Photo: Jørn Allan Pedersen/ visitnorway.Com
Fjord Tours Articles / 24 May 2019

How to spend five days in Norway

In spite of the incredible attractions, it’s never easy to create a travel itinerary for Norway when you only have so much time available. After all, what can you afford to miss when there is so many interesting things to see and do?

Photo: Terje Borud -

On the other hand, there are certainly places, attractions and experiences that you will want to include. What’s more, you can still encounter the highlights of Norway in as little as five days and in this article, we take a look at how to get the most from your upcoming adventure.

Travel Itinerary:

Day 1 – Explore the City of Oslo

When you first arrive in Norway, take that first day to explore the city of Oslo. You will encounter the city of Bergen shortly but Oslo is a great opportunity to ease your way into the adventure.

Oslo is situated in the midst of a truly attractive mountain and fjord landscape but the city itself is also overflowing with attractions, from the Opera house and Vigeland Sculpture Park to the Viking Ship Museum and the National Gallery. This artistic haven is also accompanied by luscious parks as well as cutting-edge architecture, elements that makes this such a pleasant city for a stroll.

And then there is the culinary scene, for Oslo has a vibrant coffee scene and some of the most exciting eateries in Norway, like Maemo - adorned with three Michelin stars. In fact, you will find everything from shrimp and hotdogs to tapas, sushi and new (and old) nordic cuisine in Oslo.  As if that’s not enough, this city is also home to some of the most vibrant nightlife spots in Scandinavia. See our Oslo hotel deals.

Day 2 – Take an Adventure into the Mountains and Fjords of Norway

You might already know about this tour, Norway in a Nutshell®. Departing from Oslo, this tour begins with a train journey through the mountains and includes a memorable fjord cruise on the spectacular Aurlandsfjord and the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord. For many visitors, the fjords of Norway are the highlight and this cruise enables one to gain a unique perspective of the scenery, while also feeling immersed in the surroundings. 

After the fjord cruise, you will also arrive at a beautiful little town called Gudvangen and from here, you will travel by bus through scenic landscapes until the town of Voss where you continue to Bergen by train.

Simply put, this is the best way to see as much as possible in Norway in just a short amount of time, which explains why it is called Norway in a Nutshell®


Day 3 – Take a Day to Relax and Wander Around Bergen

Bergen is surrounded by hills and one of the most historical cities in Norway. During medieval times, this was an important seaport and a base for the Hanseatic League. With this in mind, you can still see some of the Hanseatic buildings in Bryggen which date back to the 12th century. Moreover, the museums and galleries in Bergen are especially popular, while walking is by far the best way to explore.

In this sense, Bergen is more like a large town and neighborhoods such as Ladegården and Sandviken offer a nice insight into the local way of life in Norway. In terms of your travel itinerary, this is also just a nice opportunity to relax in between adventures and take some more time to enjoy the food, amenities and architecture of Norwegian civilization. Read more about the city of Bergen and find things to do in Bergen here. Check out the best hotel deals in Bergen.


Day 4 – Travel to Lysefjord and the famous “Pulpit Rock”

Departing from Bergen, you will take an express bus through dramatic scenery to Stavanger on the coast of Norway. From here, it’s possible to take a wonderful cruise to see the majestic “Pulpit Rock” and some of the most remarkable landscapes, features and natural attractions in Norway. In many ways, a fjord cruise is the only way to witness many of these features and natural beauty of the Norwegian fjord landscape.

However, you will also have the opportunity to climb to the top of this incredible formation for some truly spectacular views in Norway. At more than 604 meters above Lysefjord, this plateau is one of the most iconic in the world and often the subject for travel magazines and social media platforms. Following this cruise, you will return to Stavanger for the evening for some local cuisine and a relaxing stay in comfortable accommodation.

To save effort and time, there is also an option to combine a visit to the Pulpit Rock with the Norway in a Nutshell® tour. When booking the tour, a hotel stay in Stavanger can be added in the same booking.

Day 5 – Enjoy a Scenic Train Journey Back to Oslo

After an enjoyable overnight stay in Stavanger, you take a train back to Oslo in the morning. As with every other journey on this travel itinerary, the scenery is spectacular along the way. More specifically, this is just a fantastic way to finish off an enjoyable adventure in Norway.

Just so you know, for those who might need or want to get back to Oslo quickly, there is also an option to taking an overnight train back to Oslo on the previous day (day four) from Bergen.

Final Thoughts

Taking an organized tour is usually the best alternative for making the most of your limited time in Norway. Furthermore, planning ahead is a prerequisite for experiencing the fjords and natural attractions in each region to the fullest. If you have more time to spare, it’s possible to add overnight stays along the way or even venture north to see  the spectacular Trolltunga and some of the other fjords of Norway not mentioned here. Either way, five days is just enough time to see Norway in a Nutshell and the above travel itinerary should help you make the most of your time.

Marensolem Instagram
Photo: marensolem