Our European Vacation Itinerary

Travel & Leisure


“Drink Lots of Wine in the Afternoon and Get Lots of Rest.”

Advice I received from my friend Erin regarding my upcoming vacation. Yep, you read that correctly… an honest to goodness vacation. Joe and I and another couple are heading to Europe for two glorious weeks beginning this Monday. We are visiting Denmark, Sweden, Berlin and Norway and are trying to hit as many amazing spots as we can possibly cram into 14 days. A brief look at our itinerary:


Copenhagen, Denmark


Host – Beautiful Scandinavian design, really great food, and very decent price for what you get and the experience. With so many local recommendations for this place, we have to make a reservation.

Mikkeller Bar for #17 the Raid Beer (won the #2 beer in the world in both 2012/2013). Walk down through the Norrebro area of town; a super cool vibe – people just sitting around drinking beer on the street – and so many good restaurants around.

Kent Kaffe Laboratorium – Coffee made with a bunsen burner. ‘nuf said.

Lidkoeb – A lovely looking bar that turns its vacant third floor to a whiskybar, complete with vinyl records, each and every weekend. Just whisky. I want to go to there.


Ribersborg – We were warned this is an outdoor bathing area full of naked Swedes, and highly encouraged to embrace the “when in Rome” spirit and join the locals in getting naked, relaxing in a sauna, and then jumping off the pier into the freezing cold sea.

Torvehallerne – ToRVEhallerne entire Copenhagen treasury of a pantry. A food market, where the original, the new, well thought out and it is slowly cooked gets more than 60,000 locals to flock every week. And where everything is bursting with freshness. Not least stage retainers who tripper to welcome you. – a Google Translation of the Torvehallerne official webpage.

Essentially, a giant open air market. But I love the idea of a place where “everything is bursting with freshness”. I am a bit concerned about “stage retainers who tripper”, however.


Women’s & Men’s: Wood Wood

Men’s: Norse Projects

Home: Hay House

Lego: Yes, that Lego.

And our amazing Airbnb in Copenhagen.


Stockholm, Sweden


Eriks Gondolen – Drinks with views of the city. Highly recommended.

Drop Coffee HB – This friendly Swedish shop will not only welcome you with a smile, but they the baristas even go to great lengths to make beautiful latte art designs on your coffee. Be careful: You might not want to leave Sweden after spending time in this shop. YOLO.

Lux Dag för Dag – A “farm to table” experience, located in Stockholm. The menu changes seasonally, sometimes nightly, based on availability of ingredients.


Take the ferry to the island of Djurgarden. And walk until you find Rosendals Trädgård; a huge outdoor garden, and there’s an adorable set of greenhouses where you can eat the food they grow there.

The Moderna Museet (modern art museum) was really nice here. Another “do not miss” the Fotografiska museum – currently featuring a Martin Schoeller exhibition


Women’s & Men’s: Nitty Gritty (amazingly curated)

Men: Our Legacy, a fantastic selection of well-crafted men’s basics.

Misc: Snickarbacken 7, a café, exhibition space and a concept store in a building that used by stables, located in the heart of Stockholm.


Bergen, Norway


Fisketorget – Bergen’s 300-year-old fish market, from what I hear, it is a splendid place for a quick bite.


Fjord Tours AS – C’mon, how often do you get to see a fjord in real life?

Bryggen – Historic, cute shopping area, perfect for a long afternoon wandering.


Skostredet – Street lined with local designer stores, both fashion and interiors, as well as a lovely old record shop.

Any other suggestions?

Header Illustration: Nordic Map from Tea Collection
“Places” Pattern illustrations by: Julia Rothman

BY Kate Arends - October 16, 2015

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October 16, 2015 10:25 am

That sounds amazing. I could really use a real vacation right about now. It such as beautiful time to go to all of those spots. Enjoy the journey.

October 16, 2015 11:30 am

Can’t wait for the photos and report back. This sounds like my dream vacation. So jealous right now. Enjoy!

October 16, 2015 2:19 pm

Amazing! We did a similar trip in August; we also visited Reykjavik and Lom, Norway. I loved seeing everything, but I wish we had picked fewer cities or stayed longer, because we were exhausted. Our favorite restaurant in Copenhagen was a place called Spisehuset Rub & Stub in the København K neighborhood. It’s a non-profit restaurant (the first of its kind in Europe) that changes its menu daily based on the food donations it receives. We enjoyed 3 delicious courses, and the restaurant is located above a car/coffee shop/board game destination. I’ve honestly never seen so many games in my… Read more »

October 16, 2015 2:49 pm

Sounds like a great trip! If you are up for a little hike on a clear day in Bergen, try Fløyen, the lowest mountain. It’s a real easy and quite short hike and you get a nice view over the city and area. Enjoy!

October 16, 2015 4:29 pm

In Stockholm, I recommend popping into Petrus bakery. It is around the corner from Drop Coffee and everything (cookies, buns and bread) there is delicious, especially their kardemumma bulle! I also recommend walking around Gamla Sstan in the early morning or dusk.

October 16, 2015 5:04 pm

I was just in Sweden and Copenhagen in September for 3 weeks! 85% of your list are places we went to and HIGHLY recommend. Major props to your sources for this itinerary! Some other stops we made and really enjoyed… STOCKHOLM – Galma Stan is a really beautiful old neighborhood that everyone will insist you go to, but you can definitely do it all in a day. Probably even a half day. Sodermalm/SOFO is the place to be! I’m from Chicago and I would say it’s very similar to Wicker Park. Love Food Cafe – best lunch spot. A+ flavorful… Read more »

October 16, 2015 5:20 pm

AHHHH! Sounds like it’s going to be an absolutely incredible trip. So excited for the two of you. Definitely a well deserved vacation…

October 16, 2015 9:06 pm

Try “Copenhagen Street Food” – that’s the name of a food market on Paper Island (it’s similar in principle to Minneapolis’ Midtown Global Market): http://copenhagenstreetfood.dk/en/food-stalls/

It’s near Christiania, so you could pair a visit to Copenhagen Street Food with a walking tour of the alternative free town of Christiania.

October 17, 2015 9:32 am

Sounds amazing! I’ve been to Tromso in Norway but I am pining to visit the rest of Scandinavia. I can’t give any tips about Bergen, though I know there is some amazing wilderness to explore not to far from there, so it’s well worth getting back to nature.

PS. That illustration is perfect, I must find it – it perfectly represents my scandi obsession.

October 17, 2015 1:02 pm

My husband and I visited Copenhagen in August and loved it! We went back to the Torvehallerne open air market at least four times … it was a great atmosphere. Loved the stand called “Grod” and tried their risotto (I believe it was a tomato / pesto deal and amazing).

Also LOVED Mother (a restaurant). The pizza was thumbs UP and it was clear the locals flocked there (and stayed for awhile). Enjoy!

October 17, 2015 1:05 pm

PS. Rent bikes in Copenhagen for an afternoon! My husband is huge into bicycling in Minneapolis and I’ve always been a little more iffy about wanting to go (not a fan of sharing the road with cars) … but he finally convinced me while visiting. Biking around Copenhagen was one of the best experiences ever. 🙂

October 17, 2015 7:50 pm

Hi Kate, I’ve spent a ton of time in Scandinavia over the past few years. You and Joe will love it. A few more things: Copenhagen: Bikes are an absolute must. I hope they come with the airbnb. There’s no other way to get around. Go for a coffee and breakfast at Mirabelle in Norrebro. A bike ride through Assistens Kirkegard and dinner at Manfred & Vin or Baest (all the same chef empire). Sweet Treat is also a cozy place for an afternoon coffee in Christianshavn. Also plan to eat a meal outside in a park or on a… Read more »

October 17, 2015 9:33 pm

You guys are going to have an amaaaazing time! My best friend and I just did a similar trip back in April and had the time of our lives.
Our absolute favourite place to eat on our entire trip was in Stockholm, a little restaurant in the Hotel Skeppsholmen. (very close by Moderna Museet.) I’m still daydreaming about that open face shrimp sandwich I had. Food goals right there. Plus it’s so beautifully decorated instead.

This is their website: http://www.hotelskeppsholmen.se/en/m/restaurant-langa-raden

October 18, 2015 4:03 am

i live in stockholm, so here goes some of my favorite södermalm spots: restaurang pelikan <- super traditional swedish food in a nice looking old beer hall. lots of different schnapps and herring. monteliusvägen <- a walking path along the island of södermalm, lots of nice looking small houses with gardens etc and with an outstanding view of the town, the water and the city hall. urban deli and the bars around nytorget <- good food in the center of sofo (south of folkungagatan) which is the most trendy area in town. brandstationen <- very nice looking antiques shop. the… Read more »

October 18, 2015 10:52 am

It’s a bit out of the way but, if you can make the the time, the Louisiana Art Gallery is SO WORTH IT. A beautiful location with amazingly curated works. Was my favourite part of Copenhagen (and I LOVED Copenhagen).

Also…reservations are required for pretty much every dining establishment in the city. Wish we’d known that in advance as even in February it was difficult to get into just the neighbourhood sushi restaurant!

October 18, 2015 10:56 am

Oh Kate!So excited for you guys! Haven’t been to the other cities but was just in Copenhagen over the summer and loved it!Probably one of my fave places to visit in the world. There are places you to visit and tour but there places that you feel at home. We really felt at home and wanted to stay longer in this city. Food, vibe , everyone is so friendly! We just walked around and ran into things like Mikkeler and the Torvehallerne, food, sweets, drinks! Coffee collective is there too! And smorrebrod. And there’s also Aamans with a casual space… Read more »

October 19, 2015 5:12 am

I am a swede currently living in Stockholm, and your itinerary looks like I wrote it myself! I would probably add a shop called Grandpa to your to do list. I can promise you that your husband would love it as well!

In Copenhagen I had the best meal of my life at a restaurant called Höst. The place is insanely beautiful, and the food was mind-blowing. It was also weirdly affordable? Seriously, I can’t think of a better introduction to scandinavian cuisine.

Have a great time!

October 19, 2015 5:14 am

Haha, it was on the VERY TOP of the list. Apparently I need more coffee.

October 19, 2015 6:37 am

This sounds like the most glorious two weeks ever. Have SO much fun. I unfortunately don’t have any suggestions – I’ve actually never been to Europe! But, I’m pinning this for later and hoping to use it when I do get to visit. Safe travels!


Chiara Calanchini
October 20, 2015 7:20 am

You will love Artipelag, just outside of Stockholm. A beautiful museum built by the inventor of the Baby Bjorn, it feels like a part of the landscape, every detail (down to the silverware in the cafe) is beautifully and thoughtfully designed (and I know from your IG and blog that you are one for the details). My friend and I went to Stockholm two years ago and while we were there met up with a photographer friend from Instagram and he took us to Artipelag one sunny Spring day and we had no idea of the natural and architectural beauty… Read more »

October 20, 2015 12:17 pm

Stop by the lobby bar of the Clarion Collection Hotel No 13 (Torgalmenningen 13) and ask Toby to make you an old-fashioned. We stayed way too late one night drinking the varieties he made – each one better than the next, and all better than any old-fashioned I’d ever had.

October 20, 2015 1:53 pm

So fun that you’re visiting my hometown Bergen! It’s a wildly beautiful city – be sure to take a walk at Fjellveien or see the view even higher up at Fløien. Norway is really good at coffee, and the best coffee in Bergen is found at Kaffemisjonen. Bergen Kaffebrenneri and Colonialen at Litteraturhuset are also good cafe spots around the city centre. Visit Pepper, it’s a great clothing store. The street Skostredet also have several quirky small shops and is very insta-friendly. I hope you enjoy your stay! Looking forward to seeing your blog posts 🙂

October 23, 2015 12:07 pm

kate you will be so close but too far away! Next time stop by in Amsterdam or Belgium 🙂

October 27, 2015 6:02 pm

Fantastic post! I love love love Sweden. Would go back in a heartbeat.

XO ~ Christine Ballisty Photography

October 28, 2015 2:43 am

It’s been a couple of years since we visited scandinavia and I cannot tell you how much I’ve missed those countries!!!

Ah memories!

Note: everyone’s blonde, tall and skinny. I’m sure you already knew that haha!

Meg Waterman
October 28, 2015 1:15 pm

For a Berlin suggestion – I think you’d enjoy:


October 30, 2015 10:40 pm

Love Scandinavia! I totally affirm Host, Kent Kaffe Laboratorium, & Torvehallerne – those were definitely gastronomic highlights of my time in Copenhagen! I’d also recommend the quirky Copenhagen Street Food.

As for landscapes – Church of Our Savior for sky-high views over the city and Assistens Cemetery for beautiful greenery.

Sounds like an amazing trip & can’t wait to hear about it!

November 1, 2015 10:47 am

Scandinavia looks so beautiful. Take lots of photos of the bright light airy feeling of the cities. Love your airbnb in Copenhagen!

November 7, 2015 9:17 am

Sounds like a great trip! Love the itinerary…

November 24, 2015 1:25 pm

Dinner at Host in Copenhagen was our best resto experience, stunning inside and gorgeous aesthetic in both decor and food

January 3, 2016 2:05 pm

[…] Scandinavia! (Travel images here on IG) […]

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February 28, 2017 11:03 am

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September 26, 2018 10:40 pm

If you are up for a little hike on a clear day in Bergen, try Fluency, the lowest mountain. It’s a real easy and quite short hike and you get a nice view over the city and area. Enjoy!

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