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TRAVEL: Five fantastic destinations in Norway you should visit in 2024

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
TRAVEL: Five fantastic destinations in Norway you should visit in 2024
Whether you're a city-hopper or a nature lover, The Local's guide on top destinations to visit in 2024 has something for everyone. Photo by Laura Lezman on Unsplash

From north to south, Norway has a host of exciting destinations to explore in 2024. Here are five places you should definitely consider for your Scandinavian travel itinerary this year.

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Thinking about a trip to Norway in 2024? Well, you're in for a treat!

The Scandinavian country is offering visitors a warm welcome this year with a fresh batch of exciting events, a vibrant cultural scene, and a pocket-friendly Norwegian krone.

READ MORE: The most unmissable events in Norway in 2024

That means it's a great time to pack your bags and explore Norway's natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Whether you're a city-hopper or a nature lover, The Local's guide on top destinations to visit in 2024 has something for everyone – ensuring you experience a memorable journey.

Bodø

The Saltstraumen strait, which has one of the strongest tidal currents in the world, is located in Bodø, Nordland County. Photo by Joshua Kettle on Unsplash

Bodø: The European Capital of Culture 2024

Bodø, a city of 55,000 people in northern Norway, has been designated the European Capital of Culture for 2024.

READ MORE: Bodø 2024: Arctic Norway's European Capital of Culture

This title brings with it an exciting calendar of over 1,000 concerts, performances, and art exhibitions throughout the year – a real treat for all culture lovers.

Visitors will have the unique opportunity to experience Sami traditions (the Sami are the indigenous people of the Arctic area of Sápmi, which encompasses parts of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia), including their music, language, handicrafts, and culinary traditions.

Furthermore, Bodø is a great place to enjoy the stunning nature above the Arctic Circle, and the broader area is quite famous for the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun phenomena, which will undoubtedly provide a special setting for many of the events planned.

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Oslofjord

In 2024, Oslo celebrates the 400th anniversary of its transformative reconstruction following the great fire of 1624. Photo by Artur Alexander Holmski on Unsplash

Oslo: Celebrating 400 years since the great reconstruction

2024 marks a significant milestone for Oslo, Norway's capital, as it commemorates 400 years since the great fire of 1624 that led to the city's transformation and reconstruction.

Originally named Christiania by King Christian IV, the city later reverted to its current name, Oslo. Throughout the year, many events will pay tribute to these historical milestones.

READ MORE: The most unmissable events in Oslo in 2024

Visitors should expect historical exhibitions, cultural performances, lectures, and city tours highlighting key aspects of the city's development over the centuries.

One of the central themes of these celebrations will be the architectural evolution of Oslo since the 17th century - from the initial rebuilding efforts post-fire to the contemporary designs that dot the city's current skyline.

Bonus tip: Don't miss the opportunity to visit the newly refurbished Holmenkollen Ski Museum, located at the base of the Holmenkollen ski jump, where you can explore the history of skiing and enjoy breathtaking views at the same time.

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Lofoten

Svolvær, nestled between the sea and Lofoten's impressive mountains, is the largest town in the islands. Photo by Nikola Johnny Mirkovic on Unsplash

Lofoten Islands: One of the most beautiful places on Earth

Lofoten stands out as a must-visit destination this year (and every other year, to be honest – let's face it, it's among Norway's most cherished gems) for anyone looking to experience one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places on Earth.

This archipelago in northern Norway is a real treasure trove of natural wonders and unique experiences.

READ MORE: The five best things to do on Norway's Lofoten Islands

Renowned for its stunning landscapes – a mix of harsh mountains, deep fjords, secluded bays, and pristine beaches – Lofoten offers visitors a wide range of outdoor activities.

From sea eagle safaris and hikes (popular hiking destinations include Håheia, Hoven, Reinebringen, and Svolværgeita) to fishing (the waters around Lofoten are among the world's richest fishing grounds – look out for the skrei season from January to April, when millions of large Cod make the journey from the Barents Sea back to their spawning grounds, making for fantastic fishing) and Northern Lights hunting.

The archipelago is dotted with picturesque fishing villages, with traditional red and yellow fishermen's cabins (rorbuer in Norwegian), which offer a glimpse into the region's traditional way of life.

Visitors can enjoy fresh seafood (check out the Anitas Seafood diner at Sakrisøy) and learn about the region's history in local museums (such as the Lofotr Viking Museum and the Lofoten Museum).

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Stavanger streets

Stavanger is renowned for its well-preserved wooden houses. Photo by Alicja Gancarz on Unsplash

Stavanger: A bustling culinary scene

Stavanger, the largest city in southwestern Norway, beckons travellers in 2024 with its unique blend of Michelin-starred restaurants (K2, Sabi Omakase Stavanger, and RE-NAA), historic wooden houses, and a multicultural atmosphere.

The city, nicknamed the "Oil Capital of Norway", is rapidly gaining a reputation for its culinary scene.

READ MORE: Where are Norway’s Michelin star restaurants?

However, Stavanger's culinary landscape is broader than high-end dining; it also boasts a diverse range of eateries serving international cuisine.

The Stavanger region also serves as an excellent starting point for day trips and exploring natural wonders like the Lysefjord and the famous Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen).

Along the way, the popular coastal area of Jæren offers wide sandy beaches and opportunities for surfing and kitesurfing enthusiasts.

Bonus tips: In 2024, Stavanger will be alive with events: the Stavanger Wine Festival in March celebrates international wines; Landstreff and Maijazz in May bring music lovers together for youth-focused and jazz performances, respectively.

The family-friendly Mablis Music Festival in June and Scandinavia's largest Gladmat Food Festival in July showcase local culture and cuisine. August features the International Chamber Music Festival and Utopia Music Festival, followed by the Stavanger Marathon races.

The year rounds off with Kapittel, a literature festival, in September.

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Trondheim bridge

Trondheim's Gamle Bybro, or the Old Town Bridge, is an iconic landmark in the city. Photo by Free Nomad on Unsplash

Trondheim: A cultural hub with a royal charm

Trondheim, a city rich in both history and culture, is another must-visit destination in 2024.

Formerly known as Nidaros, the city has a deep connection to Norwegian history, having been the capital of Norway during the Viking Age.

READ MORE: 24 hours in Trondheim: Everything you should see and do

Trondheim's royal charm is most notably embodied in the majestic Nidaros Cathedral, one of Norway's most important Gothic monuments and the traditional site for the consecration of new kings, located in the very heart of the city.

Beyond the cathedral, the city has many other impressive historical buildings and structures.

From the Stiftsgården, the Norwegian royal residence in Trondheim situated on Munkegaten Street, to the old town bridge (Gamle Bybro) with its Instagram-famous red-painted gate, the city's architecture tells the story of its rich past.

Trondheim is also a hub for arts and culture, and it will host several key festivals throughout 2024, including the Trondheim Calling Music Festival in February, Kosmorama International Film Festival in March, Nidaros Blues in April, and JazzFest in May. The summer features the St. Olav's Festival and the Trøndelag Food Festival, with the Pstereo music festival's dates yet to be announced.

The city is also home to various galleries and museums, including the Trondheim Art Museum and the Rockheim National Museum of Pop and Rock Music.

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