Scandinavia Fast Facts

Reykjavik city (Smoky Bay in Icelandic) it is largest city in Iceland.
L. Toshio Kishiyama/Getty Images

Not sure where to begin learning more about Scandinavia? It's easy. Start with this practical overview of some fast facts and important information about Scandinavia.

01 of 05

The 101: What and Where is Scandinavia?

Map showing two of the common definitions of "Scandinavia"; a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe
000peter/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-3.0

Scandinavia is a historical and geographical region centered on the Scandinavian peninsula of Northern Europe. Theoretically, Scandinavia is defined as the three kingdoms that historically shared the Scandinavian Peninsula. Culturally speaking, Iceland, Finland, and the Faroe Islands are nowadays usually included when referring to "Scandinavia" (Nordic Countries). Scandinavia has a total population of over 24 million.

02 of 05

The Weather in Scandinavia

Hamnoy (Lofoten Island)
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The weather in Scandinavia in most parts is generally mild and pleasant. Scandinavia's climate varies from north to south and from west to east. Depending on your destination, travel weather may vary from one Scandinavian capital to the next but oftentimes it can be said that the temperate Scandinavian weather is sunny and mild in summer​ and a little colder than usual in winter. More extreme temperatures are found beyond the Arctic Circle.

03 of 05

Scandinavian Languages

Friends drinking beer at hipster bar
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The languages spoken in Scandinavia include Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic and Faroese. These languages are generally sorted into East-Scandinavian (Danish, Swedish) and West-Scandinavian (Norwegian, Icelandic) languages. Finnish belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family.

04 of 05

Major Cities in Scandinavia

Riddarholmen in Stockholm as seen from the top of the City Hall tower.
Benoît Derrier/Wikimedia Commons via Flickr/CC-BY-SA-2.0

The cities in Scandinavia are wonderful travel destinations for every visitor in the mood for interesting Scandinavian city life and modern urban atmosphere. The capitals of the Scandinavian countries are Stockholm (Sweden), Oslo (Norway), Copenhagen (Denmark), Helsinki (Finland), and Reykjavik (Iceland). Other great city destinations include the Norwegian city of Bergen ​and Malo and Gothenburg in Sweden.

Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05

Famous for the Northern Lights

Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis Norway Ringvassøya Tromsø
Svein-Magne Tunli - Commons/CC-BY-SA-4.0

Scandinavia puts on quite a show year-round, and it's free. The Scandinavian natural phenomena include the Northern Lights, the Midnight Sun, and the Polar Nights. The best show of these phenomena can be witnessed in the region of the Arctic circle, e.g. in Iceland and in the northern parts of Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Find out how Scandinavian nature created these phenomena and when and where in Scandinavia they can be experienced.

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