A full week in Norway’s west coast is truly unimaginable. The mountains closing in on the fjords and the breathtaking views of the country side, I really do believe everyone needs to witness the beauty this country holds at least once in their lifetime.
The best way to view the country is by car. If you’re able to rent a vehicle, I would highly suggest it. Luckily, unlike other European countries, Norway is stocked with automatic driving (Yay for North Americans such as myself who do not know how to drive manual)!
Everywhere accepts credit card, although cash is also accepted. I would suggest getting a credit card that has no foreign exchange fees. In Canada, the credit card that was highly recommended to me was Scotiabank’s Passport visa (bear in mind this comes with an annual $130 fee).
Norway has a reputation of being extremely expensive and after travelling the country for a week, I completely agree with the consensus. To provide a rough idea, we ordered a small plate of paella at the fish market for $40CAD. Needless to say, we ended up cooking all our meals at home, which allowed us to enjoy each other’s company.
- $1CAD is roughly ~$6 NOK
Bergen (1 day)
Norway’s 2nd largest city is known as the ‘gateway to the fjords’ which makes complete sense once you see the mountains and bodies of water that this city is surrounded by. We found that a full day in Bergen would be sufficient to see the main sights; however, this charming city will steal your heart and you’ll wish you had more time here!
What to See/Do in Bergen
Fløibanen funicular up Mt Fløyen – Unfortunately we did not have time to do this, but while on the airplane towards Bergen, I was asking a local what the #1 thing to do in Bergen is and he mentioned this. If the weather is on your side and you have the time, I would listen to the local and take the ride up for a beautiful view of the city!
Exploring Bergen – The best part about Bergen is how walkable this city is. Simply walking from the old town, you’ll find yourself with limited time to see everything you want to see in Bergen!
Fish Market – As a fishing city, Bergen is known for it’s seafood market. This place is a must see if you’re a seafood lover! A small but abundant open market full of fresh seafood and heavenly smells. Warning – you will want to try everything and I highly suggest being prepared for a huge sticker shock. Norway is not cheap and the food at this market is anything but affordable. Example, I ordered a calamari paella about the size of half a styrofoam plate. This was approx $40 CAD.
Bryygen UNESCO World Heritage Site – The gorgeous colourful wooden buildings along the side of the fjord is simply stunning. This place is a UNESCO heritage site for a reason! Be sure to spend some time to wander around and in-between the little ally ways.
Souvenir Shopping – While walking around Bryygen, you’ll hundreds of souvenir stores. This is a great place to get some post cards, viking anything or bergen t shirts!
View of Bergen from Øvre Blekeveien – If you don’t have time to go up Mt Floyen, Ovre Blekevien is a short walk from old town Bergen and you get spectacular views of the city. On hot days the shallow but large foot pool is quite refreshing. You’ll see children splashing around and people just hanging around dipping their feet in while relaxing or having a picnic.
Hide from the rain in a Coffee Shop – If there is anything that the Scandinavians will never lack is the amount of coffee shops! On those rainy days (which could be often and unpredictable!) pick a coffee shop, head inside, grab a coffee/pastry and enjoy your time in this beautiful country.
Hike Trolltunga (2 Days)
- First day will be spent driving from Bergen to Trolltunga (~3.5 hour drive)
- Second day is dedicated to hiking Trolltunga. Want to know what it’s like hiking Trolltunga from a novice hiker’s perspective? read all about my adventure on Beginners Guide to Hiking Trolltunga
Stavanger (4 Days)
You’ve hiked the famous Trolltunga and you can’t wait to see what else Norway has to offer in its 3rd largest city? You’re in for a treat – I absolutely fell in love with this city and can’t wait to go back!
- First day will be spent driving from Trolltunga to Stavanger (~4.5 – 5 hour drive)
- Second day – I hope you had some rest because the 2nd day is meant for hiking another famous hike in Norway, Pulpit Rock or known as Preikestolen (~1.5 hour drive/ferry from Stavanger city centre).
- Third day – give yourself a break from the hiking and spend the day in the city exploring Stavanger!
- Fourth day – If your body is able and ready for another hike, kjeragbolten will astound you with a dare devil photo opportunity of standing on a boulder between 2 cliffs. Unfortunately our legs were not agreeing with another hike so soon and were not able to make it here. Although it was on the itinerary, you need to listen to your body first and foremost. Hopefully next time I come to Norway I’ll be able to finish this incredible hike!
What to See/Do in Stavanger
Gamle Stavanger – The old town of Stavanger feels as if you have stepped back in time. The cobbled floors and white wooden buildings are only a couple historic touches that this part of town offers. The winding pedestrian roads with modern stores will keep you occupied for a couple hours. When you reach the port, in the evening there is usually live music and great restaurants!
Street art – The amount of street art this city has is incredible! Not only is the art on building walls and streets, but near the petroleum museum there is a playground full of art and graffiti.
Øvre Holmegate – This colourful street is full of places to eat and funky writing on the walls of these buildings! It’s such a cool place to walk through and an iconic part of this city.
Eat at Fisketorget – When reading up on where to eat, this place came up a million and one times! That’s when you know it’s good or at least worth the try. Be sure to get the fish soup, it’s highly rate for good reason! I wish I had ordered a bigger bowl of fish soup.
Canning Museum/Petrolium Museum – If you’ve looked up places to see in Stavanger, you probably came across these museums already. Although I did not have the chance to check these out, I am an avid museum going and wish I had the change to go in!
Stavanger Art Museum – The one museum I did have the change to go into was the Art and Science museum. This beautiful place was small but filled with incredible pieces that kept us walking around for 1-2 hours!
Sverd i fjell – Have half an hour to kill before heading to the airport? perfect this is the place to go! As it was on the way to the airport, we made a pit stop to check out these 3 swords. The history behind this monument is to symbolize the battle of Hafrsfjord and how this battle united Norway as a country.