I was planning to wait for a vacation in Norway until I will be older and afford it but then I found a really good deal with Hurtigruten so I stop thinking and went on this amazing trip on fjords 🙂 In Norway, you’ll find fjords wherever you go and you can have access to so many activities like hiking, climbing, and kayaking pretty much everywhere in the country.
Let’s start with the beginning. My personal advice is to rent a car in Oslo and travel through the country driving so you can stop whenever you like some view and visit in the detail a city or an area. Of course, with a cruise, there are other benefits but for sure you cannot stop whenever you see something that you would like to photograph more, here you have to stick with the cruise agenda.
When deciding to go to Norway for a vacation – bear in mind that as they say, it is a very expensive country for traveling to. However, Norway is so amazingly beautiful and amazing that I think you should find any way to help you get here. Everyone in the country speaks perfect English and they are wonderful human beings. I met with a friend of mine that I used to know from my work and she was incredibly nice to us. She took us everywhere and was an amazing guide.
- Accommodation: accommodation isn’t cheap and nothing is cheap here. I couldn’t find anything less than 80 EUR/night with breakfast included but, you can camp on public lands for free, you only need a tent — just be respectful with our beautiful nature. If you decide to camp, be sure to have the Camping Key Europe card, it will help you with a lot of beautiful discounts. Another cheap option is to use Couchsurf (which is the best way to avoid expensive hostels).
- Eating: restaurants are usually expensive (ex. a McDonald’s Big Mac menu is around 15 EUR). One option is to buy food from markets and cook yourself. The cheapest alternative is to eat shwarma and pizza at the corner of the streets.
- Transportation: the option we pick was to use the train but you should book early enough so you can find a seat ticket and a reasonable price. For example, from Oslo to Bergen we pay 120 EUR/person. For bus transportation, the costs are similar. Also, my favorite option is to rent a car – in this case, Oslo will be the best start and endpoint. The last but not least option is to book a cruise (as we did) and enjoy the beautiful fiords from the boat.
The beautiful Oslo. Oslo became the capital of Norway in 1814 but the city was established in 1048. As I told you earlier, we were lucky enough to have a local guide in the city, one of my dearest friend who took really good care of us 🙂
Oslo is an incredible city, with a lot of attractions and there are so many things you can do here. You should definitely try the local specialty: fish & cheaps. Also, try the local transportation and you will see what a modern city should look like. We all have things we can learn from Oslo. I remember that on our very first day in the city, there was organized a marathon and the price ticket was something about 20 EUR. All the money went on in the education channel in order to help young mothers – just wonderful.
Walk up the roof of the Oslo Opera House
We traveled in September and I have to say, the weather was already a bit cold (especially for us) and that’s why the pictures will miss the sun. 🙂 The start point of your journey should be at Oslo Central Station and next to the station you will find the most famous construction in Oslo: the Oslo Opera House. There are a lot of events that you can attend and you are also allowed to visit the Opera inside without any tickets.
Take a boat trip down Oslofjord
The Vigeland Park
This incredible big park with so many funny statues is just amazing. You can have a picnic on the very green grass or just photograph all the beautiful and mainstream statues 🙂
Walk down Karl Johan
It’s the Oslo’s main street for shopping maniacs. The street will end at the Royal Palace. There are so many different brands and what I loved the most was the small coffee shops in the middle of the street and all the cozy small restaurants where you can stop and grab a macaron or two. It’s beautiful and the atmosphere, I must say – amazing and relaxing.
The Royal Palace
As I mentioned before, you can find the Royal Palace at the end of Karl Johan, you’ll find the Royal Palace. The Palace is still the residence of the king of Norway and they always have some actions or workshops for kids. It’s amazing how they are helping society with so many project and educational projects. There is a big and beautiful garden where you can walk.
- Transportation: we took the train from Oslo to Bergen. The view from the train was amazing so tries to travel during the day time if you can. Book the tickets in advance for better rates. The trip takes around 6 hours and it cost around 120 EUR/person – depends on when you do the reservation and for what period of time. The tickets are ofc cheaper out of the season (Sept-May)
- Accommodation: we had the Thon Hotel Orion and it was around 150 EUR/night.
Bergen was the start point of our cruise but we also have 24 h to spend in this incredible and amazing mountain city. As far as I know, the cruises usually start from this port. Bergen was once Norway’s capital and its still a very important maritime trading city.
Downtown Bergen is really beautiful and colorful, at the bottom of each building you can find a small, local shop with souvenirs, clothes or small restaurants. We went to all of them and I simply loved it. The locals are really nice and sweet, I remember one time in a shop for dogs and I start to talk with the lady from the shop for one hour and we still had a lot of things to say. Incredible sweet people 🙂
Hiking up on Skredderdalen and Mount Fløyen
As you know, Bergen is not just a city but a port as well, being situated right on the water. The city is in a very mountainous area so you can go on the popular small hike to enjoy the viewpoints over the amazing Bergen and the sea. Mount Fløyen and Mount Ulriken (the highest mountain in the city) and you can go zip-lining from Mount Ulriken!
Hurtigruten & Cruise tour
We took the 6-day cruise trip to Tromso and from there, we had a train reserved back to Oslo. The big tour is for 12 days and it cost around 1300 EUR. I am sure the North Cape is amazing to visit but it was too expensive for us to afford it. The expedition itself is a must in a lifetime and the trip is organized very well. You have a few hours to stop in each city and you can also book advanced expeditions. Every night there is a nice event organized on the boat that you can attend like jazz concerts, piano concerts or popular dancing.
It’s amazing to travel throw Norway, enjoy the beautiful capital and photograph the UNESCO designated site of Bryggen. Ålesund was also a very nice surprise for me, it’s like a small treasury 🙂