A Guide to Airports in Scandinavia

Copenhagen International Airport

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The five countries that make up Scandinavia—Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and Sweden—are home to more airports than can be counted on two hands, which could seriously throw a wrench into your trip planning.

Rather than concentrate on just one of these Nordic countries, some travelers are apt to squeeze in several kingdoms for a more widespread tour of the Peninsula. Cost and accessibility should be considered when deciding on a starting point.

Denmark: Copenhagen International Airport (CPH)

  • Location: Coastal Islands
  • Best If: You're looking for easy access to Copenhagen.
  • Avoid If: You're renting a car and wanting to avoid heavily trafficked areas.
  • Distance to Copenhagen: Traveling to downtown Copenhagen by metro or train takes about 20 minutes. Taxis take longer and are generally more expensive.

As Denmark's primary travel hub, Copenhagen International Airport is the most convenient (and cheapest) starting point for international visitors. It serves more than 30 million people annually and 127 destinations, making for an easy gateway to the country's capital city, just 8 kilometers away.

Denmark: Aarhus Airport (AAR)

  • Location: Eastern Denmark
  • Best If: You're looking for a quiet international airport.
  • Avoid If: Your primary destination is Copenhagen.
  • Distance to Copenhagen: Driving to Copenhagen takes 3 hours, 24 minutes. The train, rather, takes 5 hours.

Located in the heart of Denmark, Aarhus Airport is a good option for travelers looking for a more central location. With passenger flights flying in from 15 destinations in 10 countries, it's smaller than Copenhagen's, but still an option for international travelers.

Denmark: Aalborg Airport (AAL)

  • Location: Northern Denmark
  • Best If: You're exploring the northern region of Denmark.
  • Avoid If: You rely on public transportation to get around.
  • Distance to Copenhagen: Driving to Copenhagen takes 4 hours, 19 minutes.

Aalborg Airport in northern Jutland is Denmark's third largest. It provides easy access to more rural regions in northern Denmark.

Denmark: Esbjerg Airport (EBJ)

  • Location: Western Denmark
  • Best If: You'll be exploring the west coast or western Jutland.
  • Avoid If: You will at any point require public transportation to Copenhagen.
  • Distance to Copenhagen: Driving to Copenhagen takes 3 hours.

Esbjerg Airport is a medium-sized airport—serving about 70,000 passengers annually—located on the beloved west coast of Denmark. It functions primarily as a heliport, but also receives flights from Norway and Scotland.

Finland: Helsinki Vantaan Airport (HEL)

  • Location: Southern Finland
  • Best If: You're connecting to other international flights.
  • Avoid If: Your destination is northern Finland.
  • Distance to Helsinki: Driving to downtown Helsinki takes 25 minutes.

Helsinki Vantaan Airport is Finland's biggest airport and an easy option for international travelers. It serves 19 million passengers per year, 152 destinations, and is a common connection for other Scandinavian countries, too.

Finland: Tampere Pirkkala Airport (TMP)

  • Location: South-Central Finland
  • Best If: You're looking for an alternative to flying into Helsinki.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for the cheapest flight.
  • Distance to Helsinki: Driving to Helsinki takes 2 hours.

While not a big Scandinavian airport, Tampere Pirkkala Airport offers quite a few flights at reasonable prices and is a good alternative to flying into ​Helsinki.

Finland: Ivalo Airport (IVL)

  • Location: Northern Finland
  • Best If: You want to explore the northern territory.
  • Avoid If: You require easy access to cities.
  • Distance to Helsinki: Because the drive to Helsinki is longer than 13 hours, many prefer to fly.

Although not the biggest or most trafficked, Ivalo is the northernmost airport in the entire European Union, which makes it a great gateway for northern travels (even in Russia).

Finland: Joensuu Airport (JOE)

  • Location: Eastern Finland
  • Best If: You want to explore the northern territory.
  • Avoid If: You require easy access to cities.
  • Distance to Helsinki: Driving to Helsinki takes 5 hours.

Joensuu Airport serves just over 100,000 passengers per year. Its proximity to central and eastern Finland makes it another good starting point for the northern territory.

Finland: Vaasa Airport (VAA)

  • Location: Western Finland
  • Best If: You're traveling to the west coast.
  • Avoid If: You're partial to a big, bustling airport.
  • Distance to Helsinki: Driving to Helsinki takes 4 hours, 40 minutes.

A smaller Scandinavian airport, Vaasa Airport is located on the Finnish west coast and is mainly used by visitors heading for the Baltic Sea or central Finland.

Iceland: Keflavik International Airport (KEF)

  • Location: Southwestern Iceland
  • Best If: You're looking for the cheapest flights to Reykjavik.
  • Avoid If: You want to bypass the city for more remote areas.
  • Distance to Reykjavík: The capital city is a 45-minute drive from KEF.

Keflavik International Airport is Iceland's largest and nearest to the capital, Reykjavik. It's likely to be the cheapest and also to have the most options for flight times in this region.

Norway: Oslo Gardermoen Airport (OSL)

  • Location: Southeastern Norway
  • Best If: Oslo is your starting point.
  • Avoid If: You want to bypass the city for more remote areas.
  • Distance to Oslo: A ride on the shuttle train, Flytoget, takes 20 minutes.

Oslo Gardermoen Airport is Norway's busiest airport and the nearest to its capital, Oslo. It's the perfect gateway for southern Norway or central Sweden and offers no shortage of public transportation.

Norway: Bergen Flesland Airport (BGO)

  • Location: Southwestern Norway
  • Best If: You're looking for the cheapest flight to Norway or exploring the western fjords.
  • Avoid If: Oslo is your starting point.
  • Distance to Oslo: Driving to the capital city can take up to 8 hours.

Not as large as Oslo's, the airport in Bergen is a good choice if you're traveling to Norway's west coast. It sometimes has cheaper flight prices than Oslo Gardermoen Airport as well.

Sweden: Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN)

  • Location: Eastern Sweden
  • Best If: You're traveling to Stockholm or looking for a stopover for more local flights.
  • Avoid If: You don't like busy airports.
  • Distance to Stockholm: The Arlanda Express train takes 20 minutes.

One of the biggest airports in Scandinavia, serving about 27 million passengers annually, Stockholm Arlanda Airport is centrally located to Stockholm with ample connections to other, more remote airports in Scandinavia, too.

Sweden: Göteborg Landvetter Airport (GOT)

  • Location: Southwestern Sweden
  • Best If: You want to avoid the busy ARN.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for the cheapest flight to Sweden.
  • Distance to Stockholm: Driving to Stockholm takes 4 hours, 30 minutes.

If you want to avoid the busy Stockholm Arlanda International airport, Göteborg Landvetter Airport is a nearby alternative. It's a perfect starting point for traveling to western Sweden and southern Norway.

Sweden: Malmo Sturup Airport (MMX)

  • Location: Southern Sweden
  • Best If: You're visiting the west coast or driving to Copenhagen.
  • Avoid If: You're looking for the most convenient way to Stockholm.
  • Distance to Stockholm: Driving to Stockholm takes 6 hours, 30 minutes.

Flying into Malmo Sturup Airport is beneficial for those visiting nearby Malmo, Copenhagen, or Gothenburg.

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