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Norway Travel Guide

Reine in Lofoten

Plan your dream trip to Norway with help from people who live here.

Hello and welcome! My name is David Nikel, the author of the Moon Norway guidebook. From the world-famous fjords to the northern lights dancing overhead, Norway is full of incredible travel experiences.

I’ll show you how to see the best of this magnificent country, from the most interesting museums and galleries to the best hotels and campgrounds.

The colourful Bryggen wharf in Bergen, Norway
Bergen

The aim of this travel guide is both to inspire your trip planning and give you all the information you need to plan the trip of your dreams. Ready? Let's go!

Top Destinations: OsloBergenFjordsLofoten – Stavanger – Ålesund – Trondheim – Tromsø – Kristiansand

Top Experiences: Norwegian FjordsNorthern LightsNorway by RailCruisesHiking – Arctic Norway – Road Trips

Search flight deals to Norway

Discover all your options for flying to Norway, or start your search here:

Viewpoint of the famous Geiranger fjord

Something for everyone

Recent research done by the tourism authorities revealed the top reasons people travel to Norway. Top of the list was the spectacular Norwegian fjords. A surprise to absolutely no-one!

Also listed by travellers as top reasons to come to Norway were the northern lights, exploring historic sites, and simply spending time out in nature.

It just goes to show that Norway really does have something to offer everyone, whether you're a city lover, a family with demanding kids, or a Scandinavia-obsessive desperate to find some hygge!

When & where to visit

The best time of year to visit depends on what you want to do and what sort of experience you're looking to have. Do you want to see the country's World Heritage Sites? See the fjords? Take a road trip?

Cities can be enjoyed year-round. The coastal villages of the south are best enjoyed during the summer, while the season for hiking, skiing and other outdoor activities varies on exactly where you plan to visit.

Valdres
Valdres at more than 1,300 metres above sea level (Photo: Jarle Wæhler / Statens vegvesen)

Whatever your plans and hopes your trip, here's our advice on the weather you can expect, and when to visit Norway.

Are you looking for some inspiration on where to go? From the northern lights to the range of fjords on offer, it can be hard to decide on your priorities. Here's a good place to start your planning:

Oslo: It's worth spending a few days in the Norwegian capital, especially if you're arriving at the city's international airport, before heading off to the countryside. The museums are the best in the country.

Bergen: Norway's second city is known as the gateway to the fjords, but it offers plenty to do on its own. If travelling between these two major cities, take one of the world's most picturesque railway journeys.

Fjords: World-famous and for good reason, the Norwegian fjords draw millions of tourists to Norway every year. See the famous Geirangerfjord or Nærøyfjord, or how about one of the lesser-known alternatives?

Hiking near Sæbø, Hjørundfjord
Hiking near Sæbø, Hjørundfjord (Photo: Mattias Fredriksson / www.fjordnorway.com)

Lofoten: Dramatic scenery and less tourists than the fjords have made Lofoten the new must-do destination in Norway. Hire a car and enjoy a road trip to remember.

Where to stay

Given the relatively high cost of visiting Norway, securing your accommodation should be high on your list of travel planning priorities.

Although there are plenty of chain hotels in the country, Norway offers a diverse range of accommodation to suit all budgets.

Hotel Deals: Search for great value accommodation in Norway

If you're planning on taking a road trip through the Norwegian fjords or the Arctic region, consider staying on one of the many campsites. You don't even need to stay in a tent or motorhome, unless you want to of course!

A small cabin in Åndalsnes

Many campsites have wooden cabins for rent, and fisherman's cottages known as rorbuer are a common sight throughout Lofoten.

These can vary from simple wooden shelters to swish mountain lodges with all the conveniences of modern life.

Top Norway travel tips

Not every trip is going to be the same, as not every reason for visiting Scandinavia is the same. Even though we are all different, with unique needs and expectations, these travel tips should help to make the planning process easier.

Business Travellers: If you've never visited a Scandinavian country before, you may be shocked to find a very relaxed approach to work and office lifestyle.

In most industries dress isn't very formal, and working hours are not long. While you're here, be sure to make some time to explore!

Healthcare: Tourists are entitled to urgent healthcare in Norway, but it’s vital to understand the rules and who pays.

In an emergency situation, call for an ambulance by dialling 113 from any telephone. Is travel insurance necessary? Find out here.

Queueing for the car ferry in Norway
Car ferries are common in Norway

Car Hire: Booking a rental car in advance is the best way to guarantee the best availability and the best rates. Avoid stress at the airport desks and reserve your car of choice today.

Sales Tax Refund: If you are planning on picking up some souvenirs on your trip, familiarise yourself with the tax refund rules.

Most people will be entitled to a welcome rebate on any big ticket items you've bought in Norway when you leave the country.

Mobile Data: If you need access to data on your smartphone for more than a couple of days, it may be worth investing in a pre-paid Norwegian SIM. Here are your options.

Further reading

Pre-travel checklist

Before you visit Norway, here's a quick checklist of important things to consider:

  • Guidebook: Plan your ultimate trip with the Moon Norway guidebook
  • Accommodation: Book your hotel in advance and save money
  • Car Rental: Book in advance to get the best rates on your choice of rental car
  • Travel Insurance: Don't run the risk of travelling to Norway without adequate cover
  • VPN: Secure your laptop and smartphone's internet connection while you travel
  • Tours & activities: Save money by pre-booking tours & activities
Norway Weekly Email Newsletter

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About the Author: 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 freelance writer for technology companies in Scandinavia.

2 Comments

  1. Hi
    We will be spending 8 days in norway in late september.
    Is it possible to go to he western fjords at that time?
    Where is it best to travel except the cities?
    Thanks D

    1. It’s possible to drive although some of the smaller mountain roads may already be closed. You’ll probably find many cafes, shops etc in the smaller fjord villages closed too, or with reduced opening hours. A boat trip from Bergen or a trip on the Oslo-Bergen railway and Flåm railway down to the Aurlandsfjord may be the best option at that time of year. Have a great trip!

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