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Top 10 destinations in Norway

Kristiansand, Tromsø and Åndalsnes .
Photo: Adam Read, Steffen Fossbakk, Endre Knudsen
Senja, Aurland and the UNESCO site of Geiranger .
Photo: Steffen Fossbakk, Foap, Camilla Nordvik

From hip urban cities to glittering fjords, northern lights, and remote villages above the Arctic Circle – Norway is a veeery long country, packed with things to see and do. So, where do you start?
To get the most out of your holiday, we recommend that you choose one or two regions to explore. Here are some of the highlights!

1. The Oslo region

A lot of things are cooking in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, a city that has been given a major facelift during the last decade. Funky new neighbourhoods, steaming hot floating saunas, a fully-packed event calendar, and several brand-new museums and attractions is just a taste of what to expect.

With the Oslofjord and big forests right next door, you can easily combine urban life with nature-based fun like cycling, hiking, or skiing at some of Norway's top ski resorts. There is also plenty to see and do in the nearby regions of Østfold and Vestfold, with charming towns such as Fredrikstad and Tønsberg dotted along the coast.

About an hour’s drive from Oslo lies Norway’s new art destination Hadeland, where you can visit the wonderful outdoor art park at the Kistefos Museum and the spectacular building The Twist, exhibiting top modern art.

2. Tromsø and the land of the northern lights

The capital of the Arctic, Tromsø, is located right in the middle of Northern Norway. If your bucket list includes the northern lights, whale watching, the midnight sun, and epic nature adventures, this is definitely where you want to go.

Enjoy superb conditions for ski touring, biking and hiking in the Lyngenfjord region, experience the Sami culture in towns like Karasjok and Alta, and enter the northernmost point of Europe at the North Cape.

In the eastern part of this vast region, you’ll find the Varanger peninsula, which is a bird watcher’s paradise. Go king crab fishing and dog sledding in Kirkenes and Varanger, where you also can spend an unforgettable night in an ice hotel.

In the areas surrounding Tromsø, several unique islands are waiting to be explored, including Senja, Kvaløya, and Sommarøy.

3. Lofoten and Nordland

Staggering peaks, glittering fjords, authentic fishing villages, and picture-perfect beaches. Not to mention northern lights and midnight sun! You have probably seen jaw-dropping images of Lofoten and Vesterålen (the kingdom of whales!) on Instagram. A hot tip is to visit these places outside of the peak summer season (when the crowds are gone).

Next-level outdoor adventures also await in the skiing, biking and hiking paradise of Narvik. A lesser-known gem is Helgeland a little further south. Here, you can drive The Coastal Route between Trøndelag and Bodø, voted one of the world’s most scenic drives.

The lively coastal town of Bodø is the largest city in the county of Nordland, offering plenty of outdoor fun in the nearby Salten region as well as a booming cultural scene. In fact, Bodø will be the European Capital of Culture in 2024.

4. Bergen and the western fjords

Historical UNESCO World Heritage sites meet innovative fashion, trendy restaurants, and a progressive music scene in Norway’s second-largest city, Bergen. Visit some of the country’s top museums like the KODE art museums and composer homes, get lost in a maze of cobblestone streets, and experience the city from above at one of the seven surrounding mountain tops.

Bergen is the gateway to some of Norway’s most famous fjords, including the Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, in the north, and the Hardangerfjord – where you’ll find the famous mountain plateau Trolltunga – in the south. Many of the fjords have sidearms that are at least as beautiful, but far less busy.

Travel to the fjord village of Flåm with the Bergen Railway Line and the Flåm Railway Line, voted one of the world’s most beautiful train journeys. For outdoor fun in epic surroundings, visit Voss and Nordfjord.

5. The Geirangerfjord and the Northwest

The picturesque art nouveau town of Ålesund is an ideal starting point for a fjord adventure in the Northwest, situated in the northern part of Fjord Norway. This region attracts avowed outdoor buffs all year round. From Ålesund, you can travel by boat or bus to the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, Norway’s most famous fjord, with the Seven Sisters and numerous other waterfalls that run down steep mountainsides.

The mountaineering capital of Åndalsnes is another ideal base here, as it is surrounded by legendary peaks (you can either hike or ride a gondola to the top), situated only a short distance from world-famous attractions like the Trollstigen mountain road and The Atlantic Road.

Åndalsnes is the endpoint of the Rauma Railway, named one of the world’s most beautiful train journeys. The Northwest is also home to the jazz town Molde with its legendary jazz festival, and the “clipfish capital”, Kristiansund.

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Seasons and climate in Norway

Due to the temperate waters of the Gulf Stream, Norway has a much milder climate than other parts of the world at the same latitude. The coldest areas in the winter are often inland or far to the north.

In general, the coastal areas usually have relatively mild winters while the inland parts have cold winters with plenty of snow, and hot and relatively dry summers, especially in the eastern parts of the country.

Seasons and climate in Norway

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6. The Stavanger region

What do you get if you combine Michelin-starred restaurants with old wooden houses, world-class street art, and a great multicultural vibe? Travel to Stavanger and experience it for yourself. Stavanger is the largest city in the southwestern part of the country, and an ideal starting point if you want to take in famous natural attractions such as the Lysefjord and Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock).

The coastal area of Jæren is a beach bum’s paradise, home to some of Norway’s widest and whitest beaches. Surfing and kitesurfing enthusiasts will also be in for a treat. Follow the North Sea Road towards Egersund and discover charming towns and villages, like picturesque Sogndalstrand, lining the coast like pearls on a string.

7. Trondheim and Trøndelag

The Trøndelag region, situated right in the middle of Norway, attracts hardcore history buffs and active nature explores alike. This is a true heaven for devoted foodies, and the region was named European Region of Gastronomy in 2022.

Go fishing, cycling, or skiing, or hike one of the nine pilgrim paths the St. Olav Ways, which all lead to the imposing Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. The lively and cosy student town of Trondheim is the region’s capital, known as the Home of Nordic flavours. Indulge in gastronomical experiences ranging from innovative Michelin-starred restaurants to hip food bars and cosy coffee shops.

Sample fresh local produce on the scenic detour The Golden Road in Innherred, and travel back in time in the UNESCO-listed mining town of Røros. In the Dovrefjell mountains, you can catch a glimpse of a beautiful beast – the musk oxen.

8. Kristiansand and Southern Norway

Southern Norway is the Norwegians’ own summer paradise, with lovely beaches, thousands of islands, and more hours of sun per year than most other parts of the country. Stroll through narrow streets between traditional white wooden houses in charming coastal towns like Risør, Arendal, Grimstad, Mandal, and Flekkefjord, or get to know the cradle of Norwegian folk traditions in the Setesdal valley.

The largest city in Southern Norway is Kristiansand, where you can roam through its old town, called Posebyen, indulge in fresh seafood, enjoy lazy days on the city beach, and attend several fun festivals. Dyreparken zoo and amusement park is a sure winner with the little ones. A short drive from Kristiansand lies Lindesnes lighthouse, mainland Norway’s southernmost point. Lindesnes is also where you’ll find the incredible Michelin-starred restaurant Under, the world’s largest underwater restaurant.

9. The mountains and valleys of Eastern Norway

The dense forests, deep valleys, and massive mountain plateaus of Eastern Norway are all excellent starting points for nature adventures. This is where you'll find some of Norway’s largest ski resorts, like Geilo, Trysil, and Hemsedal. They offer year-round fun, as they turn into world-class cycling and outdoor activity destinations once the snow melts.

The long valleys of Valdres, Hallingdal, and the Gudbrandsdalen valley are popular family destinations that offer everything from theme parks to quaint farms and great hikes. The same goes for the region of Telemark, where you can cruise on the Telemark canal and witness one of Eastern Norway’s most impressive views from the top of Gaustatoppen mountain.

In the central mountains, you can enjoy the national parks of Dovrefjell, Jotunheimen, and Rondane and nature-based activities like hiking, cycling, rafting, and climbing.

10. The Svalbard archipelago

Ready to take wildlife to the next level? The Svalbard archipelago lies in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Here, you can participate in exotic nature-based activities all year round in a landscape that is both rugged and fragile.

Try your hand at dog sledding, go ice caving, join a snowmobile safari, or hunt the northern lights. In addition to a few thousand polar bears, the islands are home to almost 3,000 humans. The main city of Longyearbyen is a colourful mini metropolis that offers cultural activities and high-quality places to eat and drink that you usually would expect to only find in big cities.

Explore top destinations below

Find ideal starting points for your Norwegian holiday.

The Oslo region
Welcome to the new capital of Nordic cool! Get all our tips on top things to see and do in Oslo, including major attractions like MUNCH and the… Read more
Between Oslo and the Swedish border, you’ll find Østfold – a region full of cultural cities and idyllic seaside experiences. Read more
Vestfold’s coastline has an extensive cultural history. The region by the Oslofjord has played a central role in Norwegian history as a hub for… Read more
Fredrikstad is a cosy city with deep historical roots and it’s home to one of the best-preserved fortress towns in Scandinavia. Just west… Read more
From the Vikings to the tourists of today, people have always flocked to Tønsberg, Norway's oldest city. Located about an hour's… Read more
Tønsberg and Færder
Experience dot queen Yayoi Kusama and the sensational new exhibition space The Twist at the Kistefos-Museet, as well as the fabulous glass products at… Read more
Hadeland – Norway’s new art destination
Tromsø and the land of the northern lights
From local food and mountains soaring above deep blue fjords to the midnight sun and the northern lights – discover the Arctic capital,… Read more
Lyngenfjord and the Lyngsalpene mountain range are an Arctic area full of exotic and family-friendly outdoor activities that offer pure,… Read more
The Lyngenfjord region
Join a dogsled expedition, learn to throw a lasso, and experience the Sami culture first hand in Karasjok and Kautokeino. Read more
Land of the Sami
In the city of Alta you can experience Sami culture up close, see UNESCO protected rock carvings, sleep in a ice hotel or hunt for the northern light. Read more
Far above the Arctic Circle, the North Cape offers arctic adventures like dog sledding under the northern lights, and never-ending daylight in the… Read more
The North Cape
Go hiking and kayaking under the midnight sun, or skiing and dog sledding under the northern lights. Or simply kick back and enjoy some of the most… Read more
Senja and Central Troms
Lofoten and Nordland
Lofoten is known for excellent fishing, nature attractions such as the northern lights and the midnight sun, and small villages off the beaten track.… Read more
The Lofoten Islands
Get ready for an Arctic adventure with whale watching, cool museums, hiking and snowshoeing. In Vesterålen, you can combine wow experiences with… Read more
Discover Narvik, a town above the Arctic Circle where nature is your playground. Go hiking, skiing or climbing and experience the midnight sun in… Read more
In Helgeland, you can paddle around the UNESCO-protected Vega islands and climb mountains like Torghatteen and The Seven Sisters. Or try the… Read more
Kystriksveien is one of the most scenic drives in the world. Climb the Torghatten and De syv søstre mountains, visit the Vega Islands and… Read more
Kystriksveien – the coastal route
Bodø is home to the world’s strongest maelstrom, Saltstraumen. The largest city in Nordland is also just a boat ride away from the old… Read more
Bergen and the western fjords
Although it's the second-biggest city in Norway, Bergen is packed with small town charm. Read more
From Trolltunga and the Folgefonna glacier to the Vøringfossen waterfall – the Hardangerfjord region offers some of the best experiences… Read more
Summer in Hardangerfjord
Norway’s longest fjord, Sognefjorden, is surrounded by spectacular nature. In this part of Fjord Norway, you can experience fjord safari,… Read more
The Sognefjord area
Each year, several hundred thousand visitors arrive in Flåm to ride the Flåmsbana Railway, cycle Rallarvegen, or go hiking in the dramatic… Read more
If you are craving thrilling adventures, extreme surroundings and Norwegian food specialities, Voss will not let you down. Read more
From soaring peaks and glaciers to deep fjords – nature is the main attraction in Nordfjord. Go hiking, surfing and paddling or relax at a spa.… Read more
The Geirangerfjord and the Northwest
The deep blue UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord is surrounded by majestic, snow- covered mountain peaks, wild waterfalls and lush, green vegetation. Read more
The Geirangerfjord
Go hiking or skiing, admire Ålesund's unique Art Nouveau architecture, explore the fjords – or just kick back and enjoy the view. Read more
The Ålesund and Sunnmøre area
Experience some of Fjord Norway’s most stunning nature attractions, such as the Atlantic Road, the Romsdalseggen ridge, and the Innerdalen… Read more
Discover amazing Åndalsnes, famous for its breathtaking landscapes and the Rauma Line, Europe’s most beautiful train journey. Read more
A unique stretch of road which takes you right out to the ocean's edge, and is known to be the world's most beautiful drive. Read more
Norwegian Scenic Routes - The Atlantic road
Molde has some of Fjord Norway’s most famous attractions. Experience the world-famous Molde international jazz festival, enjoy spectacular views… Read more
The Stavanger region
Breathtaking surroundings with fjords, mountains and long, white beaches. Stavanger and Sandnes also boasts an impressive assortment of museums and… Read more
The Stavanger region
Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock), Kjeragbolten and Flørlitrappene (The Flørli Stairs) are famous hiking spots located in Lysefjord in… Read more
The Lysefjord
Trondheim and Trøndelag
Trøndelag offers an irresistible mix of urban, historical sights like Røros and Stiklestad and the 2.0 version of a remote rural fishing… Read more
The vibrant city of Trondheim is home to some of Trøndelag’s most popular attractions, cosy shopping streets and a myriad of restaurants… Read more
The Golden Road is close to the main route from Trondheim to Bodø. Visit one of the country's most innovative aquavit producers,… Read more
The Golden Road
Take a Golden Detour, eat local delicacies and discover the exciting heritage of the Vikings! Plan your trip to Innherred now! Read more
Discover the UNESCO World Heritage site Røros. This traditional town is a certified Sustainable Destination and one of the oldest towns of… Read more
Step into the kingdom of the mythical musk oxen. Go hiking, biking, and horseback riding or visit the award-winning Viewpoint Snøhetta. Read more
The Dovrefjell mountains
Kristiansand and Southern Norway
Explore urban beach life in Norway’s southernmost city! Kristiansand has a vibrant cultural scene and exciting activity parks and museums. Read more
The seaside town of Risør is famed for its white-painted wooden houses, fun events like the Trebåtfestivalen wooden boat festival,… Read more
From underwater safari and modern camping to art and a science centre – discover the coastal town famed for its buzzing city centre and idyllic… Read more
Get lost in narrow cobblestone streets, discover your own private island just off the coast, and let your mind wander as you walk along the seafront.… Read more
Street art, the Dutch Quarter, rail biking, and idyllic nature await in Flekkefjord, the westernmost city in Southern Norway. Read more
From close encounters with the weather and long forest walks, to the underwater restaurant “Under” and charming white-painted wooden… Read more
Lindesnes and Mandal
Visit the cradle of Norwegian folk traditions! Stop in charming villages, enjoy fun activities, and travel with a steamboat on the Byglandsfjord. Read more
The mountains and valleys of Eastern Norway
Geilo offers fantastic outdoor adventures, both on and off the slopes! Read more
Winter in Geilo
Family-friendly Trysil is Norway’s largest ski destination. Surrounded by unspoilt nature, Trysil was one of the first holiday spots in Europe… Read more
Winter in Trysil
The winter wonderland of Hemsedal has been named Norway’s best ski resort for a number of years because of its perfectly groomed slopes, cool… Read more
According to National Geographic, the Besseggen ridge is one of the top 20 hikes in the world. Not surprisingly, it’s located in Valdres –… Read more
The Hallingdal valley is shaped like a big smile across south-east Norway, with high mountains, family parks and fun activities for people of all… Read more
Lillehammer is located in the lush Gudbrandsdalen valley in Eastern Norway and offers a mix of culture, family fun, and outdoor activities. Read more
The Lillehammer region
Gudbrandsdalen is known for its lush nature, local food and fun family activities. The area boasts three national parks and offers great opportunities… Read more
The Gudbrandsdalen valley
From summer adventures in the coastal town of Kragerø to skiing in powder snow from Gaustatoppen. Experience magnificent nature, exciting… Read more
The hike to Gaustatoppen is an absolute must for anyone in search of a trek with a sensational view. From the top, almost half of the southern part of… Read more
Gaustatoppen – the most dazzling viewpoint in Eastern Norway
Step into the kingdom of the mythical musk oxen. Go hiking, biking, and horseback riding or visit the award-winning Viewpoint Snøhetta. Read more
The Dovrefjell mountains
Jotunheimen is a massive mountain area in Eastern Norway, home to Norway’s two highest mountains, Galdhøpiggen and Glittertind. Other… Read more
The Jotunheimen mountains
At once tranquil and sublime, Rondane national park is an ideal place to experience the mountains and highlands of Eastern Norway. Read more
The Rondane mountains
The Svalbard Islands
The Svalbard Islands are located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Here, you will find untouched arctic wilderness and… Read more
The Svalbard Islands
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