The Nordic Countries Tops In Innovation: One More Reason to Visit Next Year

 

Bloomberg just released their annual Innovation Index, which scores economies using factors including R&D spending and the concentration of high-tech public companies. The Nordic countries dominate. Four of the top 15 most innovative countries are Nordic.

  • Sweden is #2.
  • Finland moved up to #5
  • Denmark is #8
  • Norway #14.
  • #1 spot continues to be held by South Korea.

As many of you know I have long been fascinated by all things Scandinavian.

  • Big fan of the design aesthetic including the concept of hygge (coziness), the food, the outdoor lifestyle and even the climate.
  • Most recently I’ve also become enamored of Finland (the next Iceland?).

And having just spent a couple of days in Norway, I am now planning a month-long immersion in the Nordic countries for next summer.

  • I’ve started to scout out destinations, see my rudimentary notes below (along with pics).
  • I am hoping my network will be inspired to come thru with lots of recommendations.
  • Also actively looking to meet/interview people from startups, the food scene, artists and designers.

Read on below for where I am so far with my list of interesting/cool things to check out.

STOCKHOLM/SWEDEN

Sounds like my fave area will be Sodermalm, considered by many to be the Williamsburg of Stockholm

Hotels:

  • Hotel Rival (in Sodermalm and owned by one of the ABBA members)
  • Scandic Hotel (Sodermalm)
  • Story Hotel
  • Hellstens Malmgard

 Restaurants/Bars:

Rosendals Tradgard

  • Bakfickan
  • Portal
  • Tyge & Sessil
  • Malarpavijongen
  • Rosendals Tradgard***
  • Lisa Elmqvist
  • Erlands**,
  • Akkurat
  • Rolfs Kok**
  • Nybrogatan 38,
  • Mosebaceterrassen
  • Penny & Bill
  • Rutabaga
  • Punk Royale Café,
  • Ekstedt
  • Oaxen Krog & Slip
  • Herman’s
  • Minami

Coffee Shops:

  • Johan & Nystrom
  • Café Pascal
  • Drop Coffee

 Museums/Galleries:

Fotografiska

  • Vasa Museum*
  • Skansen*
  • Moderna Museet
  • Fotografiska***

Retail:

Teatern Food hall

  • Pelikan
  • Papercut
  • Science Fiction Bokhandeln
  • Pen Store
  • Grandpa
  • Wijnjas grosshandel
  • Ostermalms Saluhall
  • Hotorgshallen****
  • Sneakersnstuff
  • Teatern Food hall***
  • MOOD shopping district,

 Businesses:

  • Spotify

Neighborhoods:

  • Soder (Sodermalm)

Island Hopping:

 

COPENHAGEN/DENMARK

 

Hotels:

  • Andersen Boutique Hotel

Restaurants/Bars:

Papiroen – Street Food Mall

  • Ved Stranden 10 (Austrian Wines)
  • Ismageriet (sorbets)
  • Mikkeller Bar
  • Ruby
  • Host
  • Papiroen (Street Food Gathering)
  • La Banchina
  • Kodbyens Fiskebar**

Coffee Shops:

  • Coffee Collective
  • Copenhagen Coffee Lab
  • Meyers Bageri

MuseumsGalleries:

  • Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Retail:

Tage Andersen Florist Shop

  • Kihoskh
  • Toverehallerne
  • HAY House
  • Illums Bolighus
  • Norse Projects
  • Lego Flagship Store
  • Tage Andersen – florist shop, owner trained as a pastry chef before opening his first flower boutique – looks and dresses as if from another era in breeches and hobnailed boots. The high-ceilinged room, which serves as his studio and exhibition space, is painted black and decorated with oversized birdcages (complete with exotic birds), vintage mirrors and sculptures, as well as the many flowers in bloom.

Businesses:

  • Carlsberg
  • Lego?

 

Cool Neighborhoods:

Istedgade

  • Istedgade
  • Christiana – Controversial commune and ‘free town’, founded in 1971 when an abandoned military area was taken over by squatters. It’s now a green and car-free zone, packed with art galleries, music venues and inexpensive organic cafés that have developed their own set of rules to live by. The people of Christiania use their own currency and there’s a list of Do’s and Don’ts at the entrance, as well as a sign that reads ‘You are now leaving the European Union’.
  • Meatpacking district??

Parks/Gardens:

  • Frederiksberg Gardens
  • Kongens Have
  • Botanical Garden
  • Tivoli
  • Assistens Kirkegard (cemetery park)
  • Det Kongelige Biblioteks Have (Pokemon spot)
  • Superkilen
  • Rosenberg Castle

 

HELSINKI/FINLAND

Hotels:

  • Lilla Roberts
  • Hotel Fabian,
  • Hotel Helka
  • Hotel Finn
  • Hotel Indigo
  • Hotel F6

Restaurants/Bars:

  • Apero,
  • Jadelino,
  • Sushi Wagocoro
  • Trillby & Chadwick,
  • Liberty or Death

Coffee Shops:

  • Caffe Regatta***
  • Café Mutteri

 

MuseumsGalleries:

Retail:

  • Stockmann Herkku,
  • Hakaniemen Kauppahalli,
  • Hietalahden Kauppahalli

Businesses:

Cool Neighborhoods:

Parks/Gardens:

  • Esplanadin Puisto
  • Talvipuutarha (botanical garden)
  • Keskuspuisto
  • Kaivopuisto
  • Karhupuisto

Islands:

Suomenlinna

  • Suomenlinna/Sveaborg (fortress)

Misc./Saunas and Pools

  • Kulttuurisauna (Sauna)
  • Uimastadion

 

OSLO/NORWAY

Hotels:

  • The Thief ($$$)

Restaurants/Bars:

Oslo Mekaniske Verksted

  • Gutta pa Haugen (ice cream)
  • Himkok
  • Torggata Botaniske
  • Oslo Mekaniske Verksted****

Coffee Shops:

  • Supreme Roastworks
  • Fuglen

Museums/Galleries:

  • Norsk Folk Museum
  • Norsk Teknisk Museum
  • Astrup Fearnley Museet
  • Frammuseet
  • Viking Ship Museum
  • Vigeland Mausoleum
  • National gallery (Munch works)

 Retail:

  • Outland
  • Jacobs pa Holtet
  • Mathallen Oslo
  • Oslo Sportslager,

Businesses:

Cool Neighborhoods:

 Parks/Gardens:

  • Frogner Park
  • Vigeland Sculpture Park
  • Botanical Garden
  • St. Hanshaugen
  • Ekebergparken,

Misc.

Damstredet and Telthusbakken

  • Opera House
  • Holmenkollbakken ski jumping stadium
  • Akershus festning (castle)
  • Damstredet and Telthusbakken: a short walk from Oslo’s famous medieval church Gamle Aker Kirke.These two narrow streets with small wooden and brick houses from the 18th and 19th century are part of the oldest and the best preserved vernacular architecture in Oslo today, and these streets, with their colorful houses, provide a romantic touch to your trip. The southern part of Telthusbakken houses the Egeberg Lokken Allotment garden, an historic garden and may give you a glimpse of the history of the city.
  • Flea markets, Birkelunden and Blå
  • Street Art – Oslo-based artists Dolk and Pøbel have worked on a project called Living Decay, which is about an abandoned house in the Lofoten Archipelago.

CHART OF TOP COUNTRIES

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