Find Out the Best Places to Visit in Norway for Picturesque Charm
When many people think of Norway, they immediately think of Oslo, which is Norway’s capital city and a major tourism hub due to its location on the south end of the country against the Baltic Sea. Oslo has its fair share of charming streets and squares; however, if it’s the most charming places to visit in Norway that you’re looking for, you’ll want to head north along the western coast to where Norway’s famed fjords lie. There, against the backdrop of those majestic fjords, are some incredibly scenic and charming port towns. Here are some you can visit during a Norway cruise with Celebrity Cruises.
Alesund is considered by many to be the most beautiful town in Norway. It was completely rebuilt in 1904 after a fire decimated the town. What makes it special is that it was rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style – and not just for a few buildings; a large portion of the town showcases stunning Art Nouveau design and architecture.
This style of architecture against the backdrop of Norway’s rugged mountains and coastal waterways make Alesund a breathtaking place to behold. You’ll love walking around the cobblestoned streets and browsing shops and cafes located along them. Stop in one of the pretty squares and breathe in the crisp mountain air. Admire the adjacent fjord and surrounding mountains and soak in all the beauty that Alesund offers.
Bergen is technically a city, but its wharf area called Bryggen makes it feel like a charming small port town.
Bryggen is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to historic wooden buildings that date back to the 18th century when they were rebuilt after a massive fire. They were rebuilt on the original 12th century foundation leftover from the Hanseatic era, so you’ll be walking along historic remains going back hundreds of years. The wooden buildings line the wharf in earthy shades of red and brown, providing a picturesque setting.
Flam is one of the most charming places to visit in Norway due to its quaint seaside village with expansive views of the surrounding fjords and a historic railway.
Located at the base of Sognefjord, a popular thing to do in Flam is head to Stegastein viewpoint, where you’ll be astounded by a bird’s eye view of the fjord. The viewing platform itself is impressive with a large rectangular bridge that juts out over a cliff and has a transparent screen at one end.
The other can’t-miss thing to do in Flam is to take a ride on the Flam railway from Flam to Myrdal, a mountain station located 867 meters above sea level. The 1-hour journey up the mountain takes you along one of the most beautiful – and steepest – railway lines in the world.
Stavanger is another city that is one of the most charming places in Norway. The city was founded during the Middle Ages and still reflects some of the design and architecture from that time. Stavanger is located along the southwestern edge of Norway.
You’ll be charmed by Stavanger’s historical elements, including Old Stavanger that is home to Europe’s best preserved wooden house settlement plus many museums. One of those museums is the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, which teaches you about the history of the oil fields in the area and their importance to Norway’s economy.
You can also see Norway’s oldest cathedral, domkirke, while in Stavanger, which was built between 1100 and 1125 and has a stone, medieval-looking exterior.
Stavanger also has many natural sites that will charm you. The most popular one is Preikestolen (also referred to as the Pulpit Rock) which is an incredible natural viewing platform overlooking Lysefjord from 604 meters above the massive fjord.
The town of Geiranger is a charming tourist town that is nestled in an enviable location between teal water and majestic mountains. While the village’s location is incredible and the village itself is has some quaint elements, the main reason people come here is to join a tour in town that takes them out into the natural elements to see Geirangerfjord, a breathtaking fjord that has towering sides covered in cascading waterfalls.
Charming Places to Visit in Norway without Leaving Oslo
Oslo may be the big city and tourist epicenter of Norway, but don’t worry -- if you aren’t able to do a Norwegian Fjords cruise soon, but will be doing a Baltic Sea cruise through Northern Europe that stops in Oslo, you can still find charming places to visit in Norway.
As mentioned earlier, Oslo is a big, bustling metropolis, but it has pockets of charm all over the city and nearby locations to which you can visit on shore excursions. Here are some places you’ll want to head to find the most charming places in the cruise port of Oslo:
West End: This part of Oslo mostly consists of historic, tree-lined residential areas with beautiful architecture. It is located on a peninsula just 15 minutes outside the city center and offers some charm-filled ambling once you arrive.
Bygdoy: A neighborhood of the West End that has many leafy walking trails as well as some popular museums that will teach you more about Norway’s culture and history.
Aker Brygge: Waterfront fans will find the neighborhood of Aker Brygge charming due to its waterfront location dotted with sailboats and a boardwalk lined by restaurants with sea views.
Sankt Hanshaugen: If you love visiting local parks while traveling, you’ll enjoy spending time in this scenic part of Oslo, which is home to a large park full of walking trails and a hill to summit for a great view of the city. You can often find food trucks and live music to enjoy in the summer.
Book Your Cruise to the Most Charming Places to Visit in Norway
Ready to book your cruise to see the most charming places in Norway? Celebrity Cruises can help. Use Celebrity Cruises’ user-friendly booking platform that lets you easily and conveniently reserve your preferred stateroom, flights, and activities all in the same place.