On the map
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Use the map to check the location of some of Norway's most well-known cities and cultural hot spots.
Bold architecture, interesting design, plenty of museums and an impressive number of concerts and festivals – culture vultures have plenty to explore in Norway.
Norway has a wealth of museums where your clients can discover the country’s history and culture.
The capital Oslo has the most, of course. A few of the most popular include historical museums like the Viking Ship museum, the Fram museum and the Kon-Tiki museum; art museums like the National museum and the Edvard Munch museum; the open-air Folk Museum; and the Skiing museum at the Holmenkollen ski jump.
The map above lists some of the most well-known museums in our main cities.
Find extra information</ br> on Visitnorway.com
Norway has experienced something of an architectural boom recently, and there are now a lot of both old and new buildings to explore. Here are a few milestones:
- The Opera House in Oslo, designed by the renowned architect firm Snøhetta to resemble an iceberg by the water.
- Barcode, twelve tall but narrow buildings in central Oslo, constructed to bring a barcode to mind.
- The Twist gallery and bridge at Kistefos museum in Hadeland (just over 30 minutes by car from central Oslo).
- Mjøstårnet, the world's tallest wooden building, in Brumunddal by Norway's biggest lake Mjøsa. It's possible to drive there in just over one and a half hours from Oslo.
- The mighty Nidarosdomen Cathedral in Trondheim is the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, filled with elaborate artwork and stone sculptures.
- The UNESCO-protected Bryggen wharf in Bergen goes back to the 12th century. It is still a bustling place with restaurants, shops and handicraft workshops.
- Stave churches – some of Norway’s 28 remaining stave churches have been around since the 12th century. They were a common sight in northern Europe during the Middle Ages, but today they are found almost exclusively in Norway.
18 roads in Norway have had selected viewpoints, rest areas and car parks transformed through art, design and architecture.
The roads cover 2,136 kilometres and are spread out along the coast and across the mountains of Fjord Norway, Trøndelag and Northern Norway. It took almost 20 years to complete the project, which cost hundreds of millions of kroner to develop.
The idea behind the project is to make car journeys more enjoyable.
Video: Sit back and relax
Norway is perhaps most famous for its fabulous nature – the fjords, the mountains, the glaciers, the waterfalls and the national parks. Where do you start? We believe that any and all of the suggestions below offer a truly Norwegian, unforgettable experience.
There are fjords all over Norway, but the most famous ones are located in the region known as Fjord Norway in the western part of the country.
But first of all, what exactly is a fjord? It is a long inlet surrounded by steep mountain cliffs, created by moving glaciers during a succession of ice ages.
Get to know the main fjords:
- The UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord
- The Sognefjord: the longest and deepest, called the ”king of the fjords”
- The Hardangerfjord with the fruit orchards
- The Lysefjord with the striking cliffs Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock) and Kjerag
- Nordfjord, close to Jostedalsbreen, the biggest glacier on mainland Europe
- The Aurlandsfjord by the village of Flåm and the Flåm Railway
Norway is home to almost 300 mountain peaks over 2,000 metres (6,561 feet), as well as some remarkable rock formations. Here is a selection of the most popular ones.
Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock), which is shaped like a pulpit, is located by the Lysefjord in Ryfylke just outside Stavanger.
Trolltunga (the Troll's Tongue), a cliff sticking out of the mountain like a troll’s tongue some 700 metres (2,296 feet) over a lake.
In Jotunheimen in Eastern Norway there are more than 200 mountain peaks over 2,000 metres / 6,561 feet, including northern Europe’s highest mountain Galdhøpiggen (2,469 metres / 8,100 feet above sea level).
Torghatten, the mountain with the mysterious hole that you can walk through.
In Norway, it is possible to visit some of the glaciers that shaped the fjord landscape. Those who want to go glacier hiking should be advised to hire a guide, who knows the area and can provide any necessary equipment.
Jostedalsbreen is the biggest glacier in mainland Europe. Other large glaciers are Folgefonna, Austfonna and Svartisen. See what the fuss is all about in the video below!
Video: Sit back and relax
Did you know that 10 of the world’s 30 tallest waterfalls are located in Norway?
Many of these can be seen in Fjord Norway, the southwestern part of Norway. The tallest, unregulated free-falling waterfall in the country is Vettisfossen, with a single drop of 275 metres. One of the most popular falls is Vøringfossen, which was Norway's most popular tourist attraction in 2006.
The best time of year to admire Norwegian waterfalls is in May and June.
There are 46 national parks in Norway, making up around 10% of mainland Norway. The parks are spread out all over the country, so there is usually one or more within easy reach.
The public is free to enjoy the parks at no cost, as long as they follow the guidelines of the so-called Right to roam (Allemansretten). The national parks are great for hiking and other activities like skiing, kayaking, fishing, hunting and bird watching.
Lonely Planet has called Norway “the last refuge for some of Europe's most intriguing wildlife”. Those who are curious about whales, musk oxen, king crab, white-tailed eagles and other birds have plenty of wildlife safaris to choose from. Here are a few tips of places to check out:
- Whale watching: The Vesterålen islands, not far from Lofoten
- Wild musk oxen: Dovrefjell national park in Trøndelag
- King crab: Kirkenes in Northern Norway, close to the Russian border
- Bird watching: Runde island outside of Ålesund
- Arctic wildlife: The Svalbard islands
Lots of people travel to Northern Norway to see the aurora borealis during the autumn and winter months.
The chances of spotting the lights up here are great indeed, and together with a wide range of comfortable hotels for tourists, we like to think of Norway as the best place in the world for aurora hunting. A few popular activities to check out under the northern lights are skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling and snowshoe hiking.
In the summer, travellers can experience the midnight sun in many parts of Norway. The period with daylight around the clock ranges from 20 days by the Arctic Circle to 120 days on Svalbard. Below the Arctic circle, there is strictly speaking no midnight sun, however the summer nights are long and light all over Norway – even in Oslo and the southern parts.
Both locals and tourists make the most of the special summer light and take part in activities like fishing, kayaking and golf at midnight.
Yay! The Pulpit rock, or “Preikestolen” in Norwegian, is located in Ryfylke just outside of Stavanger. Rising 604 metres above the Lysefjord, this remarkable cliff got its name because of the pulpit-like shape.
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Well done! Two of Oslo’s most famous attractions are the Opera House, where visitors can walk on the roof, and the Vigeland sculpture park with over 200 sculptures.
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