For travelers seeking adventure, culture, or relaxation, all regions of Norway meet those requirements and more. All in all, the regions of Norway offer spectacular views, outdoor exploration, and cultural celebrations and masterpieces that are sure to please visitors.
Oslo, Norway’s capital, offers urban entertainment next door to natural wonders with its high concentration of museums, such as the Munch Museum, the National Gallery, the International Museum of Children’s Art, and the Vigeland Sculpture Park. Both the city center and the hip Grünerløkka neighborhood are packed with dining, shopping, and music.
Also in this region of Norway, a winter wonderland awaits with alpine skiing and snowboarding at Oslo Winter Park, cross-country skiing at Oslomarka, or ice skating at numerous rinks. Summer months offer beach relaxation at Oslofjord. Festivals throughout the year include the Inferno Festival (black metal music) and Holmenkollen Festival (cross-country skiing and ski jumping) in March, Norwegian Wood (rock music) in June, Øya Festival (outdoor music festival) in August, and the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in December.
Known as the Norwegian Riviera, southern Norway offers families a taste of island life with picturesque white painted wooden towns. The area offers hiking, cycling, swimming, sailing, climbing, and skiing. Visitors can cruise the Telemark Canal, a 105-kilometer engineering marvel, or visit Mordegal, the cradle of modern skiing. Children and parents alike will enjoy Kristiansand, whether shopping in the city center or exploring the Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park. Festivals include the Risør Wooden Boat Festival and the Sea Bass Festival (near Arendal) in August and the Ice Festival (ice climbing in Rjukan) in February.
Not only does Fjord (western) Norway offer spectacular scenery with fjords and waterfalls but it is also home to Bergen, Norway’s second-largest city. There are many ways to check out the fjords: by cruise, the steep Flåm Railway, cycling, hiking, skiing, or driving. Stavanger boasts culinary diversity with some of Norway’s best restaurants and the Gladmat Festival, Scandinavia's largest food festival in July. The Bergen International Festival in late May and June is Scandinavia's largest performing arts festival.
As you move through the regions of Norway, Trøndelag packs in a variety of activities in central Norway. Driving the Atlantic Road offers breathtaking views of the ocean and islands and opportunities to fish and spot wildlife. If the ocean further calls, you can go diving and deep-sea fishing. Salmon fishing is popular along the Namsen, Orkla, and Gaula rivers. The annual play St. Olav Drama is performed outdoors and portrays a turning point in Norwegian history. Other historical monuments include the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim and the Røros UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Experience life in the Arctic Circle in northern Norway, whether staying up with the midnight sun or marveling at the Northern Lights. Visiting the North Cape, Norway's most northerly point, is simply a must-do. The stunning scenery of the Lofoten Islands and the Helgeland Coast provide a backdrop for skiing, hiking, and sea kayaking. Located in Longyearbyen, Polar Jazz in February is the world’s northernmost jazz festival. The Easter Festival near Karasjok and Kautokeino celebrates Sami culture of the earliest inhabitants of northern Scandinavia.
The mountains and ski resorts of the eastern region of Norway beckon visitors year-round. The Lillehammer Olympic Park, built for the 1994 Winter Olympics, has the only bobsleigh and luge track in Scandinavia. The surrounding mountains offer a multitude of ski resorts, but skiing is not all that Eastern Norway is known for. The Jotunheimen and Rondane national parks offer hiking through forests and around lakes. A walking safari in Dovrefjell from June through September invites a glimpse of the musk ox. Hemsedal provides some of the best fly fishing. The Ice Music Festival (January or February) in Geilo touts instruments carved entirely from ice. Birkebeinerrennet in Rena–Lillehammer (March) is one of the oldest and most challenging cross-country skiing races. The Rakfisk Festival in Fagernes celebrates brine-cured fish, a Norwegian specialty.