Explore Michelin-starred restaurants, local and seasonal delicacies, and more in Reykjavik, Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Copenhagen.
Delicious cuisine, like that of a Swedish Fika, or coffee break, abounds throughout the Nordic countries.
Delicious Nordic cuisine awaits as you embark on a gastronomic journey of what’s among the most dynamic and sustainable gastronomic regions of Europe in the Nordic countries. This itinerary starts in Iceland, where you’ll taste Michelin-starred food with views of a lava field, before heading to Sweden for seasonal dishes and dining in a castle in Denmark. Want more help booking your epic Nordic adventure? Let 50 Degrees North be your guide.
Day 1 The Tastes of Iceland
Arrive at Keflavík Airport and spend the first day exploring the UNESCO Global Geopark, the Reykjanes Peninsula. Witness the beauty of Reykjanes lighthouse and the bubbling mud pools of the Gunnuhver and Brimketill geothermal areas. This region is still volcanically active so be sure to stick to the path—you may even be able to walk to the recent eruption site at Mt Fagradalsfjall where the lava is still warm.
Savor a classic Icelandic lunch of either lobster soup or fish and chips at Bryggjan in Grindavík, a small fishing town on the peninsula, before heading to the Blue Lagoon. Care for your skin with a face mask and float in the 100-degree, mineral-rich waters.
Your evening meal is steps away at the Michelin-starred restaurant Moss for modern Icelandic dishes by head chef Aggi Sverisson, using local and seasonal ingredients with vegan options available.
Stay at Silica Hotel, a 10-minute walk away, where Nordic-designed rooms have views of volcanoes and lava fields. If you’re lucky, you might see the Northern Lights, typically visible in Iceland between September and April.
Day 2 Explore the Otherworldly Outdoors of South Iceland
Embark on an adventure along Iceland’s South Coast Road heading to Þorlákshöfn village for a tour of the black-sand beach on an ATV. Savor a Langoustine “magical soup” in Stokkseyri village at Fjöruborðið Restaurant.
Discover the mysterious ancient crosses and caves of Hella before dinner at the fantastic Hotel Rangá where you’ll also stay for the night. At the resort, next to a salmon river, you can watch the Northern Lights from a hot tub, if the timing is right. Reindeer, arctic char, and lamb are the stars of the menu at the property’s Rangá Restaurant.
Day 3 The Golden Circle
Drive inland and explore Iceland’s Golden Circle, a scenic route, visiting the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall that cascades down in two stages into the canyon below. Look out for rainbows in the mist that rises from it.
Next, go to the Geysir geothermal area. The Great Geysir hot spring has been dormant for decades with few exceptions, but the smaller Strokkur erupts around every 10 minutes and its boiling hot water can reach nearly 100 feet in the air.
Head to the family-run Friðheimar tomato farm, where heat from the island’s geothermal activity helps grow the ingredients for dishes served in a greenhouse among tomato plants. Head to Efstidalur II for an organic homemade ice cream, made with milk from cows raised there.
This afternoon, visit Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to numerous trails and the Öxarárfoss waterfall. Conclude the day in Reykjavík with its multiple dining options, including the Michelin-starred restaurant ÓX. The enchanting, multisensory dining experience plays with the idea of Icelandic food. Overnight at Berjaya Reykjavik Marina Hotel, where you can have a nightcap and introduction to Reykjavík’s cocktail scene at its bar, Slippbarinn.
Day 4 The Flavors of Reykjavík
Delve deeper into Reykjavík’s delights, starting with breakfast at Grái Kötturinn, a renowned local hangout that serves American-style stacks of pancakes in a retro cellar bar. Then go on a food walk around the city to try free-range lamb, Viking beer, ice cream, and the famous Icelandic hot dog.
Dine at Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant Skál for hand-dived local scallops, beef tartar, and salt-baked beets, paired with natural wine. End your day with a runtur, or bar crawl, along Laugavegur for classic pubs like Prikið and local favorites Kaffibarinn, Röntgen, and Gaukurinn.
Day 5 Exploring Stockholm’s Dining Scene
Catch a morning flight to Stockholm and explore its beautiful settings with local guide Lisen Sundgren to go foraging and visit Rosendals Trädgård, a much-loved green oasis. You’ll of course, need to stop for fika (the classic Swedish coffee break, traditionally taken with a cinnamon bun) in a local bakery. Have your midday meal at Meatballs For The People, before exploring the archipelago through kayaking trips or boat tours the way the locals do.
Stay at the stylish Ett Hem, a townhouse hotel in the Ostermalm area designed by Ilse Crawford. A short walk away is the Michelin-starred Adam & Albin restaurant, renowned for its exceptional Nordic cuisine.
Day 6 Stockholm Culture and Art
Visit premier art galleries and museums in Stockholm, including one of the region’s top photography museums, Fotografiska, in a former customs house overlooking the water. Stop for lunch at the celebrated restaurant Freyja, where chef Emma Shields cooks up local and seasonal food.
Check out Vasa Museum, where an astonishingly well-preserved ship from 1628 lends insight into its past glories. Then walk among the boutiques, churches, and palaces of Gamla Stan, the old town and one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval centers. Delight your palate at the Michelin-starred restaurant Fem Små Hus to dine on Swedish cuisine with a French twist in ancient, vaulted cellars beneath the old town for a last dinner in Sweden.
Day 7 Gothenburg
Take to Gothenburg and explore its archipelago, staying overnight at Pater Noster, a destination hotel in a former lighthouse keeper’s cottage on an island nature reserve, accessible by Zodiac boat. You can enjoy lunch in the boat house, island tours, and boat trips to nearby islands.
Day 8 Exploring Wonderful Copenhagen
Fly to Copenhagen and enjoy a private tour with Foods of Copenhagen. After you’ve developed a taste for Danish cheese, licorice, sourdough bread, and seasonal vegetables, explore Copenhagen’s city center on your own.
Head to one of the city’s stellar bakeries for a casual lunch. Hart Bageri, Lille Bakery, and Andersen & Maillard are three of the best. Wander through the Vesterbro neighborhood, an area packed with bars, boutiques, and character-filled sidewalk cafes.
Walk along the harbor front at Nyhavn and dine at local favorite Goldfinch for Asian dishes with a Danish twist. Or take the harbor bus from Nyhavn to Reffen, a street food market in an urban area known for startups, innovation, and creativity. Sip a cocktail or glass of natural wine at Apollo Bar before resting your head at the stylish boutique hotel, Hotel 71 Nyhavn.
Day 9 Copenhagen’s Royal Heritage and Beyond
Stroll harborside to the royal palace, Amalienborg, to get a look at what a Danish queen’s life is like. Drop into Copenhagen’s oldest patisserie, Conditori La Glace, for a coffee and mid-morning pastry.
See the city’s architecture and charming canals on a Hey Captain private boat tour, cruising past houseboats and historic landmarks, as well as the city’s major cultural institutions. Enjoy traditional open-face sandwiches (smørrebrød) for lunch at Meyers i Tårnet, located in Christiansborg Palace. Go to the top of the tower afterward and enjoy the views over the city.
Take a CPH Cooking Class to learn the art of making Danish sandwiches or pastries. End your day at Tivoli Gardens, a lush green wonderland of rides and entertainment where Walt Disney found inspiration for his theme parks. Nibble the seafood platter with Danish crab, whipped butter, and delicious scallops and oysters at one of the amusement park’s newest restaurants,Kilden i Haven.
Day 10 Art and Architecture in the Copenhagen Area
Take an early train from Copenhagen’s central station to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, and its expansive sculpture gardens. Enjoy a view of the sea with exceptional art from the likes of Yayoi Kusama, David Hockney, and Yves Klein and visit the lunch restaurant—worth the trip in and of itself. Plus, the museum shop sells the highest quality interior design pieces, fashion, and art books.
After returning to the city, drive to Dragsholm Castle, just over an hour west. The more than 800-year-old castle is now a hotel overlooking the sea in Zealand, offering gourmet experiences, including wine tasting in its own vineyard and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Spend the afternoon exploring and learning about the history (and ghosts), and consider borrowing a bicycle to pedal to the Odsherred UNESCO Global Geopark nearby. Dine in Dragsholm Slot Gourmet, the castle’s Michelin-starred restaurant, before retiring to your room. There you can look forward to a breakfast of local ingredients the following morning at Dragsholm Castle’s Madhus, a casual café in the former stable building, before you depart.