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Winter at Sjusjoen in Norway
Winter at Sjusjoen in Norway | © Lars Nilseng / Alamy Stock Photo
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13 Reasons Why You Should Visit Norway at Least Once

Picture of Louise Older Steffensen
Updated: 5 December 2018
Norway is a country with plenty of space, friendly people and lots to offer. From skiing and polar bears to beautiful fjords and mountains, Norway has something to satisfy every kind of visitor.

It’s the happiest place on Earth

Norway was voted the happiest country in the world in 2017, judged on factors including caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance.

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A sculpture in Vigelandsparken, one of Norway’s most popular attractions | © Ilkka Jukarainen / Flickr

The low crime rates

The crime rates in Norway are incredibly low, making it a safe country to live and travel in. While you should always be vigilant and misfortune can strike anywhere, the low crime rates take a good deal of stress away in this part of the world.

Street scene with people in pedestrianised square with Catholic church Den katolske Kirke in summer. Erling Bangsunds plass, Tromso, Troms, Norway
Norway’s low crime rates make it a safer country to travel in | © Realimage / Alamy Stock Photo

There is a freedom to roam

The allemannsrett or “all men’s rights” is a public rights law that allows everyone to have access to and pass through all uncultivated land. To give you some perspective, you can’t walk into a private garden in Oslo, but you should be okay to camp out in an isolated field for a night. This also means that you are free to pitch a tent or hike across many of the most magnificent landscapes Norway has to offer.

Traveler alone with backpack hiking on mountain ridge landscape hiking Traveling lifestyle adventure concept active vacations in Norway outdoor aerial
Norway’s hiking opportunities are endless | © Everst / Alamy Stock Photo

The beautiful fjords

There are fjords everywhere in Norway, created when the ice from the last Ice Age cut through the tall mountains. It is almost impossible to visit without seeing a fjord, unless you decide to stay exclusively along the eastern border. Many of them are just begging to be explored through hiking, kayaking, sailing, diving or camping.

Scenic view of Fjord in Norway, scenic view along the cruise trip from Flam.
It’s unlikely you’ll visit Norway without seeing the beautiful fjords | © Nokuro / Alamy Stock Photo

The days are really long… or really short

During the summer, the sun hardly sets in Norway. Above the Arctic Circle, the midnight sun shows itself for many months over the summer and the locals embrace it with midnight concerts, marathons and hikes. At the height of winter, the days are very short and there is little or no natural daylight. Norwegians are used to this and spend the long evenings indoors enjoying each other’s company in a koselig (cosy) manner.

Fishing boats in harbor at midnight sun in Northern Norway, Lofoten Island, Ramberg, Norway - Mountain In Background
Long summer days in Norway mean that the sun still shines at midnight | © Dmitry Pistrov / Alamy Stock Photo

You can see the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are a fantastic phenomenon, and one of the best places to see them is Norway, as there are plenty of towns in the north to stay in and go exploring from. The best time to see the dancing lights is from late September to late March. When venturing out to find them, patience is a virtue, as a sighting is never guaranteed.

Aurora Borealis dancing over fjord, Tromso Northern Norway
A sighting of the Northern Lights is never guaranteed | © Rowan Romeyn / Alamy Stock Photo

The outdoor lifestyle

Norwegians love the outdoors and often spend the weekend hiking, skiing or on the water. The allemannsrett allows everyone to explore as much as they want and there is nothing quite like the enjoyment of camping in the middle of nowhere.

Kayaking in Norway
Opportunities for adventure can be found everywhere in Norway | © Meritzo / Alamy Stock Photo

There’s a lot of terrain to explore

Norway is a big country, covering over 385,000 square kilometres (approximately 149,000 square miles). With a population of just over 5 million citizens and a population density of 15 per square kilometre (38 per square mile), much of Norway has been left unspoilt.

Reflections of mountains in scenic natural fishing harbour in summer. Reine, Moskenes, Moskenesoya Island, Lofoten Islands, Nordland, Norway
Explore Norway’s vast beauty and beautiful wilderness | © Realimage / Alamy Stock Photo

The wildlife

Norway’s wildlife ranges from polar bears in Svalbard (and only Svalbard) to moose, musk oxen, whales, wolves, bears, eagles and massive herds of reindeer. For a nature lover, Norway is nothing short of spectacular.

Cute little Polar Bear Cub, Ursus Maritimus, sitting on an ice floe in the arctic sea, Svalbard Archipelago, Norway
Get to know the local wildlife in Norway | © Paulette Sinclair / Alamy Stock Photo

It’s an easy country to travel in

Pretty much everyone in Norway speaks English exceptionally well, and people are always willing and happy to help. As an added bonus, the public transport across the country makes it easy to explore different areas.

Majorstuen station, an important transport junction in the inner suburb of Majorstuen, Oslo, Norway
Good public transport links makes it easy to travel around Norway | © Sheila Halsall / Alamy Stock Photo

Winter activities

During winter, Norway becomes a true winter wonderland. Everyone puts on their skis and heads to the mountains to ski or snowboard. Norway claims to be the inventor of skis, but its host of winter activities also include dog sledding, glacier hiking and snowshoeing across the landscape.

Skier ski touring on the way up Rornefjellet above Lyngenfjord, Lyngen Alps (Lyngsalpene), Troms, Norway.
Snowshoe, ski or hike your way through Norway’s snowy terrain | © Lachlan Bucknall / Alamy Stock Photo

The roads

If a road trip is on the agenda, then Norway has some epic roads to drive on, including Trollstigen, which snakes its way up the mountains of Geiranger, and the Atlantic road with its many bridges and close proximity to the Norwegian Sea. Norway also has the longest tunnel in the world; the Lærdal tunnel, which goes on for 24.5 kilometres (15.2 miles). Naturally, it cuts straight through a mountain.

atlantic road bridge in Norway
Norway’s stunning roads make for the perfect road trip | © Svetlana Mandrikova / Alamy Stock Photo

The cities

You have probably heard of Oslo and Bergen, but Trondheim, Tromsø and Stavanger are all worth visiting too, for their own special characters. All of them boast charming architecture, interesting museums and cultural venues and, of course, fantastic mountains and fjords as their backdrops.

Market Place at city Tromso in North Norway with locals and tourists shopping at the stalls. Image shot 2008. Exact date unknown.
Each Norwegian city has its own distinctive charm | ©  travelbild.com / Alamy Stock Photo