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17 Charming Small Towns in Norway You Must Absolutely Visit

Many tourists coming to Norway choose the country’s biggest towns as destinations for their vacations: Oslo, Bergen, or Tromsø. But there are also many charming small towns in Norway – some are quite popular among travelers, and some are off-the-beaten-path destinations. In this article, we will list 17 beautiful small towns that, in our opinion, you should consider adding to your bucket list!

Before you begin reading the article, it’s worth to mention an important detail. After the description of every town listed in the article, there is structured, condensed information about the town’s region, how to get there, and the top things to do in that destination. So, you don’t need to read the entire text unless you want to. Just find the destination you would like to find out about and get straight to the details. And now, let’s begin!

By the way, if you would like to visit these towns and villages on your trip to Norway, we can organize a customized Norway tour for you. Contact us and share with us what places you want to visit on your trip!



best small towns in norway: Fredrikstad

Fredrikstad, a fortified town in the country’s east, is rarely listed among the best small towns in Norway to visit. Founded in the 16th century by King Frederick II of Denmark, the town was used as a bastion against the Swedes in the east. And a visit to this pretty town is absolutely worth it since the history still lurks around its every corner.

Stroll down Gamlebyen, Fredrikstad’s adorable Old Town, and appreciate the town’s splendid architecture. Every visitor will immediately feel that Fredrikstad can boast of having a significant military history. Most of the buildings in the Old Town were actually used for military purposes. Willem Coucheron, a Dutch engineer, designed the ramparts and zigzag moat in a way that the attack on this town would have been costly.

During your walk, you can stop in one of the local cafés and taste some of the delicious desserts served here. At the end of the day, don’t miss your chance to marvel at picturesque scenery over the river Glomma and stand on the shore next to the cannons, which once were used to protect the town.

If you venture outside of the town, one of the best things to do is head to Fredriksten, a 17th-century fortress in the neighboring town of Halden (take a bus or a train to get there). Another thing you can do on this trip is visit the Swedish-Norwegian border – two bridges over the fjord divide the two countries. Visitors love taking photos of themselves stepping with one leg over the border, thus being in both countries at the same time.

Population: 83,761.

Region: Viken County, Eastern Norway.

Nearest big city: Oslo.

How to reach Fredrikstad by public transport:

  • Train: RE20 route runs every hour from the central railway station of Oslo.
  • Bus: Vy Buss and FlixBus from the central bus station of Oslo (check their websites for more information).

Things to do in Fredrikstad:

  • Stroll Gamlebyen. Explore the Old Town (we recommend getting a guided tour to get a better insight into the town’s history).
  • Go to see Kongsten Fort. Built in 1685, this fortress was designed to protect the town’s vulnerable eastern flank. There’s no museum, but you can enter and explore the fort.
  • Make a trip to Hvaler Islands. This archipelago of granite skerries in the country’s south is a picturesque place, perfect for hiking or kayaking. It is connected to the mainland by road, so you can drive there by car.
  • Travel to Fredriksten in neighboring Halden. Visit the historic fortress that protected Norway from 6 Swedish invasions (King Carl XII of Sweden was killed here).
  • Reach the Swedish-Norwegian border. Take a picture on the bridge that divides the two countries.

Best hotels in Fredrikstad:

Gamlebyen Hotel. Gamlebyen Hotell Fredrikstad offers a pleasant stay in one of the oldest buildings of Norway’s best-preserved fortified town. The hotel has only 15 rooms and 2 suites, renovated in a historically sensitive style that preserved an old-world charm. Given its prime location, you are guaranteed to find plenty of cozy cafés and restaurants within walking distance. Prices start from $156 for two pax per night.

Quality Hotel. This hotel is located in the town’s center as well, but it offers a stay with a different vibe. With its sleek, contemporary design and stylish guest rooms, it is best known for its efficient service and an amazing on-site restaurant with a bar. Or do you happen to lead a healthy lifestyle? Then you will definitely appreciate the hotel’s impressive fitness center! And the numerous sustainability initiatives of this establishment are worth praise, too. Prices start from $166 for two pax per night.



best towns to visit in norway: Røros

Røros, a historic mining town in central Norway, looks like one giant museum. Dating back to 1646, it came into prominence in the 17th and 18th centuries when the mining industry was on the rise here. The town is also called Bergstaden among locals, which literally translates as “the rock town,” alluding to the rocks from which copper was mined.

You should start your visit by exploring the impressive old town of Røros. Most of the town’s buildings have been preserved from the 16th and 17th centuries, thus maintaining their original, medieval-looking facades. As you walk down these winding, narrow streets between old wooden buildings, you may literally feel as if you were in a huge museum. So, it’s not a surprise that this town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.

In addition to learning about the town’s glorious past that still feels like its present, there are many more things to do here. If you travel in summer, venture hiking in the region’s towering mountains or opt for a kayaking adventure. And winter is an even better season for visiting Røros: the southern Sami people have lived in this town for centuries. And it’s a perfect season to try a variety of activities: snowmobiling, dog sledding, reindeer sledding, ice fishing, and much more!

Another thing that makes Røros one of the best small towns in Norway to visit is convenience. You can hop on a train from Oslo to Trondheim and stop for a visit in this town. And it’s up to you whether to continue your trip to Oslo/Trondheim on the same day or stay overnight here. Overall, if you are planning to travel between these two cities, don’t miss a chance to make a stop in Røros and explore this wonderful town.

Population: 3,865.

Region: Trøndelag County, Central Norway.

Nearest big city: Trondheim.

How to reach Røros by public transport:

  • Train: RE10 (to Hammar) and R60 trains from Oslo (around a 5-hour trip) or R60 train from Trondheim; there are around 5-6 trains per day in this direction.
  • Bus: no. 440 from St. Olavs Hospital øst (Trondheim).

Things to do in Røros:

  • Explore the UNESCO-listed town. Wander through the curly streets of Røros, and don’t miss a chance to visit the town’s lovely Flanderborg section.
  • Visit Røros Church. Enjoy the architectural beauty of this parish church that dates back to 1651 and is known as “the pride of the mining town.”
  • Try exciting summer activities. The area around this town is perfect for exciting hiking trips, as well as cycling and kayaking. You may also visit Scandinavia’s largest canyon – Jutulhogget (located some 90 km away from the town).
  • Choose from a variety of activities in winter. The number of activities you can do here in winter is truly astonishing: visiting a reindeer farm and reindeer sledding, dog sledding, snowmobiling, and ice fishing.

Best hotels in Røros:

Erzscheidergarden. Find a pleasant stay in Røros in one of the town’s oldest buildings, dating back to the 1600s. This hotel is known for personalized service and offers unique rooms—each has its own, individual interior that reflects the history of this mining town. And the guests rave about the Erzscheidergården’s delicious breakfast offerings. Prices start from $174 for two pax per night.

Vertshuset Hotel. Situated in the heart of Røros, Vertshuset Hotel is renowned for its excellent cuisine. It features two on-site restaurants that serve local dishes with a modern twist. And don’t miss a chance to drop by the hotel’s own microbrewery and taste authentic local beer! Prices start from $172 for two pax per night.



best towns in norway: Lillehammer

A scenic town in south-eastern Norway, Lillehammer is best known for hosting the Winter Olympic Games in 1994. Even though the town attracts travelers all year round, particularly huge crowds choose it as their destination for their winter vacations. Lillehammer is a popular ski resort in Norway, attracting both Norwegians and travelers from all over Europe alike.

When you set foot in this town, don’t hesitate to start exploring its cozy streets lined up with perfectly preserved 19th-century wooden houses. Don’t miss your chance to stroll down Storgata, the city’s central street and a popular shopping place in the heart of the city. Among other things, visiting Hunderfossen Family Park (which is oftentimes called Norway’s fairytale park) – especially if you are traveling with family or kids – is a must. Maihaugen, Northern Europe’s largest outdoor museum that features over 200 buildings, is worth your attention, too.

Surrounded by towering mountains, visitors in Lillehammer can take in fabulous views over River Lågen and Lake Mjøsa. And such incredible nature makes this destination ideal for outdoor activities: hiking and mountain cycling here are extremely popular in summer. If you are truly into mountain biking, seize this opportunity to visit the local Hafjell Bike Park, Norway’s best park for cycling.

However, it’s the winter season when you can get the most out of your trip to this town! Lillehammer offers world-class facilities for sports enthusiasts, including terrains ideal for cross-country skiing – the country’s most popular sport. If you are looking for a nice ski town in Norway, Lillehammer is the place to go!

By the way, you can also learn about the popular winter sports in Norway in our blog.

Population: 28,425.

Region: Innlandet County, Eastern Norway.

Nearest big city: Oslo.

How to reach Lillehammer by public transport:

  • Train: RE10 train runs from Oslo every hour (2-hour ride). F6 train runs from Oslo 4-5 days per day (also a 2-hour ride).
  • Bus: Vy Buss Vy146 from Oslo bussterminal twice a day.

Things to do in Lillehammer:

  • Stroll down Storgata and old town. Explore the town and marvel at its stunning 19th-century architecture.
  • Visit Hunderfossen Family Park. Set foot in one of the country’s most popular attractions, visited by over 275,000 people annually.
  • Go to Maihaugen. Visit this museum that exhibits over 200 buildings from different epochs, some of them dating back to as early as 13th
  • Get an adrenaline rush at Hafjell Bike Park. An ideal place for cycling enthusiasts to experience mountain biking.
  • Try cross-country skiing in winter. It is the country’s most popular sport by far, and Lillehammer offers top-class facilities to try it here.

Best hotels in Lillehammer:

Hunderfossen Hotell & Resort Hafjell. This family-friendly hotel is located just a 20-minute drive north of Lillehammer, in the heart of the Hafjell ski resort. Here, you can relax in a sauna or steam room. Or flex your muscles at the fitness center and swimming pool. If you traveling with kids, there are plenty of services and activities for children. The resort also features two fine restaurants serving Norwegian and international cuisine. Besides, this hotel is pet-friendly, too! Prices start from $141 for two pax per night.

Clarion Hotel. Located on Lillehammer’s main street, Storgata, the Clarion Collection Hotel Hammer puts you within walking distance of countless shops, restaurants, and attractions. Housed in one of the town’s classic trading and craft buildings, Clarion Hotel offers good value for money. Both a generous breakfast and a light evening buffet are included in the price of your stay. There is also a bar and a sauna for those seeking to relax or let their steam off. Prices start from $174 for two pax per night.


best fjord towns in norway: Odda

When it comes to the best towns in Norway for hiking, Odda must absolutely be on that list. A picturesque town on the shore of a fjord, encircled by intimidating mountains, Odda has become particularly popular since the release of the Netflix series “Ragnarok.” In that show, events take place in a fictional Norwegian town Edda, which, as you can guess, in reality is Odda.

This town is a starting point for the famous hike to Trolltunga (Troll’s Tongue), a cliff that spectacularly hangs over the fjord and offers a great spot for taking mind-blowing photos! The hike is strenuous, and you must be well-fit for this adventure (you can find a link to the article containing tips on how to prepare for the hike below). But those who yearn for something more extreme and exciting can take a guided via ferrata tour to Trolltunga.

From Odda, you can also set out on a hike to Buarbreen, an offshoot of Folgefonna glacier. The hike isn’t too difficult, but everyone finds it fun – it involves using ropes fixed to the rocks, climbing, and crossing wild creeks. Compared to the Trolltunga hike, this one is much less time-consuming.

Obviously, Odda is one of the most beautiful fjord towns in Norway on its own. Yet, when you are here, it’s a great idea to make an hour-long drive to see the 13th-century Røldal Stave Church and Låtefossen, the famous twin-waterfall. Another interesting idea is to visit the Norwegian Museum of Hydropower and Industry in neighboring Tyssedal (just on the way to Trolltunga).

Besides, if you are planning to hike Trolltunga anytime soon, you can read our guide on how to prepare for hiking Trolltunga.

Population: 4,876.

Region: Vestland County, Western Norway.

Nearest big city: Bergen.

How to reach Odda by public transport:

  • Train: train F4 from Oslo to Voss and bus no. 990 from Voss to Odda (the entire trip takes around 8 hours).
  • Bus: bus no. 930 from Bergen runs three times per day; there is a bus route from Oslo bussterminal with a quick bus change at Røldalsvegen: bus NW180 and no. 725 (there’s one bus per day scheduled).

Things to do in Odda:

  • Venture for a Trolltunga Hike. Set out on the famous yet quite challenging hike to Norway’s iconic photo spot.
  • Hike to Buarbreen. Witness the majestic Folgefonna glacier after completing a relatively easy hike.
  • Make a trip to Røldal Stave Church and Låtefossen. Visit the perfectly preserved 13th-century stave church and one of the country’s most famous waterfalls.
  • Visit the Norwegian Museum of Hydropower and Industry. The power plant was built in the period between 1906 and 1918, and this attraction is considered to be the number one industrial landmark in this region.
  • Try summer activities. There are plenty of exciting activities to try here in summer: kayaking on Sandvin Lake, a trip in a RIB boat on Hardangerfjorden, hiking Trolltunga on a route that involves via ferrata, or getting an adrenaline rush on Trolltunga zipline!

Best hotels in Odda:

Trolltunga Guesthouse. This hotel is actually located slightly north of Odda, in Tyssedal, which makes it the closest accommodation to the start of the Trolltunga hike. It features all necessary amenities and caters predominately to Trolltunga hikers. The beauty of staying here is that you will get to enjoy the stunning views from your room’s balcony! Prices start from $201 for two pax per night.

Hordatun Hotel. This accommodation is also located outside of Odda, in the small village of Røldal. Visitors love staying here for the captivating views of the mountains and the scenic Lake Røldalsvatnet from their balconies. Here, you can find a wide range of rooms, from traditional double rooms to suits for various group sizes. If you are a genuine nature lover or simply seeking relaxation, look no further than this place. Prices start from $202 for two pax per night.



coastal towns in norway: Balestrand

Located on the shore of Sognefjorden, Norway’s deepest and largest fjord, Balestrand is deservedly considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in Norway. Having less than a thousand residents, Balestrand attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year thanks to its fortunate location. The country’s stunning nature makes this place seem like a genuine idyllic wonderland.

Even though Balestrand is a small village, its architecture is impressive – especially with colossal mountains on the backdrop. Take your time to stroll the village’s pleasing streets and explore its pretty buildings. One particular point of interest is St. Olaf’s Church, an outstanding Anglican church dating back to 1897.

But there are plenty of other things to do in Balestrand. First of all, you shouldn’t leave this village without visiting the Sognefjord Aquarium, where you will have to use a canoe! Then, you can learn about the history of mountain and fjord tourism at the local Norwegian Museum of Travel and Tourism. And at the end of a long yet exciting day, drop in Ciderhuset for a glass of apple cider – something this region is famous for and proud of.

As you look around Balestrand, it becomes obvious: this region is perfect for hiking adventures. And true: there is a network of marked hiking trails for adventurers. One of the hikes leads you to the summer of Mount Raudmelen – you will get a spectacular view of the region from this peak!

Best of all, however, Balestrand is suitable for various activities on the dramatic Sognefjorden. Fjord sightseeing in kayaks and RIB boats is the most popular activity among travelers. If you are an avid fisherman, however, you can join a guided fishing tour that offers a perfect combination of this activity coupled with captivating stories from the guide. After all, the local beach is perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

Population: 824.

Region: Vestland County, Western Norway.

Nearest big city: Bergen.

How to reach Balestrand by public transport:

  • Ferry: ferry no. 890 runs from Bergen to Balestrand once per day (the entire trip takes just 4 hours); the ship departs from Bergen at 16:30, but be advised to check the schedule beforehand.
  • Bus: from Bergen, take bus NW413 and change to bus no. 820 at Vadheim or bus VY430 and change to bus no. 820 at Vadheim.

Things to do in Balestrand:

  • Visit St. Olaf’s Church. Set foot in the 19th-century Anglican church. The entrance is free.
  • Gain new knowledge at Sognefjord Aquarium. Explore the marine life of Sognefjorden on a visit to this museum, which also offers interactive experiences.
  • Discover more about the region’s tourism at the Norwegian Museum of Travel and Tourism. Trace back the origins of the fjord and mountain tourism in Norway.
  • Book a guided tour to Ciderhuset. Explore the local traditions of cider production on a guided tour. Pre-booking is required!
  • Get ready for activities on the fjord. Try fjord sightseeing on a kayaking/RIB boat tour or embark on an exciting fishing trip!
  • Venture on a hiking adventure. There are many marked hiking trails in this area, which makes Balestrand a great destination for trekking in the mountains.

Best hotels in Balestrand:

Kviknes Hotel. This family-owned hotel, operated by the Kvikne family for generations, dates back to the 1870s. Even Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany stayed here multiple times! During your stay, enjoy delicious meals made from local ingredients in the hotel’s restaurant. And you are guaranteed to fall in love with the spectacular views of the fjord and mountains from your room’s balcony! Prices start from $278 for two pax per night.

Balestrand Hotel. Located on the shore of the Sognefjord, this is a great accommodation in Balestrand. The guests absolutely love the hotel’s private beach area and a large green garden. There is also a lounge zone and a bar. But don’t expect anything fancy. There is no on-site restaurant, and the rooms are pretty simple. But that’s more than enough to enjoy authentic Norwegian nature in a tranquil setting. Prices start from $286 for two pax per night.



Charming coastal towns in norway: Fjærland

One of the most picturesque small villages in Norway, Fjærland is located on the shore of Fjærlandsfjorden, a branch of Sognefjorden up north. Having just 300 residents, this village is a particularly popular destination for cruise passengers. Nestled between a deep fjord on one side and soaring mountains on the other, Fjærland offers wonderful opportunities for utopian, tranquil recreation.

This region is renowned for its glaciers, which lie in the Jostedalsbreen National Park. From Fjærland, you can set out on a hiking adventure to Bøyabreen or Supphellebreen, branches of continental Europe’s largest glacier – Jostedalsbreen. During the summer season, you can book a guided hiking tour to Supphelle glacier. If you are fascinated by these monstrous ice formations, you can learn more about glaciers at the local Norsk Bremuseum.

It’s obvious that Fjærland is quite a small village. So, if you are looking for other things to do here, you may consider driving to the 13th-century Borgund Stave Church (it takes around 2 hours) or visit Astruptunet, a museum dedicated to Norwegian artist Nicolai Astrup (a 10-minute drive from the village’s center).

Since Fjærland is not far from Jostedalsbreen National Park, we highly advise you to venture hiking there. You can read more about this park in our guide to the national parks in Norway.

Population: 300.

Region: Vestland County, Western Norway.

Nearest big city: Bergen, Ålesund.

How to reach Fjærland by public transport:

  • Ferry: ferry no. 890 runs from Bergen to Sogndal once a day (a 4-hour trip); at Sogndal, take bus no. 803 (a 45-minute trip). Bear in mind that the transfer time is over 17 hours, so it may be worth to stay in Sogndal overnight.
  • Bus: from Bergen, take bus NW420 and change to bus no. 803 at Sogndal (the entire trip takes around 7 hours).

Things to do in Fjærland:

  • Visit Norsk Bremuseum. Learn more about glaciers in the local museum.
  • Hike to the glaciers. Trek to see the arms of Jostedalsbreen on your own, or pre-book a guided trip to the glacier.
  • Reach Astruptunet. Visit the museum dedicated to the Norwegian artist famous for his works of landscapes.

Best hotels in Fjærland:

Fjordstove Hotel. Are you seeking to stay in a picturesque place and enjoy the natural beauty of Fjærland? The Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel is what you are looking for! Most of its rooms have balconies, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the fjord and mountains. There is an on-site restaurant, where you can taste delicious local food. Or, if the weather is good, enjoy your dinner on a terrace. If you want to try activities (such as kayaking or embarking on a boat tour), ask the receptionist to make a booking. However, bear in mind that the hotel is open only from April to October. Book your fjord-side escape today! Prices start from $214 for two pax per night.



What small towns in norway are worth a visit: Florø

Florø is one of the picturesque coastal towns in western Norway, which is particularly famous for its captivating landscapes and fishing traditions. The residents of Florø take pride in their town’s long fishing history. Since the town was established in 1860, herring fisheries have been crucial for Florø’s economy – even its coat of arms depicts three herrings.

Apart from the stunning nature, there are plenty of other things to do in Florø. The town’s main attraction is Kystmuseet, or The Coastal Museum in Sogn og Fjordane. This museum holds exhibitions that explore the region’s maritime history and houses impressive boats. Florø also has several public beaches where you can sunbathe and swim – one of them is located at the very port, not far from Kystmuseet.

Many travelers decide to stay in Florø to enjoy outdoor activities and adventures. From this town, you can travel westwards towards the grass-covered island of Kinn, which is home to a medieval church (dating back to the 12th century) and a spectacular mountain Kinnaklova. Or you can set out on a cruise to the south and travel to Svanøya island, where you can visit the Norwegian Deer Center or a salmon farm.

If you don’t mind taking a 40-minute drive from Florø, travel to Auservika and witness over 300 rock carvings that are older than 3,000 years. Overall, Florø can impress every visitor, which explains why it is one of the best small towns in Norway to visit.

Population: 9,024.

Region: Vestland County, Western Norway.

Nearest big city: Bergen.

How to reach Florø by public transport:

  • Plane: there are 3 daily flights from Bergen to Florø (the entire trip takes just 35 minutes).
  • Ferry: ferry no. 190 runs from Bergen to Florø two times a day (the trip takes around 3 hours and a half).
  • Bus: from Bergen, take bus NW431 and change to bus no. 250 at Førde (the entire trip takes more than 5 hours).

Things to do in Florø:

  • Visit Kystmuseet. Learn about the region’s maritime history and daily life.
  • Witness ancient Auservika rock carvings. Visit one of the country’s most extensive rock-carving sites, where you can find over 300 depictions of both humans and animals.
  • Explore the islands of Kinn and Svanøya. Embark on a journey to two spectacular islands nearby, each of which features notable points of interest.

Best hotels in Florø:

Quality Hotel. Experience the coastal charm of Florø at the Quality Hotel, located right in the city center! The accommodation offers good value for money. There is a restaurant with a bar on-site, where you can enjoy a meal with a drink. Prices start from $171 for two pax per night.

Kinn Hotel. This is another hotel located in the heart of Florø, but a more budget-friendly option. And, indeed, it can offer a great selection of room types. So, no matter how many of you travel together, you will find something that suits your needs. There is also a lobby bar, where you can have a drink and relax. Or, if you want to stay fit during your visit, there is a sauna and a gym available at the hotel. And complimentary parking is a bonus. Prices start from $128 for two pax per night.



geiranger village norway

A tiny village of merely 250 people, Geiranger lies on the shore of the splendid UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord. More than 300,000 travelers come to this remote village every year to marvel at some of the world’s most scenic landscapes and relish the country’s idyllic, serene nature. It is one of those small villages in Norway you must absolutely visit!

Since Geirangerfjord is the main attraction here, the first thing you must absolutely do is embark on a majestic fjord cruise. As you sail the waters of this fjord, you will get a chance to see the Seven Sisters Waterfall, one of the country’s most famous waterfalls that runs down the mountain in 7 streams with a freefall of over 250 meters. If you crave something more exciting, you can set out on a RIB boat or kayaking adventure on this fjord.

Hiking is another popular activity in this area. There are multiple viewing points that visitors absolutely love! The most popular of them is Dalsnibba (known as Geiranger Skywalk), which offers spectacular views over the fjord and surrounding mountains. Other popular viewing spots in this region include Ørnesvingen, Ljøen panorama point, and Flydalsjuvet – the latter offers a much closer view on Geiranger than Dalsnibba.

There are two other popular hikes in the Geiranger area. Fossevandring, “the waterfall hike,” begins at the Norsk Fjordsenter, where you can also find information about the West Norwegian Fjords. The other hike is up to the mountain farm Skageflå. Even though it offers fabulous views and allows you to learn more about mountain life in Norway, bear in mind that the climb is steep and challenging. Overall, there are plenty of things to do here, and Geiranger is absolutely one of the best villages in Norway!

Population: 250.

Region: Møre og Romsdal County, Western Norway.

Nearest big city: Ålesund.

How to reach Geiranger by public transport:

  • Ferry: there is a daily ferry route that runs from Ålesund and takes around 4.5 hours.
  • Bus: you can reach Geiranger village by bus from Ålesund in 3.5 hours, but it’s a bit of a hassle: take a bus no. 905 in Ålesund, then change to a bus no. 210 at Lande and then take a bus no. 220 at Linge Ferjekai.

Things to do in Geiranger:

  • Start with activities on Geirangerfjord. Cruising the fjord is a must here. Alternatively, you can go on a fjord tour on a RIB boat or in a kayak.
  • Get spectacular views from Dalsnibba or alternative viewpoints. There are multiple viewing platforms that offer different perspectives on the valley, Geirangerfjord, and the surrounding mountains. While Dalsnibba is the most popular one, consider hiking/driving to Ørnesvingen, Ljøen panorama point, and Flydalsjuvet as well.
  • Set out on a hiking trip. Two of the most popular hikes are the waterfall hike and the hike to Skageflå farm – both offer captivating views and a chance to enjoy Norway’s spectacular nature.
  • Go on a waterfall-hopping adventure. There are three renowned waterfalls that run from the mountains into Geirangerfjord: Seven Sisters, Bridal Veil, and Suitor.
  • Gain new knowledge about fjords at Norsk Fjordsenter. Drop in a visitor and education center about the West Norwegian Fjords area.

Best hotels in Geiranger:

Hotel Union Geiranger Bad & Spa. Enjoy a fabulous stay at the luxurious Hotel Union Geiranger Bad & Spa! Take in spectacular views of the iconic Geirangerfjord from the comfort of your room. Guests absolutely love this hotel for its world-class wellness facilities. So, if you are seeking to relax in a spa or sauna, or get better in a treatment room, there is no better place in this region. Whether you are a recreational tourist or seeking a romantic gateway with your couple, this hotel would perfectly suit you. Prices start from $268 for two pax per night.

Grande Fjord Hotel. Seeking a top-notch stay in Geiranger? This boutique hotel is right for you! It is located just a short distance from the village center. Most rooms of this property have private balconies overlooking the spectacular Geirangerfjord. Here, you can enjoy modern Scandinavian cuisine from fresh, local ingredients at the on-site restaurant. And, of course, you can expect to see luxurious amenities here. Prices start from $451 for two pax per night.



reine village lofoten islands norway

If you have seen the photos of Norway, it’s most likely that you have already seen Reine’s landscapes. This is one of Norway’s most iconic fishing villages, which explains why tens of thousands of travelers flock to Reine every year. Thinking of coming to Lofoten? Reine is the perfect destination for such a trip, and you can stay here in an authentic rorbu (a historic fishing cabin), which is a superb experience on its own.

There are, indeed, plenty of things you can do in Reine village in Lofoten. Since Reine is a renowned fishing village in this archipelago, you may set out on a guided fishing tour in the fjord or try kayaking. Other popular activities here include visiting two famous spectacular beaches (Horseid and Bunes) and catching the Northern Lights.

Lofoten is a perfect destination for hiking, and Reine is home to the region’s most popular yet challenging hike – Reinebringen. It takes from 2 to 3 hours to reach the summit, but this trek is challenging – especially beware of slippery stones during the rainy weather. You can also explore the wildlife of the neighboring island of Værøy – take a fjord cruise to reach it.

In this village, there are attractions that are absolutely worth your attention. Reine Cultural Center, a former school that was transformed into an art gallery, exhibits the works of siblings Eva and Karl Erik Harr. On the other hand, Lofoten Toy Museum contains Norway’s largest collection of toys (well over 1,500), dating back from 1860 up until 1965. And if all of this is not enough for you, finish up your trip with a short drive to the scenic village with an odd name of Å.

If you are curious about traveling to this archipelago, check out our article on what to do in Lofoten.

Population: 314.

Region: Lofoten, Nordland County, Northern Norway.

Nearest big city: Tromsø.

How to reach Reine by public transport:

  • Plane: take a plane from Tromsø to Leknes (there are at least a couple of flights per day); take a bus no. 300 or no. 742 from Leknes to Reine. There are also daily flights from Oslo and Bergen to Leknes.

Things to do in Reine:

  • Hike to Reinebringen. The archipelago’s most popular hike offers a fabulous view of Reine and the surrounding mountains with the fjord.
  • Embark on a fjord cruise to Værøy Island. Don’t miss this chance to explore the island’s rich and diverse wildlife.
  • Visit stunning Horseid and Bunes Beaches. You need to take a ferry (Fjordkyss morning ferry from Reine) to reach both of these astonishing beaches.
  • Catch the Northern Lights in winter. You can order a guided tour or try doing it on your own. Read our article with tips for catching aurora borealis.
  • Pay a visit to Reine Cultural Center and Lofoten Toy Museum. These two places are the village’s main attractions (read in the text above).
  • Try other activities on the fjord. Kayaking and fishing are extremely popular among visitors.
  • Drive to the Å village. Located just 10 kilometers westwards, this picturesque fishing village is home to myriads of red rorbuer and the fascinating Norwegian Fishing Village Museum.

Best hotels in Reine:

Catogården Hotel. Housed in a renovated historic building, Catogården Hotel features a kayak center, a yoga studio, and beautifully designed guest rooms. Here, you can rejuvenate in the hot tub or sauna after a day of exploring Reine. Catogården is also known for promoting sustainable tourism, which is worth praise, too. If you are craving a unique stay in Reine, book your room in this hotel! Prices start from $155 for two pax per night.

Reine Rorbuer. Experience authentic Lofoten living at Reine Rorbuer! Stay in a traditional fisherman’s cabin, beautifully restored with modern comforts, and wake up to breathtaking views of the fjord and mountains. And the location is ideal — in the center of the fishing village! There are different cabin options for couples, families, and groups of friends. Most of them feature kitchenettes for self-catering. Or, alternatively, you can enjoy fresh seafood at the on-site restaurant. You can also rent a boat or a bicycle at this hotel. Prices start from $301 for two pax per night.



Most beautiful norway coastal towns: Henningsvær

Renowned as the home of the world’s most picturesque football pitch, Henningsvær is located on the opposite side of Lofoten. With a slightly bigger population than Reine, Henningsvær is absolutely one of the best small towns in Norway to visit. But the town’s attraction is not limited solely to that scenic football pitch (which we advise you to visit, though); there are a lot of exciting things to do in Henningsvær!

The town is also known as the hipster capital of Lofoten, which abounds with cozy cafés, unique boutiques, and charming wooden houses that occupy its streets. And one of the great ways to start your day in Henningsvær is by visiting its outstanding art galleries. One of these galleries is Galleri Lofotens Hus, which is a family-run museum that exhibits over 100 beautiful artworks related to Lofoten. Kaviar Factory, a genuine old caviar factory in the past, is now an art place and another point of interest.

Of course, you cannot stay in this town without visiting its famous port. There, you can also drop in Heimgårdsbrygga, a 19th-century old fishery that remains one of the oldest standing constructions in Henningsvær. The town is particularly famous for cod production, as it exports more than 66,000 tons of cod every year. So, don’t miss your chance to taste this local product in one of Henningsvær’s restaurants. Besides, the town abounds with unique shops where you can buy some out-and-outer souvenirs!

After all, you can set out on a hike to Festvågtind, which offers fabulous views over this fishing village and the spacious fjord. The trek is rather moderate and takes from 2 to 3 hours, but be aware of the weather forecasts and avoid hiking during adverse weather conditions. All in all, Henningsvær is deservedly one of the best coastal towns to visit in Norway.

Population: 510.

Region: Lofoten, Nordland County, Northern Norway.

Nearest big city: Tromsø.

How to reach Henningsvær by public transport:

  • Plane: take a plane from Tromsø to Svolvær (there are at least a couple of flights per day); take a bus no. 743 from Svolvær to Henningsvær. There are also daily flights from Oslo and Bergen to Svolvær.

Things to do in Henningsvær:

  • Visit local art museums: Galleri Lofotens Hus and Kaviar Factory. Marvel at some exceptional artworks about this archipelago.
  • Hike to Festvagtind. A moderate hike that takes 2 to 3 hours to complete and offers spectacular views over Henningsvær.
  • Visit the port and 19th-century Heimgårdsbrygga. The latter is an old fishery that still retains that old vibe and stores fishing gear that was used in the past.
  • Go on a shopping rampage at local boutiques and taste cod in the town’s atmospheric restaurants. You must absolutely try meals from the locally caught cod. Regarding the shops, there are quite a few interesting ones: for instance, Engelskmannsbrygga sells classy glass and ceramics, while visitors flock to Cod & Haddock to buy knitwear.

Best hotels in Henningsvær:

Tobiasbrygga. Looking for an authentic stay in the heart of Henningsvær? Book your stay in these modern, waterfront apartments in a restored 1935 wooden building in the town’s center. All of them feature nice kitchens and comfortable living spaces. If you are seeking a calm and welcoming escape within a lively village setting, Tobiasbrygga is the place to stay! Prices start from $203 for two pax per night.

Villa Bryggekanten. Experience the vibrant heart of Henningsvær in style at Villa Bryggekanten. This boutique hotel combines intricate historical details with modern comforts. And here you can take in the stunning views of this picturesque fishing village. One of the highlights of your stay would definitely be the delicious breakfasts, especially the local delicacies. Prices start from $214 for two pax per night.



beautiful villages in norway to visit: Nusfjord

If you are traveling to Lofoten, Nusfjord is a perfect destination for a one- or two-day trip from the town where you are staying. This is one of the best-preserved fishing villages in Norway, and its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1975 is evidence of that. In fact, those 22 residents that still live here can’t keep up with the flow of tourists that flock to Nusfjord every year!

Unlike the bigger fishing villages nearby (such as Reine and Henningsvær), you need to pay a fee to enter this village. And there are not as many things to do in Nusfjord. The village itself is a huge open-air museum, where you can stroll the streets and see the old houses from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some notable buildings include the 19th-century bakery, cod liver oil factory, boathouse, post office, forge, and fisherman’s cabin.

The most picturesque and interesting part of Nusfjord is the area around the port. On this trip, the guide will tell you about the daily lives of traveling fishermen, and you will have a chance to learn about the squire who controlled the village from the 1840s to the 1960s. Besides, there are also a couple of decent restaurants serving locally caught fish and souvenir shops in the village.

Population: 22.

Region: Lofoten, Nordland County, Northern Norway.

Nearest big city: Tromsø.

How to reach Nusfjord by public transport:

  • Plane: take a plane from Tromsø to Leknes (there are at least a couple of flights per day); take a bus no. 741 from Leknes to Nusfjord. There are also daily flights from Oslo and Bergen to Leknes.

Things to do in Nusfjord:

  • Visit Nusfjord Museum. Stroll the streets of once a thriving fishing village.
  • Explore the village’s scenic port area. Seize this chance to learn more about how fishermen worked back in the day!

Best hotels in Nusfjord:

Nusfjord Arctic Resort. Step back in time and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Lofoten Islands at the Nusfjord Arctic Resort.  This secluded fishing village offers a unique stay in traditional ‘rorbuer’ fishermen’s cabins, lovingly restored for modern comfort. Wake up to breathtaking views of the fjord, mountains, and the village harbor. Two on-site restaurants serve fresh seafood and traditional Norwegian dishes. Fishing trips, boat and hiking tours are available for booking. Prices start from $362 for two pax per night.



The most beautiful fjord towns in norway: Mosjøen

One of the least known yet undoubtedly best small fjord towns in Norway to visit is Mosjøen, the oldest town in the Helgeland region. This cozy Norwegian town has been under the radar of huge crowds of tourists. So, if you prefer some low-key travel destinations, Mosjøen is one of the best small towns in Norway to consider for such a trip.

Situated on the shore of Vefsnfjorden, this town is best known for the picturesque photos taken at Sjøgata, the city’s historic central street. Most of the buildings date back to the 19th century, but the atmosphere is lively and thriving there! After you finish taking this architectural and historic beauty, pay a visit to the lavishly adorned 18th-century Dolstad Church.

Mosjøen’s main museum at Jacobsenbrygga is the other notable attraction in this town. There, you can learn about the town’s past and enjoy some prominent artworks related to this region. Besides, this museum is part of a larger Helgeland Museum, the buildings of which are distributed all over the Helgeland. The other museum’s buildings in Mosjøen include Vefsn rural museum, the police station, and the historic gas station.

Indeed, though, genuine thrill-seekers would love to choose this town as a destination for their next vacation. There are plenty of exciting activities you can do here! The most popular one is hiking the Helgelandstrappa, the steps of which were laid down by the Sherpas to the summit of Øyfjellet. From there, you will get a perfect view of the town, the fjord, and the mountains around.

More extreme activities in the mountains include zipline and via ferrata, both of which are tremendously popular among travelers. Svenningelva, a river 40 kilometers up north, is a perfect spot for rafting, as there are ideal conditions for both family rafting and more challenging ventures. After all, the cave Øyfjellgrotta promises an exciting cave exploration adventure for born explorers!

Population: 9,843.

Region: Nordland County, Northern Norway.

Nearest big city: Trondheim.

How to reach Mosjøen by public transport:

  • Plane: take a 50-minute flight from Trondheim. There are also flights from Tromsø, Bergen, and Oslo.
  • Train: F7 train runs from Trondheim to Mosjøen twice a day (the trip takes around 5 hours and a half).

Things to do in Mosjøen:

  • Explore the historical Sjøgata street. The central street consists of lined-up 19th-century picturesque houses, which makes this place look like a postcard. But no, these streets are full of life! Also, consider visiting the richly furnished 18th-century Dolstad Church, situated in 20 minutes of walking from the town’s center.
  • Visit the museum at Jacobsenbrygga. Pick up stories about the town’s past at Mosjøen’s major museum.
  • Marvel at the artworks at Galleri SOS. View the impressive exhibition of Stig-Ove Sivertsen’s works.
  • Go hiking the Helgeland steps and reach Mount Øyfjellet. Climb up the long route made of stone steps and reach the summit that offers a spectacular view of the town and the area around it.
  • Try exciting summer activities: via ferrata, zipline, rafting, and cave exploring are extremely popular here.

Best hotels in Mosjøen:

Fru Haugans. Are you looking for a special stay in Mosjøen? Book one of the 50 available rooms at the Fru Haugans Hotel, which has received guests since 1872. Enjoy a budget-friendly stay in the heart of Mosjøen. Prices start from $155 for two pax per night.



beautiful villages in norway to visit: Undredal

With a population of just 112 people, Undredal sits on the shore of Aurlandsfjorden. In fact, if you have ever cruised UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord, it’s most likely that you have sailed past this remote picturesque village. This is deservedly one of the most beautiful villages in Norway, as it is surrounded by imposing mountains from three sides and by the deep fjord from the fourth.

This fjord village is renowned for its goat farms and cheese-making traditions. In fact, Undredal’s goat population is five times larger than that of humans! So, one of the first and foremost things you must do here is to visit a goat farm and taste their locally produced cheese. If you are curious about cheese-making techniques, don’t skip a visit to Eldhuset, a historic building that was used for making food a long time ago.

Another prominent point of interest here is the Undredal Stave Church, the smallest stave church in Scandinavia that was established as early as 1147 (though restored in 1722). If you would like to get a phenomenal perspective on this village, have a relaxed, short walk to the Hjødna viewpoint.

After all, Undredal’s isolated location makes it a perfect destination for hiking. There are at least a couple of decent hikes. Set out on an easy hike to Stigen Farm on the picturesque out-and-back trail along the fjord, with little elevation gain. If you are in favor of something more challenging, hike to Hovdungo mountain in Aurland and enjoy mind-blowing panoramic views!

Population: 112.

Region: Vestland County, Western Norway.

Nearest big city: Bergen.

How to reach Undredal by public transport:

  • Bus: NW162 from Bergen and change to a bus no. 851 at Bøen (the entire trip takes around 6 hours).
  • Train: R40 or F4 train from Bergen to Myrdal (the train runs every two hours); from there, drive to Undredal or call a taxi.
  • Bus and ferry: take a bus NW162 or NW420 from Bergen to Gudvangen or Flåm, respectively; from there, take a ferry to Undredal.

Things to do in Undredal:

  • Relish in cheese tasting at a local goat farm. Try their famous brown and white goat cheese, which is produced locally and without the use of pasteurizing.
  • Visit the historic Undredal Stave Church. Visit a small historical church that dates back to as early as 1147.
  • Observe the village from the Hjødna viewpoint. Go on a short walk to enjoy the view of Undredal from a perfect spot!
  • Dive into the techniques of cheese making at Eldhuset. This house was historically used for cooking, but nowadays, it tells stories about cheese making and allows visitors to taste their renowned cheese.
  • Hike to Hovdungo and stay overnight at Ørnareiret (Eagle’s Nest). Complete this strenuous hike to enjoy spectacular scenery and stay overnight at a small hut Ørnareiret, located 250 meters above Hovdungo.
  • Hike to the remote Stigen Farm. A much more moderate hike to this isolated farm offers a relaxed stroll in nature.

Best hotels near Undredal:

Gudvangen Fjordtell. Although Gudvangen Fjordtell is not located in Undredal, it’s one of the best hotels in this area. Situated on the shore of the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord, this hotel offers to stay in rooms featuring Viking-inspired decor. You can relish traditional Norwegian meals and fresh seafood at the on-site restaurants on the waterfront. Prices start from $260 for two pax per night.



flam village norway

Flåm, a picturesque mountain village, is located at the inner end of that same Aurlandsfjorden, not far from Undredal. It connects the two most exciting legs of Norway in a Nutshell journey, which perfectly sums up what are the best things to do in this village.

Indeed, this destination is famous worldwide thanks to the famous Flåmsbana, which is oftentimes described as the world’s most scenic ride. And you must absolutely hop on this historic train to witness the beauty of the scenic Flåm Valley and mighty Kjossfossen waterfall. The other fabulous experience is the fjord cruise from Flåm to Gudvangen, where you will sail the majestic Nærøyfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At Gudvangen, we recommend you visit the Viking Valley and witness how the old Nordic people lived in real life.

If you are staying in the town, consider visiting a couple of major attractions here. For instance, you can learn more about Flåmsbana at the Flåm Railway Museum – the entrance is free of charge! The other notable point of interest is the Flåm Church, which dates back to as far as 1340 (but was completed only in 1670). Fretheim Cultural Park is also an interesting place where you can have a relaxed walk and get a lovely view of this mountain village.

For travelers with a more active lifestyle, there are a couple of fascinating trekking routes. First of all, you can hike to the Stegastein viewpoint, which offers spectacular views of the fjord and mountains. Another worthwhile hike leads to the Brekkefossen waterfall, which you can see up close. After all, there are fantastic opportunities for hiking in Flåm Valley – or consider enjoying that fantastic scenery using Scandinavia’s longest zipline!

Besides, you can also read a concise travel guide to Flåm in our blog.

Population: 350.

Region: Vestland County, Western Norway.

Nearest big city: Bergen.

How to reach Flåm by public transport:

  • Bus: NW420 or NW162 from Bergen (less than 3 hours).
  • Train: F4 and R45 or R40 and R45 from Bergen (over 4 hours).
  • Ferry: ferry no. 890 runs from Bergen to Flåm every day (almost a 6-hour long trip).

Things to do in Flåm:

  • Enjoy the world’s most scenic Flåmsbana train ride. This journey will take you through the scenic Flåm Valley, and you will make a stop near the roaring Kjossfossen waterfall.
  • Embark on a fabulous cruise through UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord. This is absolutely one of the best travel experiences in Norway by far!
  • Make a trip to the Viking Valley in Gudvangen. Njardarheimr is a genuine Viking village where people lead the same lifestyle that their ancestors led many centuries ago!
  • Don’t miss out on hiking adventures. There are three popular trekking routes in this area: hiking to Stegastein, Brekkefossen waterfall, and through Flåm Valley. All of the hikes are moderate, and even inexperienced hikers can complete them.
  • Satisfy your adrenaline thirst by taking a zipline through the Flåm Valley. With a total length of 1,381 meters, this is the longest zipline in Scandinavia.
  • Visit other prominent points of interest in Flåm. The entrance to Flåm Railway Museum is free, and here you can learn more about this historic railway. Visit the 17th-century Flåm Church and enjoy a relaxed stroll to Fretheim Kulturpark.

Best hotels in Flåm:

Flamsbrygga Hotell. Embrace the spirit of the fjords at Flåmsbrygga Hotell. This hotel blends rusting charm with modern comforts. Wake up to fjord views and savor delicious food inspired by local flavors. And if you want something more, head to the on-site brewpub for a pint of beer. Prices start from $255 for two pax per night.

Fretheim Hotel. Step into a world of timeless elegance at the Fretheim Hotel. This historic hotel opened back in 1877. Among its guests were King Edward VII and Kaiser Wilhelm II. Choose from a variety of rooms and suites, all decorated in a classic Norwegian style. And every room comes with a captivating perspective of the stunning Aurlandsfjord. In terms of dining, the hotel’s on-site restaurant is second to none in this region. Prices start from $317 for two pax per night.



town andalsnes norway

One may call the town of Åndalsnes in Norway a genuine magnet for climbers and mountain enthusiasts. And true: the region’s renowned Romsdalen Valley and dominant mountains make Åndalsnes one of the most beautiful small towns in Norway.

Before you embark on hiking adventures in the mountains, consider visiting the local Norwegian Mountaineering Centre, which is an architectural masterpiece on its own. In order to easily enjoy the fantastic scenery this amazing town has to offer, take a ride in a Romsdalen Gondola to the mountain Nesaksla. There, you can take in stunning views while dining out at the Eggen Restaurant, located straight on the mountain’s summit.

From Åndalsnes, travelers usually set out on the challenging yet spectacular Romsdalseggen Ridge hike (learn more about this hike in our article about the top 10 fabulous hikes in Norway). If you are looking for a slightly easier but not less breathtaking hike, head to Rampestreken and enjoy an out-of-this-world view of the valley (though the hike is still considered challenging for inexperienced hikers).

There are also two other notable places, and the names of both of them include the word “troll.” The first one is Trollstigen (where you can get in a few hours of hiking from this town), a curvy road that has become one of Norway’s famous landmarks. The roaring Stigfossen waterfall that runs down next to this road is another point of interest.

Trollveggen, the Troll Wall, is a range of mountains that can boast of having the highest vertical rock face in Europe, which rise more than 1,100 above from the valley floor. Though, keep in mind that there have been no climbing activities for years. Climbing Trollveggen is dangerous because sometimes huge sections of the wall simply collapse, posing a serious risk to the climbers.

After all, Raumabanen, or the Rauma Rail Line, offers a genuinely scenic train journey that will likely leave you speechless afterward. Moreover, parts of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince were filmed on this line, in the area between Dombås and Lesja. So, one can absolutely say that there are plenty of amazing things to do in this town, which makes Åndalsnes one of the best small towns in Norway for a visit.

Population: 2,403.

Region: Møre og Romsdal County, Western Norway.

Nearest big city: Ålesund.

How to reach Åndalsnes by public transport:

  • Bus: Vy Buss Vy148 runs from Ålesund to Åndalsnes twice a day (a 2-hour long trip).
  • Train: trains F6 and R65 from Trondheim (the entire trip takes from 4 to 6 hours).

Things to do in Åndalsnes:

  • Choose from a variety of remarkable hikes. Romsdalseggen hike takes from 8 to 9 hours and is considered extremely challenging, but offers stunning views over the valley. The trek to Rampestreken is much shorter but may be difficult for novice hikers.
  • Visit the Norwegian Mountaineering Centre. This is a must-see place for outdoor and climbing enthusiasts.
  • Set out on an exciting journey to Trollstigen. The curvy Troll’s Road is one of the country’s renowned attractions and a perfect area for hiking. Here, you can see the mighty Stigfossen waterfall as well.
  • Hop on a Romsdalen Gondola. Take a 10-minute ride to the mountain Nesaksla, which overlooks the town of Åndalsnes and the towering Romsdalen mountains.
  • Hike to the intimidating Troll Wall in the unforgettable Romsdalen Valley. This impressive rock face can boast an awe-inspiring vertical elevation of over 1,100 meters, which makes it Europe’s tallest vertical rock.
  • Experience a truly scenic train ride on Rauma Line. Raumabanen can easily rival Flåm’s railway with its picturesque, stunning landscapes.

Best hotels in Åndalsnes:

Hotel Aak. Located in the Romsdalen Valley, Hotel Aak is one of Norway’s oldest countryside hotels. From the balcony of your room, you will get to enjoy the captivating views of the Romsdalen peaks. And if you want to savor a mix of Norwegian and international cuisine, head to the hotel’s on-site restaurant. Prices start from $291 for two pax per night.

Grand Hotel – by Classic Norway Hotels. Experience the grandeur of Åndalsnes at the Grand Hotel Bellevue. Choose from rooms and suites with modern amenities that retain a sense of tradition. Savor delicious cuisine and drinks while admiring the scenic panorama at the on-site restaurant with a bar. Prices start from $238 for two pax per night.



The town of Arendal in Norway

Arendal is one of the biggest Norwegian towns on this list, and it is absolutely one of the best towns to visit in Norway – especially if you stay in the south. Besides, the true fans of Frozen might know that Norway has inspired many of the places seen in the movie! And as you can read in our article, the fictional town of Arendelle was actually inspired by Arendal.

Start your trip by exploring Arendal’s old town, where you can marvel at some of the finest pieces of architecture. In particular, don’t miss the old town hall and the Church of Holy Trinity – the latter is, perhaps, the world’s only church that features a 7-Eleven shop in its basement. On top of that, get an out-of-this-world perspective on the city from the top of Fløyheia in the town’s center, which you can reach by taking a glass lift.

The town has quite a few interesting museums that you may consider visiting. The most popular one among travelers is the KUBEN Museum, which is housed in an ultra-modern building and displays multiple exhibitions related to the cultural history of the town of Arendal and this region as a whole. Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall, on the other hand, exhibits one of the largest collections of modern art in Norway. And don’t skip a visit to Kløckers Hus, which shows how a typical family lived in Arendal 100 years ago.

Besides, there are also some great places near Arendal for outdoor activities. For instance, you may take a ferry to Merdø island nearby, where you can sunbathe on sandy beaches or set out on a hiking adventure. The marine Raet National Park offers even more opportunities for outdoor recreation – from cycling to canoeing. On top of that, you can head to Hove recreational area for a relaxed picnic. All in all, Arendal is absolutely one of the best small towns in Norway that you must absolutely visit on your next trip.

Population: 45,509.

Region: Agder County, Southern Norway.

Nearest big city: Oslo.

How to reach Arendal by public transport:

  • Bus: Vy Buss Vy190 from Oslo Bussterminal and bus change to no. 112 at Harebakken, not far from Arendal.

Things to do in Arendal:

  • Stroll Arendal’s compact old town. Marvel at the historic buildings of this marvelous town. In particular, visit Arendal’s old town hall (which was built in 1815) and Trinity Church.
  • Enjoy a spectacular view of Arendal from the top of Fløyheia. Take the brand-new glass elevator and witness the mesmerizing vistas of this town.
  • Explore the town’s museums. There are several notable cultural institutions in the town: KUBEN Museum, Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall, and Kløckers Hus.
  • Visit Raet National Park, one of the few marine national parks in Norway. There are plenty of exciting activities you can do here: hiking, cycling, swimming off the stunning beaches, canoeing, embarking on a boat trip, or camping.
  • Take a ferry to Merdø island. This is a car-free island just outside of Arendal, offering you museums, sandy beaches, and interesting places for hiking. An ideal place for a picnic!
  • Go hiking in the recreational area at Hove. Here, you can find walking paths for hiking in a relaxed environment and resting areas along the seashore.

Best hotels in Arendal:

Thon Hotel Arendal. Book your stay at the Thon Hotel Arendal, a modern hotel in the heart of this vibrant city. Enjoy waterfront views, comfortable rooms, delicious dining, and easy access to the best Arendal has to offer. An extensive (and delicious) breakfast buffet is served every morning and included with your stay. Prices start from $147 for two pax per night.

Lille Hotell. Immerse yourself in art-filled spaces, comfortable rooms, and the warm buzz of a city-center location at the Lille Hotel. The accommodation is filled with vibrant art installations and unique design elements. Enjoy individually styled rooms with comfortable beds and thoughtful amenities. Plenty of restaurants and cafes are within walking distance. Prices start from $110 for two pax per night.



The town of Norheimsund in Western Norway, near Steinsdalsfossen

If you are looking for charming small towns in Norway to visit, don’t look past Norheimsund, a cozy town that sits on the shore of Hardangerfjord. That’s one of the lesser-known Norway’s coastal towns that are absolutely worth a visit.

Indeed, many travelers arrive in Norheimsund to see one major attraction – Steinsdalsfossen. This is a waterfall that allows visitors to walk behind it without getting wet! It is located just 30 minutes of walking away from the town’s center or a 10-minute ride on a bicycle. Another thing you can do here is to visit a cider farm – this region is famous for its traditions of making organic cider and apple juice.

Since Norheimsund is one of the best fjord towns in Norway, you shouldn’t skip activities on Hardangerfjord. Consider taking a relaxing fjord cruise to explore the area around this region. Or, if you are craving something more extreme, embark on a fjord safari in a RIB boat.

If you get bored in Norheimsund, you may consider driving (or even walking – it takes just slightly more than an hour) to Øystese, a town nearby. There, you can find multiple shops run by local farmers who sell their own produce. The town’s main attraction is Kunsthuset Kabuso, a cultural center that draws in many visitors from around the region. In case you are traveling with family, Øystese’s aquapark is something that your kids will fall in love with!

Population: 4,399.

Region: Vestland County, Western Norway.

Nearest big city: Bergen.

How to reach Norheimsund by public transport:

  • Bus: route no. 925 runs from Bergen every two hours (the trip takes an hour and a half).

Things to do in Norheimsund:

  • Visit the famous Steinsdalsfossen waterfall. The unique feature of this waterfall is that visitors can literally walk behind it, which makes it an extremely popular attraction in Norway.
  • Take a cider-tasting tour at a local farm. The Hardanger region is renowned for cider-making, and here you can combine the experience of learning techniques of making cider and tasting the finished product.
  • Don’t miss out on fjord activities. Take a fjord cruise to enjoy the local nature while relaxing, or set out on a fjord safari in a RIB boat (which is a more extreme version).
  • Make a trip to the neighboring town of Øystese. In addition to the town’s stunning nature, here you can find farmers’ shops, an aquapark, and a cultural center.


If you want to travel to Norway and visit some of these towns, contact us so that we can create an exciting, tailored tour for you.

So, these are the most beautiful small towns in Norway that you should consider visiting, in our opinion. Besides, if you are traveling to Norway in the summer, you can check out the most popular hiking routes in Norway and ideas for perfect summer holidays in Norway in our blog.

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