The home of the Vikings. Norway is a Scandinavian country whose boundaries encompass swathes of frozen tundra, trendy cities, and an extensive coastline.
From its majestic mountains and famous fjords to its spectacular islands, Norway is simply one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Whether taking in the breathtaking wonder of the northern lights or the summer sun glistening on a massive glacier, Norway is a great adventure in any season.
You could go whale watching in Tromsø, spot polar bears and walruses in Svalbard. or even try out the country’s top hiking, cycling and skiing destinations.
While daylight may be limited during the winter months. Norway’s cities are alive with sophisticated style and an energetic vibrancy.
The Viking capital of Trondheim encompasses the country’s historical side. Bergen is where to go to glimpse colorful wooden houses, and the chic capital Oslo is home to laid-back living, city parks, and a lively dining scene.
Consistently ranked as one of the best countries to live in. It’s time to discover for yourself Norway’s warm and friendly heart and its breathtakingly wonderful natural delights. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Norway.
One of the most famous and photographed fjords in the whole of Norway, Geirangerfjord lies in the west of the country in the Sunnmore region.
A very popular tourist sight, it boasts breathtaking scenery with gigantic cliffs, sparkling waterfalls, and dazzling blue waters all on show.
Part of the sprawling Storfjorden system, it stretches over 15 kilometers, with steep mountains and jagged peaks lying to either side of it.
Plunging down its cliff faces are a number of lovely waterfalls. Of which Suitor and Seven Sisters Falls are the picks of the bunch. At either end of the fjord lie the scenic and secluded villages of Geiranger and Hellesylt.
Due to its awe-inspiring beauty, many cruise ships and sightseeing tours pass through the fjord, particularly during the sunny summer months. While basking in the scenery from aboard deck is a fantastic experience.
It is well worth hiking up some of the prominent peaks and plateaus – such as Dalsnibba and Ornesvingen – for the incredible views.
Set in a stunning spot on the west coast of Norway. Bergen is surrounded by the spectacular Seven Mountains, with several fjords and forests surrounding it.
Once part of the Hanseatic League, it has long been an important trading hub and seaport and is now the second-largest city in the country.
The best place to explore its seafaring history and heritage is at the beautifully preserved Bryggen. which lies on the eastern side of Vagen harbor.
You’ll find colorfully painted wooden merchants’ homes and warehouses. as well as a couple of great museums, restaurants and bars.
In addition to its famous, photogenic waterfront, the city has an interesting fortress for you to check out, as well as some marvelous medieval churches.
Bergen has a vivacious and youthful feel thanks to its large student population. While its bar and nightlife scene is certainly worth delving into.
The gorgeous scenery surrounding the city is also lovely to hike around. A quick trip up Bergen’s popular funicular is a good way to get oriented in the place known as the Gateway to the Fjords.
See Also : Most Beautiful Norwegian Fjords
Svalbard is a group of islands located between the Arctic Ocean. Barents Sea, Greenland Sea, and the Norwegian Sea. The islands are under Norwegian rule since 1920.
Its settlements are the northernmost permanently inhabited spots on the planet, far more northerly than any part of Alaska and all but a few of Canada’s Arctic islands.
The combined permanent population is less than 3000, nearly all of which is concentrated in the main settlements of Longyearbyen and Barentsburg on Spitsbergen.
Svalbard’s visitors come mostly to experience Arctic nature at its rawest and most powerful. The islands feature untouched glaciers and craggy mountains.
But also amazing wildlife such as polar bears, caribou, reindeer, polar foxes, whales, seals and walruses.
4. Lofoten Islands
Lying just off Norway’s northwest coastline. The Lofoten Islands are famed for their dramatic and distinctive scenery, which sees its rugged mountains rise impressively above the sea.
Interspersed among its awe-inspiring peaks are secluded beaches, bays and sleepy little fishing villages. Connected to the mainland by a series of bridges and tunnels.
The archipelago is home to picturesque pastures and sheltered inlets, with epic fjords dotted here and there. As the surrounding waters are rich with life.
Fishing has long been one of the Lofoten Islands’ primary industries. In its small villages and towns, you can find traditional fishermen’s cabins as well as a couple of tourist sights. Such as the Viking Museum and War Memorial Museum.
Although the archipelago is located well above the Arctic Circle, at about the same latitude as Greenland it enjoys a relatively mild climate due to the circulation of the Gulf Stream.
Temperatures up to 23°C in the summer are not uncommon although it remains a subarctic destination and the weather changes fast.
Besides gazing in awe at the scenery. The islands are also a great place to view the Aurora Borealis. In addition, hiking. cycling and rock climbing around its diverse landscapes are all popular pastimes as are taking scenic boat trips and whale watching tours.
5. Jotunheimen National Park
Covering a huge swathe of central Norway. Jotunheimen National Park boasts some of the most awe-inspiring scenery and landscapes in the country.
Fittingly known as ‘the Home of the Giants,’ it is home to several mountain ranges, with countless valleys, glaciers, and lakes dotted between them. The park is also home to Vettisfossen. Which at 275 meters (900 feet) is the highest waterfall in Norway.
One of the most famous alpine areas in Scandanavia. Jotunheimen is very popular among hikers and mountaineers, due to its outstanding natural beauty and plethora of peaks.
Of these, Galdhoppigen and Glittertind are the two tallest in Northern Europe. Both stand at more than 2,450 meters, with many more of the park’s mounts reaching 2,000 metres or more.
The fourth-largest city in Norway, Stavanger lies along its southwest coastline and is the oil capital of the country. Thanks to all the wealth the booming industry has brought in. It’s now one of the most expensive cities to live in and visit in the world.
While the city and its suburbs are sprawling ever larger, Stavanger has been an important centre since Viking times. The Gamle Stavanger district transports visitors back in time to 18th-century Scandinavia.
While many beautiful wooden buildings can be found along the city’s scenic waterfront. Here you can also find the centuries-old Stavanger Cathedral and several museums on everything from art and archaeology to the city’s maritime past and petroleum present.
In recent years, Stavanger has become a popular port of call for cruise ships. In summer. Its bars and restaurants are full of holidaymakers.
The region surrounding the city is also great to visit, with fantastic hiking, climbing and surfing at the nearby beaches and mountains.
Surrounded by green hills and mountains, Norway’s capital Oslo is set in a scenic spot at the end of Oslofjord fjord, with an abundance of lakes and islands nearby.
A major economic, cultural, and political centre, the city has a long history that dates back more than a thousand years. While most of the capital is now home to creative and contemporary architecture.
Pockets of old wooden buildings are still found here and there. As well as its thriving performing arts scene and packed festival schedule.
The city boasts excellent museums and art galleries; the Viking Ship Museum is particularly fascinating to explore. Other attractions in Oslo include the Munch Museum.
Which features “The Scream” and other works by Edvard Munch, to the Folkemuseet, an outdoor museum that includes more than 150 historic buildings from all over Norway, including a Stave Church.
Due to its many green spaces and forests, Oslo also has several hiking and cycling spots. With the islands of the Inner Oslofjord home to stunning scenery.
Nicknamed the ‘King of the Fjords,’ Sognefjord in Vestland County is the largest and deepest fjord in the whole of Norway.
Stretching over 200 kilometres in length. It cuts through the west of the country, all the way from the North Sea to the alpine peaks of Jotunheimen.
In total, the fjord system boasts more coastline than the French and Italian rivieras combined. As such, it is home to everything from dramatic cliff faces and sweeping valleys to sparkling waterfalls, picturesque pastures.
And secluded towns and villages. At its deepest point. The fjord plunges to 1308 metres. While some branches are much shallower and narrower. Each section has its own unique look, feel and attractions.
While the scenery is spectacular wherever you go, Naeroyfjord is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful parts of the fjord system.
The small village of Gudvangen is also popular due to its scenic setting, while Europe’s largest glacier, Jostedalsbreen, attracts a lot of visitors.
The centuries-old stave churches of Borgund, Unres and Hopperstad are also worth checking out. As are Sognefjord’s many mountain passes and breathtaking viewpoints.
The largest city in Northern Norway. Tromso is renowned both for its large number of 18th-century wooden houses and for the beauty of its natural surroundings.
Most of the city is situated on the island of Tromsoya where visitors can explore several fine museums and stroll through stunning birch tree forests.
Trips up Storsteinen Mountain in the Fjellheisen Cable Car offer visitors amazing views of the surrounding fjords and mountains.
The arctic aquarium Polaria and the Polar Museum are popular attractions in this city located 350 km (217 miles) north of the Arctic Circle. Tromso is one of the best places in the world to view the Northern Lights.
See Also : Best Croatian Islands
Located on Norway’s west coast. Ålesund is the gateway to the iconic northwestern fjords and surrounding alpine mountains.
The city of Alesund owes its present-day picturesque appearance to a city-wide reconstruction after a fire in 1904 destroyed most of the town.
The city was rebuilt with stone and brick in the architectural style of the time. And stands today as a perfect example of Jugendstil design, Northern Europe’s version of Art Nouveau.
Visitors can learn more about the style at the Jugendstilsenteret, or Art Nouveau Center. A hike up the 400 steps to the viewpoint Fjellstua is worthwhile as well. The mountain peak offers stunning views of Alesund and the surrounding islands.