Maybe what comes to your mind when we talk about Norway is the plunder of the beautiful Vikings or fjords. In fact, Norway offers more than that, call it beautiful beaches, well-preserved wooden churches, incredible hiking trails, and ancient medieval cities filled with modern facilities waiting to be explored. Therefore, here we present a list of the best tourist attractions in Norway:
The most famous tourist attraction in Norway is probably the fjord. Among the most beautiful fjords is the Geirangerfjord, located in southwestern Norway near the coastal town of Ålesund. Stretching over 15 km (9 miles), the Geirangerfjord is a natural wonder of dark blue water surrounded by majestic cliffs and lush green mountains that rise more than 1,000 meters (3,500 feet). Some amazing waterfalls and lush countryside adorned with beautiful agriculture also adds to the beauty of this place.
2. Heddal Stave Church
Haveal Stave is the largest paranada church in Norway, with triple naves that stand firmly. This church made entirely of wood was built in the 13th century; according to local legend, this church was built in three days by five farmers. After restoration in the 19th and 20th centuries, this church is still used today for weddings and Sunday services during the summer months. Located in Notodden, this church is dedicated to Our Lady.
3. Nidaros Cathedral
When William the Conqueror was busy invading England in 1066, the Vikings were busy building the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Nearly 1,000 years later, this cathedral is the most important church in Norway and the largest medieval building in Scandinavia. This cathedral was built to honor Olav, a Viking chieftain who later became king and saint. Olav was killed in battle near Trondheim in 1030, then his nephew began building the Nidaros Cathedral in 1066 to accommodate his body. The construction of the cathedral was basically completed in 1090, but the expansion of the building continued until the 1300s. This cathedral is an important pilgrimage destination in Norway.
Nordkapp, or North Cape, is a must for traveler in norway who want to play under the midnight sun, because the sun never sets here between May 14 and July 29. Nordkapp is the northernmost point in Europe which is connected to the international road network. Because it is at the northern end, towering 300 meters (1,000 feet) above the Arctic Ocean, Nordkapp is a summer destination, attracting around 200,000 visitors each year. Nordkapp offers amazing views, with many opportunities to hike in the Arctic sun or see puffins in their natural habitat.
5. Jostedalsbreen Glacier
Ice and scenery are perhaps the best way to describe the Jostedalsbreen Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. Located in southern Norway, this glacier is surrounded by the Jostedalsbreen Glacier National Park. Many years ago, locals could cross the glacier on foot, or herd animals on their way to the market, but lately the glacier has shrunk significantly. Hiking and glacial skiing are allowed here, but you must prepare yourself well because this activity can be dangerous if you are not yet proficient.
Roros is a good place to learn about copper mining as it did several centuries ago. Copper mining began here in the 17th century and continued for more than 300 years, until 1977. The city has around 2,000 wooden houses that have been preserved in a blackened state, showing a medieval impression. The city was founded in 1646 by Roros Copper Works. Agricultural land surrounds the former mining operation, leaving remnants of a smelter.
7. Urnes Stave Church
Urnes Stavkyrkje, or Urnes Stave Church, combines several architectural styles into a medieval church that still stands after 900 years. However, what is extraordinary about this church is the building material used: wood, not traditional stone. Located on the west coast of Norway, this church blends Celtic, Viking and Romanesque aspects in a church that stands majestically in the forest. Urnes is one of 28 paranada (wooden) churches in Norway and one of the oldest, built in the 12th century. Artifacts in this church connect pre-Christian Norse culture with medieval Christianity.
Vøringfossen is the most famous waterfall in Norway, although it only ranks 83rd in the list of the highest waterfalls in Norway. Vøringfossen is located in Mabodelen, a narrow valley between Oslo and Bergen. At the top of Voringfossen there is a hotel that was built in 1880 and requires guests to walk 1,500 steps to reach this inn.
Bryggen, an informal museum that doesn’t look like a museum. Traditional buildings line the beach with boats only a few steps from the Bergen seaside. The beautiful scenery here can make visitors forget that Bryggen is related to the importance of Bergen as a trading center for 400 years during the Middle Ages. Here you can also shop at trendy boutiques, visit artisans’ studios, or enjoy food in a narrow alley.
10. Viking Ship Museum
Centuries ago, the Vikings sailed the northern sea, igniting fear in the heart of the area that these fierce warriors would invade. Today, visitors can see without fear, some of the ships that caused the terror. The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo exhibits several large ninth-century ships, such as ships from Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune, including the two most durable wooden ships in the world since that time. The Oseberg ship is the best preserved ship and was found in a burial mound on a farm near Oseberg. The museum also displays textiles, appliances and household items, as well as items found at the Viking tomb.
Now that’s 10 popular tourist attractions in Norway that you shouldn’t miss! So, which place attracts you most?