FindNorway.com - Norway Visitor Information

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Sightseeing by bike in Svolvær on the Lofoten islands

Norway has breath-taking nature and friendly people as well as bustling cities with nightlife, shopping, art, museums, festivals, and much more.

Map of Norway

Map of Norway

Below you will find information on major Norwegian attractions and destinations, how to travel to Norway and within the country as well as pointers to other websites providing information that will help you to plan a visit to Norway. Norway has a lot to offer visitors both during the summer and winter seasons. This website is an excellent starting point for planning your vacation or business trip to Norway.

Welcome to Norway!

Read about: Ferries to Norway, Ferry routes in Norway, Train travel in Norway, Coach and bus travel in Norway, Hurtigruten, Air flights to Norway and Travel planners for public transport in Norway.

Places to visit: Oslo, Bergen, Lofoten, Sognefjord, Hardangerfjord, Geirangerfjord and ski resorts such as Geilo and Hemsedal.

Do you have questions related to traveling in Norway? Feel free to ask us questions and we will try to help!

Oslo – The capital of Norway

Oslo is centre of the most populous part of Norway, the administrative and commercial centre of the country and where you will find many interesting museums, art exhibitions, festivals, concerts, summer and winter sports competitions, a vibrant nightlife, trade shows and exhibitions and much more.

Tourist information offices in Oslo are operated by Oslo Promotion who also provides a website with information on Oslo attractions and hotels, camping and other forms of accommodation for holiday and business visitors.

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every year in early December by the Norwegian Nobel Committee at a ceremony at the Oslo City Hall.

Oslo is the best place to see works by the Norwegian expressionist painter Edvard Munch with several museums holding large collections of his works and the National Gallery having his best known painting, the Scream, on permanent display.

Bergen, the west coast and the Norwegian fjords

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Bergen and the Mount Fløyen Funicular

Bergen is a charming west coast city located between seven mountains close to the Norwegian fjords. Bergen has long traditions as a center for shipping, trade and culture and was the hometown of the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.

You can fly directly to Bergen from many places in Europe, including Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Bergen International Festival is a performing arts festival held in late May and early June each year presenting a wide variety of artists from Norway and abroad.

Bergen is an excellent starting point for visiting the Norwegian fjords by car, coach or boat. Scheduled express boat services are available between Bergen and Sognefjorden operated by Fjord1 who also run day excursions during the summer season.

Sognefjord

The west coast of Norway has several magnificent fjords that are well worth a visit. One of the fjords is Sognefjord, Europe's longest fjord that holds a number of not to be missed sights.

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Jordal in Hardanger

At the end of the Aurlandsfjord, a side arm of the Sognefjord, you'll find Flåm a popular port for cruise ships during spring and summer. Flåm is a small town surrounded by tall mountains and beautiful nature. From Flåm the Flåm Railway takes you up from the fjord to the mountain station at Myrdal from where there is full train service to Oslo and Bergen.

Flåm is the starting point for a popular boat service to Gudvangen in the Nærøyfjord. Nærøyfjord is together with Geirangerfjord on the UNESCO world heritage list. The cruise from Flåm to Gudvangen operates several times per day and is often combined with a trip on the Flåm Railway. From Gudvangen there are bus services back to Flåm and to Voss.

Hardangerfjord

The Hardangerfjord is located to the south of the Sognefjord and within a few hours by car from Bergen. The Hardanger area is known for its many fruit farms. As you drive along the fjord you will see that many of the small farms sell samples of their produce along the road.

Close to Eidfjord in the Hardangerfjord you will find the Vøringfoss water falls with a vertical free fall of 145 metres. You will see many other water falls along the Hardangerfjord and its smaller side fjords.

Geirangerfjord

The Geirangerfjord is a narrow and winding fjord surrounded by tall mountains plunging into the green and dark blue water of the fjord. Geirangerfjord is a popular destination for cruise ships visiting the Norwegian fjords during the summer season. You can also arrive at Geirangerfjord by car and coach bus. During the summer season the northbound Hurtigruten calls at the small community of Geiranger, located at the end of the Geirangerfjord. There is an all-year ferry connection between Geiranger and Hellesylt.

When you visit Geirangerfjord, you should make sure you get to see the fjord from the water. Geirangerfjord is impressive when viewed from Geiranger and the two winding roads leading into Geiranger, but to truly experience the fjord you need to go out onto the fjord and travel the length of it. This can be done on sightseeing boats out of Geiranger, by traveling on the ferry to Hellesylt or by traveling on the Hurtigruten between Ålesund and Geiranger.

Hurtigruten

Bergen is departure port for Hurtigruten, the coastal steamer that sails north along the coast all the way up to Kirkenes close to the Norwegian border with Russia. Hurtigruten calls at around 34 ports along the coast transporting people, goods, post and cars. The full journey from Bergen to Kirkenes lasts for seven days, however you can hop on or off at any of the ports Hurtigruten visits.

During the summer season Hurtigruten calls at Geirangerfjord, one of the most beautiful fjords in the world.

Lofoten

The Lofoten islands are situated in northern Norway between Bodø and Tromsø and include the islands of Røst, Værøy, Moskenesøya, Flakstadsøya, Vestvågøy, Gimsøya, Østvågøy and Hinnøya. The two cities in Lofoten are Leknes and Svolvær. Popular destinations in Lofoten include Reine and Å.

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Reine in Lofoten

Lofoten is popular for its amazing nature views including tall mountains, rugged coastline and white sandy beaches. Lofoten is an excellent place for sea fishing and the entire community there used to be based on harvesting of cod and other fish from the sea.

You can travel to Lofoten by car, ferry, express boat, flight and bus. Hurtigruten stops at Svolvær and Stamsund in Lofoten. You can travel on Hurtigruten to Lofoten from Bodø and Tromsø or any of the other ports where Hurtigruten calls. In addition, there are ferry and express boat services between Bodø and Lofoten. The airline Widerøe flies to several airports in Lofoten including Svolvær and Leknes airports. From Harstad/Narvik airport at Evenes you can travel on a twice daily bus through Lofoten with the final stop at Å.

There are no rail lines to Lofoten, but you can travel by train from Oslo to Bodø and then cross over to Lofoten on the ferry from Bodø to Moskenes, on Hurtigruten to Stamsund or Svolvær, or on the express boat service between Bodø and Svolvær.

Vesterålen, Andøya and Senja

To the north of Lofoten there are several interesting islands, in particular Andøya and Senja. Andøya is part of the Vesterålen archipelago.

The nature on Andøya differs from that on the Lofoten islands in that most of the tall mountains are rounded. This is because they were covered by ice during the last iceage. Between the mountains and the sea there are wide bog areas, partly cultivated into meadows. Large streches of the shoreline consists of beaches with soft, white sand.

You'll find the most interesting nature sights on the outer side of Andøya, the side facing the Atlantic Ocean. A Norwegian National Tourist Route run along this side of the island.

Campsite at Stave beach on Andøya.

Camping at Stave beach on Andøya.

On the northern end of Andøya you'll find the town of Andenes, where there is an airport with regular direct flights from Oslo. From Andenes there is a ferry route to Gryllefjord on Senja with departures two to three times per day during the summer season.

Andenes is departure point for several popular whale safaries where you can see male Sperm whales living close to the coast. The continental shelf is narrow outside of Andøya, resulting in whales living relatively close to the coast.

The next island to the north of Andøya is Senja. When going by ferry from Andenes to Senja you arrive in the small village of Gryllefjord. From Gryllefjord a Norwegian National Tourist Route run along the atlantic coast all the way to Botnhamn. During the summer season there is a ferry from Botnhamn to Brensholmen on the Kvaløya island. From Brensholmen you can drive over land and bridges to Tromsø in little over an hour.

Ersfjorden beach on Senja

The beach in Ersfjorden on Senja.

The outer side of Senja consists of a series of fjords divided by tall mountains. Many of the fjords on the southern end have sandy beaches while on the northern side the shoreline consists mostly of rocks.

Several camp sites on Senja offer boats for rent and organized trips for sea fishing. You can rent all the necessary equipment, but make sure to bring warm clothes.

Ski Resorts in Norway

Southern Norway have several ski resorts with alpine ski slopes and cross-country tracks suitable for skiers of all skill levels. Some of the most popular ski resorts in Norway are Geilo, Hemsedal, Trysil and Hafjell.

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The Besseggen ridge in Jotunheimen national park

Hiking and Trekking in Norway

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DNT-tracks are marked with a red T

Norway is an ideal destination for those seeking unspoilt nature for hiking or backpacking. In fact hiking is a popular activity among Norwegians and the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) maintain routes and cabins all over the country. DNT also arrange hiking tours with guide through the mountain areas of Norway during both summers and winters.

Mountain tracks maintained by the Norwegian Trekking Association are marked with the letter T painted in red on rocks along the route.

Air flights to Norway

There are around 45 airports with scheduled flights in Norway. A handful of these airports have regular international routes. Most Norwegian airports are owned and operated by Avinor.

Most international flights to Norway arrive at Oslo Airport Gardermoen. This modern airport is located twenty minutes north of Oslo by high-speed train.

Ryanair fly cheap flights to Oslo from London, Berlin, Milan, Glasgow and many more European cities. These flights arrive at Torp airport to the south-west of Oslo and at Oslo airport. Bus services are available from these airports to Oslo and other sourrounding cities. Ryanair also operates cheap flights from London to Haugesund on the west coast of Norway. From Haugesund bus services are available to Bergen and Stavanger.

Moss Rygge Airport has been closed.

Air flights within Norway

Norwegian operate low cost flights within Norway and to Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen, Ålesund, Trondheim and Tromsø from European cities like London, Paris and Copenhagen.

Scandinavian Airlines offer flights within Norway, flights from many European countries to Norway and fly direct from New York City to Oslo.

Widerøe fly to many smaller airports all around Norway. By flying on Widerøe you can quickly get close to the Norwegian west coast fjords, the Lofoten islands and other places of interest outside the major cities.

Ferries to Norway

There are several ferry routes from Denmark, Germany and Sweden arriving into ports at the southern part of Norway.

From Kiel in Germany Colorline operates a ferry crossing to Oslo.

From Denmark there are a wide selection of ferry routes including Colorline crossings from Hirsthals to Kristiansand and Larvik. Other ferry routes from Denmark to Norway are Copenhagen to Oslo operated by DFDS Seaways, Fredrikshavn to Oslo operated by Stena Line.

Fjordline run ferry services between Hirtshals and Langesund, Hirtshals and Kristiansand, Hirtshals and Stavanger, and Hirtshals and Bergen.

The ferry line from Hirtshals to Oslo has been shut down. A good alternative is the Colorline ferry link from Hirtshals to Larvik, or the Stena Line ferry link from Fredrikshavn to Oslo.

There is a ferry line running between Sweden and Norway: Colorline operates a ferry link between Strömstad and Sandefjord.

The ferry line from Newcastle in England to Stavanger, Haugesund and Bergen has been shut down.

Ferry routes in Norway

From Stavanger on the south-west coast of Norway and all the way up to northern Norway there are a large number of local ferry routes and passenger express boats. The only really long distance ferry service is Hurtigruten which operates between Bergen and Kirkenes calling at a large number of ports in between such as Tromsø, Svolvær and Bodø.

There are no ferry services from Oslo to western or northern Norway. There are also no ferry services between Oslo and Bergen.

In the fjord area on the west coast the major ferry and express boat operators are Fjord 1 and Nordled. Services to places like Stavanger, Bergen, Balestrand, Sogndal, Flåm, Gudvangen, Utne and Kinsarvik.

Around Trondheim and in the Trøndelag area the major express boat and ferry operators are Fosen Namsos Sjø and Fosenlinjen.

Boreal run ferry routes and express boat services in in Nordland.

In northern Norway the major ferry operators are Torghatten Nord, Senjafergene and Bjørklid Ferjerederi.

View of Balestrand from onboard the ferry from Vangsnes to Dragsvik.

View of Balestrand from onboard the ferry from Vangsnes to Dragsvik.

Train travel in Norway

NSB Sleeping coach

NSB sleeping coach.

NSB operates the passenger rail services in Norway. Popular routes for visitors are the Bergen railway and the Rauma railway. Both offer scenic views during the journey.

NSB operates a rail service from Gothenburg to Oslo and from Östersund to Trondheim. Railservices from Stockholm to Oslo is operated by the Swedish railway company SJ. To travel by train from Copenhagen to Oslo, you will have to change trains in Gothenburg.

The northernmost destination you can reach by rail in Norway is Bodø. You can travel by train from Oslo to Bodø. The trip typically take one day and a night. You will be changing trains mid-way in Trondheim. From Trondheim there are two trains per day leaving for Bodø, one in the morning and one late in the evening.

The night-train between Trondheim and Bodø offer sleeping coaches. These are quite popular and you may have to reserve one several weeks ahead of your travel. Check the NSB website for more information.

To travel by train from Bergen to Bodø, you will have to travel through Oslo and Trondheim. The trip typically takes around 36 hours.

Coach travel in Norway

Bus for Ballstad in Lofoten

Bus for Ballstad in Lofoten

NOR-WAY Bussekspress operates over 15 express bus routes covering most of southern Norway and many destinations in the northern parts of the country. You can travel from Oslo to the Norwegian west coast fjords on these express buses.

Major destinations for NOR-WAY Bussekspress coaches include Oslo, Kragerø, Risør, Arendal, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Ålesund, Molde, Røros, Trondheim, Geilo, Hemsedal and Rjukan.

Another major Norwegian operator of long distance express bus services is Nettbuss with routes originating from Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim.

Konkurrenten.no run bus services between Oslo and Kristiansand with stops at the cities along the southern coast.

Lavprisekspressen operate daily services between Oslo and Trondheim and between Oslo and Stavanger via Kristiansand.

Express bus routes from Stockholm and Copenhagen to Oslo are operated by Nettbuss and Swebus.

Rental cars in Norway

The major rental car companies in Norway are Hertz, Avis, Sixt, Europcar and Budget. Rental cars are available at all the Norwegian airports, at city center rental offices and at some petrol stations throughout the country.

Self-drive holiday

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A view from E6 in the Tysfjord area

Traveling by car is one of the best ways to get access to the nature and scenery of Norway. Especially if you want to see the fjords in Western Norway self-driving makes it easy to access many places that are difficult or impossible to reach by public transportation. When you travel by your own car you can stop anywhere you like to take pictures and admire the views. It is not uncommon when you drive along one of the fjords to find that you want to make frequent stops to fully take in the views.

Many Europeans visiting Norway during the summer season do so using a motorhome. Finding places to park overnight along roads is easy and most campsites offer parking spots for motorhomes.

Camping sites offering cabins and spaces for tents and campervans can be found all over Norway.

Webcams showing roads all over Norway.

Travel planners for public transport

Travel planners for local and regional public transport is available for each region of Norway. They cover bus, ferry, express boat and rail services and will show you how to transfer between different services to make your journey. Several of the travel planner websites are only offering services in Norwegian.

For planning cross-country railway travels, see the NSB website.

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