Take a whirlwind tour through Norway’s most enchanting destinations on this diverse 6-day itinerary. Start on the southwest coast, where you’ll settle into historic UNESCO-listed  Bergen for three nights. Discover the charming port city's character-filled cobbled streets and lively atmosphere, then venture deep into the iconic scenery of the fjords, where you’ll travel by train and boat through some of the country’s most spectacular landscapes. End your Norwegian adventure with a flight to the far north, where the Arctic city of Tromsø serves as your base to explore pristine wilderness by dogsled and go searching for the elusive northern lights.

Highlights

  • Explore the historic UNESCO-listed port city of Bergen
  • Sail through stunning fjords & mountain landscapes
  • Ride one of the world's steepest scenic railways
  • Visit Tromsø, Norway's "Gateway to the Arctic"
  • Dogsled through wintry wilderness & search for the northern lights

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Bergen Bergen
Day 2 Explore Bergen with a Local Bergen
Day 3 Norway in a Nutshell Fjord Tour Bergen
Day 4 Bergen - Flight to Tromsø Tromsø
Day 5 Trapper for a Day Tromsø
Day 6 Depart Tromsø  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Bergen

Bergen's historic and photogenic waterfront.
Bergen's historic and photogenic waterfront.

Welcome to Bergen! One of the oldest ports in Europe, this cobblestone wharf city boasts a spectacular setting, surrounded by ocean, mountains, and fjords. Its easily walkable center offers a vast selection of cultural and outdoorsy activities, not to mention a lively restaurant and nightlife scene thanks to its large student population.

Start with a ride on the Fløibanen funicular (or hike the trail on foot) to the top of Mount Fløyen—one of Bergen's seven peaks—for the best views of the city. Take a leisurely stroll back down the path while discovering hidden troll sculptures along the way. Make sure to check out the Bryggen area of downtown to view the waterfront wooden houses that characterize the city. Dating back to the 1700s, the whole neighborhood is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When evening rolls around, head out to dinner and immerse yourself in the city's delightful downtown. Some local recommendations include:

  • BarBarista: a funky coffee shop, restaurant & music venue.
  • Bryggeloftet & Stuene: a traditional mountain lodge restaurant.
  • Zupperia: an eclectic European restaurant right on the Bryggen wharf.
  • Bare Vestland: a basement-level eatery specializing in Norwegian tapas.
  • Pygmalion Økocafe and Galleri: a healthy, organic restaurant located in a historic space with a fireplace and art gallery for art exhibitions and live music.
  • Matbørsen: three restaurants in one serving international cuisine in the gorgeous, airy space of the former Bergen Stock Exchange, built in 1862.

Day 2: Explore Bergen with a Local

Bergen's hilly, cobblestone streets ooze with charm.
Bergen's hilly, cobblestone streets ooze with charm.

Today you’ll meet up with a local resident for a custom private tour of Bergen. Your guide, who was born and raised in the city, will help choose the right activity based on your interests. Some suggestions include:

Walk Through History (3 hours): Start from the city center and travel through narrow streets up to the mountainside known as “Sandviksbatteriet” with panoramic views over the city. From here, the trail takes you to a small, hidden cabin rich in World War II history. During the walk, your local guide will offer local stories of Bergen's past and culture.

Explore Bergen's Parks & Architecture
(3 hours): This leisurely walking tour visits notable exteriors and city parks, starting with Saint Johannes, the largest church in Bergen. From there, walk through the botanic garden and onwards to the beautiful green spaces of Nygårdsparken. Wander the city's narrow streets lined with traditional Bryggen houses and eventually visit the waterfront Nordnes park. Your guide will share stories of life in Bergen, as well as offer lesser-known activity and restaurant recommendations not frequented by tourists.

Hike Mount Sandviken (2.5 hours): Climb Mount Sandviken, one of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen, and visit Stoltzekliven—a favorite local spot consisting of 900 steps built by sherpas from Nepal. This trail is home to the steepest race in the world and features spectacular views from the top.

Evening Segway Tour
(2 hours): This fun guided excursion travels all over Bergen on two-wheeled motorized personal vehicles. You'll visit several key stops, including the top of Mount Fløyen, for a gorgeous view of the sunset.

The rest of the day is yours to continue exploring the city on your own. Consider picking up a 24-Hour Bergen Card, which offers free bus travel and free admittance to most museums (as well as other attractions.)

Day 3: Norway in a Nutshell Fjord Tour

Fjord-side views from Gudvangen village.
Fjord-side views from Gudvangen village.

Day three takes you deep into the fjords, where you'll spend the day discovering some of the country's dramatic natural wonders with Norway's most popular fjord tour.

Norway in a nutshell® starts from the railway station in Bergen with a trip on the scenic Bergen Railway. Enjoy the changing landscapes as you ride the highest altitude railway in Northern Europe through wild mountain terrain, ending at Voss in the heart of fjord country. At the railway station in Voss, you'll find the bus, which is marked "Norway in a nutshell®." From here, travel to the fairytale Viking village of Gudvangen, where you'll board a boat to journey across the Nærøyfjord (one of the narrowest fjords in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site) to the waterfront town of Flåm. Surrounded by towering mountains and high meadows, the fjord is a breathtaking sight in both summer and winter. 

Flåm is a charming small fishing town surrounded by steep mountainsides, cascading waterfalls, and narrow valleys. Take a stroll around the village, relax at a local cafe or microbrewery, or visit the Flåm Railway Museum. From here, you'll hop on the Flåm Railway, one of the steepest standard gauge railways in the world. The 12 mile (20 km) ride offers panoramic views of some of the wildest and most magnificent mountain scenery Norway has to offer, including the famous Kjosfossen waterfall. At Myrdal station, change trains to the Bergen Railway and return to Bergen for the evening.

Day 4: Bergen - Flight to Tromsø

Sweeping views across the northern city of Tromsø.
Sweeping views across the northern city of Tromsø.

This morning, you'll take a flight to Tromsø, the largest city in northern Norway.

When you arrive, get to know the "Gateway to the Arctic." Surrounded by snowcapped mountains, Tromsø is a lively place with 65,000 inhabitants. The city has a large student population and is famous for its robust music and film culture.  An excellent place to start is taking a ride on the cable car, which runs up to a mountain ledge in just four minutes. The two gondolas, known as Seal and Polar Bear, each have a capacity of 28 passengers. From the viewing platform at the upper station, you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Tromsø and the surrounding islands, mountains, and fjords. 

In the afternoon, consider embarking on a local history tour, where you'll join a guide for a three-hour walking tour of Tromsø. Visit the largest city in the north street by street, and take in its rich culture and beautiful architecture, including historic wooden houses dating as far back as 1789. View relics and buildings from medieval times, and learn about the city’s extensive fishing culture, which was established when trade in Norway was at its peak. You will also tour the stunning Arctic Cathedral. 

As evening falls, get ready to chase the northern lights*! Your guide will pick you up in Tromsø and take you on this fun after-dark excursion as they find the best locations away from the city lights for viewing and photographing this spectacular natural occurrence. Throughout the evening, your guide will offer interesting information about the northern lights, including why and how they occur, as well as legends and folklore of the indigenous Sami people. Your guide will even be able to assist you in adjusting your camera settings for the best photographs. If the weather allows, there will be a campfire with hot chocolate and marshmallows to end your night. 

*The tour provider will check the latest weather update in the early evening. If the likeliness of clear skies is low, the guide will inform you about the situation at pickup time, and you can decide to have your money refunded. If you choose to take your chances, the guide will do his/her best to succeed, but there is no guarantee.

Day 5: Trapper for a Day

Meet your team of friendly Greenland sled dogs.
Meet your team of friendly Greenland sled dogs.

Today you'll live the life of a traditional Norwegian trapper on a memorable excursion into the rural landscape around Tromsø. After you arriving at a local farm,  meet your guide and a team of fantastic Greenland sled dogs who will take you on a remarkable adventure into the northern wilderness. After a thorough safety briefing, you'll help to prepare the dog teams and set off into the forest.

Experience the quiet and beauty of the pristine, wild Arctic as you check traps and nets, set a bonfire at the water's edge, and help prepare fresh-caught game or fish for dinner while your guide shares stories about the local ecosystem and wildlife. The excursion offers something for everyone, but is particularly enjoyable for nature and animal lovers.

Reach the trapper's farm by taking bus 100 from Tromsø to Heia, Balsfjord, where you can arrange to be picked up by your guide at the bus stop.

Day 6: Depart Tromsø

Sunset over Tromso Harbor.
An Arctic sunset over Tromsø's harbor.

It's time to say goodbye to Norway! Before your flight, spend some time wandering Tromsø's cozy city center and charming pedestrian streets for unique souvenirs before heading to the airport.

Map

Map of Explore Bergen & Tromsø - 6 Days
Map of Explore Bergen & Tromsø - 6 Days