When I published an article on Thought Catalog regarding our trip to Scandinavia, I received queries on how we did our own free and easy tour. So here is our itinerary with info on how much we spent for the accommodation and transport, including names of hostels and transport companies. We did most of the booking online. Credit goes to my obsessive-compulsive travel buddy for putting these info in table format. Hope this can be useful to those who are planning to take a DIY Scandinavian trip.
1) You can save more if you book train tickets very early. For instance, we noticed that cost of NSB train ticket increases as you book closer to your target date of departure.
2) You can save more if you the accommodation you choose are mixed dorms with the most number of beds. Most of the accommodations we booked were female only dorms and they were more expensive compared to mixed dorms.
3) We saved on accommodation by looking for overnight transport options. For instance, taking the overnight bus from Copenhagen to Oslo, overnight train to Myrdal, and overnight cruise to Turku.
4) Instead of flying from Bergen to Stockholm (which is what we did), you can try Bergen to Helsinki, then from there, take overnight cruise going Stockholm. From Stockholm, you can take overnight bus going to Copenhagen.
5) Be careful of pickpockets. Just because you are in the “safest place in Europe” doesn’t mean you won’t be robbed. We learned this lesson during our trip.
6) Don’t forget to bring your credit card. It is useful especially when you become a victim of pickpockets. Of course this will only be useful when it your card doesn’t get pickpocketed. 🙂
7) Have an idea early on of the places you want to visit so that you can decide which travel card is the most cost-effective for you. For instance, in Stockholm, we bought the 2-day Stockholm card which allowed us to take public transport for free and at the same time get free admission to a lot of tourist attractions. However, in Helsinki, we bought the normal 2-day public transport ticket (12 euros) called “single-charge card” instead of the Helsinki Card (costs 48 euros, but come with free entrance to some museums). Most the the tourist places are public places anyway. You can even go to Soumenlinna by taking the HSL ferry using the normal public transport ticket.
Hope you find these useful. Enjoy traveling!