When it comes to Norway travel, you might wonder where are the must-go places and what are the best things to do in Oslo or Bergen – the viking cities. This article will be your best Norway travel guide to Oslo and Bergen.
Original Source: “Norway Travel Diary” from A Blank Space by Meghan Leigh | Norway Travel Guide
orway is quite possibly the most beautiful place I have ever been, especially with the snow-covered fields and mountains. It looked like life on a cloud (out in the country). While it was beautiful in the winter, I would recommend that most people go during their tourist high season in summer when you can partake in all the wonderful coastline cruises and tours through the Fjord! But for those who like snow (or snow sports): WINTER WAS AMAZING!
Best Things to Do in Oslo and Bergen:
1. Oslo City Hall, Oslo
This building doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the inside is completely Art Deco, every wall a different art piece and every room a different theme! It was like walking through a living art museum where the walls, furniture, decor, and ceilings were the art (this building is where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded)! The Nobel Peace Center is adjacent (for anyone wishing to visit).
2. Opera House, Oslo
Our next stop was the Opera House, which is designed to look like an iceberg jutting out from the harbor! With all the construction going on around this picture really does not do it justice! This building (inside and out) was amazing! With all the snow and frozen water surrounding it, it really did look like an iceberg. What’s even more fun about this building is that you can walk all the way up to the top and see the cityscape from the rooftop! It was breathtaking and such a fun adventure with the slippery slopes from the ice and snow!
3. Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, Oslo
Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (a.k.a. Norsk Folkemuseum) is a “museum” that lives up to its name, taking you on a tour through Norwegian culture. Along with museums on the grounds they have replicated architectural styles from the region for visitors to wander through and for glimpses into life in Norway from the present all the way back to the 14th century! Of course, the pièce de résistance is the Stave Church!
Warning: this museum is HUGE, you could spend hours wandering the grounds! For us, we didn‘t have much time so we hurried through. I advise that you give yourself A LOT of time to tour the grounds. It does start to get redundant after a while, but with snow on the ground it really was magical walking through old “village“ life. Truly a Norwegian experience.
4. Viking Ship Museum, Oslo
Right next door to the Folk Museum is the Viking Ship Museum! This was the favorite of the day! I am seriously undereducated about their culture and grossly underestimated their artistry. The elaborate carvings not only of their massive ships but of their sleds and the intricate textiles they produced were all a sight to see! This museum is small but definitely has a lot to offer!
5. Frogner Park, Oslo
After we finished up with the museums we headed to Frogner Park, which is a giant park known for the Vigeland Sculptures that are displayed within its center. Again for us, it was more beautiful snow filled winter scenery!
This monolith was the highlight of all the Vigeland Sculptures displayed within the center of the park. These sculpture installations are a must see when traveling to Oslo. They are so interesting and portray beautiful imagery of the “circle of life.”
Oslo truly is a gorgeous city! I wish we could have spent more time here because there are numerous attractions to see, as well as a beautiful city to take in. Luckily that night it snowed and really became the beautiful winter wonderland we had dreamed of!
1. Bryggen, Bergen
The top attraction, Bryggen, had to be first on our list. This important wharf is a sight to see with all the old buildings (reconstructed after a fire in 1955) standing at a tilt. This historic wharf is amazingly charming and a main attraction of Bergen, frequented by many visitors from cruise ships through out the summer time! You can walk down the wharf and enjoy the architecture of these old wooden buildings and end up at the Bergen Fortress, another great attraction to visit!
2. Johannes Church & Bergen Cathedral, Bergen
We walked all over the city, just exploring the beauty that is Bergen. Of course we came across some amazing churches (all of which were closed). Here is Johannes church, a red brick building that stands out among the skyline. There is also the Bergen Cathedral near the fort that still has a cannonball stuck in its outer wall (it was under construction while we were there), a must see when visiting.
3. Bergen’s Colorful Homes and Buildings
I found Bergen to be a Norwegian San Francisco. With all the colorful homes & buildings and even similar architecture, it has a Bay Area vibe to the city! Across the harbor from the fort they even have a winding street similar to Lombard Street! Tell me this row of houses doesn‘t directly remind you of the intro to Full House.
4. Mount Fløyen, Bergen
The highlight of the day had to be going up to Mount Floyen…Check out that view! A full bird’s eye view of all of Bergen (and some more). It was such a clear day (rare in rainy Bergen). We took endless photos! Up on the hill there is a great park and a troll forest for kids (and some 20-something adults) to play in. Naturally I have pictures of every troll carving displayed, but this girly with her long hair caught my eye. These trolls were not the scary trolls of Scandinavian folklore, but they were more like a Snow White and the 7 Dwarves-version of the creatures (more child friendly). However, you can find some menacing, giant troll sculptures throughout different parts of Norway.
5. Local Bars in Bergen
That night we went out to a local bar to celebrate Ashley‘s Birthday! We had fun dancing the night away. Bergen had some amazing nightlife so don’t skip out when you visit. Just remember a drink will set you back $10-12 so come prepared!
Like Oslo, Bergen had too much to do for one day! My best advice is to plan a LONG vacation to be able to enjoy the beauty that is Norway. Also remember to plan ahead, we went into Norway blind (for work and to visit friends) not realizing just how much there was to see and do! But it‘s always an excuse to go back! (My main regret is not partaking in outdoor snow activities: boarding!)
Needless to say I am in LOVE with Norway (trying to convince Caleb we should move there). Norway is a MUST for any traveler!
Have you ever been to Norway? Share with us your experience. More travel inspirations at @awardtravel.
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