This trip combines all that we love about Scandinavia in one package. The design, the clothing, the food, the history, the colorful buildings, and, of course, the sea. We've also thrown in a foraging, gastronomic experience on a small Swedish island to add a touch of magic to the itinerary. Copenhagen wreaks of culture, cool design, and diversity. One of the happiest cities on earth, Copenhagen offers citizens a balanced life and clean air. Together, we'll explore this charming city and learn how to incorporate Danish hygge into our lives. Hygge is as Danish as it gets. It goes a long way to illuminating the Danish soul. Hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying life's good things with good people. Stockholm is called the Venice of the North because it was built on 14 islands connected by ferries and bridges. Stockholm has so many beautiful waterfront promenades and harbors. This is a city you'll never forget. Not to be eclipsed by these iconic Nordic cities, we'll make a pitstop for an exclusive, extraordinary 24 hours or so on a tiny Swedish island where we'll soak in nature and enjoy a hands-on culinary experience - outside in the wilderness.
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip
Arrive in Copenhagen and take a taxi to the 4-star Coco Hotel, named by Travel & Leisure as the best hotel in Scandinavia in 2023. Consider arriving a day before the tour starts to help with jet lag. We can help arrange an extra night at the hotel if you decide to come early. We’ll meet in the afternoon for a walking tour of Copenhagen at around 4 p.m.
Later, we'll walk to dinner at the Michelin-recommended Selma for elevated traditional Norwegian cuisine.
Sleep will come easy after a hearty meal.
Our first stop, after breakfast today, is The Design Museum Denmark. Housed in a historic building dating back to 1757, the museum features designs from the past, present, and future. If you love design, you'll love this museum. It contains everything from furniture to industrial design, and even posters.
We'll be ready for lunch after this inspiring visit, so let's head over to Schønnemann The restaurant dates back to 1877 and is the oldest restaurant in Copenhagen. It serves only lunch.
After lunch, we’ll stroll over to the Christianborg Palace where the current monarch, Queen Margrethe II, presides over galas and state visits. We’ll visit the Royal Reception Rooms, the Royal Kitchen, and the Royal Chapel. We’ll treasure the artwork and tapestries that decorate the walls as well as authentic antique Danish furniture. The Queen can trace her Danish heritage back 1,000 years to the Vikings.
We'll meet for dinner and drinks at the Apollo Bar on Nyhaven port after some rest at the hotel.
We’ll wander over to The Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket after breakfast. The Carlsberg Beer family opened the museum, specializing in cultural and historical artifacts and artwork. Along with the Danish furniture exhibit, you'll find many French Masters, including sculpture and painting.
We'll stop for lunch at the museum either in the Winter Garden amongst the trees or on the rooftop depending on which is available.
Next, we’ll head over to the Finn Juhl House. Completed in 1942, Finn Juhl was not only an architect but a famed furniture designer. We'll see the house where he lived and some of his most famous furniture pieces, like the Chieftain Chair, the Poet Sofa, and the Silver table. Don’t forget to look at the walls, as the artwork is almost as impressive as the furniture. We'll also take the time to explore the grounds.
After a busy day of sightseeing, you’ll have time to shop and dine on your own or with a new friend. We can offer suggestions.
After a leisurely morning, we’ll pack up and depart Copenhagen, heading for a nearby Swedish island for a day and night of serious foodie fun! We’re off to a new country.
We’ll board the ferry to Ven Island and check into our simple historic island inn, the House of Ven, for the night.
Take time to relax before we start our first exciting activity. This afternoon and evening, we're off on a guided nature walk, learning about the local flora and foraging as we go. We’ll end up in a natural kitchen where we'll help the chef prepare dinner.
Few places on earth have such a vast, exciting, and varied range of ingredients as this small island. Here, soil conditions and the unique microclimate create a bountiful harvest.
The site is rich in fish, seaweed, and shellfish. In addition, there is a large population of deer, hares, pheasants, ducks, and pigeons. Wild berries, fruits, and herbs grow here in abundance.
This is what our afternoon and evening schedule looks like.
3-5 pm - A guided walk collecting raw materials for our evening food and drink.
5-5:30 pm - We'll make a refreshing pre-drink at our "nature restaurant."
5:30-6 pm - Together, we'll prepare the dinner, helping the chef with the evening's meal.
6-9:30 pm Relax and enjoy a multi-course meal surrounded by breathtaking Swedish nature.
The island air and the abundant stars will surely lull us to sleep tonight.
We’ll have breakfast at our Inn on the island of Ven. Then, we'll head out to catch the 10 a.m. train to Stockholm. The city occupies 14 islands.
We'll have lunch in transit.
After checking into our new home in Stockholm, the 5-star Nobis Hotel, we’ll do a guided walking tour of Stockholm. We’ll spend some time in the Old Town marveling at the architecture. We’ll learn about Swedish history as we walk past the Parliament building and the Royal Palace.
After a long day of travel and sightseeing, we’ll dine at a Stockholm institution, Konstnarsbaren. It's known as the artist's bar. Open since 1931, this classic Swedish bar and restaurant will wow you!
After a hearty Swedish breakfast, we’re off on a gallery, design & shopping tour, covering everything from leather goods to the newest Swedish designs for home and body. We'll pop into Iris Hantvek, an interesting shop where visually impaired crafters hand-make brushes of all shapes and sizes.
By now we'll have worked up an appetite so we’ll stop for lunch at Mom’s Kitchen Nybrogatan. Here, we’ll sample traditional Scandinavian food, like Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes.
After lunch, we’ll visit several shops and schools focusing on traditional and modern handicrafts made and created in Sweden including textiles and wooden kitchen items.
You'll have plenty of time to explore on your own this afternoon. You may want to visit the Nobel Prize Museum or the National Museum.
Later, we’ll meet in the hotel lobby to walk to dinner. Dinner this evening will be very different from the food we’ve enjoyed so far. Pat’s Place, which specializes in Thai Tapas.
We’ll have breakfast at the hotel. Then, we'll ferry to the "countryside" for a step back in time at the Skansen Open Air Museum. We’ll experience traditional Swedish culture first hand including how people farmed and lived in past generations. We’ll watch the locals dance. The music is catchy so you may feel like joining them! Study Swedish horticulture by wandering through the gardens.
Since we’ve worked up an appetite, we'll head over to the Flickora Helin café for a late lunch. This beautiful café specializes in worldwide cuisine that changes daily based on seasonal products.
After lunch, take time to rest or do some last-minute shopping. The Hortorget flea market is a great place to rummage for treasures.
Our farewell dinner will be at the award-winning Restaurant in Fotografiska Stockholm. We'll arrive early to enjoy the huge number of photographs on display at this important museum. The restaurant with its set menu specializes in distinctive dishes focusing mainly on vegetables begging to be photographed and sent to your friends and family.
After breakfast, it's sadly time to depart. Take your time and leave when you wish by asking the hotel to call you a taxi to the airport. Or stay an extra night or two and soak in Stockholm's last days of summer.
The four-star Coco Hotel was named the best hotel in Scandinavia in 2023 by Travel & Leisure Magazine. It's not your average hotel. Set in the hip, artsy district of Vesterbroit, the hotel is an inspiring place where you can unwind and meet with friends. You'll love the serene interior courtyard. It's a lovely place to rest after a day of sightseeing.
People come to eat and stay at the House of Ven for a change of scenery away from the urban, the high-tech, and the modern. It's a true escape, set on an island between Copenhagen and Malmo, Sweden, a place for reflection.
The farm is centrally located in the middle of Ven and is a natural starting point for experiencing the entire island. The hotel rooms at Turistgården, House of Ven, are simple in functionality but charming in decor with historical references.
The five-star Nobis Hotel in central Stockholm near the shopping district and the Royal Dramatic Theatre is a sleek modern hotel with cozy touches inside two historic buildings from the 1800s. Rooms are kitted out in muted colors and Egyptian cotton sheets. Restore yourself in the sauna or sip cocktails in the grand lounge.
Doni Belau is the owner and founder of Girls' Guide to the World. She has traveled to over 80 countries. Copenhagen and Stockholm are two of her favorite cities. A recovering antique dealer, Doni is obsessed with food, design, and gardens.
What she loves best about the tours she leads is meeting the diverse women of every size, shape, age, or color who join her from across the globe. Making new friends is her favorite pastime.
Two Design Mavens
You must visit Stockholm and Copenhagen at least once in your life. They are two of the most beautiful and ancient yet contemporary cities in Europe. They drip with delightful design, hip restaurants, and fascinating culture.
All guides, experts and entry fees
Most meals except where indicated
2 glasses of wine or beer with dinner
All transport on the trip except airport transfers
Unique Gourmet/Nature experience
Train to Stockholm
Any spa treatment desired
Any personal souvenirs or purchases.
Additional wine, beer or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.
Travel and Medical Insurance (required)
Transfer from/to airports
On this trip, you must fly into Copenhagen and fly out of Stockholm.
Temperatures range from 57 at night to 72 during the day. It's very pleasant but it's always smart to bring some rain gear just in case.
We have a pre-trip call about 2 months before the trip departs to discuss all of the details including what to wear and what to pack.
As long as we know ahead of time we can cater to any allergies or dietary requirements.