My Norwegian Travel Bug Starts Here

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It's time to escape Oslo and see more of my wonderful new home, Norway. Here are my plans for exploring the country.

So, three weeks into my Norsk adventure and I'm starting to get to know my way around Oslo. I find my eyes looking further afield at what delights may be in store for me in the rest of Norway.

Lofoten mountain image.

From the Arctic north to the fjords of the southwest and everything in between, there's so much to discover. I already love Oslo but I do get the feeling I am going to fall in love with so many more places, too.

It'll also be great to get to know the “real Norway”. Not that Oslo isn't a reflection on modern Norwegian life–there are more than half a million people here after all. But as with most countries, I expect I'll only get to know Norwegian culture by visiting more places.

I'm planning a few weekend trips, perhaps longer, to the following places:


Far far north of Oslo, 350km INSIDE the arctic circle, lies the remarkable city of Tromsø. Driving there would take three days so the only realistic option is the cheap two-hour flight.

I'm torn between visiting in summer and winter, its location means you get two vastly different experiences.

Tromsø view at night.

In summer, Tromsø is bathed in permanent daylight and a picnic overlooking the city at midnight sounds delightful. Some nutbars even take part in the Midnight Sun marathon, which is kinda cool.

This contrasts with the winter months when it only reaches twilight at best. Tromsø is also known as one of the best places in the world to see the northern lights, something I've wanted to see for many years.

I'm hoping Andrew can join me for a trip this winter so we can buy some Sami knitwear, ride a husky sled and go hunting for the northern lights. I'm also grateful to my friends in Oslo for teaching me how to pronounce Tromsø correctly.


Ålesund is an important fishing port in Western Norway. Not very exciting you may think.

Waterfront in central Ålesund.

But after being destroyed by fire in the early 20th century, the town centre was rebuilt in art-deco style and looks the kind of place I could easily spend a day pottering around.

It's built on islands and so you get a great view of the watery setting from some of the mountains nearby. I'm told you can even walk up to one on steps, so that should be an interesting challenge.


Norway is famous for its fjords and perhaps the best known is the Geirangerfjord on the west coast. It's very close to Ålesund (above) so a combined trip here is a must.

I need say very little about why I want to go, just take a look at the spectacular image below.

Hiking in and around the Geirangerfjord

A summer visit here seems likely, although I imagine the area would look sensational in the autumn and the winter. But given how treacherous roads are at those times of year, I think I'll park those plans for now.

Also, I think my parents would really enjoy a summer boat trip on the Geirangerfjord. So, perhaps I'll visit more than once.


As Norway's biggest city after Oslo, Bergen will be worth a visit anyway, but what interests me most is the journey there.

The Oslo to Bergen train line is frequently touted as one of the greatest railway journeys in the world. Ticking off one of Norway's biggest tourist attractions before I've even got to the city? That sounds good to me!

Bryggen, Bergen in Norway
Bryggen, Bergen.

There's tons to do in Bergen and I'm especially keen to wander around Bryggen, the World Heritage listed former Hanseatic trading buildings.

Chris and Graham are visiting in October and want to take the train from Oslo to Bergen and fly back, so I'm already getting excited about this one.


Further north up the western coastline is Trondheim. It's a historical city so there will be plenty to see and do, even if the place is overrun with students.

The cathedral looks especially interesting and it greatly amuses me that from the Central Station you can buy a one-way ticket to Hell.

Trondheim city centre from above.
Trondheim city centre from above.

Again the train seems a good way to get from Oslo to Trondheim, with a (one-way) ticket for the 6.5hr journey costing just 199kr (about £22) if you book in advance.

There are so many other places I'd like to see in Norway. Lofoten is an area that sounds fascinating, but I think I'll need to save a few kroner before heading there. Røros is also somewhere that sounds intriguing.

But for now, these trips outlined above should keep me occupied over the next year or so! So… who wants to come with me? 🙂

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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