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Norway is a breathtakingly beautiful country with uncountable things to see and do there. In this post, the most beautiful cities in Norway are listed so you might add some to your travel bucket list.
Admittedly, the main reason people usually travel to Norway is nature, but you’ll see that the cities in Norway are really well located, the majority of them being surrounded by exquisite mountains, sea, and fjords.
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Alesund is located on the West coast of Norway and it is a port town. There was a fire in 1904 after which most of the town was rebuilt in art nouveau architectural style. Alesund is built on several islands in the Atlantic ocean and has Sunnmøre Mountains visible on the coast of Norway.
Atlantic Sea Park is one of the best places you can visit in Alesund. You’ll learn there about the Norwegian coast of the Atlantic ocean, fjords, sealife, and rich fishing grounds. Besides the fish, you can also see penguins and seals there.
If you wish to take stunning photos of Alesund from above, plan to hike up Aksla Mountain. 418 steps will lead you to the viewing platform on the top. The park has numerous benches on the way to the top of the mountain so that you could rest. There are several viewpoints along the way to the top getting increasingly exciting. Have a cup of coffee at the top before going back down to the old town.
Visit Jugendstilsenteret if you wish to know more about the fire and rebuilding of Alesund. It is both a museum and a national center of Art Nouveau, and you can expect to see authentic interiors and objects of that time as well as changing exhibitions.
You can get to Alesund by plane, as there are several flights each day from the biggest Norwegian cities to the nearby airport. You can also go by car, train, boat or bus.
Find places to stay in Alesund: Booking.com
Bergen is Norway’s second-largest city and sits on the southwestern coast. Set in a spectacular location between the mountains, the sea, and the fjords, it’s one of the most beautiful places in Norway.
The city has an illustrious past. It was the first capital of Norway and the place where the first Norwegian king was crowned. Later, the north German traders of the Hanseatic League founded an outpost on Bergen’s quayside. Nowadays, the brightly-colored wooden warehouses at Bryggen are the most iconic sight in Bergen and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you visit Bryggen, make sure you head down the alleyways that lead behind the quayside facades to discover marvelously higgledy-piggledy stairways and fascinating shops and craft workshops.
The other sight you can’t miss in Bergen city center is a trip up one of the mountains. Take the funicular railway up to the top of Mount Fløyen for an amazing view across the city and the islands that protect its harbor from the North Sea. The walk back down to the water takes you through some truly magical woods; it’s easy to imagine that you might meet a troll or two on the way.
Bergen is known as the gateway to the fjords; the city sits on its own fjord, and two of Norway’s most spectacular fjords, the Sognefjord and the Hardangerfjord are close by. The fjords are easy to visit either as day trips or as part of popular Norway in a Nutshell tour, which includes a boat trip on the Nærøyfjord (a branch of the Sognefjord and another UNESCO World Heritage Site) and a ride on the Bergen to Oslo railway, one of the world’s great railway journeys.
Recommended by Helen from Helen on her Holidays
Find places to stay in Bergen: Booking.com
Trondheim is one of the best cities in Norway to visit and is perfectly located on the coast in the center of the country on the way to the north making it an excellent stop for a few days.
The city has plenty to offer with neighborhoods such as Bakklandet with its cafe culture and wooden houses to wander around and you can take some of the best photos from the old town bridge called Gamle Bybroa. Head up to the Lian area by tram where you can then access perfect walking trails in the forest nearby.
There are plenty of historical places to visit, including the stunning gothic Nidaros Cathedral, a must-see site in Trondheim, and the nearby Kristiansten Fortress to the east of the city which is also a great place to relax in the park there.
Trondheim is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in Norway and renting a bike for the day is one of the best ways to see the place.
Being next to the sea there are plenty of good seafood restaurants with one of the best, especially for views of the harbor, being Kafé Skuret.
Due to the vast wilderness in Norway, one of the best ways to see the country is by camping, which is enhanced by the easy freedom of camping laws. With Trondheim surrounded by fort areas, you can easily camp up in the hills and walk down into the city. Otherwise, there are plenty of good hotels in Trondheim to stay at.
The best way to reach Trondheim is by train from Oslo.
Recommended by Jonny from In Faraway Lands
Find places to stay in Trondheim: Booking.com
Oslo is the Capital of Norway, it’s beautiful and a city that you never truly know what to expect. It is situated on the Southern Coast and there are plenty of things to see and explore there, from museums to architecture. You will find a stunning harbor, parks, and gorgeous green areas making it the perfect destination for tourists and photographers. Oslo is also one of the best reasons to visit Norway.
The one benefit of Oslo is that it’s fairly easy to get around on foot. This means that to get from place to place you shouldn’t need to rely too much on public transport. One of the best places to visit is Oslo Fjord which is located just beyond the City’s harbor. It is beautiful and allows you to get a completely different view of the City. An easy way to get there is to walk to Pier 3 and get a boat. You can also go online and book a tour of the Fjord.
Another thing you can see is the Holmenkollen Ski Museum And Tower which is an amazing building. This place holds ski jumping competitions and has since 1892 and the view from the top of the tower is beautiful. However, Oslo is definitely not a budget city, so make sure you take enough money with you, as it can get fairly expensive.
Recommended by Alice from Adventures of Alice
Find places to stay in Oslo: Booking.com
Stavanger is the fourth most populous city and third-largest municipality within Norway. It is situated in Southwest Norway where it is the administrative hub of Rogaland county. The city’s rapid population growth in the late 20th century was largely a result of Norway’s booming offshore oil industry. It is also renowned as one of the best culinary clusters in the nation.
One of Stavanger’s highlights is Lysefjord. You can take a 3 hours long cruise and enjoy the views, take some stunning pictures, and soak in the beauty of Norwegian nature. A cruise gives you an opportunity to see the famous Pulpit Rock from below, but if you are adventurous, you can hike to it. That takes around 4-5 hours both ways, and the best view is if you climb even a bit more up from the regular surface. Just be aware of the high season and the high hours, as the number of people might take away the magic of the surroundings.
Another famous destination for hikers easily reachable from Stavanger is Kjeragbolten – the rock stuck between two walls of stone.
If you wish to explore the Staveneger more on foot, you might enjoy the walk on the cobbled streets of the Old Stavanger. It has clapboard houses, charming shops, and a few hidden turns to even smaller streets that are just enjoyable to explore.
A famous thing to do in Stavanger is visiting the Norwegian Petroleum Museum. It explains how oil and gas are created, and how they have been discu=overed and produced in Norway.
Find places to stay in Stavanger: Booking.com
Henningsvr remains a thriving fishing village ever since the 1500s. It had its peak in 1940 when more than 12000 inhabitants settled here during the cod fishing season. It is sometimes referred to as “Lofoten Gronnerka ” (Grinnnerskka is a hipster town in Oslo) by its cool air.
The village is mostly located on two separate islands and is famous for the big football field surrounded by the sea.
Festvagtind Hike is one of the best things you can do in the area. It is steep and takes around 3-4 hours in total, but the view of the Lofoten from the top is just breathtaking (figuratively and after getting up there – literally as well).
Find places to stay in Henningsvær: Booking.com
Odda is a village that has been declared a town just in 2004. Historically it was an industrial town, but now it has turned into an adventure town. It is located on the southernmost end of the Sørfjorden fjord. There are some spectacular destinations easily reachable from the town and that has made it interesting for tourists.
The most famous thing that you can do nearby is hiking to the Buarbreen glacier. The path to it is really well marked, and the views are stunning. The hike is at least 3 hours long and a bit challenging.
Another famous landscape near the town of Odda is Trolltunga – the rock formation hanging over the Ringedalsvatnet lake. The roundtrip hike is 28 kilometers long, so you might consider carrying a tent and sleeping near the Trolltunga as an adventure. This gives the advantage to start the hike late in the day and being the first in the morning to enjoy the Trolltunga cloff before other hikers form a line to take the next picture on it.
Find places to stay in Odda: Booking.com
The Lofoten Islands in Norway are known for the northern lights, midnight sun, and small villages like Reine. This is a great place to visit if you are looking for picture-perfect houses and mountains, some hiking, and the famous northern lights.
If you are visiting Reine, you can choose from a variety of activities to do here. It’s possible to go kayaking, biking, and skiing in the winter. There are several options for photography, hiking, and northern lights tours.
For the people wanting to do something independently, the best thing here is a hike to Reinebringen. It’s a steep climb of 1600 steps that leads up one of the mountains surrounding Reine. If you go there in summer, you’ll get a chance to enjoy the midnight sun – even if you start the hike in the evening, it will not get dark. Even though it might take 2 to 3 hours to reach the top, the view is quite mindblowing.
Find places to stay in Reine: Booking.com
The mining town Roros is known as Bergstaden which means “mountain city” due to its historical notoriety for copper mining. Modern-day residents continue to work and live in its characteristic 17th and 18th-century structures which led to its designation as a World Heritage site in 1980.
The village has around 80 wooden houses that give Roros a medieval appearance. You can wander around and it is almost like a live museum. On a visit to Roros, you’ll see narrow streets, old courtyards, and buildings.
Some of the well-known things to do in Roros are visiting the town’s church (beautiful on the outside and from the inside as well) and the old copper mines.
You may find craft shops with unique ceramics, sculptures, or even wool blankets that are one of a kind and would be a great souvenir to bring home from Norway.