A Travel Itinerary for 10 Days in Norway

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Before going to Norway, I had a few preconceived notions about the country: One, that it was expensive. Two, that everyone was tall and Viking-like. And three, that it was full of incredible landscapes.

These things were all proven to be (at least partially) true. But I learned so much more about the country while I was there. I learned about its government, healthcare, and social system. I learned that its Viking-like people are incredibly friendly and fluent in English. I learned that it has some awesome cities outside of Oslo. And it learned that it's actually even prettier in person.

Geirangerfjord in Norway

In May 2015, I spent 10 days traveling around Norway, riding trains, eating seafood, navigating twisting roads, meeting lovely people, seeing incredible vistas, and falling in love with the concept of heated bathroom floors.

Even though I was there during the coldest, wettest spring most Norwegians can remember in recent years, I LOVED Norway. Yes, it was expensive — but this is one splurge that I think is absolutely worth it.

Alnes, Norway

If you're planning your own trip to Norway soon, here's a look at my 10 days there to help inspire your own travel itinerary:

Day 1-2: Oslo

I started out in Oslo, where I spent two days trying to see as much as I could while battling jet lag. Highlights included a walking tour of the main city sights (like the City Hall, the Opera House, Karl Johans gate, and the fortress), Vigeland Park with its many sculptures, and going to the Viking Ship and folk museums. There's SO much to do and see in Oslo, so I know it's somewhere I'll need to go back to sometime!

Karl Johans gate in Oslo
Karl Johans gate
Sculptures in Vigeland Park in Oslo, Norway
Vigeland Park
Stave church at the Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo
Stave church at the Norsk Folkemuseum

Where I stayed in Oslo: The Scandic Vulkan, which is a really cool hotel close to the city's main hipster neighborhood. My room had floor-to-ceiling windows and a ridiculously comfy bed. (Read reviews | Book here)

Read more: Oslo is Totally Cool

Day 3-4: Trondheim

After Oslo, it was off to Trondheim by train. It rained a good portion of the time I was there, but thankfully the saying “Don't like the weather? Wait 5 minutes” applied here and I DID get some brief moments of sun. I enjoyed Trondheim much more than I expected to, from the wooden wharf houses in the Bakklandet to the massive Nidaros Cathedral in the middle of town. Trondheim gets overlooked by many people because it isn't known for its landscapes – but I still found it to be a very cool city worth a visit.

Bakklandet in Trondheim, Norway

Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway
Nidaros Cathedral
Baklandet Skydsstation in Trondheim, Norway
Inside Baklandet Skydsstation, the cutest restaurant ever

Where I stayed in Trondheim: The Clarion Hotel & Congress, which is right on the water with a cozy lounge and cool rooftop bar. (Read reviews | Book here)

Read more: Why You Should Add Trondheim to Your Norway Itinerary

Day 5: Kristiansund

I arrived in Kristiansund by ferry from Trondheim, greeted by more rain and cool weather. I then had a near-panic attack over a mix-up with the rental car I was supposed to pick up there, keeping me from doing much exploring. But then the skies began to clear and a rainbow and beautiful sunset reminded me that everything works out in the end (and it did!).

Rainbow in Kristiansund, Norway

Sunset in Kristiansund, Norway

Where I stayed in Kristiansund: The Thon Hotel Kristiansund, which is on a little island across the water from the city center. It's great for getting photos of the city. (Read reviews | Book here)

Day 6: Grip Island

Before leaving Kristiansund the next day, I hopped on a boat tour out to Grip Island. This former fishing village was abandoned decades ago, but locals still use the houses and cabins for summer homes. The weather out at sea was much better than the weather on the mainland, meaning that I once again had a brief meeting with sunshine while exploring the small island.

Grip Island in Norway

Grip Island in Norway

Houses on Grip Island in Norway

Check out Gripruta to plan your own visit to this very cool island.

Read more: Going Back in Time in Grip

Day 6: The Atlantic Highway

Once back in Kristiansund, I hopped in my rental car and began the drive to Ålesund. But I didn't take the normal highway there — I took the long way 'round, which included driving along the 8-kilometer-long Atlanterhavsveien, or Atlantic Ocean Road. This has to be the most scenic stretch of 8 kilometers I've even driven, with the highlight being the Storseisundet Bridge.

Storseisundet Bridge on the Atlantic Road in Norway
Storseisundet Bridge on the Atlantic Road
Storseisundet Bridge on the Atlantic Road in Norway
Storseisundet Bridge
Storseisundet Bridge on the Atlantic Road in Norway
Storseisundet Bridge from the other side

Read more: The Shortest Yet Most Epic Road Trip Ever

Day 7: Ålesund

I spent the night of Day 6 as well as the next day in Ålesund, Norway's art nouveau city on the coast. I explored a bit on foot, saw the city from above (it looks fake from up high!), visited the aquarium, and even did a short road trip out to a nearby island to see the Alnes lighthouse. Since Ålesund is built atop a handful of islands, driving between them is interesting — it requires using several undersea tunnels!

Alesund, Norway from the Aksla lookout
From the Aksla lookout

View towards Alesund from Alnes, Norway

Alnes Lighthouse in Norway
Alnes lighthouse

Where I stayed in Ålesund: The First Hotel Atlantica, which is located in the heart of the city very close to all the cool art nouveau architecture. (Read reviews | Book here)

Read more: All You Need to Know About Ålesund

Day 8: Geirangerfjord

It was difficult to imagine anything topping what I'd already seen, but Norway's Geirangerfjord managed to do it. I took a car ferry through part of the famous fjord, then used a tiny electric car to explore Geiranger for the afternoon. The viewpoints above the small port town are STUNNING, and even cloudy weather couldn't dampen my mood. I then drove up the twisting Eagle's Road to an adorable guesthouse in Norddal where I ate goat for the very first time.

Geirangerfjord in Norway
Sailing through Geirangerfjord
Geirangerfjord in Norway
I'm Queen of the Fjord!
Geirangerfjord in Norway
From the Eagle's Road lookout

Where I stayed: At the Petrines Guesthouse in nearby Norddal. This guesthouse is super cute and cozy, and Norddal is much less touristy than Geirangerfjord. (Read reviews | Book here)

Read more: The Most Famous Fjord in Norway

Day 9: Trollstigen

My next driving adventure was down another very short but very cool stretch of road: Trollstigen, or the Trolls' Road. I drove through snowy mountain passes to get there, and climbed through snow drifts to get photos at the top. Totally worth it, though.

Trollstigen in Norway

Trollstigen in Norway

Beware of trolls in Norway
Beware trolls!

Day 9-10: Åndalsnes

My adventure more or less ended in Åndalsnes, a small town that's both on the fjords AND surrounded by mountains. A thriving adventure sport scene has formed here (everything from mountain climbing to base jumping), and I got to try stand-up paddleboarding on a river for the first time. I also stayed in my favorite hotel of the trip, a family-run one called Hotel Aak.

Paddleboarding in Andalsnes, Norway
Paddleboarding in Andalsnes

Where I stayed in Åndalsnes: At Hotel Aak, which was such an awesome hotel run by a very friendly family.

Then next day, I dropped off my car and took the famous Rauma Railway from Åndalsnes to Dombås, and then continued on to Oslo and my final night in Norway.

I didn't do the typical “first time in Norway” route that usually includes Bergen — but I'm actually glad for that. I got to see some really awesome parts of the country (some I'd never even heard of before), and feel like I have a much better feel for Norway, its people, and what it has to offer now.

Plus, Bergen will always be there next time.

READ NEXT: A Weeklong Northern Norway Road Trip Itinerary

Which of these destinations would you add to your own Norway itinerary?

 

 

Thanks to Innovation Norway, Visit Oslo, Visit Trondheim, Fjord Norway, and NSB for making this trip fantastic! As always, all opinions are my own, regardless of who is footing the bill.

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Highlights from 10 days in Norway

 

 

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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121 Comments on “A Travel Itinerary for 10 Days in Norway

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  1. Hey Amanda,

    Great blog, really enjoyed ready through your Norway trip!

    We were thinking of doing something very similar, so my question to you is, what would you change (if anything) and why? Would you go further North? We have 10-12 days, so could spread a little further if you thought it was worth it – if so, where?

    Thank you so much in advance!

      If you have a few extra days, I would maybe tack on Bergen since it’s probably the most popular city that people visit in Norway. I did the north of Norway on a second trip – I think trying to do both north and south at once is too much in less than two weeks since travel distances can be pretty far.

        Brilliant, thank you Amanda! We are thinking 2 days in Oslo, then the scenic railway to Bergen, pick up a rental car and just hike and explore the places you went to.

        Last question, did you prefer the North or the South trip?

        Thanks!

          Sounds like a great idea! (Though just be aware that you’ll have some long driving days – distances are further than they appear in Norway, especially if you have to drive around the fjords!)

          As for north vs. south, they were such different trips! I was in the south in spring and loved all the cities and landscapes. And then I went up north in the winter for snow and northern lights, which was also awesome. The trip up north I did was much more activity-focused, while the trip down south was more about sightseeing.

    Hi Amanda! I loved your blog! So So good! We are heading to Geiranger in June-could you tell me where you were in that picture (the one with your arms up)?

      That was taken at the Fjordsetet lookout (where the “Queen’s Chair” is). You kind of have to climb over a fence to get to it, though… More Geiranger info in this post: https://www.dangerous-business.com/2015/08/the-most-famous-fjord-in-norway/

        Thank you for the speedy reply and the link! I have read it more than once already. 🙂 We love to rent cars in different locations and get off the beaten path too.

        We are also going to Iceland and I have learned so much from your adventures there. I feel very fortunate that I found your blog!

          If you can splurge on it, the little tiny eco car I rented in Geiranger was SO FUN, and such a neat way to explore the area around the fjord.

          So glad to hear my blog has been so helpful for you! 🙂

            I did look into renting an eco car but since there will be 4 of us it was more cost effective to rent a car from Hertz. They only have 3 cars available so I snagged a reservation as soon as I knew we were going to Geiranger. We will be there on a cruise so we need to maximize our time for sure!

              Ah yes, a regular car does make more sense then!

    Do you mind sharing a more detailed itinerary here? I’m planning to go there one day but I’m not into cities and your itinerary seems like a perfect fit for me.

      I don’t have plans to write a detailed itinerary, I’m afraid. But the order of the cities listed here is the order in which I visited them! I took a train from Oslo to Trondheim, a ferry from Trondheim to Kristiansund, then rented a car and drove all the way up until Andalsnes. Then I took a train back to Oslo. Hope that helps!

    OMG I’m drooling with jealousy! I’ve been dying to make it to Norway and this just pushed it closer to the top!!! I’ll be pinning this for sure!

      Glad to be able to provide some pinsperation!

    Do you think this trip is possible during December?

      Hi Lee! Parts of this trip would be possible in December, but really only the visits to the city. Cruises don’t run in Geirangerfjord in the winter, you wouldn’t be able to go to Gripholmen, and some of the roads could also be a bit dicey (especially Trollstigen, which usually closes in the winter). If you want some ideas for what to do in Norway in winter, though, check out this post: https://www.dangerous-business.com/2016/03/things-to-do-in-northern-norway-winter/

    Amanda,
    Did you do a R/T from Oslo? Where did you drive after Aleseund?
    thank you,

      Yes, I did a round trip from Oslo. I dropped off my rental car in Alesund and took the train back to Oslo.

    Wow all your pictures are simply amazing! We are going there this September for a 1-week honeymoon before continuing to Iceland. Initially I had the typical first timer route (bergen, flam, etc) planned, but i think i’m slightly converted now! Just wanna check though, is the car rental incredibly expensive? Or is your route doable by not driving? I don’t wanna cost a shock to my new hubby on our honeymoon. LOL

      Whoo hoo! There’s nothing BAD about going the typical Bergen route, of course – but I really did love this trip!

      Car rentals in Norway can be very expensive (especially if you can only drive an automatic car like me!). I didn’t have a whole car for the trip, though. I actually took the train from Oslo to Trondheim, and the ferry from Trondheim to Kristiansund. You could also take the bus from there to Alesund. 🙂

    Hi Amanda, I am currently planning my honeymoon in Scandinavia and this blog has me so inspired! I have been researching car hire but have been having difficulties, do you have any tips or recommendations? TIA, Renee 🙂

      Car hire can be pretty pricey – someone told me renting in Sweden is cheaper than in Norway, but I don’t personally have experience driving in any country other than Norway, I’m afraid!

    Woow! I’ve just came for 10 days in Norway, so I couldn’t resist to read your post! You have been in so many places! I definitely need to go back and visit the north! Your pictures are AMAZING!
    You can also read my experience here: http://www.midorisobsessions.com/search/label/norway

    xxx

      Aww thank you! And yes, I packed A LOT into just 10 days! Already can’t wait to go back. 🙂

    Wow, you fit in so much in 10 days Amanda, did you get any sleep?! You explored different parts of the country from me on my recent trip, and it all looks wonderful… I’m glad I have a good friend in Oslo who keeps inviting me back to Norway, I’ll wander off that way next time!

      Haha, yes, I slept – though not as much as I would have liked! 😉 It was also hard to get work done when I didn’t want to miss anything! I definitely had some very long days. But it was so worth it!

    […] the Atlantic Ocean Road (or Atlantic Highway, depending on who you ask) was the part of my Norway trip that I had been looking forward to the most. Because, sure, it’s just over 5 miles long […]

    I originally came here just to say that I LOVE the name of your blog (LOTR for the win), then I looked down through the post and wow, you take amazing photos! They’re absolutely beautiful. Norway has always been on my bucket list and I can’t wait to see all these amazing places in real life. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Dearbh
    http://www.lifeofdearbh.com

      Thanks so much! It always makes me smile when someone recognizes where the name of my blog came from! 🙂

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