21 days
Duration
Europe
Destination
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate
Activity

Scandinavian Design Small Group Tour

The Scandinavian design small group tour shares an appreciation of Scandinavian design and architecture in Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Our specialised, escorted Scandinavia tour takes in the major design houses and museums of the Nordic region. It also explores many out-of-the-way masterpieces, away from traditional tourist routes. This escorted small group tours spends time in Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

Scandinavian Design small group tour itinerary:

The Scandinavian design tour begins in Copenhagen: the home of Nordic design. We commence our journey with a guided walking tour through this spectacular city, spending time in Stroget. Here we will be introduced to Denmark's premier high street labels in the area of interior design.

While in Copenhagen, we also visit Paustian House, a large furniture showroom located on the waterfront in Copenhagen. Completed in 1987, it is one of the most notable works in Denmark. Paustian House was designed by prize-winning architect Jørn Utzon, the designer of the Sydney Opera House. We visit the Paustian Showroom and enjoy lunch at the Paustian Cafeteria followed by a visit to the Danform Showroom designed by Jørn Utzon in 1985. Here we will enjoy a presentation by the Marketing & Sales Director on the importance of design in export markets for Scandinavia.

In Aarhus, our Scandinavian tour focused on design enjoys a tour of the Fredensborg Houses. These houses comprise one of Jørn Utzon’s largest projects in Denmark from 1959-1962. In Elsingor, the group has a guided tour of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Here, we experience one of the finest collections of international modern art as well as a world-famous sculpture park.

After exploring Denmark, the Scandinavian tour design departs  for Sweden. Here we visit the Gothenburg University School of Design & Craft (HDK). This school is a significant influence on Scandinavian style and Nordic design. Afterwards, we visit the Volvo Museum to immerse ourselves in the history and universe of everything Volvo, the automobile company.

Finally, the tour on Scandinavian design concludes in Finland where we discover the success stories of Iittala glassware and Marimekko.

 Scandinavian Design, a Small Group Tour

On this Scandinavian design small group tour we learn why famous interiors like the L.A. Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Reichstag in Berlin sourced Danish Textiles. We also learn how progressive design always played a central part in the history of the car industry in Gothenburg.

Our expert leader will explain other key features of Scandinavian design and architecture along the way.

An introduction to Odyssey’s Scandinavian Design tour, by the tour leader Stephan De Roeck

How I developed a passion for Scandinavian design

My introduction to Scandinavian design started in the early 80's. The Brussels International Trade Mart sent me on a mission to create a section for Scandinavian and Finnish manufacturers related to interior design and architecture.

First I had to research and come up with a representative sample of products, followed by talking to the makers and creators and convince them to be part of that industry showcase in the heart of Europe.

While here, I was very lucky to be able to discover the latest and greatest in lighting, glassware, furniture, accessories, tableware and fabrics from that inventive part of the world.

Since then I continued to follow the trends, the artists and designers from  the Nordics, where simple but stylish living is elevated to an art form. From 2003 to 2005 I worked for a large Australian company importing and distributing European design in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. It was for me a revelation at the time that the products from the "cold" countries fitted so well in the subtropical lifestyle of Australians.

Recent Travels

This year I visited again Sweden and Denmark, and I was happy to see that the design scene there is continuing unabated. Not just related to the mass market like the Ikea phenomenon, but also in the more confidential, arts and craft sections of the market. This time I took the opportunity to update myself on the interesting new, redeveloped areas of Copenhagen and Stockholm. I was particularly impressed with recent contemporary public buildings like the opera houses, museums, and city parks.

I have to conclude that I can't wait to go back and find out more.

Finally, for more details about Scandinavian Design tour  to Denmark, Sweden and Finland, then please click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

Tour Notes
  • Group size is limited to a maximum of 15 participants.

PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

1
Visit the world-famous furniture manufacturers in Northern Denmark.
2
Joined by our expert leader, visit Stroget in Copenhagen, where the country’s finest brands have flagship stores.
3
Understand why famous interiors like the L.A. Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Reichstag in Berlin sourced Danish Textiles.
4
Experience how progressive design always played a central part in the history of Volvo cars in Gothenburg.
5
In Finland, discover the success stories of Iittala glassware and Marimekko.

Overview: Upon arrival in Copenhagen we check into our hotel. There will be some free time to relax before our tour commences with our welcome dinner.

(D)

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Scandinavia or similar

Overview: Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Copenhagen followed by lunch. In the afternoon we begin our guided stroll through Strøget, one of Europe’s longest pedestrian streets. Here we will be introduced to Denmark’s premier high street labels in the area of interior design.

(B,L)

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Scandinavia or similar

Overview: Today we take a short stroll to Danish Architecture Centre, the main exhibition space for architecture and urban development in Denmark. We then walk to Christiansborg Palace, located on the tiny island of Slotsholmen and contains the Danish Parliament , the Supreme Court and Ministry of State. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

(B)

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Scandinavia or similar

Overview: In the morning we travel to Allerød, approximately 1hr drive, where we visit the Fritz Hansen Company that was established in 1872 and is the maker of the iconic “Ant” and “Egg” chairs designed by Arne Jacobsen. We return to Copenhagen for lunch at Restaurant Paustian before visiting Paustians Hus, a large furniture showroom located on the waterfront completed in 1987. It is one of the most notable works in Denmark by prize-winning architect Jørn Utzon, who also designed the Sydney Opera House.

On our way back to the hotel we’ll pause to visit Superkilen Park, a public park in the Nørrebro district that was designed by the arts group Superflex with the collaboration of Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG Architects) and Topotek1. The Nørrebro district is considered one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the capital as it’s home to over 60 nationalities.

(B,L)

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Scandinavia or similar

Overview: After breakfast we visit Danform Showroom, also designed by Jørn Utzon (1985). Here we will enjoy a presentation by the Marketing & Sales Director on the importance of design in export markets. We then visit Kvadrat Mills showroom, a famous Danish textile manufacturer. The Reichstag in Berlin and the L.A. Walt Disney Concert Hall both feature Kvadrat bespoke textiles.

Before returning to our hotel we stop to visit the Danish Museum of Art & Design, it is one of Scandinavia’s central exhibition forums for Danish and international industrial design, decorative and applied arts.

(B)

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Scandinavia or similar

Overview: Today we travel to Fredensborg (approximately 1hr drive) and enjoy a tour of the Fredensborg Houses, one of Jørn Utzon’s largest projects in Denmark from 1959-1962. This cluster of individual houses was created to cater for Danes who have spent a long time outside of Denmark like diplomatic corps, engineers, etc.

We then travel to Helsingor (approximately 1hr drive) to visit the Louisiana Museum of Modern art. This is an extraordinary museum, showcasing landscape, architecture and art. Dinner this evening is at the hotel.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Scandinavia or similar

Overview: After breakfast we transfer to the train station and catch a train to Aarhus, on arrival we’ll be met and transferred to our hotel for check-in then take a short stroll to the Viking Museum, located underground beneath the Nordea Bank building.

(B)

Accommodation: Scandic Aarhus City Hotel or similar

Overview: In the morning we head to the ARoS Modern Art Museum in Aarhus, featuring many renowned local and international artists. After the visit, we travel to Frederekshavn, where we board our ferry to Gothenburg in Sweden. On arrival we’ll be met and transferred to our hotel in time for dinner.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Elite Park Avenue Hotel or similar

Overview: Today we have a free day in Gothenburg. Several of the city’s museums are within walking 10-15 minutes distance from our hotel, such as:

Göteborgs konstmuseum – Gothenburg Museum of Art has one of the finest collections in Northern Europe with significant Nordic and international art work. (http://goteborgskonstmuseum.se/en/ )
National Museums of World Culture is housed in an award-winning building designed by London based architects Cécile Brisac and Edgar Gonzales. Here you can experience a mixture of international architecture, contemporary art and much more. (http://www.varldskulturmuseerna.se/en/the-government/the-national-museum-of-world-cultures/)
Röhsska Museum, focused on design, fashion and applied arts with a collection of over 55,000 objects. (http://rohsska.se/ )
Göteborgs Konsthall, the centre for contemporary art in Göteborg, Sweden. Free admission. (http://www.konsthallen.goteborg.se/ )

If you like to venture out a little bit further you can make your way to the city centre where the Gothenburg City Museum is located. There you can explore the fascinating pre-history, the 19th century life, the development of the modern industrial Gothenburg and the only exhibited Viking ship in Sweden, Äskekärrsskeppet. While in the city centre you may also wish to explore the surrounding area to Magasinsgatan street, where you will find a variety of furniture and interior design stores like Artilleriet and Vallgatan excusive shopping area for fashion, arts and plants.

(B)

Accommodation: Elite Park Avenue Hotel or similar

Overview: Today we have a visit to the Volvo Museum to immerse ourselves in the history and universe of everything Volvo. The museum displays 8000 square metres of cars, buses, machines, engines and unique concepts. The afternoon is at leisure to continue exploring this vibrant city.

(B)

Accommodation: Elite Park Avenue Hotel or similar

Overview: We drive to Boras (approximately 1.5hrs drive) for a visit to the famous Swedish School of Textiles. This school is one of the top European textile education and research arenas. Dinner this evening is at the hotel.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Elite Park Avenue Hotel or similar

Overview: After breakfast we depart by train to Växjö, our journey takes approximately 3 hours. On arrival we’ll be transferred to our hotel and after checking-in we’ll walk to the Swedish Glass Museum (Kulturparken Småland), Sweden’s oldest provincial museum with collections dating back to 1792. The glass collection is the source of the museum’s international reputation.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Elite Stadshotellet Växjö or similar

Overview: After breakfast, we travel to Kosta (approximately 1hr drive) for a tour of the Kosta Boda glassworks workshops. Kosta Boda was founded in 1742, and is still at the cutting edge of contemporary glassware designed by international artists. Upon our return to Växjö the remainder of the day is at leisure. Växjö Art Galley (Konsthall) is within walking distance, and displays local and international contemporary art, with free admission.

(B)

Accommodation: Elite Stadshotellet Växjö or similar

Overview: Today we travel by train to Stockholm, the journey takes approximately 3.5hrs. On arrival we’ll be transferred to our hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure. Our hotel is very close to a metro station and only one stop away from the city central station, alternatively, it’s possible to walk to the city centre as well (20-25min).

(B)

Accommodation: Clarion Hotel Amaranten or similar

Overview: Today we enjoy a morning guided sightseeing tour of Stockholm. We focus on new Thomas Sandell architecture; visit the Moderna Museet and the Swedish Museum of Architecture and Design, both located in the island of Skeppsholmen, which was traditionally a base for many military buildings due to the islands strategic position at the entrance of the Baltic Sea. After our visit we’ll return to our hotel using the metro.

(B)

Accommodation: Clarion Hotel Amaranten or similar

Overview: Our morning is free to explore the city at your own pace. Mid-afternoon we will be transferred to the dock and board our overnight ferry to Helsinki. Dinner will be served aboard.

Tallink Silja Line

Departing Stockholm at 4:30pm

Arriving Helsinki at 9:50am on 23 September

(B,D)

Accommodation: Overnight aboard ferry to Helsinki (2 people per cabin)

Overview: Breakfast will be served aboard the ferry. On arrival in Helsinki we’ll be met by our local guide and taken for a tour to view the main sights of the city with a focus on the architecture of Eero Saarinen. Later we will visit Alvar Aalto House and Studio.

(B)

Helsinki boasts many museums as well local design shops. During your free time you may wish to visit:

Kiasma – Museum of Contemporary Art: Part of the Finnish National Gallery, the Museum challenges and breaks the boundaries of a traditional art museum. As one the country’s leading contemporary art museums, its exhibitions are world-class, showcasing a range of national and international artists in a range of media. (https://kiasma.fi )
Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) looks after an art collection that belongs to the people of Helsinki, which includes over 9,000 works of art including the statues in Helsinki. Some of its galleries are also dedicated to an exhibition of Swedish-Finnish writer and artist Tove Janssons (1914-2001) life and works; she’s the creator of the beloved Moomins characters. (https://www.hamhelsinki.fi/en/ )
Ateneum Art Museum: Finland’s best-known art museum and the home of Finnish art. The collections date from the 19th century to the modern age. (https://ateneum.fi/?lang=en/ )
Design Museum, devoted to the exhibition of both Finnish and foreign design, including industrial design, fashion, and graphic design (http://www.designmuseum.fi/en/visitors-info/ )
The National Museum of Finland – Kansallismuseo, here you can learn about Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present day through objects and cultural history. One of the current special exhibitions is called 10,000 years of design – Man, Matter, Metamorphosis, focusing on the unique development of Finnish material culture and design as a result of a specific dialogue between society and ecosystem. (https://www.kansallismuseo.fi/en/kansallismuseo )

Accommodation: Hotel Helka or similar

Overview: We start our day with a walk to the city centre to visit Artek showroom where we meet the marketing manager for a talk. Later we visit the Marimekko flagship store located only a few minutes down the road from Artek. The remainder of the day is at leisure to continue exploring the city at your own pace.

(B)

Accommodation: Hotel Helka or similar

Overview: Today we travel to Iittala, located approximately 1.5hrs away from Helsinki where we have a guided tour of Iittala Design Museum and Glass Factory followed by some free time at their outlet store. We return to Helsinki early afternoon.

(B)

Accommodation: Hotel Helka or similar

Overview: Today the day is at leisure. We meet in the evening at the hotel lobby and walk to a nearby restaurant for our farewell dinner.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Hotel Helka or similar

Overview: After breakfast, the tour comes to an end.

(B)

What’s included in our Tour

  • 20 nights of hotel accommodation.
  • 20 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners.
  • Transport in comfortable and modern coaches.
  • Ferry services.
  • Services of Tour Leader for the duration of tour.
  • All lectures, excursions, entrance fees and local guides.
  • Service charges and gratuities.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • International airfares and departure taxes.
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.
Map of Scandinavia
Scandinavian Designs Small Group Tour; Denmark, Sweden and Finland
Temppeliaukio Church in Helsinki, Finland
Scandinavian design small group tour
Scandinavian Design, living room, style

Tour Reviews

October 5, 2018

How exciting it was to see glass being blown, go into one of the houses designed by Jorn Utson, and experience Scandinavian culture, sustainability and living – provided one escaped being run down by cyclists!
John & Janice K. Sep ’18

October 9, 2018

The tour provided a great insight into Denmark, Sweden and Finland, their designers, lifestyle and culture. The tour was a great balance of some free time and many visits to showrooms, workshops, galleries, museums, shops etc. To have so many activities pre-arranged was wonderful – the tour was good value and so interesting.
Jennie R. Sep ’18

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