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Where Next? You Decide!

Back in May I described the early stages of my Norwegian travel bug, including several places I'd like to visit. Since then, I've chalked up Bergen, Tromsø, Lillehammer, several visits to Trondheim and of course many of Oslo's nooks and crannies.

But where next?

I have several thoughts, but after successfully crowdsourcing ideas for my Tromsø trip on Twitter, I've decided to ask for your input! If there's somewhere you think I must go next, please leave a comment below, or on my Facebook page. Here's some places I'm already considering, but don't limit yourself to this list.

Røros

Traditional wooden housing in Røros, Central Norway
Housing in Røros – Image from Flickr

An old mining town about two hours train ride from Trondheim. Famed for its fantastically preserved wooden, almost medieval looking houses, the whole town is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is one disadvantage of going here in the next few months. It's one of the colder parts of Norway and temperatures below -20C will be a possibility, if not likely!

Svalbard

Hiking in Svalbard – Image from Flickr

Speaking of cold, how about the archipelago of Svalbard, a mere four-hour flight from Oslo (!) and the most northerly permanently inhabited place in the world. Believe it or not, I'm well up for visiting here!

Horsing around on snowmobiles, the Russian settlement of Barentsburg, trying the local speciality (seal!), the chance to see one of Svalbard's 500 polar bears… there's plenty to see and do here despite (and because of) the harsh environment. Also the vodka is duty-free 🙂

Ålesund & the Geirangerfjord

My desire to visit the Art Nouveau west-coast town of Ålesund and the famous Geiranger Fjord remains strong. The reason? I'll let my good friend photography explain:

Bird's Eye View of Ålesund
View over Ålesund – Image from Flickr
Awesome panorama of Geirangerfjorden, Norway
Geirangerfjorden Panorama – Image from Flickr

Yep, it's one of the prettiest parts of Norway.

Stavanger

Stavanger by night
Stavanger by night – Image from Flickr

Norway's oil-capital has grown rapidly and the region is now the third biggest urban area in the country after Oslo and Bergen. Despite its reputation as the home of black gold, I'm told by many it has a unique character and is worth a visit.

This seems to be backed up by its 2008 European City of Culture honour (a title shared with Liverpool). Maybe I should visit and see for myself?

Nordkapp

Nordkapp latitude sign
Nordkapp in Norway – Image from Flickr

Nordkapp is the most northerly (almost) point on the Norwegian mainland and therefore Europe. Another long trip, this would involve a flight to Tromsø or Hammerfest, a second flight to Honningsvåg, followed by a long bus journey or cycle ride to Nordkapp itself. Perhaps a hike in the summer might be a possibility? Your choice!

Kirkenes & The Russian Border

Kirkenes street sign in Norwegian & Russian
Multilingual Kirkenes – Image from Flickr

I never realised Norway shared a border with Russia until I moved here. The town of Kirkenes is typical of border towns around the globe, demonstrating strong influences from both countries and a confused yet unique identity. Road signs in Norwegian and Russian, the Border Country Museum, hiking to the Russian border, king crab fishing in the Barents Sea, a World War II bunker… a visit to Kirkenes is sure to be a unique cultural experience.

The town is twinned with the settlement of Nikel, just inside the Russian border. Nikel is known for its heavy-polluting smelting plant and absolutely nothing else, but it happens to be my surname. So… if it's possible to get a Visa and cycle/drive/bus from Kirkenes to Nikel, then it has to be done! From there, I believe a train to Murmansk is possible.

Göteborg

A view of Göteborg, Sweden
Göteborg, Sweden – Image from Flickr

Yes, Sweden! Göteborg (or Gothenburg as I used to know it) is actually closer to Oslo than all the main Norwegian towns of Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim. There's an express bus that could whisk me off to “The Paris of Sweden” in a mere three hours.

I've never been to Sweden, so this one is high on my own wish list. Would you be interested in hearing my impressions of a Swedish city after spending nearly nine months in Norway?

Now… Vote!

You are free to pick any of the above or somewhere different. Just please be sure to give a reason. So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… cast your votes!

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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 professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

9 Comments

  1. Alesund & Geirangerfjord get my first vote, the photography speaks for itself, so you’ll know why it gets my vote David!
    My second choice would be Roros. I have always loved history and by the look of the old wooden houses, there would be plenty of history to delve into!
    But the choice is ultimately yours, so enjoy your travels wherever they may take you. xx

  2. Hmm well you know what I’ve visited Ålesund twice…or is it 3 times and I’m yet to to be charmed by it. That said I’ve visited Geiranger twice stayed a few days the second time and would happily go back for a month. You could run up the mountain every day and celebrate with bizarre local pizza flavours every night without a shred of guilt.
    Stavanger is my favourite city in Norway so far. Can’t explain why but it was love at first sight and it’s only gained a stronger hold on me with subsequent visits, and then there;s always Preikestolen.
    Nordkapp is a place for summer, I loved Hammerfest on the way up but if I went again I’d stay in one of the other options rather than Honningsvåg which is a bit depressing.
    Göteborg looks amazing, I’m definitely planning to go there this year.
    And how about some of the Norwegian southern coastal towns. Arendal ranks a close second to Stavanger and the Hvaler skerries are really beautiful 🙂

  3. Having been to all the suggestions, I would pick Spitsbergen, followed by Kirkenes (you can also arrange an overnight trip to Murmansk through a travel agency up there).
    I’ve been to Spitsbergen twice so far (end June and end December), so have seen the 2 extremes. But it varies so much over only 2 weeks, so many more trips are planned!!!

    Kirkenes is a must if you have any interest in WW2 (I do) – Grenser Museum, I found informative, emotional and everything inbetween. Especially followed by going to a mass grave near by.

  4. Chris – kinda expected you to pick Sverige…
    Gerry – noted, thanks
    Mum – bless you!
    Qouda – not considered southern Norway yet, thanks for the suggestions
    Wendy – thanks for the tips, I’ll be in touch for more advice if either of those wins 😉

    Still time to vote folks, keep them coming!

  5. Svalbard, because it’s always winter there! Some of the other places seem as though they’d be better saved for when the weather’s a little warmer.

    I’d also be interested to see what you think of Gothenburg – it’s the only place on your list that I’ve been to myself.

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