9 Day Norway Itinerary – A 2023 Guide

Land of fjords, lakes and some of the most incredible scenery on the planet, Norway is one not to leave off of your 2023 bucket list! This guide will take you through some of the most amazing nature, as well as the gorgeous cities that Norway is so proud of!
Norway is a country that will offer you some of the most scenic views in the world! Photo: John O’Nolan | Unsplash

Editorial Note: Earth Curious contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Norway really is one of the world’s most beautiful countries! From gorgeous fjords weaving and winding along the coast, to artistically interesting cities and fantastic viewpoints; Norway really is a one-stop shop to tickle all of your travelling tastebuds. With so much to explore, it’s hard to decide where to begin your epic Norwegian adventure.

As there are so many options of where to go in Norway, we even have multiple guides on the country, why not read both this one and ‘Norway in 7-10 Days’ to really get a feel of how much is on offer?

Just one of the many incredible viewpoints found in the stunning land of Norway!
Photo: Jarand K. Lokeland | Unsplash

Norway is a country that simply screams road trip! With epic mountain passes and scenic roads that carve through the landscape, it really is one of the best ways to get around.

Luckily, public transport in Norway is also very efficient and accessible and this is also an incredible option for those wanting to just sit back and enjoy the view without the worry of having to focus on driving.

This itinerary will be easy to follow whether you decide to road trip or use public transport, although I suggest a combination of the two.

Day 1: Bergen

Most people choose to fly in and out of Oslo because it is the most well-known city. However, by doing this you can potentially waste valuable time by travelling the same roads twice. Flying into Bergen and out of Oslo means you have time to explore much more of this beautiful country, without missing any of the incredible sights along the way.

The colourful houses of Bergen. Photo: Agent J | Unsplash

What to do and see in Bergen?

The amount of time you can enjoy exploring today depends a lot on what time your flight arrives. Either way, check into your hotel, drop your bags and begin by wandering this beautifully colourful city. Head down to Hanseatic wharf, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which will have you transported straight into a postcard!

If you have time then you can learn more about the area and the history of the city by visiting the Hanseatic Museum. This is a great first-day activity to give you the context of Norwegian culture and history.

Where to eat in Bergen?

  • Bryggeloftet & Stuene Restaurant – For great quality local food
  • Enhjøringen – For fish lovers wanting to experience Norway’s seafood
  • Henrik Øl & Vinstove – For great craft beer and good simple food

Unsure of whether or not to tip in Norway? Read our helpful guide here.

Where to stay in Bergen?

  • $$$ – Radisson Blu Royal Hotel
  • $$ – Det Hanseatiske Hotel
  • $ – HI Bergen Hostel Montana

Day 2: Bergen

Today we will dive deeper into the city of Bergen, as well as provide a few options to explore the beautiful nature around the city.

The incredible view from Fløyen. Photo: PapaPiper | Flickr

What to do and see in Bergen?

Enjoy a gentle stroll around the city centre, taking in the tranquillity of the city and experiencing the local life. As you wander, head for the Bergen Fish Market to try some local favourites. Even if you’re not a seafood lover, this market offers everything from sweet pastries to local plants. This is a great spot for lunch or even just to enjoy the 800-year-old history of this thriving market.

After visiting the market there are a few different options for the day; Bergen is surrounded by several hills and mountains, and no trip would be complete without exploring one of their many viewpoints. One of the most incredible views of the city and surrounding fjords is Fløyen, and this is easily accessible to everyone, no matter their ability. The hike itself is only 1 hour if you go direct, or there are many other trails in the area to extend your hike and really soak up the beauty!

If you’re not big into hiking then no problem, as there is always the option of the Fløibanen funicular, which will take you right to the top so you can enjoy the views without having to tackle the hills.

If you are looking for a more impressive viewpoint, stretching far and wide, then definitely don’t miss the chance to extend your hike to Mount Ulriken! You can easily walk here from Fløyen in less than a couple of hours, and the walk is mostly flat. To get to the top is a bit more of a climb, or there is also the option of taking a cable car.

If getting up close and personal with Norway’s fjords is the main reason for your trip, you can take a boat tour from Bergen into the Hardangerfjord for a few hours.

Day 3: Balestrand

Travel time: Around four hours by car or public transport. If you are renting a car then make sure to get a one-way rental, as we won’t be going back to Bergen after this. You can easily return it in Flåm, or even Oslo if you are up for a bit more of a driving adventure but will need to arrange this ahead of time!

Balestrand sits atop the world-famous Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord in the country.

Some of the spectacular views to be expected from Balestrand. Photo: Oliver Bruchez | Flickr

What to do and see in Balestrand?

Once arriving in Balestrand, take a moment to process the incredible views of the journey you just undertook. Check into your accommodation and start exploring the relaxing streets of this cute little fjord town.

Head for St Olaf’s Church, a unique little church with a sweet history. If the weather is nice, you can also spend the afternoon on one of the town’s public beaches to unwind and take in the view!

Another thing not to miss in Balestrand is the Heritage Walk, this short 2km stroll takes you through quirky painted houses and beautiful artworks, inspired by some of the many artists who have visited the city over the years. This town is well-known for its artists, and it’s easy to see why when you look at the incredible scenery available to view from every street.

Whilst on the walk, why not try some of the local ciders available to taste and buy?

Where to eat in Balestrand?

  • Kviknes Hotel – A buffet dinner open to all
  • Pilgrim Restaurant
  • Gekken’s Restaurant

Where to stay in Balestrand?

  • $$$ – Balestrand Fjordapartments
  • $$ – Villa Holmen 2
  • $ – Holiday Home Veganeset

Day 4: Balestrand

Time to explore the incredible Sognefjord for a natural adventure!

Sit down and unwind in Balestrand. Photo: Giuseppe Milo | Flickr

What to do and see in Balestrand?

Adventure on the incredible fjord to really become one with the beauty of Norway. There are many options to explore this incredible area such as a boat tour, ferry, or even by kayak!

Many of these options will include beautiful stops and short hikes in order to really get the most out of this sensational wonder. You will also pass through many cute little villages so if you are interested in exploring the local culture, then make sure to book a trip that includes stops in some of these places.

Return to Balestrand and unwind by grabbing a drink by the water, simply taking in all of the incredible views!

Day 5: Balestrand – Flåm

Travel time: Between two-three hours depending on whether you are driving or taking public transport.

Today you will soak up the final hours of Balestrand before heading out to another beautiful area surrounded by mountains.

View from Fjærland. Photo: Per Olav Boyum | Flickr

What to do and see in Balestrand?

I would suggest spending most of the day in Balestrand, exploring more of the beautiful town and the surrounding fjords. There are several incredible hikes around the area which will offer you beautiful viewpoints, so today is the day to get your hiking fix!

If you’re not into hiking then take a day trip to Fjærland, a quaint but beautiful fishing village rich to explore local Norwegian culture.

In the afternoon, drive or take the ferry to Flåm where you will spend the night and explore tomorrow.

Where to eat in Flåm?

  • Flåm Bakery
  • Aegir BrewPub
  • Flam Marina and Appartement Cafe

Where to stay in Flåm?

  • $$$ – Flåmsbrygga Hotel
  • $$ – Flåm Hostel
  • $ – Brekke Gard Hostel

Day 6: Flåm

Today you will explore the beautiful Flåm, a cute little town with incredible scenery and amazing hikes.

One of the many beautiful views around Flåm. Photo: Domenico Convertini | Flickr

What to do and see in Flåm?

For such a small little town, Flåm is certainly packed full of interesting things to do! Head to Viking Valley Njardarheimr to meet real Vikings and experience how they live and have lived for hundreds of years.

A cruise around Naeroyfjord is also essential in Flåm, known to be one of the most beautiful fjords in the country and is easily accessible.

There are also some beautiful hikes in the area, both short and long, one I recommend is Brekkefossen Waterfall, which will take you around 2-3 hours.

If you are interested in the world-famous railway (which you will be taking tomorrow) then head to the railway museum, an engaging museum with free entrance.

Day 7: Flåm – Oslo

Travel time: Around seven hours of pure mountainous bliss!

If you rented a car in Bergen, I would suggest returning it here in order to embark on one of Europe’s most beautiful railways! The drive is also incredible so definitely still an option, but on the train, you can take in the views without having to focus on the road.

The Flåmsbana weaves its way through the mountains. Photo: patrick janicek | Flickr

What to do and see?

This day will be taken up mostly by ‘travelling’, if you can even call the Flåmsbana adventure travelling. Head through Myrdal and then onwards to Oslo and simply take in the mountains and fjords as they roll leisurely past your window.

Once you arrive in Oslo, take a stroll around the city centre before settling in for the night, or head out for a drink if you’ve missed the busy life of the cities.

Where to eat in Oslo?

  • Mathallen – For anything your tastebuds desire
  • Olivia Aker Brygge – For the world-famous view
  • Oslo Street Food – The name explains it all

Where to stay in Oslo?

  • $$$ – Grand Hotel
  • $$ – Hotel Bristol
  • $ – K7 Hotel Oslo

Day 8: Oslo

Now you’ve experienced the incredible nature that Norway has to offer, it’s time to finish your journey by wandering the streets of its capital.

The artsy skyline of Oslo. Christoffer Engstrom | Unsplash

What to do and see in Oslo?

Oslo is one of those cities that you can visit 10 times and do something different every time! I’m going to share with you some of the highlights of this awesome city so you won’t miss anything essential.

If visiting in summer, Oslo is the perfect city for those wanting to cycle or walk around, taking in the city and the surrounding views as you go. Otherwise, the public transport is very easy to navigate. I recommend getting the Oslo City Pass, especially if you’re planning on visiting some museums and attractions whilst here.

The pass gives you free transport around the city, plus entrance to around 30 attractions and museums.

Head to Akershus Fortress, an awesome structure dating back to the 13th century! This fortress also hosts a castle which used to be the royal residence of the Norwegian monarchy and so is an incredible site to see!

If you are interested in museums and galleries, Oslo has many awesome ones to offer you. A few of the best being the Viking museum, Kon Tiki museum (following Thor Heyerdahl’s ocean adventures) and the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design.

Oslo is famed for being a very artistic city and so this last one is a must-see for anyone interested in the topic. Don’t forget to check out Oslo’s Opera House, an architectural wonder close to the central train station.

After a morning of filling your brain, why not head to Vigeland Park, the world’s largest sculpture park, and bring a picnic to relax and enjoy? Some other beautiful parks to explore are Ekebergparken and Slottsparken.

Spend the afternoon wandering the streets of Grünerløkka, one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in the city, full of quirky cafes, little galleries and vintage stores. Another great place with a similar vibe is Mathallen Oslo, a huge industrial area converted into a large food court, great for those wanting to browse some of the many food options in the city.

Day 9: Oslo

Now is the time to say goodbye to this awe-inspiring country, but don’t worry, after everything you’ve seen so far, I’m certain you’ll find a way to return one day!

I recommend checking out our Oslo-specific guide to guarantee you don’t miss anything in this wonderful city!

The Oslo Opera House is a beautiful place to explore! Photo: Oliver Cole | Unsplash

What to do and see in Oslo?

Spend the morning taking in the final sights of the city and visiting any of the attractions you didn’t get a chance to see yesterday before boarding your flight and staring out of the window over the beautiful country that is Norway.

Final thoughts:

Beautiful Norway! Photo: Tobias Bjorkli | Pexels

Well there you have, from fantastic fjords to majestic mountains, you’ve really experienced some of the best nature the planet has to offer and some of the coolest cities mankind has made, all in just 9 days! Now time to go home and show off your incredible photos!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts