Norway Things to Do Tips by diocletianvs
Norway Things to Do: 860 reviews and 1,685 photos
Detail from Aker Brygge
Ok, I admit it – I wasn’t impressed by Oslo. I spent three days here, not counting several visits thanks to the fact that Oslo is a transportation hub of Norway. So, what can you expect from the city whose most famous painter spent almost all his life here and became famous by “The Scream” painting? Well, at least you can expect the Edward Munch museum, that’s for sure!
Oslo is Norwegian capital and largest Norwegian city, hometown of the Royal family and town with Norwegian biggest university. Bus and Train terminal is somewhat confusing but efficient transport hub, Karl Johan street is the wide parade-style street with no special charm and sculptures in popular Vigeland park are simply too naïve to be taken seriously.
Still, Oslo offers some interesting places like old Akershus fortress, famous twin towers of the Town Hall and Aker Brygge which is the area of former shipyards transformed into area of fancy housing, offices, shops, restaurants and cafes. Oslo also offers many interesting museums, some of which are located on a Bygdoy peninsula that is worth a visit.
Nobel peace prize, although decided by the Nobel Committee in Stockholm, is awarded every year at a ceremony held on 10th December in Oslo Raadhus.
Oslo is also known as a place with the largest international community in Norway, Mohammad/Mohammed being the third on a list of most popular names given to boys born here in 2002.
"Norway in a nutshell" is the name of one of the most popular tourist routes in Norway. It enables a daily trip to famous fjords of western Norway and a ride on a famous Flåm railway. There are many combinations: you can take a one-way trip from Oslo to Bergen that includes visit to the fjords, or return trip from Bergen, or return trip from Voss, or... combinations are numerous.
One way Bergen - Oslo daily trip consists of:
1. (regular) train journey Bergen - Voss
2. bus from Voss down to port of Gudvanger (via very scenic Stalheim)
3. ferry ride from Gudvanger to Flåm (through Naerofjorden and Aurlandsfjorden)
4. Flåmsbana (Flåm railway) from Flåm up to Myrdal
5. (regular) train between Myrdal and Oslo on Bergen - Oslo line.
If you’re visiting Norway only for a short period then this is the best way to experience this magnificent country. This is a whole-day trip – see my “Norway in a nutshell” travelogue for details.
The 470km train journey on the Oslo-Bergen railway is considered one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world. The train passes through mountain ranges and the windswept Hardanger plateau in some 7 hours, going through the breathtaking mountain scenery, tundra-like landscapes of high lakes and snow-capped mountains. Its most important stops are Geilo, famous ski centre and Myrdal, where one can catch the spectacular Flam railway down to small village of Flam on the Aurlandsfjord.
View from Fløyen
Bergen is probably the most attractive of all Norwegian towns and it’s a shame that most tourists use it only as a starting point to rush to the nearby fjords. It is the only place in Norway where I actually felt the urban tradition, town that invests great amount of its budget to the improvement of its public spaces. Sometimes the floor was too interesting to look at that I literally collided with two street lamps and one trash bin.
Bergen was one of the central ports of the Hanseatic league of merchants which dominated trade in Northern Europe in the Middle Ages. It was once the largest city in Scandinavia, and also a capital of Norway in 12th and 13th centuries.
The city centre is located on a peninsula that is dramatically surrounded by seven mountains. Clouds coming from the Atlantic simply hit the mountains and pour its content to Bergen – so it rains in average 275 days a year.
The old Bryggen area consists of medieval timber buildings and is enlisted on UNESCO list of World Heritage.
Other attractions include the famous Fish Market, Hanseatic Museum and funicular ride to the mountain Fløyen as well as cable car to the Ulriken mountain for breathtaking views of the city (when clouds permit).
Founded in 997 by King Olav Tryggvason of Viking, Trondheim holds a special place in Norwegian history and culture. It was the first capital of Norway, and is still the city where new kings receive their ceremonial blessing. Today third largest Norwegian city, Trondheim is known as the «city of wooden houses»: no other city in Nordic countries has as much wooden architecture as Trondheim.
Situated on a triangular peninsula formed by river Nidelva, town got its present structure after a disastrous fire in 1681 when Major Jean Caspar de Cicignon from Luxembourg was sent to create a new Baroque city layout. Wide streets form a regular pattern while only a few narrow alleyways have survived.
City centre is dominated by the Nidaros cathedral, one of the largest in Scandinavia and an important pilgrimage site to St. Olav’s burial site who was supposedly buried here in 1030.
A must-see list of Trondheim includes visit to Nidaros cathedral and the Archbishop’s palace, Royal residence (which is the largest wooden building in Scandinavia), Old bridge and an old suburb of Bakklandet with its wooden houses and a visit to Munkholmen island.
Today Trondheim is called the technology capital of Norway, with a strong University of Science and Technology that has approximately 20.000 students that give most of the life to this city of 150.000 inhabitants. NTNU University was the reason why I spent 8 months in this Norwegian town, from the dark and icy winter months until the light summer days and nights when you can make dark only by blocking your windows at night.
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