Just like France does food and Italy leads with romance, Norway’s focus is firmly on families having the best time wherever they go. Start by taking in the lush and vast landscape of the country. Make sure to show the kids all of the wildlife native to Scandinavia. Head to a water park or museum. From Oslo to Tromsø, the possibilities are almost limitless.
If you haven’t seen Norway yet, you should. It’s a country where family-friendly is a rule rather than an exception.
Tromsø, on the edge of the Arctic Circle, is Norway’s most northern city and one of the best places in the world for kids to see the Northern Lights from November to March.
There are nine World Heritage sites, including Rjukanfossen Waterfall, the Geirangerfjord and Bergen’s Bryggen Wharf.
Norway shares the same latitude as Alaska, Greenland and Siberia, but has Gulf streams too. Spring and summer are warm and sunny in the west and southwest. Winter is snowy and wonderful for winter sports. Temperatures are only extreme in the far north.
There are 44 national parks, with the greatest concentration in the southwest and west Norway Fjord region. Norway’s Western Fjords were the inspiration for Disney’s Frozen.
With over 1150 miles of roads across western, central and northern Norway, divided into 18 National Tourist Routes, almost the entire country is accessible for families.
Everyone who visits Oslo will tell you it’s a really clean, bright, lively and friendly city that’s easy to get around. They’re right. Norway’s capital is historically cultured and very contemporary. You’ll find over 50 museums here – it’s the city of Munch and the opera house rivals Sydney for grand design. New art is actively supported, live music is as normal as eating, and very little is off limits to kids: the next generation of musicians, writers, artists and innovators in the making as far as Oslo’s concerned. Part of the reason the city feels so fresh is the hundreds and hundreds of square miles of forest as a backdrop and Oslofjord’s sparkling waters. Add in hectares of parkland, gardens and even a scattering of city beaches, and it’s hardly surprising ‘fresh’ is the description of choice and ‘green’ goes without saying.
Bergen is famous for so much, it’s hard to know where to begin. Norway’s second largest city is gatekeeper to the breathtaking Western Fjords, a medieval Hanseatic port, can trace its origins back almost 1,000 years and mixes Viking history with a young, easy going atmosphere. An ideal base for a family adventure holiday, Bergen is surrounded by soaring mountains and surrounded by spectacular seas in every direction.
This city is for cyclists, explorers and young historians. Trondheim is Norway’s third largest city and surrounded by fjords, mountains, rivers, national parks and ancient pilgrim walking routes. Bikes are the preferred mode of transport here, and the atmosphere is young and energetic. Trondheim is the country’s self-proclaimed foodie capital, home to the country’s best Farmer’s Market. It’s also museum-rich and packed with incredible only-in-Norway experiences for kids.
You can’t visit the land of the fjords without sailing and family cruises – single day, several days or weeks are widely available. Norway’s also the country for road trips and the 18 remarkable Tourist Routes are wonderful to drive. Don’t bother with a car if you’re not exploring the countryside: city transport is excellent and bikes are best in Trondheim and Bergen. Norway’s rail network is extensive and trains are family-friendly from costs to comfort. Domestic flights from Oslo cover even the most far-flung Arctic regions.