Norway is one in all my favourite international locations on this planet through which to journey. It is organized, it is protected, it is clear, and it is jaw-droppingly stunning irrespective of which method you look.
And this is applicable it doesn’t matter what *season* you go to Norway in, too.
Whereas the summer time months are excessive season in Norway for folks to go on hikes, sail the fjords, and bask within the midnight solar, do not low cost a visit to Norway within the winter months. Norway makes for an amazing winter trip.
Norway in winter is not truly as chilly (or as darkish) as lots of people assume. Solely essentially the most northerly a part of Norway experiences Polar Evening, and the Gulf Stream coming off the Atlantic retains temperatures bearable, even within the depths of winter.
When you’re contemplating a winter getaway to Norway, here is a 10-day itinerary you possibly can be happy to observe with a view to see the most effective of what Norway has to supply within the colder months.
The Good 10-Day Itinerary for Norway in Winter
Be aware: This steered itinerary does NOT require you to hire a automotive in Norway in winter! Yay!
Day 1: Arrival + Oslo
Welcome to Norway! Whether or not you are flying in from the US or from elsewhere in Europe, use your first day within the nation to get your self acclimated to each the climate and the nation.
Catch the practice from Oslo’s Gardermoen airport (will probably be listed as “Oslo Lufthavn” whenever you’re shopping for your ticket) to the central practice station downtown (Oslo sentralstasjon, or Oslo S). The quickest choice is to take the Flytoget practice, which can get you downtown in simply 20 minutes.
When you’re in Oslo, you possibly can stroll or catch a taxi to your lodge. After which it is time to discover!
Because you could be coping with some jetlag immediately, I like to recommend doing a little on-foot sightseeing this afternoon. My favourite place to stroll in Oslo is alongside the waterfront, the place you possibly can see the Akershus Fortress and the Opera Home. I would additionally advocate popping into Metropolis Corridor to see its putting flooring and murals.
Oslo does not get as a lot love as another elements of Norway, however the metropolis is definitely very cool.
The place to remain in Oslo: For ease of getting there, I like to recommend staying at the Thon Resort Terminus, which is near Oslo’s central practice station (you possibly can simply stroll there). This lodge has a great location near town middle, and has probably the greatest breakfast spreads I’ve ever seen at a lodge! (Learn critiques on TripAdvisor | Guide your keep at Thon Resort Terminus right here!)
My prime Oslo tip: When you’re wanting to avoid wasting cash in Oslo, flip to meals on your financial savings. The Mathallen Meals Corridor within the Vulkan neighborhood is a good place to go for an inexpensive meal.
Pattern prices for immediately: Flytoget practice from airport – 190 NOK ($23 USD) for a one-way fare
Day 2: Oslo
At present, it is time to discover extra of Oslo. After a great evening’s sleep, you must hopefully be prepared for a full day of sightseeing.
Some issues I like to recommend doing/seeing immediately embrace:
- Stroll up Karl Johans Gate, the primary avenue within the middle of Oslo that leads from the practice station to the Royal Palace (although word that the Royal Palace itself is barely open for excursions through the summer time months).
- Go to The Vigeland Park, a big park and sculpture museum displaying the works of Gustav Vigeland.
- Go to not less than one museum, like maybe the Fram Polar Ship Museum or Kon-Tiki Museum or Norsk Folkemuseum or Viking Ship Museum.
It is pretty straightforward to get round Oslo utilizing public transport (there are trams, buses, subways, and ferries, all run by Ruters). You should buy a 24-hour transport ticket that covers nearly the whole lot for 105 NOK ($13 USD). (Although word that the ferry that goes out to Bygdøy, the island the place are the museums are, is separate and can price a further 69 NOK).
When you’d slightly not sort out Oslo independently or pay for public transport, there are a pair tour choices which may enchantment to you. For instance, Oslo has a hop-on, hop-off bus with audio commentary that stops in any respect the foremost websites within the metropolis. Or you could possibly guide a half-day metropolis tour that features all the primary websites in addition to entry to some museums.
The place to remain in Oslo: Once more, I like to recommend staying at the Thon Resort Terminus, which may be very central and likewise one of many top-rated lodges in Oslo.
Pattern prices for immediately: Vigeland Park – Free!; Viking Ship Museum – 100 NOK ($12.50 USD); Fram Museum -120 NOK ($14.50 USD)
Day Three: Norway in a Nutshell, Half 1
Some of the common issues to do in Norway is the Norway in a Nutshell “tour.” And I’ve “tour” in citation marks there, as a result of it is not a tour within the conventional sense – there isn’t any information, only a set itinerary and tickets which might be booked prematurely.
The Norway in a Nutshell tour runs both one-way from Oslo to Bergen (or vice versa), or as a round-trip from both metropolis. The highlights of the tour embrace a experience on the well-known Flåm Railway and a fjord cruise on cruise on Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord.
For this journey, you should use the Norway in a Nutshell tour as a really scenic approach to journey from Oslo to Bergen.
Throughout the summer time months when the times are tremendous lengthy, it is doable to do Norway in a Nutshell in at some point. However through the winter months, I extremely advocate spreading the journey out over 2 days so you possibly can correctly admire all of the surroundings.
You may begin your morning by catching a practice from Oslo’s primary station that can take you to the city of Myrdal. You may be on the Bergen Railway, and the experience is about four.5 hours.
When you arrive in Myrdal, you may change trains and get on the Flåm Railway, a 20.2-kilometer-long department of the Bergen Line. This practice experience is commonly named one of the vital stunning practice journeys on this planet, however ensure to maintain your eyes open as a result of it solely lasts for about 45 minutes!
This practice experience ends within the fjord city of Flåm, which is the place I like to recommend staying for the evening. It is best to arrive round 2 p.m., which means you will not have to fret about any a part of your journey being at midnight.
Reserving Norway in a Nutshell
Norway in a Nutshell excursions will be booked through the Fjord Excursions web site, and so they’ll stroll you thru the method. Principally, although, you need to select “Tour with in a single day keep” whenever you begin your reserving. And whenever you get to the web page the place it provides you the choice to guide lodges via their portal, go forward and verify the “I need to organize lodge alone” field below the Flåm tab.
Additionally, this can be a tour that you will need to guide prematurely. You possibly can both have all of your tickets and itinerary mailed to you, or you possibly can select to select up your packet at Oslo airport or Central Station.
And sure, you are taking your baggage with you on this journey! Porters can be found that will help you at some stops (for instance, there is a separate baggage automotive on the Flåm Railway, however in any other case you are chargeable for getting your baggage on and off every practice.
Learn extra about this journey right here: Norway in a Nutshell: What Is It, and Ought to You Do It?
The place to remain in Flåm: There are just a few completely different lodge choices in Flåm, however the city IS a well-liked stopover spot, even within the winter months – so you should definitely guide properly prematurely! My choose right here could be the Flamsbrygga Hotell, a chalet-style lodge overlooking the fjord that’s the top-rated lodge on TripAdvisor. (Learn critiques on TripAdvisor | Guide a room on the Flamsbrygga right here!)
Pattern prices for immediately: A one-way Norway in a Nutshell tour from Oslo – 2080 NOK ($255 USD)
Day four: Norway in a Nutshell, Half 2
When you’re feeling adventurous this morning, you possibly can guide an non-compulsory snowshoeing tour up within the mountains close to Flåm (that is one thing you possibly can add on to your Norway in a Nutshell tour whenever you guide it if you would like). A bus will take you up into the mountains, and you will snowshoe hike to the Stegastein viewpoint in Aurland.
Afterwards (or very first thing within the morning should you do not go snowshoeing), you may board a ship for my favourite a part of the Norway in a Nutshell tour: a cruise on Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord.
On this 2-hour cruise, you may make your method via a few of Norway’s greatest fjord surroundings, together with the Nærøyfjord. Nærøyfjord is among the narrowest fjords in Europe, and likewise seems on UNESCO’s World Heritage Record. Right here, the mountains actually do appear to tower above you.
And don’t fret – the boat has each indoor and outside seating, so cruising is okay even within the winter months!
You may disembark in Gudvangen, after which board a bus that can take you to the city of Voss. In Voss, you may board one other practice that can take you to Bergen.
When you do the snowshoe hike within the morning, you will not board your fjord cruise till Three p.m., and can arrive in Bergen round eight p.m. When you skip the snowshoeing, you may do your fjord cruise very first thing within the morning, and can arrive in Bergen round 6 p.m. (although word that this selection means you may have just a few hours to kill within the city of Voss!).
When you get to Bergen, I like to recommend taking a taxi or rideshare to your lodge.
The place to remain in Bergen: Take a look at the Thon Resort Rosenkrantz, the top-rated lodge in Bergen. I like Thon lodges so much as a result of they often embrace (an excellent) breakfast and are fairly priced. On this occasion, the Thon Resort Rosenkrantz can also be in a major location in Bergen, proper subsequent to the colourful Bryggen Wharf. (Learn critiques on TripAdvisor | Guide a room on the Thon Resort Rosenkrantz right here!)
Pattern prices for immediately: Non-obligatory snowshoe hike – 775 NOK ($95 USD)
Day 5: Bergen
Bergen is the second-largest metropolis in Norway, however the excellent news is that it does not really feel prefer it. Many of the locations you’d need to go to in your first journey to Bergen are all inside strolling distance of the wharf.
Some must-dos immediately in Bergen embrace:
- Discover the Bryggen, the enduring row of colourful wood homes alongside Bergen’s outdated Hanseatic Wharf. That is essentially the most historic a part of town; the wharf was first constructed within the 14th century. Spend a while wandering via the maze-like alleyways between the outdated buildings.
- Take the funicular as much as the highest of Mount Fløyen, which is accessible even within the winter. From right here, you get a view out over Bergen and the Seven Mountains that encompass it.
- Go to a museum, just like the Hanseatic Museum, the Bergen Maritime Museum, the Leprosy Museum (sure, it is a factor!), or KODE (a museum complicated devoted to artwork, design, and music).
For lunch or dinner, head right down to the Fish Marketplace for some tremendous contemporary seafood. Throughout the summer time months, the Bergen Fish Market is among the prime outside markets in Norway. Within the winter, although, you may need to head into the indoor arm of the market, the Mathallen. There are fewer distributors right here within the winter, however you possibly can nonetheless discover contemporary seafood to strive.
My prime Bergen tip: When you plan to do numerous sightseeing, I like to recommend selecting up a 24-hour Bergen Card, which can get you free or discounted admission to dozens of museums, points of interest, and excursions all through Bergen. (You possibly can even use it to save cash at eating places.) Within the winter, many points of interest provide free admission with the cardboard versus a reduction.
Pattern prices for immediately: Bergen Card – 260 NOK ($31 USD); Mount Fløyen funicular (if you do not have the Bergen Card) – 95 NOK ($11.50 USD)
Day 6: Bergen and fly to Tromsø
This morning, end up any sightseeing you needed to do in Bergen. Then, this afternoon, it is time to begin the second half of your journey: it is time to fly to Tromsø!
Widerøe airways has direct flights from Bergen to Tromsø, whereas flying on one other airline like Norwegian or SAS will most likely have you ever join via Oslo. Both method, you must have the ability to arrive within the late afternoon/early night. It takes about 2 hours to fly direct to Tromsø.
When you arrive, head to your lodge (the airport bus drops off on the lodge I’ve steered) and prepare for some epic outside adventures within the Gateway to the Arctic!
The place to remain in Tromsø: I like to recommend the Scandic Ishavshotel, which is situated proper on the Tromsø Sound. Many rooms have nice views, and so they all include free wifi and included breakfast. The on-site restaurant right here can also be fairly good. To prime it off, the Scandic Ishavshotel is one in all two primary lodges on the town the place many of the tour firms do free pickups from. (Learn critiques on TripAdvisor | Guide a room on the Scandic Ishavshotel right here!)
Day 7: Tromsø
Tromsø is situated at 69.6492° N latitude above the Arctic Circle. The town of 75,000 folks is the “capital” of Northern Norway, and is among the largest cities discovered within the Arctic.
It is truly extra common to go to Tromsø through the winter months due to its outside actions and the possibility to see the Northern Lights.
At present, I would begin the day with an journey exercise like cross-country snowboarding or dogsledding.
Cross-country snowboarding is not only a sport in Norway; it is a nationwide pastime! Children learn to ski at school, and it is commonplace to see folks out on skis always of the day in winter. If you are going to strive just one bodily outside exercise in Tromsø, make it cross-country snowboarding.
In Tromsø, Tromsø Out of doors presents an amazing Three-hour course for novices. (Although in addition they provide enjoyable showshoeing excursions if that is extra your velocity.)
Another choice is to check out dogsledding, which is one other common winter sport in Norway. And sure, it’s most undoubtedly a sport. Sled canine aren’t simply any canine – they’re particularly bred to like to RUN, and are thought of athletes.
If you wish to strive the game out, I can advocate the Tromsø Villmarkssenter for dogsledding excursions. They choose you up from Tromsø and take you out to their middle on Kvaløya, the place you possibly can rise up shut with the canine. You see precisely the place the canine reside and the way they’re cared for – after I visited, I noticed completely satisfied and playful canine who have been excited on the likelihood to get hooked as much as a sled.
The sled experience itself lasts for about an hour, with a cease midway via to take pictures. The surroundings is gorgeous, and afterwards you may return to the middle for a lunch of reindeer stew. (Guide this tour right here.)
There’s an choice to drive your personal dogsled in Tromsø, too, however I shall be completely trustworthy and inform you that that is NOT straightforward work! It is far more than simply standing in the back of the sled – you must push and pull and lean, and generally run up snowy hills to assist the canine. I do not advocate the driving until you are in good bodily form and are prepared for a exercise!
Tonight, if the climate cooperates and the excursions are going out, join your first Northern Lights tour! There are a LOT of Northern Lights excursions in Tromsø to select from, so I like to recommend in search of one which guarantees a small group and a information who can assist you are taking pictures.
Small-group Northern Lights excursions to take a look at embrace this one and this one, each of that are “chase”-style excursions, which means you may have the most effective likelihood of recognizing the aurora.
The place to remain in Tromsø: The Scandic Ishavshotel continues to be my prime choose!
My prime Tromsø tip: Lots of the sidewalks in Tromsø are literally heated with a view to shed the snow and ice. However different elements of town will nonetheless be very slippery! Be sure to’ve obtained boots with good gripping soles, or put money into some Yaktrax to assist in giving you higher traction.
Pattern prices for immediately: Cross-country snowboarding tour – 995 NOK ($121 USD); Dogsledding tour – 1890 NOK ($230 USD); Northern Lights tour – $150-$200 USD
Day eight: Tromsø
At present I like to recommend taking a while to discover Tromsø. So many individuals come to this metropolis for the Northern Lights, however then spend all their time reserving actions outdoors of town. The town itself, although, is fairly cool!
Some issues you are able to do embrace:
- Go to the Arctic Cathedral (formally Tromsdalen Church) throughout the sound from the primary a part of Tromsø. It is an iconic constructing in Northern Norway, and generally you possibly can hear concert events contained in the church.
- Experience the Fjellheisen aerial tramway up above Tromsø for the most effective view within the metropolis. The automobiles run from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. all through the winter months, and the views are critically nice.
- Take a look at the Polar Museum, which presents an interesting look into Arctic trapping and looking and the early polar explorers.
When you’re in search of one thing distinctive to do within the afternoon, contemplate a Tromsø Beer Safari, which incorporates tasting some native beers and snacks.
Tonight, if circumstances are good (or if circumstances have been unhealthy on Day 7), contemplate one other Northern Lights tour!
The place to remain in Tromsø: The Scandic Ishavshotel continues to be my prime choose in Tromsø, however if you wish to strive one thing completely different on your final couple of nights, the Thon Resort Polar is one other good choice a pair blocks away.
Pattern prices for immediately: Fjellheisen tramway – 210 NOK ($25.50 USD); Polar Museum – 60 NOK ($7.50 USD); Beer tour – 700 NOK ($85 USD)
Day 9: Tromsø
In your final day in Tromsø, let’s have a “select your personal journey” form of day! There are numerous cool adventures you possibly can have from town, together with:
And tonight is your final likelihood to go on one final Northern Lights tour in Tromsø.
The place to remain in Tromsø: Once more, the Scandic Ishavshotel continues to be my prime choose in Tromsø, however if you wish to strive one thing completely different on your final couple of nights, the Thon Resort Polar is one other good choice a pair blocks away.
Pattern prices for immediately: Snowmobile safari – Round $250; Sami/reindeer tour – Round $160
Day 10: Depart Tromsø
After every week and a half seeing Norway’s winter highlights, it is time to head residence, or onward to wherever your travels take you subsequent.
In case you have extra time to spend in Norway, you could possibly add just a few nights within the Lofoten Islands, which lie south of Tromsø and are common in winter with photographers. Simply word that you simply WILL want a rental automotive within the Lofoten Islands in winter, as there’s probably not public transport out there that will help you get round.
When to go to Norway in winter
This heading may appear a bit foolish, as a result of clearly you are going in WINTER. However winter in Norway will be fairly completely different relying on which month you go to.
For instance, December has the shortest days in Norway – even in Bergen, the solar does not rise till 9:45 a.m. in late December, and units round Three:30 p.m. By late-February, although, the solar is rising earlier than eight a.m. and setting round 6 p.m. in Bergen.
In Tromsø, town experiences Polar Evening in December. By mid-February, nevertheless, the solar is rising round 7:30 a.m. and setting round four:30 p.m., with the times getting longer by about 10 minutes every single day.
So, for my part, the most effective time to go to Norway in winter is in February or March, whenever you nonetheless have snow and an opportunity to see the Northern Lights, however when the times are lengthy sufficient so that you can truly do issues.
What to pack for Norway in winter
I’ve a complete packing record for Norway in winter!
Absolutely the must-haves embrace:
The nice information is that the majority tour operators in Norway will provide you with a heat jumpsuit, boots, and generally even gloves if you do not have the correct outside gear.
Would you ever need to go to Norway in winter?
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