Norway. There is no other place like it in the world. Though it might be one of the coldest places to be in during winter, its breathtaking natural sceneries couldn’t be more diverse and the landscapes are as intriguing as its millennia-old history. It is one of the best Nordic or Scandinavian countries to take your family for an escapade. So, whether you are trying to escape from the extreme heat of the summer sun or just simply want the kids to experience the chilling winter snow while enjoying the majestic view of the fjords, Norway is a great choice for your next family vacation.
If you’re not convinced yet, here’s a rundown of Norway’s 10 best places to visit:
Norway’s buzzing capital and Lonely Planet’s choice for Best in Travel for 2018, Oslo is a metropolis known for its green spaces, museums, new and modern architecture, amazing art works, safe biking and pedestrian lanes.
Start your Norwegian sojourn in this kid-friendly urban city, where grown-ups can also enjoy the eclectic music scene and the food from the world’s northernmost three-star Michelin restaurant. To cap off a day in this city, the entire family can go around wandering Oslo’s most famous landmark – the Opera House!
2. Lofoten Islands
Majestic in the morning, magical at night. This is how I describe the big arm-shaped Lofoten Islands. Since it is close to the Arctic Ocean, it is the best place for the family to try the Norwegian local food made of seafood and lamb.
During summer, go around and try the beaches of white sand or enjoy the heavenly view of the many mountain peaks that point towards the Arctic sky like church pinnacles. The kids can also spend a day visiting traditional villages filled with fishermen and artists,or they can take time learning about history at the Lofotr Viking Museum.
Just as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Norway is like no other place on Earth, and one reason why I said that is Bergen. Your family will definitely have a relaxing trip visiting museums and art galleries in the morning and then splurge on a fresh catch of seafood and other local delicacies in the evening.
The colorful wooden houses on the foot of the hill that reaches out to the sea make this place so vibrant and lively. Surrounded by mountains and fjords, including Sognefjord, Bergen is one of the most visited places in Norway. Adding to its wonder and historical past is the medieval Hanseatic wharf of Bryggen, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Who wouldn’t want to see the natural kaleidoscope of light of the north? All of us, the kids not exempted, really wish to see the world-famous northern lights. If you want to take the family to a northern light getaway, then it better be in Tromsø. That is not all!
This major cultural hub in the Arctic circle offers a multitude of things to do and see – visit the Polaria Centre, the Polar Museum, and the local Mack brewery. While on a cruise and you’re lucky, you can also spot some whales or you can opt to camp with the entire family while waiting for the midnight sun.
5. The Svalbard Islands
A true winter wonderland and the northernmost inhabited part of Europe. Located between the mainland Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard offers a majestic view of some of the Earth’s most rugged, remotest terrain of glaciers and frozen tundra.
The family can participate in some nature based activities that no other place offers. This place is also home to polar bears, Svalbard reindeer, and Arctic foxes. This is also another place in Norway where you can experience northern lights during winter, and midnight sun in summer.
6. The Geirangerfjord
This 9.3 mile (15-kilometer) long UNESCO World Heritage fjord is a paradise of mountain peaks and impressive waterfalls! Home to Seven Sisters and other waterfalls that cascade thundering water from almost vertical mountain sides, Geirangerfjord is a wonderful place to experience some good outdoor activities.
If your family members are nature lovers, then this is the place for you. The kids can visit the fjords and the waterfalls for some sightseeing trips, or they can go hiking in stunning surroundings. Tour guides can also usher you as you immerse into a new level of fjords experience while kayaking, fishing, rafting,or cycling.
If ever you want to just journey away from the metropolitan Oslo, then you can hop on a train for a1 2.4 mile (20 km) long mountain railway trip to one of Norway’s most travelled destinations – Flåm.
The journey to Fiam will take the family to a whole new level of experience where you will see the beauty of the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord, an arm of the Sognefjord. Along your journey, waterfalls and a dramatic view can also be seen from your train cabin.
8. The Stavanger Region
Embark on a hiking experience in Norway’s oil capital, and be amazed by how the Norwegians managed to keep the business going without spoiling the natural beauty of their surroundings.
Aside from cruising the world-renowned Lysefjord area and ascending the famous mountains plateaus such as Preikestolen (“The Pulpit Rock”), your family can make the most of your stay by visiting the Stavanger Museum that chronicles the city’s history or by taking time to reflect in the 12th century Stavanger Cathedral. A trip to this place would not be complete without paying a visit to the local Michelin-starred restaurants as well.
Like any Norwegian cities, Trondheim is lively and colorful. The absence of towering skyscrapers that you usually find in western cities and the presence of cool cafes and restaurants make this destination a good place to relax.
Its kid-friendly streets are filled with colorful wooden buildings that will lead any travelers to Nidaros Cathedral that was founded back in the 11th century. The good stuff doesn’t end there. Food markets and festivals, Rockheim and Ringve musical museums, all can be found in Trondheim, and give Norway a good name.
10. The Ålesund and Sunnmøre area
Ålesund and Sunnmøre area is probably one of my favorite places in Norway because of how the natural wonders such as the fjords and the Atlantic Ocean blend so well with man made structures such as the art nouveau architecture in the lowland.
The view is so dramatic that it feels like you’re living in a perfect place. An ideal paradise where you have easy access to the mountains, the sea, and the basic human necessities you can find in a city. Indulge into a gastronomic treat as you taste fresh seafood after a good and fun-filled day of cycling, hiking, skiing, fishing, or kayaking.