Since Norway has been consistently rated as the best country to live in, I was curious to discover the secret behind this ranking. I got the opportunity to unveil the mysteries when my brother got a job in Oslo, Norway’s capital.
I visited this place in 2014, and the place surprised me in every possible way; not only the place is majestic with mother nature’s gift, but also it is bombarded with fresh air and zero pollution.
Norway has various terrains ranging from lakes, snow-capped mountains, coniferous kissed hills, fjords to glacier-fed rivers. The kingdom of Norway is a Scandinavian treasure undiscovered by many tourists. For ravishing alpine scenery and quaint villages oozing storybook charm, it’s hard to beat Norway. The soaring snow-capped peaks of the Alps, glittering blue lakes, emerald valleys, glaciers, and picturesque lakeside hamlets instill this magnificent nation with a fairytale beauty.
Places to Visit in Norway
Oslo, the capital of Norway, sits on the country’s southern coast at the Oslofjord head. It’s known for its green spaces and museums. It’s a vibrant modern city with a pleasant atmosphere. People here usually speak Norwegian. People in Oslo are accommodating and friendly. The place welcomes you with a warm hug though the temperature is shallow even in summers; it goes below 10.
Hugging the Oslofjord horseshoe-shaped shores, Oslo is one-third city and two-thirds of forests, parks and green spaces, making outdoor activities like hiking and biking popular pastimes. From its 19th-century city center with its museums, lively bars and restaurants to the Nobel Peace Center located in the city’s former railway station, Oslo is culturally rich as well. It is best known for its art and sculptures.
Places to visit in Oslo
Vigeland Park: Vigeland Park is a stunning collection of more than 200 sculptures, Like painting, the statue is first and foremost a visual art, so the more we see, the more our eyes become acquainted with the medium, and the faster our appreciation. The park is a live example of art, all created by one artist, Gustav Vigeland, who created these pieces in wrought iron, bronze, and granite. It is the world’s most extensive collection of sculptures created by one artist, who, in this case, also designed the mid-20th century park. The statues are lifelike portrayals of nude people in various poses. Most of the sculptures are divided into five parts: Wheel of Life, Fountain, main gate, Monolith plateau and bridge with children’s playground. You can witness many people taking a sunbath in the summer. This is one of the beautiful parks I have ever seen in my life.
Oslo Opera House: The spectacular architecture of the Oslo Opera House is magnificent. With 1,100 rooms, the opera house is the largest cultural building erected in Norway since 1300. Anyone who views this superb building will say it was certainly worth a visit.
Akershus Fortress: Akershus Fortress is a great place to learn about the history of Oslo. The medieval castle was built in the late 13th century to defend Oslo from invaders, which did very well. Located at a strategic position on the headland of Oslofjord, a later Norse king had it modernized and converted into a Renaissance castle and royal residence. Though no longer a royal residence, it is much used today for concerts, ceremonies and holiday celebrations.
Holmenkollen Ski Museum: Norway is a country known for producing world-class skiers, both downhill and cross country. What better place to learn about skiing than the Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower? Visitors can learn about 4,000 years of skiing at this unique museum, located inside the Olympic ski jump. They can ride to the top of the ski jump tower for stunning views of Oslo. The ski jump is used for competitions every winter, but non-racers will have to settle for a simulator to experience whizzing down the modern ski jump. I love the panoramic view from the top. This place is worth a visit.
The Royal Palace: The Royal Palace is one of the country’s most important buildings and a concrete symbol of Norwegian history since 1814. I visited this place on the Norwegian constitution day, so I was lucky to witness the royals waving from the palace, greeting the general public.
Apart from these are many museums nestled in Oslo like National Museum, Kon Tiki Museum, Viking ship Museum where the art lovers, history enthusiasts can pay a visit. These places will meet your expectations.
Geirangerfjord is a natural wonder of deep blue water surrounded by majestic cliffs and lush green mountains towering more than 3,500 feet (1,000 meters) high. Adding to the spectacular scenery are several stunning waterfalls and lush countryside dotted with picturesque farms.
A visit to Geirangerfjord offers a variety of attractions and adventures. Not to be missed are the impressive waterfalls that include the Seven Sisters. Jutting out from the cliff sides in seven separate cataracts, the Seven Sisters waterfall plunges more than 800 feet (250 meters) into the fjord, creating a refreshing curtain in which people can actually walk behind.
·The Train Journey to Flam From Oslo
Our spectacular train journey began at 8 am from Oslo. As the train headed along Norway’s mountain spine, glaciers, countless lakes, ancient forests fill the train’s windows with magnificent views. There was not a single moment when my brain instructed my fingers to close the DSLR shutter; I was only regretting not packing an additional memory card. The train crossed several bridges and tunnels, giving my eyes a treat with scenic views that one cannot express in words. At the town of Myrtle, we changed the train and boarded the Flam railway line. The journey was majestic, and we travel from the mountain of Myrdal down to the Sognefjord and the town of Flam.
While taking a trip through the Flam railway line, we had a stoppage near the Jjosfossen waterfall. The massive cascade is residing at an altitude of 670 meters above sea level is breathtakingly gorgeous.
From Flam, we boarded a ferry for one of the scenic cruises I ever witnessed in my lifetime. As the ferry drifted in the emerald water, I witnessed several waterfalls on the way, making my mind and soul relax. In the middle of the voyage, the seagulls also greeted us to tweak their food from the tourists. The ferry floats up one fjord down the next until we reached our destination, Gudvangen, where we boarded the bus to Voss and then to Bergen. The cruise trip is a must-visit for all nature admirers.
Since the Middle Ages, Norway’s second-largest city, Bergen, has been the nation’s leading western port. Although Bergen makes a great home base for explorations of the scenic fjords around the city and the neighboring islands, there’s plenty to see in the town as well. The snow-capped mountains are gorgeous for the eyes to behold.
One of the most popular places to visit in Norway, Lofoten, is a group of islands in its northern part. With its postcard looking small fishing villages nestled in fjords, dotting a very rugged coast with sharp peaks rising directly from the ocean, the archipelago is often described as one of Norway’s most scenic part.
Located in the southwest region of Norway, Stavanger is one of the few places in the country with long sandy beaches, making it the ideal summer destination for those who want to mix sunbathing with their Scandinavian explorations. The city’s harbor is a popular stopping point for cruise ships touring the fjords, and many of Stavanger’s attractions are just a short stroll from the shore.
The Rogaland Kunstmuseum boasts an excellent exhibition of Norwegian art. The Stavanger Cathedral is the country’s best Medieval church, and the Gamle Stavanger district transports visitors back in time to 18th-century Scandinavia.
Atlantic Ocean Road
Driving in Norway is an experience most people never forget. There’s no lack of stunning roads, and the scenery along them are quite often breathtaking. While being spectacular, some of the roads can also be quite nerve-wracking. The Atlantic Ocean Road is one of them. It’s a marvel of engineering, but it becomes too dangerous during the storm. The road takes you from lush coastal landscapes to bare rocks along the exposed Hustadvika, where you can see the sun sink into the horizon.
Best Time to Visit Norway
I consider Summer as the best season to visit this place. Train, bus, ferry and flight connections will be most frequent at this time, and this is the best time for you to spot the famous Midnight Sun, which gets more prominent, the further north you head. The weather is pleasant during summer, allowing you to explore the country. But in Summer, also I felt the presence of winter and rain here. The temperature naturally fluctuated from 10 to 20 degrees approximately. Even I spot thaws of snow while taking a train journey to Bergen. So better be prepared with your winter clothes and waterproof jackets and experience this miraculous country.