7 Days in Norway Itinerary for the First-Time Visitors

By Anjali Chawla

Norway is vast with unlimited exploration opportunities that it’s not easy or I’d say it’s rather an overwhelming task to put together an itinerary that satisfies your travel goals. Norway has 5 regions viz. Northern Norway, Trøndelag, Western Norway, Southern Norway, and Eastern Norway, each more beautiful than the next, each has a different story to tell, and you’d find yourself dealing with the feeling of missing out while crafting a 7 days in Norway itinerary. We are here to help you calm your anxiety levels by sharing a 7-day itinerary for Norway that’s just right for first-time visitors. It gives you a perfect introduction to the country!

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Read More: The Ultimate 3-Week Nordic Itinerary

Norway Itinerary 7 Days: Explore the Best of Norway in One Week

From storied fjords, majestic mountains, beautiful waterfalls, charming towns, and vibrant capital city to sweeping vistas – our Norway itinerary captures it all in 7 days!

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo | Explore Oslo

Start your Norway adventure in Oslo, Norway’s fascinating capital and the largest city! Oslo is where most of the international flights to Norway land.

Board a shuttle train (Flytoget) from the Oslo Gardermoen Airport to the city center.

Make sure you book a hotel that’s right in the heart of the city so you stay close to where the action is. It saves you from the hassle of public transportation too.

You can also check our guide to the best places to stay in Oslo.

You can spend the rest of the day depending upon what your body says. If you feel tired after a long flight, you can rest and charge yourself up for the next day. If you feel active enough to step out of the hotel, you can walk around exploring the city center. Stroll the Karl Johans Gate, Oslo’s main street, and stop by at Slottsplassen to admire the Royal Palace. You can check out the nearby buildings of Oslo City Hall, Nobel Peace Center, and National Theater.

We stayed at Karl Johan Hotel. Located on the main street in Oslo, the hotel scores points for its excellent location, welcoming staff, and value for money. Grab the best deals on accommodation in Oslo.

Day 2: Explore Oslo

The best way to explore Oslo is by taking a guided walking tour or self-guided walking tour around the city.

There are so many fun things to do in Oslo. Here, you just have a day to discover the attractions in Oslo so I’d suggest starting your day with Oslofjord Cruise to Bygdøy Peninsula. Spend some time checking out one or two of the best museums on the peninsula – Kon-Tiki Museum, Fram Museum, Viking Ship Museum, and the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.

Come back and sit at one of the eateries by the Aker Brygge, a beautiful harbor front in Oslo to enjoy the views of the fjord while gorging on Norwegian cuisine.

Spend your evening exploring the Oslo Opera House, the world-famous Vigeland Sculpture Park, or maybe taking a leisurely stroll along the Akerselva River.

oslo opera house

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Day 3: Oslo to Bergen via Scenic Bergen Railway | Explore Bergen

It’s time to ride one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, Bergen Railway (Bergensbanen)!

Grab a window seat and glue your face to the window for some of the most dramatic landscapes you’ll ever witness in your lifetime.

This beautiful train journey is a part of Norway in a Nutshell Tour where you get down at Myrdal to join the Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana), a short yet utterly picturesque train journey.

Tip: Make sure you book your tickets in advance. You must board the 8:25 am train so you can reach by 14:55 pm to have half a day to explore Bergen.

Read more about this enthralling train journey from Oslo to Bergen.

oslo to bergen train norway itinerary

Check-in your hotel (as always we recommend booking a hotel in the city center), freshen up, and get set to discover the capital of fjord Norway.

Start your day with a visit to Mount Ulriken, the highest of the 7 mountains around Bergen. You can hike the mountain but it takes about 4 to 5 hours to complete the hike. As you are short on time, take Ulriken cable car up and down the mountain to enjoy the 360-degree views over the city.

Another not-to-be-missed attraction in Bergen is Mount Fløyen. It’s a beautiful hike provided you’ve time else you can take Fløibanen funicular to the mountain.

Come back down to the city center and spend your evening exploring Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage site that features pretty waterfront wooden houses dating back to the 1700s.

Taste the local seafood and experience the rich trading history dating back to the 1200s at Bergen Fish Market.

We stayed at Hotel Norge by Scandic. Located right in the heart of Bergen, the hotel is rated highly for its location, services, and food. It’s also one of the top picks by families with children. Check out the best accommodation options in Bergen.

best things to do in bergen in one day bryggen

Related Read: Best Places to Visit in Norway with Kids

Day 4: Bergen to Odda via Rental Car | Hardangerfjord Cruise

Pick your rental car to drive the beautiful roads in Norway. We absolutely rely on and recommend Discover Cars to rent a car wherever you go.

Roadtripping is one of the best ways to explore Norway. It’s a delight to drive along the road with breathtaking views of fjords, mountains, waterfalls, and glaciers.

Find the best deals for car rental here. You should book well in advance to grab the low prices deals.

A road trip from Bergen to Odda via Fv7 (this route includes Tørvikbygd-Jondal ferry to cross the fjord) takes around 3 hours excluding the time to make stops along the way. There are many scenic stops (because, well you’re in Norway) along the way so it’s wise to allow yourself enough time to stop and take in the epic views. One of the prettiest stops is the Steinsdalsfossen waterfall in Norheimsund.

Once in Norheimsund, take the fjord cruise on the Hardangerfjord aka the queen of the fjords with gofjords. Cruising along the fjord, you’ll witness charming villages surrounded by steep mountains with snow-covered peaks and majestic waterfalls. You’ll also be able to see the Folgefonna glacier. You’ll make a stop at Eidfjord to visit the Norwegian Nature Center Hardanger and the stunning and largest waterfall in Norway, Vøringsfossen.

Come back to Norheimsund to pick your car and continue your drive to Odda. Once in Odda, make sure to check out Låtefoss waterfall in Oddadalen aka valley of waterfalls.

Tip: If you love national parks, then you may want to consider visiting one of the national parks near Odda – Hardangervidda National park and Folgefonna National Park.

We stayed at the Tyssedal Hotel, located by the Hardangerfjord at the foot of the Hardangervidda Mountains. It’s about 6 km (3.7 miles) north of central Odda. Just about 7 km (4.3 miles) from Skjeggedal, the starting point of the Trolltunga hike, the hotel serves as a perfect base for those who want to do the Trolltunga hike. Find the best deals on accommodation near Trolltunga.

hardangerfjord norway itinerary 7 days

Day 5: Hike Trolltunga

Today, you’ll experience one of the most scenic and popular hikes in Norway, Trolltunga.

Literally translating to troll tongue, it’s a cliff located at about 1,180 meters above sea level shaped like a tongue of a troll that extends out from the mountain.

From the main trailhead in Skjeggedal, the hike is 28 km (round-trip) that can take anywhere between 10-12 hours to complete depending upon the stops you make. There’s another trailhead at Mågelitopp from where the round-trip hike is 20 km that can take about 8 -10 hours to complete.

The hike is long and arduous but worth it. The views from the top are magnificent! Nothing matches the joy and thrill of standing on the edge of the cliff and looking down at the crystal blue fjord right below.

Some Tips:

  • You must be well-equipped and well-prepared for the hike. Wear sturdy hiking boots and a wind and waterproof jacket. Pack some warm clothes because it gets cold as you gain elevation. Carry food and plenty of water.
  • It’s best to take on this hike during the summer months of June, July, and August.
  • Start early so you can get back before it gets dark. Plus, there are limited number of parking spots at Skjeggedal and Mågelitopp so reaching early gurrantes you a spot.
  • If you want to leave your car at the hotel, there are shuttle services from Odda to Tyssedal and Skjeggedal and a shuttle bus from Skjeggedal to Mågelitopp.
  • There are steep cliffs and fencing is missing so exercise caution.
  • Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before embarking on a hike. Be aware that the weather conditions can change quickly so be ready to handle the weather changes.
  • We recommend you join a guided hike especially if you are not an experienced hiker as the local guides know the business in and out.
trolltunga hardangerfjord odda norway

Day 6: Odda to Flåm via Rental Car | Flåm Railway | Nærøyfjord Cruise

It’s not just another day in your 7 day Norway itinerary. It’s extra special. Today, you are going to meet the king of the fjords, Sognefjord, the largest and deepest fjord in Norway.

From cruising the wildest and most beautiful arm of Sognefjord, the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord to visiting a charming village of Flåm located on the other arm of Sognefjord, Aurlandsfjord to riding the scenic Flåm Railway to visiting a Viking village of Gudvangen located at the end of the Nærøyfjord to driving one of the steepest roads in Northern Europe, Stalheimskleiva that offers the scenic stops like Stalheimsfossen and Sivlefossen waterfalls – today’s going to rock!

And you’ll make a brief stop at a fairytale village of Undredal during your Nærøyfjord cruise with Heritage Taste Fjord Safari.

Stalheimskleiva is a little detour when driving from Odda to Flåm. Make a stop at Gudvangen and visit the Viking Valley. Once in Flåm, board the Flåmsbana (Flåm Line) between Flåm and Myrdal. This 20 km long railway line lets you experience nature at its best coupled with historical cultural landscapes and the greatest engineering skills.

Once back from the train ride, take a fjord cruise or fjord safari through Nærøyfjord. The 3-hour tour passes through tiny and charming fjord villages, endless waterfalls, majestic mountains, and mountainside farms. The stories laced with Norwegian history and culture narrated by your guide keep you informed and entertained as you take in the beauty all around.

We stayed at Flåm Ferdaminne, a beautiful apartment with the views of mountains and the ocean. The accommodation options in Flåm are limited so make sure you book well in advance. Find the best deals for accommodations in Flåm.

beauty of naerofjord flam gudvangen nærøydalselvi river norway

Day 7: Flåm to Oslo via Rental Car | Fly Back Home

There couldn’t be a better ending to your last day in Norway than this gorgeous road trip. The road trip takes you through the fascinating tunnels, medeival churches, charming towns, mountain passes, national parks, and dramatic fjords – In short, it’s another chance to witness Norway in its insanely beautiful glory before you leave (of course to come back again)!

As you start from Flåm, take a slight detour from E16 to visit Stegastein viewpoint. The viewpoint is a part of the National Tourist Road, Aurlandsfjellet (the snow road) that runs from Arland to Lærdal and gives stunning panoramic views of Aurlandsfjord.

There are many amazing stops like Lærdal tunnel, Borgund Stave Church, Gol Stave Church, many beautiful waterfalls, and the lovely sights like the one in the picture below depending upon the route you take. Read our article about a road trip from Bergen to Oslo to know more about the routes you can take.

The drive is long (can take more than 6 hours with pitsops) so I’d suggest to start super early. We started at about 7 in the morning, reached Oslo at 3 pm and still had time to explore around as our return flight was scheduled at 9 pm.

Alternative Tip: You can book your flight back home the next day so you can take this road trip at a leisurely pace rather than rushing through it.

bergen to oslo road trip a lovely turf roof house near geilo norway

To be honest, 7 days in Norway is too short a time to grasp the beauty it holds. Be that as it may, wherever you go in Norway and for however long you spend in Norway, you’ll cherish the experience forever.

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norway itinerary 7 days

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16 comments

Linda Jane October 23, 2021 - 12:41 pm

Norway is definitely somewhere I’d like to visit and this one-week itinerary looks amazing with stunning scenery, hiking a scenic train journey and Oslo. What’s not to like…though maybe a bit more time would be good! Thanks for sharing!

Reply
Neha Kulshrestha October 26, 2021 - 4:40 pm

Thanks Linda. Absolutely Norway is a destination everyone must visit. The scenic train journey was a highlight of our trip. There is so much to see in Norway, you can definitely add more days to the itinerary. Hope you can take your trip sometime soon.

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Alma October 23, 2021 - 2:10 pm

An amazing way to spend 7 days in Norway!

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Neha Kulshrestha October 26, 2021 - 4:40 pm

Thanks for reading and appreciating.

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Sharyn October 23, 2021 - 2:19 pm

So many things you mention in this itinerary are on my list of things I want to see when I get to Norway. This itinerary will come in very handy.

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Neha Kulshrestha December 6, 2021 - 12:41 pm

We are so glad that you found the itinerary helpful. It keeps us motivated to write more. Thanks

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ANUKRATI DOSI October 23, 2021 - 4:49 pm

Norway is so so beautiful. Sometimes, I wonder if a place like that exists in reality. Keep up the awesome work.

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Neha Kulshrestha December 6, 2021 - 12:40 pm

Yes indeed Norway has stunning natural beauty that’s mesmerizing. Ha ha, you must visit to check for that. Thanks for spending time and liking.

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Terri October 23, 2021 - 5:17 pm

I visited Oslo when my children were little. They were delighted to run in the outdoor sculpture garden. We even saw naked Norwegian children swimming in the fountains. Great post!

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Neha Kulshrestha November 18, 2021 - 9:33 am

Looks like you need to go back and explore Norway again with kids now. They will hav so much more to do. Ha ha, you reminded me of kids swimming in fountain in Philly, US. Thanks a lot for appreciating.

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Maya October 23, 2021 - 5:36 pm

I’ve been meaning to visit Norway for a while. Thanks for making my life easier with such a great itinerary. Loved the suggestions and pictures!

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Neha Kulshrestha November 18, 2021 - 9:30 am

Made our day by saying this. Glad to hear that you found the itininary helpful. Do let us know if you need any more suggestions, would lov to help. Do shares after you visit Norway

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Elena Pappalardo October 23, 2021 - 8:29 pm

Ahh, Norway is such a dream destination of mine! I loved this first-timer’s guide. It’s exactly what I need to get my feet wet. I love the variety of regions you shared. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Neha Kulshrestha October 26, 2021 - 4:35 pm

Thanks Elena for stopping. Glad you found it helpful and inspiring for you to travel. Do let us know if you need any help in planning your trip.

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simplyjolayne October 23, 2021 - 11:18 pm

I think it would be awesome to be in Norway to view the Northern Lights. Have you seen them? Great post and ideas for future travel opportunities.

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Neha Kulshrestha October 26, 2021 - 4:33 pm

That’s next thing on our bucket list. After witnessing the midnight sun, now we are planning for Northrern lights in Norway. Fingers crossed. Will share our experience regarding that.

Reply

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