I promise you there’s more to Norway than glistening fjords, as pretty as they are. This Scandinavian country is both old-world and newly-thriving (thanks to oil). Summer visitors glow in the “midnight sun” and winter adventurers hit the ski slopes.
Where to Sleep
In the capital city of Oslo, set yourself up like a local at the fresh Thon Hotel Panorama, with rooms that are more like apartments. In the delightful city of Ålesund, stay in the stunning Hotel Brosundet, with exposed wooden beams and luxurious amenities. Room 47 is a converted lighthouse nearby with one tiny room. The historical harbour front Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekotoret in Bergen has spacious rooms, and complimentary breakfast and light dinner.
Where to Eat
Start at the beginning in the oldest restaurant in Oslo, the Engebret Café. Hop over to the Bryggerikjelleren Restaurant, a specialty meat restaurant in Lillehammer with an attached nightclub. A gem in Bergen is the fish-friendly The Unicorn, located within Bryggen, a cluster of UNESCO World Heritage buildings.
What to Do
Grab your Eurail Pass and take the stunning train ride from Oslo to Bergen. In Oslo, check out the Nobel Peace Center and the exceptional Vigeland Sculpture Park. From there, head to the 1994 Winter Olympics venue of Lillehammer to ski at Hafjell Alpine Center.
A train and bus ride brings you to the darling Art Nouveau city of Alesund where we adored the glassblowing live/work studio, ingrids. The last stop is Bergen, where you can walk among buildings constructed on their 11th century foundations – now shops and restaurants – and taste smoked whale at the Fish Market (downtown harbour).
To see those spectacular fjords along Norway’s coast, take a sea trip on one of the Hurtigruten voyages. They start at the northern tip of Kirkenes and end in Bergen (or vice versa). You can hop on and off at any port.