10 Must-Visit Scandinavian Port Towns and Cities


The winding fjords, crystal clear waters and rolling hills make Scandinavia a region best explored by ship. With hundreds of picturesque port towns dotting the coasts of Sweden, Norway and Denmark; it’s simple to put together a beautiful cruise itinerary around the countries of Scandinavia. Here we explore 10 absolute must-visit cities in Scandinavia, in all their beauty and wonder.


City of Bergen in Norway

One of the rainiest cities in the world, it may seem bizarre to pitch Bergen as a must-visit destination. However, the beautiful location of the Norwegian city, perched above the fjord of Byfjorden makes Bergen a truly captivating place to visit. The surrounding areas aren’t too shabby either, with the rail link between Bergen and Oslo regularly named as one of the world’s most scenic routes.


Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg is a cultural centre of stunning architecture, music, arts and parks. A city blessed with a lovely system of canals and the open-air Maritime Museum, Gothenburg is the perfect place to celebrate nautical exploration.


Spread across two islands, the Danish capital, Copenhagen, is arguably the most beautiful city in the entire of Scandinavia – certainly no mean feat with the intense level of competition. Charming canals, beautiful buildings and incredibly diverse neighbourhoods make up this captivating city.


The Norwegian capital beautifully marries the old with the new, as traditional Germanic architecture is complemented by modern shiny skyscrapers and arthouse design. Oslo’s charm lays in its ability to operate as a world-leading economic hub whilst managing to retain the aesthetic and atmosphere of a small fishing village.


Stockholm, Sweden 

Effortlessly sophisticated and beautiful, Stockholm is the thinking traveller’s choice when picking a city break for the weekend. Built across a bridge-connected series of 14 islands, Stockholm is jam-packed with medieval castles and winding back alleys rich with history and intrigue. Great for history buffs, Stockholm can boast one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of museums.


Malmö could not be a more quintessentially charming Scandinavian city if it tried, blessed with row upon row of beautifully colourful buildings and relaxing squares. Incredibly pedestrian-friendly, the city is a great place to slowly explore by foot, stopping only to soak up the culture of the former Swedish capital.


Norway’s third largest city, Stavanger has become the port of choice for many of the major cruise lines. A city with a strong metropolitan feel, the streets are blessed with a huge number of  restaurants and cafes, providing a true taste of Scandinavia.


Flam in Norway

Postcard-perfect Flåm may just be a village but it packs in enough beauty to keep visitors coming back year after year. Located on one of Scandinavia’s most spectacular fjords, the panoramic views afforded by Flåm take in rolling, cloud-hugging hills, waterfalls and breath-taking horizons.


The chief port town of Denmark, Aarhus provides a wonderful trip into the history of the nation. With a number of historical buildings perched between woodlands, beaches and lakes – Aarhus provides a truly exceptional history lesson.


Located in the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is a city of true historical intrigue. One of the leading places to chase the Northern Lights and dotted with charming wooden houses, Tromsø is everything you’d want from a wonderful (yet freezing) Scandinavian city.

If this list has made you realise you’re really missing out by not visiting beautiful Scandinavia, Cruise1st can help get you there in style. Visit our special Scandinavia Cruises page, or call our dedicated team on 0808 2746 777 for a full range of cruise deals to this stunning part of the planet.


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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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