One area that is sometimes overlooked when people plan European vacations is Scandinavia. Denmark, Sweden and Norway are beautiful, culture-rich destinations that are not as well-visited as, say, France and Italy. This makes them some of the continents best undiscovered gems.
If you are the kind of traveler who enjoys visiting large cities, you should check out Copenhagen (Denmark), Stockholm (Sweden) and Oslo (Norway). Each of these cities has a wide array of cultural offerings, and you will probably enjoy the beautiful and unique architecture in each of them.
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Stockholm is sometimes called "The Venice of the North" because of its network of picturesque canals. It also is home to the Vasa Museum, which has a well-regarded collection of historical artifacts, including a sailing ship that was rescued from the floor of Stockholm Harbor and painstakingly restored.
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In Copenhagen, you can see the famous statue of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" or stop by the Copenhagen Zoo, which is one of Europe's best. If you visit Oslo, the Royal Palace and Oslo Opera House are must-see stops on anyone's itinerary.
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If you prefer seeing the countryside, Norway's fjords (canyons into which the sea reaches) are world-famous for their stunning vistas. Just outside of Copenhagen, you can find some of northern Europe's most lovely beaches (really!) and Stockholm can serve as your home base for visits to the island of Gotland or the pastoral cities of Malmo and Gothenburg.
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The Scandinavian countries are famous for the strong, unique sense of design. Whether it's beautiful Ekelund linens from Sweden or elegant Dansk china from Denmark, original and distinguished souvenirs will not be hard to find. That is to say nothing of the trendy boutiques and avant-garde little shops that flourish in the streets of Scandinavia's larger cities.
All in all, Scandinavia offers a wonderful itinerary for any traveler who's interested in getting a bit off the beaten path.