For visitors to this beautiful land, the charms are plenty: famous fjords, friendly people (most of whom speak English), many well-preserved historical sites, northern lights, Viking legends, meandering mountain roads, modern trains, the regal capital city, a thriving cultural heritage and countless other highlights.
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Thanks to the variety of landscapes, natural phenomena, activities and ways to get around, Norway makes a fantastic destination year-round. In summer, the extended daylight of the midnight sun is perfect for sightseeing and road trips; while in winter the long nights create ideal conditions for viewing the northern lights, perhaps while dog-sledding or snowmobiling..
As a long and geographically diverse country, the differences between Norway’s regions are vast. Northern Norway is a winter fantasy land, offering snowy adventures, Arctic culture and the best northern lights viewing in winter. Western Norway is where you’ll find fjords, waterfalls, great hiking trails, villages tucked between mountains and flourishing port cities like Bergen.
The mountainous interior, home to national parks and ski resorts, is a haven for active travellers. And for those on a quest for culture, the capital city of Oslo in southern Norway offers a variety of attractions accessible by foot or public transportation as well as plenty of green spaces for those who want a break from city life.
For more practical information about Norway, such as currency and time zone, see our practical information section.
HOW TO GET TO NORWAY
Oslo-Gardemoen Airport and Bergen Airport are served by several international airlines and regional carriers. For tours in the northern part of Norway, the main airports are located in Tromso and Kirkenes.
Major international airlines that fly to Norway include SAS, British Airways, Ryanair, Icelandair, FinnAir and American Airlines. SAS and Norwegian operate domestic flights within Norway. Click here to more information about flights to Norway.
Norway is one of Europe’s most mountainous countries, making for incredible journeys by land or sea.
By cruise: Coastal voyages offer a comfortable way to enjoy the country’s famous scenery and historic port cities. Ships sail year-round between Kirkenes in the Arctic north and medieval Bergen in the fjord lands, with many interesting ports of call and opportunities for shore excursions. These cruises are also ideal for bird or whale watching and for experiencing the northern lights during the winter.
By train/ferry/bus: Many of our railway packages include Norway in a Nutshell®, a popular route between Oslo and Bergen that combines a scenic journey by train with a ferry ride through a fjord and a mountainous bus ride. Trips are available year-round.
By rental car: A road trip is one of the best ways to experience Norway at your own pace, and the country’s scenic coastal highways and zig-zagging mountain roads make for an unforgettable journey. Our self-drive tours run from May to September, when you have the most daylight hours and the best weather conditions. See more information about driving in Norway.
We also offer holidays with a combination of land and sea journeys, such as our Fjord Tour packages. To find out which modes of travel are included in each tour, look for the small “travel by” icons in the package details.
In Oslo: Oslo has a comprehensive public transportation system consisting of buses, trams, trains, metro (the T-bane) and boats. Single tickets, day passes and multi-day passes can be purchased at several locations in the city, including Oslo-Gardermoen Airport and Trafikanten, the information centre just outside of Oslo Central Station. We also recommend purchasing an Oslo Pass, which includes free travel on the public transportation system in addition to discounts on entry to museums, attractions, etc.
Note: English is widely spoken in Norway, so most visitors should have no problem getting around. See more about the Norwegian language—and learn a few useful words for your stay.
WEATHER & WHEN TO VISIT
Norway is a fabulous experience any time of year! Deciding when to visit depends on what kind of activities and sights interest you most.
SUMMER: May through September are the busiest months in Norway, when you can expect the warmest weather, longest daylight hours and best availability of outdoor activities. June is an especially good time to visit because the midnight sun is at its peak.
WINTER: November through March is a great time for holidays in the country's northern regions, as these months offer the best opportunities for viewing the northern lights in Norway as well as offering ideal snow conditions for dog-sledding, snowmobiling, skiing and other winter sports. For more options, including Lapland and Iceland, view all our northern lights tours.
AUTUMN AND SPRING: October and April are considered ‘low season’ in Norway, the time when prices are at their lowest. Though the weather may be a bit unpredictable, these months offer a good amount of daylight for sightseeing and fewer crowds at tourist attractions. You may also see some lovely fall colours in the landscapes during October.
Regardless of when you visit, one thing stays the same: the need to dress well for the changing weather conditions. To keep yourself warm, dry and travelling happy, we recommend gear from Icelandic outdoor clothing brand 66°North.
TOP THINGS TO SEE
There are countless things to see all around Norway, including the following most popular highlights:
Of course, the list doesn’t stop there! Norway is full of discoveries, so we provide all of our customers with useful information before arrival about top attractions by region and other practical travel advice.
TOP THINGS TO DO
Norway offers a wide range of activities to suit all tastes, from sampling the food and culture in cities to active pursuits in the great outdoors. Why not try one of these popular activities below?
Food & Culture
Relaxation & Nature
Our itineraries are designed to be flexible, allowing you to add optional excursions or day tours during your stay. Your dedicated travel consultant will be able to advise you about available activities in Norway.
If you would like to include more activities into your holiday, we recommend booking a package that includes more time at each overnight location (e.g. two or more nights at the same accommodation).
An average stay in Norway is about 8-10 days in summer and 5-6 days in winter. The capital city, Oslo, is a great starting point for any journey or makes a wonderful destination on its own for short breaks.
To help you make the most of your time in Norway, see our helpful itinerary suggestions below. Underneath each suggestion are travel themes that include holidays with similar itineraries. Or, to see what itineraries are popular with other travellers, see our best-sellers or a selection of tours in Norway.
May to September
4 – 7 DAYS: Spend a few days in Oslo. Or experience the famous fjords with a drive on the “Adventure Road” as part of a self-drive tour from Oslo or Bergen. You can also start your drive from Bergen if you wish to spend more time exploring the fjords. Another great option is the scenic Norway in a Nutshell train journey between Oslo and Bergen.
Short Breaks / Railway Journeys / Self Drive Tours / Fjord Tours
8 - 13 DAYS: Extend your Norway in a Nutshell train journey to Stavanger and southern Norway. Or, with 8 to 10 days, drive the “fjord route” from Oslo to Bergen and Alesund and back or start your drive from Bergen for a more leisurely time in the fjords. And with more than 10 days you can add Trondheim or Stavanger to your self-drive tour. It is also possible to add a short south-bound Hurtigruten voyage from Alesund or Trondheim to your package or spend your holiday sailing the full Hurtigruten route between Bergen and Kirkenes.
Cruise Travel / Railway Journeys / Self Drive Tours / Fjord Tours
14 days+: Add a stay in Stavanger or Trondheim to the trip suggestions listed above. Or experience the full round-trip route of the Hurtigruten coastal voyage between Bergen in the fjords area and Kirkenes in the Arctic north. You can also add a stay in the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway or combine other Scandinavian destinations into your package.
Self Drive Tours / Railway Journeys / Cruise Travel / Fjord Tours / Lofoten Islands / Scandinavian Combo Tours
November to March
4 – 7 DAYS: Spend a few action-packed days in Tromsø or Kirkenes in northern Norway with activities like dog-sledding, snowmobiling, king crab safaris and northern lights tours. Or venture even further into the Arctic with a trip to the archipelago of Svalbard. You can also take a Norway in a Nutshell train journey between Oslo and Bergen.
Short Breaks / Northern Lights Tours / Railway Journeys / Svalbard Tours
8 - 13 DAYS: : Head to Kirkenes or Tromsø and enjoy more time for the activities mentioned above. And with a week or more, you can add a short south-bound Hurtigruten coastal voyage to your trip. Or do a Norway in a Nutshell railway journey between Oslo and Bergen, offering a great opportunity to see the majestic fjords with fewer crowds than in the summer months. You can also add Svalbard or other Scandinavian destinations to your holiday.
Northern Lights Tours / Railway Journeys / Svalbard Tours / Fjord Tours / Scandinavian Combo Tours
14 days+: Combine your stay in northern Norway with other Nordic destinations. For example, add a city break in Oslo or other Scandinavian capital cities. Our travel consultants can provide more ideas about what to see and do in the amount of time you have.
Scandinavian Combo Tours
Why not add other Scandinavian destinations to your holiday in Norway? We offer a wide selection of Scandinavian Combination tours, featuring the best of Scandinavia’s unique cultural, historical and natural attractions. We can also customise an itinerary based on your needs and interests.
Of course, you are always welcome to send us a message if you have any questions about our holidays in Norway. You can also see what other travellers have said about our tours on our Customer Reviews page.