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14 Terrific Destinations in Norway

Most of us are familiar with Europe, but may not have explored its northern part in-depth. Norway, in particular, is often associated with Vikings, fjords, and icy landscapes. However, this stunning country has much more to offer, including the mesmerizing midnight sun and northern lights. Visitors can also explore medieval towns, charming waterfalls, traditional wooden churches, and numerous hiking trails. To help you plan an unforgettable trip to Norway, we have compiled a list of the top 14 must-visit destinations in this beautiful country. Each one includes a video tour, so you can really get an impression of the place!

14 Places in Norway that Prove It's a Magical Land

1. Voringfossen Falls

Voringfossen Falls, situated in Måbødalen, a narrow valley located between Oslo and Bergen, are the most popular waterfalls in Norway. Though they are only 180 meters tall and occupy the 83rd position among the highest waterfalls in the country, they have been a top tourist destination for 200 years. Unfortunately, the hydroelectric plant built upstream has reduced their power. However, there is no reason to worry since the entire area will be renovated by 2020. The renovation includes the construction of paved roads, bridges, parking spaces, and improved and new observation points, which will make the falls more accessible and popular.
Voringfossen Falls

Watch a video of Voringfossen Falls

2. Nidaros Cathedral

Nidaros Cathedral is a historical and cultural landmark located in the city of Trondheim, Norway. The cathedral is the largest medieval building in Scandinavia and has been a site of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages. It was built over the tomb of Saint Olav, the patron saint of Norway, and is considered an important symbol of Norwegian national identity. The cathedral underwent extensive restoration and renovation in the 19th and 20th centuries, and today, it is open for visitors to explore and admire its stunning architecture and rich history.
Nidaros Cathedral was constructed by the Vikings in Trondheim as a tribute to their leader, King Olaf Haraldsson, who was slain in the "Battle of Stiklestad" near Trondheim in 1030. Olaf's nephew commenced the building of the cathedral in 1066 to inter his uncle's remains, but the actual construction was concluded in 1090. Over the years, several enhancements were made to the original structure. The cathedral instantly became a significant pilgrimage center in Norway, and subsequently became the most important church in the country and the largest medieval building in Scandinavia. Initially, it was built in the Romanesque style but was subsequently renovated in the Gothic Revival style in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, the cathedral is a popular tourist destination, known for its architectural design, historical significance, and religious importance.
Nidaros Cathedral
Watch a video of Nidaros Cathedral

3. Nordkapp

Nordkapp, also known as "Cape of the North," is situated on a peninsula in the northern part of Magria Island in Northern Norway. The local council named Nordkapp is also located in the same territory. If you love being under the midnight sun, then Nordkapp is the perfect destination for you as the sun does not set from May 14th to July 29th. It is also the northernmost point in Europe connected to the international road network. Although the weather conditions in this region are harsh for most of the year, Nordkapp is mainly a summer tourist destination. The place offers breathtaking panoramic views with numerous hiking trails under the Arctic sun, where you can spot exotic animals like puffins in their natural environment.


Watch a video of Nordkapp

4. Jostedalsbreen Glacier

 A particularly impressive view and a lot of ice, this is probably the best description of the glacier - an ice dome located in the Sogen og Fjordtna county in the southwestern part of Norway. The ice dome covers an area of ​​about 480 square kilometers, is 60 kilometers long and at its peak reaches a thickness of 600 meters, all of which make it the largest glacier on the European continent. Many years ago, the locals could cross the glacier on foot, but today this is almost impossible because it is significantly smaller.

In 1991, the Jostedalsbreen National Park was established around the ice dome, on an area of ​​1,310 square kilometers, which attracts many tourists all year round. Hiking and skiing are allowed in the glacier area, but adventure sports enthusiasts will have to be very careful because the shrinking of the glacier may pose a danger to those seeking challenges. It is highly recommended to take a walk in the national park, which offers comfortable trails and beautiful views no less than the glacier itself.

Jostedalsbreen Glacier

Watch a video of Jostedalsbreen Glacier


5. Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo offers visitors a glimpse into the past, showcasing the impressive ships used by Vikings during their invasions centuries ago. These ships, including Gokstad and Osberg, date back to the 9th century AD and are well-preserved for visitors to see. The Osberg ship, in particular, is a highlight of the museum, having been recovered in its entirety from where it had sunk. Alongside these ships, visitors can also view fabrics, tools, household items, and accessories found in Viking graves.

Viking Ship Museum

Watch a video of The Viking Ship Museum

6. Heddal Stave Church

The Heddal Stave Church, situated in Heddal, Norway, stands as the largest church in the country. It comprises three central halls that soar high into the sky, and it is located northwest of Notoden, which is a 45-minute drive from Oslo. The church, which is entirely built of wood, dates back to the 13th century AD and is said to have been constructed in three days by five local farmers - according to local legend. It underwent renovations in the 19th and 20th centuries and is still used for Sunday Masses and weddings during the summer months

Heddal Stave Church

Watch a video of The Heddal Stave Church

7. Geirangerfjord

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Norway are its fjords, with the Jairangerfjord being among the most stunning ones. Situated in southwestern Norway, southeast of the coastal town of Ålesund, this fjord spans over 15 km and offers breathtaking views of clear and deep blue waters, surrounded by green mountains that rise up to 1,000 meters. Visitors can enjoy the sight of numerous waterfalls, such as "De Sive Sasterna" and "Broodslert", along with old agricultural farms scattered all over the place. The Yirangerfjord is connected by a ferry that crosses between the towns of Yiranger and Helsylt, attracting around 600,000 tourists and over 150 cruise ships to the area each year.


Watch a video of Geirangerfjord

8. Lofoten Archipalego

The Lofoten Archipelago is situated in the northern region of Norway, surrounded by several fjords. This area is characterized by high mountains, and you can find small towns inhabited by local artists and fishermen. Lofoten Islands offer an array of outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, fishing, rafting, and diving. It is also one of the best places for surfing in Norway. Apart from these activities, visitors can relish the breathtaking views, witness natural phenomena like the Northern Lights and midnight sun, explore museums, participate in Viking feasts, and many more varied activities.

Lofoten Archipalego

Watch a video of Geirangerfjord

9. Bryggen

Bryggen is a district located near the northeastern dock of the port of the city of Bergen in Norway, and it is characterized by wooden houses built during the time when the city was a member of the Hanseatic League - an alliance of merchants in state cities in the region from the end of the 12th century, which arose from economic motives. The district stretches between the harbor pier and the upper street and has an area of ​​13,000 square kilometers, with 61 wooden houses and long narrow passages between them.

Today, Brigan is a lively entertainment area in the city and one of its attractions, where you can also find the Brigan Museum, which displays the remains of buildings from the first century of its existence of the city, along with various findings from the Middle Ages.In addition, you can go to the Maria Church in the city, which was built in the 12th century, and visit the Hanseatic Museum, which presents life during Bergen's membership in the Hanseatic League.


Watch a video of Bryggen

10. The City of Tromsø

romsa is situated in the Troms county of northern Norway and is ranked as the seventh most populous city with around 70 thousand inhabitants. The city has the largest area in Norway and was officially established in 1794, however, its first church was built in 1250 on the same site. Tromsa is famous for its university, brewery founded in 1877, botanical garden, and the northernmost planetarium in the world. It's regarded as one of the world's tourist hubs for observing the northern lights and experiencing skiing in the snow using sleds pulled by husky dogs.

The City of Tromsø

Watch a video of Tromsø

11. Svalbard Archipalego 

This group of islands is located in the northernmost part of Europe, and it seamlessly blends natural beauty with a well-established human society. The archipelago is situated in the Arctic Ocean, about halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Visitors can engage in unique activities throughout the year with the help of live-in guides. Longyearbyen, the main city and capital with a population of 1,700, is often referred to as a mini-metropolis due to its high-quality services, restaurants, and cafes that are typically found in larger cities.

Svalbard Archipalego

12. The village of Flåm 

Nestled in the heart of Norway's majestic fjord country, the picturesque village of Flåm welcomes travelers from around the globe to experience its breathtaking beauty and rich history. Surrounded by steep, lush mountains and perched on the edge of the magnificent Aurlandsfjord, Flåm is a hidden gem that offers a serene escape from the hustle of urban life.

Visitors flock to Flåm to embark on the world-renowned Flåm Railway, an engineering marvel that traverses the steep mountain landscape, showcasing awe-inspiring waterfalls, snow-capped peaks, and traditional Norwegian stave churches along the way. The area's abundant hiking trails, including the scenic Aurlandsdalen Valley, beckon adventure-seekers to explore its pristine wilderness.

Flåm's history is deeply rooted in the Viking Age, and a visit to the nearby Otternes Farm Village offers a glimpse into its storied past. Whether you're seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, Flåm's enchanting allure promises a memorable and inspiring journey.

The village of Flåm 

13. The city of Trondheim

Trondheim is a small village that attracts a large number of visitors every year due to its spectacular location in Norway. This charming and gorgeous city was founded by Viking king Olaf I in the year 997 and is situated near the Orlandsfjord, a branch of one of the deepest and second-longest fjords in the world, surrounded by steep mountains, waterfalls, and narrow valleys. Trondheim is the third-largest city in the country and is known for its wide streets, vibrant pedestrian culture, and colorful wooden buildings that adorn the banks of the Nidelva River and the Trondheim Fjord. The city has a bustling cultural scene, with numerous festivals and a thriving café and restaurant culture that focuses on renewing local cuisine.
During the spring and summer months, the fjord is dotted with holiday boats sailing along the coast. Besides the picturesque landscapes and the natural beauty of the area, there are numerous attractions available for tourists to enjoy, including a 20 km train ride that takes visitors through rivers, waterfalls, steep mountains, and agricultural farms, hiking opportunities in the nearby mountains, fishing in the river, and cycling along one of the most popular and scenic bicycle routes in Norway. Other attractions in Trondheim include the Nidaros Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace, the Backlandt, the city wall, the Kristianstan Fortress, and much more.

The city of Trondheim

14. Ålesund

Ålesund is a charming town situated in western Norway. The town stands out for its art nouveau architecture and breathtaking views. It is situated in a unique area between islands that extend to the Atlantic Ocean. The town rose from the ashes of a fire that destroyed it in 1904. The unusual architectural style used to rebuild the town's houses is a significant attraction. Today, Ålesund is a cultural hub of the region, hosting various festivals such as theater, Norwegian literature, food, music, and art. The town also offers a range of activities like kayaking, hiking, skiing, fishing, and more, which make it one of Norway's most popular destinations.Ålesund

Watch a video of Ålesund

Photo sources: bvi4092serena_tangKaren BlahaDaniel GillaspiaGuillaume BaviereHans Permana

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