Norway in a nutshell:

  • Incredible coastal scenery
  • Country of Vikings
  • Midnight sun and northern lights
  • Majestic Norwegian fjords
  • Winter wonderland
General country info Norway

Visit Norway

Visit Oslo

Foreign Ministry of Norway

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About Norway

From precipitous glaciers to steep-sided gorges and crystalline fjords, Norway’s natural beauty is impossible to overstate. The unspoilt wilderness of the Arctic north is one of the few places where the sun shines at midnight during the summer and where the magnificent Northern Lights brighten the skies during the long winter dark.

In the far north, the glacier-covered subpolar peninsular of Svalbard is one of the few areas where polar bears can easily be seen. Further to the south, the picturesque cities of Oslo, Trondheim and Bergen are brimful of buildings showing off Scandinavia’s age-old flair for design in cosmopolitan surroundings. Away from Norway’s scenic splendours, the UNESCO-listed Bryggen waterfront in Bergen is a colourful jumble of picturesque wooden warehouses overlooking the busy harbour.

Oslo is the present-day capital and financial centre, while the country’s second city, Bergen, is a picturesque former Hanseatic trading port and gateway to Fjordland. Stavanger is the focal point of the Norwegian oil industry and former capital, Trondheim, is a long-established centre of Christian pilgrimage, and more recently, technical research. Beautiful though the cities are, the real wonders of Norway are to be found outdoors, with ample skiing, fishing and rock-climbing opportunities for the adventurous and nature- lovers alike.

 

Oslo – city of lights

Eclectic architecture showing off the legendary Scandinavian flair for design, a buzzing party scene and a wealth of top-class museums and galleries have made Oslo Norway’s cultural capital as well as its political one. With its late-night shopping, crowded cafés and restaurants, and theatres playing to full houses, Oslo has a self-assured and vibrant feel perfect for a city break.

One of the best ways to approach Oslo is by sea, with the journey taking you along scenic fjords where fishing boats jostle with cruise liners and luxury yachts. Made all the more beautiful by its diversity, Oslo boasts a jumble of modern and ancient buildings that give the city an eclectic feel, with the steel-and-glass Munch Museum giving way to the old-fashioned charms of the City Museum and the craggy medieval walls of the Akershus Fortress, which glowers out over the fjord.

Equally wonderful is the National Museum, which is home to Norway’s most famous painting, The Scream, and the futuristic new Opera House in Bjørvika. Along with the visual arts, cultural life in Oslo is awash with literary gems – not altogether surprising given that the Norwegian capital is the birthplace of celebrated playwright, Henrik Ibsen. A trip to the spectacular rococo building that houses Norway’s National Theatre to see Hedda Gabler in the original language and setting is a treat that’s not to be missed.

Norway - video presentation