There are so many best places in Norway to visit. I mean, you’ve got the Troms region in the very north, Alesund on the west coast and lovely little places like Flåm that are nestled deep in the mountains.
Plus, don’t even get me started with all the incredible fjords you should visit. The whole country is a proper goldmine of places that every traveller should see.
Obviously, Norway has an incredible diversity that goes far beyond its beautiful scenery, with its culture being just as exciting and beautiful to experience.
From the likes of the Sami people in the north with their historic cultural traditions to the cosmopolitan culture of Oslo – there’s a little slice of Norwegian culture that everyone will enjoy.
Anyway, without rambling on about just every cultural spot, I wanted to share some of the best places in Norway.
1.) Drive the Atlanterhavsveien (The Atlantic Road)
The Atlanterhavsveien, commonly known as the Atlantic Road in English is a gorgeous and impressive drive through one of the best places in Norway.
Connecting the mainland of Norway with the pretty island of Averøya, it’s a great place to drive for the day. Make sure to visit Kvernes Stave Church, too. It’s around 600 years old and one of the oldest in the region.
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for Storseisundet Bridge, too.
2.) See the beautiful Hamnøy
Hamnøy in Lofoten has become known, the world over, for its impressive landscape and unspoilt charm… and it’s easy to see why.
Possibly one of the best places in Norway, it’s a spot you should definitely head to without hesitation.
Make sure to visit the tiny little fishing village of Hamnøy which is the oldest in Lofoten. Perched on the edge of the Reinefjord (fjord), it really is a place you shouldn’t miss.
Also, it looks just as impressive during the day as it does at night, especially if you see the northern lights.
3.) Visit the tiny village of Reine
Easily, one of the best places in Norway – Reine is picture-perfect.
Nestled on the island of Moskenesøya it is actually part of the Lofoten set of islands and archipelago that’s made this region so gorgeous.
For a stunning experience, wrap up warm (with plenty of layers) and head to Bunes Beach, especially at night. Find a nice spot, lay back on the sandy beach and watch the dancing Northern Lights above you. It really is a special experience.
4.) Explore Bergen
Bergen is a great city to explore and one that’s steeped in history. Make sure you wander through the wooden buildings and crooked wharf that is Bryggen (a UNESCO-protected site).
Ride the Fløibanen (funicular) to see the best sunset over the city and wander around the trails and walkways that crisscross the mountain tops.
If it’s a sunny day, make sure to take a picnic with you. It really is one of the best places in Norway to explore.
5.) Find the best coffee in Oslo
Oslo is a surprising city, to me at least.
The centre of the town is surprisingly small (if you’re coming from places like London) but it’s actually filled with a whole heap of unique shops, gorgeous art and some iconic buildings you shouldn’t miss.
Make sure to visit The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet which looks incredible when the sun is setting. Visit the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History and head out on a boat for the afternoon on the Oslo Fjord.
For the best coffee, head over to Tim Wendelboe, they literally know everything and anything to do with good-quality roasts. Just be warned, if you visit at peak times, you’ll likely have to take your coffee to go; there’s limited seating inside.
6.) Explore the Arctic Circle on a Spa Boat
Yup, you heard that right!
There’s a dedicated spa boat in the Arctic Circle that you can hop on and discover more of the best places in Norway. Moored in Tromso, it’s best to book your tickets online and arrive in plenty of time before the boat leaves.
I mean, where can you dip into a piping hot tub, bathe in a steam room, relax in a sauna and watch whales from the deck – all whilst cruising through the Arctic Circle?
Without sounding too cheesy, it really is magical. Make sure to take a dip in the almost freezing sea too. As you can see from my face, I let out the biggest scream once I hopped in!
7.) Hike Pulpit Rock
You’re almost guaranteed one of the best views of Norway from the top of Pulpit Rock. I mean, it’s one of the best places in Norway – especially with the vistas you’ll see across the fjord. Now, the hike itself (return) takes around 4-5 hours but it depends on how fast and fit you are.
The hike itself is pretty amazing too, just be prepared for changing weather conditions and be extra careful once you reach the top. Hikers have died falling off the ledge, especially during high winds.
Don’t risk getting too close to the edge. After all, it’s a 600+ metre (2000 ft) almost vertical drop! Without sounding too much like a parent, always be sensible and safe on these hikes – it’s no fun to anyone if you cause yourself an injury.
8.) Spot puffins on Runde Island
Runde Island is one of the prettiest and best places in Norway to visit – especially for a tiny little island. You can actually sail directly on a RIB boat from the city of Alesund, which is great if you’re short on time.
If you want to keep your feet on dry land, you can also drive across one of the bridges, too. Make sure to visit when the puffins are home. If you’re lucky you’ll spot thousands in and around this unspoilt landscape.
9.) Visit the Briksdalsbreen Glacier
Possibly one of the easiest glaciers to visit around Stryn, the Briksdalsbreen Glacier is truly one of the best places in Norway you should see.
The Glacier itself is an ‘offshoot’ or arm of the much larger, Jostedalsbreen glacier which is also amazing to see (but harder to get to). So if you’re looking for a challenge, maybe look for another route/glacier.
As I mentioned, It’s a pretty easy glacier to see if you’re struggling with some of Norway’s more challenging hikes, especially due to the troll cars that will take you up to the top. If you do decide to hike, it’s a pretty short 45-60 minutes to the glacier.
10.) Find polar bears in Svalbard
Perched on Spitsbergen Island in Svalbard, Longyearbyen is a cosy little place that is pretty remote (even by Norwegian standards). Perched high within the Arctic Circle, it’s a pretty wild and awe-inspiring place to visit.
From here you’ll be able to join a few designated and responsible tours that’ll take you deeper into the islands in the search for polar bears.
Make sure to also include a visit to the North Pole Expedition Museum and see the intimate Galleri Svalbard showcasing local art.
For some tasty grub, head over to Gruvelageret who are known for their delicious dishes.
11.) Explore Alesund
Alesund is one of the West Coast’s bigger cities (though, again, pretty small by international standards). Stay in the town and hike to the top of Fjellstua Viewpoint, visit Aksla Mountain and gorge at Sjobua for some amazing local foods.
Don’t forget to see the gorgeous accommodation at Molja Lighthouse, too.
For a great brunch or light lunch, pop into the Invit Espresso Bar. They make an epic chocolate cake that I still long for to this day!
12.) See the Geirangerfjord
There are many beautiful fjords in Norway. They’re a dime-a-dozen but some just really stand out, don’t they? For me, that’s Geirangerfjord.
Make sure get to the highest viewpoint at Dalsnibba, it’ll take you around 40 minutes to drive but well worth it. Just make sure to pack some thick coats… it gets chilly when you’re this high up.
Much lower down, you can also take a boat over to Seven Sisters Waterfalls and Friaren Waterfall. They really are gorgeous to see.
For a lovely afternoon hike, make sure you visit Storseterfossen. A waterfall that you can actually walk behind. It’s one of the best places in Norway, that’s for sure.
13.) Drive the Trollstigen
Between the villages of Åndalsnes and Valldal is the gorgeous Trollstigen Drive. Possibly, the most well-known road in Norway, it really is a stunning route to drive.
Along your way, make a pit-stop at the Trollstigen platform for some epic views across the valleys.
14.) See Norway’s National Mountain, Stetind
Around 15 miles, or so, from Kjøpsvik – Stetind Mountain is Norway’s national mountain. Its look is quite different to many other mountains in the area, so you can’t miss it.
Best of all, if you’re feeling energetic or fancy a challenge, try climbing to the top with a professional guide. Narvik Guides are probably one of the best in the area with all their guides being IFMGA Mountain Guide certified.
15.) Hike to Trolltunga
Trolltunga is one of the best places in Norway for a scenic view. The views across the region are just stunning from the top.
The hike itself is pretty demanding and not for the faint-hearted and you should really consider if you fit enough before heading along the trail. The whole hike will take all day (if not, 12+ hours if you’re a little slower), so make sure you pack lots of supplies and dress responsibly. No one likes a reckless hiker.
Important: Between mid-October to mid-March, you should not hike on the trail. At this time of year, it’s very dangerous and not even recommended for the most experienced of hikers. Always listen to local and official advice.