Plan Your Holiday to Norway
Book pure nature now and combine it with great local food, drink and urban vibes in bigger cities and cozy, coastal villages, while enjoying the midnight sun and other highlights you will only experience in Norway.
Top 10 Places to Visit in Norway
1. The Lofoten Islands
While the fjords cut into the land, Lofoten is shaped like a big arm that stretches out in the sea. The many mountain peaks point towards the Arctic sky like church spires, and in between them you’ll find traditional villages full of fishermen and artists.
Try everything from local food made of seafood and lamb to beaches of white sand and the Lofotr Viking Museum. It is also easy to travel to the mainland, or to Helgeland and the UNESCO-listed Vega archipelago further south.
The hometown of one of the world's most popular music creators, Kygo, sounds, feels, and tastes like nothing else. Fresh seafood and other local delicacies match a bustling art scene of museums and galleries. The streets of this capital of the fjords is full of wooden, fairy tale houses with the seven mountains as a backdrop.
The medieval Hanseatic wharf of Bryggen, with its around 60 historic buildings in succession, is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and several foundations date back to the 12th century.
3. The Geirangerfjord
The Seven Sisters and numerous other waterfalls run down steep mountain sides that end in the clear, blue water of the 9.3 miles long Geirangerfjord. Here, you’ll find the natural peace and quiet of one of the world’s top nature attractions.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is even more present off season.The immediate surrounding regions also have a lot to offer the whole year round.
A few main streets manage to create an urban, international vibe – polar style. The city on the peninsula of Tromshalvøya justifies the nickname “capital of the Arctics” and has a multitude of things to do and see, ranging from the Polaria Centre, The Polar Museum, and the local Mack brewery established I 1877, to whale spotting, midnight sun, and northern lights. Tromsø is the largest city in Northern Norway. None the less, the surrounding steep mountains and deep fjords are so close to the city center that you can admire them from the main street.
A capital in the middle of nature, Oslo is selected for the European Green Capital of 2019 and listed by Lonely Planet as Best in Travel for 2018. A lot of things are cooking in the city, like a restaurant scene that includes the world’s northernmost three-star Michelin restaurant. Oslo is also home to some of the most awarded baristas and coffee brewers on the planet.
This one of a kind capital, both kid-friendly and with a growing music scene, appreciates nature, new architecture, arts, biking lanes, and pedestrians. At the Opera House you can even walk on the roof.
6. The Svalbard Islands
This huge island group in the northernmost part of Europe takes wildlife to next level, and at the same time the society is very well organised. Here you can participate in exotic, nature based activities, all year round.
You will experience Svalbard as locals do, and guides are often living the adventure. The main city of Longyearbyen is a mini metropole because it offers services and very good places to eat that you usually would expect to find in big cities.
A 12.5 miles long mountain railway journey takes you through the beautiful landscapes of the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord, an arm of the Sognefjord. Keep in mind that one of the most traveled sites in Norway is far less busy and crowded in spring, fall, or even early summer.
The Sognefjord is Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, and it’s famous arm the Nærøyfjord has World Heritage status. The surrounding mountain areas are amongst Norway’s most popular hiking areas. The Sognefjord extends from the coast just north of Bergen to the mighty mountains of the Jotunheimen National Park and the blue ice of the Jostedalsbreen glacier.
There are strong food traditions in the Sognefjord area, and the mild climate, fresh air and abundance of lush mountain pastures mean that the Sognefjord area produces fresh ingredients of high quality.
9. The Stavanger region
50 years as Norway’s oil capital hasn’t spoiled the charm of this seaside city, nor has it changed the fact that the region has some of Norway’s main hiking attractions.
Here, you can explore the Lysefjord area and famous mountains plateaus like Preikestolen (“The Pulpit Rock”). Local food is served at both Michelin-starred restaurants and likewise ambitious, but more low-key eateries.
With a population of 193,000, Trondheim is not a big city on a European scale. However, it is the third largest in Norway. The wide range of things to do may in part be attributed to the city’s students, who number more than 30,000. The students leave their mark on the city by arranging many events, as well as attending the city’s other cultural offerings.
“Kos” is Norwegian for Having a Good Time
The Norwegian cult of “kos” (coziness) goes way beyond the Danes’ “hygge”, the Americans’ “perfect moment”, or the stressed society’s “quality time”. Norway's mighty nature and distinct changes of seasons make people gather together to create intimate moments of coziness.
Northern Norway is by far the largest and most sparsely populated part of mainland Norway, and covers more than a third of the country. It stretches from the idyllic Helgeland region in the south to mainland Europe’s northernmost point near the North Cape.
Northern Norway has been settled for thousands of years, due to its relatively warm climate, ice-free harbors, and excellent fishing. For centuries, the fishing was the very basis of existence in this area, and even today you can find several characteristic old fishing villages with colored, wooden houses that used to house fishermen and traders.
In the old days, large parts of Northern Norway was inaccessible, but today there is an extensive network of both roads and small airports with regular flights between many of the small towns and villages. The coastal steamer Hurtigruten calls at ports all along the coast at least once per day, both northbound and southbound.
But the region is not only one of wild and untouched nature and quaint old villages. Tromsø, for instance, is Northern Norway’s largest city and lies far north of the Arctic Circle. A vibrant university town, it has a lively student scene with concerts and shows, and sports an international film festival as well as a multi-cultural community of more than 100 different nationalities.
The Sami are the northernmost indigenous people in Europe, and the attractions on the Norwegian tundra in Finnmark all reflect Sami history, heritage, and life today. Preserving both the region’s nature and its culture and tradition is a priority.
The light will play an essential role in your experience in the north. Summer nights are long and bright, and in high summer north of the Arctic Circle, the sun doesn’t dip below the horizon at all. Winter nights, on the other hand, are long and cold, but far from as dark as you might think. The northern lights will play across the skies, displaying bands and tendrils of red, purple, blue, and green light. Get the latest northern lights forecast on NorwayLights.no.
And by the way: The long and bright summer nights make for juicy and tasty vegetables and fruit, like nowhere else on Earth. The local strawberries, especially, are to die for.
Due to the temperate waters of the Gulf Stream, Norway has a much milder climate than other parts of the world at the same latitude, such as Alaska, Greenland, and Siberia. The coldest areas in the winter are often inland or far to the north.
The climate in Norway varies a lot from country part to country part, and there can be large variations within the separate regions as well. But in general, the coastal areas usually have relatively mild winters (still with snow and great skiing conditions in the mountains, though), whilst the inland parts have cold winters with plenty of snow, and hot and dry summers.
Southern Norway is considered a summer island paradise, whilst Fjord Norway is maybe at its most beautiful in spring, when the fruit trees are blossoming. Not to mention Northern Norway, where you can get extremely cold temperatures in the winter, whilst the sun is up all night long in the summertime.
Bergen is Norway's second largest city, and lies clambering up the mountain sides, overlooking the sea, embracing you. You can roam through living history in this modern city, before continuing on to explore the wildest and loveliest fjords of Norway.
On a Norwegian scale, Bergen is a large city, but one with a small-town charm and atmosphere. Its passionately patriotic inhabitants are proud of their many-sided city and its history and cultural traditions. Many are only happy to direct visitors to their favorite local attraction, coffee-shop or restaurant.
Around 10 percent of the population in Bergen are students, which adds a fresh and youthful mood to the city’s vibe. Alongside its offerings of museums, art galleries, cultural events and dining opportunities, as well as the possibilities offered by its accessible sea and mountains, this contributes to making it a lively and vibrant city.
Founded more than 900 years ago, Bergen has roots to the Viking Age and beyond. As one of the main offices of the Hanseatic League, Bergen was for several hundred years the center of prosperous trade between Norway and the rest of Europe. Bryggen, ("The Hanseatic Wharf") is the most obvious remnant from this time, and is today home to many of the city’s restaurants, pubs, craft shops and historical museums.
Bergen is famous for the seven mountains surrounding the city center, the Hanseatic Wharf, the fish market, and one of Norway's biggest cultural events, the Bergen International Festival, which is held there each year.
Set against the sparkling waters of the Oslo Ford, this city has an abundance of charming parks and suburbs. It also has many first-rate museums, including the Kon-Tiki Museum that displays adventurer Thur Heyerdahl's legendary ocean raft. Stroll the grounds around the King of Norway's palace or visit the unique Vigeland Sculpture Park. With glorious natural surroundings, Oslo is perfect for fishing, camping and some of the world's best cross-country skiing. The city's pubs and jazz spots attract a trendy, young crowd.
As one of Europe’s fastest growing cities this decade, Oslo is buzzing with energy from new neighborhoods and cutting-edge food, to fashion and art scenes. Captivating landmarks like the Opera House, the Astrup Fearnley Museum and Barcode are changing the face of the city, and Oslo maintains its refreshing closeness to nature that few other capitals can match.
Nestled between the Oslofjord and forested hills, Oslo was named European Green Capital 2019 for its dedication to conserving natural areas and reducing pollution. The compact city center is easy and safe to explore on foot or by bike, and the efficient public transport system makes the entire city accessible without a car.
Oslo is also in the process of being certified as a Sustainable Destination, a seal of approval given to destinations that work systematically to reduce the negative impact of tourism. In addition to providing visitors with enjoyable experiences, Oslo wishes to preserve the local nature, culture and environment, strengthen social values, and be economically viable. The municipality and the travel industry cooperate closely to assure that the destination is a great place both to live in and to visit.
Oslo’s restaurant scene is diverse and constantly evolving with new, innovative kitchens – many of them with a fresh approach to Norwegian ingredients and food traditions. This attitude has led to international praise, and is also central to the city’s celebrated cocktail and coffee cultures.
Norway’s capital since 1814, Oslo is home to many of the country’s most prestigious cultural institutions. First-rate opera, ballet and theatre performances are presented throughout the year, and art lovers can see famous works at the National Museum (closed until 2020) and the Munch Museum and browse through the city’s numerous galleries.
Live music is a big part of the city’s identity, and every year Oslo’s clubs and arenas host thousands of concerts that showcase the talents of everyone from local bands to international superstars. Big outdoor festivals bring in the crowds in summer, and there are annual festivals for genres ranging from chamber music to heavy metal.
Oslo is full of people and businesses who work towards a healthy environment: From restaurants that serve organic foods to city developers searching for eco-conscious solutions. Together they have turned Oslo into a sustainable destination to be reckoned with, and Oslo has been named the 2019 European Green Capital.
Whether you are seeking eco-friendly travel options, enjoy exploring interesting solutions to environmental challenges or simply like to spend time outside, there are plenty of ways to enrich your stay in Oslo with touches of green.
10 suggestions for children
Oslo can offer just as much fun for children as for adults.
Oslo Summer Park
One of Scandinavia's largest climbing parks – just 30 minutes from the city center.
Norwegian Museum of Science & Technology
National museum for technology, industry, science and medicine – a paradise for curious people.
Museum and activity center that lets you explore Norwegian pop music from the very first commercial recordings in 1904 to the sounds of today.
Nobel Peace Center
Nobel Peace Prize museum with an exciting combination of changing and permanent exhibitions that promote popular interest in issues.
TusenFryd Amusement Park
Norway's largest amusement park, with more than 30 fun attractions, special rides for the smallest kids, and the water park BadeFryd.
International Museum of Children's Art
Museum with children's art from 180 countries. See the world through the eyes of children worldwide.
Oslo Reptile Park
Indoor zoo in the center of Oslo with more than 100 animals, including boa constrictors, grass snakes, geckos, chameleons, lizards, and more.
Natural History Museum
Norway's largest collection of natural objects is available to the public in the Botanical Garden, the greenhouses and the Zoological Museum.
Tøyenbadet Public Bath
Tøyenbadet boasts both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, diving towers and an indoor water slide.
Leos Lekeland Oslo
Huge indoor adventure playground for children with slides, trampolines, mazes and much more. Open every day all year round!
The Stavanger region
Surrounded by beautiful fjords, mountains, and long, white beaches, Stavanger and Sandnes also boasts an impressive assortment of museums and cultural events.
Famed for its many natural attractions and old wooden houses, the Stavanger region is on the radar of nearly every visitor to Norway. Here, you can explore scenic landmarks such as the Lysefjord, Sola beach, and the famous cliff Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock) which Lonely Planet once named the world’s most breathtaking viewing platform.
Stavanger is both a university city and Europe’s oil and energy capital. Many different nationalities are attracted to the region, making it a highly international destination. This is all reflected in Stavanger’s urban and lively atmosphere, with cutting-edge food menus and a booming cultural scene.