What Is Norway Famous For? 25 Travel Facts About Norway
I have looked up some of the most popular places to visit in Norway. I had to force myself to write down a select few otherwise the list could just go on. Norway is that much of splendid country with a lot to offer a visitor.
There are loads of attractions that I have not visited before on my list and some that I want to visit again.
What is Norway famous for? Norway is most famous for its natural attractions like the midnight sun, mountains, Northern lights, and Fjords. In addition to that Norway also has a vibrant cultural life that is quite famous too.
Norway is one of the worlds’ most beautiful countries.
And if you haven’t visited Norway before, you are missing out on a lot.
Here are the best places to visit in Norway.
Table of Contents
- Oslo Opera House
- The Vigeland Park
- Viking Ship Museum
- Frogner Park
- Akershus Fortress
- North Cape
- Northern Lights
- Royal Palace
- Kristiansand Zoo And Amusement Park
- Fram Museum
- The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History
- Bergenhus Fortress
- Nidaros Cathedral
- Munch Museum
- Holmenkollen Ski Museum
- Akvariet i Bergen (Bergen Aquarium)
Oslo Opera House
Situated at the head of the Oslofjord in Bjørvika in central Oslo, the Oslo Opera House (or Operahuset in Norwegian) is a sight to behold.
The exterior of the building is designed to make it appear as if it was rising from the water.
Since the Nidarosdomen, completed in circa 1300, the Oslo Opera House is the largest cultural building in Norway.
It is home to Norway’s national opera theatre and the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet.
The Vigeland Park
The Vigeland Park is in fact not a park. It refers to the sculptures that are situated within the actual park, i.e. Frogner Park.
Vigeland Park or the Vigeland installation covers an area of 80 acres and boasts 212 sculptures.
The sculptures are made of either bronze or granite and they were all designed by Gustav Vigeland. Iddefjord granite was used to make a majority of the statues in the park.
The first sculpture, the Bridge, was opened to the public in 1940.
Viking Ship Museum
This I remember was my most favorite place that I visited in Norway. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s a museum about VIKINGS! As a young boy, I found my visit to the Viking Ship Museum very exciting and that feeling hasn’t receded even today, which is why I plan on making another trip to this museum when I travel to Oslo.
The most famous feature of the museum is the Oseberg ship which is completely intact even today. It was found in the world’s largest known ship burial, Tønsberg.
The other two ships in the museum are the Gokstad ship and Tune ship.
In addition to the ships, there are also numerous Viking artifacts on display such as a horse cart, beds, tent components, wood carvings, sleds, etc.
The Viking Ship Museum is situated on the Bygdøy peninsula in Oslo.
I had mentioned this park earlier in my post, the home to the Vigeland installation. Frogner Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Norway.
Historically Frogner Park was a part of the Frogner Manor, hence the name. The manor house hosts the Oslo City Museum in the present day. It is situated to the south of the park.
In addition to the Vigeland installation, the park also consists of a nearby pavilion, the Frogner Baths (Frognerbadet) and the Frogner Stadium.
The medieval castle in Oslo, Akershus Fortress, today functions as a museum and a venue for hosting official events and dinners.
It is believed that the castle was built around the late 1290s by King Haakon V.
The Earl Alv Erlingsson of Sarpsborg’s (a Norwegian nobleman) led an attack on Oslo city in 1287. It was clear then that the city needed a stronger defensive center. As a result, the Akershus Fortress was built.
Over the years it was used for different purposes, as a royal residence, a prison, and a military base.
The final resting place of some of the Norwegian royal figures is in the castle’s Royal Mausoleum.
Make sure that you visit Norway during the summer months so that you can go to the North Cape to view the natural phenomenon of the Midnight Sun. Sadly I didn’t get the chance to go there during either of my previous two visits but I won’t miss it a third time.
North Cape is located in the Magerøya island in Northern Norway. This is another one of Norway’s super famous places.
A 307-meter high cliff with a large flat plateau on top is the most sought-after spot in the cape.
This is where you should go to see the midnight sun. The plateau also allows you to get a beautiful view of the Barents Sea.
There is a visitor center on the plateau, the North Cape Hall which includes a restaurant, café, video cinema, souvenir shop, post office, and a small museum.
Everybody knows what Northern Lights are, but few get to experience it.
Norway has many of the best places for you to witness the Northern lights (also called aurora borealis).
You can see the Northern lights in North Cape (I mentioned before, which is the best spot to see the midnight sun), Helgeland, Lofoten Islands, Lyngenfjord area, etc.
The royal palaces and official residences of the heads of countries always popular spots for people to visit.
The Royal Palace of Norway, the official residence of the current Monarch of Norway, is no different.
The building of the palace took place between 1825 to 1849.
The public can now take guided tours and explore the splendid interiors of the palace as well as the park.
One popular event that tourists love to watch is the changing of the guards that take place every day.
This is another popular place in Norway, in fact, Holmenkollbakken is the most popular tourist attraction sight in the country and gets around one million visitors annually.
It is a ski jumping hill in Holmenkollen, Oslo and is 375 m above sea level. It has the capacity to seat 70,000 spectators.
At the base of the Holmenkollbakken is the Holmenkollen Ski Museum.
It also has a simulator to allow the public to visualize a ski jump on the hill.
This is open all year round.
Kristiansand Zoo And Amusement Park
This is certainly the best place to visit with your kids! This is another one of the most frequently visited attractions.
The Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park has the biggest collection of animals in Norway. The park has been around since 1966.
The zoo is home to over a hundred different species of animals from all over the world. And the animals are given rather large areas to move around.
The other amusements of the park include the beautiful little Cardamom Town and Captain Sabertooth World which consists of a pirate village called Abra Havn.
Cardamom town is made to look like the town in the book by Thorbjørn Egner. It consists of small shops, a bakery, a tram line with a signing driver, a weather forecast tower, a robber’s housing, a police office, and jail.
Captain Sabertooth World consists of, well, numerous attractions that revolve around the Captain Sabertooth and shops and restaurants.
Plus there is also the Badelandet water park. You need a separate ticket for entrance here but it is connected to the main park.
What I’ve written here is just a small smidgen of what the Kristiansand zoo and park has to offer you, so trust me when I say, you won’t regret your visit here.
Flåmsbana or the Flåm Line, is the third most visited tourist attraction in Norway. What it is, is a long railway line that travels between Myrdal and Flåm. It has a distance of 20.2 kilometers.
The line is famous for its steep elevation (866 meters) and the beauty of natural sceneries that it passes by. It is so famous that it is now almost exclusively a tourist service.
Flåmsbana has 10 stations, one bridge, and 20 tunnels.
I also want to add that the fares for this railway line are considerably higher than any other train routes so that you won’t be surprised.
This is the third most famous tourist attraction in Norway after all!
Situated on the peninsula of Bygdøy in Oslo, the Fram Museum primarily focuses on telling the story of the Norwegian polar exploration.
The original vessel that was used for the exploration, Fram, has its interiors still in good condition and visitors are allowed to look inside.
Fram is actually the world’s most famous wooden polar exploration vessel and it is a symbol of Norway's substantial participation in the polar explorations.
Explorations in this ship took place between 1893 and 1912.
The museum also honors three polar explorers specifically, Roald Amundsen, Fridtjof Nansen, and Otto Sverdrup and also showcases images of the fauna of the polar regions.
There are several other museums close to the Fram Museum. They are the Viking Ship Museum, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, the Norwegian Maritime Museum and the Kon-Tiki Museum.
The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History
Visit this museum if you are around the area visiting either the Viking Ship Museum or the Fram museum I mentioned before.
This is the best place to go to get an insight into the Norwegian culture. You can get an idea of how the Norwegians lived from the 1500s to the present day through the exhibits of the museum.
The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History is an open-air museum that consists of 160 historic buildings. The Gol Stave Church is a significant attraction of the museum, dating back to 1200. Some of the other buildings here include log houses, a stamp mill, a 1928 oil gas station, a vicarage from Leikanger, a 1904 Samlaget liquor store, etc.
There are exhibits that present Norwegian folk art, church art, folk costumes and Sami culture in the indoor museum.
Located just 20 kilometers south of Oslo, in the village of Vinterbro, Tusenfryd is an amusement park that gets 500,000 visitors each year.
To enter the park you have to take a ride uphill on an escalator through one of the loops of the Speed Monster’s roller coaster. This is one of the most innovative entrances of any amusement park in the world.
The park has attractions for all ages. It has a total of 31 attractions, which include roller coasters, a log ride, and carousels.
It is Norway’s largest amusement park.
I couldn’t visit this on any of my earlier trips to Norway, but this time I am definitely going.
The Speed Monster is number one on my list of rides to try. It is a 700-meter long track that takes around 40 seconds. It accelerates from zero to 90 km/h in 2.2 seconds and you get to experience weightlessness 7 times, 4 G’s and get inverted 3 times.
This 13th-century fortress is one of the oldest stone fortifications in Norway and is also one of the most well preserved. This is situated in Bergen.
During the 13th century until 1299, Bergen was the capital of Norway and thus the Bergenhus Fortress was the royal seat at that time.
Today the fortress is used as a concert venue and a feast hall for public events.
The magnificent gothic Nidaros Cathedral is where the new kings of Norway traditionally consecrate. It was built over the burial site of king Olav II (c. 995-1030) as a memorial to him.
It is a cathedral of the Church of Norway and is located in Trondheim city in Trøndelag county.
The cathedral was built over a period of 230 years, from 1070 to 1300, but even to this day, there have been infrequent renovations and additions to it over the years.
As the name clearly suggests, the Munch Museum is dedicated to the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, his works and life. His most famous work of art is The Scream.
The museum has now collected over 1200 paintings, six sculptures, 500 plates, 18000 prints, 2,240 books and a variety of other items of Edvard Munch.
The Munch Museum is located in Oslo.
Holmenkollen Ski Museum
The Holmenkollen Ski Museum is located at the base of the Holmenkollen ski jump I have mentioned in my list above.
This museum presents more than 4000 years of skiing history, an exhibition on snowboarding and modern skiing and Norwegian polar exploration artifacts.
The history starts with rocking carvings dating back to the Stone Age.
Akvariet i Bergen (Bergen Aquarium)
Situated on the Nordnes peninsula, the Bergen Aquarium exhibits over 300 species of fish and other water animals. This is a famous tourist attraction but unfortunately, I haven’t had the luck to visit it before.
There are 3 outdoor ponds that contain penguins, cyprinids, and seals; a tropical branch with reptiles and monkeys and more than 60 tanks housing fish and marine invertebrates.
Steinsdalsfossen is a scenic waterfall in the village of Steine in Hordaland county. Sadly this is another sight that I never got to visit before.
Visitors take a path up the hill along the waterfall. And then you can take a dry walk behind the crashing water.
Låtefossen is a 165-meter tall waterfall in the municipality of Odda, Hordaland.
What makes this waterfall so popular is the fact that two separate streams from the lake Lotevatnet flows down and meet together in the middle of the waterfall.
It flows under the Norwegian National Road 13. And when you drive over the water on the old, stone, six-arched bridge, you get to view this spectacular sight a lot better (be ready to get wet though).
Stegastein is a beautiful observation point on Sogn og Fjordane County Road 243.
I selected this for my list of famous spots in Norway because this is a calm and relaxing activity. You just go there and enjoy the scenery and relax. You don’t get to do much of that in today's world, trust me I know!
This point overlooks Aurlandsvangen and the Aurlandsfjord.
Famous for its beautiful natural setting, Trollfjord can only, however, be approached by boat or by taking a 10 km hike over very rugged terrain.
Trollfjord is located in Hadsel Municipality in Nordland county. It has a narrow entrance and is surrounded by steep mountains.
The name of the Fjord comes from a figure from Norse mythology, the troll.
Geirangerfjord is branched off of the Sunnylvsfjorden which in turn is branched off of the Storfjorden.
It is located in the Sunnmøre area of Møre og Romsdal county.
A car ferry, which also works as a sightseeing trip, runs lengthwise along the fjord, between the towns of Geiranger and Hellesylt.
Geirangerfjord also has several waterfalls.
One famous fall is the Bridal Veil. It is named so because when it is backlit by the sun, as the waterfalls delicately over a rocky edge, it appears like a thin veil over the rocks.
Two other famous waterfalls in this fjord is the Seven Sisters and the Suitor. It is said that the Suitor is trying to woo the sisters because the two falls lie facing each other across the fjord.
Dalsnuten is popular for its beautiful sceneries.
Dalsnuten hill with an altitude of 324 meters, offers you an easy terrain to the summit. Through the walk to the summit, you are rewarded with the splendid views around.
Since the Dalsnuten terrain is not too difficult a walk in, it will be a very refreshing experience.