Top 10 Most Famous Norway Landmarks Travelers Talk About
Norway is a Scandinavian country most often associated with Vikings and wooden shoes, but there is a whole lot more to this historically relevant and stunningly beautiful country than meets the eye. Norway is becoming a more and more popular tourist destination thanks to world class dining and entertainment, breathtaking views and warm culture. Visitors will find no shortage of things to do here, however first timers and seasoned guests alike know to make sure to allow enough time to visit some Norway landmarks during their stay. We’ve put together a list of the ten most famous landmarks in Norway that past travelers rave about from their stay in what has been called one of the most photogenic places in the entire world.
1. Fjords of Norway: Aside from wooden shoes and Vikings, Norway is known for one other thing, and it’s a natural geographical feature that excites and delights guests time and time again. The famous fjords can be found all along the coasts of the country, all the way up into the northern reaches of the region near Tromso. The word fjord refers to a narrow stretch of water that is dominated on both sides by steep and dramatic cliffs. These pretty pathways were carved by ancient glaciers, and provide views unlike any other. The fjords are undoubtedly one of the most recognizable Norway landmarks and are what brings many visitors to the country in large numbers annually.
2. Akershus Castle: Guests of this former royal residence will no doubt have a desire to grab a turkey leg and a cup of ale as it remains an incredible example of the renaissance. Built over seven hundred years ago, the structure was meant to protect Oslo but remains today for guests to enjoy. There are many great halls found inside as well as a church and even a royal mausoleum. Akershus is one of the most recognizable Norway landmarks, perhaps due to just how long it’s stood near the city center.
3. Royal Palace Oslo: During the summer, guests can take advantage of one of the most popular Oslo attractions, the Royal Palace. Here, visitors can enjoy the functioning center of Norwegian government including the royal residences on guided tours. Although the palace is a newer fixture amongst Norway landmarks, standing only a couple of hundred years, it remains one of the most important buildings in the country and draws many visitors each and every open season.
4. Viking Ship Museum Oslo: Vikings are inherently synonymous with the Scandinavian region, and this Oslo museum pays homage to the brave and burly clan that once inhabited the area. Here at the museum can be found a wealth of treasures from Viking tombs as well as a stunning ship that they once used to sail the seas. In fact, two of the most well preserved Viking ships displayed in all the world can be found here, and they date all the way back to the 9th century.
5. Nidaros Cathedral: The western face of the cathedral at Nidaros is truly a sight to be seen, and its massive stone walls with incredibly ornate detail are enough to delight history and architecture buffs alike. Housed in Trondheim, the cathedral holds the distinction of being the most northern medieval cathedral in the entire world. The structure was built upon the burial site of King Olaf, giving it yet another unique distinction. The building dates back to the year 1070, making it one of the oldest Norway landmarks.
6. Svalbard: It may not seem like there are many reasons to visit this incredibly northern island archipelago; however, it’s home to Norway landmarks that can be found nowhere else in the world. Here can be found the northernmost educational institution on the planet. But, the true allure of this area relates to the food supply of the entire world. The Global Seed Vault can be found here, and it’s where seeds from all over the world are stored in order to ensure their continuity.
7. Borgund Stave Church: For a trip back in time, perhaps a visit to a nearly thousand year old stave church is in order. The log based structure housed in the town of Borgund was constructed in the year 1180, and it was the people of the then small village that assembled nearly two thousand pieces of wood including logs and planks to construct the church that still stands there today. . Like many Norway landmarks, this site does have an open season and it can be visited from the beginning of May through the end of September.
8. Bergen Gierangerfjord: There are many beautiful natural sights in Norway, but one of the most visited by tourists is Geirangerfjord. Guests often start out in Bergen and take scenic boat tours to reach this inland fjord. Here, majestic cliffs that seem to defy the laws of nature can be found, along with foamy waterfalls. Geirangerfjord is also home to the famous Seven Sisters Waterfall, as well as another that is referred to as “The Suitor.” Both waterfalls face each other on opposite sides of the cold, clear water. The notable site amongst Norway landmarks is currently in a tumultuous state however, as plans to disturb the natural beauty with cross cutting power lines is under consideration, threatening both the undisturbed serenity of the fjords as well as the location’s ranking as a World Heritage Site.
9. Sognefjord: Still near Bergen can be found this massive fjord, the largest in all of Norway and the third largest in the entire world. It’s the longest and deepest and extends inward into a National Park. Waterfalls and snow covered peaks can be viewed here, and unlike many Norway landmarks, this site is as enjoyable in winter as it is in summer, when boat cruises delight guests from all angles. Many historical finds can be found nearby including Viking villages and stave churches, and the area is popular in warmer months for kayaking and other outdoor activities.
10. Troll Tongue: There aren’t any actual trolls to be found here, but the formation named for the tasting apparatus of one of legend’s most despicable villains is certainly warranted. Here a natural rock formation juts out from the peaks to provide an incredibly unique view for those brave enough to make the ascent. While most Norway landmarks are easily accessible by foot or transport, reaching the tongue will involve a challenging hike and a thousand meter climb.