This is a Norway travel guide to my favourite cities worth visiting on your next trip to Norway. As well as the stunning nature escapes, hiking trails, and endless fjords across Norway, the cities also have a lot to offer to contrast from the natural beauty of this country.
The cities I’ve picked out for this list are great gateways to these magical, more remote parts of Norway. Be sure to book your next adventure to the Nordics with Norway tours who cover most of the destinations across Norway.
Here are my top 5 city escapes across Norway worth visiting.
1. Olso The capital of Norway
Oslo, the capital and cultural hub of Norway is famous for its art galleries. Here you can see the famous Scream at the National Gallery of Oslo.
After your cultural trips there are many heavenly coffee shops to visit. Some of the best Nordic baristas around have set up shop here, such as the highly respected Tim Wendelboe.
You have to head to the weekend flea markets for hip upcycled items, 80’s fashion, and old telephones (Do you remember those?).
Enjoy Nordic architecture such as the Oslo Opera House, where you can walk up to the roof.
Be sure to check out the park with all the interesting statues at the Vigeland Sculpture Park. I could spend hours here just pottering around, unless it’s winter, then I’d rather be enjoying a cream bun and a coffee in a cafe close by.
2. Bergen, the must visit city in Norway
Bergen is the most beautiful city I’ve been to in Norway. It looks like classic Norway with all the old wooden houses lining up the docks of Bryggen, which is now a UNESCO protected site.
The only issue I really had is that pretty much rains all year round, so be sure to pack a rain mac.
You have to try some salmon soup in a cafe close by to the fishing port, nothing beats a warming bowl of this good stuff and it’s perfect for a rainy day.
Fancy something a bit more adventurous? Climb to the top of Bergen Hill to get a great overview of the city from above – it truly looks magical from high up. The hike up there is a nice one to spend a whole day doing.
Be sure to pack some sausages to grill up at the top – you will find grill pits to make use of. This is a very Norwegian thing to do at the end of a hike, and if you pack the tortilla-like Norwegian wraps called “Lefse” they go perfectly with the local hot dogs (pølse), and many Norwegians would approve.
To get to Bergen from Oslo be sure to check out the Norway In A Nutshell train tour, which will take you there past some of the most scenic spots in Norway.
3. Stavanger, along the South West coast
This fishing port town offers a truly unique side of Norway. Explore the town’s connection to the sea at the Maritime Museum.
For a more modern feel of Stavanger, explore its urban blend of street art. You can go on a walking tour to see the best spots to be found around town.
Go on a walk around the old town, and you’ll find cosy coffee shops and local businesses selling handmade crafts. The perfect place for picking up a postcard. Take a cruise on the Lysefjord and enjoy the Fjords on a fun day trip.
4. Tromso, the northernmost city
Tromso is the northernmost city in Norway, and acts as a perfect gateway to Svalbard if you want to add another adventure to your Nordic trip. This place is a hub for culture above the Arctic Circle, and also is famous for fantastic opportunities to view the Northern Lights (if you’re lucky).
The centre of this beautiful and historic city is marked out by wooden houses that are hundreds of years old. You also have to visit the Arctic Cathedral dating back to 1965.
It’s distinctive peaked roof and stunning stained glass windows are wonderful to behold. When you’ve had enough of the city’s fantastic architecture, you can experience some of the bubbling nightlife scenes in the summer.
You’ll find that the sun never sets, but the jazz bars keep going until the early morning hours – It makes it easier to find your way home at least.
I would definitely recommend buying a bag of freshly caught shrimp from a local fisherman as a yummy midnight snack, beats a kebab any day.
5. Lofoten archipelago islands
I know Lofoten isn’t technically a city, but it has to get a mention as a place worth stopping by on any visit to Norway. This collection of islands offers stunning landscape photography opportunities for those who love taking photos. The Lofoten archipelago is known for dramatic scenery, and stunning peaks that tower over the islands.
The Svolværgeita pinnacle juts up into the sky, and makes for amazing photos, and you can also visit Himmeltindan Mountain on Vestvågøya Island. You can also pay a visit to the nearby Lofotr Viking Museum to check out a reconstructed longhouse and learn about Norway’s ancient past.
Cycle routes cover all of the islands and pass through fishing villages such as Henningsvær, which has many colourful and gorgeous buildings lining its waterways. The archipelago is the perfect cherry on the top to add to your Norway trip.
Thank you for reading and have an awesome, fun adventure travelling across Norway.