The most beautiful places in Norway are well-worth seeing at least once in your lifetime. Norway is regularly rated one of the happiest places on Earth, and its natural splendor makes it easy to imagine why. Its wondrous fjords, glaciers, towering waterfalls, and historic towns make you lose your sense of time, transporting you to centuries past.
Cities like Bergen and Oslo captivate with their brightly-painted wooden homes and sweeping mountainscapes, while tiny fishing villages like Skjolden and Flåm act as gateways to Norway’s vast fjords and national parks.
Here are some of the most stunning places to visit in Norway during your next vacation.
Not only is Bryggen a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it’s also the iconic town center of Bergen. As far back as the Middle Ages, Bergen held important status as a trading and shipping town thanks to its coastal location. After a 1955 fire devastated the city, Bergen came back better than ever.
Now, Bryggen’s rows of trading houses along the harbor are postcard-perfect. Walking along the wharf facing the sea and exploring the local boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries that have brought new life to the city are some of the best things to do in Norway.
Though the Troll’s Road sounds practically mythical, you can take this winding road for yourself just outside of Alesund. The path is marked by sharp turns, also called “hairpin turns,” which zigzag along the mountainside.
According to local legend, the beautiful and menacing mountains of Trollstigen were the home of trolls. At night, the trolls explored, but if they didn’t return by morning, they’d turn to stone.
During a ride along the Troll’s Road, one of the best places to visit in Norway, you’ll watch as the landscape of the Trollstigen dramatically changes from rivers and valleys to deep gorges. Stop at the Stodal Church, an ornately painted place of worship that’s been in use since the 12th century. Cross the Stigfoss Waterfall and snap pictures of the Troll Wall in Romsdalen Valley, which is part of the highest smattering of vertical cliffs in all of Europe.
Norway is home to over 300 waterfalls, each stunning in their own unique way. After you’ve spent a while enjoying the Hanseatic Wharf in Bergen, head outside of town to discover one of Norway’s best-loved waterfalls, Steinsdalsfossen.
The falls measure over 150 feet tall, and a lone pathway runs behind the falls to keep passersby comfortably dry. Walk behind the falls, admiring the way light dancing through the cascading water.
Stop for a photo opportunity at the foot of the falls, or head to the lookout point and soak in the panorama of quaint Norwegian architecture and farm houses below.
Geirangerfjord is well known as one of the most beautiful places in Norway. Take a boat ride along the fjord, or drive the Troll’s Road to explore the fjord on foot.
Geirangerfjord stretches over 60 stunning miles, beginning in Alesund and ending in Geiranger. People love Geirangerfjord because it has everything quintessentially Norwegian: serpentine mountain roads, majestic waterfalls like the famous Seven Sisters Waterfall, lush vegetation, and spectacular cliffs cut away by ancient glaciers.
Bergen is nicknamed “the Gateway to the Fjords” for good reason: it’s a jumping-off point to the most beautiful vistas and views in Norway. Mount Fløyen is one of them.
Mount Fløyen is just beyond the city center of Bergen, easily accessible on a ride up Norway’s only funicular. Take to the skies on the Floibanen Funicular, a less than 10-minute ride spanning over 1,000 feet. Watch the wharf and the cityscape fade behind you as the cable car makes its way up the steep mountain.
At the top, you can spend a while taking in the view of Bergen, the fjords, forests, and distant mountains. Some of the best hiking in Norway for all skill levels is also available from the summit of Mount Fløyen, or let the kids loose at the playground.
Some take the funicular in both directions, but others save a solo trek for the way down. If you’re not much of a hiker, unwind for a bit at the mountaintop cafe, or savor a traditional lunch with panoramic views.
Nature lovers flock to Strandafjell Mountain for the breathtaking views, but the attractions at the top of the mountain are well worth a visit, too. Take the Stranda Ski Center gondola up to the mountain’s summit, then spend a while soaking in the views of the fjord.
At the top, you’ll find another hiking route that also promises panoramic views at its end. After, cozy up in the mountaintop restaurant serving traditional Norwegian food as well as brunch favorites like pancakes and coffee.
No trip to Oslo is complete without visiting its opulent Royal Palace, an ode to neoclassical architecture and home to many royals since its completion in 1849. Today, you can leisurely stroll the grounds, stopping in the gardens and the peaceful Palace Park.
During the summer, you can roam inside the Norwegian castle on a guided tour, where you’ll explore its suites, ballrooms, parlors, balconies, and banquet halls. Watch the changing of the guard in the early afternoon, and end the afternoon with a picnic lunch on the green.
The magnificent Tvindefossen flows just an hour outside of Flåm, north of the village of Vossevangen. Flanked by evergreen treetops and towering cliffs of the Naerøy Valley, you can see Tvindefossen up close from a simple roadside lookout point. Local legend has it that the waters of Tvindefossen are an elixir for youth.
Thousands flock to Tvindefossen for photo ops, but others stay for the peaceful feeling they get in nature. Listen to the falls as they powerfully cascade and watch the pristine waters flow from a drop of nearly 500 feet.
Briksdal Glacier, or Briksdalbreen in Norwegian, is one of the legendary arms of Europe’s largest glacier, the Jostedalsbreen.
Briksdalbreen is one of the most beautiful places in Norway. Its dramatic, crystalline ice mimics the shape of a giant, frozen waterfall from the summit all the way down to Briksdalsbrevatnet, the small lake it leads into.
A hike to the best views of the Briksdalbreen is less than four miles round-trip, and you’ll pass the Kleivafossen Waterfall on the way. You can also hop on a “Trollcar” for a ride to the top of the glacier.
“Lysefjord” means “fjord of light,” named for the color of its rock formations. It stretches for over 25 miles of dramatic, jagged cliffs, and it’s the home of Pulpit Rock, one of the best places to visit in Norway. Travelers from all over the world journey to Pulpit Rock, or Preikestolen, a massive square-shaped structure that juts out from the fjord for once-in-a-lifetime views.
The attractions near Lyseford are impressive, one-of-a-kind adventures for nature buffs and thrill-seekers alike. Make the unforgettable climb up the world’s longest wooden staircase or go skyward in a helicopter to see Preikestolen from above. Take to the sea on a boat ride through the waters of the Stavanger archipelago, where you’ll cruise beneath the shadow of Pulpit Rock.
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Breheimen National Park
Brenheimen was established in 2009, so while its nature is as old as time, it’s a newer attraction for those who want to go a little off-the-beaten-path on their Norway vacation. Once you’ve seen your share of fossen and fjords, spend a while on the trails in Breheimen National Park.
Norway’s stunning mountains and lush greenery collide in one breathtaking vista as animals like reindeer, sheep, and goats roam freely. Animal lovers, bring a set of binoculars to look out for precious, endangered birds like falcons and eagles.
You’ll find Storsæterfossen nestled in the peaceful countryside of Geiranger, a rustic village that’s gained global fame for its landmark fjord, Geirangerfjord, and an ample collection of waterfalls.
It’s best known for the hidden trail that snakes behind the waterfall. The trail includes a guardrail that you can balance on as you watch the falls cascade, though the route can be slippery.
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