Travel Update


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Why Scandinavia is Perfect for Solo Travel

By: Jessica
Last Updated: 08/08/2022
Posted in: Blogs, Scandinavia, In Focus

Plenty of solo travellers have already discovered that Scandinavia is the place to be. In fact, Norway, Sweden and Finland all made the top 20 in Travel + Leisure magazine's list of best countries for solo travel. So even if you're travelling on your own here, you'll be in good company.

Read on, to find out why you'll have a safe, relaxing and unforgettable time on a solo adventure in Scandinavia and the Nordics.

1. Language barrier? Not in Scandinavia

Sure, you might stumble on some umlauts and a few extremely long words (we're looking at you, Finland), but rest assured that nearly everyone in Scandinavia speaks English. Of course, learning the translations for simple things like "hello" and "thank you" will score you some points with the locals.

Food vendor at Market Square in Helsinki, Finland - Julia Kivela, Visit Finland
Market Square in Helsinki (Photo: Julia Kivela/Visit Finland)

Most restaurants and cafés offer menus in English, and you'll even find a lot of English-language publications that list cultural events, museum exhibits, live music and other entertainment. Music venues and hostel bars are often good places to mingle with both locals and other travellers.

2. High standards of health and safety

The Nordic countries are not considered cheap by any means, but the trade-off is that they are perpetually ranked among the safest in the world for travellers. You can drink the water from the tap. You can shop without aggressive haggling. And catcalling on the streets is not common.

This equality-minded region is also well known as an LGBT-friendly destination, with increasingly popular pride parades and a variety of welcoming LGBT venues.

Stockholm Pride Parade - photo by Magnus Liam Karlson,
Stockholm Pride Parade (Photo: Magnus Liam Karlson/

What's more, Scandinavia is known as a natural wellness destination. This means you'll also find a wide range of vegetarian, vegan and organic foods along with plentiful running paths, traditional saunas and other invigorating activities. Need some workout buddies? Join a guided running, biking or kayaking tour!

Finnish sauna - copyright Harri Tarvainen, Visit Finland
Relax in a real Finnish sauna (Photo: Harri Tarvainen/Visit Finland)

3. Compact cities surrounded by nature

Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen all have clean, efficient public transport systems that are fairly simple to use. That said, if you're staying in a centrally-located hotel, you may not even need to use it. Indeed, many attractions in Scandinavia's major cities are within walking distance of each other and have a number of pedestrianised streets.

View over Djurgården in Stockholm - Ola Ericson/
View over Djurgården in Stockholm (Photo: Ola Ericson/

Denmark, in particular, is easy to get around thanks to its famous bicycle culture. In fact, more people bike in Copenhagen than drive a car. Many hotels here rent bikes to guests, and there is also a network of inexpensive city bikes for short-term use.

Biking in Norrebro area of Copenhagen, Denmark - copyright Kim Wyon, Visit Denmark
Biking in Copenhagen (Photo: Kim Wyon, Visit Denmark)

If you need a break from city life, you're never far from a lush park in the Scandinavian capitals. In most cases, a short walk or quick ride on a tram, metro, bus or ferry will get you to quiet, green space.

To venture even further from the city, we recommend a trip to northern Norway or Lapland in wintertime.

This would be easy to pair with a Stockholm, Oslo or Helsinki city break. And with action-packed itineraries full of thrilling activities like dogsledding and northern lights snowmobile safaris, you'll be well entertained as a solo traveller.

4. Wi-Fi hotspots everywhere

It's not hard to stay digitally connected during your holiday... if you want to be. That's because the Nordic countries lead the world in internet usage.

Fun fact: Finland was the first country in the world to declare broadband access a legal right for its citizens.

Not surpriginly, Scandinavia boasts an abundance of cafes and coffee houses offering free Wi-Fi to paying customers. You'll also find internet hotpots in libraries, large bookstores, many shopping centres and, of course, your hotel. So go ahead and post those selfies on Instagram.

Man with phone using internet at cafe in Scandinavia
Remember to hashtag us #nordicvisitor on your Nordic Visitor travel photos.

If you're a resident of another European country, you'll also be pleased to know that the EU (including some EEA countries) is now a Digital Single Market. This means you should be able to use your phone on local data networks without incurring high international roaming fees. For details, we recommend checking with your mobile service provider.

A great way to meet other travellers is to join day tours, like city walking tours or local gourmet tasting tours.

Or for guaranteed travel companions, why not join one of Nordic Visitor's guided small group tours in Scandinavia?  Check out these top group tours in Europe for solo travellers for inspiration. 

Nordic Visitor's local travel experts will arrange all of your accommodation, along with your train, car rental, ferry or cruise travel as part of your tour itinerary. You'll also get personal recommendations on the best things to see and do during your trip. And with our 24/7 emergency helpline, you're never really on your own even when travelling solo.

Read our related blog posts below, featuring solo Scandinavian adventures of Nordic Visitor travellers or staff.

Post by: Jessica

When not writing about Northern European tourist attractions, Jessica Bowe is busy daydreaming about her next trip or scouring Instagram for travel inspiration. Originally from Wisconsin (USA), she's lived in Iceland since 2008 and has since become fully immersed in Eurovision mania and Scandinavian coffee culture.

Find Jessica on LinkedIn.

More posts by Jessica

Getting there

We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.