The 7 Best Fjord Cruises In Norway [2022 Reviews]

The rugged coastline of Norway is famous for its breathtaking scenery and stunning fjords. No visit to Norway is complete without at least one fjord cruise.

There are a huge range of fjord tours available in Norway, from a simple 2-hour cruise visiting the local landmarks to elaborate packages including a 3-course meal and an onboard sauna.

Containing 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it’s a pristine travel destination that looks like something out of a movie. However, there are tons of tours that go through here which can make it hard to choose one worth your time and money.

We have the top Norwegian fjord cruise tours all right here, so don’t go anywhere!

Best Norwegian Fjord Cruises

 Fjord Cruise and Whale Safari by Catamaran From TromsøWildlife Bird Fjord Cruise with Lunch and Drinks From TromsøOsterfjord, Mostraumen & Waterfall Fjord Cruise From Bergen
editors choice
Fjord Cruise and Whale Safari by Catamaran From TromsøWildlife Bird Fjord Cruise with Lunch and Drinks From TromsøOsterfjord, Mostraumen and Waterfall Fjord Cruise
Departure Point:Harborside of Kystens Hus, TromsøScandic Ishavshotel in TromsøMeet at Fish Market, 5013 Bergen
Departure Time:Contact tour operatorVariety availableVariety available
Duration: 7 hours5 hours3 hours
Includes:Scenic transport via a comfortable catamaran, English-speaking guide, thermal winter suit and life jacket, hot drinks and biscuitsTour guide, transport for activity duration: sightseeing cruise, lunch, snacks, water, coffee/tea, warm clothing, life vest, fishing gear3-hour round tour cruise to the beautiful Osterfjord and Mostraumen channel

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking



Don’t miss taking going into the backcountry and seeing the northern lights while you are in Norway, see our reviews here of our favorite northern lights trips.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Norwegian Fjord Cruise Tours For 2022

  1. Fjord Cruise and Whale Safari by Catamaran From Tromsø
  2. Wildlife Bird Fjord Cruise with Lunch and Drinks From Tromsø
  3. Osterfjord, Mostraumen and Waterfall Cruise
  4. Midnight Fjord Cruise From Tromsø
  5. Fjord and Islands Luxury Catamaran Cruise From Tromsø
  6. Waterfalls Rocks and Caves Cruise From Stavanger
  7. Fjords Evening Buffet Cruise From Oslo

Norway Fjord Cruise Reviews

1. Fjord Cruise and Whale Safari by Catamaran From Tromsø

Fjord Cruise and Whale Safari by Catamaran From Tromsø

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Departure: Harborside of Kystens Hus, Tromsø
  • Departure Time: Contact tour operator
  • IncludesScenic transport via a comfortable catamaran (up to 3 hours one way), English-speaking Guide, thermal winter suit and life jacket, hot drinks and biscuits

Our first tour is one of the most well-rated, comprehensive tours in this area. If you’re looking to really get to know the fjords and the incredible wildlife, this one is a top contender. The Tromsø: Whale and Arctic Wildlife Cruise Safari by Catamaran is not only exciting, you’re also going to learn a ton about the area.

This 7-hour tour starts off by you meeting the crew and the rest of your group early in the day to take advantage of the daylight. Make sure to dress warm, with layers, and a waterproof outer layer just in case you get wet! We recommend warm boots with good traction, as well!

However, if you need additional layers, the crew is happy to provide you with a thermal winter suit and a life jacket for safety.

Hop onboard a comfortable, top-notch catamaran located in the Tromsø city center. This makes it easy to access, no matter where in the city you’re staying. While the fjords are generally calm, there are some rougher points in the open water that may make you consider bringing motion sickness medicine.

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Experts in all kinds of weather, the crew will make sure you have a great time, even on those dark and cloudy days. They’re incredibly friendly, and once you board, will tell you what to expect on the tour and answer any questions you may have.

Enjoy some delicious hot drinks (tea and coffee) along with some freshly-baked biscuits while marveling at the gorgeous scenery surrounding you. The journey to where you’ll see whales is a bit long – 3 hours out there – so get comfortable.

Along the way, you’ll learn all about the country’s varied wildlife, fishing, aquaculture, little villages around, and weather. Not only that, but they’ll relate it to historical accounts as well, which are always interesting.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


2. Wildlife Bird Fjord Cruise with Lunch and Drinks From Tromsø

Wildlife Bird Fjord Cruise with Lunch and Drinks From Tromsø

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Departure: Scandic Ishavshotel in Tromsø
  • Departure Time: Variety available
  • Includes: Tour guide, transport for activity duration: sightseeing cruise, lunch, snacks, water, coffee/tea, warm clothing, life vest, fishing gear

Next up, we bring you the Tromsø: Wildlife Bird Fjord Cruise with Lunch and Drinks tour. If you’re looking for a slightly shorter tour than the one we just covered, this is a great alternative. However, they pack a lot in to this incredible excursion, where you’ll venture out onto the Arctic Sea and explore its wonders!

Meet up with the captain, crew, and rest of your group at the Scandic Ishavshotel, which is conveniently located close to just about any part of Tromsø. They’ll escort you down to the harbor to board the “Fjord Queen”.

Get that authentic Scandinavian feel by sailing in the classic mahogany boat, which is gorgeous, and comfortable. There are plenty of warm, sheltered cabins with large glass windows to see the Norwegian landscapes from.

If you’d like, you can brave the deck and take advantage of the complimentary insulated bodysuits the crew offers, as well. There’s plenty of refreshments available, such as water, coffee, and tea to keep you toasty.

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They even serve lunch on board! If you’d like, don one of the complimentary life vests and check out the fishing options. They have fishing gear available for anyone to use, if that’s of interest to you.

As you cruise along, the crew will tell you all about the region’s history, wildlife, nature, water, and more. The Tromsø region is known for its birds – namely puffins, sea eagles, guillemots, and eider ducks. You may also get to see cormorants, seals, and otters!

The staff knows the best places to go to see these beautiful creatures, and even pilot whales or dolphins if you’re lucky! Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled around the shore, as there’s interesting flora and fauna, such as reindeer hanging out on land!

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#3 Osterfjord, Mostraumen and Waterfall Fjord Cruise From Bergen

Osterfjord, Mostraumen and Waterfall Fjord Cruise

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: Meet at Fish Market, 5013 Bergen
  • Departure Time: Variety available
  • Includes: 3-hour round tour cruise to the beautiful Osterfjord and Mostraumen channel

Perhaps you have a packed schedule and aren’t able to fit in a longer tour that day. No worries, as there are plenty of fun fjord tours to take that are much shorter! Take the Bergen: Osterfjord, Mostraumen and Waterfall Cruise, for example!

Lasting 3 hours, it’s the perfect way to spend the morning or afternoon! You can enjoy the gorgeous landscape and be back to your hotel or lodging in time for lunch. Start out by meeting your group at the fish market for a round-trip tour to the stunning Osterfjord and Mostraument channel.

The modern boat is very comfortable, reliable, and safe. Each has plenty of space on the sundecks, and the kiosks are there to offer unlimited refreshments, like beer and wine.

If you want to get out on the water, this is a great way to do so. It’s nothing complex, but it’ll show you this magnificent UNESCO world heritage site of Bryggen in Bergen and much more.

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Not only that, but you’ll be able to get away from the city hustle and bustle and just enjoy the fresh air and scenery. You’ll have plenty of time to see and learn about Bryggen before heading to Modalen, Norway’s second-smallest municipality.

On the way there, the fjord gets smaller, with steep, towering mountains looming overhead. The intense currents of the Mostraument strait are nothing to be messed with, but the captain and crew are experts at getting you there safely. They even sail right up to a waterfall!

While it looks incredible, the staff will catch a bucket-full of the chilly, fresh mountain water for all of you to try.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#4 Midnight Fjord Cruise From Tromsø

Midnight Fjord Cruise From Tromsø

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: Scandic Ishavshotel, Fredrik Langes gate 2, 9008 Tromsø
  • Departure Time: 11 pm approx
  • Includes: Guide, snacks, warm drinks, whole body suit

If you want to explore the Norwegian fjords in a much different way, we have just the ticket for you! We are sure you’ve never experienced anything like this before! The Tromsø: Midnight Cruise is another shorter one but will allow you to witness a simultaneous sunrise and sunset!

This 3-hour tour offers some of the most jaw-dropping views possible from the fjords. Meet your guide and rest of your group outside the main entrance to the Scandic Ishavshotel. This is a very convenient location for anyone staying in Tromsø, so not much planning is required to get there.

You’ll be welcomed on board a comfortable, modern boat and head out onto the Tromsø fjords. This cruise is only available seasonally, as starting from the 21st of May onwards, Norway has 24 hours of daylight!

However, you’ll still see signs of sunsets and rises, with fire-like neon oranges and reds painted throughout the sky.

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However, even though it’s daytime, you’ll still need to bring enough clothes that you stay warm while still being able to fit into a large thermal suit! These suits are provided by the tour crew, and are made to ensure you stay warm and dry!

While the weather of course varies, you can typically expect incredible skies an even see some animals like eagles! The guide will keep an eye out and point out particularly interesting flora and fauna along the way.

To keep you warm, you’ll be provided with plenty of coffee, tea, and snacks! Check out both the indoor heated lounge or brave the fresh-air deck of the boat.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#5 Fjord and Islands Luxury Catamaran Cruise From Tromsø

Fjord and Islands Luxury Catamaran Cruise From Tromsø

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: Down the ladder to the Floating Jetty – Next to Scandic Ishavshotel
  • Departure Time: Variety available
  • Includes: Coffee, tea and a snack, fish soup on the way back to Tromsø, thermal suits for all guests, fishing gear

Do you want to experience the Tromsø fjords in one of the most luxurious ways possible? Do you enjoy the finer things in life and more lush modes of touring? Then check out the Tromsø: Fjord and Islands Luxury Catamaran Cruise tour!

This is yet another 3-hour tour, so if you have a packed day of events ahead, it’s easy to fit into your schedule. On this excursion, you should expect gorgeous views of the Norwegian landscapes, fresh air, and even the opportunity to try some of the traditional local dishes!

Your tour starts out by meeting at the Floating Jetty next to Scandic Ishavshotel, which is located in the center of the city and easy to access. Hop on board a luxury catamaran, called the “Arctic Princess” – one of the most gorgeous catamarans in the city.

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You’ll be shown around the boat, where you have the Panorama Saloon, which is perfect for grabbing a drink and enjoying the company of the others on board while watching through the enormous windows.

You can also choose to relax on the day beds on the outdoor deck, if the weather is right! Of course, you’ll be provided with a warm thermal suit to wear over your clothing if you get cold! Plenty of warm coffee and tea is available to further keep you comfortable, as well as light snacks.

As you glide through the clean, crisp waters of the gorgeous fjords and islands that surround the area, you’ll learn all about them from your guide. They offer up a tasty traditional fish soup to enjoy as you’re taking in the fantastic scenery.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#6 Waterfalls Rocks and Caves Fjord Cruise From Stavanger

Waterfalls Rocks and Caves Fjord Cruise From Stavanger

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: Strandkaien Pier in Strandgate Stavanger
  • Departure Time: Variety available
  • Includes: Professional guide, guarantee to get back to your ship in time, cultural and scenic tour

If these tours sound interesting to you, but you’d like to focus a bit more on the cultural and historic aspect of the area, we have just the tour for you. The Stavanger: Waterfalls Rocks and Caves Cruise tour is another 3-hour adventure where you’ll see much more than the fjords!

While the weather tends to change quite a bit, the staff always makes sure you have the best time possible. Start out by meeting up with the crew at the Strandkaien Pier in Strandgate Stavanger.

Board the top-class boat, where you’ll have plenty of snacks and warm drinks to keep you comfortable. The guide will tell you what to expect on your cruise, and answer any questions you may have.

One of the first landmarks you’ll see is the Vagabond’s Cave, which is supposed to be named after a bunch of vagabonds who hid here for months trying to evade police capture!

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The cove is absolutely stunning, with towering cliffsides surrounding an icy-blue pool of water.

Next, see the infamous Pulpit Rock, which is naturally-formed to create a steep cliff standing almost 2,000 feet above Lysefjorden! The almost completely flat top spans a whopping 80 meters across, which looks like it came out of some kind of science fiction blockbuster film.

Everywhere you go, your guide will tell you all kinds of interesting facts and stories about the area. You and your group will also come across sky-high waterfalls, picturesque islands, and captivating scenery. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see some local inhabitants, such as wild goats at a summer pasture!

Make sure to try the fresh, clear mountain water from the beautiful Hengjane Falls! Check out everything from the sundeck, which offers prime viewing of this legendary spot.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#7 Fjords Evening Buffet Cruise From Oslo

Fjords Evening Buffet Cruise From Oslo

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: Oslo City Hall, Pier 3/Rådhusbrygge 3
  • Departure Time: Contact tour operator
  • Includes: Shrimp buffet, 3-hour fjord tour

Want an authentic sailing experience while enjoying breathtaking scenery and a delicious dinner buffet? Of course you do! Do yourself a favor and check out the Oslo: Fjords Evening Buffet Cruise tour.

Lasting 3 hours, sign you and the rest of your group up for this tour instead of going out to dinner! Start out by meeting at Oslo City Hall, where you’ll be escorted to an authentic Norwegian wooden sailing ship!

The ship alone is photo-worthy, and is everything you probably imagine when imagining the Nordic countries.

Once you arrive, you’ll be able to hang out and explore the ship. The bar offers a wide variety of both hot and cold drinks at an additional cost, which you can sip on before the buffet begins.

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Sail past all kinds of islands, including the famous Hovedøya, along with the gorgeous Dyna Lighthouse! The guide will tell you all about its history, geology, and cultural relevance today. The captain expertly sails through narrow inlets and sheltered bays, so make sure you have your camera out!

Passing the Bygdøy peninsula, this area is dotted with fascinating museums and beautiful beaches like Huk Bay. The Maritime Museum has veteran sailing ships moored outside, which are so massive you can see them from your ship!

Now it’s time to sit down on one of the many benches to enjoy the mouth-watering shrimp buffet dinner! The ambiance is just perfect, and is a great date-night excursion to enjoy with a significant other.  An R&B and Blues band will set the mood, offering relaxing, welcoming background music to complement the experience.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


Norway Travel Guide

Best Norway Fjord Tours

 

Norway is a land of sublime mountains, glacier-carved valleys, majestic fjords, sparkling waterfalls, and colorful villages.

It’s no surprise that many visitors come specially to admire the beautiful scenery. But Norway also boasts a rich cultural history that offers plenty for visitors to see and do.

What you personally plan to do in Norway is your choice. However, it is in your best interest to do the research before you go.

This guide was written to help prepare you for your journey to this fascinating land because we want you to have the best vacation possible.

Airports & Entry

It is possible to reach Oslo by ferry from Copenhagen or by train, bus, or car from Stockholm. However, most visitors to Norway come by airplane and land at Oslo Gardermoen Airport.

Rarely will you find so many facilities inside a transportation hub. The single terminal building at Oslo Airport is compact, quiet, clean, and offers adequate seating for waiting passengers.

The airport is open 24 hours, and that includes some food outlets. Economy passengers can purchase an airport lounge pass for additional comfort during a long stopover.

The airport designers considered all your possible needs. Across from Gate A4, you will find an ecumenical chapel for your religious needs. Between Gates C5 and C6, there is a designated Work Zone for passengers who need individual desks and power outlets to work during their stay.

The free Wi-Fi is accessed by connecting to the “AIRPORT” network and selecting “free” on the login page. If you have kids, there are multiple Children’s Play Areas throughout the terminal. Strollers are available for your use, and there are specific Breastfeeding Corners for young babies.

20 restaurants and a range of shops are found throughout the terminal, including a pharmacy for your medical needs and the largest duty-free shop in Europe.

The Information Desk is found in the Arrivals Area. And if you really want to spoil yourself and have the time to spare, the airport spa and saloon offers express 20-minute pedicures and manicures for both women and men.

The airport is 29 miles from Oslo city center, but the train station offers convenient express services into the city that take only 20 minutes with trains every 10 minutes.

You can also take trains directly from the airport station to other parts of the country. 70% of airport passengers utilize public transport rather than hiring a car or jumping in a taxi.

When you book your hotel room, ask about airport shuttle services. Many offer a courtesy shuttle service for guests. If you prefer to drive yourself from the airport, 5 major car rental companies have desks in the Arrivals Hall near the railway station.

The airport is only 3.7 miles from European Route E6 to go north or south and 1.2 miles from E16 to go east or west.

There are also regular coach services between the airport and Oslo city center. Outside the Arrivals Hall is a taxi rank. Stop at the Taxi Information Desk in the Arrivals Hall first so they can explain the fixed rates.

Planning Tips

With so many beautiful things to see and interesting things to do in Norway, I’m sure you’ll have a great time. And to help you do just that, here are 5 tips to help you make the most of your visit.

Tip #1: If you want to see the waterfalls, go in spring or summer

It snows a lot during winter in Norway. Atop the mountains and high places, the snow doesn’t begin to melt until spring. That means that through the spring and into summer, a vast amount of meltwater rushes down from those high places creating seasonal waterfalls throughout the nation, especially alongside some of the fjords.

Tip #2: Check out the SolarHam website

If you’re enthusiastic about seeing the Northern Lights, check out the SolarHam website. There you’ll find a 3-day geomagnetic forecast and a satellite map that shows the current position of the Aurora Borealis. That’s essential information for seeking the best time and place to view this amazing natural phenomenon.

It’s easiest to see the Northern Lights from September through March, when the nights are at their darkest, but avoid new moons. You won’t see the Northern Lights in Northern Norway in summer because the nights are far too short.

Tip #3: Take your time to enjoy all the attractions of Norway

Norway is an amazing country, with a long and interesting history and stunning scenery. Even if your only intention is to cruise on the fjords or to see the Northern Lights, there are other attractions that you would enjoy.

It would be a shame to visit Norway and miss seeing some of the world-famous art in Oslo, the winding railroad between Bergen and Oslo, or the Viking ships that have survived over 1,200 years.

Tip #4: Book in advance

Norway is a small country with a vast number of visitors. Don’t miss out on essential train tickets, the better hotel rooms, or specific tours you really want to take. Book in advance to ensure you get what you want before it’s fully booked.

Many tours offer refunds within a certain time frame, so check when you book. It is possible you will take little risk when booking your tour if you can simply cancel it 24 hours before it begins should you change your mind.

Tip #5: Plan road journeys in advance and with great care

The roads in Norway aren’t like the roads in other countries. With 24-hours darkness during midwinter in the far north, ice on the higher roads, winding mountain routes, and loose moose on the road, delays are always possible. When planning a long road journey, consider local conditions.

Research the route and the specific conditions of the road at the time of year when you visit. Also, keep your eye on the weather forecast for that period.

Remember that some inland, northern, and high ground roads are regularly blocked by high snowfall during winter. Check road reports regularly and allow time for unexpected delays in your journey.

Restaurants & Eating Out

Because this small nation possesses so much coastline with so many fjords, a lot of traditional dishes focus on seafood. Also, with long, dark winters, preservation was especially important in the pre-refrigeration era.

That means that pickled, dried, and salted fish can be found on traditional menus in every region.

Pickled herring is a favorite at breakfast buffets. It is often eaten on rye bread and dressed in a variety of sauces. Lutefisk is another form of preserved fish. A common variety of lutefisk is dried cod cured using a lye solution. Lutefisk is a somewhat acquired taste.

Smoked or cured salmon is found in most Norwegian restaurants or hotel buffets. And an everyday meal in Norway is fiskeboller, which is balls of white fish blended with flour, eggs, and milk.

Reindeer is a popular meat in Norway, and you’ll find it on the menu in many restaurants. It may come in the form of fillets, meatballs, or sausages. If you’ve eaten venison, you’ll probably expect it to have a gamey, beef-like taste, but it doesn’t.

It’s more tender than venison, has a milder but salty taste, and comes with a slight metallic tang. Reindeer heart is a traditional delicacy.

You may see a lot of “hotdogs” around Norway. They probably aren’t. The Norwegians have their own version of hotdogs called pølse, which are made using a different process. You’ll often find pølse wrapped in bacon and served in a bread bun much like a hotdog. Sometimes pølse are made from reindeer meat.

A thin potato pancake called lefse is popular at breakfast time. It is made from potato, eggs, butter, and sugar, and it’s served with cinnamon or jam.

You’ll often find lefse in cafes and coffee shops. Another item popular on the breakfast table is brunost, or brown cheese. It is made using a different process to other cheeses and is often served in thin slivers atop toast.

If you linger for dessert, you’ll love Norwegian waffles. They are heart-shaped, thinner than Belgian waffles, and are topped with jam or brunost.

Or perhaps you’d prefer a little fruit. In summer, berries are abundant across Norway. The most sought after is cloudberry.

Cloudberry isn’t grown commercially, so it must be foraged from the wilderness before it can be served in restaurants and cafes around Oslo.

Nightlife & Entertainment

With a population descended from Vikings, it’s no surprise to discover that the nightlife in Norway is wild. In every region, you’ll find electrifying nightclubs in the larger settlements and crowded bars everywhere.

The 4 places most identified with an active club scene and nightlife are Oslo, Bergen, Tromsø, and Stavanger.

Because Oslo is the capital, the most populous city, hosts the main university, and is the location of many of the main tourist attractions, most of the nightclubs are found there.

Lawo is a popular venue for the younger set in the nation’s capital, where the DJs spin the popular club hits. There the youth of Norway dance until they drop and drink themselves toward Valhalla. A more mature but still lively venue is Café Mono.

There you can listen to live music from a wide range of musical styles while you enjoy food and drink.

To the west, Bergen boasts a buzzing nightlife. Vaskeriet is a venue with a somewhat schizophrenic personality. Before 10 pm, it is a quiet cocktail bar, but after that, it turns into an infamous local hotspot with frequent themed events and guest DJs.

In the north, the Bardus Bar in Tromsø attempts to emulate the bistros of Southern Europe but with a strong hint of Norwegian culture and tradition.

It is especially renowned for its fine dining and lively atmosphere. And over in Stavanger, the Bar Bache is a great place to socialize through the long, long winter nights with relatively affordable drinks.

Getting Around

How you decide to get around Norway largely depends upon your timescale, your budget, and what you want to see.

If you want to go places fast, domestic flights are your best option. There are 52 public airports in Norway, an astounding number for a nation with only 5 million citizens.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines operates regular services to larger towns throughout the country. Some of the local airlines offer special pass tickets for travelers who intend to fly frequently within Norway for a specific period.

However, if you fly, you will miss a lot of spectacular scenery, and it may be more expensive than other means of transport.

Norway has a well-developed railway network with more than 1,900 miles of tracks. Many routes pass through beautiful valleys, curve around mountains, and offer panoramic views of the valleys and fjords.

The Bergen Railway is especially popular with tourists, running between Bergen and Oslo across Europe’s highest mountain plateau. Trains are slower than airplanes, but you will see much more, and they are generally more affordable than other means of transport.

If you want complete freedom, and you want to see every nook and cranny Norway has to offer, then hiring a car is your best option.

You will be able to drive along the famous National Travel Routes and stop anywhere you wish for photo opportunities and to enjoy local attractions. However, there are two problems with hiring a car in Norway.

First, navigating winding mountain roads, with blind corners, icy conditions, and in the dark is not for everybody. Second, car hire is expensive in Norway, so you’ll probably find the train cheaper.

If you decide to hire a car, please remember that the laws and conditions are different in Norway. In particular:

  • Headlights must be on 24/7 and seatbelts must be worn
  • You must not use your cellphone by hand while driving
  • Check whether you’re getting an automatic or manual transmission when you book
  • There are lots of speed cameras, and the fines are high
  • Norway has super strict DUI laws — don’t drink and drive
  • Moose on the road are inevitable
  • Gas stations are widely spaced

Accommodations

Every year, tourists flock to Norway to visit its unique cultural and natural attractions, which means there is a wide range of hotels and other places to stay.

However, the attractions are often far apart from each other, requiring a long journey between each. For this reason, when planning a visit to Norway, think carefully about where you need to stay and for how long.

Don’t plan to spend every night of a two-week vacation in Oslo, because you’ll miss out on many natural attractions.

Similarly, don’t plan to spend every night in a hotel in the Arctic north, because you’ll miss out on the many historical and cultural attractions in the south of the country. Plan ahead and book accommodation near each place you plan to visit.

When you’ve chosen where and when you want to stay, you still must choose what kind of accommodation. The many hotels and hostels can be broken into three kinds: convenient, historic, and scenic.

Convenient hotels are those close to the attraction you want to visit and the transport hub—airport, train station, or main road.

You can find many convenient yet relatively affordable hotels throughout the country. Sadly, few will be truly cheap. Norway is an expensive country.

An example of convenient yet affordable accommodation is Hostel St. Svithun in Stavanger, which is a basic 2-star budget hotel in a central location of this popular destination in Northern Norway.

Around Norway, you will find interesting historical hotels that originally served a completely different function, like converted boathouses and farmhouses.

A particularly fascinating hotel is Oscarsborg Castle near Oslo. This fortress was in military service for 350 years until the end of the Cold War and now serves as a resort island.

If you love photo opportunities or waking to a glorious sunrise over a fjord or sunset over a harbor, a scenic hotel is for you. A great example is the modern Clarion Hotel The Edge in Tromsø that overlooks Tromsø Sound and the Arctic Cathedral.

Weather

Although the northernmost part of the nation falls within the Arctic Circle, Norway isn’t as cold as you’d expect. In fact, the name “Norway” means “the way north”.

Norway earned its name because its northern coastline is largely free from ice through winter, making it the easiest route north during the coldest months. The Gulf Stream keeps the coastline of Northern Norway warmer than other places at the same latitude.

However, there are vast variations between the different regions of Norway. Generally, the coast receives mild winters, while the inland areas experience cold winters with lots of snow but relatively hot and dry summers.

The mountainous regions remain much colder than other areas throughout the year. The south is considered the most beautiful in summer, but the fjords in spring, when melting ice leads to spectacular waterfalls.

The far north, which falls within the Arctic Circle, experiences 24-hour darkness during midwinter and 24-hour daylight during midsummer. Tromsø is the largest Norwegian town within the Arctic Circle.

Because of the extreme differences in climate from region to region within Norway, it is essential that you research the weather forecast for your specific destinations before you make plans. If you want to see the Northern Lights, 24-hours of darkness is ideal.

But if you want to sightsee, not so much. As a guideline, during summer the average daily high and low are 550F and 460F. In winter, 350F and 270F.

Maybe you think these temperatures are too cold for outdoor fun, but the Norwegians have a famous saying: “Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær!” There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. Bear that in mind while packing for your vacation.

Attractions

Most visitors to Norway come to explore the stunning landscape, famous for its many fjords, snow-capped mountains, and scenic waterfalls.

The coastline of Northern Norway borders the Arctic Sea, and those interested in wildlife can observe creatures adapted to the extreme cold of the far north. The north is also a great place to observe the famous Northern Lights, especially during winter months.

If you are particularly interested in the picturesque scenery of the Norwegian landscape, the fjords and coastline to the west and the mountains of Southern Norway are served by a series of 18 highways designated as National Tourist Routes.

1,150 miles of Norway’s rural roads have been upgraded and their facilities improved to ensure that they are especially tourist-friendly. So, if you’re hiring a car, get your camera ready and check out the National Tourist Routes.

If you’re interested in Norwegian culture and history, then Oslo has it all, and the best area to visit is the Bygdøy Peninsula.

On this tiny peninsula in the west of Oslo, you’ll find the most interesting cultural attractions in the city. Top on my list is the Viking Ship Museum, where you’ll find no less than 3 genuine Viking ships recovered from 9th-century burial mounds.

Many visitors will be drawn to the spectacular exhibits at the Norwegian Maritime Museum, which boasts several relatively modern ship exhibits along with relocated buildings and a collection of 40 oil paintings relating to Norway’s long relationship with the sea.

Other museums found on the peninsula include the Fram Museum of Polar Exploration, the Kon-Tiki Museum, the Norwegian Folk Museum, and the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.

Those more drawn to art and architecture should look east toward central Oslo and visit the iconic Oslo Opera House.

This masterpiece of modern architecture not only houses the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet plus the National Opera Theater, but it also boasts a significant modern art collection, including the famous floating steel and glass sculpture She Lies.

In the same area, you will find the Munch Museum. There are few people in the western world who would not recognize Edvard Munch’s The Scream, and here is where you can see it in person along with other examples of the artist’s work.

Sites Seen
Tour Guides
Value

The 5-Hour Polar Fjord Cruise From Tromsø is our Editor's Choice for the Best Fjord Tours In Norway with its combination of sites seen, tour guides and value.

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Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.
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