This fall, my husband and I took his mom and aunt to Norway to visit their homeland, and in the four days we were there, we fell in love with this gorgeous country. Even though our trip was short, we managed to see the top highlights over a long weekend. There is much to do and see in Norway, but if your vacation time is limited, I’ll show you how to see “Norway In A Nutshell” in just four days!
We began our journey in Oslo where we spent two nights at Radisson Blu Plaza, which we chose for its convenience to the city center. Oslo, the capital of Norway, is located on the country’s southern coast at the head of the Oslofjord. This beautiful port city is known for its green spaces, great waterfront restaurants and unique museums. Oslo is one of Europe’s fastest-growing cities (population 700,000), with eye-catching architecture popping up everywhere!
We only had one full day in Oslo so we bought the Oslo Pass (which I recommend) and took a ferry across the Oslofjord to explore some of the museums. As a travel girl, my favorite was the Kon-Tiki Museum, which houses the balsa wood raft, “Kon-Tiki,” that Thor Heyerdahl used to cross the Pacific Ocean in 1947! I also enjoyed the Folk Museum, one of Europe’s largest open-air museums with 155 traditional houses, from all parts of Norway, and a stave church from 1200! The Fram Museum, highlighting the stories of Norwegian polar expeditions, is another cool exhibit to check out, and I also loved the Viking Ship Museum. There is so much to do and see in Oslo, so if you have the time, I suggest spending at least 2 full days there.
Norway, and Oslo in particular, is known for its delicious seafood. There are tons of great restaurants in Oslo but we loved Louise Restaurant & Bar for traditional Norwegian seafood right on the waterfront. For a little more upscale dining, try The Edge, just a few minutes walk down the waterfront from Louise Restaurant.
NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL TOUR
After two nights and one day in Oslo is was time to head off on my favorite part of the trip, the Norway In A Nutshell Tour. We took two trains, a ferry through Sognefjord, a bus ride through the mountains, and another train that ended our trip, arriving in Bergen! It was a long and exhausting day but one of my favorite experiences in my traveling career! It’s hard to explain the magnitude of the awe we experienced on our boat ride through Sognefjord, Norway’s largest fjord and one of the most breathtaking natural wonders I have ever seen. It is no wonder this is an UNESCO-protected site and attracts visitors from all over to the world. Here is a video I created to share some of the highlights of our trek across one of the most beautiful countries in the world!
Bergen (or Bryggen) is the second largest city in Norway, but this beautiful port city, famous for its colorful buildings, feels like a tiny town. Bergen is a UNESCO world heritage city and is in an ideal location for exploring the famous fjords as the city lies between Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord. We began our journey in Oslo and ended in Bergen, but you can also do the trip in reverse, and fly directly into Flesland International Airport and take a quick 30-minute taxi to the city.
We stayed at the The Hanseatic Hotel, which I chose for its atmosphere, history, and ideal location in the Harbor on Finnegarden Street. A lovely buffet breakfast is unneeded in your stay, but for lunch head down the street to Bryggeloftet & Stuene Restaurant. The moules frites (mussels and fries) are delicious! For dinner try Bare Vestland, and for excellent cocktails in a cool setting, stop by No Stress, located just around the corner from the hotel.
We only had one night and one day in Bergen, but if you have time, I recommend spending two days here as it is very charming, full of character and history, and there is much to do and see! Take the tram from the city center to Mount Fløyen for amazing views of the city and explore the beautiful park! Look through the many souvenir shops, full of local handicrafts and cute art galleries. Visit the weekend market, located in the heart of the harbor, offering fresh, local fish, produce, ice cream and sausages. Explore behind the colorful buildings on Finnegaarden Street, making your way through the small wood alleyways where you will experience old town Bergen. And be sure to visit the Hanseatic Museum, located right in front of The Hanseatic Hotel. The Hanseatic Museum is one of the oldest wooden buildings in Bergen, showing the life of the Hanseatic merchants from 1350 -1750.
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