Landmarks In Norway

Are you ready to discover the most famous landmarks in Norway?

Landmarks in Norway are plentiful, and millions of people flock to the country each year to check them out. The stunning Norwegian nature needs no introduction, with the Northern Lights featuring, among many other things.

However, you will find plenty of man-made marvels worth checking out as well.

When planning a trip to Norway, it’s easy to think that every town and city is exclusively colorful wooden houses. And as picturesque as they are, that isn’t the whole truth. In recent years, daring architects have made their mark with intriguing designs — especially in Oslo.

Of course, we still need to touch upon the stunning natural landmarks in Norway. Throughout the country, you will find several beautiful fjords. But the landmarks of Norway don’t stop there; you will also find some of Europe’s prettiest mountains, plus countless islands and much more.

In this article, you’ll learn all about major landmarks in Norway. We’ll discuss monuments in Norway, along with buildings, green spaces, and more.

Man-made landmarks: Famous buildings and more

Before we look at the most famous natural Norwegian landmarks, let’s look at some of the man-made ones. Below are the most recognizable buildings, parks, and more.

Landmarks In Norway

Oslo Opera House

What is the most famous building in Norway? If we were to pick one off the top of our heads, it would have to be the Oslo Opera House.

The beautiful white structure is a symbol of the Norwegian capital’s significant 21st-century regeneration project, and it’s up there with the Sydney Opera House as one of the world’s most picturesque.

The Oslo Opera House was designed by Snøhetta and officially opened in 2008. It’s supposed to resemble an iceberg, and it melds gracefully into the Oslofjord. If you climb to the top (be careful during the winter, as it can be slippery), you will get incredible views of downtown Oslo.

You can also enter the Oslo Opera House during opening hours for free. If you want to watch a live performance, you’ll need to purchase a ticket. The building is a must-see if you visit the Norwegian capital for the first time, and you’ll quickly find out why the city is a popular place for architecture lovers.

Landmarks In Norway

Arctic Cathedral, Tromsø

Tromsø is the most famous city above the Arctic Circle in Norway, and with a population of roughly 77,000, it’s also the largest. The city’s main cathedral is one of the most important man-made landmarks in Norway, and it’s perhaps the most famous building in the Arctic region.

The Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø has a peculiar triangular shape, and it’s made primarily from concrete. If you’re into photography, it’s a must-add to your itinerary.

Jan Inge Hovig designed the church, and the building was completed in 1965. The organ inside, however, wasn’t added until 2005. To get to the church, you’ll need to cross the bridge into Tromsdalen.

Landmarks In Norway

Sverd i Fjell, Stavanger

Sverd i Fjell is one of the most famous landmarks in Norway. If you’ve tried to learn Norwegian via Duolingo, you might notice that it was used as the symbol on the page where you can pick which language you want to begin.

Sverd i Fjell, which was completed in 1983, consists of three swords sticking out of the ground. The location is picturesque, and you’ll find places to enjoy a picnic if you happen to visit on a day when the sun is shining.

If you’re a Viking or history enthusiast, the monument is a must-see when visiting the Stavanger region. The swords commemorate the 872 battle of Hafrsfjord, which took place during the Viking Age.

Sverd i Fjell is an easy bus ride from Stavanger’s city center.

Landmarks In Norway

Bryggen, Bergen

While Oslo is Norway’s largest city, Bergen might well be the prettiest. Its waterfront area in particular is joyous to explore, and many visitors first familiarize themselves with the iconic Bryggen district.

Bryggen consists of multiple colorful houses, and the district is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The area is also known as Tyskebryggen, which is Norwegian for “The German Dock”; Tyskebryggen is where the city of Bergen itself was founded.

Bryggen’s houses have been reconstructed multiple times throughout history, mainly due to fire damage. Believe it or not, some people actually wanted this part of the city torn down in the past; luckily, their demands were unsuccessful.

Originally, Bryggen’s houses were warehouses used for industrial purposes. Now, however, the area is full of shops, museums, and restaurants.

Landmarks In Norway

Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo

Heading back to Oslo, we’re going to mention one of the most-visited landmarks in Norway. Vigelandsparken, also known as Frognerparken (or Frogner Park in English), is arguably the Norwegian capital’s most beautiful park.

Vigelandsparken features several sculptures designed by Gustav Vigeland, which is where it gets its name from. It was a multi-year project that concluded in 1943; nowadays, it attracts tourists and locals alike. Unfortunately, Vigeland died just before the park’s gates were erected.

Locally, Oslo residents will typically call the park Frognerparken instead of Vigelandsparken. It’s the biggest park in Norway’s capital city and easy to reach by public transport from the center of town.

Landmarks In Norway

Holmenkollen Ski Jump, Oslo

If you visit Oslo, you will do a good job if you don’t at least see the Holmenkollen ski jump from afar. Perched atop a mountain overlooking the Norwegian capital’s downtown area, the ski jump has been renovated multiple times over the years.

The original version of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump was completed in 1894. Another version came about for the 1952 Winter Olympics; between that period, eight renovations had already taken place.

Today, the most recent version of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump was built in 2010. You will see a museum at the ski jump, which you can visit for a fee.

The Holmenkollen Ski Jump is easily accessible by metro from Oslo’s city center.

Landmarks In Norway

The monument at Nordkapp

At 71 degrees north, Nordkapp — known in English as North Cape — is the northernmost point in Europe. Located right at the top of mainland Norway, you will find out why Norway is the land of the midnight sun here.

During the summer months, you can enjoy the bizarre natural phenomenon of the sun never setting with a breathtaking view of the Arctic Ocean.

Nordkapp is one of the most remote regions in the country, and it’s accessible via the E69 road (which, itself, is the northernmost in Europe).

Atop a cliff, you will find a monument signifying that you’re on the northernmost part of Europe. It’s shaped like a globe; you can reach it by car from Honningsvåg.

If you take a Hurtigruten ferry, you can also visit Nordkapp if you choose the right package.

Landmarks In Norway

The Oslo-Bergen railway

Oslo and Bergen might seem close together on a map, but the journey takes around seven-and-a-half hours by road or rail. Why? Well, you can largely thank Norway’s spectacular scenery for that. Beautiful to look at as it is, it also makes connecting the country pretty challenging.

Luckily, someone came up with the genius idea of building a railway between Oslo and Bergen. The trip is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful on the globe, and that claim is completely accurate.

The railway line between Oslo and Bergen has been in place since 1909. Today, you can enjoy the trip by simply purchasing a train ticket between the two cities. Prices vary, but you can find really good deals if you book in advance and look at the right time.

When on the train between Oslo and Bergen, you’ll pass through all kinds of landscapes — including mountains and fjord regions.

Landmarks In Norway

Stave churches, countrywide

If you think of landmarks in Norway, you probably think of Stave churches. Back in the day, these buildings were much more common than they were — but you will still find a handful of them in Norway today.

Stave churches typically feature several roofs, and you will find a couple of different kinds. While many of the still-existing structures are in Norway, you will find a handful of replicas abroad as well. During their prime, the architectural style was also popular in other parts of Northern Europe.

If you want to visit a Stave church in Norway, the Norwegian Folk Museum in Oslo is probably the best place to begin. You’ll also find a decent selection dotted largely throughout Southwestern Norway.

Landmarks In Norway

Barcode district, Oslo

Bjørvika is one of Oslo’s several newer neighborhoods, and it’s a poster child of the city’s urban regeneration. Located right behind the Oslo Opera House, you will find the Barcode District — which is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Norway.

As you might have guessed from the name, the Barcode district is designed to resemble a barcode from afar. You can get a full glimpse of the district when heading across the bridge behind the new MUNCH Museum, and it’s also visible by boat from certain parts of the city.

Walking around the Barcode district is free. You will find several company offices, along with cafés and restaurants.

Landmarks In Norway

Oslo City Hall

While Copenhagen and Stockholm have city halls designed in slightly older styles, Oslo has adopted more of a futuristic approach. The structure is an example of Norwegian functionalism, and construction was completed in 1950. Because of World War II, the building’s completion was significantly delayed.

Inside the building, you will find various paintings. For a fee, you can book a guided tour to check out the rest of the building on your visit to the Norwegian capital.

Oslo’s city hall is located close to the waterfront Aker Brygge neighborhood. You can easily walk there from the main train station, and it’s also accessible by tram.

Landmarks In Norway

Ålesund’s art nouveau architecture

Ålesund is one of Norway’s most beautiful towns. Located on the country’s west coast, it features an architectural style that is pretty different from most cities in the country.

While much of Norway features wooden houses, Ålesund took a different approach after a fire destroyed much of the older town in 1904. While the fire destroyed much of old Ålesund, only one person is believed to have died in the blaze.

Between 1904 and 1907, Ålesund picked itself up and rebuilt itself in a distinct art nouveau style. The town itself is a popular destination for tourists visiting the Geirangerfjord and surrounding regions, and it’s also an important town for cod fishing.

Natural landmarks

Now that we’ve discussed some of the most famous landmarks in Norway from a man-made perspective, let’s look at the most important natural ones. Unsurprisingly, we’ve got a lot to cover; keep reading to find out the best ones.

Landmarks In Norway

Hardangerfjord

The Hardangerfjord is a famous landmark in Norway that is immensely popular with tourists. It’s the second-longest fjord in the country, and you can easily reach it from Bergen; tours take place from the city center.

The Hardangerfjord is one of the most scenic fjords in Norway. It passes through several towns, including Odda — which was the filming location for the Netflix series Ragnarok. In addition to tourism, fishing is an important part of the economy for communities in the local area.

Landmarks In Norway

Geirangerfjord

The Geirangerfjord is one of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Norway; if you’re going to visit only one fjord in the country, you should probably make this your main choice. Believe it or not, it’s not a standalone fjord; instead, it forms part of Storfjorden.

We believe that the Geirangerfjord is Norway’s most beautiful fjord. It’s characterized by some of the most beautiful peaks you will see anywhere on the planet, let alone in Scandinavia.

Geiranger is the main town on the fjord; it’s in a particularly precarious position, however, with landslides having the possible threat of causing a tsunami if enough debris ends up in the water.

The Geirangerfjord is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The fjord is around two-and-a-half hours from Ålesund; cruises depart from the city year-round.

Landmarks In Norway

Lofoten Islands

You’ll go far-fetched to find a more easily-recognizable landscape in Norway than the iconic Lofoten Islands. The archipelago lies just off the mainland in the country’s northern reaches, and it’s characterized by beautiful villages and impossibly beautiful scenery.

The Lofoten Islands are incredibly popular with tourists visiting Northern Norway; the islands are reachable from the city of Bodø by ferry. You will also find several airports dotted across Lofoten.

Lofoten is also well-known for a football pitch that is in arguably the most picturesque setting you’ll find for any on the globe. If you’re going to visit, renting a car is a smart idea.

Landmarks In Norway

Senja

Also in the north of Norway is Senja, another beautiful island that is worth visiting alongside Lofoten. If you want to avoid the crowds, however, you might wish to skip Lofoten altogether and make this your primary focus.

Senja features some of the most dramatic scenery in Norway, which is a pretty lofty accolade. You’ll find some of the most wonderful mountains, along with a stunning national park. If you’re into hiking like the Norwegians are, you will find more than enough to keep you entertained for an extended period.

To get to Senja, you can drive from Tromsø; the journey will take you just over two-and-a-half hours.

Landmarks In Norway

The seven peaks of Bergen

Bergen’s architecture would be stunning enough even without its backdrop. But when you add the mountains surrounding the city into the mix, you have an irresistible combination. Norway’s second-largest city is surrounded by seven peaks:

  • Damsgårdsfjellet
  • Sandviksfjellet
  • Fløyfjellet
  • Rundemanen
  • Ulriken
  • Løvstakken
  • Lyderhorn

Each of Bergen’s seven mountains is accessible, but hiking difficulty varies depending on where you go. The easiest to reach from the city center is Fløyfjellet; you’ll find a cable car right in the middle of town.

Bergen has a hike that covers all seven mountains. Of course, considering that this region has notoriously unpredictable weather, you should make sure you’re prepared and dress appropriately.

Landmarks In Norway

Hovedøya

Oslo has enough to keep you entertained if you don’t leave the city center. However, you don’t need to travel too far before finding yourself at one with nature. The islands in the Oslofjord are particularly satisfying to visit, and Hovedøya is the closest to the city center.

Hovedøya gives you a great look toward several other major landmarks in Norway, including the Oslo Opera House. If you choose to take the ferry ride, it’ll only take you 10 minutes to reach the island.

When you take the boat to Hovedøya, you can reach it on your public transportation ticket.

Landmarks In Norway

Trolltunga

Trolltunga is one of the most touristy landmarks in Norway, but it’s still unique and worth visiting. The name translates in English to “the troll’s tongue”, and that’s kind of what it looks like. This patch of rock sticks precariously out over the Ringedalsvatnet lake and is located in Southern Norway.

Trolltunga rises 700 meters above the lake, and the view you’ll get is arguably more impressive than the rock formation itself. Note that this hike is not easy, and you should — if you have little hiking experience — go with an experienced guide.

It’s also worth noting that hiking Trolltunga is definitely recommended with a guide if you’re ,going during the winter. Considering its position, you should also refrain from posing for photos that could put you in danger.

Landmarks In Norway

Preikestolen

We’ll whisper it: We actually think that Preikestolen is a little overrated. Nonetheless, it is one of the most famous landmarks in Norway. The attraction lies above the beautiful Lysefjord, which we’ll discuss in a little more detail shortly.

Preikestolen is one of Norway’s most visited attractions, and it’s less than an hour from Stavanger by car. You can join a tour if you wish to visit. In English, the attraction is known as Pulpit Rock.

Landmarks In Norway

Lysefjord

While the Lysefjord gets a lot of attention, it’s still quite underrated when we compare it to some of the other large fjords in the country. The Lysefjord is in the southwest of Norway and close to Stavanger.

The Lysefjord features several stunning peaks. If you want to visit, you can join a boat tour from the city center. Surprisingly, you will likely find that these aren’t as packed as some of the routes closer to Bergen.

Unlike many other fjords in Norway, the Lysefjord only has a couple of settlements.

Landmarks In Norway

Galdhøpiggen

Having read this far, you’ve probably figured out that Norway has an abundance of mountainous terrain. So, what’s the tallest one?

The answer to that question is Galdhøppigen. The mountain is in Jotunheimen National Park, which is one of the most beautiful areas in Norway. Galdhøppigen is 8,100 feet above sea level at its highest point, which is 2,469 meters.

In addition to being the tallest mountain in Norway, Galdhøppigen is the highest peak in Europe. You can hike to the top, and on a good day, you can see across a large chunk of the country’s southern stretches.

Landmarks In Norway

Saltstraumen, Bodø

Compared to many cities in Norway, Bodø is a bit of an anomaly. While it’s a popular base for excursions further afield, the city itself is largely modern; it was rebuilt after the Second World War. One of the main attractions in the region is Saltstraumen.

Saltstraumen is a stretch of water with unusually strong currents, and it’s most famous for the whirlpools that occur here. The water is ever-changing, meaning you will see something completely different each time you visit.

In addition to being a popular tourist attraction, the area has a diverse range of fish.

Landmarks In Norway

Lyngen Alps

While Norway is a mountainous country, many of its mountain ranges aren’t particularly famous. That, however, changes when we come to the Lyngen Alps. This mountain range is located in the north of Norway, and you will find them on the Lyngenfjord’s western side.

The Lyngen Alps stretch for around 90 kilometers, and several hardy explorers have attempted to conquer the summits here. The region also attracts skiers looking for something a little more exciting.

When driving from Tromsø, you can reach the Lyngen Alps in 2-3 hours by car.

Famous landmarks in Norway are plentiful

Landmarks in Norway are abundant, and visiting the country is something everybody should do at least once in their lifetime. This is one of the most dynamic places to come to, and you will find something for all kinds of needs.

Even if you only visited Oslo, you will still have cutting-edge architecture aplenty. And just outside the city center, several nature experiences await — yes, even skiing! Of course, you can go much further afield; the Arctic region will amaze you with its diverse scenery, for example.

The reality is that we’ve only touched the surface in this article. We had to miss several others, such as Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Akershus Fortress in Oslo, and several other stunning fjords.

Regardless of where in Norway you visit, you are guaranteed a fulfilling experience. So much so that you might even want to move here. If you set your heart on Norway over the other Nordic countries, why not check out our guide?

Scandification: Discovering Scandinavia.

Scandification explores and celebrates the magic of Scandinavia. Stay tuned and we’ll bring the essence of Scandinavia to you.

Advertising enquiries

Scandification explores and celebrates the magic of Scandinavia. To advertise your brand to a global audience, contact our advertising team below.

advertising@scandification.com