Bundle up warm and immerse yourself in the beauty of a Norwegian winter with this exciting 10-day itinerary.  Start in the country's south, where you'll spend two days soaking up the culture and cool of Oslo. After a day sailing through the breathtaking scenery of the fjords, head to the coast to explore the historic port city of Bergen without the summer crowds. Fly north to finish your adventure above the Arctic Circle, where you'll search for the northern lights, learn to dogsled, and discover the lively Arctic city of Tromsø.

Highlights

  • Experience the energy & artistry of Oslo, Europe's fastest-growing capital
  • Travel through spectacular fjord & mountain scenery by boat & train
  • Explore Bergen's historic harbor front
  • Learn to dogsled in Arctic forests
  • Search for the northern lights in the northern city of Tromsø

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Free Day in Oslo Oslo
Day 3 Oslo - Train to Flåm Flåm
Day 4 Fjord Adventure| Bus, Fjordcruise & Train to Bergen Bergen
Day 5 Explore Bergen with a Local Bergen
Day 6 Bergen Free Day Bergen
Day 7 Bergen - Flight to Tromsø Tromsø
Day 8 Explore Tromsø & Chase the Northern Lights Tromsø
Day 9 Dogsledding outside Tromsø | Trapper`s farm Tromsø
Day 10 Depart Norway  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo

The Akrobaten pedestrian bridge in downtown Oslo.
The Akrobaten pedestrian bridge in downtown Oslo.

Welcome to Oslo! Norway's rapidly growing capital is still considered a small city, helped by the fact that it's surrounded by mountains and sea. Not only is the city center made for walking, but outlying neighborhoods—filled with charm and character—are easily accessible by public transportation, so jump on a tram, train, or bus and explore all of what Oslo has to offer.

Suggested activities include: 

  • Take a half-day and wander around Aker Brygge, an area on the Oslofjord made up of beautiful, modern buildings where you can find bars and abundant nightlife. It acts as a sort of courtyard for the city of Oslo and brings together both tourists and locals alike to enjoy the great food, atmosphere, and entertainment.
  • Spend the afternoon visiting the Viking Ship Museum and the Norwegian Open-Air Folk Museum by way of public transportation. Both museums are in the same area, so they pair well together! 
  • Walk along the Havnepromenaden (harbor promenade)—a new five-and-a-half-mile waterfront park, which combines sightseeing, history, art, architecture, and a little bit of adventure.
  • Visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park, where 200 larger than life sculptures are placed throughout this green lung in the middle of the city. 

For dinner, explore the city's historic core buzzing with restaurants and cafés that stay cozy in cold weather, with several options that offer outdoor seating during summer months.

Day 2: Free Day in Oslo

Learn about the history of polar exploration at Oslo's Fram Museum.
Learn about the history of polar exploration at Oslo's Fram Museum.

Today is yours to discover Oslo at your own pace.

If you're feeling like some exercise, head to Nordmarka Forest for a dose of nature. Just 20-30 minutes from the city center, this vast area offers nature trails, wildlife, and nordic skiing.  Another hiking option is Grefsenkollen, overlooking Oslo, the fjord, and the surrounding forests. For a gentler walk, stroll along the Akerselva—a river that flows through the city—following a 5-mile (8 km) hiking trail extends through preserved working homes from different eras.

Warm-up after your outdoor excursions with a taste of Oslo's thriving sauna culture. A fun option is KOK’s Floating Saunas, where you can enjoy the refreshing combination of a hot sauna and a jump into the crisp water of the Oslofjord (year-round.) If shopping is more your style, head to Frogner, better known as the epicenter for Oslo’s affluent West End, where you can admire the swanky shops and 19th-century architecture. 

Don’t miss visiting some of the city's top-notch museums as well. Some recommendations include:

  • The Fram Museum, dedicated to telling the story of Norwegian polar exploration. 

  • The Norwegian Maritime Museum offers exhibits on coast culture and maritime history, covering shipbuilding, boat models, fishing, marine archeology, and shipping.

  • The Kon-Tiki Museum showcases vessels and maps from the Kon-Tiki expedition, as well as a library with about 8,000 books.

  • The Munch Museum is dedicated to the life and works of the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.

  • The Nasjonal Museum displays the country’s most extensive collection of art, architecture, and design, with up to 400,000 works.

For dinner, head east to Grünerløkka, known affectionately by locals as "Løkka." Once a run-down section of the city, its now one of Oslo's trendiest neighborhoods, home to refurbished apartments, fashionable cafés, and hip restaurants. Foodies should check out Night Hawk Diner, Villa Paraiso, and Colonialen, or wander the stalls of Mathallen Foodhall, an indoor market with cafés, eateries, and specialty shops featuring Norwegian producers.

Day 3: Oslo - Train to Flåm

The Flåm Railway is famous for it's spectacular scenery all year round.
The Flåm Railway is famous for its spectacular scenery all year round.

This morning, you'll have breakfast in Oslo and catch a train west to venture deep into Norway’s famous fjord country. After a stop in Myrdal, change trains and jump on the Flåm Railway. Known as one of the steepest train journeys in the world, this scenic ride offers spectacular views of mountainous peaks and fjords. Be sure to watch for the Kjosfossen waterfall (the train will stop here for photographs.)

Your final destination is the charming fjord-side village of Flåm, where you'll have the rest of the afternoon to explore the shores of the Sognefjord. Set out on a nearby hiking trail, visit the Flam Railway Museum, or tour the Flåm Church—constructed from wood in 1667.

Be sure to sample traditional Norwegian cuisine at one of the many cafes, pubs, or restaurants in town before settling into your cozy local accommodation for the evening.

Day 4: Fjord Adventure| Bus, Fjordcruise & Train to Bergen

Sail through the breathtaking Nærøyfjord in winter.
Sail through the breathtaking Nærøyfjord in winter.

After a leisurely breakfast, head down to Flåm's harbor to board a fjordcruise through some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. Sail through the picturesque Aurlandsfjord and UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord, passing tranquil inlets and sheer rock walls. Your journey by boat ends at the quaint Viking village of Gudvangen, where you'll catch a local bus southwest to Voss before continuing by train to the coast and ending your day in Norway's second-largest city of Bergen

Day 5: Explore Bergen with a Local

Winter views across Bergen.
Winter views across Bergen.

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): This walk starts from the city center and takes you through the city’s hidden historic gems. During the tour, your local guide will offer local stories of Bergen's customs 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): This hike heads to Mount Sandviken, one of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen, and includes a visit to 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.

Music Lovers Tour (2 hours): Join a  local musician as you visit the city’s thriving music scenes and studios as well as cultural hotspots around town. Learn about local composers and musicians, and end the evening with a concert or jam session.

Viking Heritage (3-4 hours): Follow the trail of Viking kings and warriors as you learn about society, mythology, and city construction in ancient Bergen—once the powerful Norse kingdom of Alrekstad.

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 6: Bergen Free Day

Bergen's colorful waterfront district of Bryggen.
Bergen's colorful waterfront district of Bryggen.

After breakfast, you'll have the entire day to explore Bergen at your own pace, perhaps taking advantage of any sites or walks you may have missed on your first day. 

Don't miss 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.

In the afternoon, consider visiting some of the city's fascinating museums, which include:

  • Old Bergen (Gamle Bergen): a historic reconstruction of Bergen from the 18th century.

  • KODE 4: an art museum with paintings by Munch, Astrup, Dahl, and other Norwegians, plus works by Picasso.

  • Bergen Maritime Museum: offering exhibits of boats and ships, both historic and modern.

  • Bergenhus Fortress Museum: charts the military history of Norway, with exhibitions on historical wars, WW2, and modern warfare.

  • Magic Ice Bar: ice-art gallery with sculptures inspired by famous works by Norwegian and international artists, all carved from crystal clear ice. 

Bergen boasts a lively restaurant and nightlife scene thanks to its large student population. As the sun sets, stroll through the bustling harborfront and choose a dinner spot—or head to one of the local favorites below.

  • Altona Vinbar & Kjøkken is Bergen's oldest known tavern.

  • Pingvinen is an intimate eater/bar in the heart of Bergen, featuring traditional Norwegian food.

  • Restaurant 1887 is a modern eatery in Bergen's old meat market.

  • Cornelius is one of Norway's best seafood restaurants.

  • BARE Vestland offers traditional western Norwegian food in a modern gastropub.

  • Skyskaperen is Bergen's highest restaurant, with spectacular views from the top of Mt. Ulriken.

Day 7: 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 8: Explore Tromsø & Chase the Northern Lights

The picturesque harbor of Norway's northernmost city.
The picturesque harbor of Norway's northernmost city.

Today you'll have the whole day free to explore Tromsø. Join a walking tour of the city, set sail on a whale-watching expedition off the coast, or wander the historic streets on your own, discovering the infectious energy of northern Norway's cultural hub.

When night falls, settle in for a cozy evening, or dress warmly and head out for another opportunity to watch for the elusive northern lights, joining the Northern Lights Chase again to search for the rare phenomenon from the best vantage points.

Day 9: Dogsledding outside Tromsø | Trapper`s farm

Dogsled through the Arctic wilderness near Tromsø.
Dogsled through the Arctic wilderness near Tromsø.

After a hearty breakfast, get ready for an active day of dogsledding in the Norwegian countryside. A 1.5-hour bus journey takes you from Tromsø to Heia, Balfjord, where you'll be picked up by your guide and driven to a traditional trapper’s farm near Lake Fjellfroskvatnet.

Dogsledding through snowy forests against a backdrop of imposing mountain peaks, you'll get the opportunity to take part in the simple, rustic life of a trapper. Start by meeting the friendly team of Greenland dogs and their guides. After a thorough safety briefing, you'll help prepare the dog teams and set off into the wintry 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.

Day 10: Depart Norway

Enjoy one last view over Tromsø and the Arctic coast.
Enjoy one last view over Tromsø and the Arctic coast.

After breakfast, head to the airport and catch your departing flight. Although it's time to say goodbye to Norway, the memories from your trip will surely stay with you forever!

Map

Map of Norway in Winter: Oslo, Bergen &  Tromsø - 10 Days
Map of Norway in Winter: Oslo, Bergen & Tromsø - 10 Days