Norway Road Trip Bucket List: 40 Must See Norway Sights and Experiences!
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An epic 4,500km road trip through Norway saw us fall in love with its stunning scenery and incredible natural beauty. Each day was filled with spectacular must see sights and we experienced many incredible once in a lifetime moments. From waking up to stunning Fjordland views to standing on 5,000 year old glaciers to the 24 hour sunlight in the Arctic Circle, Norway quickly stole our hearts. We’ve narrowed 4,500km of amazing Norway moments into 40 of our top sights and experiences which should be at the top of any Norway road trip itinerary!
If you are planning a trip to Norway check out our Norway itinerary for more inspiration!
1 | Drive the Snow Road: Aurlandsfjellet
The famous Aurlandsfjellet snow road is a 46km stretch of mountain road which is only open during the summer months due to heavy snow in the winter making the route impassable. It owes its name to the snow walls lining the road even in mid-summer.
2 | Wake up in Lysefjord
One of the most beautiful fjords in Norway, Lysefjord is home to both the stunning Pulpit Rock and Kjeragbolten hikes. It also has one of the most beautiful camping spots we’ve ever seen: this was the view from our tent as we awoke to a fresh Norweigan morning. No words can really describe how stunning it was!
My main camera is currently a Nikon D7200 with the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 and the Sigma 70-200 f2.8. Elaine uses the compact Fuji XT-10 for all her shots. We use Adobe Lightroom for editing all our photos and highly recommend (we pay €12.29 a month for a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop which is a fantastic deal).
3 | Hike to Kjeragbolten
It was a picture of the infamous Kjeragbolten, a free hanging rock impossibly wedged in a mountain crevice overlooking the beautiful Lysefjord, that sealed the deal on our Norway trip. A 9km hike with a 600metre climb is a daunting prospect but Kjerag is a beautiful hike and entirely worth the effort! Step out onto the Kjerag rock if you are brave enough!
Norway sightseeing tip: If you’re planning to climb Kjerag check out our how to guide here!
Norway sightseeing tip: Be sure to check out the Oygardstol viewpoint beside Kjerag hike car park, the views into the fjord below are incredible.
Norway Travel Guidebooks
We used a number of guidebooks when planning our Norway road trip. Our favourite was the DK guide as it had good general information but the LonelyPlanet edition was good for more details.
4 | Walk among the sculptures at Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo
Angry babies, the circle of life, monoliths and nakedness: not exactly what we were expecting when, after two weeks of Norwegian road trip wilderness, we arrived in Oslo and visited the incredibly weird and wonderful Vigeland Sculpture Park! Vigeland is the life work of Gustav Vigeland and the sculptures represent the Human Condition illustrating the complexities of relationships and the journey from the cradle to the grave. PS. In case there was any doubt, the angry babies and nakedness form part of the 212 bronze sculptures scattered throughout the park!
Norway sightseeing tip: Check out more pics of our visit to Vigeland here!
Where to Stay in Oslo
Although it’s a beautiful country and definitely worth visiting, Norway is an expensive country stay in. Luckily we recommend these lovely hotels in Oslo that won’t break the bank.
- Comfort Hotel Børsparken: Located right in the heart of Oslo and beside Oslo Central station this is the perfect choice for a stay in Oslo – Check prices now!
- Saga Poshtel Oslo Central – For those on a budget try this central hostel with shared and private rooms. The location is perfect for exploring the city. – Check prices now!
- Smarthotel Oslo – a modern design and functional rooms make this a great choice for Oslo. Located close to the Royal Palace. – Check prices now!
- Oslo Guldsmeden – A beautiful boutique hotel located close to the centre of Oslo., with a Turkish bath spa on site and stunning wooden décor in the rooms– Check prices now!
5 | Enjoy an epic sunset!
The land of the midnight sun is famous for itsnever-endingg daylight but, as we headed south towards Oslo, we captured many beautiful sunsets as the days drew to a close.
6 | Hike to Pulpit Rock
The iconic Pulpit Rock, jutting out into the Lysefjord, is one of the most recognisable places in Norway. A relatively straightforward hike took us to the summit of Pulpit rock where, like a preacher on a pulpit, we gazed down the sheer cliff face into the Fjord below!
Check out some of our favourite Norway Guidebooks for more trip inspiration.
7 | Chase waterfalls at Steindalfossen
Waterfalls are aplenty in Norway but the viewing platform behind Stenindalfossen makes it one of our favourites! Follow the walkways alongside the waterfall to experience the force of the cascading water and feel the spray of the water. As a bonus, it is located in the heart of the idyllic Norwegian countryside in the midst of beautiful farmland and scenery.
8 | Visit Bryggen, Bergen
Located in the scenic city of Bergen, the old quarter of Bryggen is a cluster of stacked wooden buildings originating from the 12th Century which line the city’s waterfront. The wooden alleyways are quaint and inviting and house a mix of boutiques, restaurants, bars and museums. The old wharf is a UNESCO World Heritage Site designated due to its importance to trade and the 62 preserved buildings which remain.
Where to Stay in Bergen
- Bergen Budget Hotel: A great value hotel option and perfectly located right beside the UNESCO Bryggen waterfront. There are lots of restaurant and bar options on your doorstep – Check prices now!
- Scandic Neptun: Located close to the Bryggen waterfront, this modern Norwegian hotel is perfect for exploring Bergen for a few days. The UNESCO seafront area only a 5 minute walk away – Check prices now!
- First Hotel Marin: Located beside the historic fish market the First Hotel Marin overlooks the historic pier of Bryggen. The rustic styled rooms and views overlooking the port make this a top pick in Bergen – Check prices now!
9 | Appreciate the views at Geirangerfjord
Part of the West Norweigan fjords, Geirangerfjord is one of the most iconic Norway sights. This massive fjord has some truly stunning viewpoints, the best of which is the Flydalsjuvet Viewpoint: from here the size and scale of the majestic fjord can truly be seen, with the massive cruise ships seeming almost toy like in comparison!
10 | Sail to the Urnes Stave Church
Tucked away on the shores of the Lustra Fjord and only accessible by car ferry is one of the most beautiful Stave churches in Norway. Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage, the medieval wooden Church is very special both inside and out and the serene setting overlooking the fjord will take your breath away.
11 | Feel tiny at Nærøyfjord
Surrounded by steep mountains and cascading waterfalls, Naeroyfjord is one of the most scenic places in Norway. We stayed in the heart of the valley in a log cabin tucked beneath the cavernous walls of the fjord. With the snowcapped mountains towering high around our cabin if felt like we were the smallest people on the planet!
12 | Drive through the world’s longest road tunnel: Laerdal Tunnel
Only the Norwegians can make a tunnel look this good! At 24.5km the Laerdal tunnel is the longest road tunnel in the world and takes around 20 minutes to drive through. There are beautifully lit rest areas where conditions mimic daylight and are definitely worth a stop along the way!
13 | Pitch a tent in the wilderness!
As long as the Norwegian right of access rules are followed free camping is permissible in Norway. It’s an amazing opportunity to get away from it all and wake up to some incredible views. Given the wide variety of wildlife that wanders around the countryside, it’s one for the knowledgeable or very brave!
14 | Be healed at the Roldal Stave Church
We sought refuge in the Roldal Stave Church during an impending rainstorm where legend has it that the church crucifix has healing properties. Once a year the crucifix overhanging the altar sweats and the sweat is believed to have healing properties.
15 | Feel the raw power of a glacier at Nigardsbreen
Who doesn’t want to come face to face with the ancient blue ice of a glacier? The Nigardsbreen glacier is the most easily accessible part of the Jostedalsbreen Glacier, the largest in mainland Europe. We reached the base of Nigardsbreen after a short hike and stood in awe at the incredible force of nature. The creaks and groans of the icefall both terrified and excited us in equal measure and the deep blue wall of ancient ice is a sight we’ll never forget!
16 | Make footprints in the snow!
Nothing beats running through a fresh fall of untouched snow and, in a country which spends most of its winter covered in snow, Norway offers the perfect opportunity to experience real, knee high, perfect snow!
Norway sightseeing tip: There are 18 tourist routes in Norway which cut through some of the country’s most spectacular scenery. Their opening is weather dependent and, given snow is not unheard of even as late as May, make sure to check they are open when planning your route!
17 | Experience the stunning scenery and dark history of Lovatnet, Lake Loen
One of the most beautiful lakes in the world, the crystal clear water of Lovatnet is unlike anything you’ll see anywhere in the world. The green waters are a result of the clay particles and rock dust swept along the river from the Kjenndal Glacier at the end of the valley. A solemn lakeside memorial stands in memory of the 135 lives lost when the hamlets of Nesdal and Bødal were destroyed by a tidal wave caused by huge rocks falling from Mount Ramnefjell into the lake below.