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50+ Fantastic Things to do in Norway (from a local)

Thinking about a Norway vacation? Below are exciting adventure activities in Norway as well as the best towns to visit, foods to try and so much more. Oh, and this is from a Norway native, so it’s coming from a local.

Norway is ranked as one of the best places to live in the world year after year. It is also one of the most beautiful countries on earth. It’s home to more natural wonders such as northern lights, the midnight sun, fjords, and national parks. Norway also has stunning cities and is a country worth a long visit.

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visit norway

The Best Reasons to Visit Norway & Things to do in Norway

Norway

1. Take the Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen in Bergen, for stunning views of the harbor and city

2. Spending some time in the Lofoten Islands – ranked as among the most beautiful in the world by National Geographic Magazine

Lofoten Islands

3. Climbing on the top of the new Oslo Opera house’s roof, for great views over the Oslo waterfront.

4. Witness the awesome spectacle of the northern lights (anywhere above the Arctic Circle in winter… if you’re lucky).

northern lights

5. Feeling the rhythm at the Notodden Blues Festival in Telemark, taking place every year in late August.

6. Spotting whales on a whale safari off the Vesterålen Islands.

Vesterålen Islands

7. Attending Bergen International Festival, June, one of Scandinavia’s main cultural events, featuring music, literature, theater, dance, opera, and more.

8. Joining a giant crab safari in Kirkenes, northern Norway – you get to eat your catch on the beach at the end of it.

9. Celebrating 17 May, Norway’s national day, on Karl Johans gate, Oslo’s main thoroughfare.

10. Wandering the cobbled-stoned streets of Gamlebyen, Scandinavia’s best-preserved fortress town in Fredrikstad.

Hurtigruten Northern Lights cruise
Photo Credit Hurtigruten.com

11. Cruise the Norwegian coast from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the North with Hurtigruten.

12. Fishing in the Namsos River for wild Norwegian salmon.

13. Spotting herds of wild reindeer in the Hardangervidda, northern Europe’s largest mountainous plateau.

wild reindeer

14. Enjoying lunch at Solsiden, Oslo’s best seafood restaurant, right by the harbor, on a sunny summer day

15. Take the hike to Prekeistolen, near Stavanger, one of Norway’s most popular day walks, attracting thousands every year.

16. Ice-skating on myriad frozen lakes in winter, pretty much anywhere in Norway

17. Cross-country skiing in Rena or Lillehammer, for arguably the most beautiful winter landscapes you’ll ever see.

18. Sailing in the Hvaler Archipelago, a summer paradise in the Oslofjord.

19. Spotting fine examples of Jugendstil architecture in Ålesund.

20. Scrutinizing the horizon from mainland Europe’s most Northernly point, the North Cape.

21. Gorging on cherries in the Hardanger Fjord in summer, or seeing the blossoms in spring – the fjord is home to thousands of apple and cherry trees.

beautiful norway

22. Hiking in the Lyngen Alps just outside Tromsø.

23. Exploring the Nærøyfjord, Norway’s smallest fjord, and a Unesco World Heritage site, by kayak.

24. Take the scenic Flåm Railway from Myrdal down to the Sognefjord – it’s the steepest one you’re likely to ever try.

cloudberries

25. Picking cloudberries, the queen of berries, and making jam to bring home (or buying the readymade version in a local delicatessen).

26. Learning about the industry that made Norway rich at the Norwegian Petroleum Museum in Stavanger.

Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo

27. Watching daredevils jump from the brand new Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo. The hill size of the Holmenkollen ski jump is about 440 feet, and the jump tower is about 197 feet above the ground.

28. Visiting the Munch Museum in Oslo: the most comprehensive collection of the artist’s works anywhere in the world.

29. Cycling Rallarvegen, a popular route along the Hardangervidda.

30. Spotting polar bears on Svalbard, Norway’s outpost in the Arctic Ocean.

31. Being awed by the sheer scale of Nidarosdomen, Norway’s biggest cathedral in Trondheim.

32. Learning about the Sami people and culture in Lapland.

Viking Drakkar in Viking Ships Museum in Oslo

33. Admiring relics of the Viking era at the Viking Ships Museum in Oslo.

34. Shopping at Bergen’s famous fish market right on the harbor.

35. Making the most of the longest days of the year while the midnight sun lasts in summer.

midnight sun in Norway

36. Going for a stroll on the Unesco World Heritage site of Bryggen, famed for its Hanseatic building, Bergen.

37. Visiting Lysøen, the stunning summer residence of violin virtuoso Ole Bull, on a gorgeous island a few kilometers south of Bergen.

38. Admiring the intricate woodwork of stave churches, beautiful wooden churches dating back to the middle ages.

39. Wandering the streets of the picturesque mining town of Røros, also the coldest spot in mainland Norway.

40. Wondering how Saltstraumen, the world’s most powerful maelstrom, some 30km east of Bodø, works.

41. Getting musical at the Ringve Museum, featuring the country’s largest collection of musical instruments.

Vøringfossen waterfall in Norway

42. Feeling the spray on your face at Vøringfossen, Norway’s most photographed waterfall.

43. Going wild at Kristiansand’s Zoo, a must for children of all ages.

44. Catching international rock bands and local artists at the Øya Festival in Oslo, August.

45. Taking part in the wooden boats festival in Risør, one of many picturesque villages on the Sørlandet coast.

46. Camping in some really remote areas, with access to acres of untouched nature all to yourself. A few favorite camping sites to check out in Norway are the camping town of Odda, Vegset Camping Site near Snasa and Norsjo Ferieland Camping Site.

June, July and August are the best months for camping and hiking in Norway for warmer temperatures.

Norwegian Aquavit

47. Sharing a glass (or two) of aquavit, Norway’s most famous tipple, with locals.

Molde Norway

48. Admiring the panoramic view outside Molde, famous for its 222 mountain peaks.

49. Going skiing in the middle of summer at the Stryn Summer Ski Center.

50. Taking the kids to see the world’s tallest troll at the Hunderfossen Amusement Park near Lillehammer.

51. Marvelling at the beautiful statues in Vigeland Park, Oslo, named after Norway’s most famous sculptor.

52. Indulging in a soak, or a massage, at Farris Bad in Larvik, recently voted the best spa in Scandinavia.

Best Time to Visit Norway

June, July, and August are the best months to visit Norway for warmer temperatures and longer days. The warmest month in Norway is July.

A visit anytime between September and March should give you a good chance to see the Northern Lights. November through February is the absolute peak season for Northern Lights viewing because the nights are the longest, and March is the best month for clear skies.

For more information on Norway, check out Marie on Twitter here @elusive_moose, or this great Norway travel guide from Rick Steves.

Inspired to visit Norway? Visit TripAdvisor for Hotel Deals in Norway.

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