Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel

Norway

Last Updated: February 2018 

Norway Travel Guide

There are not enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe the unimaginable beauty that is Norway. Perhaps, it’s the fjord scenery. Perhaps, it’s the abundance of water that cascades and flows across the country’s untouched landscapes. Or perhaps, it’s the colorful timber houses. Whatever it is, Norway will take your breath away.

 

When to Go

Mid-May to early October. Norway’s high season is in the summer from late June to early August. We visited during the shoulder season (early October). Scenically, it was unforgettable to see the changing colors. If you plan a trip in early October, know that many accommodations shut down early for winter (especially around Geiranger). Some ferries don’t operate as well. All in all, it was wonderful to experience Norway in low season.

 

This Guide Includes:

  • Norway Basics
  • Where to Go (Interactive Map)
  • What to Experience in Norway
  • Our 10 Day Norway Itinerary 
Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel

Norway Basics

Official Name: Kingdom of Norway

Capital: Oslo

Government: Parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy

Regions: Norway is divided into five regions: Northern Norway, Trøndelag, Western Norway, Southern Norway and Eastern Norway. 

Population: 5.3 million

Language: Norwegian, Sami

Currency: Norwegian Krone (NOK)

Tipping Etiquette: Not expected. It’s common to round up the bill.

Water Quality: Excellent

Something Interesting: You can only purchase alcoholic beverages from Vinmonopolet stores, which are government-owned alcoholic beverage retailers.

Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel

Where to Go in Norway

Click the dots to explore specific destinations.
Destinations
  • Oslo
  • Bergen
  • Geiranger
  • Alesund
  • Trondheim
Routes
  • Norway in a Nutshell
  • Bergen to Alesund
background

Å få blod på tannen

 

 

 

 

Norwegian Saying

To get blood on your tooth (to be inspired)

What to Experience in Norway

Our favorite things to see and do
Norway in a Nutshell Fjord Cruise, Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel
Norway in a Nutshell Fjord Cruise

Norway in a Nutshell: Oslo to Bergen

Norway in a Nutshell is an organized transit package from Oslo to Bergen. It’s a great way to experience Norway’s scenic beauty, especially when you have limited time. The package includes three train rides, one bus ride, and one fjord cruise. We traveled from Oslo to Bergen in one day, though it is possible to stretch the package over the course of two days.

Here are the transit steps:

  • Train: Oslo to Myrdal – The Bergen Railway
  • Train: Myrdal to Flåm – The Flam Railway
  • Fjord Cruise: Flåm to Gudvangen
  • Bus: Gudvangen to Voss
  • Train: Voss to Bergen – The Bergen Railway

Additional Info:

  • Book your ticket in advance with fjordtours.com. We had to pick up our tickets from the NSB ticket office at the Oslo Central Railway station the day before departure. 
  • Price: 1440 NOK
  • Seasonality: available all year round. We went in early October.
  • The trip is available as a day tour, or as an overnight.
Trondheim, Norway | Moon & Honey Travel
Trondheim

Cruising with Hurtigruten 

Hurtigruten is a ferry and cruise line that operates up and down the Norwegian coast. The company was originally established in 1893 to improve communication along the country’s lengthy coastline. More recently, Hurtigruten has expanded to appeal to the tourist market. So, it’s entirely possible to embark on a multi-day cruise with Hurtigruten with a “traditional” cruise style package. However, it’s also possible to board a Hurtigruten vessel for a day, or an overnight trip, anywhere between Bergen and Kirkenes. You can customize your own voyage along the coast, either northbound or southbound, at anytime in the year. 

We took an overnight cruise (ferry) from Alesund to Trondheim. As an overnight passenger, it’s your choice whether you’d like to book a cabin or not. We opted for a cabin, because our trip was short and we wanted to sleep through the night. A lot of Norwegians use the Hurtigruten ferries to commute to work, so there will be locals embarking and disembarking the ship all throughout the day and night.

Note: Hurtigruten isn’t a “traditional” cruise line. Because it caters to both locals and tourists, it’s quite mellow. There’s no gambling, discos or karaoke.

If you’re interesting in booking a port to port voyage like we did:

  • Here are the 34 Ports that Hurtigruten services.
  • You can arrange a booking by phone or email. Email: book@hurtigruten.com; Phone: +44 2039363191
Top Outdoor Travel Destinations, Norway

Driving from Bergen to Alesund 

This spellbinding drive convinced us that Norway is the most beautiful country on earth. During the course of 2-3 days, you’ll wrap around fjords, drive along rivers and waterfalls, steer through and over mountains, and pinch yourself to confirm that you haven’t ascended to heaven.

We recommend following this route and spending at least one night in Geiranger. During the course of the drive, you’ll take at least two car ferries to cross the fjords.

Day 1: Bergen to Geiranger

  • Highway E39
  • Road 15
  • Dalsnibba Mountain & Road 63
  • Geiranger Skywalk – a viewing platform of Geirangerfjord from atop Dalsnibba. This wasn’t open when we visited.
  • Stay the Night in Geiranger. We stayed at Hotel Union, which has arguably the best view of Geirangerfjord. The dinner buffet was also very memorable.

Day 2: Geiranger to Alesund

  • Ørnesvingen-eagle Road & Road 63
  • Trollstigen, or Troll’s Path, is a narrow, serpentine road on County Road 63 that traverses down a mountain and over the magnificent 1,000 ft Stigfossen waterfall.  Due to safety and weather conditions, the road is only open from mid-May to October, about 5 months of the year.
  • Highways E136 & E39
Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo, Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel
Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo

The Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo

The Vigeland Sculpture Park is a visual feast. Each statue is unique in its expression, communicating all facets of human relationships. Vigeland does not shy away from the ugly and depraved. He is drawn to it. Scenes of couples embracing are sitting adjacent to those in physical combat. From a distance, the tower of bodies that reaches to the sky seems like a shrine to a deity, however upon closer study, the mangled figures twisting and smashing each other with their weight is more like an ode to the human-societal condition.

His body of work evokes the full spectrum of life and emotion. Whether we are shocked, enchanted, or amused, we can undoubtedly agree that these statues are full of life.

Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel

Norway Itinerary

Our 10 Day Norway Itinerary: Trains, ferries, and automobiles

Here’s our skeleton Norway itinerary. To avoid redundancy, read our experiences (in the above section) to fill in the blanks.

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo

Day 2: Explore Oslo

Day 3: Norway in a Nutshell: Oslo to Bergen (Train, Ferry, Bus Transit Package)

Day 4: Explore Bergen

Day 5: Rent a Car in Bergen (book in advance). Drive from Bergen to Geiranger. We stayed at Hotel Union.

Day 6: Drive from Geiranger to Alesund via Trollstigen

Day 7: Drop off Rental Car. Explore Alesund. Embark on an overnight Hurtigruten ferry to Trondheim (evening).

Day 8: Arrive in Trondheim (morning). We stayed at Nidaros Pilegrimsgård.

Day 9: Explore Trondheim

Day 10: Depart Norway. Fly from Trondheim to Oslo, or other destination.

Note: In Oslo, Bergen and Alesund, we stayed in AirBnBs. AirBnBs provide excellent apartment and room options for couples and small groups. New to the platform? Sign up here to get a discount on your first booking.

Norway Resources

Pin This!
Norway Travel Guide | Moon & Honey Travel
Moon & Honey Travel Resources
External Resources

There are some affiliate links in this travel guide. If you make a booking or a purchase using the links, we’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It’s how we cover the costs of running the blog!

@moonhoneytravelers
  • Üsküdar is rarely a first, second, or third choice for places to explore in Istanbul. There are no trendy cafés, vintage shops, or entertainment venues here. But, we’d argue that Üsküdar delivers a completely authentic experience and gives visitors an opportunity to hop off the tourist track. This Asian-side district has many treasures. We’ve been uncovering them slowly this past week, starting with this mosque. The light-filled interior of Marmara University Faculty of Theology Mosque is poetry embodied. Can’t wait to share more of our finds this week.
  • We’re celebrating our blog’s one year anniversary. It’s filled with travel guides and hiking guides for destinations in Europe and Asia. We’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished. There’s always room for improvement and an endless list of things to do, but today we’re just going to say “it’s pretty damn good.” Have you checked it out? Come say hi! Link in bio, or moonhoneytravel.com
  • We‘ve been traveling almost continuously for 13 months. Being able to travel long term is an incredible privilege and gift. When we started our trip, we were out exploring every day at full speed. We didn’t want to miss anything. And, we felt an immense obligation to see and do as much as we possibly could. But after months on the road and getting destroyed by illness (more on that later), we decided that we needed to change our travel style.

We‘ve been in Istanbul for 1.5 months. Do we want to see more of Turkey? Of course! However, right now it feels right to stay here and soak up the vibe of one of the world‘s greatest cities.

Petsitting has allowed us to slow down and rest on the road and afford long term travel. 
If you’re interested in housesitting, we highly recommend @trustedhousesitters . To join, click the link in our bio. You’ll get 20% off the membership fee. Once you‘re a member, you can search for opportunities across the world. Yay for free accommodation and pets! 😺Photo of Oscar, the cat we‘re taking care of in Istanbul. #notsponsored
  • We’ve been pretty absent here the last week. Honestly, we needed a break. It’s terrifying to see how much time we waste aimlessly scrolling and clicking around on Instagram. We love seeing our friends and favorite bloggers’ updates (@eternalarrival @thesandyfeet @practicalwanderlust @alongdustyroads @lostwithpurpose to name a few), but we don’t want to get sucked in and realize a whole hour is gone. 
We’re curious, do you feel like you spend too much time on the app? And if so, what tools are you using to modify your Insta-behavior?

We tried simply logging out, but as soon as we logged back in, we were back at it. One thing that’s been helpful is the “manage your time” notification that’s actually built into Instagram. If you click the hamburger menu (top right) and then “Your Activity,” you can see exactly how many minutes, or hours, you’re spending on the app each day. Directly below the graph, there’s a manage your time section that lets you enable a daily reminder. You set it to how many minutes you want to spend on the app. When you reach that threshold, Instagram will notify you.

Travel Update: We’re still in Istanbul. We’re pet-sitting for the next 10 days and then heading somewhere we’ve never been before.
  • Another vantage point of our favorite waterside mosque in Istanbul. Doesn’t it look like its floating in the Bosphorus?
  • Ortaköy Mosque (Büyük Mecidiye Camii) is one of Istanbul‘s most memorable sites. Located in Ortaköy along the Bosphorus, this baroque-style mosque has the most dreamy, pink interior to compliment its stunning exterior.

Send this to a friend