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11 top experiences for culture lovers

World class museums, iconic architecture and Michelin-starred restaurants. Historic hotels and sculpture parks. Check out our top tips for everyone who wants rich cultural experiences and fine dining on their holiday in Norway.


1. Stroll through beautiful parks

In Norway's sculpture parks, nature and culture come together to form something bigger than the sum of their parts, and many are well worth a visit, including the Vigeland Park and Ekeberg Park in Oslo, Ramme in Vestby, and the Kistefos Museum in Hadeland. The latter features a spectacular museum building, aptly named The Twist.

The flower park Flor and Fjære is located on a small island just outside the city of Stavanger. A visit there is like stepping into another world with its white beaches, palm trees, waterfalls, bonsai trees and more than 50,000 flowers. In Sunnhordaland, you will find the stately manor house Baroniet Rosendal, built in 1665. Surrounded by a magnificent rose garden, it is easy to get lost in the maze of roses. The kids will love it too!

2. See amazing street art

In the last few years, several places in Norway have transformed into outdoor galleries that never close and won’t cost you a penny. Did you know that street art enthusiasts from all over the world make a pilgrimage to Bergen and Stavanger? If you go to Haugesund, don't miss the mural by Norwegian pop artist Pushwagner.

This urban art form is not just reserved for big cities, however. There are great examples of street art throughout the country, on everything from abandoned buildings in Lofoten up north to white wooden house walls in Flekkefjord in the south.

3. Explore Norway’s Cultural Heritage

Eight Norwegian sites have earned a place on UNESCO's World Heritage list. The list contains cultural and natural sites that are considered of great importance to humanity. The sites cover a broad range of cultural heritage, to put it mildly, including everything from stave churches and old manor houses to small fishing villages and the fjords. Bryggen, the medieval wharf in Bergen, was the first to enter the list in 1979. The latest addition was the Rjukan–Notodden Industrial Heritage Site, added in 2015.

In addition to the UNESCO sites, there are many other well-preserved cultural landmarks that deserve a deep dive. If you plan to see Telemark, you should visit the church in Sauherad, famous for its demon paintings. The island of Leka, situated in Trøndelag in central Norway, is known as the “red island” due to its unusual geology and has mysterious cave paintings to explore. 

To get the most out of your visit, book a guided tour.

4. Sample rural life

A trip to the countryside is the best medicine for busy city dwellers. Turn your holiday into a truly remarkable experience in one of Norway’s many manor houses and converted farmhouses. These beautiful locations offer local food (often grown on site) and unique accommodation, whether you want something rustic and down-to-earth or plan to treat yourself to a stylish boutique hotel.

5. Taste local Norwegian food

Make Norway’s food culture part of your holiday experience. Thanks to many new local food producers all over the country, travelling through Norway has never tasted better! Nibble your way through award-winning cheeses and mouth-watering cured meat, smoked seafood, award winning bubbly ciders, sweet and tart apple juice, and craft beer – all in the middle of beautiful cultural landscapes. On route, look out for road signs advertising fresh fruit, apple juice, and other tasty products for sale in farm shops and roadside stalls.

6. Enjoy world-class cuisine

It's no exaggeration to say that Norway’s restaurant scene has undergone a revolution recently. Norwegian chefs have won more medals than any other country in the Bocuse d'Or, and there are now Michelin-starred restaurants in Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, Oslo, and Lindesnes. Remember to book a table well in advance for an evening you will never forget.

7. Visit fascinating museums and exhibitions

Feed your mind! A good museum is like a vitamin pill for the brain. Theexciting MUNCH museum opened in 2021, and the new National Museum, the biggest in the Nordic countries, opened in 2022.

There is no shortage of exciting exhibitions and museum collections tin Norway. Check out a few of our many excellent art and history museums, and several open-air museums, which the whole family can enjoy.

At the unique art venue KaviarFactory in Lofoten, you can experience a very special exhibition by art superstar Ai Weiwei that's on until October 10, 2022.  Find more interesting exhibitions with our events calendar

8. Make your accommodation part of the experience

For an extra-special holiday, choose an accommodation option out of the ordinary. Travel back in time with a historic hotel and spend the night in rooms where kings and queens used to stay. Your hosts will make every effort to ensure that your holiday will be one to remember. The architecture, food, and surroundings are bound to leave long-lasting memories too.

9. Awaken your inner Viking

For many people, “Viking” is one of the first words that spring to mind when they think about Norway. But how much do you know about them? Thanks to museums, adventure centres and even Viking villages, it's easy to learn more about these legendary savages when you travel through Norway. With everything from Viking ships and reconstructed houses to archaeological collections, you will be transported more than 1,000 years back in time.

At the Viking Planet, a 1,600 square metre state-of-the-art interactive entertainment centre in Oslo, you can immerse yourself in Viking culture through ground-breaking virtual technology, high-end film productions, and a 270-degree cinema.

10. Embark on an architectural road trip

Norwegian buildings have become internationally renowned in the last few years. Some of the most well-known examples include the Opera House and the MUNCH museum in Oslo, the Twist in Hadeland, and the Vennesla and Deichmanske libraries in Oslo.

Thanks to the Norwegian Scenic Routes, you can easily plan a road trip around exciting architectural destinations. The 18 Scenic Routes are lined with spectacular viewpoints and rest areas, including the most beautiful toilets in the world.

11. Indulge in a city break – the Norwegian way

Norwegian cities are compact and very walkable, and packed with site, museums, galleries and shops. Not only that, you are never far from beautiful nature experiences and fun activities. 

Get insider tips from famous locals for an exciting long weekend in Norway’s biggest cities, where urban vibes meet small town charm. See how best to spend a Friday packed with culture, a Saturday with the locals, and a peaceful Sunday walk — all recommended by a local expert! 

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