The halfway point of the holiday that we have all been waiting for so long is just passing. When planning a vacation, we are usually interested in places where we can actually feel the holiday atmosphere – countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain usually have the most tourists from Europe and beyond. Scandinavian countries, such as Norway, are hardly perceived as typical places to visit during the holidays, mainly due to the lower temperatures prevailing there, quite harsh climate and high prices. However, every year more and more people decide to go on a vacation trip to the Viking’s home country. What interesting things can we see in Norway?

The country has a lot to offer when it comes to the beauty of nature, and above all, the fjords stretching along the entire coastline. The Preikestolen cliff, with an almost perfectly cuboid shape, located in the Lysefjord around which there are many trekking routes, makes a great impression. In this area, there are a lot of attractions for fans who like adrenaline and mountainous terrain, because near Preikestolen there is a terrifyingly protruding boulder, “hanging” 1100 meters above the lake, called Trolltunga (Engish translation is troll’s tongue). After a long walk around the area, we also have a chance to see the Kjerag stone located between two rock shelves, where daredevils can climb and take a spectacular photo.

Stavanger is one of the largest cities in Norway, located near Preikestolen. One of the city’s best attractions is Gamle Stavanger, the so-called Old Town. It is the oldest district of the city, with 200 white houses of historical value built in the 18th and 19th centuries, so while walking in this area we can feel like in the old days. The Norwegian Canning Museum is quite an extraordinary place, as Gamle Stavanger used to be inhabited by employees of fish canning factories. A visit to the museum gives you an idea of what the work in a factory in the 1920s and the lives of its employees were like. While in Stavanger, it’s definitely worth it to visit the oldest cathedral in Norway (translation into Norwegian language is: Stavanger domkirke), built in 1100-1150. The cathedral is right next to Stavanger Harbor, where you can take an afternoon stroll. The main point of the visit in Stavanger, if you visit the city in June, is definitely the Street Art Festival that has taken place there since 2009. Walking through the streets of the city, you’ll have the opportunity to discover fascinating murals of the most famous artists of this trend in the world. A historic landmark in the vicinity of the city is the monument called Sverd i fjell – three swords stuck in the ground, commemorating a famous battle in Harfsjfjord that took place in Viking times.

North of Stavanger is another important city, Bergen. It is the second largest city in Norway, which is mainly associated with the colourful, wooden houses located at the harbour quay. Bryggen, as that is the name of this district of Bergen, is inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. The houses once housed the merchants of the Hanseatic League, which for centuries was the main trader of fish and grain. Bergen at that time became a closed, merchant city. Today in former merchant houses, there are souvenir shops, museums, restaurants or art galleries. An intriguing place is the smallest museum in the world, located in one of the buildings at Bryggen, called the Thetamuseet (English translation is Theta group museum). It is just one room that was used by the Norwegian resistance group known as the Theta group to send radio messages to England under German occupation during World War II. The museum was opened to visitors in 1982. Another museum by the harbour is the Hanseatic Museum, which is one of the oldest museums in Norway, opened in 1872. Inside, you can see the conditions under which German merchants who controlled the trade in Bergen at that time lived.

Sognefjorden, located 72 kilometres north of Bergen, is the second largest fjord in the world. In fact, it is a system of 27 bays stretching from the main fjord, the most famous of which are Nærøyfjorden, Lustrafjorden and Fjærlandsfjorden. Breathtaking views can be enjoyed while sailing or hiking, especially as the surrounding mountain area is one of Norway’s most popular hiking areas.

Oslo has been the capital of Norway since 1814 and is constantly growing. The city is one of the smaller ones compared to other European capitals, but it is full of tourist attractions. An important historical place in the capital of Norway is Akerhus Castle, which was once a fortress and served to defend the city. Its strategic location on the seashore was also of great importance in battles. It survived all sieges and was never captured by enemy forces. Today, many military artifacts and the mausoleum of the Norwegian royal family can be seen in the castle. Fans of Viking times will surely be interested in the Viking Ship Museum, where you can see three oak ships from the 9th century with the contents found in them. Art lovers will be intrigued by a walk through Vigeland Park. The complex is the work of the artist Gustav Vigeland, who in 1907 made 212 sculptures located throughout the park. In total, the sculptures show about 600 figures of people. The Oslo Opera House is very impressive. The building, built in 2008, a year later received an award from the European Union for modern architecture. Of course, while in Oslo, you must visit the Royal Palace where the royal family resides. As the final destination for your tour of the Norwegian capital, you can go to the Munch Museum, dedicated to Norway’s most respected painter. The main part of the exhibits consists of 1,100 paintings, 4,500 drawings, 18,000 prints, several sculptures, as well as photos and personal mementos that the artist bequeathed to the city.

What to remember when planning a trip to Norway? First of all, you need to be ready for quite a lot of expenses and plan your holiday budget well. Living costs in Norway are high and even simple shopping in a supermarket can drain your wallet. It is no different with accommodation, however, if you look carefully, you have a chance of finding a place in a hostel for a fairly decent price, regardless of the area you are currently visiting. In addition, it is good to bring warmer clothes with you. The temperature in Norway is slightly lower than in the south of Europe, so it is good to be prepared for any weather. If you plan to visit Bergen, you have to be ready for constant rainfall as it rains in this city most of the year. It is a good idea to get a Norwegian language dictionary, because in most restaurants, pubs and museums, we will have to use it to translate Norwegian names, and we will also learn a bit of the Norwegian language – this skill will certainly be useful in the future, because after you visit Norway for the first time, you will definitely want to go back there again ?


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