5 Best Places to Spend the Winter Holidays in Scandinavia


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Feel like creating magic moments this winter? Or watching the colorful Northern Lights from the comfort of your Glass Igloo or Ice Hotel? Give yourself a treat and spend the most wonderful time of the year in enchanting Northern Europe. Read on to find out the best places to spend the winter holidays in Scandinavia.


If an unforgettable winter fairytale trip is what you’re after, Finland is the destination for you.

No place on planet Earth has the authentic holiday spirit like this Scandinavian country, as it boasts not only reindeer farms but the official residence of Santa Claus in Rovaniemi. Finland's coastal region has the largest Archipelago National Park in the world and is characterized by old wooden towns, lighthouses, historical manors, stone churches, and, of course, large national parks.

Nature lovers will also be inspired by a visit to Nuuksio National Park. In addition to over 80 small lakes and ponds, the park includes beautiful valleys, steep ravines, rock formations, groves, and swamps.

Another wonderful natural attraction for tourists is Finnish Lakeland. There are hundreds of kilometers of blue lakes, islands, rivers, and canals. Forests and ridges are interspersed with it, forming an incredible labyrinth.


What is more, the Ivalo region is home to the Sami people and has one of the most scenic displays of Northern Lights.

Quick Finland Facts

  • Location: Northern Europe
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Capital: Helsinki
  • Area: 338,440 km² (131,991 square miles), the fifth-largest country in Western Europe


A spot for Norway is always saved on any globetrotter’s agenda as this northern beauty is equally worth seeing any time of the year.

Traveling to Norway in the winter has many bright sides, especially when combining a land tour of Oslo, Bergen, and Alesund with a cruise to the Lofoten Islands. Norway's wild nature and landscapes are often associated with its magnificent Norwegian fjords. They have become a symbol of Norway's wildness. The longest can be distinguished from their vast number - Sognefjord. It extends 204 kilometers (127 miles) inland and is considered one of the most spectacular sights on earth.

There is no way to skip the stunning Trolltunga cliffs when thinking of the best views in Norway. It is definitely worth a visit if you wish to soak in the beautiful scenery and take pictures. In addition, the Lofoten Islands, which are nearby, offer dramatic views of the wild nature of Scandinavia.


Crossing the Arctic Circle to the land of incredible wildlife and petite fishing villages among high mountain peaks and steep backdrops of the fjords is a journey worth taking. The perfect arctic getaway is topped with a stay at the Snow Hotel.

Quick Norway Facts

  • Location: Northern Europe, Scandinavian Peninsula
  • Currency: Norwegian krone (NOK)
  • Capital: Oslo
  • Area: 385,207 km2 (148,729 square miles)


Going sightseeing in Sweden's dazzling Stockholm, adorned with all the holiday illumination and Christmas markets is a memorable experience in itself. Peaceful surroundings and breathtaking views make the Stockholm archipelago a perfect getaway from the city. It is approximately 60 km to the east of capital city, and is the second-largest archipelago in the Baltic Sea.

Yet Kiruna is the town that holds the most sought-after treasure for travelers, with one-of-akind wild untouched nature. Another worthwhile attraction to visit is Skogskyrkogarden. This peaceful woodland cemetery was built in the 20th and is also a UNESCO Heritage Site.


The famous observation platform for watching surreally breathtaking Northern Lights - the Abisko Aurora Sky Station is located here. Birka Viking City is a great way to see Sweden from a different perspective. On the Swedish island of Bjorko, right across from Lake Malaren, lies this charming old town. It was the most important settlement in the entirety of the Malar Valley, and it has been around since the 8th century.

Visiting a Swedish sauna and spending a night in a genuine Ice Hotel can also compliment any winter vacation to Scandinavia.

Quick Sweden Facts

  • Location: Northern Europe
  • Currency: Swedish Krona (SEK)
  • Capital: Stockholm
  • Area: 450,295 km2 (173,860 square miles)


For those who are short on time when it comes to exploring Scandinavia this winter, touring Iceland is a perfect solution.

What Christmas gift can top relaxing in the renowned Blue Lagoon’s hot geothermal springs, attracting thousands of tourists every year? South Iceland is home to the Golden Circle, another popular tourist route. The main attractions of Iceland are presented here, including two raging waterfalls - Gullfoss and Geysir, a spouting hot spring geyser, and Thingvellir National Park.

The Northern Lights Phenomenon in Iceland

Moreover, the main landmarks of Reykjavik and even a Northern Lights cruise can be included in a trip as short as 4 days!

Quick Iceland Facts

  • Location: North Atlantic
  • Currency: Icelandic Króna (ISK)
  • Capital: Reykjavík
  • Area: 102,775 km2 (39,682 square miles)


It can be tricky making a choice between which Scandinavian countries to see in the winter, so why not combine?

As an option consider a mixed Swedish - Finnish Lapland adventure with snowmobile safaris, kick-sled and husky-dog riding, visiting Santa and an ice bar in Snowman World. The Arktikum is an excellent place for travelers to learn more about the Arctic and northern regions' history.

Could you imagine spending the night in a house made entirely of ice and snow? The Snow Village is one of the most unusual hotels not just in Lapland, but throughout the world. Santa Claus Village is another wonderful place to have winter fun. Over twenty rides and attractions are available, including Winter Wonderland, Santa's Enchanted Forest, The Polar Express, Toyland Tours, and more!

Dog-sledding in Lapland

To top it off living in Glass Igloos is a "must" experience, which is usually booked out by early fall due to high popularity among travelers.

Quick Lapland Facts

  • Location: Northern Europe, Finland
  • Capital: Rovaniemi
  • Area: 100,366 km2 (38,752 square miles)

Northern Europe is a perfect place to spend the winter holidays, promising unforgettable adventures and ideal Scandinavian winter getaways. If you're a brave traveler and desire to immerse yourself into other Arctic horizons, find your way in our article "When is the Best Time to Visit Alaska"!