Norway travel guide

Norway travel guide

Dramatic fjords, majestic mountains, awe-inspiring glaciers, remote islands and stunning scenery – they are all in abundance in Norway. The grassy valleys, deep mountain lakes, snow-capped hill-tops, jaw-dropping landscapes and cosy cabins of popular imagination really do exist here. And they’re every bit as impressive as you would expect.

The further north you head, up into the Arctic Circle and the land of the semi-nomadic Sami, the wilder the terrain becomes. But, there’s another side to Norway, too – one of cosmopolitan, cultural cities and likeable, low-key towns where nature and more urban pleasures happily meld. Check out our guide to the best that this varied and fascinating country has to offer.

Before you goDestinationsGetting aroundEvents
Travel tipsAccommodationToursAbout our guide

Before you go

When’s the best time to visit?How expensive is Norway, really?Getting a Norwegian sim card
What’s Norway famous for?Why you need travel insuranceAsk a question in our forum

Destinations

Norway’s spectacular fjords, of course, are top of every traveller’s list – and rightly so. But head further off the beaten track and there’s plenty to explore, including the remote Lofoten, a necklace of islands where life remains relaxed and traditional, and the wilds of Finnmark, where reindeer-herding, hunting and fishing are still widely practised. The main cities – Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger and Tromsø – are all appealing places in their own right and can make a welcome antidote to the wilderness.

Transport and getting around

Norway’s highways are good, but one of the real joys of driving is heading off the main roads. So much so, that 18 Scenic Routes have been designated to take you through some of the country’s most impressive scenery, along indented coastlines and over dramatic mountain passes. Norway has an efficient train network, too. Some of its smaller branch lines, such as the Flåmsbana, are real feats of engineering, and worth taking for the journey alone. And, of course, the best way to see the country’s coastline in its full glory is on the Hurtigruten ferry, that runs year-round from Bergen to Kirkenes.

Travel tips and ideas for your trip

Seeing the northern lightsThe best glaciers to visit in NorwayTips for visiting Norway on a budget
Norway’s best national parks9 amazing islands in northern NorwayThe 10 best fjords to visit
Free things to do in OsloVisiting Trondheim on a budgetNorway in a Nutshell: the DIY way
Free things to do in BergenGetting from the airport to central OsloIs the Oslo Pass worth buying?

Accommodation

From cabins in the woods, to mountain huts to hip city loft apartments, Norway has a great range of accommodation to suit all budgets. Fancy staying in an ice hotel? An old lighthouse? A former radio station in the remote wilds of Svalbard? Or a converted fishing hut? Check out some of Norway’s unusual, once-in-a-lifetime places to stay.


Find a place to stay in Norway



Booking.com

Tours and tickets

Taking a tour can make getting to those out-the-way places easier: the classic Norway in a Nutshell tour offers a classic whistle-stop taste-of-the-fjords tour that includes the Flåmsbana railway and a fjord cruise. There are plenty of other types of tour too, from dog-sledding and whale-watching to glacier hiking.

MORE TOURS

 

Events

From mid-summer marathons to winter festivities and celebrations of traditional culture, the Norwegians need no excuse to party. Check out the country’s best festivals and what’s happening each month on our events calendar.

 

Jul 3 – Jul 6 all-day
12:00 am
This international jazz festival has been held in the town of Kongsberg since 1964. Picturesque Kongsberg, about an hour southwest...
Kongsberg, near Oslo
Jul 4 – Jul 7 all-day
12:00 am
Mountain biking might not be the first thing to come to mind when planning your trip to Norway but the...
Ål kommune
Jul 11 – Jul 13 all-day
12:00 am
Once the weather gets (a bit) warmer and the nights a bit brighter, Norwegians flock to outdoor events, making the...
Larvik
Jul 24 – Jul 27 all-day
12:00 am
Scandinavia’s largest food festival is celebrating its 21st year. Gladmat, which means “happy food” in Norwegian, is an epic festival...
Stavanger
Jul 26 – Jul 28 all-day
12:00 am
Månefestivalen – The Moon Festival – is one of the biggest and most varied music festivals in eastern Norway, held...
Fredrikstad
Jul 27 – Aug 3 all-day
12:00 am
Norway Cup is an international football tournament for kids and young adults on a grand scale, with added fun for...
Oslo
Aug 1 – Aug 4 all-day
12:00 am
Notodden is the largest blues festival in Scandinavia, and it’s regarded in many blues-y circles as being one of Europe’s...
Notodden
Aug 6 – Aug 10 all-day
12:00 am
Bohemian, beautiful and vibrant, Øya Festival is not to be missed if you find yourself in Oslo this summer. Full...
Oslo

 

MORE EVENTS IN NORWAY

About our Norway travel guide

Routes North is the web’s number one travel guide to Scandinavia. We’re also the only travel guide to Norway that pays its own way. We don’t take freebies or discounts from the travel companies we feature, which means we’re free to say what we really think.