A Scandinavian Solo Adventure: Capitals & Northern Lights

Join our traveller Manali as she recounts her adventure through Scandinavia. From the colourful streets of Stockholm’s Gamla Stan to the green light of the Aurora Borealis in northern Norway, her trip was a dream come true. Manali went on our Scandinavian Capitals & Northern Lights tour in February 2023. Read her travel story in her own words:

Solo traveller Manali in Tromsø


Manali embarked on an expedition through the captivating landscapes of Scandinavia, delving into the heart of its capitals and trying to catch the elusive Northern Lights.

Would you like to experience the same trip?

Have a look at our recommended tours

A dream come true

Scandinavia is a region that has long fascinated me ever since I was a child. Visiting the capital cities and then travelling further north to witness the Northern Lights has been a dream close to my heart for as long as I can remember. 

Recently, I had a health scare. After a round of hospital visits and tests, I came to realise that life is too short! We always assume that we have enough time to tick off goals from our bucket list. But it’s only when you have a health scare that you realise that you have finite time on this beautiful planet. Thankfully, I was given clearance by the doctors and I’m in good health now. Hence, I decided that it was high time to plan the long-pending trip to my dream destination – Scandinavia.

With this in mind, I connected with Nicole from Authentic Scandinavia and we started planning. We decided that the Scandinavian Capitals and Northern Lights tour was best for my requirements. This was going to be the first time I would travel solo. As a woman traveller, you inherently have a lot of what-if questions in mind. You must prepare for contingencies and think extra hard about safety. Nicole was so kind to me from the very beginning, assuring me about the trip and giving me much-needed confidence!


Strolling through narrow alleys and quaint cafés in Stockholm

My journey began in Stockholm, known for its picturesque waterways, historic architecture and vibrant cultural scene. I was immediately struck by the city's charm as I wandered through the winding streets of Gamla Stan, Stockholm's old town. The colourful buildings, narrow alleys and quaint cafés made for a truly enchanting experience. I don’t know what it is about Stockholm, but I felt so at home there! The people were so warm and welcoming, the food was delicious and the sites were lovely beyond imagination. I was so sad to leave the city, but excited at the same time to embark upon a new chapter of my trip!


Feeling right at home in Stockholm's Gamla Stan. Photo: Manali, Authentic Scandinavian traveller.


Seeing the iconic sights of Copenhagen

The next leg of my journey took me to Copenhagen. I was immediately struck by how modern and easygoing the city is. There is this vibe in the air – a vibe of ease, happiness and an undeniable cosmopolitan flair. During my 2½-day stint in the city, I visited Nyhavn thrice! For years I have admired photos of the colourful buildings online. Actually getting to see them in person was delightful, to say the least. The cherry on the cake was the canal boat ride. It was so calming and enjoyable!


One of many visits to Nyhavn in Copenhagen. Photo: Manali, Authentic Scandinavian traveller.


Admiring the colourful sunset in Oslo

From Copenhagen, I travelled to Oslo via the DFDS cruise ship. This was my first experience being aboard a ship overnight. And my gosh, it was thrilling. Hands down the best sunset I have seen in my life was on that evening. The skies were a brilliant shade of orange, the air was crisp and cold and the moon over the horizon was peeking from the clouds. It was ethereal!


An ethereal sunset onboard the DFDS cruise ship to Oslo. Photo: Manali, Authentic Scandinavian traveller.


Oslo had a relaxed atmosphere and a laid-back vibe. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many joggers bang in the middle of the workday! Everyone was kind and had smiling faces. Of course, I visited the iconic Opera and Vigeland Sculpture Park. I will forever cherish the brilliant pink-hued sunset I viewed from Aker Brygge.


Marvelling at the Aurora Borealis in Tromsø

But the highlight of my trip was yet to come – witnessing the Northern Lights. After arriving in Tromsø, Norway's northernmost city, I embarked on a thrilling night-time adventure to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis.

We drove all the way to Finland through snow-covered forests and icy landscapes. On the first night,  a wild fox wanted to join us at our warm bonfire under a sky full of wondrous stars. As we waited in anticipation, the sky began to shimmer and dance with a light show of green, purple and pink hues, painting a magical canvas above us. I was awestruck by the sheer beauty of this natural phenomenon, and the experience was nothing short of surreal.

In conclusion, my trip to Scandinavia was truly unforgettable, and I would recommend it to anyone seeking an immersive and magical travel experience. From the charming streets of Stockholm to the relaxed vibe of Oslo to the cosmopolitan flair of Copenhagen, each city has something unique to offer. But nothing compares to the magical and awe-inspiring experience of witnessing the Northern Lights in the heart of the wilderness. Scandinavia truly is a region that deserves to be explored, and I look forward to returning soon – this time with my family – to discover more of its hidden gems.


10 Best Free Things to do in Dublin.png
Manali enjoying the highlights of Tromsø. Photo: Manali, Authentic Scandinavian traveller.


By Manali, edited by Elin Arbin / Feb 16 2024

Recommended Tours

Scandinavian Capitals & Northern Lights
Scandinavian Capitals & Northern Lights
10+ days
Train, Ferry
Scandinavian Capitals & Fjords
Scandinavian Capitals & Fjords
10+ days
All Year
Train, Boat, Bus, Ferry

Join Our Newsletter

Be the first to know. Sign up for insights