The cities to visit in Norway listed below are different and varying in terms of climate, atmosphere and nature landmarks. I have visited them all during my two weeks solo trip but as Norway is one of the most expensive destinations in Europe, I guess you may prefer to shorten your tour. Chose from these Norwegian coastline cities or go and see them all!
One of the southernmost larger cities in Norway, Kristiansand is easy to reach from any of the Oslo’s airports. It takes several hours to reach the city which is relatively small and has definitely sea resort feel. In my opinion, one day is enough to see the few streets with old wooden houses in Posebyen, the old quarter. Take a stroll on Markens Street, the main pedestrian street that will bring you to the coastal promenade. Evenings here are quiet unless you visit during one of the numerous festivals organized in the city.
Accommodation and Tours in Kristiansand
This first in my list of cities to visit in Norway offers different accommodation options, from a classic 1896’s hotel to modern, centrally-located hotels and hostels. See the hotel accommodation options for Kristiansand and the private home stays available.
If you would like to join a tour, this Kristiansand Highlight City Tour might be exactly what you need.
Stavanger is one of the most interesting cities in Norway for two reasons. One reason is the old quarter nearby the port and its white-painted wooden houses, arranged in alleys with flower pots on the windows. Here I learned by observation that in Norway, every house has its own unique window and front door decorations, something to give them character and distinguish the home from all others. It is lovely to see how people make an effort to make their home beautiful and pleasant even for the strangers passing by.
The other reason is that you can use Stavanger as a ‘base camp’ and make one of the emblematic for Norway hikes. Preikestolen is not an easy hike but it is possible even for elderly people and toddlers (carried by their parents), as I saw. And Trolltunga, with its stunning views, is another hike I would love to do next time I’m in Norway!
Accommodation Options for Stavanger:
I have stayed in Comfort Hotel Square for several nights and was very happy with its beautifully decorated rooms, welcoming staff, and especially with its location.
BERGEN – the best of the cities to visit in Norway
Bergen is the most popular among the cities to visit in Norway. It is the beating tourist heart of the country. The reason? A coastal city with long maritime history and culture, UNESCO heritage site and a starting point for tours of the largest fjord in Norway – Sognefjord. Bergen is crowded with tourist and expensive. In every case, you can’t avoid to include it in your itinerary if you want to see the fjords. And there is no better place to do that. You might be also interested in cruising the fjords in Norway?
Bryggen, the Old Town of Bergen
At the time of my visit in June, Bergen was celebrating the International Hanseatic Days. Bryggen, the line of commercial buildings that remained from the time of the Hansa, is now favourite (an absolute must!) place for the visitors. This part of Bergen is unique and easily recognizable in any picture because of its characteristic architectural style and a mix of colours. The arranged in neat lines of restaurant tables and chairs in front give additional charm to this already magnificent place.
Just on the other side of Bryggen, you will find the world-famous fish market. It is a truly interesting place to visit and taste traditionally cooked fish. I can’t comment more on this as I don’t eat generally fish but I saw how people enjoyed their fish burgers with pleasure. So, I guess, it is a good place to have a Norwegian fish meal.
Go to the Bergen’s Visitors Centre for updated information on activities and events
Bergen is famous for a reason. This most-visited of all the cities in Norway attracts with the possibility to visit various significantly interesting places around the city. For information and arrangements visit the Bergen Visitor’s Center (situated just at the corner of the fish market; how convenient!) on the port. It is a well-organized, but quite busy, office because of the large numbers of tourists. This is why you should make sure to go to the centre as early as possible in the morning.
Visit Flam from Bergen
The one-day tour that I made from Bergen was to one of the most advertised places in Norway – Flam. It is said that to take the Flam Railway is the best way to experience some of the most beautiful views in the country. That is not totally tur. But it came out that it is the faster way to get from Bergen to Flam (around two hours). However, on the way back from Flam to Bergen, I took the Express Boat. It is a comfortable small ferry that gives you an opportunity to see, feel, and breathe the air of the amazing atmosphere of Sognefjord. Standing on the deck with wind-blown hair for almost five hours was one of the favourite experiences during this trip. It was cold, yes, the wind was blowing, but the view was one of the best in the world! It felt as I was sliding on the surface of the fjord.
Accommodation in Bergen and One-Day Tours:
I loved my stay at Hotel Park Bergen. With its stylish historical feel, the hotel also offers a very good breakfast, large rooms and a location close to the Central Train Station and a walking distance to the city centre. However, there are many other accommodation options in Bergen.
There are several options for day-tours with the Bergen-to-Bergen tour being the best, in my opinion. It is because in 10-12 hours you can see many smaller destinations and enjoy the picturesque (it is a little word for it) Nature of Norway using different transport means. These are the tours I can wholeheartedly recommend:
After Bergen, I travelled to Fjaerland, the most magical place in Norway. It is not included in this list as it is off the beaten path place, difficult to reach but also difficult to forget.
Alesund was a little disappointment, probably because after all the grandiose views around Stavanger and Bergen, the city looked like a fishing village that became a city. It has its charm, of course. Two streets with coffees and restaurants make the small centre a little bit more interesting. If you visit Alesund, don’t miss to walk up to the Fjellstua Viewpoint. It is an easy walk, starting near the city centre. It is one of the best panoramas you will ever see and walking up the stairs, especially in the early morning, very pleasant.
Accommodation and Tours in and around Alesund:
I stayed at First Hotel Atlantica and my room had a beautiful sea view and heavy curtains to allow me sleeping during the white nights in summer Scandinavia. It is also near the city centre with its Art Nouveau architecture and little cafes. Check for more hotel options in Alesund.
Although I didn’t take any tour while in Alesund, I regret it because I could learn much more about the past of the city. Some of the tours I would like to join, if I have another chance to go back to Alesund, are:
Trondheim and Stavanger were the cities in Norway that surprised me the most. In Trondheim, I started my city tour by arriving at the train station, then walking to my hotel. The walk took me through beautiful bridges and metallic industrial structures. Later, I walked around the city centre, without something really impressive to remember.
Old Town of Trondheim is a Must!
And finally, I got lost in the streets behind the old port. What became soon apparent as the old town, the best part of Trondheim to visit. Although it is the most touristic part of the city, it has a peaceful atmosphere. One can see and feel the atmosphere of the place in its original state.
Colourful houses (they are everywhere in Norway), tiny cosy restaurants with a few tables on the sidewalks at Bakkandet; light blankets are left on the back of the chairs to warm the clients if necessary. The most spectacular view of this part of the city is from the Gamle Bybro bridge, gently named “The Portal of Happiness”.
Nidaros Cathedral and Its Park
My final discovery was the Nidaros Cathedral. Its imposing building exudes a sense of magic and was surrounded by a clean, well-arranged graveyard in an even more magical park. The cathedral is one of the places everyone should see in Trondheim. Check out the Archbishop Palace’s Museum situated in the same park if you fancy learning about the history of the place and the Norwegian monarchy.
Hotels and Tours in Trondheim:
I chose the Comfort Hotel Trondheim for my stay in the city. It is one of the lesser-expensive hotels but offers all the amenities you will need. It is also at a walking distance to everything you want to see. More options for accommodation in Trondheim you can see here.
Some of the tours that you can join and will give you a better understanding of the destination are:
From all cities to visit in Norway, Oslo was my least prefered one. After all the countryside vistas that I saw, and the clean and safe environment I experienced during my coastal tour of Norway, Oslo seemed like the worst place to be. I know many people like Oslo, especially because of its cultural atmosphere. But for me, it was one place I could skip and never regret.
However, if you visit or stay in Oslo, go to the Royal Palace. The real gem is the park behind with its green lawns, quiet lakes, and many ducks. People lay down on the green carpet, kids play around chasing invisible butterflies … It is a place to stay under the tree shade and enjoy the world around you.
Accommodation in Oslo and Activities and Tours to Make Your Stay More Interesting:
I loved my budget-friendly hotel in Oslo. It is a part of the more affordable Comfort Hotels but has an innovative concept that makes it even cheaper. Rooms are very small but soundproof, there is no official reception, although there is most of the time someone available in what looks like a community space. I would call it a hostel with a luxurious feel and privacy – rooms have private bathrooms. The hotel has a great location just a 2-minutes walk to the Central Train Station, a bit more to the bus station and most of the tourist attractions. See prices and availability for Comfort Hotel Xpress Central Station.
There are many tours and activities that you can do in the Norwegian capital. From Myths and Legends of Oslo Tour to Olso Instagram Tour (yep, this is a thing now), you have a difficult choice to make. Check the full range of tours in Oslo and chose what’s best for you.
Norway is one of the best places in Europe for solo female travel. And solo or not, to find the quite simple life and to enjoy the astonishing landscapes of Norway is an experience that opens the heart to the true values of life – love and beauty in everything. Pick some of these cities to visit in Norway and make sure you understand the climate before deciding on a time to travel.