Choose from 27 Fun Things to Do in Norway
- Shore excursions typically include port pickup and drop-off.
- The weather in Oslo can change quickly, even in summer, so wear layers and pack an umbrella or raincoat.
- Most attractions are reachable on foot, so wear comfortable walking shoes and pick up a map from the cruise terminal on arrival.
Thanks to its spectacular setting among a series of islands and skerries laced with waterways and scalloped inlets, Tromso is the epicenter of day trips out into the fjords bordering the Norwegian Sea. These long, narrow sea inlets are characterized by steep, mountainous slopes carved out by glaciation during the last Ice Age.
If you are staying in Tromso, you have a wide choice of half- and full-day tours into the fjords. Some cruises are focused on viewing the surrounding landscapes—such as the sharp peaks of Balsfjord—while others are dedicated wildlife-watching tours. You can book a fishing trip and catch cod, salmon, and halibut from out of the deep fjord waters, or go kayaking or canoeing in summer. If you’d like to stay on dry land, hiking and snowshoeing tours offer spectacular fjord views.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Tromso fjords are a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
- Dress warmly—it is cold out on the water, even in summer. Many tours include the use of waterproof clothing.
- Kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and snowshoeing tours generally include equipment.
How to Get There
Trips to the Tromso fjords typically leave from Tromso city center. Alternatively, a network of ferries, buses, and interisland bridges easily connect Tromso with Grotfjord, Erdsfjord, Balsfjord, Lyngsfjord, and Kattfjord.
When to Get There
June through August, the long days and midnight sun mean you can pack more adventures into a single day and the water is (just) warm enough for swimming. Wintertime offers whale-watching, as well as nighttime trips out into the fjords to catch the shimmering pinks, yellows, and greens of the northern lights—your best chances of seeing them are from December to February.
Tromso’s Top View
One of the best views of Tromso’s surrounding islands and fjords is from the top of 2,200-foot (670-meter) Floya. To get there, ride the cable car from Solliveien in the Tromsdalen neighborhood to Storsteinen and then walk the rest of the way, or climb the 324 steps of the Sherpa Staircase.
- Mount Floyen is a must-see for nature lovers and first-time visitors to Bergen.
- The Fløistuen Café, Fløien Folkerestaurant, and Brushytten cabin offer food and drink for purchase. Picnic huts are available for travelers to enjoy their packed lunches.
- The Fløibanen funicular railway is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, and elevators also offer easy access to the upper and lower funicular stations.
- Visitors can buy tickets for the Fløibanen funicular in advance, but there is no need to make reservations for a time slot.
- The Lyngen Alps is a must-visit destination for nature lovers as well as outdoor and winter sports enthusiasts.
- The highest of the range’s peaks, Jiekkevarre, reaches 6,017 feet (1,834 meters); its challenging terrain is for experienced mountaineers only.
- The Lyngsdalen valley, above the village of Furuflaten, is a more accessible area for hikers of all levels.
Home to the Oslo City Council and numerous galleries and studios, the Oslo City Hall (or Radhus) showcases the city’s political and cultural sides. It is widely considered one of Oslo’s architectural gems, winning the 2005 vote for Oslo’s "Structure of the Century."
Planning for City Hall began in 1915 and served a dual purpose: not only establishing an Oslo City Hall, but also replacing the old Oslo harbor slums. The building exemplifies a changing mentality in Norwegian architecture at the time, combining native romanticism, functionalism, and classicism.
Once inside, the building contains the Festival Gallery, complete with a stunning view of the harbor side, the East Gallery, with Petr Krohg’s stunning mid 20th century frescoes, “The town and its surroundings,” Banquet Hall, and Central Hall, with a mural of Oslo’s patron saint, St. Hallvard.
Oslo City Hall is located on Pipervika in central Oslo, close to many of the city’s other important landmarks, including the Royal Palace, Karl Johan’s gate, the Oslo Cathedral, Nobel Peace Center, and the Ibsen Museum.
You will not have a hard time finding it, minutes away by public transportation on either the metro to Nationaltheatret or Stortinget, or by the 12 tram that surfs along the harbor.
- Vigeland Sculpture Park is a must-visit destination for art and culture lovers.
- The sculpture park is part of Frogner Park, Oslo’s largest public park.
- The park is free to visit.
The Oslo National Gallery houses a proud collection of works comprised mainly by works of Norwegian painters from the 19th century until about 1945. These are including but not limited to famous landscape painter J. C. Dahl, T. Fearnley, H. F. Gude, naturalist painter and illustrator C. Krohg, and G. P. Munthe. There is also a special separate exhibit devoted to the much beloved Edvard Munch and his world renowned painting ‘The Scream,’ back in action after its theft in 2006.
There are also works by other Scandinavian artists including pictures by El Greco, Rubens and Rembrandt, as well as a collection of modern works and a room containing replicas of antique sculptures.
In 2003 the National Gallery joined with three other Norwegian museums to become the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design, making them all in effect the cultural and historical hub of Norwegian culture and art.
With such an array of collected art, The National Gallery contains the largest collection of domestic and international art in the country and simply cannot be looked over by any visitor.
The Oslo National Gallery is located by Tullinløkka, conveniently close to Karl Johans gate and nearby to some of the city’s other major landmarks including the Royal Palace, Oslo Cathedral and Ibsen Museum.
The closest means of public transportation are the metro to the Nationaltheatret stop, the 10, 11, 17, 18 trams to Tullinløkka, and 13 and 19 trams and bus to Nationaltheatret.
- Oslo Fjord is a must-see for first-time visitors to the capital.
- Dress in layers. Temperatures on the water can be cold, even in summer.
- The best place to swim in the fjord is off Museum Island (Bygdøy), a peninsula on the western side of the city.
- Akershus Castle and Fortress is a must-see for history buffs.
- Maps of the grounds are available at the visitor center.
- There is no restaurant on-site, so it’s a good idea to grab a bite to eat before you arrive.
- Akershus Fortress, the castle grounds, and the Castle Church are wheelchair accessible, but paths around the grounds are mostly cobblestone and can be steep.
- Oslo Cathedral is a must-visit for history and religious architecture enthusiasts.
- Entrance is free.
- The cathedral is accessible to wheelchair users.
The Kon-Tiki Museum is home to a variety of boats and other artifacts from the famous Thor Heyerdahl’s expeditions. Thor Heyerdahl is a Norwegian expeditionary and ethnographer who famously sailed by raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands. The museum includes the very raft used during that expedition.
The museum also houses permanent exhibits on Ra, Tigris, Kon-Tiki, Fatu-Hiva, and Easter Island and even has a cave tour (that is 100 feet/30 meters in length) and an underwater exhibition with a life-size whale shark. For those who are not well acquainted with Norway’s topographical landscape, there is a recommended widescreen film that takes the viewer on an aerial tour of the country’s coastline and settlements.
Once you’ve soaked in all the exhibits the museum has to offer, the restaurant offers a lunch menu which includes authentic Norwegian cuisine, including the highly recommend Kon-Tiki Fish Casserole and Tapas buffet.
The museum is located at Bygdøy near the Oslo city center, close to the Oslo Fjord, affording tourists a wonderful view of the bay.
The Kon-Tiki Museum also happens to be located near other museums on the Bygdoy Peninsula, such as the Fram Museum and the Norwegian Maritime Museum.
It is easily accessible by bus, which runs every 15 minutes. During the summer months you can also catch a ferry to the museum that departs from the harbor in front of the City Hall. There is also parking available on site.
- The Viking Ship Museum offers free audio guides in English.
- There are no restaurants on-site, so be sure to eat before you arrive.
- The museum and its exhibit halls are wheelchair accessible.
- Entrance to the Viking Ship Museum also includes access to the Norwegian ethnographic collection in the Museum of Cultural History, where artifacts include Egyptian mummies and medieval decorative arts.