It is hard not to dream about visiting Norway. The 385,252 square kilometer Scandinavian country is full of beautiful sceneries, as well as cities that showcase their love for design, music, arts and culture.
It has all sorts of sights and activities for all kinds of travelers; food lovers, backpackers, history and architecture enthusiasts, etc. You name it! Norway is not the cheapest to visit, but it will pay you back with unforgettable experiences.
Here are 5 of the best cities in Norway to start your adventure:
Oslo is Norway’s capital and biggest city, with a population of about 700,000. The social scene is quickly growing with the abundance of restaurants and museums showcasing art, history, and culture. At the same time, it still feels like a small town.
Oslo also has a lot to offer to architecture enthusiasts. To name a few, there is the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, the Astrup Fearnley Museet, the Barcode, and Akrobaten pedestrian bridge. What’s more is that the city is easy to explore by bike, by foot, or their public transportation system.
If you love adventure, hiking, and nature, then you should put Stavanger on your bucket list of destinations. Stavanger is famous for “Pulpit Rock” which is a plateau that overlooks Lysefjord. It is a view to kill for! You can also do activities in or near Stavanger such as surfing (in Sola Beach), glacier hiking, hiking, and rafting.
When you want to take it easy, Stavanger offers a lot of art even just by walking along the streets. In fact, it is one of the world’s best destinations for Street Art. If this interests you, consider visiting around the time when the Nuart Street Art Festival takes place. You will also find a lot of pubs, restaurants, and museums in Stavanger.
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, but it still gives you that small town feel and charm. One of the main reasons visitors come by is that it is a gateway to the some of the loveliest fjords of Norway. If it reminds you of Frozen’s Arendelle, that’s because the makers of the movie got inspiration from this city.
For nature lovers, you will surely enjoy the mountains and fjords that surround this city. It is a great starting point to a lot of outdoor adventures. But before you do that, make sure you roam around the city and enjoy rich history and culture. Bryggen or “The Hanseatic Wharf” is a popular attraction in Bergen. It showcases old, yet preserved colorful wooden houses, which are now a Unesco World Heritage Site.
As if the fjords were not enough of a reason already, Norway throws another reason for us to visit: the northern lights. They say the country is one of the best places to see this glorious phenomenon. In Tromso, the city north of the Arctic Circle, you can see the northern lights, around September to March. If you want an even more exciting experience, you can rough it out in sleeping bags over mattresses with dry grass. Check out Aurora Camp Suite for more information on this exotic and exciting experience.
Tromsø also offers a lot of fun activities for outdoor enthusiasts. You can go kayaking, hiking, dog sledding, and go on a whale safari. If you want to stay in the city, it also offers plenty of nightlife.
Norway’s third largest city is Trondheim, with a population of 180,000. On a European scale, it may not exactly be a large city, but it does have a lot to offer. Students make up about 30,000 of the population, which is why you will find that it is quite an active and outgoing city. You will find a lot of outdoor activities to do here, especially since it is home to seven national parks. You can go kayaking, fishing, biking, camping, hiking, and more.
It will take a long time or multiple visits for you to see all the beautiful places in Norway. This list is barely scratching the surface. But still, I hope it helps you get started on your adventure. These cities are a great starting point for all sorts of adventure. So, get your backpack, a comfortable pair of hiking sandals, and your camera ready. Of course, bring appropriate clothes for the weather. Norway can still be chilly even in summer.
Louise is the founder of TheAdventureLand.com, where she and her associates blog about Outdoor experiences, tips & tricks that will help you have an exciting adventure. She is also a tour guide of travel company where she learned many things about wilderness. “Let’s pack our bags and explore the world!”. Follow her on Twitter or Google+.