7 Stunning and Iconic Things to Do in Norway

Norway is the type of country that must be experienced once in a lifetime. Where else can you find this unique mix of history, nature, food and architecture? This otherworldly landscape, this ancient Viking heritage?

To this day, and despite having visited 20+ other countries, Norway still ranks pretty high up my list of favorite destinations. Let’s see what I did while I was there – besides eating my weight in smoked salmon and refinancing my house to pay for said salmon.

Old City of Bergen

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things to do in norway
 

things to do in norway

I’ve declared my love for Bergen quite abundantly on this space – few places in Europe, heck, in the world, have made such an impression on me.

Bergen is home to one of the most famous architectural sights of Norway, Bryggen – dating back from the 14th century, they are some of the oldest and most colorful still-standing-albeit-slightly-crooked buildings in the country, and quite the sight. The fish market, the aquarium, and the fjord panorama from Mount Fløyen are also worth a stop, as are the many quaint coffeeshops scattered around the cobblestone alleys (like Knøsesmauet, pictured above) in the Old Town. A welcome shelter from the crazy weather of Bergen!

Cruise in the fjords

things to do in norway things to do in norway

It would be like going to Paris and skipping the Eiffel Tower, right? There is no such thing as going to Norway and skipping the fjords. A cruise is the simplest and most impressive way to marvel at these natural beauties, and plus, there are much fewer crowds waiting to see the fjords than the Iron Lady. It’s just you, and nature, in a quiet contemplative moment.

Overnight in Flam

things to do in norway

things to do in norway things to do in norway

Most fjord cruises finish in Flam, for the simple reason that the famous Flam Railway starts there. But instead of hopping directly into the train, why not stay overnight? This small village – and it is not a hyperbole, there are roughly 4 houses – is not only strikingly beautiful but also relaxing, and gives the perfect opportunity to sit back, breathe the fresh air and appreciate Norway for what it is. There is a gorgeous luxurious hotel as well as a quaint brewery that will certainly make for a nice tranquil evening.

Flam railway

things to do in norway things to do in norway things to do in norway

Hello, the most iconic train ride in the world! It may only be 20 kilometres long and you last only an hour, but is it a memorable experience nonetheless. The change in scenery is quite fascinating the closer you get to Myrdal, the final destination, and slowly morphs from luxuriant green mountains to lunar-like stone formations. A captivating journey, I’ll say that.

Akershus

things to do in norway

things to do in norway

Welcome to Oslo’s medieval fortress! The stunning castle was built in the utmost Nordic fashion and has been miraculously well-preserved despite the nine centuries that have come and gone since its construction, successfully surviving every single Swedish force sieges. Walking on the castle’s ground is free of charge and is akin to time-traveling; on a crisp autumn day, few things are more enjoyable in Oslo than a simple stroll around this historic and photogenic landmark located directly on Oslo’s harbor – one of my favorite things to do in the city.

See “The Scream”

What better way to highlight the cultural scene of Norway than by seeing its most famous painting right in its birthplace? Indeed, why not go and see for yourself the celebrated « The Scream » by Edvard Munch at the National Gallery of Norway in downtown Oslo – for just 50 NOK (a bargain by Norwegian standards!)

And if you’re curious about the Norwegian museum scene, make sure to visit Oslo’s museum island! Also a good excuse for a boat ride in the harbour ;-)

Hang out with the cool kids in Grunnerloka

things to do in norway

things to do in norway

If you would rather sit on a sunny terrace and drink delicious Norwegian coffee instead of seeing the other landmarks of Oslo, the place to be is Grunnerlokka – a neighbourhood just north of the harbour. It’s the Oslo equivalent of Williamsburg or Shoreditch, meaning that it is filled with quirky boutiques, trendy restaurants and hip locals, and gorgeous lively squares that always seem to be bustling with activity. The perfect way to end a trip to Norway on a high note, and experience the famous Scandinavian allure that’s on everyone’s lips these days.

What are YOUR favorite things to do in Norway?

33 Comments on 7 Stunning and Iconic Things to Do in Norway

  1. Katie @ Second-Hand Hedgehog
    January 19, 2015 at 6:10 pm (3 years ago)

    My parents went to Norway last year – reading this post and looking at your pictures totally reminds me of how jealous I was when they went! Looks like such an amazing country. :-)

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      January 28, 2015 at 2:25 pm (3 years ago)

      It really is an amazing place. Definitely one of my favorites in Europe.

      Reply
  2. Bronwyn
    January 20, 2015 at 12:01 pm (3 years ago)

    What a gorgeous place! One day…. for sure. My next open slot is 2018. Is that soon enough??

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres
      January 28, 2015 at 2:26 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s way too far ahead! You should go to Norway the minute you get the chance :-)

      Reply
  3. Sam
    October 14, 2015 at 9:31 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi there! So nice to see you have discovered how beautiful a country Norway really is :) Also, if you travel north directly from Oslo, say ex. with train (Dovrebanen, goes from Oslo to Trondheim), there are so many small places and gorgeous towns you will pass by, not to mention the fantastic nature you’ll be able to see all the way. Sometimes, when the train goes up to Dovre mountain, they often slow down when there has been spotted Mosk okses there and the conductor will guide a bit over the announcment system so travelers can spot them, as that area is famous for it’s wild floks of these amazing and great animals. And that’s just one little thing, among many during an amazing travel. Not sure how you feel about the small towns and walleys, but those places are the true and real Norway. As I myself live in the area of the true old Norway, the walley and area where the tales and stories about Trolls, Hulders and underground creatures and farmgoblins originates from, the Gudbrandsdal Walley, I can truly recomend you to go off the trail of the cities and main roads once if the opportunity calls for it, and visit these places. You will not find any more beaytiful nature and mountain areas then here, and some of those places will throw you right into a feeling of being in those old nordic folktales you may have heard about, or read, where poor mountainfarm-boy travels out to save the kingdom from the trolls and by doing so he win the kings daughter and half the realm :) I left a link to an old blog I used to make, it’s in no way pro, it’s ruggedly made and I’m sure has an unbundance of typoo’s, but it is mainly about Norway, it shows the walley I’ve now mentioned, it shows a bit of those mountain areas, and more – I’m not updating it anymore, but if you want to see a bit of these norwegian small towns and walleys, you can see and read a bit about them there. By the way, I’m glad I found your blog – love the pictures! Falltime Rocks :)

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      October 17, 2015 at 12:57 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much for all that info Sam! :)

      Reply
  4. Helena
    November 5, 2015 at 10:45 am (2 years ago)

    Marie
    Love seeing your beautiful Photos from Norway. I grew up in Sweden and I take my family there every summer. This summer we want to spend some time in Norway and will defiantly do Bergen, cruise to Flam and then train to Myrdal. Can you tell me how you went about booking that trip. It would be very helpful. Thank you so much / Helena
    What hotel did you stay in in Flam?

    Reply
  5. Cori
    December 15, 2015 at 3:39 pm (2 years ago)

    Lovely! We honeymooned in Norway (on a motorcycle!) and it tops my list of most amazing trips. My personal favorites were Trollsteigen and Priekstolen. Incredible country!

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      December 22, 2015 at 9:54 am (2 years ago)

      What a romantic and exhilarating honeymoon!

      Reply
  6. Katherine
    January 17, 2016 at 2:51 pm (2 years ago)

    Hello there! I think your blog is wonderful and this Norway post has really inspired me. I’m thinking of venturing to Norway myself and would like some pointers. How did you get from Flam to Oslo? And in general, how did you get around? This does not seem like an easy place to travel from city to city!

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      January 18, 2016 at 5:04 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much! I took the train from Flam to Oslo. The first part was the famous and scenic Flamsbana, that took me to Myrdal. And then I took a speedy train to Oslo. It was a wonderful journey throughout!

      Reply
  7. Caitlin Dally
    January 20, 2016 at 3:05 pm (2 years ago)

    What time of year is this? I plan on traveling to Norway mid October later this year and I’m curious how it looks that time of year and what weather I should expect. :)

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      January 20, 2016 at 5:22 pm (2 years ago)

      This was early October! Expect chilly but comfortable temperatures, with lots of colourful trees :-)

      Reply
  8. Map & Fork
    February 12, 2016 at 2:01 pm (2 years ago)

    We have just came back from a 3 weeks interrail tour in Scandinavia and crossed all norway from south to north. We would add the wonderful Trondheim and Roros to your list as well as the road trip from Bodo to Narvik with such stunning views!

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      February 13, 2016 at 4:47 pm (2 years ago)

      Wow! Writing down these destinations, I love Norway and always want to see more.

      Reply
  9. Sharon houser
    March 6, 2016 at 7:20 pm (2 years ago)

    I want to travel to Norway and I am now concerned with all of the migrants and crime? Are there certain areas a traveler should avoid for safety?

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      March 11, 2016 at 11:13 am (2 years ago)

      I really don’t think you should be concerned with that. Norway is one of the safest countries on Earth!

      Reply
  10. Pam
    March 29, 2016 at 4:23 pm (1 year ago)

    I only have five days in Norway. We fly into Oslo, what would you sudjest we do to get the most out of our short time there?

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      April 10, 2016 at 5:22 pm (1 year ago)

      Definitely make it west to the fjords. It is quintessentially Norwegian. Look into the Norway in a Nutshell programme.

      Reply
  11. Leigha
    April 8, 2016 at 1:00 am (1 year ago)

    Hi there, just stumbled across your blog as I was doing some research on Norway. My fiancé and I are planning a 10 days trip to Norway, Denmark and Sweden this Aug/Sept. We are so excited! We will be flying in to Oslo. I’m hoping to book the Norway in a Nutshell tour. Would you recommend staying overnight in Flam or Bergen? Both places look absolutely stunning. How long would you recommend spending in Bergen and Oslo to explore the city?
    Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      April 10, 2016 at 5:13 pm (1 year ago)

      I did both and it would be very hard for me to choose! I guess an overnight in Bergen makes more sense as there are more things to do, but Flam is an adorable hamlet with gorgeous scenery. I would recommend three days in Oslo and two days in Bergen.

      Reply
  12. Denise
    August 9, 2016 at 8:55 pm (1 year ago)

    Plan on making a trip to Norway soon. So am interested in all things Norsk.

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      August 17, 2016 at 2:00 pm (1 year ago)

      have a great trip Denise!

      Reply
  13. Gaby
    September 16, 2016 at 12:11 am (1 year ago)

    loved your post!!! it looks amazing!!!
    Hubby and I are doing a stop over in Oslo for three days in November. what would be your recommendations to us of to make the most of that little time in that amazing country? :) I really want to go to Bergen:) thanks a lot!!! :)

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      September 19, 2016 at 6:41 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Gaby! Enjoy your trip to Norway. Three days is not a lot to explore Norway but with frequent rail connections you could go to Flam and perhaps even ski in the vicinity of Oslo depending on the weather. Bergen is also doable, but a little far!

      Reply
  14. Bilyana
    February 10, 2017 at 12:51 pm (7 months ago)

    One day Norway, one day. Norway is on the top of my bucket list along with the Lofoten Islands and Svalbard.

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      March 14, 2017 at 2:04 pm (6 months ago)

      It’s a good thing it’s all the same country then! ;-)

      Reply
  15. SY
    April 22, 2017 at 10:09 pm (5 months ago)

    We’re flying into Amsterdam with two teens and wondering if we should go to Sweden for 5 days or Norway, what do you suggest?

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      April 26, 2017 at 4:32 pm (5 months ago)

      It depends on what you prefer: nature or cities. Norway for nature, Sweden for cities.

      Reply
  16. Emily
    May 3, 2017 at 7:08 am (5 months ago)

    If you are to visit Norway you should definitely go further north than Oslo and Bergen. The area of Lofoten is said to be one of the most beautiful places in Norway and after going there I second that. In the north of Norway you will also be able to experience the midnight sun or the northern lights, depending on the season. It is really beautiful and makes you want to stay outside all night long.
    Røros (down south) sould also be a place to visit if you wish to see more of the old, oridginal Norway.

    Reply
    • Marie-Eve
      May 3, 2017 at 12:03 pm (5 months ago)

      I’ve always wanted to go to Lofoten! Maybe on my next trip :-)

      Reply

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  1. […] are some amazing and iconic things to do in Norway, and Marie with To Europe and Beyond has listed seven of those things in her blog […]

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