How to experience the Nordic Region in Sydney | A couple of travel makers
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Visiting Denmark, Sweden and Finland are distant dreams for Aussies at the moment.
However, if wanderlust has taken hold we've got a few places you can hit up to have a mini Nordic getaway in Sydney right now.
We're Stef and D, a pair of married jet setters. Together, we've visited 55 countries and we're determined to see even more – all while working full-time and paying off a mortgage. We count our dollars at home and while we're away, and we're here to share our tips on how you can travel on a budget.
Eat Nordic cuisine
Scandinavian food is hearty, rich and yes, can veer on the wild side of the food chain.
Think pickled herring, salted licorice and sheep's head to get you up to speed. FYI the licorice isn't half bad.
Sydney's Nordic offerings range from the family-friendly Swedish meatballs with cranberry sauce at the IKEA foodcourt and Swedish baked goods and smorgasbord (open sandwiches) at Fika Swedish Kitchen to Viking-sized portions of meat at Mjolner.
Shop beautiful Scandinavian furniture and fashion
Simple, clean and modern, Scandinavian furniture is all the rage at the moment. And with many of us still working from home and looking to redecorate (guilty) now's a great time to give that home a little refresh.
Head's up – IKEA isn't the only place where you can find darling pieces to make your house a home.
Nordic Fusion in Manly and Mosman has Scandi-designed furniture, accessories, clothing and furniture each boasting neutral hues and simple designs.
On the other side of the bridge is a fashion label you'd best be familiar with: Marrimekko. This Finnish fashion brand is all about bold prints and bright colours. It sells fashion, accessories and homewares.
Visit the Swedish Church in Sydney
This place of worship is located in the heart of Sydney city.
It's a working church, and non-believers are more than welcome to attend a service or pop by the attached Cafe Svensson to say hi over a fika (cup of coffee and biscuit).
Treat yourself to a Finnish sauna
Saunas are an integral part of the Finnish lifestyle and culture. In fact, Fins typically sauna at least once a week.
The process involves having a wash/shower before sitting in a heated sauna room where steam is created by throwing water on coals.
In case you're wondering, yes, traditionally you must be naked while in the room.
While there aren't any commercial Finnish saunas in Sydney, you can book Airbnbs in outer Sydney and country New South Wales equipped with a Finnish sauna. For example, this 1830s converted barn in Windsor and Airbnb.
Pay a visit to Hans Christian Andersen
From The Little Mermaid to Thumbelina, Denmark's Hans Christian Andersen has been written into many of our childhood memories, including us.
In Sydney, locals can discover a homage to the man in Observatory Park Hill.
The bust is a replica of a sculpture by fellow Dane H W Bissen and faces the ocean in the direction of his homeland.
Make a day of it by packing a picnic and a few Hans Christian Andersen books to read on a sunny day overlooking Darling Harbour.
Hire out an igloo
When the weather gets cooler the igloos come out. Sure, you won't see any Aurora Borealis action like you would if you'd booked into the Kakslauttan Arctic Resort in Finland, but you will see breathtaking harbour views.
These luxurious igloos cropped up on Pier One Sydney in the winter of 2020. You could book them for a few hours or overnight and they came with arctic-inspired furniture and food and drink service.
Keep an eye out for them in 2021. We know we will.
Have any more suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.
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