Take A Norwegian City Break
Norway’s cities offer much more than the more obvious city break destination they combine cosmopolitan culture with spectacular scenery and the great outdoors. So they are the best of both worlds, the city and the countryside.
Oslo, Norway’s buzzing, cosmopolitan capital epitomises Scandinavian chic with its trendy shops and restaurants and striking Italian marble Opera House which resembles a glacier sliding into the fjord.
Cultural highlights include Edvard Munch’s The Scream in the Nationalgalleriet and the striking new home for the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art with its Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons exhibits. Add the Vigeland Sculpture Park to your list of places to visit as well. For lovers of fine food add Mathallen covered food market will offer a gastronomic extravaganza.
However, Oslo is not the only must-visit city in Norway. For a fjord adventure head to Bergen. No trip is complete without a ride on the funicular to the top of Mount Floyen to enjoy the breathtaking majestic mountains and fjords and another must is a walk round Bryggen, Bergen’s historic Hanseatic wharf.
The perfect way to see more of the amazing scenery is the Norway in a nutshell tour, a round trip from Bergen via Voss, which includes a stunning fjord cruise and one of the most breathtaking – and steepest – train journeys in the world past mountains and waterfall on the Flam Railway.
Fairytale Alesund set at the edge of the ocean surrounded by mountains is an Art Nouveau gem with its towers, turrets and gargoyles.
Walk up the 418 steps to the top of Mount Aksla for an unforgettable panorama, enjoy the fantastic fish and seafood restaurants and hire a car and drive along the Atlantic Road, considered as one of the most beautiful drive in the world.
Bergen is also the city to head to if you want to explore the Hjorundfjord surrounded by the magnificent Sunnmore Alps and the iconic Geirangerfjord with its high waterfalls.
Buzzing festival city Stavanger, the European Capital of Culture in 2008, is known for its excellent seafood and big cafe society spilling out on to the seafront. With its white wooden houses, narrow cobbled streets and a quaint quayside, it’s most famous for the 604-metre Pulpit Rock – a hike takes four hours for the round trip.
To enjoy more than one city either take the Flaggruten express boat that connects Bergen and Stavanger or the Hurtigruten overnight hop from Alesund and take in the stunning views as the ship approaches Bergen.
The autumn and winter months offer another reason to visit Norway. October sees the start of the spectacular Northern Lights season and for the best chance of the unforgettable sight of lights dancing across the sky, head north from Oslo to Tromso or other destinations in Northern Norway.