After a 1 month and a ½ trip in Norway … we fell in love with this country. So here are all our tips to enjoy Norway, this beautiful Scandinavian country.
Are you looking for a nature trip? Do not hesitate, we recommend Norway 100%. Certainly the most expensive country of Scandinavia, but it remains however our big favorite of this region as magnificent as exotic.
Our itinerary in Norway
Why you should go to Norway?
Hundreds of fjords, breathtaking views, impressive nature, abundant fishing, hikes for everybody, living cities, we won’t lie … Ze Caillou loved it!
You’re organizing a travel to Norway and are looking for ideas to discover Norwegian must do? Here are all our advices to enjoy this beautiful country.
10 must do in Norway
1. Amazing hikes
Preikestolen,Trolltunga and many others…
You are a hike and breathtaking views’ addict? Do not look further, Norway is for you. The mythical Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock and its 604m in the South-West region of Norway lasts only 3h or 4h round trip, including 350m vertical drop for a little less than 4km. With no particular difficulty this large square stone (Preikestolen means The Chair) overlooks the magnificent Lyse Fjord.
For your info, the car park costs 20 €. We didn’t read about that on any website and discover it only once arriving there.
A little further up, between Odda and Voss is Trolltunga’s superb viewpoint aka Troll Tongue. The hike is not the same, but the panorama totaly worth the detour. The “tongue” overlooks the Rindesalsvatnet’s waters from nearly 700 meters. This walk lasts about 10 / 12h round trip for 20 km (900m vertical drop) and starts at the Skjeggedal car park which is really expensive (30€ for 12h). So we decided to park in town (16km return) and walk for 2 days camping at the top (very cold in September). A great idea as we were alone almost 1 hour on the tongue in the morning.
Others ideas of beautiful hikes in Norway… here
2. Breathtaking roads
But try to keep an eye on your road!
Coastal road, Atlantic road, Trollstigen… crossing Norway, you’ll find so many roads that really worth it. Amazing landscapes, tortuous routes…Norway counts 18 official scenic routes and much more non official one. In details on visitnorway.
Beware of Tolls.
Some roads are expensive (ex : 15€ a bridge, 10€ atlantic road…). And if you come with your own vehicle, you should register your number on Autopass. Like that, you won’t have to stop to pay the toll, the bills will be sent on your online acount. If you don’t, Norwegian autorities will take time, but will find you and send you the bill at home.
Scandinavian wooden church
Stavkirke are medieval wooden carved churches. While churches were mainly built in stone during the middle ages, in Norway, they were built in wood. As wood was part of the Scandinavian culture (vikings used it for boats and houses). Patterns seems to be Viking patterns: animals, dragons…
This type of church also exists in other countries of North-West Europe (in Sweden, Germany, and Poland), but most of them having been destroyed, the majority of standing Stavkirke are now in Norway (thirty more or less). Their common point: “corner posts (stavers) and a wooden frame with wall boards placed on pieces of seat”. That why they are called standing wooden churches.
Most impressive ones are Heddal, Borgund and Hopperstad.
4. Eternal ice
Snow, even in summer
Whether you go to Norway in winter or summer … you can find snow on the Norwegian’s glaciers. Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier in Europe is located in the park of the same name. You can go there just for the view. Easy to get to, try the Boyabreen Glacier to see this glacier heading towards you. Or for more sensations, many centers offer hiking, kayaking or rafting in a spectacular landscape.
In brief, a real change of scene.
5. Northern lights
Hunting Aurora borealis
During a trip to Norway, it’s hard not to dream of seeing the northern lights. Except if you plan to stay in southern Norway and go there in the middle of summer.
The best seasons are February-March and September-October. After 1 month and a half there (from September to October), we advise you rather March. Because in autumn, even if the forecasts are high, there are many clouds and with clouds, expect zero visibility.
And of course, the more at the north you’ll be, the better your chances of seeing aurora borealis. For the lucky ones, in September it is even possible to see aurora borealis at the Voss / Bergen level. And here, all our tips to go hunting for Northern lights in Lapland.
6. Geiranger Fjord
A boat cruise, will you?
The Geiranger fjord is certainly one of the most visited places in Norway. No. 1 of the Lonely Planet’s top 10, that is to say. Indeed, the boat cruise of this fjord is majestic, the n ° 1, I do not know, but in the top, we agree!
About 25 € for 1h approx. … you will be wowed. And hopefully you’ll see rainbows dancing in the Sju Søstre waterfall, “The Seven Sisters“.
FYI, we paid about 110 € to make the one way Hellesylt > Geiranger with a van, 2 adults and 1 dog of 10kg (September 2017) on this website.
7. Fishing in the open sea, fjords and lake
When you like to fish…
Fishing addict or you just want to eat your own food? We’ve never been as lucky as in Norway (while we tried many times in Ireland and Sweden). In Brief, nothing is better than cooking your fresh fish on a hot BBQ.
In Norway, you need a fishing license if you want to fish in a lake. However, nothing to fish in the open water (and therefore in fjords). No need to say that we took advantage of it and that we fed us with fish for weeks. Pollack, coalfish, mackerel, cod … (what we could fish, with 1st price Decathlon rope designed for river water).
So, take your rope!
8. Free fall in a wind tunnel
To get thrills
You’re looking for thrills? We jump in with both feet, or rather with the full body in a wind tunnel. Less frightening and cheaper than a real freefall, the freefall in wind tunnel give us sensations.
So we put on our jumper outfit and let ourselves be guided in the “wind tunnel” after a very clear briefing. The basic position, how to get down, climb, turn and communicate inside the tunnel as you can not hear anything.
No need to tell you that it was a pure moment. It’s not scary and the feeling of flying is very real and nice, at least for us. The people who work there are super nice, which makes the activity even more cool. In addition, we realize how small the world is when our “monitor” of VossVind told us that he has already jumped in Reunion with one of Romain ‘s childhood friend.
9. Lively towns (Oslo, Bergen)
And yes, when you’re a fan of outdoor, Norway is nature and breathtaking landscapes, sports activities (hiking, kayaking, skiing, cycling …), boat trips, standing wooden churches… but not only. Norway is of course also its cities and its inhabitants.
Oslo, a human sized capital
1st town of the country, Oslo is different from others capitals. You can get closer with your car (and even find a parking spot if you’re lucky). Walk in town and cross as many parks than buildings (or almost), which is very nice, furthermore when you’re traveling with you dog.
You can visit the time by foot. Pass from the hipster district and its covered market to the historic center.
Then from the popular district to the fancy waterfront and the well known Opera of Oslo. We spend 4 days in this cosmopolitan capital.
Bergen, the Norwegian 2cd town
Located in the center-east of the country, Bergen is a very pleasant city. A nice neighborhood with old colorful buildings, Bryggen, near the harbor and fish market.
Beautiful views with its cable car. We went because we read that Bergen was one of the nicest cities in Norway. And it’s true that the city, concentrated around its harbour (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is both calm and lively.
You can visit it the town by foot. The concert hall has a cool programme (we were there during the music and films festival), and the town has a great Decorative Art museum, the KODE.
10. Norwegian ferrys
We won’t have the choice
Indeed, depending on what you planned to do in Norway, there are many chances that you’ll need to take some internal ferrys. So, if your itinerary looks like ours… you’ll certainly have to take 4 or 5 ferrys.
The vast majority of the time, there are very frequently (between 10 mins and ½h) and cost between 10 and 15 € (for 1 car and 2 adults). You can avoid them, but it will make you travel many more miles. And yes, the Norwegian fjords are beautiful, but they break up all the west coast of the country. So enjoy the scenery!
Know more about Norway?
Discover our 100% Norwegian playlist on Youtube
You are planning a roadtrip in Scandinavia?