Oslo, Norway | Photo by Damien VERRIER
Oslo, Norway | Photo by Damien VERRIER

European getaways: scenic spots

by Amanda Palumbo
Stars & Stripes Europe

One of my favorite things when traveling is finding that perfect spot for the perfect photo that tells the city’s perfect story. While you can describe almost any European village as picturesque, there’s a Nordic group that stands out from the pack. Head north of the Baltic to Scandinavia and visit these scenic spots.


Norway’s capital is nestled in the country’s southern coast and sits along the Oslofjord. Known for its sweeping green spaces, photographers flock to Oslo. Luckily, much of the area is flat, so when you do find higher ground you’re often looking at what resembles a postcard.

Oslo’s best view is the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum. The jump has an observation deck nearly 200-feet high with a panoramic view of the area’s deep blue waters, lush green forests and white snowy peaks. If you’re brave enough and want a moving view of Oslo, take Holmenkollen’s zipline. It’s 1,200 feet of pure adrenaline as you plummet 350 feet.

You can’t visit Olso without admiring and snapping a photo of its gorgeous waterfront. If you want a great shot of the beach and its city skyline stacked behind it, hop on one of the many boat tours offered. One even takes you on an old-school wooden sailboat.

Stockholm, Sweden | Photo by satina


When a city is made up of 14 islands and more than 50 bridges, you can’t really find a bad view of Stockholm. If you want that Instagram-perfect picture, Skinnarviskberget is the place to take it. It’s Stockholm’s highest natural point where there are spectacular views of the city’s old town with colorful buildings built in the 17th and 18th centuries. You’ll also spot the city hall’s famous spire featuring three golden crowns. City hall is also a favorite viewpoint. Climb the 365 steps up the 350-foot high tower to get another remarkable view.

If you feel like you just haven’t gotten quite high enough to see all of Stockholm, Skyview is the place for you. Balloon-like gondolas take you around and to the top of the world’s largest spherical building, the Ericsson Globe. Think of it as the world’s safest Ferris Wheel, as you slowly ride up 425 feet above sea level and gently come down to the ground.

Sunset behind The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen | Photo by Ange Loron


Denmark’s capital claims to have some of the best sunsets in the world and nobody is arguing with that claim. One of the best places to photograph a classic Copenhagen sunset is The Round Tower. A 17th century observatory with a 360-degree view of the city 115 feet up. You will have to hike up quite the spiral staircase to get to the top. It will likely be cold and windy but it’s all worth it once you see the view.

In central Copenhagen, there is The Black Diamond, the nickname for the waterfront extension to the Royal Danish Library. What makes this a spectacular spot for a photo is the building's exterior, made up of a polished black granite facade. As the sun sets, light reflects off both the water and the building’s irregular angles creating every photographer’s dream during the golden hour.



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