From its majestic mountains and famous fjords to its modern yet picturesque cities, Norway is simply one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Picture-perfect landscapes beg to be explored by foot, car, bike or boat. Whether taking in the breathtaking wonder of the northern lights or the summer sun glistening on a massive glacier, Norway is a great adventure in any season. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Norway:
Number 10. Alesund
Located on Norway’s west coast, Ålesund is the gateway to the iconic northwestern fjords and surrounding alpine mountains.
The city of Alesund owes its present-day picturesque appearance to a city-wide reconstruction, after a fire in 1904 destroyed most of the town. The city was rebuilt with stone and brick in the architectural style of the time, and stands today as a perfect example of Jugendstil design. From the nearby hills, there are some breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding fjords and mountains.
Number 9. Tromso
Located in the far north of Norway, Tromso is set on an island amidst lovely blue fjords and spectacular snow-capped mountains. One of the northernmost places that you can visit in Europe, the city actually lies around 350-kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. As such, it is one of the better sites in Norway from which to view the Northern Lights. With loads of pubs on offer, a healthy cultural scene and lively nightlife, visiting Tromso can be great fun.
Number 8. Trondheim
There’s something for everyone in the northern city of Trondheim. Founded in 997, Norway’s third largest city was the country’s capital during the Viking Age and the nation’s religious center during the Middle Ages, making it the ideal destination for those who want to explore Norway’s history.
There is a sense of timelessness about its laid-back streets, as people leisurely go about their lives. Alongside its rich cultural heritage, there is a contemporary arts and music scene, due to the large university campus.
Number 7. Jotunheimen National Park
Jotunheimen, or Home of the Giants, is Norway’s premier national park. Located in the nation’s south central region, the park encompasses several mountain ranges, including the highest peaks in Norway.. The park is also home to Vettisfossen, which at 900 feet is the highest waterfall in Norway.
Mountain lodges and well-marked trails in the area offer visitors easy access to glacier hikes, mountain climbing and skiing. Tour companies and trekking associations offer outdoor adventures for visitors of every age and skill level.
Number 6. Svalbard
The Svalbard Archipelago in the Arctic North is a land of dramatic snow-drowned peaks and glaciers, of vast ice fields and forbidding icebergs.
Its settlements are the northernmost permanently inhabited spots on the planet, far more northerly than any part of Alaska. Svalbard’s visitors come mostly to experience Arctic nature at its rawest and most powerful.
A once-in-a-lifetime destination, this is a land where there are double as many polar bears as people.
Number 5. Oslo
The capital of the country is full of amazing architectural designs that highlight the contemporary feel about the place, as do the educational museums and interesting galleries. Lying next to the sea, with mountains surrounding it, Oslo is one of the greenest cities in the world, thanks to its forward-thinking eco-friendly policies. This makes it lovely to walk around. In fact, residents can find themselves skiing, trekking the forests, or sailing along the Oslo fjord’s waterways in no time at all.
Number 4. Sognefjord
As Norway’s largest fjord, Sognefjord offers huge fun and adventure. Visitors here can choose from a wide range of exhilarating adventures like riding the world’s steepest railway through snow-capped mountains and around cascading waterfalls. Other activities include hiking along scenic trails and cruising around the magnificent fjord and its many branches such as Nærøyfjord; the wildest and most beautiful branch of the Sognefjord.
Number 3. Lofoten Islands
Lofoten is a group of islands in the northern part of the country. With its postcard-looking small fishing villages dotting a very rugged coast with abrupt peaks rising directly from the ocean, the archipelago is often described as one of the most scenic parts of Norway. Although the archipelago is located well above the Arctic Circle, at about the same latitude as Greenland it enjoys a relatively mild climate due to the circulation of the Gulf Stream. Temperatures up to 23°C in the summer are not uncommon although it remains a subarctic destination and the weather changes fast.
Number 2. Bergen
Norway’s second largest city, Bergen has been the nation’s leading western port since the Middle Ages.
Today, its 15th-century waterfront in the Bryggen district is both a working port and a tourist destination for visitors eager to sample fresh fare at seaside restaurants. Although Bergen makes a great home base for explorations of the scenic fjords around the city and the neighboring islands, there’s plenty to see within the city as well.
A quick trip up Bergen’s popular funicular is a good way to get oriented in the place known as the Gateway to the Fjords.
Number 1. Geirangerfjord
With its remarkable scenery of deep blue waters and majestic mountains, it is no wonder that the Geirangerfjord is among the most visited Norwegian fjords. When visiting here, a must-do is a sightseeing cruise on the fjord to view its astonishing beauty and its famous waterfalls, the Seven Sisters, which plunge directly into the fjord.
Other exciting opportunities abound here as well like winter skiing, excellent fishing, canoeing and hiking trails that provide some of Norway’s most dramatic views..