Norway Weekend Itinerary: Things to do in 3 Days
There is no arguing that Norway is a beautiful country with breathtaking scenery.
But it’s something more than just majestic mountains, fjords, and waterfalls; Norway also boasts rich cultural history and vibrant cities.
The people there are friendly and welcoming, the food is tasty, and the activities are plentiful. Sounds like a fairy tale destination and a perfect place to spend an unforgettable weekend, right?
But there is a downside to all this glory – with so much to see in such a short amount of time, planning a trip featuring the best that Norway has to offer might be rather tricky. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
In this post, you can find all you need to know about organizing a 3-day Norway itinerary!
Best Time to Visit Norway
Norway is one of the lucky countries that don’t have an off-season. For example, if you decide to travel in summer – you can enjoy the wonderful phenomenon of the midnight sun, best observed in the northernmost regions, where it will be light all day and night, turning the experience into something otherworldly. Plus, Norway is a nordic country, so the weather in summer is the most favorable for those who don’t endure the cold very well.
Winter is just as magical, boasting an endless night and one of the most extraordinary things in the world – the wonder of aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights. Catching this miracle is on the Norway travel bucket list of any globetrotter.
To be fair, it’s not solely a winter experience, as the northern lights can be observed from late August to the beginning of April, but the chances for a successful hunt are much higher in wintertime. Plus, spending Christmas in Scandinavia is a separate form of pleasure, especially if you add Finland’s Lapland region to your itinerary.
Traveling to Norway in spring or autumn has its perks as well, of course. Most tourists prefer to keep to traditional winter and summer seasons, so choosing a less popular time means no overbooked hotels, overcrowded sights, and inflated prices. And, importantly, it still allows you to go hunting northern lights and enjoy the mild weather. A really great option if you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience!
What to Pack for Norway Tour
Of course, it heavily depends on when and where exactly are you going, but there are a few things that no trip to Norway can go without (your passport, health insurance, and all the preordered plane/train tickets go without saying).
The weather is unpredictable in this harsh country, so packing a water-resistant jacket and an umbrella is always a smart choice. You are going to walk a lot to explore the tourist attractions of the country, so comfortable shoes are also a “must”.
Keep in mind, that there are European power sockets in Norway, so make sure to get an adapter if you are used to US sockets. Of course, you can get one upon arrival, but it’s much better to have everything prepared in advance.
And don’t forget to pack your medicine if you take any (and checking whether it’s legal in Norway beforehand won’t hurt)!
Check more detailed information on packing and planning in the article about my Norway road trip.
Norway Cities You Don’t Want to Miss
The wonderful capital of the country, stunning Oslo, is of course the first on the list. It is packed with sights worth stopping by, such as the famous Oslo Opera House, the Akershus Fortress, and the Viking ship Museum. Take in some of Norway’s culture at Frogner Park with its many sculptures by Gustav Vigeland or visit one of the most popular museums in Scandinavia, the National Museum of Art!
Feel like being one on one with nature? Head to Fornebu for a walk along Munkerud Fjord before stopping off at Nesodden Beach to take on an invigorating hike across a series of small islands called ‘Oyster Islands’. Another great outdoor spot is Akerselva River Valley which offers amazing views from atop Mount Ulriken during winter when snow covers it.
Another great choice is the lovely city of Bergen. A few hours north of Oslo, this waterfront city is an excellent destination for travelers who want to rest a bit from the noise and the crowds of big cities.
Rent bikes at one location then cruise around town visiting sites like the Bergenhus Castle ruin site, or The Fish Market – all are set just a few minutes from each other. And no Bergen tour can go without a ride along the Bryggen, the colorful building stretching along the harbor, the calling card of the city, and one of the most recognizable sights in Scandinavia.
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Another must-do is a ride on Bergen’s Floibanen funicular. It’s a quick and scenic way up to the top of Mount Floyen, where you can admire the most stunning views in Scandinavia.
If hunting northern lights are on the table, Tromso is a perfect destination for you. This scenic city is nestled on the coast and is famous for being one of the best spots for experiencing aurora borealis. But don’t think that it’s all the city has to offer. It’s also a great place for walking, biking, playing golf, or taking in the local culture.
In just one (very busy!) day you’ll have time to take it all in: walk along the city’s famous boardwalk and explore its many shops and restaurants; go on an excursion tour of stunning natural landscapes – from mountains to fjords; explore such famous tourist attractions as Arctic Cathedral, Polaria, and Polarmuseum.
And what about Fjellheisen? It is a cable car that takes you up to the top of Mount Storsteinen. Head out through the gate at the back of Tromso Museum and follow signs for Fjellerasen, it’s a 20-minute walk from there. You have a choice between one of two tracks – one allows you to admire the views over most of Tromso while the other provides breathtaking panoramic views of Lyngenfjord – including glimpses of Russia across its wilderness landscape!
Must-Do in Norway
Enjoy a Ride Along the Flamsbana Railway
One of the most epic things you can treat yourself with is a picturesque ride along the Flamsbana Railway, one of the most scenic train lines on the planet!
The Flamsbana Railway spans 317 kilometers and runs through Norway’s highest mountains, lush forests with snow-capped peaks in the wintertime, and green rolling hills covered in wildflowers during the summer months. Most travelers don’t sign up for a ride along the whole railway but prefer to travel only through the most stunning section of it – the Flam – Myrdal railway.
You can find all you need to know about Flamsbana on norwaytrains.com and make sure to book your tickets in advance (for example, using the Rail Ninja booking platform), as they get sold out very fast.
Another amazing thing to try on your vacation is memorable dog sledding. It is a great way to get out and meet the locals while diving into the local culture. Getting up close and personal with dogs on their winter job will give you an insight into Norwegian life that no other activity could provide and it can easily become a highlight of your weekend!
Dog sledding is available all winter, but the best time to go on a tour is at the beginning or the end of the fairytale season. This way, you can enjoy all the perks of proper winter like an abundance of snow while not having to tolerate extremely cold temperatures.
Even though it might seem like a lot of work, or even something best left to the professionals, trust me, even inexperienced riders will enjoy the ride immensely. Dog sledding provides memories that will last for years! So explore your adventurous side and have some fun with the cute huskies.
Of course, the list of Norway’s most amazing travel activities can’t go without a cruise. Together with the phenomenon of the northern lights, majestic fjords are one of the most popular reasons why travelers from all over the world add Norway to their travel bucket lists.
But what exactly are fjords? Well, to put it simply, fjords are long, narrow inlets of the sea that have been created by glaciers. The name comes from Old Norse words meaning “ship canal.” They were vital for Norway’s trade for centuries and even today some areas still depend on fjord transport. Plus, they look absolutely incredible.
And there is no better way to take in their beauty than an exciting boat ride or a full-blast whole-day cruise. Choose whatever is more convenient for you, but keep in mind that the only way to properly explore and admire fjords is by traveling through them!
Norway is a fantastic country and although a few days is not enough time to see everything there is to see, it’s more than enough to fall in love with it once and for all.
A weekend in Scandinavia promises an amazing time and plenty of lifelong memories, so you can rest assured that the first getaway is unlikely to be your last trip.
The chances are that these three days will only fuel your hunger to explore more and dive deeper into the Nordic culture, so don’t try to fit as much as possible in your schedule, sacrificing ”better” for the sake of “more”.
If you liked Norway, you should definitely visit Stockholm in Sweden too!