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Viking Travels: The Best Scandinavian Places for Indian Vacationers



The Viking countries of Scandinavia — Denmark, Norway and Sweden — are hotspots for tourists worldwide, including Indians.

Indian travellers are unique to many others as there are things they’re used to and expect when they visit other countries. Thankfully, all three Scandinavian countries cater to Indian vacationers, offering a blend of familiar and new experiences.

Key Expectations of Indian Vacationers

There are three primary expectations when it comes to travelling abroad for Indians:

  • Budget-conscious: Indian travellers tend to be budget-conscious; they want to save money where possible and get the most value for their spending.
  • Religious Culture: Indians have a respected culture, especially religion, and love to explore other cultures to be able to compare.
  • Food: Thirty-eight per cent of Indians identify as vegetarians, which is another crucial aspect for travellers; they need quality vegetarian restaurants.

Scandinavian countries tick all three boxes, making them perfect for Indian vacationers. Here’s a closer look.

Budget-Conscious Indian Vacationers

It’s common practice in India to make savvy purchases that make our money go further, and this applies to international travel as well. While some airfares are higher than a few years ago, there are still savings to be had.

Air India has direct flights from New Delhi to Copenhagen, Denmark. However, flying on a Middle Eastern carrier like Qatar or Emirates and transiting through their hub city is slightly cheaper. When flying to Scandinavia, a money-saving tip is to pick your season wisely; winter (December to February) is the most affordable; however, it can get very cold, so keep that in mind.

Stockholm, Sweden, has a reputation for being the cheapest overall. It has the broadest selection of accommodations, from luxury resorts to hostels and local B&Bs. The general cost of living is lower there than in other cities in the region, with food and transport being noticeably more affordable.

Stockholm also has money-saving concepts for tourists. For example, you can purchase a Go City Stockholm All-Inclusive Pass, which provides free access to over 60 monuments and museums.

Free tourist activities are readily available in most major Scandinavian cities. Ask your hotel’s front desk for the ones in your area.

Scandinavian Religious Culture

Indian vacationers to Scandinavia who still want to practise Hindu culture can do so in most major cities at Mandirs, established by the Indian diaspora communities. Think of them as community centres that host social gatherings and cultural events and, most importantly, provide a space for religious practice. As you’d expect, modest clothing is a requirement before entering a Mandir.

But as a visitor, why not experience the local religious culture as well? Lutheran Christianity is the dominant religion in Scandinavia. Lutheran churches designed in Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque or all three are spectacular buildings, and many travellers visit these countries to experience their splendour.

Here’s one in each country worth visiting:

Frederik’s Church — Denmark, Copenhagen

Frederik’s Church in Copenhagen is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Denmark. It is Baroque-style and made from Swedish and Danish limestone and marble. The structure’s design was inspired by St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The massive dome on top is the largest walkable in Scandinavia.

Stockholm Cathedral — Sweden

Built in 1279, Stockholm Cathedral is the oldest standing church in Sweden. Located in what’s now known as the Old Town, it was built first, and then the city grew around it. Made from Gothic brick, it exemplifies the architecture of Europe during the Middle Ages.

The church is home to two well-known icons. The first is an original wooden sculpture, believed to be from the 15th century, depicting St George and the Dragon. The second is a giant painting on the exterior wall called Vädersoltavlan (The Weather Vane Painting); it has been there since the 17th century.

Borgund Stave Church — Lærdal, Norway

Stave architecture was popular during the Viking Age. While little of it remains to admire, the Borgund Church, built around 1180, thankfully is still standing and exceptionally well preserved. Its most distinctive feature is the black tar exterior. Its original purpose was to protect the wood; it’s now faded to a silvery-grey, offering an almost ethereal look to the structure.

Once you’re back in your hotel, inspired by everything you’ve seen and done, check out some Vikings slots for adventure seekers and continue the fun.

Food in Scandinavia for Indian Vacationers

Scandinavian countries attract tourists from across the planet. The broad range of cuisine on offer matches the visitors. Indian vacationers missing food from home will find Indian restaurants in all three countries, and yes, even Thalis are available.

Europe is the leader in transitioning to more vegetarian offerings, and Scandinavia is right up there. If an Indian restaurant can’t be found — especially in smaller villages — the likelihood of there being a vegetarian one is still high.

Once again, Stockholm tops the list. It has the region’s broadest range of food options, from Michelin-starred restaurants to local street vendors.

There are two ways to find Indian restaurants in Scandinavia. Websites and apps like Zomato and TripAdvisor are kept up-to-date, yet nothing beats word-of-mouth. Connect with others at the Mandirs (mentioned above) and get their recommendations. Keep in mind that international restaurants may be more expensive than local ones.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a kitchen in your hotel room, you may be inspired to do some home cooking. The major Scandinavian cities have supermarkets that sell international ingredients, including Indian spices, lentils and rice.

Visit Scandinavia

Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the former Viking countries, are some of Europe’s top destinations and decidedly so. For Indian vacationers, the value-for-money, fascinating religious culture, different to our own, and easy access to Indian and vegetarian food make them high on the list of must-visit places.