7 best places to visit in NORWAY
Do you love hiking and scenic trails, and cool weather isn’t a problem for you? Then Norway is the place to go to. Spanning a distance of 2544 km from north to the very south, and boasting many natural wonders, Norway leaves many people speechless.
The country is known for its wild nature and stunning landscapes – its many fjords, glaciers, mountains, and islands. It also has 21925 km of coastline. What an impressive number!
Because of its large size, a trip to Norway requires a bit of planning, especially if you are traveling with public transport.
The country is so vast and full of spectacular sights, that it’s impossible to see everything that the country has to offer in one single trip.
But what to see in Norway as a tourist? There are plenty of interesting places to visit and amazing things to do in Norway. Here we have listed our favorite ones.
7 best places to visit in Norway
Trolltunga (Troll’s tongue) is a thin rock formation that juts horizontally out from the mountain. It is situated about 1100 meters above sea level and is positioned 700 meters above the lake Ringedalsvatnet.
To get to Trolltunga you have to hike. And it is one of the most popular and busiest hikes in Norway.
The length of the hike is around 30 km (both ways), and the starting point is near Skjeggedal. It takes 9 to 12 hours, depending on where you start: from Skjeggedal parking lot, or 4 km further – from the main trailhead. To save time and energy, you can take the shuttle bus from the parking lot to the trail starting point and skip the road altogether.
What makes the Trolltunga trail so popular? It’s impossibly scenic and can be easily reached from Bergen and Odda, even by public transport. On the trail, you’ll see landscapes that are typical to Norway – fjords, lakes, snow-capped mountains, glaciers, desolate plains and cliffs.
Remember, Trolltunga is a rather exhausting hike. Take plenty of water and some snacks. Do not forget to pack an extra pair (or two) of socks. Wear comfortable clothing and water-resistant hiking boots.
If you are planning to hike the Trolltunga hike, definitely visit Bergen. This medieval city surrounded by fjords and mountains is one of the most beautiful cities in Norway.
The history of the city dates back to the 1030s, and it even served as Norway’s capital in the 13th century.
The most photographed place in Bergen is Bryggen – Bergen old town. It’s a group of historical commercial buildings, some of them centuries old. Bryggen is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3. Jotunheimen National Park
Jotunheimen National Park is a great place for hiking. It covers 1151 km² and is home to more than 250 peaks that rise above 1900 meters. Northern Europe’s two highest peaks (Galdhøpiggen at 2,469 meters and Glittertind at 2,465 meters) are located in the park, too.
Not only you’ll see high, snow-capped mountains, but also glaciers and deep lakes.
There are several hiking trails in Jotunheimen National Park of various difficulty levels.
4. Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock)
Just like Trolltunga, the Pulpit Rock hike is a very popular trail in Norway. But unlike the Trolltunga hike, this hike is relatively easy. So, if you are not really into hiking (but still want to see breathtaking views), or if you are traveling with children, it’s the perfect hike for you!
The hike takes about 5 hours, and the length of the trail is 5 km.
The hike is so popular also because it is easily accessible from Stavanger, a major city in Norway.
The hike to Kjeragbolten is another very popular hike in Norway.
Kjeragbolten is a large boulder wedged between two cliffs.
You have finished the strenuous hike to the Kjeragbolten boulder, but it’s still not done yet. You have to gather your courage and step on this dangerous-looking boulder!
The hike to the rock takes about 8 hours, and the length of the trail is 12 km.
Kjerag and Preikestolen are located quite close to each other (50 km), and we have heard stories of people who did both hikes in one day. Yes, if you are very fit and travel by car, you can do these two hikes in one day. But it will be a very long and tiring day, and chances are you won’t enjoy it. We recommend you not to rush and do one hike per day.
Svalbard is an archipelago situated between mainland Norway and the North Pole. It is one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas.
Svalbard is a place from a northern fairy tale. Raw nature in all its beauty! Svalbard is remote and its terrain is rugged and desolate. The archipelago is known for its cold weather, sparse vegetation, and endless glaciers.
Several fun attractions are offered by local tour guides – dog sledding, ice cave tour, walrus safari, hiking, etc.
From October to February, the Northern Lights can be seen in Svalbard. And in mid-November, the Polar Night starts. It lasts until late January. During this period it’s pitch dark 24/7, and you can’t tell whether it’s day or night.
7. Lofoten islands
Lofoten islands is a picturesque archipelago in northern Norway. It is known for its exceptional beauty and its stunning mountain landscape.
Beautiful white sand beaches with turquoise water waters are contrasting with pointy snow-capped mountains and cliffs.
Many beaches in Lofoten are accessible by road, but to get to some of the most pristine beaches (e.g., Horseid, Bunes and Kvalvika) you’ll have to hike.
Just like Svalbard, Lofoten islands is one of the places in Norway where you can see the Aurora. However, the Northern Lights aren’t visible all year round, only in winter.
Norway travel tips
- Norway is not a member state of the European Union, but it’s a Schengen country and a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). If you are a citizen of the EU, you do not require a visa to travel to Norway.
- Norway is expensive. So, be prepared for high prices!
- To save money book accommodation on Airbnb. If you are traveling on a budget, check out shared apartments, shared rooms and hostels.
- If you are planning to hike, take some trail mix, protein and energy bars and other snacks for the hike from home to save money.
- Renting a car in Norway is the best way to see this beautiful country. That way you’ll be able to visit not only the major tourist spots but also smaller towns.
- If you don’t want to rent a car, use public transport. Norway has a well-established public transport system.
- If you want to see Aurora (the Northern Lights) remember that it can’t be seen everywhere and anytime! Aurora can be seen during the winter in Arctic Norway – in the northernmost parts of Norway that lie above the Arctic circle. The best time is between November and March.
- Weather in Norway is cool, even during the summer. So, check the weather forecast before you go and dress appropriately.
- Take a change of clothes and a spare pair of socks when going on a hike. Wear sturdy water-resistant hiking shoes. Wear a windproof rain jacket and put a rain cover on your backpack. Just in case it rains, which happens quite often in Norway.