The Nordic countries are quite wonderful to visit and thanks to good infrastructure, it is possible to visit several of them on the same overall trip. However, if you have to choose just one, which of the Nordic countries is then the best option?
It really depends on your preferences, but we will have a look at it anyway. Below you will find our rankings – keep in mind that this is a subjective opinion!
Sweden has it all, and that makes it the best Nordic country to visit for most people.
First of all, if you like big cities with plenty of culture, history and entertainment, you can visit either Stockholm or Gothenburg. But if you love nature, Sweden has everything from mountains to forests – lots of forests…
Nature lovers will love Sweden in the winter since you can watch aurora borealis (northern lights) in the northern part of the country. Obviously, it gets very cold, but that will be the case no matter where in Scandinavia you choose to go.
When it comes to prices, Sweden isn’t cheap, but it is a lot more affordable than Norway and slightly more affordable than Denmark.
Who should visit Sweden? Everyone should – the country has a wide appeal
Who shouldn’t visit Sweden? Anyone who is already very familiar with the country and want to try something new
It was really hard to decide whether Denmark or Sweden should rank as number one. In the end, Sweden won because of its superior opportunities when it comes to nature, but if you are strictly into culture, Denmark is definitely the place to go.
Copenhagen is arguably the most interesting city in Scandinavia – perhaps even one of the most interesting cities in all of Europe. The historic capital of Denmark gives you the opportunity to do almost everything. Whether you prefer the daytime where you can visit museums or castles, or whether you prefer the nighttime where you can go to restaurants, bars and clubs, Copenhagen will be absolutely ideal regardless!
As for the rest of the country, we highly recommend the youthful Aarhus – Denmark’s second-largest city. The northwestern coast has awesome beaches that you can enjoy if you visit in the summer. During July and August, Denmark has nice temperatures, although the rest of the year is quite dark and cold. The huge attraction park Legoland in Billund is also an option. Lastly, near Copenhagen, you can visit smaller historic cities such as Roskilde and Helsingør.
Who should visit Denmark? The kind of person who loves culture and history
Who shouldn’t visit Denmark? Nature lovers – Denmark is small and does not offer the variety of nature that other Nordic countries do
You could easily argue that Norway should rank as the best Nordic country to visit. Yet, it gets a ranking slightly below Sweden and Denmark.
Why? Because Norway is incredibly expensive and because the weather can be very dicey. Admitted, the second negative is something that all the Nordic countries share with each other.
However, if you can live with the high prices and the cold weather, Norway is an absolutely amazing destination.
From a natural point of view, the country is gorgeous, and you will see mountain ranges, rivers and fjords more beautiful than anywhere else. Norway is a popular destination for skiing, and just like Sweden, you can watch aurora borealis from several locations during wintertime. In the summer, meanwhile, you have the midnight sun if you stay in one of the more northern parts of the country.
The capital Oslo is booming and offers a lot of fun opportunities. But don’t sleep on the largest city on the west coast, Bergen, if a city trip is what you fancy.
Who should visit Norway? Nature entusiasts, ski lovers, cultural city dwellers
Who shouldn’t visit Norway? Anyone on a budget, or anyone who just can’t stand cold weather
Iceland is a bit more isolated than the other Nordic countries. Flights are often more expensive, and it takes longer to get there if you’re from mainland Europe. If you’re from North America, it can sometimes be easier though!
Even though Iceland has a small population, it is a very interesting country with a rich history and many nice things to do.
There is however no doubt that nature is the main attraction. Unlike the other Nordic countries, Iceland has volcanoes and the nature generally looks very dramatic. If you love remote roadtrips, or if you are into fishing, Iceland is absolutely ideal. Expensive, yes, but worth it if you are looking for something different. In recent years, Iceland has gotten a lot of attention from tourists though, so it isn’t as “untouched” as it once was.
Who should visit Iceland? Everyone who loves nature and adventure!
Who shouldn’t visit Iceland? City lovers – aside from Reykjavik, there isn’t much, and even Reykjavik is hardly any big city
Now, if you think the other Nordic countries are cold, wait until you visit Finland. They really take cold weather to the next level!
But Finland is an awesome country. The population is almost as large as Denmark’s, and the capital Helsinki works well if you want a city trip. You will definitely be amazed by the unique Finnish lifestyle. People are not really talking too much to strangers, but that’s part of the charm. But let’s not overreact, it is easy to communicate when needed – Finns have a remarkable level of English and basically everyone speaks it there.
If you love fishing, Finland is great. The country is full of lakes. It is very beautiful from a natural point of view. One of the best ways to visit Finland is by cruise, headed into Helsinki. The coast looks great!
Who should visit Finland? Anyone looking for a different experience than usual. In fact, Finland offers a bit of everything, but with slight variations from the norm
Who shouldn’t visit Finland? Super social people looking to socialize and small-talk with everyone!
Is Estonia a Nordic country? People have different opinions about that, but geographically and culturally, we can certainly see why Estonians like to be considered a part of Northern Europe.
It’s a small country, but it is very interesting. Tallinn is obviously the highlight, a beautiful city that looks traditional on the surface, but it is in fact very modern. Estonia has experienced great growth and is a highly developed country now. The people are friendly, and the country has a nice location in the Baltic Sea, which makes it very easy to visit by ferry or cruise. Of course, you can also just fly in like most people do!
Who should visit Estonia? If you are interested in a mix of Nordic and Eastern European culture, go! The prices are also lower than in the other Nordic countries
Who shouldn’t visit Estonia? People who love big cities and crowds. Estonia is a small country and lacks the entertaining opportunities bigger countries offer
The Nordic countries are all great to visit. Which are your favorites? Let us know by writing below!