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Norway Travel & Holiday Tips


Norway’s scenery is its main attraction, particularly the fjords of the southwest and the North Cape (Nordkapp) which is a popular spot from which to observe the Midnight Sun of mid summer. However, the principal cities, among them Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, offer a good choice of museums, historical sites and architectural interest for the visitor. The often mountainous inland countryside is ideal for those in search of true wilderness. Unless winter sport is the reason for visiting the country, its appeal is strongest in the months between May and September. Population is sparse outside the main centres, but Norway is sufficiently large and regionally diverse.

There are five defined regions: Southern Norway (including Oslo); Fjordland and the Southwest; the uplands of Oppland and Hedmark; Central Norway; and the arctic North.

Southern Norway


Oslo, which celebrated its millennium in the year 2000, is Norway’s most populous district, providing a home for more than one-tenth of the country’s inhabitants in a mere 700th of its total area. For all this, urban and industrial development only occupies one-eighth of the land within the city boundaries, the rest consisting mainly of woods, islands in Oslo Fjord and lakes.

The city has a strong arts culture, with a good choice of museums and galleries. The Munch Museum is the main draw among these, others include the National Gallery; the Norwegian Museum of Applied Arts; the Thor Heyerdahl Kon-Tiki Museum and the Norwegian Folk Museum, both on Bygdøy Island to the west of the city centre; the Viking Ships Museum; Oslo City Museum; and the Norwegian Home Front Museum, which tells the story of the country’s occupation during World War II. The Ibsen Museum was the playwright’s home prior to his death in 1906.

Away from the immediate city centre, the Holmenkollen ski jumping complex with its Museum of Skiing is popular, as are the 12th-century Cistercian monastery ruins on Hovedøya, a short boat trip from the harbour. About 4km (2.5 miles) to the east of the city centre lies Østensjøvannet, a lakeside bird sanctuary.

Principal architectural interest in Oslo focuses on the Kongelige Slott (Royal Palace), Stortinget (Parliament Building), the Cathedral and Åkershus Castle. Boat trips on the fjord are readily available, and the main shopping area is along Karl Johansgate, which runs from the Central Station to the Royal Palace. Guided city bus tours operate year round.

Oslo’s entertainment centres include the Norwegian National Theater; the New Theater; the Norwegian Opera House; Konserthuset (the Concert House); and Oslo Spektrum, the main rock and pop concert venue. Norway’s prime exhibition centre is at Lillestrøm, one of the stops with the flytrain to Oslo

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