The westernmost country on the Scandinavian peninsula, Norway is a spectacular showcase for stunning natural beauty: towering fjords, vast glaciers, snow-covered mountains, and mirror lakes. Aside from marveling at the landscapes, you can also engage in any number of outdoor activities, immerse yourself in Viking history, or explore the lively urban centers.
BASICS /// Flag: 🇳🇴 // Capital: Oslo // Currency: Norwegian krone // Languages: Norwegian, Sami, Kven
Capital city with world-class museums and interesting architecture.
DOEkebergparken: An eminently explorable sculpture park on a hill looking out on Oslo. Make sure to see James Turrell's amazing site-specific installations, Double Vision and Skyspace. Astrup Fearnley Museet: Waterfront contemporary art gallery beautifully designed by Renzo Piano. Oslo Opera House: The iceberg-looking opera house is also fully climb-able - take a walk to the top!
STAYThe Thief: Ultramodern, fancy hotel with a penchant for contemporary art.
A city surrounded by fjords and with a UNESCO World Heritage-listed center.
SEEBryggen: Wander through the atmospheric wooden buildings of this old trading quarter.
EATRestaurant 1877: Fantastic service and locally-sourced food delivered via 3 or 5 course menus in a historic building. Kaffemisjonen: Modern cafe that takes coffee seriously, as it should be.
STAYDet Hanseatiske: Cozy and quaint rooms spread across a couple of Bryggen's wooden buildings.
DOFløibanen Funicular: Ride to the top of Mount Fløyen for sweeping views over Bergen.
SHOPT-Michael: Impeccably tailored, unique menswear.
Hopping city located above the Arctic Circle.
DONorthern Lights: Tromsø is a perfect hub to base yourself in if you're trying to see the Northern Lights. While you can of course find the lights yourself (you'll likely need a car to escape the light pollution), booking a night with an aurora chaser can be worth it to increase your odds of a sighting. Green Fox Guiding is a great option if you go this route.
SEEArctic Cathedral: A striking triangular-shaped cathedral overlooking Tromsø Sound. Polaria: An aquarium whose exterior looks like a series of ice floes pressed up against the shore.
An archipelago north of the Arctic Circle with epic scenery.
STAYNyvågar Rorbuhotell: Classic rorbu (with modern amenities) in a beautiful corner of the islands which is still centrally located.
DOKaviar Factory: Contemporary art gallery housed in an old caviar factory in Henningsvær. The view outside the windows is almost as good as what's on the walls. Artscape Nordland: Contemporary sculptures scattered throughout the Lofotens; many are located on or just off the E10.
EATLysstøperi og cafe: Charming, casual cafe - the perfect pit stop for a midday bite (try the open-faced sandwiches).
A Doll's House by Henrik IbsenA masterpiece three-act play by this playwright, considered a "father of realism" for his exposing of what lay beneath the mannered exteriors of 19th century European society. The play centers on a seemingly ordinary family whose lives unravel when certain acts are uncovered.
My Struggle by Karl Ove KnausgaardA monolithic six-volume autobiography1which gives an incredibly detailed account of the author's relationships, thoughts and life experiences.
Out Stealing Horses by Per PettersonThis lyrical novel centers on an elderly man who retires to a remote corner of Norway after the death of his wife, but whose solitude is disturbed when he is forced to reckon with an event from his past.
Royskopp, "The Understanding" (album)A brooding, moody album from this electronic/ambient music group and a nice contrast to their cheery debut album "Melody A.M."
Kings of Convenience, "Quiet is the New Loud" (album)The album title might be taken as a manifesto for this group's stripped-down acoustic folk and lovely, Simon & Garfunkel-esque harmonies.
A-Ha, "Take on Me" (song)Watch the pencil-sketch animated music video and try to hit the high notes.
Ylvis, "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say)" (song)A ridiculous novelty song, but seriously, what does a fox say?
Edvard MunchA painter perhaps best known for "The Scream", Munch utilized intense colors and semi-abstracted figures to explore psychological themes in his works.
Røkt LaksSmoked salmon. Try it on an open-faced sandwich.
Cod, salmon, herringStaple fish. Try them braised, grilled, poached, dried, in soups, etc.
BrunostA brown cheese made from whey with a very specific sweet and tangy caramel-ish flavor.
FårikålHearty, traditional stew made with mutton, cabbage, and peppercorns.
AquavitNorway's national drink, a potato-based spirit flavored with herbs (such as caraway seeds or anise).