Norway, where mysterious lights dance across the winter night skies giving birth to legends and awe. In the summer, a sun that almost never really sleeps.
Not to mention the spectacular picturesque view of the fjords, mountains and seas.
Norway is definitely a hidden gem!
The Norwegians are very nice, their English is extremely well spoken, better than mine! So you won’t have to worry about the language barrier.
Transport links in the big cities are well connected, mainly trams and buses with the odd trains. For traveling from one city to another, I mainly used flights and boats as these can be cheaper if booked in advance plus the views from the boats are just wonderful!
My Reasons For Norway…
Was the northern lights and dog sledding!
It was on my to-do-list for a very long time. However, I ended up experiencing a lot more than I had planned and spent a total of three weeks here!
During my time here, I was able to do a semi-circle starting from Oslo to Tromsø in the north then down to Bergen before finishing in Stavanger.
So treat this post as its your three weeks travel guide to Norway. With tips on what you will find and what things you can do there.
Ok? Let’s go!
Norway; Travel Guide
Was the first city I visited, like most capitals, a big city with historic buildings mixed with modern architecture. One which is the Oslo Opera House, beautifully design, near the harbour.
The Opera House…
Is not only nice to look at, from the roof, you have 360 degree view of the city and it’s all for free! I would definitely recommend this if you are visiting Oslo.
This is the path to the roof.
The views from the roof.
Here are also a few other places that are within walking distance that beautiful to see.
More your thing? Then Jump Tower built for winter Olympics might just be right up your ally.
Entry to the stadium is free so you can walk around and explore with no limits.
The view from the top, near the Jump Tower, you can see the city of Oslo.
There is a Ski museum/souvenir shop half way up, however there is a fee for the entrance. At the very top, there is a zip-line for those who like adventure sports.
You will need to book in advance and you will also have to pay two fees. One for the museum, to have access to the top and another for the zip-lining itself which I thought was a bit unfair.
Parks and Arts
On the other hand if you like nature then you could take a nice easy walk in the around Oslo’s local parks. Like the Vigeland park (Sculpture park & museum displaying the works of Gustav Vigeland), it has sculptures of angry babies attacking people.
I found this very interesting and weird all at the same time.
However, the park itself is very beautiful, I went in Autumn so I got to see how the colours made the park even more spectacular.
Another place you can go to, is Ekeberg which is a neighborhood in Oslo.
The Sculpture garden can be found here, it’s also a good place for walking, running and has a good view of the city.
Just don’t go exploring at night as some of the art works talk which scared the life out of me and that was during the day!
There are a few tv screens which showed random pictures and words on a loop which creeped me out. Apart from that it’s just like any other parks.
The view of the city from the park.
Reasons for Tromsø..
Was the northern lights and dog sledding but unfortunately when I arrived, I was told it was not cold enough for dog sledding. Which I was a little disappointed.
However, even without the dog sledding, I still had a great time as a bunch of us from the hostel got together and saw the northern lights; across the mountains, over the beach and on top of a frozen lake!
Prestvannet Lake during the day.
There are no street lights here so it’s perfect to view the northern lights during the winter nights.
The lake one was scary experience, we were told it was safe to walk across the lake which we did but then we hear a big creaking sound, we ended up running for our life.
The Northern Lights…
Was one of the best experiences I had, on this trip. There was definitely feelings of ups and downs as it is never guaranteed, you would see the lights.
Remembering on one of the hunts, I was waiting for most of the night and barely got any results. Almost gave up on seeing it. But then, the last two hours of the night, we caught a big wave of the lights, it was so intense, the only thing I could say was just..
Northern Lights Tours
If you have an interest in chasing the northern lights, there are plenty of tour groups in Tromsø.
Mine was from the accommodation where I stayed at. They provided the transport, clothes and snacks, we even had a bonfire to keep us warm while we waited for the lights.
See Northern Lights For Free
As I said in the above, there are places that are within the walking distance from the town, if you’re willing to risk it.
‘Only’ do this if you have a lot of time in Tromsø, as with tours, they will chase the lights and explore different places with in the city so the chances of seeing the lights are high while the other, you are waiting for the lights to come to you.
Just don’t forget to bring a camera.
I forgot mine and ended with my old phone camera which did not work. Fortunately, the group/tour I was with, did and I ended up with beautiful photos without doing any work.
As you can see from my phone camera its not very good, compare to the ones above that was given to me.
Other Things To Do
Aside from the northern lights, a few other things you can to do in Tromsø. From chilling in the city centre to whale watching and hiking a mountain.
Which is a must do if you’re a hiker or even if you’re not. As a beautiful mountain is just on the other side of the bridge.
There are different paths to the top so the hike is not difficult but during the winter, most of it will be iced up so be careful.
Once you are at the top, you will not be disappointed from the view, especially at sunset which start about 3 or 4 in the winter.
There is a small restaurant at the top, a bit expensive for my taste but if you buy a drink, you can sneak in your own lunch.
Eating waffles and drinking hot chocolate while watching the sunset. Nothing gets better than this!
There are also a few nice architecture within Tromsø. Like the church above which is beautiful to see, day and night.
A city that never seem to stop raining!
It is stated Bergen experiences rainfall in all seasons, with an average annual measurement of 2,250 mm (89 in) of rain. The city is directly next to the port and is surrounded by mountains.
Due to the excessive rain fall it was very hard for me to explore the city,
I only manage to have one day out of the five during my stay!!
This is a lookout, on top of the city which will lead to a number of walking routes, great for those who love to hike.
This is somewhere in the mountain side, a simple coffee shop.
I’m sure you can image how beautiful it is on a sunny day.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Bergen when the weather is good. You should take the boat out to the nearby mountains or the forjs.
However, if you prefer the city life then the centre has a few good shopping centres, food outlets and even a fish market.
So I didn’t really see much of the city to write about it. However, from what I did see, I will say it had the similar feeling as Bergen, especially the weather.
Lovely decorations around the city centre, ready for the winter.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and found it useful.
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Till next time! Bye!!