Do you love the outdoors, bustling cities, and fabulous food (especially fish)? If so, Norway should be on your bucket list.
Oslo, the capital of Norway, is a good place to start. This vibrant metropolis boasts tons of green space, a Viking Museum featuring three 9th-century longboats, and of course the world-renowned Oslo Opera House, whose striking angular design seems to emerge cleanly from the harbor like an iceberg or a white shark.
Oslo has a vibrant nightlife, and it’s home to the world-recognized “new Nordic” cuisine, boasting a number of Michelin-starred restaurants, including the northernmost 3-Michelin-starred restaurant in the world.
Practically speaking, Norway is a long skinny country boarding the Norwegian Sea. The country is filled with thousands of fjords to traverse and explore. There are plenty of outdoor activities available, such as visiting the famous Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO site that’s accessible by car, ferry, kayak, or on an unforgettable cruise. A trip to hike Trolltunga, a jutting outcrop of rock overlooking a stunning fjord vista below is a must for those adventurous souls.
Hikes and Trolls
Look for trolls while tooling along Trollstigen, aka the Troll’s Footpath, a breathtaking, winding road offering unbeatable views. Another world-famous Instagram-ready site is the famous Pulpit Rock, among the most popular hikes in Norway, accessible from nearby Stavanger, the nation’s fourth-largest city.
Bergen, the second largest city in Norway, is worth exploring. Here you can visit its ancient fortress, ride the Fløibanen Funicular for amazing views of the city and surrounding fjord country, and enjoy more fine dining and city life. The town is easily walkable, and the residents are very friendly, ready to answer any questions you may have.
If time permits, take a trip on a local “ferry” and explore the small towns to the north. Both Havila Voyages and Hurtigruten offer services out of Bergen. If you take this cruise in the winter, chances are very good that you will see the Norther Lights. Once you cross the arctic circle, the daylight hours diminish to almost none. Although this is normal for the folks who live in the region, it was an interesting experience for those of us who thrive in the sunshine.
When to travel to Norway
Norway is a great destination any time of year. If you enjoy snow sports or want to chase the Northern Lights, check out Norway in the winter. If you prefer lush green landscapes, beautiful waterfalls, and warm weather, Norway offers all of these in the spring and summer.