Jotunheimen and relish the natural landscape of this stunning National Park.

Cultural highlights of Norway

The architecture of stave churches dating from the Viking era and Viking treasure in museums around the country. The literature of Henrik Ibsen and Knut Hamsun. Folk tales and mythology. The music of Edvard Grieg and the art of Edvard Munch. Contemporary jazz and folk music.

Gastronomy of Norway

Norway’s gastronomy is a clear reflection of its land and sea. From the land come reindeer, venison, lamb, cured meats and potatoes of all types: boiled, roasted and fried. From the freshwater lakes and streams come salmon served grilled and smoked, and freshwater fish. Sea fish is a vast array of cod, haddock, shrimps, mackerel, fish soup, fish balls, salt cod. From the orchards particularly around the Hardangerfjord come apples, cherries and plums as well as berries of all sorts including blueberries, cranberries, bilberries and, a great delicacy, cloudberries. Cheeses include Jarlsberg and brown cheese. Coffee is almost certainly the national drink, followed by beer, of which there are all sorts of craft beers brewed locally, and Aquavit is the national spirit made from potatoes and caraway.

Facts in brief

Capital Oslo
Airport Oslo Gardermoen
Size 323,878 sq km
Population 4.4 million

Luxury 11-night touring holiday by train from London combining three Scandinavian capitals plus Hamburg and Hannover

Highlights of Denmark

The rugged landscape of Skagen’s beaches are the perfect location to revel in the other-worldly beauty of Denmark’s northernmost region, seeing first-hand the inspiration for painters throughout history. Explore the ancient monuments and stories from the Viking Age, in particular at Fyrkat and Lindholm Hoje. South of here you will find the port city of Aalborg, which marks the start of fjord country and has a historic town centre. For a more immersive experience, the town of Ribe in Southern Jutland is Denmark’s oldest and harks back to the Viking Ages with its mediaeval architecture and 1300-year history. Southern Jutland is also a popular spot for families with Legoland offering colourful characters, rides and shows. To experience more of the natural beauty of Denmark, Southern Zealand to the east of Jutland is home to imposing cliffs and beautiful beaches, interposed with majestic castles and ruins such as those in Koge and Vordingborg, the latter of which was the capital of the Valdemar dynasty during the 12th century and was an important staging post for military expeditions during this period. For relatively untouched areas head to the islands of Lolland and Falster to the south which are more rural in character and offer miles of beaches and woodland. To the north, some of the most impressive royal castles in the country can be found amongst port towns with remnants of the Viking empire: Kronborg was the setting for Hamlet and has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. On the east coast of Zealand is the capital of Copenhagen. This modern and progressive city is known for being one of the most cycle-friendly cities in the world, and this provides a wonderfully relaxed way of nagivating the green spaces, art galleries and designer stores that line the streets. The Amalienborg Palace has been the residence of the Danish royal family for centuries, and today houses a museum featuring exhibits on the lives of the monarchy and their traditions. Other popular museums include the SMK National Gallery and the National Museum, whose exhibits stretch back to the Stone Age.

Cultural highlights of Denmark

Denmark’s capital of Copenhagen is home to a plethora of world-class art galleries and museums. The Statens Museum for Kunst (National Gallery) is Denmark’s largest art gallery and features works from Danish artists such as Constantin Hansen, as well as foreign art from well-known names such as Picasso. The Design Museum celebrates the history of applied arts and industrial design, while the Glyptoteket art museum displays ancient and modern artwork in unique surroundings, in particular the central conservatory, which contains exotic flora, towering palms and bewitching sculptures. The National Museum meanwhile provides an insight into Denmark’s rich history and culture, ranging from the Stone Age to Viking treasures to mediaeval art. The botanical gardens in the centre of the city display more than 13,000 species of plants, and the popular Tivoli Gardens is adored by the Danes, comprising part theme park, part cultural venue with extensive gardens and many dining options. Out of the capital city, there are a number of equally worthy museums and art galleries, in particular the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, which features modern masterpieces all set against the backdrop of the Øresund Sound. The city of Aarhus is known for its vibrant cultural attractions and contains a multitude of museums, not least the Vikings Museum and the ARoS Art Museum, whose collection ranges from the Golden Age to the present day.

Facts in brief

Capital Copenhagen
Airport Copenhagen Kastrup is the main transport hub but Billund, Aalborg, Aarhus, Esbjerg and Sønderborg all receive international flights.
Size 16,577 sq miles
Population 5.8 million

Luxury 11-night touring holiday by train from London combining three Scandinavian capitals plus Hamburg and Hannover

Highlights of Sweden

Sweden contains over 100,000 lakes, ranging from forest ponds to vast expanses of water such as Vänern, the third largest lake in Europe. Lake swimming is popular activity and there are many opportunities for water sports on some of the smaller lakes. Sweden’s freedom to roam means anyone has the right to explore freely in nature, and there are a great number of hiking trails which will allow you to take full advantage of this. Kungsleden Trail (King’s Trail) is Sweden’s longest and most famous walking trail and will take you through a varied mountain landscape and the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve, one of the largest protected areas in Europe. Sweden is also known for its wildlife: reindeer live in the northern forests and mountains, whilst moose, wolves and bears can also be spotted in the more remote regions. Further south the landscape is interspersed with glorious castles, the most impressive of which is arguably Drottningholm just outside Stockholm, which dates from the 17th century and was one of the most lavish buildings of its era. Above the Arctic Circle the Northern Lights illuminate the night sky during winter, in stark contrast to the Midnight Sun which keeps night-time at bay during the summer months. Sweden has a strong Viking heritage which can still be seen at archaeological sites of burial mounds, wood huts and museums. Some of the best of these can be seen in the capital of Stockholm, in particular the Viking Museum and the Birka Museum, the latter of which was an important Viking Age trading centre during the 9th century. Stockholm’s Gamla Stan (Old Town) is where the city was founded in 1252 and is home to the city’s cathedral, which has been at the heart of religious and political life in Sweden since its construction in the 13th century. The Royal Palace is the official residence of the King and Queen of Sweden and was built largely during the 18th century in the Italian Baroque style. New Nordic restaurants line the streets and squares, where you can try everything from local game to seafood classics.

Cultural highlights of Sweden

Viking treasure and artefacts in museums around the country. Folk tales and mythology. A wide variety of museums in Stockholm, including the ABBA Museum and the Vasa Museum. Midsummer celebrations in late June. Buffet-style Smögåsbord meals and specialities such as kroppkakor (potato dumplings).

Facts in brief

Capital Stockholm
Airport Stockholm is the main transport hub for Sweden with four international airports serving the city
Size 173,860 sq. miles
Population 10.2 million
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