There is no shortage of adventures for tourists as well as citizens of Norway during the winter months. The country is home to some magical locations and displays that are not only worth going to Norway but also a guide to some of the things you need to do there if you go.
Norway is an incredibly beautiful country and is one that anyone who loves traveling should visit. Even for people looking for a country to visit for vacation or honeymoon holiday, Norway is a country that has to be on your bucket list. Winter is a vibrant season in Norway, and the sheer beauty and awesomeness of the architecture is something that cannot be ignored.
Before we proceed, I must clarify one of the few myths you will probably have about Norway during the winter months. Please note, Norway is not as cold even though it might look like its super cold there. The cold is always being regulated by warm air that is brought by Norway’s Gulf Stream. What you should note is that the country is not that cold, and it is even mild to an extent if you move close to the coast, which is where the air from the Gulf Stream touch first.
Let’s now explore 15 things to do in Norway in Winter. Hopefully, before we get to the end of the list, you will be more than convinced of how impressive Norway is, especially during winter!
1. Learn the history of Norwegian Vikings
I am pretty sure you must have seen at least a Viking movie or even heard or read about Vikings. One of the most popular things about Vikings is that they have a Norwegian heritage, which is backed up with some of the artifacts that are in dedicated Museums in Norway. One of the best ways to learn about the history of the Vikings is by going to the Viking Ship Museum.
During the Viking Age, the only way Vikings were able to travel to raid other countries and territories was by Ships. When you visit the Ship museum, there are lots of fascinating facts and stories, as well as a history that you will learn and hear about.
Besides, you get to stand on the same spot a lot of Vikings have held during their time! If you love watching Viking movies or TV shows or love Vikings history, you should visit Norway in winter!
2. Go to Vigeland Park, Oslo
Aside from the fact that VigelandPark is one of Norway’s most popular attractions, it is also considered by many as the largest Sculpture Park in the World! Going to the park is one of the most compulsory things you just have to do in Norway.
While the park itself is fantastic all year round, it is even more amazing and spectacular in winter. The sculpture park, which was made and created by the most celebrated sculpture in Norway – Gustav Vigeland, is merely magnificent when it is covered in snow. It is not any less impressive in spring, though!
The park was also named after Gustav in appreciation of his work.
3. Climb Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock)
There are two reasons why climbing Preikestolen should be on the list of things you want to do when you visit Norway during the winter months.
First, climbing to the top of Preikestolen, also referred to as Pulpit rock is a perfect way of testing and fight your fear of heights and edges. This is because the Pulpit Rock is technically a bit flat at the top, and you will be relatively safe. The other reason is that it is perfect for adventure seekers, and the mind-blowing summit is something you won’t want to miss during your stay in Norway.
Preikestolen towers as a fantastic height of 604 meters and is located at the Lysefjord.
4. Go on a Ferry ride at Geiranger
Hopping on a ferry ride at Geiranger is one of the best things you can do in Norway. The trip allows you to achieve two goals. The first one is that it gives you the chance to explore the fantastic Geiranger town, which looks like a town from a fantasy movie during winter. You also get to see some tremendous landscapes in Norway.
The ride is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss because you might not get the chance to go on a ferry ride as scenic as the one you will experience at Geiranger.
5. Visit the medieval Stavanger Cathedral
The Stavanger Cathedral has one of the oldest histories in Norway, although it has been rebuilt and given a Gothic appearance. The reason for rebuilding it was because a terrible fire ravaged all of Stavanger in 1272 and damaged a large part of the cathedral.
The cathedral is one of the “compulsory things” you have to do when you visit Norway in Winter. The temple is located in Stavanger, and it is situated at its core, which makes it very hard to miss. The structure is part of Stavanger’s history, and you will be amazed at the stories the locals will be willing to tell you about the cathedral if you ask.
6. Visit Bryggen
Bryggen is an important part of Norway’s history and is also one of the main attractions you will find in Bergen and Norway as a whole. In the past, there were lots of fire incidents that ravaged cities in Norway. However, in 1720, Bryggen was ruined by “the great fire” which literarily reduced it to ashes. The town was then rebuilt without any change in the foundation of the buildings that once stood in the place in the 12th century. This means the Bryggen you see is still the Bryggen that was reduced to ashes.
To show just how significant Bryggen is, it has been listed on the World Heritage List compiled by UNESCO. Bryggen now plays a vital role in the trading industry of Norway.
Visiting the Wharf (Bryggen) means you will be treated to long rows of cafes, shops, and restaurants in their bright colors. In winter, when the buildings are covered in snow, you will be treated to a mesmerizing view.
7. See the magical snowy landscapes in Tromso and Alta
There is no better way to create an unforgettable experience during your winter visit to Norway than visiting two of Norway’s most charming cities – Tromso and Alta. Both towns are located in the country’s northern region and can be a little cold compared to other parts of the country. The two cities also serve as the border to Norway’s Arctic Tundra.
Alta is found just above the arctic circle, and it offers jaw-dropping views of Finnmarkslopet and the Aurora Borealis. In case you are wondering, the Finnmarkslopet is a dog sledding race, and it is the longest race you’ll find in Europe.
8. Go to the North Cape
North Cape is a landmark in Norway and it is a very popular one. It always attracts visitors irrespective of the season or time of the year. The reason for this is that the landmark has a diverse and fantastic scenery. Also, it is a perfect place to engage in a lot of winter activities.
The snow-capped mountains in the landmark’s landscape offer perfect dog sledding spot. It is also a popular place for skiing. Because of this, going to the North Cape has to be one of the things you should do when you are in Norway for winter. You can also view the Aurora Borealis at the North Cape during summer.
9. Explore Stavanger’s colorful streets
Stavanger is a unique city, and the main reason for this is the beautifully painted Ovre-Holmegate Street. From the shops to the cafes to the residential buildings, all of them are painted colorfully, and they create a visually stunning pattern.
The buildings aside, there is also a lot of places to have cozy drinks as well as shop for souvenirs.
10.Marvel at Oslo’s impressive Cathedral
There are quite several cathedrals in Norway, but there are some “must not miss” cathedrals you just have to see. If you are in Norway for winter and you are looking for what to do, dropping by at the Cathedral in Oslo is not a bad idea. The cathedral itself is a famous landmark in Norway and is one of the main attractions you will find in Oslo. The cathedral also has a part in Norway’s history books. It was built in the 11th century, and it was the first church to be built in the country! So don’t miss out on visiting a historical place like the cathedral when you are in Norway.
11.Explore Norway on a scenic Train
This is for everybody who visits Norway. You have to make it a point of duty to explore Norway by rail. It is something you have to do, especially if you visit the country during winter. The main reason for saying this is that Norway us acclaimed to have a few of the best rail routes one can find in Europe. Norway has train tracks that span over 2,000 miles.
Of course, not all train rides will offer you scenic views of the country. Only of few of them provide the experience. The most popular is the Bergen Railway. The train passes through a lot of landmarks in the country. The Dovre railway is also another ride you can go for.
12.Drop by Tromso’s Arctic Cathedral
The arctic cathedral at Tromso is another compulsory thing you have to do in Norway in winter. The cathedral is an impressive structure that is worth a visit from you for different reasons. The main reason is that the cathedral is a beauty. The structure was constructed in 1965 by a well-known architect during his days – Jan Inge Hovig. He built the cathedral in a way that it would look like a cluster of huge ice blocks.
The cathedral fits well into the landscape, especially in the winter, when everything in the surrounding is either white or covered in snow.
Upon entering the cathedral, you will be greeted by sparkling mosaics placed at strategic spots in the cathedral. The facade is also an interesting thing to check out; it is made of glass, and there is also a huge crucifix fixed to it. There are a lot of things to admire about the cathedral, and you will have a lot to see and admire at Tromso.
13.Tour the Islands of Lofoten
Lofoten is a trendy place in Norway and gets a lot of visitors daily, which makes it one of the most visited attractions in Norway. The island is another “compulsory thing” you have to do in Norway during your winter stay. This is not just because you get to see some fantastic views of the Aurora Borealis, but because the island has lots of majestic towering mountains, colonies of seabirds, fjords, etc.
As an adventure seeker, you will be thrilled at the insane amount of activity you can do here in winter and spring. Winter adds a chilly feel to the island and gives it an incredible feeling.
14. See the Aurora Borealis at Svalbard
The only reason Svalbard is getting a unique mention even though there are a lot of places or ways you can see the Northern Lights is because Svalbard gives you the best view!
Svalbard is situated north of Norway, and so it gets a lot of Aurora Borealis activity and only a small amount of geomagnetic activity.
If you want to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) in all its glory, you should not miss a trip to Svalbard.
15. Go on a tour of the stunning Akershus Castle
The castle was built in the Medieval era to protect Oslo from enemy invasions. Because of the castle’s history, it now serves as the building that houses Norway’s Ministry of Defence. That aside, the castle is also open to the public, and visitors can tour and explore the inside of the building.
It is okay if you want to visit Norway during Summer or when it is warmer, but considering the things you can do above, the best time to visit Norway might just be in winter! Either way, there are lots of things you can do in Norway that would keep you occupied all throughout your stay. You should use the guide above if you don’t want to miss anything important.