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Norway

Raw. Rugged. Dramatic. And absolutely majestic.
Norway will set any explorer's soul alight. The wild wind carries you to enormous glaciers megalomaniacally rising up into the sky,  then to immense fjords filled to the brim with green forests and untamed rivers, and by small fishing houses that line a harbour. The waters and ice are full of life: polar bears, whales, foxes and adorable puffins argue, play, swim and catch fish. During summer, the sun theatrically never sets, and in winter, the sky comes alive with the dancing Northern Lights.

Whether an expedition by land, boat or rail, via a Norway group travel package or a solo trip, Norway will send your  mind and spirit somersaulting with awe and joy.


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Norway will set any explorer's soul alight. The wild wind carries you to enormous glaciers megalomaniacally rising up into the sky,  then to immense fjords filled to the brim with green forests and untamed rivers, and by small fishing houses that line a harbour. The waters and ice are full of life: polar bears, whales, foxes and adorable puffins argue, play, swim and catch fish. During summer, the sun theatrically never sets, and in winter, the sky comes alive with the dancing Northern Lights.

Whether an expedition by land, boat or rail, via a Norway group travel package or a solo trip, Norway will send your  mind and spirit somersaulting with awe and joy.


Location

The Kingdom of Norway is located in Northern Europe and comprises the western and northern parts of the Scandinavian Peninsula. It’s bordered by Finland and Russia on the northeast side and shares a perimeter with Sweden on the east. A flight from India to Norway takes 7 hours on average.

When to go

The best time to visit Norway is between May and June, and August and September. This is the season when temperatures are usually still mild but the crowds are less. Norway’s peak season is between June and August when the days are long, the nights short, and the advent of the Midnight Sun.

Where to go

As landscapes are properly cinematic, and its cosmopolitan cities are an Instagram sensation, there are plenty of places to visit in Norway. Oslo, the capital, is filled with green spaces and museums alike (art aficionados will find plenty of famous art here, from Edvard Munch and beyond). Adventurers and explorers can visit any of Norway’s distinctive fjords, or join a hiking tour that takes you up and down not mountainous trails, but an active, moving glacier. And Norwegian fare, smoky and salty, dry fish and bread slathered with butter, is an enticing affair. 
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At a glance

Weather

In Norway, the weather is generally cold and wet. The coastal regions experience milder winters when compared to inland areas. During the summer months, you can experience up to 24 hours of sunlight above the Arctic Circle. In the dead of winter, southern areas of Norway see only 5 to 6 hours of sunlight per day, while the north gets next to none.

Language

Norwegian
In Norway, the official language is Norwegian. However, English is widely spoken and most Norwegians can speak or at the very least understand basic sentences. You may also come across German and French-speaking locals.

Currency

Norwegian Krone
The currency used in Norway is called the Norwegian Krone. International credit cards are generally accepted, but it’s always good to have cash in hand. At the time of posting, the Norwegian Krone to INR conversion is NOK 1 = INR 7.96.

Expert travel advice

Travel tips and insider advice that have made the most difference to us, sourced from our
community of like-minded travellers and global experts.

Hunt for the Northern Lights   

Recommended by Full Suitcase

“Tromsø’s unique location over 300km North of the Arctic Circle in Norway and stable mild weather makes it one of the best places to see Northern Lights in the world...We were lucky to see the most amazing aurora display that lasted for several hours.”

Jurga is a traveller with a camera and a mom of three boys. She shares her family's travel experiences all over the world on Full Suitcase, coupled with lots of practical information and useful tips.

Hike to Trolltunga   

Recommended by Time Out

“Jutting out 700 metres above lake Ringedal, this is one of Norway’s most spectacular sea cliffs. A tough, 27km round-trip hike to the ancient rock from Skjeggedal is now one of the country’s most popular walking trails.”

Time Out is a reputed global publisher of guides to events, entertainment and culture in cities across the world

Visit Svalbard   

Recommended by NOMADasaurus

 “...there is a range of adventure activities to be had, no matter what the time of year, nor your own level of thrill seeking.

Australia’s biggest adventure travel blog run award-winning travel writers and photographers Alesha Bradford and Jarryd Salem. They specialise in adventure travel, sustainable tourism, detailed travel guides, off the beaten path destinations, photography and creating a lifestyle around travel. They’ve been featured on Buzzfeed, BBC Travel, the Daily Mail, and other publications.

Go skiing in the Lyngen Alps   

Recommended by The Crazy Tourist

“The stunning Lyngen Alps are located in the Arctic Circle and encompass a mountain range that stretches for 90 kilometers to the border with Sweden. The area is covered in fjords, glaciers, and rivers and you will find soaring peaks as well as scenic gorges. Popular pastimes in the Alps include dog sledding or signing up for a snow safari, and there is also a high chance of seeing the northern lights here.”

The Crazy Tourist is a travel resource that covers destinations all around the world.

Explore Oslo   

Recommended by Nomadic Matt

"The bustling, cosmopolitan city of Oslo is the capital of Norway. It’s home of the Nobel Peace Prize and museums of almost every topic imaginable! Oslo doesn’t disappoint history buffs or art lovers. Some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in Norway surround the city, making it a perfect staging area for a day of hiking, biking, boating, skiing, or camping.”



Matt Kepnes, aka Nomadic Matt, has travelled to nearly 100 countries. He shares proven tips and advice on his website which has been featured on major media sites including the New York Times, the BBC, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, The Independent, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, and TIME magazine.

Incredible places to visit in Norway

Sognefjord area

As Norway’s deepest and longest Fjord, Sognefjord paints quite the awe-inspiring picture. Sognefjord’s most picturesque arm is the Nærøyfjord, which was granted World Heritage Status in 2005. It also co-holds the title of ‘the world’s number one natural heritage site’ with the Geirangerfjord.

The surrounding areas are populated by charming little villages that house only 300,000 inhabitants. When in Sognefjord, indulge in local cuisine with fresh ingredients sourced from lush forests and cultivated farms. A pitstop for some lamb and goat cheese during a hike is a sensory experience. Sognefjord’s mountainous terrains throw up some of the best hiking, mountaineering and rock-climbing trails in the country.

Bergen

Bergen is a city that is as charming as they come; no wonder, it is the city that inspired the makers of Disney's ‘Frozen.’  Clapboard houses line the streets, there are little art museums everywhere, and it is surrounded by seven fjords and seven hills.  The substantial student population keeps the city on its toes well into the wee hours of the night, but walk far enough and you can find a moment of quiet in the midst of the wilderness.

Bryggen

Your Norway vacation plan is incomplete without a visit to Bryggen, and its famous old wharf, dotted with a complex of tiny alleyways and wooden houses of bright red, pink, yellows and oranges, where you can take all the #nofilter pictures to your heart’s content. One of the best things to do is to duck into one of the little restaurants around the waterfront for a bowl of warm and creamy fiskesuppe.

Ride Fløibanen Funicular to top of Mt Fløyen

The only one of its kind in Scandinavia, the Fløibanen Funicular Railway is a train with two carriages that takes passengers from near Bryggen to the top of the scenic Mt Fløyen. The journey offers plenty of striking views, topped only by that of Bergen from the peak of Mt Fløyen.

St John’s Cathedral

The Gothic Revival-style church is a must-see when you visit Norway. It towers over most buildings in the area. It’s the highest church in the city, standing 200ft tall, and has 1250 seats which make it the biggest church, too.

Pepperkakebyen

Pepperkakebyen is the largest gingerbread city in the world, borne out of the city’s love for Christmas, creativity and all things extraordinary. Bergen gathers every Christmas to rebuild it, and to make it  better and grander than the last. Pepperkakebyen is created with everything, from miniature cars and houses to ships and trains, all built out of gingerbread cookies. This, combined with a trip to the city’s famous Christmas Markets, is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

Bergen Fish Market

An array of fresh and cured fish greets the eye and overwhelms the nose as you venture into the market. You’ll see shrimp skewers, smoked salmon, crab legs and lobster, fish eggs, crayfish, salmon caviar, and even whale meat if you’re so inclined. Choose whatever suits your fancy, pair with some Norwegian beer, find a picnic table overlooking the wharf, and enjoy.

The Lofoten Islands

One doesn’t immediately think of white sandy beaches or turquoise waters when one thinks of Norway, and yet, that’s exactly what you’ll find in the Lofoten islands. This archipelago in the Norwegian sea is where the wind, sea, wildlife and skies are at the most elemental and its people are deeply connected to their land. Orcas swim in the sea, white-tailed sea eagles soar overhead, and locals harvest soft, yellow, cloudberries and catch cod. If you’re looking to really experience the essence of Norway, make sure your Norway group travel package includes some time at these islands.

Stay in a Rorbu

The bright red wooden huts you’ll see in the islands are Rorbuer (Rorbu in singular), fishermen’s huts now converted into accommodation for travellers. Staying in a  Rorbu will make a distinctive experience even more unforgettable. Small wonder, then, that this often tops the list of experiences in Norway honeymoon packages and itineraries.

Reine

Reine will make you want to leave your life behind and move there.  It is consistently rated as Norway’s most beautiful village and for good reason. Dozens of red and white houses line the harbour, ringed by hills. From here, you’ll get a pretty view regardless of the season; in winter, fresh snow blankets the mountains, and during the rest of the year, sunrise and sunset flushes the sky with colour. Reine is also an adventurer’s paradise, with ample opportunities for hiking, kayaking and skiing.

Climb Svolvaergeita

Dominating the horizon and towering over Svolvær, the capital of Lofoten, is Svolværgeita, a 150-meter tall pinnacle on theFløyfjellet mountain. Beginners are welcome to take the more trammeled routes to the top, leaving the pros to tackle the unmarked paths. Trust us, the view from the top is worth the effort.

Trollfjord

Trollfjord is a fjord located between the two archipelagos Vesterålen and Lofoten. On either side of the fjord, you’ll see steep mountains, 600 and 1100 meters tall. To enter the fjord is a dramatic and thrilling endeavour, as cruise ships must wriggle through an entrance that is only 100 meters wide.

Røst Island

Røst is located on the outer fringes of the Lofoten archipelago. The remote island is also the highest point of the archipelago, making it a prime viewing spot for the Northern Lights. Plus it has one of the largest puffin colonies in the world.

The Geirangerfjord

The Geirangerfjord is possibly the most famous fjord in Norway because it looks like it is straight out of a fairytale. Everything about it is dramatic and superlative. Near vertical mountains surround you on all sides, waterfalls tumble into the fjord from a height of 410 meters, and there are glacial lakes and coniferous forests around every bend. It is an icon of Norway and needs to feature in whichever Norway tour package you choose.

Oslo

Oslo is where ambitious architectural projects and hole-in-the-wall cafes can be found amiably next to each other, and where waves of creativity and innovation give the likes of London and Berlin a run for their money. The city’s cultural riches runs the gamut from Edvard Munch to the Opera House. It also boasts the northernmost three-Michelin-starred restaurant in the world.

Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum is home to the world’s best-preserved relics of Norway’s Viking ancestry. Artifacts from the ruins of large vessels, including the 9th-century Gokstad, are kept on display alongside tools, textiles and smaller crafts. A morning in the museum is a great chance to learn more about the lives of the Vikings, and how so much of Norway’s culture is influenced by their past.

Island-hopping in the fjord

Fjords are superstars in Norway - and for good reason. The sweeping dramatic cliffs, rivers and valleys are not only an Instagram sensation but will make you feel like a bonafide explorer venturing into an untamed wilderness, surrounded only by sky and sea. The Oslo Fjord is home to several little islands that you can visit by ferry. Each island has a character and story more interesting than the last. They’re also a great spot to build up a tan during the summer!

Nordmarka

This dense forest is beloved by locals and travellers alike because you can find yourself in the midst of the wilderness with just a short metro ride. You’ll see everyone from athletes in bright spandex to old Norwegian grandmothers in woolen sweaters out in Nordmarka forest. Different seasons offer different benefits; in summer, you can go hiking, enjoy a picnic, or cast a line in the lakes that are full of fish, and go skiing in winter. Dominating the skyline is the Tryvannstårnet, an observation tower, from where you can look over a lake and miles and miles of forest.

Munch Museum

From the many illustrious personalities Oslo can lay claim to, Edvard Munch is possibly the best known. The Munch Museum is a tribute to his work. You can see his famous painting ‘The Scream’ here as well as a number of his other paintings that Munch himself bequeathed to the city before his death.

Holmenkollen

The Holmenkollen Ski Jump Resort dons many hats: a ski resort, a panoramic viewpoint and a concert venue. The world’s most experienced ski jumpers flock to the resort in March for the annual ski festival. Aside from the striking views of the city it offers, the Ski Museum is also a draw for non-skiers, making it a must-visit spot during your trip to Norway.

Flåm

The little village of Flåm sits in southwestern Norway. It is known for the Flåm Railway that offers a 20-km ride from beside the fjord to the top of the peaks. It is often ranked as one of the world’s most beautiful train rides.  When in  Flåm, it’s essential to visit the Stegastein Viewpoint. This viewpoint extends nearly 30m off the side of the fjord, overlooking the Aurlandsfjord. Gastronomes and beer connoisseurs will have a field day in Flåm as its traditional cuisine runs the gamut of flavours and ingredients, from berries to game meat. Try Ægir, one of the most successful handcrafted brews in Norway.

Northern Lights in Norway

Norway is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights. North of the Arctic Circle, between October and March, lucky travellers can look skywards for the Aurora Borealis, when greens, purples, pinks and white dance and glimmer across the sky. Depending on its mood, the Northern Lights can be a fully-saturated display of the entire spectrum of colours or a ghostly blink-and-you-miss it appearance.

You may be able to see the lights in Tromsø or similar cities, but to see them at their strength, it’s better to head away from artificially-produced lights that cloud the atmosphere. Photographers and Norway holiday-goers need to find a spot facing the open horizon, or better still, beside a body of water, to get the best pictures.  

Svalbard, for instance,  right in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, between Norway and the North Pole, is a prime location.  Another viewpoint is North Cape, a massive plateau bordered by Arctic waters, as are the Lofoten Islands.

Trondheim

Norway’s third-largest city sits on the Trondheim Fjord, bang in the centre of the country. It has a lively student population, street events, plenty of cafes and restaurants, and it’s attractions often feature on lists of the best places to visit in Norway. These include the Nidarosdomen cathedral, built over the grave of St. Olave, the patron saint of Norway, the National Museum of Decorative Arts, the Archbishop’s Palace Museum and Rockheim.

Svalbard Islands

Svalbard has already been established as a first-rate Aurora-spotting destination. However, there’s so much more to the set of islands than the elusive lights. It’s a landscape that’s as fragile as it is rugged, also home to untamed wildlife and unchecked wilderness; nearly two-thirds of the surface is protected, though, so take nothing and leave nothing behind!

Svalbard is also a force to be reckoned with when it comes to food. The islands house the world’s northernmost sushi restaurant and also boasts a local beer brewery.

The Sognefjord

Sognefjord is Norway’s deepest and longest fjord, as it stretches for more than 200 kilometres. It 
shares the title of ‘the world’s number one natural heritage site’ with the Geirangerfjord, thanks to its elemental power and beauty. There are waterfalls wherever you go. The vividness of the colour of the forests and the waters is shocking. The air is the freshest you will breathe. So is the water. So are the fresh cherries and pears in the orchards. And the fish in the waters. If you want to quit your job and move here, we won’t blame you.

Top things to do & experience in Norway

Nobody wants to be a tourist. Here are curated experiences in art, music, food, culture and communities
to help you have an authentic and memorable trip.

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