Family Vacations to Norway - Family Traveller (USA)

Norway – Family Vacation Guide

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.

Explore Norway


Why Go on Vacation in Norway

  • Northern Lights

    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.

  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites

    There are nine World Heritage sites, including Rjukanfossen Waterfall, the Geirangerfjord and Bergen’s Bryggen Wharf.

  • Moderate Temperatures

    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.

  • Nature

    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.

  • Accessible Travel Across the Country

    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.



Where to Go

Oslo

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.

  • From great value, high quality hostels to Nordic brands like Scandic, spacious apartments, heritage hotels and design originals, Oslo has family accommodation across a wide budget range.
  • Don’t miss: the Vigeland Sculpture Park, Holmekollen Ski Jump, a walk on the roof of the Opera House, free Museum Thursday, paddle-steamer fjord cruises, Oslomarka Forest, and the Rådhusplasen Christmas Market.
  • In Oslo you can see Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” in the National Gallery and then climb up to Ekebergskrenten and see where it was first imagined years before it was painted.
  • Oslo is Norway’s main transport hub and has air, road and rail links to almost everywhere else in the country.

Bergen

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.

  • Bergen excels at family hostels and campsites, amazing fjord-view hotels and pretty, traditional cottages.
  • Lively Bergen is all city fun but close to skiing in winter. It’s part of the Atlantic Road and the Trollstigen tourist route. It’s in the thick of the dramatic Western Fjords and not far from Flåm for one of the world’s greatest rail journeys .
  • Bergen’s historic Bryggen Wharf is enchanting to explore and one of the city’s thriving art districts.
  • Don’t miss: the world’s tallest wooden house, the Hanseatic Wharf, Bergen Fish Market, fjord cruises, biking in Rallarvegen, Bergen Aquarium, the Fløibanen Funicular and Bergen City Museum.

Trondheim

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.

  • Trondheim has a wide variety of family-friendly hotels in the city center. This is also a good area for lodges, cabins and camping in nature reserves and national parks.
  • Don’t miss: Bakklandet Old Town, the Archbishop’s Palace, Trondheim Museum of Art, the Lade Trail round the Lade Peninsula, Sverresborg Trøndelag Folk Museum and Rockheim – Norway’s National Museum of Pop Music.
  • Catch the Gråkallbanen (the world’s northernmost tram) for the short journey to the 50 square mile Bymarka: amazing for walking and hiking in summer and even better for family skiing during winter.
  • Trondheim’s also close to Vassfjellet Alpine sport’s center for an excellent Snow Park and range of downhill runs.

What to Do

  • Pirabadet, Trondheim
    Norway’s biggest indoor water world with everything from Olympic-size swimming pools to fun-size kids’ play pools.
  • Trondheim Parks & Nature Reserves
    Trondheim has dozens of nature reserves, parks, ski areas, beaches, lakes and snow playgrounds. Kids will love them all.
  • Norway in a Nutshell, Bergen
    Do your kids know Norway’s legendary Western Fjords were the inspiration for Disney’s Frozen? This magnificent tour is a holiday in itself and one children will never forget.
  • The Flåm Railway, Aurlandsfjord
    Regularly voted one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, this stretch of south west Norway is only 13 miles long but it travels through some of the most magnificent landscapes on earth.
  • Sognefjord, Western Norway
    This UNESCO World Heritage site stretches for over 125 miles inland from the heart of Fjord Norway. Iconic Norwegian landscape and an unforgettable activity holiday with kids.
  • Wildlife Safaris
    From puffins and eagles to musk oxen, whales, dolphins, reindeer and moose, these are just a few of the wild creatures kids can look forward to seeing in Norway.
  • Tusenfryd Amusement Park, Oslo
    Norway’s biggest funfair has over 30 rides, a huge rollercoaster and includes Bade Fryd waterpark.
  • Oslo Museum
    Everything about Oslo from pre-history to history, culture and people, society, myth and legend. Changing exhibition programme and lots of kids activities.
  • National Gallery, Oslo
    The national art collection is Norway’s largest and where to take older kids to see Munch’s Scream.
  • Norsk Folkemuseum, Oslo
    Exceptional open air heritage museum with dozens of experience for kids from folk dancing and bread baking to exploring mountain villages and feeding farm animals.


Educational Value for Kids

  • Norway’s exceptional at bringing art and literature to life for kids, from Ibsen, Munch and Grieg to Norse legends, folk tales and even Disney’s Frozen.
  • Norwegian kids are never too young to get actively involved in their unique landscape and the same rule applies to your kids.
  • From folk museums to major collections, fantastic sculpture parks, art installations and some of the world’s most amazing architecture, everything in Norway is accessible and especially engaging for kids.
  • Children’s tours are available at most museums and galleries including the fabulous Kon-Tiki Museum and the Polar Ship Fram Museum – both in Oslo.
  • Some of Europe’s finest child-friendly ski schools are Norwegian.
  • Visit the International Museum of Children’s Art in Oslo.
  • Trondheim is famous for island hopping for a day or longer – perfect for getting kids up close to different experiences of Norway’s unique way of life.

 

Getting Around

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.