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Top 9 Things to Do in Norway

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Aerial view of Henningsvaer in Norway

Henningsvaer, Norway

Covered in icy glaciers fringed by coastal fjords and packed with captivating history, the following top nine things to do in Norway will immerse you in the majesty of Scandinavia.

The fjords create remarkable landscapes you can capture during cinematic adventures from coastal towns, stunning viewpoints share sensational views of the Northern Lights, and glacial tours reveal the history of the frozen regions as you delve into the origins of Viking culture or partake in thrilling winter sports.

Experiences within Norway’s icy reaches, historic cities, and beech forests abound, and our guide shares the best ideas for a trip to the country.

  1. 1. Cruise the Marvelous Waters
  2. 2. Discover Colorful Towns
  3. 3. Experience the Dancing Lights
  4. 4. Witness the Power of Water
  5. 5. Trek the Icy Landscapes
  6. 6. Embrace the Power of Culture
  7. 7. Enjoy the Scenery at Your Pace
  8. 8. Indulge in the Northern Wonders by Foot
  9. 9. Take Advantage of the Winter Wonderland
  10. Experience the Top Things to Do in Norway

1. Cruise the Marvelous Waters

Geirangerfjord in Norway

Geirangerfjord, Norway

The Norwegian fjords dominate the country’s western coastal and northern regions. They represent the most remarkable in the world and tours reveal the fascinating beauty of these cinematic backdrops.

You can cruise the narrow ocean inlets between towering gray cliffs covered in emerald vegetation and forests. In the distance, ice appears to drip from the mountain peaks into the sparkling water. Glamorous ships glide through the unspoiled waterways, offering panoramic views of the famous fjords and the charming villages hanging on the cliffs.

As you explore the Norwegian fjords on cruises and walking tours along marvelous waters and forested ridges, you can immerse yourself in the history that prevails in the picturesque and remote region.

Best Fjords to Visit: Geirangerfjord • Sognefjord • Aurlandsfjord • Hardangerfjord • Lysefjord

2. Discover Colorful Towns

Beautiful and colorful town in Bergen, Norway

Bergen, Norway

Norwegian towns exude Scandinavian charm, their contemporary architectural design capturing Arctic influences. Some towns have stood for centuries, while others reimagine local culture following catastrophic natural disasters.

Each town in Norway shares its distinct heritage and tours can reveal the culmination of tradition and modernity. You can explore humble fishing villages in Arctic archipelagos where Scandinavian seafood is at its best, uncover the polar pleasures of settlements in the snow, and stay in sleepy towns unchanged by time.

As you explore the towns of Norway, you can learn about the regional history at museums, enjoy decadent Norwegian cuisine, and access breathtaking landscapes enveloping Scandinavian neighborhoods.

Best Towns to Explore: Ålesund • Bergen • Fredrikstad • Geiranger • Henningsvær

3. Experience the Dancing Lights

Northern lights in Tromso, Norway

Tromso, Norway

Aurora borealis, the Northern Lights, is a natural wonder in Norway that travelers flock to see. The surreal display has commanded attention for millennia and there are few better places in the world to see it.

The colorful waves of light dance in the sky, shifting from sapphire to navy, emerald, purple, and pink. Against the starry sky, the Northern Lights steal the scene, sharing cinematic moments to snapshot from lookouts, glass igloos, and other observation points. This spectacular natural light show is a storied phenomenon you can experience within the frozen reaches of northern Norway.

In addition to witnessing the unforgettable natural spectacle, you can enjoy winter fishing, hiking, skiing, and dog sledding from the towns that border Northern Lights’ viewing platforms.

Best Places to View the Northern Lights: Svalbard • Bodø • Tromsø • Narvik • Trondheim

4. Witness the Power of Water

The Seven Sisters waterfall near Geiranger, Norway

The Seven Sisters waterfall near Geiranger, Norway

The fjords and forests of Norway are riddled with remarkable waterfalls. Each is a beautiful display of mother nature within remote landscapes.

Vøringsfossen is a towering fall cresting the Måbødalen valley that serves as a source of hydroelectric power. Langfoss is a magnificent waterfall that collapses down cliffs into Åkrafjorden like lava spewing from a volcano. Linndalsfallet pours from a narrow gateway in the Åmotan gorge, hidden off the beaten path.

Norway’s waterfalls are mesmerizing and functional, capturing the attention of eager travelers and operating in harmony with the natural world and renewable-resource production.

Best Waterfalls to View: Vøringsfossen • Langfoss • Linndalsfallet • The Seven Sisters • Kjosfossen

5. Trek the Icy Landscapes

Nigardsbreen glacier in Norway

Nigardsbreen glacier, Norway

Thousands of glaciers cover the country’s frozen reaches, where ice formations, rugged forests, and snowy plains are the attractions. These glaciers are gateways into the winter wonderlands of Norway.

Travelers can explore smaller glaciers to get a feel for them. Short walks across pebbled embankments to towering blue-white ice cliffs can offer a leisurely introduction to Norway’s glacial landscapes. Adventurous explorers can continue their expeditions up more challenging glacial trails. These can lead along snow-covered mountains to lofty viewpoints, ski resorts painting the glaringly white slopes, and desolate lakes surrounded by icy peaks.

Experiencing the glaciers is a top thing to do in Norway, as the country’s natural history emerges from the ice on adventures across the frozen formations.

Best Glaciers to Visit: Nigardsbreen • Svartisen • Briksdalsbreen • Larsbreen • Folgefonna

6. Embrace the Power of Culture

Holy Trinity Church in Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway

Modern Norwegian culture honors the country’s past in museums, regions, and heritage sites that retain the connection to Scandinavian history.

During a trip to Norway you can immerse yourself in the culture of every city, town, or remote place you visit. Tours of these areas reveal the origins of Norwegian tradition, such as culinary delicacies, musical arts, and iconic Scandinavian garments.

You can browse museums that recount the folklore of ancient Norway, visit exhibits that display the might of the Vikings, and cross the snow to remote regions retaining the cultural distinctions of northern Norway’s Sami heritage.

Best Cultural Experiences to Enjoy: Vigeland Museum • Viking Ship Museum • Sami cultural tour • Oslo Cathedral • Akershus Castle

7. Enjoy the Scenery at Your Pace

The Bergen line train and town in Norway

Bergen, Norway

The roads and railways that weave across Norway invite travelers to explore the extraordinary scenery at a leisurely pace. There are few better ways to lap up the natural beauty of the country than on self-guided drives or panoramic train trips along these routes.

You can zigzag along Atlanterhavsveien, the Atlantic Ocean Road, a winding highway that crosses the sea and takes you through an isolated archipelago. You can see the famous fjords around hairpin bends along Trollstigen, visit lonely beaches along the coastal roads of Andøya, or embrace a peaceful countryside cruise from Oslo to Bergen through Hardangervidda.

Train trips through Norway are a stunning way to see the natural scenery in the comfort of first-class cabins with uninterrupted views of the countryside. Weaving through valleys past fjords and arriving at viewpoints in the mountains, these scenic trips are some of the most breathtaking in the world.

Best Scenic Journeys to Take: Atlantic Ocean Road • Trollstigen • Andøya • The Bergen Line • The Flam Line

8. Indulge in the Northern Wonders by Foot

Aerial view of the Pulpit Rock in Norway

The Pulpit Rock, Norway

Norway boasts many fantastic hiking trails, some across glaciers and others through beech forests. However you choose to experience the northern wonders, an adventure on foot is the best way to explore the natural beauty up close.

You can climb steep cliffs rising towards the clouds to capture the views atop Pulpit Rock; make your way to Kjeragbolten, the iconic boulder wedged between two mountains; or take the trails that wind through Segla on a slow and dramatic stroll through Norway’s natural paradise.

As you hike the trails, you can take stunning photographs of glacial landscapes, sweeping emerald plains, and snow-covered mountains to commemorate your adventure.

Best Hiking Trails: Pulpit Rock • Kjeragbolten • Segla • Galdhøpiggen • Romsdalseggen Ridge

9. Take Advantage of the Winter Wonderland

Dog-sledding expedition in Norway

Dog-sledding expedition in Norway

Winter sports are a major reason to visit Norway as the glacial landscape and snowy mountains boast some of the best ski resorts in the world.

You can experience the thrills of racing down powdery slopes on skis or snowboards, enjoy the panoramas as ski lifts ascend the summits, and unwind in saunas overlooking the pearl-white peaks. Norway’s winter wonderland offers a chance to immerse yourself in the frozen landscape, while enjoying lavish amenities at premier ski resort accommodations.

You can also enjoy downtime with casual winter sports such as curling or glide across the snowy landscapes courtesy of canine friends on a dog-sledding expedition.

Best Places for Winter Sports: Trysil • Hemsedal • Hafjell • Folgefonna • Narvik

Experience the Top Things to Do in Norway

View of town in Alesund, Norway

Alesund, Norway

Norway is a breathtaking Scandinavian country that invites travelers to explore glacial landscapes, colorful towns, and natural wonders on tours that include these top things to do during the best time to visit Norway.

Whether you wish to climb the frozen trails to panoramic viewpoints, ski the pearly slopes of towering peaks, uncover the heritage of the Vikings, or witness the mesmerizing natural spectacles, you can customize our Norway tours to include experiences perfect for your vacation or find new ideas for your schedule with our sample 10-day Norway itineraries.

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