Away from the Copacabana beaches and scorching sun, way up in the cold north lies a brilliant gem called Norway. Its basic appeal is simple: it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Norway has been called The Land of the Midnight Sun, The Land of Fjords and the Land of Northern Lights. However, those are but the few things it is most known for: there are so much more.
Norway is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. With some of the most stunning nature sites in the world, you surely won’t be disappointed. It also has a rich cultural history and a lively contemporary art scene, primarily in Oslo.
However, when visiting a country as large it can be hard to decide where you should go. That is why we have prepared a list of the 100 best things to do in Norway.
Let’s dive in.
1. Geiranger Fjord (Geiranger)
In the land of fjords, there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Geiranger Fjord is part of UNESCO world heritage for many reasons: stunning scenery, amazing views and a sense of calm that one just can’t get in city life.
2. Mount Floyen And The Funicular (Bergen)
Norway is home to amazing views. Mount Floyen is no exception – whether you enjoy hiking or just the view. You can get to the top by foot or cable car. In either case, remember: don’t feed the trolls.
3. Vigeland Museum And The Angry Baby (Oslo)
Art and sculpture lovers (and others), listen up! Vigeland Museum is the world’s largest sculpture park: and all of it was made by just one person – Gustav Vigeland. A must see for his unique style and the Angry Baby.
4. Pulpit Rock Hike From Stavanger (Forsand Municipality)
Pulpit Rock is a highlight of anyone’s trip to Norway. The hike takes 2-4 hours, depending on how many stops you take for photos (and there will be many if this is your first time). This is a proper hike – wear some boots.
5. The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet (Oslo)
How many opera houses exist where you can just walk to the top? The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet is one of them and an absolute marvel of modern architecture. It is worth seeing for that alone, but going inside and seeing a performance is also highly recommended.
6. Fram Polar Ship Museum (Oslo)
Fram is a polar expedition ship that is no longer in use: but you can get on board in this one-of-a-kind museum. Everything there is right before your eyes for you to touch. Take at least an hour and a half to explore the museum in its whole.
7. Trolltunga (Odda)
There is no shortage of spectacular hikes in Norway. The Trolltunga, or Troll’s Tongue, is not an easy one either (but if you can make it through the first mile, you’re golden). It’s hard work, it’s long, it’s wet. But in the end, you are rewarded for your efforts with epic sights.
8. Kjerag (Forsand Municipality)
The hike to Kjerag is the one that ends in one of the most iconic pictures you can take in Norway. Of course, I mean the rock nested between two walls. Perfect if you are looking for some adventurous or couple pictures. One of the things you have to do before you die.
9. Hurtigruten Day Trips (Tromso)
What is the best way to see the fjords? Well, from the waterside. Now if you could combine that with watching of the Northern lights, good food and amazing sights all around, day and night? That is what you get when you go on a Hurtigruten day trip. The trip has been described as the “World’s Most Beautiful Sea Voyage”. The classic trip takes 12 days, but shorter cruises are available as well.w
10. Trollstigen – Troll’s Footpath (Western Norway)
Looking for a great view – or some adrenaline? You can combine both on a day trip to one of the most stunning roads in the world: Trollstigen. As with most other hikes, it is better the earlier you go. Still, respect the traffic laws, or you will get banned like Top Gear did.
11. Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf (Bergen)
Idyllic houses on the waterfront of Bergen are one of the most well known sights in Norway. The city center is a tourist’s paradise: museums, shops, restaurants abound. But be careful: if you go there, you may be consumed with overwhelming desire to live there for the rest of your life.
12. Tromso Fjords (Tromso)
Sea, snow, rugged mountains, arctic wildlife, remote houses dotted along the shoreline…so distant and harsh, yet uniquely beautiful and peaceful. The Tromso Fjords are something you simply have to see live. Hire a car and drive or take a boat trip. In either case, you’re sure to enjoy it.
13. Geiranger Skywalk – Dalsnibba (Geiranger)
Stunning glory in all directions is the best way to describe the Geiranger Skywalk. Do take this hike on a sunny day (or enjoy being above the clouds – it will actually feel like you are walking into heaven).
14. Fjellstua Viewpoint (Alesund)
Fjellstua Viewpoint is where you can see Alesund in all its glory. A relaxed walk to the top takes less than an hour If you want some harder exercise, see how fast you can make it up the 450 plus stairs. And bring a jacket for the wind!
15. The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (Oslo)
If you want to learn more about the Norwegian folk and their history, The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History in Oslo is the first place you should look. It “houses” cottages, farmhouses and log cabins that have been transported there from all over the country. How? No one knows…probably trolls.
16. Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Ski Jump Tower (Oslo)
Are you into ski jumping? Have you seen it on TV? Whether you have or haven’t, the magnificence of the Holmenkollen ski jump tower will take your by surprise. Even better is to go there during a tournament, with thousands of roaring fans that let you know exactly when the home favorite is going next.
17. Bygdoy Peninsula (Oslo)
Don’t miss this! A stroll from museum to museum (and then to a restaurant) is the main purpose of going here; besides, of course, the beautiful scenery. Culture or nature: on Bygdoy Peninsula, you don’t have to choose, as you can have both in the same day.
18. National Museum – National Gallery (Oslo)
Are you an art fanatic? Book a day just for this. Not into art? Well, still at least see the famous “Scream” painting. Besides paintings, the museum also has a Viking ship and an arctic display. The two-in-one National Museum – National Gallery combo is indeed worth a few hours of your time – at least.
19. Nidarosdomen (Trondheim)
Nidarosdomen is a cathedral in Trondheim, but it is far from being just a regular church. The sheer scope of it amazes, as does the interior with stained glass windows. Even if you aren’t religious, make sure to check it out.
20. Lofoten Islands (Nordland)
Far above the arctic circles like the Lofoten Islands. They are known for their incredible Viking history, frequent northern lights and the midnight sun. If you like fishing, you will bond with the locals easily.
Click here to see the complete 100 list of best things to do in Norway written by Jenn Miller.