The Most Fascinating Cities In Norway

Norway, a beautiful country with many extraordinary tourist destinations, wonderful culture, delicious food, has some of the best cities in the world.
December 22, 2021 | 12:38

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard also form part of Norway. Bouvet Island, located in the Subantarctic, is a dependency of Norway; it also lays claims to the Antarctic territories of Peter I Island and Queen Maud Land. The capital and largest city in Norway is Oslo.

As of now, there are a total of 48 cities in Norway and among them, some cities are really fascinating to visit due to their unimaginable beauty and an abundance of attractions on offer. The major cities in Norway are Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, and Stavanger. And all of them are different from each other with their special aura. They are the heart of urban living and palaces, museums, and Viking settlements remain to coexist there next to each other. Some of its cities are your perfect base for seeing the Northern Lights and others are the gateway to the shimmering fjords or are known for unique Norwegian architecture and food, according to The Trotterwings.

1. Trondheim

Photo:  Hurtigruten
Photo: Hurtigruten

With its colourful warehouses, waterways and wooded hills, Norway's third-largest city is without doubt one of its most photogenic. Trondheim, the country's historic capital, is a pleasure to explore, with wide streets and a partly pedestrianised heart. Great cafes, restaurants and museums compete for attention, while Europe's northernmost Gothic cathedral doesn't need to try. Fishing boats putter around the harbour, gulls wheel and screech overhead, and beyond the city's outskirts there's a wealth of wilderness to explore.

A city located on the Trondheim fjord, this is one of the most beautiful cities in Norway that you must not miss visiting. Its old harbor and colorful buildings are nicely surrounded by lush green hills and fluid waterways. An important city for more than 1000 years, Trondheim was the nation’s first capital. A special town in Norway’s history and culture, the pristine walkways, winding Nidelva River making its way through the town – all add up to the beauty quotient of the town.

The town caught major fire in 1651 and that destroyed 90 percent of the town’s wooden buildings. Again a second fire episode took place in 1681 adding up to the misery. You must visit Kristiansten Fortress, enjoy good meals at the great restaurants and cafes and take in the rich cultural ambiance and contemporary music and arts while you are in this, one of the most picturesque cities in Norway.

2. Tromso

Photo:  destinationtromso.com
Photo: destinationtromso.com

Tromsø is a municipality in Troms og Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Tromsø.

Tromsø lies in Northern Norway. The 2,521-square-kilometre (973 sq mi) municipality is the 21st largest by area out of the 356 municipalities in Norway. With a population of 76,974, Tromsø is the 12th most populous municipality in Norway. The municipality's population density is 31.1 inhabitants per square kilometre (81/sq mi) and its population has increased by 14.4% over the previous 10-year period. It is the largest urban area in Northern Norway and the third largest north of the Arctic Circle anywhere in the world (following Murmansk and Norilsk). The city center of Tromsø is located on the island of Tromsøya, but the urban area also encompasses part of the nearby mainland and part of the island Kvaløya. Tromsø is 350 kilometres (217 mi) north of the Arctic Circle. Tromsøya is connected to the mainland by the Tromsø Bridge and the Tromsøysund Tunnel, and to the island of Kvaløya by the Sandnessund Bridge.

Your visit to Norway is surely incomplete unless and until you see the otherworldly and breathtaking show of the Northern Lights. And Tromsø being a city in Northern Norway is revered for being a fantastic Northern Lights viewing point. It is located above the Arctic circle and enjoys an astonishing surrounding that is filled with rich forests, mountains, and fjords. The city’s historic center is all beautiful with its centuries-old wooden houses and the landmark Arctic Cathedral which was set in the 1960s is famous for its unique architecture. Visit Polaria, the Arctic aquarium, the Polar Museum, the very imposing Tromsø Bridge, and spot the beautiful mountain of Tromsdalstinden from the city center. The summit of this mountain is also a very popular hike.

3. Oslo

Photo:  TAP Air Portugal
Photo: TAP Air Portugal

Oslo, the capital of Norway, sits on the country’s southern coast at the head of the Oslofjord. It’s known for its green spaces and museums. Many of these are on the Bygdøy Peninsula, including the waterside Norwegian Maritime Museum and the Viking Ship Museum, with Viking ships from the 9th century. The Holmenkollbakken is a ski-jumping hill with panoramic views of the fjord. It also has a ski museum.

Surrounded by mountains and sea, this compact, cultured and fun city has a palpable sense of reinvention.

Come to Oslo to pay homage to Edvard Munch and Henrik Ibsen, the city’s two most famous sons, by all means. But don’t leave without discovering something of its contemporary cultural life too. Explore one of its many museums, get to know its booming contemporary-art scene at one of its commercial galleries or just marvel at the work of its starchitects. You can also walk the neighbourhoods that may already be familiar via the works of Karl Ove Knausgård, whose autobiographical novel series Min Kamp are set here, along with the mean streets of Norwegian-noir crime writers Jo Nesbø and Anne Holt.

Oslo's skyline might be crowded by cranes but this rapidly growing urban metropolis is also one of the world’s most overwhelmingly green cities. It has earned the honour of being named European Green Capital for 2019, via one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world, excellent and well-patronised public transport, and a real commitment to sustainable food production and green space. The city is blessed with a large number of bucolic parks, and the Oslofjord’s waterways and islands are just minutes away from the centre, as are the ski slopes and forests of Nordmarka.

Once known only for hot dogs and high prices, Oslo’s culinary scene is currently enjoying a Neo Nordic moment in the sun, and has become a culinary destination in its own right. This delicious change takes in everything from the most northern three-Michelin-starred restaurant in the world (Maaemo) to its deservedly hyped neighbourhood coffee scene and fabulous fusion cuisine, to the celebration of traditional favourites such as peel-and-eat shrimp, and, yes, even polse (hot dogs). The city also has a penchant for sushi and pizza, both of which can now compete on the world stage, according to Lonely Planet.

4. Alesund

Photo:  TAP Air Portugal
Photo: TAP Air Portugal

Ålesund is a municipality in Møre og Romsdal County, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Sunnmøre and the centre of the Ålesund Region. The town of Ålesund is the administrative centre of Ålesund Municipality, as well as the principal shipping town of the Sunnmøre district. The town is a sea port and is noted for its concentration of Art Nouveau architecture. Although sometimes internationally spelled by its older name Aalesund, this spelling is obsolete in Norwegian. However, the local football club Aalesunds FK still carries that spelling, having been founded before the official change.

Alesund is built on several islands in the Atlantic ocean and has Sunnmøre Mountains visible on the coast of Norway.

Atlantic Sea Park is one of the best places you can visit in Alesund. You’ll learn there about the Norwegian coast of the Atlantic ocean, fjords, sealife, and rich fishing grounds. Besides the fish, you can also see penguins and seals there.

If you wish to take stunning photos of Alesund from above, plan to hike up Aksla Mountain. 418 steps will lead you to the viewing platform on the top. The park has numerous benches on the way to the top of the mountain so that you could rest. There are several viewpoints along the way to the top getting increasingly exciting. Have a cup of coffee at the top before going back down to the old town.

Visit Jugendstilsenteret if you wish to know more about the fire and rebuilding of Alesund. It is both a museum and a national center of Art Nouveau, and you can expect to see authentic interiors and objects of that time as well as changing exhibitions.

You can get to Alesund by plane, as there are several flights each day from the biggest Norwegian cities to the nearby airport. You can also go by car, train, boat or bus.

5. Stavanger

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia

Stavanger is a city and municipality in Norway. It is the fourth largest city and third largest metropolitan area in Norway (through conurbation with neighbouring Sandnes) and the administrative centre of Rogaland county. The municipality is the fourth most populous in Norway. Located on the Stavanger Peninsula in Southwest Norway, Stavanger counts its official founding year as 1125, the year the Stavanger Cathedral was completed. Stavanger's core is to a large degree 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses that are protected and considered part of the city's cultural heritage.

One of Stavanger’s highlights is Lysefjord. You can take a 3 hours long cruise and enjoy the views, take some stunning pictures, and soak in the beauty of Norwegian nature. A cruise gives you an opportunity to see the famous Pulpit Rock from below, but if you are adventurous, you can hike to it. That takes around 4-5 hours both ways, and the best view is if you climb even a bit more up from the regular surface. Just be aware of the high season and the high hours, as the number of people might take away the magic of the surroundings.

Another famous destination for hikers easily reachable from Stavanger is Kjeragbolten – the rock stuck between two walls of stone.

If you wish to explore the Staveneger more on foot, you might enjoy the walk on the cobbled streets of the Old Stavanger. It has clapboard houses, charming shops, and a few hidden turns to even smaller streets that are just enjoyable to explore.

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