Full disclosure – I’m half Swedish, half Norwegian, and my whole family lives in Denmark. So I am 100% Scandinavian. This may of course make me a little bit biased, but in my opinion Scandinavia’s main airports are some of the best in the world! Here are some of my top things to do if you find yourself travelling to or from one of the region’s airports.
Copenhagen International Airport
This airport is, in my opinion, so convenient to travel from. Close to the city centre (only 15 minutes on the Metro), and usually with extremely fast check-in and security, you usually have a very smooth departure or arrival from this airport. Here are some things to do if you find yourself with some time to spare at Kastrup.
- Get a hot dog! Known as a Fransk (French) Hot dog, the most popular hot dog in Denmark is super yummy. Steff’s Place has several locations throughout the airport, and is the best place to go for a quick snack.
- Do you have more of a sweet tooth? Well, how about checking out Lagkagehuset (literally translated as the cake house). Also with several locations, Lagekagehuset has great open-faced Danish sandwiches on rye bread (very traditional fare), and is also your go-to spot if you want to try delicious, authentic Danish pastries.
- Travelling with kids? The Family Lounge in Terminal 2 has something for children of all ages – iPads, cartoons, lego, table football and more. This is a great way to keep your kids occupied before a long flight.
- Enjoy shopping the world’s biggest brands, from Gucci to Hermes to Marc Jacobs. Copenhagen Airport offers passengers access to global luxury brands.
- Prefer to keep it local? Scandinavia of course has its own clothing labels which have since become very popular on the international fashion scene. Check out Tiger of Sweden or By Malene Birger for some great clothing options.
- Lastly, my favourite thing to do at Copenhagen Airport, is to browse, and sometimes buy, Danish home accessories. Denmark is famous for its interior designers, from Georg Jensen to Rosendahl to Arne Jacobsen and Royal Copenhagen. The best place to shop all of the best brands is Illums Bolighus, which has several locations in the airport.
Oslo Gardermoen Airport
Currently undergoing a large expansion project, Oslo Airport is nonetheless a great gateway into one of the world’s most beautiful countries. Here are some things to do if you find yourself with some time to spare at Oslo Airport.
- It seems like all my number one’s seem to start with some type of hot dog (maybe I have a problem…), but at Oslo Airport you should definitely try a “pølse i lompe.” What is that, I hear you ask? Well, it basically looks like a hot dog rolled up in a small tortilla bread. Except the tortilla is made out of potatoes instead of wheat. Sounds weird, but trust me, it is good! And if you are really into the “lompe” then you can also have a desert variety, usually with butter, sugar and cinnamon, minus the sausage of course. Also very good.
- Sleep! Oslo Airport is known for its availability of comfortable sofas and reclining sleeping chairs, which is a great option for passengers who decide to spend the night in between flights. Just get there early – the best seats get taken very quickly.
- Surf the internet. With free WiFi, if you have an abundance of time to spare, why not curl up in one of the aforementioned recliners and surf the web a little bit.
Stockholm Arlanda Airport
Stockholm Arlanda is Scandinavia’s largest airport, and is approximately 20 minutes from the city centre via the Airlanda Express train. Here are some things to do if you find yourself at Arlanda.
- Yay – not a hot dog this time, but still food. Sweden is famous for its cinnamon buns, so make sure you stop by Pressbyrån to get one – you won’t regret it!
- Cinnamon buns not quite your thing? Then head to Land of Sweets for pick ‘n’ mix galore! Fair warning, though. Swedes love licorice. And not the sweet, wimpy kind. So if you don’t like salty licorice, stay away from anything that is black.
- Had a harrowing day, and spilt coffee down yourself whilst running for the train? Stockholm Arlanda has lots of services to offer, including dry cleaning, shoe repair and polish, and hair dressers, to make sure that you arrive at your final destination looking well-groomed.
- Still feeling hungry after binging on cinnamon buns and candy? Head to Max, Sweden’s oldest hamburger chain. Not typical for a hamburger joint, Max focuses on sustainability, offsetting carbon dioxide emissions and using local meat. Max is also a great place to go if you have allergies, as they can accommodate many requests, including low-GI diets.
- Last but not least, Sweden has some great clothing brands, like Filippa K, Björn Borg and Snö of Sweden, all of which are available at Arlanda.
I think that brings my list to an end! There are certainly other things you can do at Scandinavia’s airports, and these three airports aren’t even the only ones in the region (they just happen to be the main ones serving the capital cities). But either way, I hope you enjoy my initial list.
With an increased focus on passenger experience, it is important to keep in mind that serving your customer begins at the airport before they even board an aeroplane. Which other airports do you rate highly and why? Let me know!