With stunning vistas of snow-covered mountains and beautiful fjords, Norway is a scenic paradise. Outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of landscape to explore and activities to keep them busy. But, natural beauty is not all that Norway has to offer. Norway’s citizens enjoy a high standard of living, and the country takes great pride not only in their surroundings but also in their cultural heritage and traditions.
From the capital city of Oslo to the remote Arctic wilderness of Svalbard, Norway’s vibrant cities and wondrous landscapes make this ”land of the midnight sun” one of the world’s most unique and beautiful destinations.
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Majestic scenery and outdoor adventure
Norway’s natural beauty is hard to beat. The mountains, fjords, forests, glaciers, lakes, rivers and islands all combine to create a breathtaking landscape. In the summer, the “midnight sun” never quite sets over northern Norway, giving you more daylight for exploring. In addition, the country's northern location makes it an ideal spot to see the spectacular aurora borealis (Northern Lights).
Norway's varied environment offers a multitude of outdoor activities to enjoy. The Arctic climate, mountains and snow mean skiing, snowboarding, dog-sledding and other snow-related activities are available almost year-round. There are also water activities like fishing, kayaking, diving and whale watching. You can hike mountains and glaciers—or just play a few rounds of golf. In the Arctic wilderness, there is plenty of wildlife to see, including polar bears, walruses, Arctic foxes and many types of sea birds.
From Oslo to Bergen—tradition meets modern
Cities in Norway are a unique combination of modern metropolis and small town charm. Like the landscape that surrounds them, Norway's cities are beautiful, blending cosmopolitan elements with well-preserved architecture, attractions and culture from the past. Oslo, the capital of Norway, is the perfect example—a modern city that brings together history, tradition and outdoor adventure with world-class museums, fine dining, café culture and a dynamic nightlife.
In cities such as Bergen, Kristiansand and Stavanger, you can find collections of restored, colorful wooden buildings and residences representative of historical architecture in the region. Bergen is also home to Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. Remnants from World War II can be found in Harstad and Kristiansand, and old cathedrals with elaborate altars and stained glass still stand in cities such as Trondheim and Stavanger. Unique to the area, the town of Ålesund is built in the Art Nouveau style with turrets, towers and stone carvings adorning the buildings.
Festivals and museums
Norway is a country of festivals, and every city has its share of annual events. One of the most popular is the Bergen International Festival, the largest arts festival in the Nordic countries. Moldejazz, one of Europe’s oldest jazz festivals, is held in the city of Molde every July. In the north, Harstad hosts the Festival of Northern Norway, one of the most important arts festivals in the country. In addition, Norway has some of the best museums in northern Europe, including many open-air folk museums representing life in the country from the past century.