Photo: Bjoern Erik Olsen / Www.Nordnorge.Com
Fjord Tours Articles / 9 Dec 2021

Guide to Bodø

The charming town of Bodø is the perfect gateway to natural wonders, historical treasures, and cultural immersion in Norway. From hiking the glaciers to drinking delicious locally brewed beer, there is something in this Norwegian town for everyone. Vibrant, lively, and exciting, this Norwegian city often goes unmentioned by many tour guides but is a true hidden gem well worth visiting for any traveler!

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Photo: Kjetil Iversen / Www.Nordnorge.Com

Where is Bodø?

The town of Bodø is the largest in Nordland county and the second-largest in Northern Norway. Located just above the Arctic Circle, Bodø is the capital of the northern region of Nordland.

Bodø is situated directly on the Aurora Oval, providing the perfect vantage point for this dazzling show in the sky – so many travellers come here in search of the Northern Lights.

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Photo: Tofoto / Www.Nordnorge.Com

What’s the weather like in Bodø?

As you’d expect from a Scandinavian town, the weather in Bodø is usually quite cold. The summers are short and mostly cloudy in Norway, with a maximum average temperature of around 16°C. However, Bodø winters are long, windy, and freezing cold – so make sure you pack plenty of layers and invest in a good pair of boots for your visit. The average winter temperature is around -5°C, and doesn’t usually dip below -10°C, so it’s perfect for a snowy outdoors romp and warming up by the fire after!

While Bodø weather doesn’t venture into ‘shorts and a t-shirt’ territory, the best time to visit for summer activities is between mid-July and mid-August. If you’re feeling courageous, you can even partake in the Norwegian tradition of ice-swimming – throw yourself into the freezing water for one of the most invigorating experiences of your life!

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Photo: Tommy Andreassen /

What to do in Bodø

Bodø is a town of many layers, with a different vibe depending on the time of year or even the day of the week. Many people visit Norway for a glimpse of the spectacular Aurora Borealis, and Bodø is perfectly situated to enjoy a view of the lights dancing across the sky.

Bodø is also a fantastic epicenter of history and traditional Scandinavian architecture. One of the most recognizable sites in the city, Bodø Domkirke is definitely worth a visit. First built in the late 19th century, this beautiful church was utterly destroyed during WW2 and reconstructed in the 1950s.

For a day trip around the Bodø harbour, take a short ferry trip across to the Nyholms Fort and Lighthouse. Standing in its original 1810 condition, this rustic fortress was abandoned in 1835, and opened to the public for tours in the mid-1960s. Follow up your day exploring with a relaxing lunch at the local favorite Bjork, and wash down the delicious local produce with a glass of locally-brewed Hundmolen beer.

You can not be in Bodø without exploring Saltstraumen, the world´s strongest maelstrom, and a spectacular and somewhat intimidating phenomenon to behold! There are several ways of experiencing Saltstraumen either from land, from the bridge Saltstraumbrua or the most intense way; from a RIB-boat on the water.

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Photo: Leon Karlsen Johannessen / Www.Nordnorge.Com

While the town of Bodø is incredibly charming, we would also recommend that you explore some of the glorious untouched wilderness surrounding this Norwegian town. Just 28km outside of Bodø lies Sjunkhatten National Park, the perfect place to lose yourself in nature. Right near the famous Mjelle Beach, this beautiful reserve stretches over 417 square kilometers, and is a haven for native animals and cold-weather flora.

If you feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day, visit Bodø between June 2nd and July 10th. The incredible midnight sun means that Norway is bathed in sunlight 24 hours a day, and is the perfect place for late-night hikes, skiing, or exploring the beautiful old town center. Also, you can enjoy late-night shopping from local designers under the glittering eternal twilight.

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Photo: © Thon Hotel Nordlys

Where to stay in Bodø

There are accommodation options in Bodø for all budgets and tastes. Hotels in Bodø can be pretty expensive – however, nothing beats the comfort of a clean and quiet hotel room, and there are some fantastic hotels in the town center, right near the vibrant main strip.

Bodø is also home to many campsites and caravan parks for those who wish to get more involved with nature. Set up your tent near the beautiful Ausvika Beach, or stay overnight at Bodøsjøen Campsite for wonderful views of the Saltfjorden.

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Photo: Tomasz Furmanek

How to get to Bodø

There are plenty of ways to travel to Bodø from Norway’s major cities. For time-poor travelers, flying to Bodø is the best option. The flight from Oslo takes just under three hours, but the best way to travel is by train on the Northern railway.

If you want to see the rugged landscape of Norway on your journey, the train from Oslo to Bodø is your best bet. This 1075km route takes just under 19 hours to complete and showcases the best of the Norwegian mountains, snowy plains, and windswept wilderness. You can save on accommodation by booking an overnight sleeper train, or even break up your trip by stopping in Trondheim to explore this history-rich city. You could even rent a car and drive the rest of the way to Bodø! Trains between Oslo and Bodø usually run once or twice a day, though holidays and weather may affect this, so be sure to check while planning your trip.

While you are in Bodø, a trip to the spectacular Lofoten Islands is within reach. The Legendary Lofoten tour, brings you to the Lofoten Islands in an easy, comfortable, and efficient way. You can also add the unique Helgeland Coast to your Lofoten tour to make the most out of your trip in the arctic.