Norway is a land of wonder and magic, with some of the most remarkable landscapes to be found in Europe, a fantastic and dynamic culinary scene, and art and culture at every turn. Although its dark forests and dramatic mountains draw many tourists, it is also the perfect country to visit for a city break, where three most exciting, interesting and fantastically different destinations stand out.
Oslo, Bergen and Tromsø offer three wonderful yet remarkably varied city break options, and will provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences and amazing cultural attractions. Whether you are flying in to Oslo from the US, jumping on a cheap flight to Bergen from the US, or seeing Norway on a cruise up the coast to Tromsø, there is so much to do in each one of these amazing cities. Read on to see some of our highlights.
Oslo is a magnificent capital city. Cosmopolitan, arty, full of exquisite New Nordic cuisine, and with a lively and vibrant nightlife. Its location on the Oslofjord and the Askervela river make it a remarkably beautiful place to visit, and its hipster credentials are up there with Copenhagen’s. There are an enormous amount of things to do and see, but it is a pretty compact place for a capital city, making it extremely manageable.
Starting off at the famous Tiger statue in Jernbanetorget square, it’s only a short walk to Grünerløkka, Oslo’s hippest district famed for its cafe culture. In the town centre, the Royal Castle, National Theatre and Norwegian Parliament are all impressive sights. Edvard Munch’s The Scream at the National Gallery is an unmissable stop on most itineraries, and the remarkable selection of cultural spots like the Vigeland, Oslo City, Viking Ship and Folk museums are well worth exploring.
The restored waterfront at Aker Brygge is a wonderful option for the evening, with the best selection of bars and restaurants in the city, and a delightful view of Oslofjord as a bonus.
Norway’s second city is in many ways even more appealing than the capital. It has a lovely charm to it, is pretty as a picture, and makes for the perfect base to explore the fjords and natural wonders of Western Norway.
Bryggen Wharf is picturesque, and for many the defining image of Bergen. There’s loads of hidden gems to discover here, with cute boutiques, delightful cafes and even a secret World War II museum. Wandering around the city from Bryggen is equally a delight, with colorful wooden houses and cobbled streets everywhere.
One of the best ways to get the full picture of Bergen is to grab the Fløibanen railway up to the lookout point on Floyen Mountain, for an amazing panorama of the whole city.
Many tourists just know Tromsø as the place to see the Northern Lights, and whilst this unique natural phenomenon is an absolute must-see, Tromsø itself is pretty special too.
The ‘Paris of the North’ boasts extraordinary museums (the University Museum and Polaria in particular), staggeringly beautiful cathedrals, and the opportunity to get intimately acquainted with nature, with reindeer rides and dog-sledding close by.
Of course, the chance to see the midnight sun and the Aurora Borealis is also a game changer, and makes Tromsø a truly spectacular place to visit.