The Best of Summer in the Land of the Midnight Sun
Collected by Lola (Akinmade) Åkerström , AFAR Local Expert
From late-evening concerts and thrilling amusement parks to lush greenery and Nordic panoramas, experience the very best of the midnight sun in Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland, and Saint Petersburg.
Nobels gate 32, 0268 Oslo, Norway
The Vigeland Park reminds me of Central Park in New York City. The grounds are huge and very well kept. This is the place that you might have heard of - there are over 200 statues of people in action created by artist Gustav Vigeland. In the...
Bysistorget 6, 118 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Stieg Larsson singlehandedly burst the world’s bubbled image of Sweden and its conformist society through his riveting best-selling Millennium trilogy. With over 60 million (and counting) copies sold, the late author introduced an edgier side of...
Lilla Allmänna Gränd 9, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm's main amusement park offers enough hair-standing, lung-screaming, twisting and free-falling rides to keep you entertained for the whole day. Gröna Lund is definitely popular among both locals and visitors. It has over 30 rides and...
115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
One of Stockholm’s many islands, Kungliga Djurgården (Royal Game Park) is where many of the city’s historical museums, palaces, gardens, and lush green parks are located. Grab a rental bike from Stockholm City Bikes or from the waterfront stand...
Regeringsgatan 25, 111 53 Stockholm, Sweden
One of the cool things about Stockholm: It is one of a handful of cities around the world where you can actually land a hot air balloon in town. So, a unique way of exploring Stockholm is to fly over it, and there are several companies operating...
Djurgårdsslätten 49-51, 115 21 Stockholm, Sweden
No celebration brings otherwise reserved Swedes out of their shells more than the summer solstice festival of Midsummer. While its roots are pagan, Midsummer is celebrated by all classes of society. You’ll find folks wearing handmade wildflower...
Åstorgsgatan 1, 00500 Helsingfors, Finland
At Kotiharjun, you'll find the city's only remaining traditional wood-burning sauna. An old-fashioned urban retreat favored by Helsinki locals since 1928, Kotiharjun welcomes travelers without catering specifically to them. As tradition requires,...
Sveaborg, Helsingfors, Finland
A popular excursion for both locals and visitors, Suomenlinna, a fortress built across a group of islands in Helsinki’s harbor, is just a short ferry or water-bus ride from the city center. Begun in 1748 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site,...
Griboyedov channel embankment, 2Б, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191186
Late summer is the time to explore the 42 islands that make up St. Petersburg. Daylight stretches past 11 p.m., and a burgeoning arts and nightlife scene keeps locals on their toes well into the bright nights. On July 31, the party hits the port...
Naberezhnaya Lebyazh'yey Kanavki, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191186
It's so easy to take the hydrofoil from its dock near the Hermitage museum to visit Peterhof Palace about 20 minutes north of St. Petersburg. The Grand Palace, surrounding buildings and gardens, is sometimes referred to as the "Russian...
Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
Iceland’s largest and most famous geothermal spa lies around an hour outside Reykjavik, quite close to Keflavik Airport. With a dramatic setting amidst large black lava boulders, the steam-filled, creamy-blue pool area is a striking and...
Nauthólsvegur, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Sollivegen 12, 9020 Tromsdalen, Norway
The Fjellheisen cablecar in Tromsø, which takes you up Mount Floya, operates 24 hours in the summer, when the Arctic sunshine stays with you all night. Whether you're planning to hike or merely to stand and gaze at the view of the...
If you're really up for adventurous travel, Greenland should be your next stop. While it's not easy to get to, it's worth the trip. Kangerlussuaq doesn't appear to have much to do at first. But if you dig a little deeper, you'll have the chance to...
Hans Nilsens vei 41, 9020 Tromsdalen, Norway
Many visitors are surprised to learn this cathedral's striking modern design dates to the 1960s. The soaring triangular structure is visible from downtown Tromsø, although taking a bus or cab is recommended as the walk across...
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