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?
30 best things to do in NorwayEverything to know about extreme sports in NorwayA guide to Norway’s best waterfalls

 

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.  

12:00 am
‘Fresh and artistically daring’ is a good description of Bergen’s Meteor performing arts festival. Organised by Bergen International Theatre, Meteor...
Bergen
12:00 am
If you’re looking to discover upcoming Nordic and European musicians, check out the Sørveiv Music Festival in Kristansand this November....
Kristiansand
Nov 4 – Nov 10 all-day
12:00 am
Bergen is a city of many exciting festivals, including the Bergen Design Festival which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this...
Bergen
12:00 am
Animated movies go far beyond children’s stories and the art form of animation is celebrated at the ReAnima International Animation...
Bergen
Nov 16 – Dec 30 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...
Oslo
Nov 16 @ 9:00 am – Dec 30 @ 3:00 pm
9:00 am
Every year since 1991, a massive feat of engineering (or should that be ginger-neering) has taken place in the heart...
Bergen
Nov 23 @ 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm
4:00 pm
A fan of fireworks? Then Bergen is the place to be on 23rd November, when this coastal town celebrates the...
Bergen
Nov 28 – Dec 22 all-day
12:00 am
As if Bergen wasn’t already cosy enough, the annual Christmas Market takes it to new heights when it spreads its...
Bergen
  MORE EVENTS IN NORWAY

Exploring Oslo

Getting around Oslo

Getting around Oslo

The public transport network in Oslo is comfortable and reliable, and can be very handy for day trips out of the city! Here’s how to find your way around.

There are good craft beers on offer at Nydalen Bryggeri in Oslo

Oslo’s best local breweries

Beer prices in the Norwegian capital might be eye-wateringly expensive, but Oslo still has a solid selection of local breweries with tasty homemade beers!

MORE TIPS FROM OSLO

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.