When most people think of Noway, they don’t think of anything besides Fjords. My experience in Norway was quite different. As you may know, Kyle and I like to budget travel so that way if we save money on one trip, we’ll be able to take another trip sooner. My trip to Norway, was absolutely a budget trip involving overnight planes, trains, and hostel stays. Unfortunately, Kyle was not with me on this trip. I went with my dad and brother, which was very fun, as they’re both equally as adventurous and down for whatever when it comes to traveling.
We found a cheap flight from New York City to Oslo, Norway (I believe it was a little under $400. Good old Norwegian Air.) We only had 4 days to explore the country and since we were flying into Oslo, we definitely had to explore their capital city. I also had a friend who was previously in Norway and her photos got me excited and I asked her for recommendations and she told me “You have to go to Bergen.” So I did.
My experience in Norway was focused on the two big cities in Norway (although Bergen felt like a cozy small town). I would love to return to visit the unscathed wilderness and fjords of Norway, but I also highly recommended checking out the city life in Norway as well.
City #1 Oslo
I just want to point out that one of the main reasons why our flight was so incredibly cheap was because we went during off season. Norway can get pretty chilly. A majority of our trip was filled with rain and very few hours of daylight, but this did not stop us, nor a plethora of people from wandering the streets and visiting tourist destinations such as the Oslo Opera House. Pictured below is my brother and father standing at the entrance to the Opera house located along the Inner Oslofjord. The architecture of this building was amazing, as it was mostly made out of glass, and the roof slanted in such a way that tourists could walk right on top of the Opera house. This was a place for awesome views, and was also great because climbing the building gave us something fun to do!
Another must-see in Oslo was Frogner Park. It’s a giant park filled with statues of people in interesting poses. It’s rather large and a bit out of the way, but definitely still very worth it. This park is home to the famous Norwegian statue called Sinnataggen. Sinnataggen is a sculpture of an angry baby, that for some reason, people (including myself) seem to love. It creates great material for copy-cat photos like the one of my father pictured below.
Besides visiting the Opera House and Sinnataggen, I think my favorite thing that we did was getting lost walking around the city and finding some good old street art. We found this awesome back alley way that had a chandelier hanging for what seemed like no good reason and we absolutely loved it!
One of my favorite pieces of street art in Oslo is pictured below. Something about the creepy skulls, lots of fire and,”We know your capitalistic paradise” stuck with me. I’ll always remember this piece.
Once you are done wandering around the streets of Oslo, make your way over to Oslo station to take a 7 hour long train ride across the country to visit Bergen! This train ride is one of the most scenic journeys in the entire world. Unfortunately, our train ride was at night time so we weren’t able to see most of the views, but because everything was snow covered, it was reflective at night time so we still did get to see some beautiful snow covered mountains! Since it was winter and it was snow everywhere, my brother and I refer to this train ride as “The Polar Express”.
City #2 Bergen
Although I loved Oslo, Bergen truly stole my heart. There was something so incredibly quaint about the old-styled buildings nestled into the hills and tripping over the cobble-stone streets. You don’t have to walk far out of Bergen train station to find yourself in the center of town. Pictured below is one of the first street views we saw just immediately walking into the city from Bergen station.
One of my favorite views from inside the city was the view from our hostel (Pictured below).
Once we were all warmed up from a brief stop at our hostel, we embraced the cold and took a walk to the cable car which carried us from center city to Fløyen. Fløyen is one of the mountains surrounding Bergen. At the top of the mountain, there are beautiful views of the city (on a clear day), as well as beautiful hiking trails.
Once we wandered back down from Fløyen, we set out to explore more of the city. We wandered around and our favorite part of the city the port where there were great views of the row of old buildings in Bergen called Bryggen. Bryggen, although it is filled with shops for tourists, still gives off that old-world charm. The bright colors of the buildings stand out even on a cloudy day in Bergen. Fun fact: In Bergen, it rains about 240 days a year, so it is very likely that you will have rain on this trip.
After all this is said and done, there’s one more unique experience that I highly recommend doing while in Norway. You’d think that the weather would deter people from wanting to spend more time outside, but even in the freezing rain, restaurants will still seat you outside upon request. This is because they provide you with tons of heat lamps and blankets. Below is a picture of my brother and I ending our night by relaxing, being silly, and drinking a glass of wine under heat lamps at Egon’s.
While I’m sure that Norway is filled with beautiful Fjords and mountains for hiking enthusiasts, I would definitely not pass up on the opportunity to do a city tour of this beautiful Scandinavian county.
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