Norway is the kind of place that calls to visitors from near and far, ensuring a steady stream of tourists all year round. It’s a mystical, magical kind of place that really offers something unique – there is no place like it in the world.
If you want to visit Norway, you’ll need to decide where to call home for the time you’re there, but picking one city of the many fantastic ones in the country is a challenge. With that in mind, here are some must-see Norwegian cities to explore to help you narrow down your options.
Table of Contents
Let’s start our list with Norway’s capital city, Oslo. Oslo can be found between the Oslofjord and some gorgeously lush hillside landscapes, but the city itself is a vibrant metropolis, brimming with culture and excitement. One of the most iconic landmarks you’ll find in Oslo is the Vigeland Sculpture Park where you’ll find more than two hundred different sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. Don’t forget to visit the Viking Ship Museum and the Munch Museum, both of which are must-see attractions. If you want to find somewhere fun and lively, you’ll want to head to the Aker Brygge waterfront area for food, drink, and plenty of entertainment.
Bergen is located on Norway’s southwestern coast, and it’s a place renowned for its picturesque charm and, of course, the UNESCO World Heritage listed Bryggen Wharf. The historic district is precisely what you’d want it to be, complete with narrow streets and colourful wooden houses, as well as some amazing artisan shops and local cafes. Take a ride on the Fløibanen funicular to Mount Fløyen where you’ll get some of the best views of the city and surrounding area, including the gorgeous fjords. You can see these natural wonders close up on a P&O Britannia cruise, so it’s well worth trying that as well.
North from Bergen is Trondheim, Norway’s third-largest city. It’s the architecture and history that draws people to Trondheim, and it’s certainly worth visiting for. Dominating the city’s skyline is the magnificent Nidaros Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece – it’s also the national sanctuary of Norway. Plus Trondheim is also home to the famous Ringve Museum, where visitors can discover the fascinating history of music and enjoy beautiful botanical gardens.
If you want something really unique when you’re visiting Norway, Tromsø will tick all the boxes. This is known as the Gateway to the Arctic, and you’ll find it above the Arctic Circle. It’s an ideal spot to watch the Northern Lights and the midnight sun, but there is more to the city than nature. You can visit the Polar Museum to learn about the explorers who came here before you, and if you’re feeling particularly brave, why not take a dog sled ride or go on a whale-watching excursion?
Stavanger, in southwestern Norway, is a lovely coastal city that has traditional cobbled streets in the old town (Gamle Stavanger) and the iconic Stavanger Cathedral. From here you can take a boat trip to Lysefjord where you can see the Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock). If you’re interested in the economy and industry, it’s a good idea to visit the Norwegian Petroleum Museum while you’re in the area.