The North Cape is on the bucket list for many travellers. But should it be? Let's find out.
On my recent research visit to Finnmark for Moon Norway, I took the opportunity to check out one of the country's most visited tourist attractions: The North Cape, or Nordkapp in Norwegian.
The plateau overlooking the border of the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea is advertised as the northernmost point in Europe. However, a quick glance to your left reveals the Knivskjellodden peninsular, around one-mile further north, which can only be reached by a 5-mile hike. Another issue is Nordkapp is actually on Magerøya island, so if islands are included in the definition of Europe, then surely the Svalbard archipelago must be the northernmost point?
Anyway, definitions aside, Nordkapp is a magnetic draw for thousands of people every single day during the summer months. A selfie in front of the iconic globe structure is top of many traveller's bucket lists.
The biggest issue I have with Nordkapp is the cost. At 260kr (plus 40kr per passenger) to park, it's an expensive place to visit in what is already the most expensive part of Norway.
What you get for the money
One benefit of the admission fee is it grants you access for 24 hours. This means you can either camp overnight or return later in the day. I visited twice, once in the afternoon and once at midnight.
Because it can get exceptionally busy around midnight with an incredible amount of visitors bussed in from cruise ships, and thick fog can roll in across the cape in literally seconds, it's a wise move to plan a couple of visits during the day.
Also on the site is Nordkapphallen, a modern visitor centre housing a restaurant, cafe, museum, chapel and most importantly of all for such a remote area, clean public toilets! I also found what must be one of Norway's biggest gift shops, with some genuinely nice gifts available among the troll-based tat you'd expect.
The panoramic movie shown every hour is worth a watch, as it reveals what life is like on the cape throughout the year. The winter clips are sure to give you a chill!
But is it really worth it?
This really is a decision for you, and your motivations for travelling.
If your sole desire is to see the midnight sun, then stay elsewhere, hike or drive to the top of a hill and enjoy a picnic in the peace and quiet. On the other hand, the chance to get a selfie with the ‘globe' icon and the midnight sun behind you is a strong draw for the social media fans among us.
Like the Atlantic Road or Å at the end of the Lofoten Islands, Norwegian road trips are about the journey rather than the final destination. And the road trip to Nordkapp is one of the more intriguing. Alta, Hammerfest and Honningsvåg are all tempting destinations within a few hours drive. A visit to Nordkapp can be combined with some of the Arctic's major attractions including the rock carvings at Alta or a husky sled ride, even during the summer!
8 thoughts on “Is Nordkapp Worth It?”
Enjoyed the read about Nordkapp.
Planning to visit Nordkapp towards end of May ’18 by Motorcycle from UK
The best view of Nordkapp and the midnight sun is about 200 metres to the west. Also no crowds here.
Access to Nordkapp is free for cyclists!
Hi, together with my wife are intending to travell by motorcycle to Nordkapp this summer 2019 for our planning I am trying to collect more informations about the route,places to see and to stay and lots of traveller informations, I hope we can find sthg interesting here.
Hi mehmet….me and a friend are going this summer to nordkapp by motorcycle in August……might see you there…..safe Riding…..
We are stopping in Honningsvag by cruise ship and have found out the Tourist center now handles the buses! 490 NOK!! No guide! A guided tour bus from a different company is 979 NOK for 3 1/2 hrs. Someone is making a lot of money!
Do you know of a less expensive way to see the NordKap on a port stop? 8-8 pm
my nephew is cycling from Nordkapp to Tarifa 14-15 August 2019 hoping to do 3600 miles over 36 days. He’s making his way to Nordkapp today from Alta. hopefully meet some other cyclists doing same sort of thing..
My wife and I are planning to cycle from Nordkapp to The Netherlands, starting late June 2022. we would appreciate it if you could share the contact details (eg email address) of your nephew so that we can ask him about the conditions he encountered such as weather/temperature, traffic , facilities for camping, etc.
We are in our 60’s and have traveled long distances before, eg Eurovelo 6 from the Atlantc to the Black Sea, but we are not familiar with cold climates such as Norway.
George Whitehead ([email protected])
I visited the Nordkapp many years ago when a tour was quite inexpensive and included in our trip but found it to be more commercial than anything else. Oh sure, you can take a picture at the globe if you can get to it, but my feeling is that at today’s prices one might enjoy visiting Honnigsvag while the ship is docked for quite a while and explore the town which is what I did in 2017.. Did I regret that I did not visit the Nordkapp again? No. It is not a highlight of a trip to Northern Norway cause basically one is only looking at the sea from the cape.