Your Guide to the Must-See Parts of Norway
Norway has been drawing in visitors for many years due to its breathtaking landscapes and its rich and varied culture. If you are planning a trip to Norway we’ve put together this guide to help you get the most out of your visit.
Here, we’ll look at some of the key places to visit and the activities you can take part in.
What should I do in Norway?
From grand fjords and mountains to quaint fishing villages and quirky cities, Norway has something to please and enchant any traveller.
Although fjords are not unique to Norway, it is a country that has become synonymous with these beautiful expanses of water. There are a multitude of fjords on the western side of the country, snaking their way from the sea far inland. From the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Naeroyfjord to the the ‘King of the Fjords’ Sognefjord, each one has different characteristics and surrounding scenery that will stick in the mind for a long time after your trip.
One of the main characteristics of a fjord is that it runs through a deep valley with high, jagged mountains on either side. This means ample opportunities for hiking and trekking, something that the Norwegians are extremely passionate about. With a solid hiking infrastructure, it is a pastime that is easy to take part in. Among the most famous places to hike are Pulpit Rock near Stavanger, and Trolltunga which offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding terrain.
Norway is also well-known for its mix of towns and cities, some traditional and some contemporary. For example, the city of Bergen is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, perfect for trying some delectable dishes, and has a passionate art scene as well as some gorgeous architecture. If you travel to Lofoten Island, however, you can see picturesque fishing villages that have seemingly been untouched by time.
What will you eat in Norway?
Norway is a country very much at one with the sea. The strong history of fishing as both a profession and a pastime has greatly influenced the culinary scene. Smoked salmon is something that was traditionally Norse but is now one of the country’s biggest exports, so it is well worth trying what is now thought of as one of the most important Scandinavian contributions to international cuisine. Curing food is also a very traditional method here, and pickled herring, fermented trout, and gravlaks are all seafood dishes that utilise this technique. If you are not a fan of seafood, you can enjoy many other dishes, like Norway’s national dish of Fårikål – lamb and cabbage stew.
In spite of these many traditional dishes, the culinary scene is not just restricted to Norwegian dishes. There are several Michelin starred restaurants that serve haute cuisine, such as Credo Restaurant in Trondheim, which serves local seasonal ingredients, and Restaurant Kontrast in Oslo, which serves gourmet dishes with a modern twist.
What is the best way to see Norway?
Norway can be explored in many ways. As well as the well-known coastal cruises, you might choose to rent a car and drive along the coast or take one of the country’s famous train journeys through the mountains. The best way to see Norway depends a lot on the experiences you wish to have while you are there.
Discover the World’s range of holiday itineraries encompasses all the most spectacular parts of the country, including fjord holidays, trips for hikers, and journeys for people who want to sit back and ride the rails. Whatever it is you wish to see, our Travel Specialists can design a bespoke trip just for you.
Is Norway a fun place to visit?
Norway is full of things to see and do so you will be hard-pressed to have a boring day during your trip. While the great outdoors provides much of the focus, culture, nightlight, festivals and sporting passions provide variety. Relaxing pursuits like fishing and fjord cruises are hugely popular and a wonderful way to take in the scenery, together with moderate hikes and kayaking adventures. But there are also more challenging activities that suit those whose idea of fun involves getting the heart pumping – mountain hiking and cycling in summer and, of course, skiing in winter achieve the fun quota.
City life is fun as well, as the vibrant atmosphere of places like Oslo, Alesund, and Tromso complement the natural wonders. Each city offers something different from the next and yet all of them are quintessentially Norwegian.
What are the best fjords to see in Norway?
The iconic fjords of Norway are one of the main reasons people choose to visit. These vast swathes of blue that cut through the landscape have helped put Norway on the map as a travel destination for nature lovers. Picking the best fjord in Norway is clearly subjective – though size and surrounding scenery will certainly play a part. One of the most famous is Sognefjord. The longest and deepest of Norway’s fjords, it is epic in scale and the perfect place from which to take in the country’s impressive landscape.
Another famous fjord, and one that has reached UNESCO-listed status, is Geirangerfjord, which is known for being particularly stunning as well as being home to the Seven Sisters waterfall – seven separate streams cascading from a height of 800ft. We have a dedicated page for Fjord Holidays in Norway where you can learn more, and a blog that will answer some key questions.
What is the best month to go to Norway?
The warm summer months between June and August are the most popular time to visit the fjord region in Norway when the conditions are ideal for exploring both on foot and on a road trip. The more northerly Lofoten Islands hold similar appeal during summer when the midnight sun showcases the spectacular landscapes.
However, Northern Norway comes into its own during the winter, when Tromso and the region of Finnmark hold centre stage for aurora hunters. With plenty of winter activities such as dog sledding and snowmobiling, the months of December to March bring their own allure.
What can you not wear in Norway?
There aren’t any pieces of clothing we would recommend you not wearing in Norway, but it is wise to think about layering even during the summer. Make sure you plan for rain, as the heavens open an awful lot in Norway, even in the summer. Jeans and t-shirts are fine for the average summer day, and a sweatshirt or light jacket is fine for the evening. However, if you are planning on hiking or kayaking, or indeed any of Norway’s many outdoor pursuits, you should pack waterproofs and clothing that is designed to insulate. It’s better to wear an extra layer and be able to remove it than to need one and not have it.
How many days do you need in Norway?
Depending on what you want to experience on your trip, anywhere between four and ten days are typical for those visiting Norway. Longer trips tend to be in the summer, with short breaks more suited to winter. We have a range of holidays available that encompass many different activities in several itineraries. However, we can also design you a bespoke holiday that covers all your desired locations and excursions, so the sky’s the limit.
Is Norway beautiful?
Norway is an incredibly beautiful country. The mix of different landscapes and natural landmarks, with an ancient Norse culture that is still beloved by the natives, creates a unique destination. A rich culture and endless passion for the great outdoors intoxicate visitors time and time again, which is why Norway remains a hotspot for travellers who require something truly special and memorable from their trips abroad.
What is the most beautiful place in Norway?
This is certainly a question that can be hotly debated, not least because there are so many places to choose from. In terms of manmade beauty, Trondheim has got to be fairly far up the list. Colourful wooden buildings line the waterfront, and the tranquil waters of the harbour lap against bobbing fishing boats – truly picturesque.
For natural beauty, take your pick! The fjords, the mountains, the beaches – there are beautiful spots almost everywhere you look. Norway is consistently breathtaking so you will be hard pressed to choose the most beautiful spot, although you will have a wonderful time trying to make that choice.