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Norway Destination Guide​

Welcome to Norway — the land of the fjords, Northern Lights, Midnight Sun, vibrant cities, quaint towns, stunning natural scenery, and so much more. And with a rich culture and fascinating history to explore, this incredible country at the heart of Scandinavia offers unforgettable experiences for travelers of every kind.

The team at Discover Scandinavia Tours are specialists in the Nordic region and our passion for this special place shines through in our luxury Scandinavian tours. Our range includes both Norway Private Tours and Norway Small-Group Tours that take in everything from famous attractions to hidden gems loved by locals.

If you’ve got your heart set on one of our Norway tours, or multi-country Luxury Scandinavia Tour Packages including Norway, this guide is a must-read. It’s filled with essential information you need to know before your departure date.

Scroll down to get started! And please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions for our US-based team.

Why Visit Norway?

Ultimately, everyone will have their own reasons for wanting to visit Norway — and we’d love to help you find yours. Maybe it’s the unmatched natural wonders like the towering fjords, the Northern Lights, and the Midnight Sun. Perhaps it’s the opportunity to connect with different, unique urban environments such as the chic, cool capital of Oslo, the Art Noveau beauty of Ålesund, and the coastal gem of Bergen.

Of course, the ability to wrap up all this and more into a single experience is just one of the reasons why our Norway luxury tours are so popular with everyone from nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers to culture and history buffs.

We hope this Norway destination guide helps you to answer this question too! And if you need a little more inspiration, we think you’ll appreciate our blog 5 Reasons Why Norway Needs to Be on Your Travel Bucket List.

What Should I Do on My First Trip to Norway?

What you can do on your Norwegian getaway depends on the season in which you visit. Norway offers iconic experiences year-round, but some are limited to certain times of the year. For example, Norway is famous for both the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights. There’s no doubt that both of these natural phenomena are truly captivating, but you can’t experience both on the same trip. 

The surreal magic of 24-hour daylight occurs between late May and late July, while the best time to catch the Northern Lights is between late September and late March. This is when the nights are at their longest. As difficult as it is, you will have to choose between them — or simply come back for a return visit!

And, of course, the awe-inspiring fjords are an absolute must-see on a first trip to Norway. You can find Sognefjord Country north of Bergen. This special place is home to Norway’s deepest and longest fjord and more than lives up to its title “King of the Fjords”.

And this is only the start! Other attractions and activities worthy of any Norway itinerary include:

  • The winter wonderlands of Tromsø, Kirkenes, and Norwegian Lapland
  • Embrace authentic Sami experiences in the Arctic Circle
  • Discover more about Viking culture at historic settlements
  • Feel the rush of husky sledding and snowmobiling in Finnmark
  • Ride the Flåm Railway through spectacular landscapes

Find out which time of year might make the best fit for you by reading through our
Norway Luxe Summer and Norway Luxe Winter tours. We think you will also appreciate our blog Summer In Scandinavia: An Adventure You Will Never Forget.

What is the Best Time of Year to Visit Norway?

As touched on in the previous section, the beauty of Norway transcends every season, offering unique experiences year-round. Whether you’re captivated by the vibrant colors of fall, the snowy landscapes of winter, the blossoming nature of spring, or the endless days of summer, Norway has something to offer every traveler.

Our blog What are the Best Times to Travel to Scandinavia takes a broad look at the conditions you expect across the region. Below, we have outlined how conditions in Norway change through the year on a month-by-month basis along with some ideas for activities.

When To Visit Norway: A Month-by-Month Guide

  • January: Experience the magical winter wonderland of Norway, perfect for Northern Lights hunting and winter sports. This is the start of winter’s second phase (see October for the first). Snow falls and settles, reflecting what little daylight there is to create a lighter environment.
  • February: Marvel at Norway’s snowy landscapes, but come prepared for cold weather! The average winter temperature in most parts of the country is around 25°F (-3 or -4°C). In warmer coastal areas, this picks up to around 35°F (2°C).
  • March: March can be a transition month that isn’t quite winter and not quite spring. It’s a mixed bag! The temperatures start to creep up, with spring averages falling anywhere between 32 and 52°F (0 and 11°C) in Oslo and the surrounding areas.
  • April: Welcome the true arrival of spring as nature awakens with blooming flowers and melting snow. Rivers and lakes swell with meltwater and the snow-covered landscapes start to return to a lush green.
  • May: Both April and May are fantastic months to get out and Explore Norway’s lush landscapes. The fjords are especially beautiful as they come to life with renewed energy after winter.
  • June: As the month of the summer solstice, June is all about the Midnight Sun. Dive into outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, and kayaking amidst the endless daylight of summer.
  • July: Immerse yourself in Norway’s cultural festivals and events, celebrating the joys of summer. This month is also the peak for domestic tourism. Temperatures in the north (Tromsø, for example) stay chilly at around 52°F (11°C), but in the south they climb to 68°F + (20s°C).
  • August: This month is ideal for road trips and exploring Norway’s stunning fjords (there’s not a bad time to visit them!) and picturesque coastal towns. The warmer temperatures and stable conditions in August (and the earlier summer months) are ideal for sightseeing too.
  • September: Things calm down as fall sets in. Experience the stunning foliage as Norway’s landscapes shift from green to reds, yellows, and oranges. Remember, fall starts earlier in the north and makes its way down the country.
  • October: Mørketiden (the dark time) begins, marking the first phase of winter, and lasts through early January. Generally speaking, conditions are rainy as opposed to snowy.
  • November: October and November see a drop in visitor numbers between the popular summer and winter months, so they are ideal for a quieter experience. Average temperatures in the southern regions are around 48°F (6°C) (), while the north sees an average of about 35°F (2°C).
  • December: Celebrate the festive spirit of the holiday season amidst Norway’s snowy landscapes and charming Christmas markets. For the best of the winter conditions, head north to the Arctic Circle!


Does the sound of a trip to Norway during the festive season sound tempting? Be sure to check out our blogs Christmas in Scandinavia and Visit Lapland for a Fantastic Winter Vacation.

Where to See the Midnight Sun in Norway

If the prospect of experiencing the Midnight Sun has inspired you to visit Norway in the summer, you’ll understandably want to know the best places to visit to make the most of it. For the few weeks in June and July when the sun doesn’t set, the general rule of thumb is the further north the better. But given that southern Norway is still relatively far north, there are Midnight Sun experiences to be had practically everywhere.

No matter where you find yourself, the key to enjoying this time of year is to get outdoors! Whether you’re hiking in the countryside, strolling along the fjords, or even just walking through a charming village, town, or city, the lingering daylight as one day ends and another begins adds a touch of magic that you will never forget.

If this sounds like a dream vacation, we recommend reading our blog Planning Your Trip to Scandinavia During the Midnight Sun when you have finished here.

Is Norway or Iceland Better for the Northern Lights?

Both Norway and Iceland offer incredible opportunities to witness the Northern Lights, with each destination boasting its own unique charm. While Norway’s Northern Lights can be seen across various regions, including Tromsø and Kirkenes, Iceland’s remote landscapes provide an equally pristine backdrop for Aurora hunting. Ultimately, the best destination depends on your preferences and complete travel itinerary.

With our Iceland Luxe Winter and Stories of Iceland: Winter tours alongside our Norway vacation packages and Luxury Scandinavia Tour Packages, you can find the perfect trip for your needs.

How to Travel in Norway?

Norway is a well-connected country with numerous great ways to get around, from major highways to winding, narrow rural roads, and scenic rail journeys to domestic flights. But whether you’re visiting Norway for the first time or returning for another adventure, arranging the logistics of a multi-day trip in a foreign country can soon become overwhelming — and so too can executing your plan when you arrive!

Vacations are for fun and making memories. The best way to ensure an enjoyable, stress-free break in Norway is to leave all aspects of planning and transportation to Scandinavia specialists. Our US-based trip planners know the Nordic nations inside out through first-hand travel experience. We have crafted seamless itineraries to ensure a vacation you remember for all the right reasons.

Our knowledge of travel in Norway has allowed us to create journeys that include numerous forms of transportation that take you to and around the country’s very best destinations. What’s more, we have connections to local guides as well! So, when you arrive at each new place, you can also enjoy an immersive experience with an expert.

What’s more, our team’s expertise allows us to build Custom Scandinavia Tours tailored to you. A bespoke “Add Your Touch” journey lets you discover Scandinavia in luxury at your pace and on your terms.

How Exciting is it to Take a Road Trip on Norway's Fjords?

This will depend on how much you like driving, and driving in a foreign country! Of course, if you love the enduring romance of road trips, the Norweigan fjords are an incredible place to explore. The twists and turns in the road unveil a stunning series of breathtaking panoramas, towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and serene coastal villages.

But if you want to spend your time in the fjords free from the distractions of driving, consider a cruise out on the tranquil water, an experience that features in our Stories of Norway tour. Then there’s the ‘Norway In a Nutshell’ tour and its scenic journeys through the fjords on the Bergen and Flåm Railways. You can find these on our Norway Luxe Winter tour.

There’s no doubt that road trips through Norway’s fjords are exciting, but maximum excitement comes when someone else is at the wheel.

What are Some Tips for Traveling the Fjords in Norway?

Our blog Norwegian Fjords For Travelers – The Stuff That Matters is a great introduction for anyone interested in exploring these natural wonders. The previously mentioned ‘Norway In a Nutshell’ tour and Flåm Railway offer truly incredible journeys through jaw-dropping scenery — that’s why we chose them for you! We cannot recommend them highly enough.

In a broader sense, we strongly advise guests to pack layers and waterproof gear no matter what time of year they travel. The weather can be unpredictable, and the last thing you want when visiting such an amazing place is to feel unnecessarily cold and/or wet.

It’s especially important to respect the natural environment by practicing responsible tourism. The Norweigan fjords are a special place beloved by locals and tourists alike. Leave no trace of your visit and play your part in preserving the fjords for future generations.

Norway's Top Viking Experiences

Norway has a rich Viking heritage with immersive experiences that bring history to life. At the time of writing in 2024, the Viking Ship Museum is closed for remodeling and is due to reopen in 2027 as the Viking Age Museum. In the meantime, you can find exhibitions from the Viking Age in the History Museum in central Oslo. Fortunately, there are still plenty of other great things to do in Oslo!

A thrilling new addition to Oslo’s Viking experiences is The Viking Planet. Using 4D chairs, cinematic sound, and groundbreaking VR technology, you find yourself thrust into the heart of a twelve-minute film called The Ambush.

Outside the capital, you can visit the world’s largest Viking house in Lofoten, part of the Lofotr Viking Museum. We include a visit to this fascinating place on our Away from the Crowds in Norway tour to Lofoten and Alta.

How Expensive is Norway for Tourists?

Norway is known for its high cost of living, but with careful planning and budgeting, it’s possible to enjoy a memorable vacation without breaking the bank. Accommodation, dining, and transportation can be pricey, but there are plenty of affordable options available, including hostels, self-catering accommodations, and public transportation.

Fast food outlets and alcohol are two of the most notorious suspects when it comes to expensive goods. There’s even more reason to visit local restaurants serving traditional food!

Our Norway Private Tours and Norway Small-Group Tours are a great way to keep costs in check without compromising on the best experiences. What’s more, we make your tour inclusions clear before you travel, so it’s much easier for you to budget.

Norway Packing Tips

We have addressed part of the answer to this question in our blog Packing List for Your Norway Summer Vacation. In the warmer months, prioritize lightweight, breathable clothing, sunscreen, and insect repellent for outdoor adventures, but have layers and waterproof gear to hand too!

In winter, pack even more layers and insulated clothing, waterproof boots, and accessories like gloves and hats to stay warm in cold temperatures. Regardless of the season, don’t forget essentials like a sturdy pair of hiking shoes, a waterproof jacket, and a camera to capture Norway’s stunning landscapes.

Speaking of electronics, Norway uses 220-volt electricity and a type C and F plug (with two round pins). If you plan to use and charge electronics during your trip, bring an appropriate adapter. There’s no one-size-fits-all packing list for Norway. When packing for your adventure, consider the season and activities you have planned and organize around them.

Don’t Miss Out on Our Luxury Norway Tours

We hope this Norway destination guide has stirred your wanderlust. If we have inspired you to book that trip to the Nordic region, let’s start planning a vacation you’ll never forget! Browse our range of Norway Private Tours and Norway Small-Group Tours to find out more about the experiences waiting for you.

And don’t forget our multi-country Luxury Scandinavia Tour Packages, all of which include Norway as part of a border-hopping adventure!

Please feel free to get in touch with our US-based team if you have any questions.