While it doesn’t have the fame of Bergen’s Bryggen, the iconic modern architecture of Oslo, the mysterious allure of the northern lights, or the spectacular panoramas of the western fjords, I would argue that Trondheim is a good shout for Norway’s most photogenic place. Before I show you why, I should make a confession that I do live in Trondheim, so I may be somewhat biased… but give me a few moments to convince you!
Well, if you’d honestly ask me, I would give you a list of places I find suitable for a Christmas vacation that wouldn’t include Norway (or any of the Nordic countries for that matter), but I really don’t want to ruin your Christmas spirit. Yes, Norway can be the magical winter wonderland you’re looking for - however, it highly depends on where you’re planning to go exactly! In this post, I’m therefore highlighting everything you should consider before booking that Christmas/New Year’s Eve trip to Norway!
It might seem like Stavanger in summertime is full of tourists, while all the locals disappear to either their summer cabin or to Spain in search of vitamin D. However, there's actually loads going on in the city during the summer months and besides Hafrsfjordkaupangen in June, late July is a time when the entire region gathers in Stavanger again after the summer break to celebrate food at Glad Mat Food Festival and this year, also to have a look behind the scenes of the world's sailing vessels at the Tall Ships Races.
Norwegians quite simply have a different understanding of a simple hike than someone who grew up in the plains of Germany (in other words: me). Understandably so, Norwegian kids grow up hiking in the mountains while I, even after 4 years in the country, still can’t get myself to even attempt to hike Pulpit Rock - that edge just looks too scary! So, when I say “easy hikes”, I really mean it! The following 7 hikes all feature relatively flat terrain and well-maintained trails, and could probably easily be done by any Norwegian 2-year old ;) ... Well maybe not quite a 2-year old but at least, these hikes are manageable even if you’re not in best shape and/or suffer from a fear of heights! Happy hiking!
Why you would want to stand in line (and this is no joke!) at Pulpit Rock, Trolltunga and co. when there's an entire country of over 1600 km in length to explore, is beyond me! Therefore, I've decided to put together a small selection of alternatives to the "must-sees" of Norway - for anyone who'd like to escape the summer crowds in the country and those of you, who are seeking to discover Norway like a local!
Stavanger is one of the oldest cities of Norway and remnants of human settlement in the area date back to the Viking Age. All the more reason to stop obsessing with Pulpit Rock for a moment and have a closer look at the city and its history itself! Often overlooked by tourists coming to visit, Stavanger actually has an abundance of Viking culture to offer - there are old gravestones with runic inscriptions, the former residence of Harald Fairhair at Utstein, and, of course, several monuments paying tribute to the Battle of Hafrsfjord. The biggest and for most people probably also most interesting attraction when it comes to experiencing Viking culture in Stavanger however, has got to be Hafrsfjordkaupangen!
I actually planned my trip to Bergen three times before I finally made it, but visiting in February, while the city was covered in snow, couldn't have been a better time - not only did I avoid the summer and Christmas crowds, I also saved a huge amount of money on accommodation! In fact, I only spent roundabout $250 - not bad for a weekend trip in Norway! In this article, I therefore want to give you a detailed overview of how much I spent, what I did, and how you can travel to Bergen for under $250 too - even if you don't live in Norway!
This is my fourth year of living in Norway and you should think that Norway's National Day isn't a big deal for me anymore, except that this year was the first one I got to spend in my new home of Stavanger! Having spent it in cold and rainy (and one year even snowy) Tromsø in previous years, I had high hopes of lovely weather and warm temperatures for the day - which, except for the coastal wind, was a wish come true!
Bergen is such a lovely gem at the west coast of Norway and even though it's Norway's second biggest city, it's extremely compact and cosy! You can walk almost anywhere and 2 days are plenty of time to see most of what the city has to offer! I got to visit Bergen back in February and the city did not hold up to its reputation as Norway's rainiest place - it didn't rain one bit during my stay. Instead, the city was covered in snow - which, to be honest, made it even more beautiful!
You maybe know the city of Stavanger as the oil capital of Norway. Or maybe as the city closest to Preikestolen. But did you know that Stavanger also is Norway's most colourful city and a real hotspot for street art? This gem at the west coast has so much more to offer than what you might expect and I'm so glad to be able to call it my home.In this article, I'll take you on a visual tour around the street art in town and explain why a street art walk is the best way to really get to know Stavanger!
Norway is full of amazing places to visit - you surely know that! But have you heard of Ålesund yet? Many people think that it's the best place to visit in Norway, and while I'm still dying to go, I know someone who has already been there: Ben! After taking over my blog to tell you all about Christmas in Norway, Benjamin Steele is now back to tell you why you need to visit Norway's Art Noveau town - and what you should see and do while you're there!
When I moved to Stavanger, I was almost certain that from now on, I'd only ever see snow when visiting Simon's family for the Easter holidays. Literally, everyone told us that "it only ever rains in Stavanger" and asked if we wouldn't miss the snow in Tromsø. Of course, we would, but as it turns out - there was no need to worry!
Last week, we made our way to the tiny town of Egersund, which is situated an hour south of Stavanger. During the Christmas season, the town centre transforms into one big Christmas market and that’s something we just couldn’t miss!We were incredibly lucky with the weather as we got to experience the very first snowfall of the season at the Christmas market, which made the whole visit even more magical
Last week, we explored locally and checked out what our new home of Stavanger has to offer in terms of Christmas. Turns out, a lot! From a Christmas market of the unusual sort, to a stunning gingerbread village at the Oil Museum, to absolutely gorgeous fairy lights all over the city!Stavanger is such a lovely town and you should definitely consider visiting in winter to skip (most of) the crowds and experience the Christmas magic :)
Haugesund is a fishing town situated halfway between Bergen and Stavanger, in Karmøy municipality of Rogaland county of Norway. It's just 2-hour drive from here, making it the perfect place for a day trip! The town itself is super charming. Very similar to Stavanger when it comes to architecture, weather and views, but without all the crowds. See it for yourself in my Vlogmas video!
Lysefjorden Hiking Festival takes place in early September each year and after having lived in Stavanger for 4 weeks at that time, it seemed like a great opportunity to finally explore the famous fjord and at least get a glimpse of Preikestolen and Kjerag from the boat. It felt like a win-win situation: Heading all the way to the end of the fjord at Lysebotn (that way seeing the entire length of the fjord on the trip) and gaining insider knowledge from our local guide - what could possibly go wrong?
You might have heard it by now, but 4 months ago, I left the city of Tromsø, that was my expat home for 3 years, to move to Stavanger at the west coast of Norway - mainly because I just couldn't deal with polar night anymore!Now that I've got to know the city a bit better and have lived here for a while, I thought it was time for a little update, and, of course, for a little more insight into what life in Stavanger actually is like!
Autumn is a popular time to visit Norway and I'd recommend people to come to Tromsø or the Lofoten Islands in September and October in a heartbeat. Western Norway in autumn, however, isn't even all that popular among the locals, so that should give you a hint about the weather here at this time of year!Aside from the usual autumn storms, there are a few more things you should keep in mind before heading to Stavanger, Bergen, and co. in autumn, which I'd like to present you in this post.
It's been 2,5 months since we moved from Tromsø to Stavanger and to be honest, I had quite a few expectations about autumn in Western Norway. I was picturing myself going chestnut picking, going for long walks in the forest and enjoying the fact that it doesn't snow in Stavanger in September.
I've been living in Stavanger for 2 months now and I keep hearing people say that Stavanger can easily be explored in a day as there "isn't much to see anyway". Now, maybe it's because I'm still in the honeymoon phase of living somewhere new but to me, Stavanger offers endless opportunities to go out and explore! I live west of the city center, in an area that's called Madla, situated at the famous Hafrsfjord. Don't worry if you haven't heard about the fjord before though - I hadn't either!