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 go Destinations Getting around Events
Travel tips Accommodation Tours About our guide

Before you go

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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.


Bergen travel guide from Routes North


A pretty city, ringed by mountains

Free things to do in Oslo


Norway’s vibrant capital

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.


Cycling in Norway

Cycling in Norway is challenging but immensely rewarding. The mountainous terrain, long road tunnels and extremes of weather make a…

Norway’s scenic routes

Norway’s 18 designated scenic routes (Nasjonale touristveger) take you off the main roads and through some of the country’s most…

Renting a car in Norway

Renting a car in Norway

Driving in rural Norway is a pleasure compared with some of the more densely populated parts of Europe. There’s comparatively…

Travel tips and ideas for your trip

Seeing the northern lights The best glaciers to visit in Norway Tips for visiting Norway on a budget
Norway’s best national parks 9 amazing islands in northern Norway The 10 best fjords to visit
Free things to do in Oslo Visiting Trondheim on a budget Norway in a Nutshell: the DIY way
Free things to do in Bergen Getting from the airport to central Oslo Is the Oslo Pass worth buying?
30 best things to do in Norway Extreme sports in Norway A guide to Norway’s best waterfalls



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.


This fjord-side cabin in Norway is a fun place to stay

The best places to stay in Norway

Whether you’re looking to splash out on cutting-edge architecture and design, or hunker down in a simple back-to-nature retreat, Norway…

Seaside cottage, Oslo

7 of the best Airbnbs in Oslo

Staying in a hotel in Oslo can be a pricey and sometimes rather bland experience. Airbnb has some great alternatives,…

Find a place to stay in Norway

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.


Sculpture park tour in Oslo

Sculpture Park Walk in Oslo

Visit the sculpture park of Gustav Vigeland and drive to the the famous skiing arena of Holmenkollen, and appreciate the views of the city from above.

Hipster Tour in Oslo

Hipster Tour of Oslo

From free thinkers and artists to street art and parklands, you’ll discover a different side of Oslo on this 2.5-hour walking tour.

Northern Lights Chase, Tromsø

Northern Lights Chase, Tromsø

Hunt the spectacular northern lights on this 7-hours excursion. Pass through the beautiful northern landscapes of Norway as you look for the aurora.

Arctic Nature Tour in Tromsø

Arctic Nature Tour in Tromsø

Come on this Arctic nature small group tour and experience the Arctic beauty of the Northern Norway full of fjords, mountains, beaches and wildlife.




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.  

Aug 13 – Nov 5 all-day
12:00 am
PROMOTED Colourful, fun and completely free for anyone who wants to come along, Melafestivalen is celebration of cultural diversity in...
Göteborgsgirot , Oslo
12:00 am
Contrary to what you may expect, Norway’s largest film festival isn’t held in Oslo, but in the colourful city of...
Nov 4 @ 7:00 pm – Nov 6 @ 11:30 pm
7:00 pm
Looking for traditional Norwegian food and don’t mind putting up with the odd pong of fermented sea creatures? Head on...
Nov 12 @ 10:00 am – Dec 22 @ 10:00 pm
10:00 am
As if Bergen wasn’t already cosy enough, the annual Christmas Market takes it to new heights when it spreads its...
Nov 13 2021 – Jan 2 2022 all-day
12:00 am
‘Jul i Vinterland’ is proof that the Norwegian capital is serious about being a fun and festive Christmas destination. Last...
Dec 1 @ 11:00 am – Dec 9 @ 7:00 pm
11:00 am
In need of a Christmas spirit boost? Then head straight to Trondheim, where the annual Christmas fair will take place...
3:00 pm
If you find it hard to get out for your weekly run in the dark winter, you might just need...
Jan 29 – Feb 8 all-day
12:00 am
You better travel on an empty stomach if you’re heading to Bergen at the end of January, where a crisp...


Exploring Oslo

The best hikes near Oslo

Even though Oslo is a busy capital city, it’s actually very easy to escape the bustle and get back to…

Visiting Oslo in winter

Winter can be a lovely season to visit Oslo. The low winter sun gives a unique perspective to the contemporary…

Cochs Pensionat is one of the best hostels in Oslo

The best hostels in Oslo

Staying at a hotel in Oslo certainly isn’t cheap, so if you want to keep costs down you might want to…


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.