Four Nordic Capitals

Discover the secrets of Europe’s most northern cities, diving deep into culture, art and the traditions of Scandinavian design.
Program No. 3332RJ
18 days
Starts at
Flights start at

At a Glance

With a midsummer sunrise at 3 a.m. and winter days lit by thousands of candles, Scandinavia keeps its own time and seasons. Experience the unique pace of the Nordic lifestyle in the four capital cities of Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki. Learn about their distinct histories, languages, cuisines and artistic traditions as you study alongside local experts in museums, palaces and energetic neighborhoods.
Activity Level
Varies by date
The Activity Level for this program varies by date. Please make sure that you are attending a departure date that best fits your activity level.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore Scandinavia’s ties to the sea during two overnight voyages.
  • Taste a traditional Danish Christmas dinner of pork, potatoes, cabbage and rice pudding.
  • A musician discusses Finnish music and plays the native kantele.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
A History of Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland
by T.K Derry
The story of Scandinavia from prehistory to the present with chapters on the Viking and Lutheran kingdoms, medieval times, monarchies, the World Wars and modern period, emphasizing the common cultural, political and social backgrounds.
Norwegian Folk Tales
by Peter Asbjornsen
This rich collection of stories, interpreted by a leading scholar on ancient traditions and tales, will delight both adults and children.
Scandinavia Map
by Michelin Maps
With an index, area maps and a table of driving times and distances, this handy, frequently updated map covers all of Scandinavia, including Finland, at a scale of 1:1.5 million on one side of the sheet.
The Northmen, The Viking Saga
by John Haywood
Viking historian John Haywood delves into the Vikings’ age of expansion (793 CE -1241 CE). His magisterial chronicle answers myriad questions about the Vikings, their technology, their society and why it went into decline.
The Naked Shore, Of the North Sea
by Tom Blass
Journalist Blass travels by ferry, tram and airplane to the borderlands of the North Sea, seeking out the men and women who have devoted their lives to studying the mysteries of the inclement sea.
The Summer Book
by Tove Jansson
A modern Scandinavian classic, Jansson's sweet, slender novel follows a young girl and her grandmother as they while away a summer on a tiny island in the Gulf of Finland.
We Die Alone
by David Howarth
Howarth's riveting account of determination and valor in Nazi-occupied Norway follows Jan Baalrud's extraordinary escape by ski across the Lyngen Alps.
Growth of the Soil
by Knut Hamsun
The epic tale of a homesteader in the mountainous Norwegian interior, which helped win Hamsun a Nobel Prize in 1920.
Insight Guide Scandinavia
by Insight Guides
From Denmark to Sweden, Norway and Finland, this guide introduces the region with outstanding color maps and photographs.
The Almost Nearly Perfect People, Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia
by Michael Booth
Guardian journalist Booth writes with laugh-out-loud humor and brutal candor about the Scandinavians, mixing history and his own experiences in Nordic regions in this searing cultural portrait.
Cross and Scepter
by Sverre Bagge
From the Vikings to the Reformation, Sverre Bagge spends little time with myths in his scholarly Scandinavian history, instead focusing on the development of northern European societies and their rise from the Dark Ages.
The Vikings, Lords of the Seas
by Yves Cohat
An indispensable reference that fits in your pocket, this slim volume is packed with maps, archival photos and illustrations.
Vikings, The North Atlantic Saga
by William Fitzhugh (Editor), Elisabeth Ward (Editor)
An extensively illustrated volume of Viking culture, history and exploration that focuses especially on voyages to North America. Published in conjunction with a Smithsonian exhibit, it features essays and 400 color photographs.
The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life
by Anu Partanen
An emigrant to America from Finland, Anu Partanen compares and contrasts America with Scandinavia, debunking myths about socialism as she compellingly argues that the US would benefit from the Nordic approach.
Helsinki, A Cultural and Literary History
by Neil Kent
A literary guide to Helsinki, its history and culture, organized into three sections: city of architects and engineers; city of music and arts; and city of hospitality. With maps and black-and-white illustrations.
Stockholm, A Cultural History
by Tony Griffiths
A literary, cultural guide to the art, architecture, traditions and history of Stockholm.
The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living
by Meik Wiking
Why are the Danes so happy? Some contribute it to the emphasis on the sense of comfort and community known as Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga). Wiking teaches readers about this national philosophy with practical, attainable suggestions of how to incorporate hygge into everyday life.
Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings
by John Haywood
This history of the Vikings tells their story through a series of innovative maps and excellent photographs. It traces the routes of 9th-century Viking merchants and explorers throughout Europe and the New World.
Letters on Sweden, Norway, and Denmark
by Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin
Groundbreaking feminist Wollstonecraft records her observations of a late 18th-century journey through Scandinavia in this small masterpiece, rich in detail of people and place.

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