Serving as Norway’s capital, Oslo is the largest city in the country and one of the largest capitals in Europe in terms of area. It is recognizably cosmopolitan but keeps its cultural sensibilities intact with all of its museums, parks, and art galleries.
The Viking Ship Museum, which houses Viking ships and other Viking artifacts, and the Munch Museum, which contains the largest painting collection of the renowned Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch, are only two of the prime attractions in Norway.
Add to these the inspiring Opera House, a mighty stunner with its topnotch modern architecture and where different cultural and opera performances are held since its opening in 2008. Also modern in all respects is the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, a structure of steel and concrete and the newest of its kind in the world.
The Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park, which houses over a hundred granite and bronze sculptures, has its own beauty to boast of. A popular meeting place and picnic area, the park brings to view the Norwegians’ natural love for the outdoors.
But despite all this modernity, the 1,000-year history of Oslo is very much apparent, especially in the Akershus Fortress. This structure used to be the seat of kings and still is the venue of important state events. Now a national landmark, the fortress is a favorite attraction.
Geirangerfjord is otherworldly at its best. This S-shape fjord, whose beauty is accentuated by the surrounding mountainous range, spectacular waterfalls, abandoned farmsteads, and verdant vegetation, highlights a Norwegian vacation.
T he fact that Geirangerfjord is enlisted in the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Sites is enough of an affirmation of the fjord’s beauty. So when you visit, expect to be surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery of raw and unspoiled natural environment.
This environment is a fitting background to the many adventures that Geirangerfjord offers. You can join sightseeing trips, kayak or raft along the fjord, go fishing, and hike the peaks. If you happen to visit during winter, try skiing on the icy summits.
The little town of Røros is Norway’s cultural and historical gem. It shows off wooden colorful houses and 17th and 18th century buildings, all of which still serve their original functions all while showing off the area’s history as a mining town. Providing a beautiful background are peaks, lakes, plateaus, and valleys.
Today, Røros’ story is still unfolding, but its traditions and culture are lovingly preserved, which add to the uncomplicated charm of the town. And although the mining activities have long been stopped, the arts and crafts industry is still lingering and continues to bring Røros to the spotlight. In fact, the town is famous for its talented craftsmen and artists.
Together with its cultural and historical value, the old-town appeal of Røros put the town in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list; and this same appeal can be witnessed as you walk the streets that lead to different attractions such as the Bergstadens Ziir, the church built in 1784, and Frøyas Hus, an old farm.
But aside from offering scenic views, Røros’ invites you to have a dog sledging tour, go boating, catch some fish, and shop for local arts and crafts.
An archipelago to the north of the Arctic Circle, Lofoten is as interesting as it is majestic. It is made of beautiful islands, which are connected by bridges and whose small villages thrive by fishing.
The panoramic charm of Lofoten is hard to resist. Its peaks stand tall amid the bountiful, dark blue waters. The air is cold, but the greenery that characterizes the surroundings provides warmth to the eyes.
The islands can all be reached by ferry, car, or bike, and wherever you decide to go, you will certainly be treated to a signature Norwegian view. In the island of Henningsvær, for instance, you will see a fishing village set against a beautiful mountainous background. And on Eggum, you can witness the midnight sun at a beach.
The main islands, namely, Austvågøy, Flakstadøy, Gimsøy, Moskenesøy, Røst, Værøy, and Vestvågøy, have their own beauty to show off.
- Evening view on Bruges. Bergen. Norway
It’s easy to see why Bergen is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Framed by mountains and fjords and teeming with colorful wooden structures, this city carries a notable and historical charm.
Much of its charm is owed to Bryggen, the old wharf that, with its medieval wooden buildings and history as a trading port in the 14th century, made it to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Its natural beauty and old appeal backing it up, Bryggen is now one of the important tourist destinations not only in Bergen but in all of Norway.
To fully enjoy your stay in Bergen, take a ride on the Fløibanen Funicular, a cable car that will give you a top view of the city as it brings you to the summit of Fløien Mountain. On the mountaintop, enjoy the breathtaking view of the fjords, mountains, and cityscape.
Then visit Old Bergen Museum, an open air museum of old wooden houses, and Bergen Fish Market, where you can buy the freshest seafood.
And make sure to never leave Bergen without going to Edvard Grieg Museum, Bergen Aquarium, Bergen Science Centre, and art galleries such as Bergen Contemporary Art Centre and Bergen Art Museum.
Nærøyfjord is one of the branches of Sognefjord, the longest fjord in Norway and therefore named as the “King of the Fjords.” Flaunting a picturesque beauty, Nærøyfjord is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the most majestic fjords in Norway and in the world.
Nærøyfjord is surrounded by mountains, from which falls wildly drop into the waters. Farms on the mountainsides complete the idyllic ambience, while the lush vegetation adds a bright color to the already vivid natural environment.
The fjord is best explored in a cruise ship, although an intimate encounter with Nærøyfjord and its surroundings is best achieved through kayaking. And if you want to navigate the land, you can walk or bike your way along the routes, stopping only to rest and lie on the grassland, drink from the rivers, or simply gaze at the marvelous sight before your eyes.
Nærøyfjord, which is the narrowest fjord in the world, derived its name from Njord, the Norse god of the sea and seafarer.
Jotunheimen National Park
Jotunheimen National Park is famous for having the largest collection of mountains over 2,000 meters (over 6,500 feet) in Northern Europe. It has about 275 towering peaks, with Galdhøpiggen, standing at 2,469 meters (8,100 feet), as the highest summit in the park and in all of Norway. Sixty glaciers, along with mountain lakes, complete the scenery.
With such a craggy landscape, it’s no surprise that Jotunheimen National Park is an ideal hiking destination. It has several hiking trails and walking paths that lead hikers to different parts of the park.
Accommodations are never a concern, because mountain lodges and huts are available to tourists. Camping is also allowed in the area.
Jotunheimen, which literally means “Home of the Giants,” is a literal home to various plants, such as glacier crowfoot, and a diverse wildlife, which includes elk, wolverine, reindeer, lynx, and fox. But the park’s unspoiled beauty is its primary asset.
Nidarosdomen Cathedral is the centuries-old medieval church in Trondheim. It was first constructed in 1070 on the grave of Norway’s patron saint, St. Olav, and was continuously updated until the 14th century. But the cathedral that people see today is a product of reconstructions after several fire incidences and massive restorations over the centuries.
As was the case centuries ago, Nidarosdomen Cathedral stands exquisitely as an enormous landmark in Trondheim and an important pilgrimage site. And after the reopening of the pilgrims’ route to Trondheim in 1997, hundreds of pilgrims come each year to the cathedral.
With sculptures and stained glass windows, the west wall itself is captivating for its magnificence. It creates a regal imagery, especially when the sun drowns the wall in light.
But what you will see inside the cathedral is far more riveting than what you see outside. The transept, chapter house, carvings, and statues are awe-inspiring despite the dimly lit interior of the cathedral.
Tours around Nidarosdomen Cathedral are available. You can even explore the museum in the compound and go to the cathedral tower to get a top view of Trondheim.
North Cape will leave you speechless. Set 308 meters (1,010 feet) above the sea, the North Cape cliff puts you in the best place to witness the midnight sun and the northern lights.
You need to buy a ticket to access the cliff, but the money is worth the lifetime experience. When the golden light of the midnight sun drapes the clouds or the green curtain of the northern lights spreads across the skies, you will instantly fall in love with North Cape and promise to come back.
North Cape has been welcoming guests since 1664, at a time when people had to climb the steep cliff. But now that a road made North Cape very accessible, more and more visitors are coming.
Preikestolen, more commonly known as Pulpit Rock, is a flat cliff 604 meters (1,982 feet) above Lysefjord. It measures around 600 square meters (6,458 square feet) and features cracks across the surface.
Located in Ryfylke, Preikestolen was believed to have been formed 10,000 years ago, when the glacier melted and the rock bed cracked. Edges of the cliff plummeted to Lysefjord, leaving only a seemingly cut portion that is now famous as Preikestolen. This unique but precise cut-out shape might have been the reason the attraction was locally called Hyvlatånnå or “planed tooth.”
The view from Preikestolen is immensely marvelous. Displayed before your eyes are lovely fjords, hilltops with lakes, lush valleys, and towering mountain peaks – your rewards for completing the one- to three-hour hike toward the popular cliff.
The safest period to hike Preikestolen is from April to October, when there is no trace of ice on the trails. You should expect a large number of visitors, though.
Hello fellow travelers! My name is Mary and I am the main author of Traveling East. Just like any other travel enthusiasts, traveling has also been our passion! For inquiries, suggestions or anything travel related, please feel free to send us an E-mail at email@example.com.