7 days in Norway: Land of the Midnight Sun

7 days in Norway is ample time to savour the highlights of this beautiful country, from the cosmopolitan delights of Oslo to the majestic views along the Norway in a Nutshell route, to hiking in fjord country, or if you’re visiting in winter, dogsledding or aurora hunting above the . This itinerary is geared towards winter travelers, taking in Oslo, Bergen, Flam and Tromso; summer visitors can replace Tromso with a trip up to the Lofoten Islands or camping around Stavanger instead.

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7 days in norway vigeland park
Throwing babies around in Vigeland Park

Day 1: Oslo

Oslo, Norway’s capital city has plenty of museums and parks to explore. While the Oslo can be expensive, you can cut costs by self-catering, staying in hostels and checking out free attractions. Spend your first day in Oslo finding your bearings and if the weather permits, get over jetlag and stretch out your legs at Vigeland Park, which is the biggest sculpture park in the world displaying the works of a single artist, Gustav Vigeland. Later, back in Oslo’s city centre, take a walk to see Oslo’s Opera House, which while completely different, gives Sydney’s a run for its money.

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7 days in norway viking ship museum
In the , Oslo

Day 2: Oslo’s museums

Spend a day on the Bygdøy peninsula, where most of Oslo’s museums are located. The choices include the Viking Ship Museum, the Kon-tiki Museum, the Fram Museum and the Holocaust Centre. Norway’s history has predominantly been built on its maritime prowess, so the first three museum on this list showcase ships, the people how built them and their history. The Folk Museum is also located in this area and is worth a stop if the weather is fine, as it is an open air museum with traditional Norwegian buildings, the most famous of all being the stave church.

7 days in norway sognefjord
Cruising Sognefjord

Day 3: Norway in a Nutshell

Norway’s best charms are located outdoors. Embark on the Norway in a Nutshell route, either booking a tour or doing it yourself. The route starts via the train from Oslo to Myrdal, and as the train pulls out of the city, relax by the big, light filled windows of the NSB trains and soak in the spectacular views of sharp mountains, dark, placid lakes and cute cabins nestled in the shadows of forests.

7 days in norway flamsbana
On the Flamsbana railway

At Myrdal, change for the Flam Railway, a steep line that takes you from the top of the mountains into the valley beneath, stopping by a gushing waterfall for photo ops. You can stay a night in Flam, or do as we did and hop on the ferry from Flam to Gudvangen and onwards to , taking in the beauty of the fjords along the 30km way.

7 days in norway in a nutshell
Views into the valley, Myrdal to Flam

Day 4: Voss to Bergen

The Norway in a Nutshell route can be customised to suit your own schedule – choose to stay in Flam or Voss or even Bergen, decide on how much time to spend in each town, and what activities you want to do while there. In the off season, the town of Flam was quiet, with few options for accommodation. At Voss, there are easily accessible ski slopes for both skiers and snowboarders in the winter and fishing and hiking in the summer. Bergen is Norway’s second largest city, with the amenities to suit. The train ride from Voss to Bergen is also lovely and picturesque, perfect for a excursion.

7 days in norway bergen
The historic port of Bryggen, Bergen

Day 5: The port town of Bergen

A day in Bergen is perfect for exploring the twisty alleyways, crooked buildings and the leaning Hanseatic warehouses lining the waterfront, a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are plenty of galleries and museums to while away your time in, and if you’re visiting during the summer, a takeaway meal of fresh seafood from the Fish Markets, eaten al fresco by the harbourside is a wonderful experience. After you’ve had your fill, catch the Floibanen Funicular up to the top of Mount Floyen for a panoramic view over Bergen. There are plenty of walking trails at the summit as well as shop, cafe and toilets. As night falls, hop onto the late overnight express train from Bergen back to Oslo – you can choose to purchase a normal reclining seat, but the Sove sleeper is a far more comfortable option.

7 days in Norway Tromso cathedral
The Arctic Cathedral, Tromso

Day 6: 69 degrees North

Upon your arrival in Oslo in the early hours, hustle to the airport to catch a flight to Tromso, Norway’s “Capital of the Arctic.” There’s plenty of things to do in Tromso, even in the winter. In the city itself there are museums and galleries, the sculptural Arctic Cathedral and Polaria, with exhibits on life in the north (kitsch, but informative!).

7 days in Norway Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, spotted in Tromso

Tours also depart for winter activities like dog sledding, snowmobiling, reindeer sledding, cross country skiing or Northern Light safaris every day. In the summer, there are opportunities for fishing, hiking, and even paragliding.

7 days in Norway dogsledding
Dogsledding with Villmarkssenter in Tromso

Day 7: A farewell toast

In the final 24 hours of your 7 days in Norway, spend some time in the world’s northernmost brewery, Mack Brewery, located about an hour out of Tromso. Opened in 1877, the brewery churns out some decent Macks Pilsner, Isbjørn, Haakon and several dark beers. If you are running short on time though, have a drink and toast your last day in Norway at Ølhallen, Tromso’s oldest pub, located next door to what used to be the original Mack Brewery. 

7 days in Norway
Mack beer (Pic from: http://cheahlisa.blogspot.com)

7 days in Norway is just sufficient to take in some of the best of what the country has to offer, from the genteel sophistication of Oslo and the historical town centre of Bergen, to the splendour of fjord country. Depending on whether you visit in the summer or in winter, there’s also plenty of activities to partake in and with such beautiful scenery, you’ll want to be outdoors enjoying it! 

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  1. Love it! I have friends that live in Oslo, so the two times I visited were only for long weekends and we pretty much stayed in town and the immediate surrounding areas. It’s such a beautiful country though, I would love to go back! In the summertime of course. 🙂

  2. travelrat says:

    I would disagree with the statement that ‘7 days is ample time’. I recently spent 14 days in Norway & felt I only saw a small sample of what it had to offer. I’d need to go again (and again), maybe at different seasons.

    Great photos, though!

    1. True! Though to really do any country justice you’d have to stay for awhile, not just a week or two. We also went in winter and are not skiers or snowboarders so there were fewer activities that we were interested in doing. I’d love to go back one day in the summer and go hiking and camping for a month! Thanks for the comment.

  3. Great itinerary! We almost went to Norway back in 2010 but changed our plans to go to Brazil instead in an effort to cut costs. While we’ll be in Denmark next spring, I’m still looking forward to the day that I’ll get to Norway.

    1. Norway is definitely expensive, but worth it! Denmark will be lovely in the spring. Enjoy and have a good time. I hope you make it to Norway eventually… it’s gorgeous!

  4. Wow – thanks for linking me over here! Sognefjord looks absolutely stunning!

    1. Thanks! 🙂 Hope you make your way there one day! I would love to return to Norway and do a proper hiking/camping trip. Let me know how you go and if you have any questions about Norway in a Nutshell, drop me a line – would be more than happy to help out!

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