So you are finally planning your bucket list trip to Norway. Your flights are booked and your spot in the local and quirky hostel is reserved.
Now all that there is left to do is to develop your itinerary. This may be the most difficult part of planning your trip. There are a seemingly endless amount of ways to spend your time and money on.
No matter the season, Norway is chock full or outdoor and indoor activities that you will remember for a lifetime.
We have put together a list of some of the best attractions in the nation to make your planning easier.
1- Traverse the Fjords
When you imagine Norway, its breathtaking fjords are probably the first thing that comes to mind. These narrow inlets wind through mountains that were once cut into by glaciers. The stark contrast of the blue water and the rocky cliff faces makes for a truly awesome sight.
The best way to experience the fjords is to do it first hand via a kayak or boat. There are many guided tours that will transport you down the waterways. If you prefer to travel on your own you may do so by kayak or canoe thanks to the laws that allow everyone equal access to the great outdoors.
Either way, traveling the fjords should be one of the first activities on your travel itinerary.
2- Flåm Railway
The Flåm Railway is one of Norway’s most popular attractions. Located in Western Norway, the railway will take you just over 12 miles from Flåm to Myrdal.
The trip is an hour long and packs an entire vacation’s worth of sightseeing in. Along the way you will pass colorful towns, farms nestled deep in the hillside, waterfalls cascading from mountains and will have an incredible view of Aurlandsfjord, (a branch of the longest fjord in the world).
Although this railway is for all ages, it may not be for the faint of heart. It is the steepest railway track in the world and is full of sharp twists and turns. You can take the entire journey by train or get out and experience it in the open air and travel by boat or bicycle.
3- The Modern Arctic
If you are looking for an experience like no other you need to visit the city of Tromsø. It is located in the far and remote northern region of Norway in the Arctic Circle.
Despite its location, it is considered a cultural hub and offers a variety of unique experiences. Roughly 75,000 people live there and are happy to show you their twenty-first century lives in the Arctic. You will find incredible architecture, comfortable accommodations and will witness firsthand how its people have made their lives in the Arctic comfortable and modern. You will also have the opportunity to eat cuisine that is exclusive to the area, including reindeer and local seafood.
If you are looking for a bit more of an adventure, go for a hike, dogsled or experience the surprisingly populous nightlife. The days are long in the summer and incredibly short in the winter, which gives you plenty of opportunity to take in the stunning Northern Lights.
4- Hike Up Jostedalsbreen
Jostedalsbreen is quite a mouthful for a non-Norwegian speaker, but it is also the name of the largest glacier in continental Europe. It can be found in the national park of the same name on the Western side of Norway.
The natural slopes and sheer drops in the formation of the glacier make for a thrilling and beautiful hike. Its massive size, an area of 188 square miles, means that there are trails and pathways suitable for every skill level.
Families can take leisurely walks while the more adventurous can try and tackle difficult hiking paths that will take you farther up.
The glacier has many branches that jut from it, and the rise in average temperatures across the globe has put some of them at risk of breaking away.
If you are planning on traveling to Norway, Jostedalsbreen should be one of your first stops so you can experience it before this happens.
The Trollstigen, also known as ‘The Troll’s Road’, is the Norwegian equivalent of Hawaii’s famed Road to Hana. The road connects the town of Åndalsnes and the village of Valldal.
The roadway travels precariously through the mountains of the Trolltindene range. The road twists and winds through the mountainous region; there are multiple hairpin turns and the road itself is so narrow that there is a limit to the size of car that can travel upon it.
Once it was converted into a tourist destination, car parks, viewing stations, and walkways were installed. The drive is intense but worth the trouble; the view of the mountains, surrounding area, and incredible waterfall will be the highlight of your trip. Make sure to visit in the spring or summer as this attraction is closed in the fall and winter for safety reasons.
6- Arctic Boat Safari
If you would prefer to view wildlife than mountain ranges, an Arctic boat safari may be more your speed. Despite the inhospitable environment, Svalbard archipelago is home to a surprising amount of diverse species.
You can take a day trip on a small boat or week-long cruise on a luxury yacht with a crew to wait on you hand and foot. As you travel around the many small islands you can catch sight of killer whales, walruses, and even polar bears.
Getting to the island chain is a trip in itself as it lies 580 miles north of the city of Tromsø in the Arctic Ocean. Once there you can partake in dog sledding and other Arctic activities.
If you choose to go in the summer you will be treated to a sight of the beautiful migrating birds that visit the area.
7- Visit Oslo
Any trip to Norway would not be complete without visiting the capital city of Oslo. It is the most populated city in the country and is considered to be its cultural hub.
Located at the southern tip of Norway, it is at the foot of a large fjord that creates a beautiful dichotomy of modern technology and natural splendor. Norwegian history and influence can be seen all around you; in the architecture, the world-renowned museums and the local cuisine.
Norway ranks as one of the happiest nations in the world and it shows through its people. Most of Oslo’s citizens speak English as a second language and are warm and welcoming to tourists.
Oslo is the perfect location to relax and recharge at the end of your whirlwind trip through Norway.
The Scandinavian region is known for its friendliness, progressive social policies, and unrivaled natural beauty. Although the other nations in the region have much to offer, in Norway alone can you find such awe-inspiring sights such as its numerous fjords and massive glaciers.
It is not difficult to see why it is such a popular travel destination. Everyone from adventure-seeking naturalists to families searching for a relaxing getaway can find more than enough to do.
Whether you are looking to view priceless art in a museum or drive a steep and winding road down a mountain, it’s all right at your fingertips.