30 Famous Landmarks in Norway Not to Miss

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Small colourful houses next to the water with greenery-covered mountains behind them
You will find an array of interesting landmarks in Norway, like the Bryggen buildings

Norway is a beautiful Scandinavian country that is a must-visit destination, especially for those that enjoy stunning natural scenery. Visitors will also find many famous landmarks in Norway to see.

Along with numerous natural landmarks, you can visit historical sites like Akershus Fortress, cultural attractions such as the Oslo Opera House, and so much more. To discover all the top Norwegian landmarks to visit, keep reading!

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30 Famous Norway Landmarks

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Famous Landmarks of Norway

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A yellow triangular building with a sign that says "Fram" next to green trees
The Fram Museum is dedicated to the stories of famous Norwegian polar explorers

The Fram Museum

Located in Oslo, the Fram Museum was established in 1936 and is dedicated to telling stories of Norwegian polar exploration. Just a few of the explorers mentioned include Fridtjof Nansen, Ronald Amundsen, and Otto Sverdrup.

A notable feature is the inclusion of the exploration vessel the Fram in the museum's design. Visitors can go inside the ship and learn more about the journeys it took.

☂️ Visit The Fram Museum with a tour

An obelisk monument in a park under a cloudy sky
The Vigeland Park is located within Frogner Park and features unique sculptures

The Vigeland Park

Another of the famous attractions in Norway located in Oslo is Vigeland Park. Opened in 1907, the Vigeland Sculpture Park was designed by architect Gustav Vigeland. It sits within another park, Frogner Park, which also houses Oslo Museum and Frogner Manor and was designed in 1750.

Vigeland Park is also a name more often used by and for tourists. Most locals simply refer to the sculpture park as Frogner Park. Visitors to the outdoor art installation can see 212 bronze and granite sculptures in various unusual designs.

When in Oslo, you can even book accommodations around the park. If you want to be close to Vigeland Park, the top places to stay in Oslo are Frogner and Majorstuen.

☂️ Explore The Vigeland Park with a tour

The National Museum of Norway

The National Museum of Norway is a renowned cultural attraction located in the capital of Oslo. The museum is a relatively new attraction, having been established in 2003.

In addition, the museum is now housed in a new building that opened in 2022. Visitors can admire the museum's collection, which includes over 40,000 pieces.

Things to see include artworks, architectural pieces, and other design objects. Notably, the National Museum of Norway houses the first copy of The Scream, a renowned painting by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.

A wooden church building next to trees and a pond with lily pads
Maihaugen has replicas of buildings, like churches, from as far back as the 1400s


As one of the most visited tourist attractions in Lillehammer, a trip to Maihaugen has to be on your Norway bucket list! This site is additionally one of the largest open-air museums in Northern Europe.

Maihaugen opened in 1904 and comprises 200 buildings and outdoor attractions. Visitors will learn more about life in this Norwegian town during various eras, from around the 15th century to the 20th century. There is also an indoor museum and photography exhibit.

The exterior of a red brick building with a black garage door and plants next to it
Mathallen Oslo is an indoor market home to around 30 unique food vendors

Mathallen Oslo

Mathallen Oslo is a renowned indoor food market in the nation's capital. The market is housed within a building constructed at the start of the 20th century and features over 30 food vendors. Just a few items on offer include handmade chocolates, freshly baked bread, and Norwegian and international ready-to-eat dishes.

Atlantic Ocean Road

The Atlantic Ocean Road is one of many famous places in Norway that offers beautiful views. The road stretches for about 8.3 kilometres along an archipelago located in the Hustadvika and Averøy municipalities in Møre og Romsdal county. As you drive along, you'll come across four viewing areas where you can stop and take in the vistas.

Famous Buildings in Norway

A large stone cathedral with two towers next to green trees and a lamppost
Nidaros Cathedral took 230 years to build and was consecrated in 1300

Nidaros Cathedral

Work on the European landmark of Nidaros Cathedral began in 1070. The cathedral in Trondheim sits atop the burial site of King Olaf II of Norway, who died in 1030. It took 230 years to be completed, finally being finished and consecrated in 1300.

Additions to the cathedral were made over the next hundreds of years, with beautiful stained glass windows added in the 19th and 20th centuries. Other renowned features at the cathedral include its two organs, added in the 1930s and 1960s, and stunning carved altars.

Today, the cathedral is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can tour the building and admire its architecture, which includes Gothic, Romanesque, and Gothic Revival design elements.

A large yellow palace building with columns and a statue and steps in front of it
The Royal Palace in Oslo was completed in 1849 and remains a royal residence

The Royal Palace

Norway still has a monarchy, and you can find various buildings related to the royal family across the country. One of the most well-known buildings is the Royal Palace in Oslo.

The palace was completed in 1849 in a Neoclassical style and features 123 rooms. Today, the Royal Palace is the official residence of the Norwegian royal family and is open for tours.

☂️ Discover The Royal Palace on a tour

One of the famous landmarks in Norway is Oslo Opera House
Oslo Opera House is one of many famous landmarks in Norway

Oslo Opera House

Oslo Opera House is one of the best Norway attractions for lovers of classical music, ballet, and opera. The building is the home of the Norwegian Opera and Ballet company and opened in 2008.

The unique structure is also a must-see for architecture enthusiasts. Designed in a contemporary architectural style by the Snøhetta architecture firm, the Oslo Opera House has won multiple awards for its design.

In addition to seeing memorable performances here, you can go to a viewing platform on the roof to take in stunning views of Norway's capital city.

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A triangular-shaped building with a cross next to a snow-covered mountain
The Arctic Cathedral was constructed in 1965 and sits within the Arctic Circle

Arctic Cathedral

Also known as Tromsdalen Church, the Arctic Cathedral sits in the Arctic Circle in the Tromsø Municipality of Troms og Finnmark. This is another relatively modern landmark, having been constructed in 1965.

The church has a capacity of 600 worshippers and has a pyramid-style design that differs from the design of many churches and cathedrals. The interior also features beautiful stained glass, chandeliers, and a large organ, among other beautiful design elements.

☂️ Join a tour to see the Arctic Cathedral

A group of colourful houses next to a body of water and a greenery-covered hill
Bryggen is a UNESCO Site that comprises ​Hanseatic heritage commercial buildings


Bryggen, or Tyskebryggen, is a series of ​​Hanseatic heritage commercial buildings located in the city of Bergen. The coastal buildings date to the 14th century and were used through the 16th century as part of the Hanseatic League's trading empire. Bryggen became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, and viewing these beautiful structures when in the area is a must.

A brick building with two towers next to the water with boats on it
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded at Rådhuset, Oslo's city hall, until 2019


Rådhuset is Oslo's city hall and is another more modern landmark to see. It was constructed between 1931 and 1950, opening in May 1950. The brick building features Brutalist, Expressionist, and Postmodern architecture.

Interestingly, as the building took 19 years to complete, the style of the building was no longer popular once it opened! However, today it is an important political building in the city, and many tourists visit to tour the structure. From 1990 to 2019, the Nobel Peace Prize was also awarded at Rådhuset.

Famous Monuments in Norway

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A bronze statue of a walking tiger in a square
The Tiger represents Oslo's nickname of 'The Tiger City' or 'Tigerstaden'

The Tiger

A fun and unique monument to see in Oslo is The Tiger. As the name suggests, the statue is of a tiger and is found next to Oslo Central Station.

This monument is one of the most photographed landmarks in the capital city and opened in 2000 on Oslo's 1,000th anniversary. A tiger was used because Oslo has the nickname 'The Tiger City' or 'Tigerstaden' in Norwegian.

A sculpture next to the grass and a body of water on a cloudy day
Renowned artist Louise Bourgeois designed the Steilneset Memorial Site

Steilneset Memorial Site

One of the most interesting monuments in Norway is the Steilneset Memorial Site. The memorial in Vardø is dedicated to 91 people who were executed for witchcraft in 1621.

It opened in 2011 and was the last work of renowned artist Louise Bourgeois, who designed it before her death in 2010. Architect Peter Zumthor then brought the design to life.

Arctic Circle Monument

A famous landmark in Norway within the Arctic Circle is the Arctic Circle Monument, also called the Polar Circle Globe. The monument is located on Vikingen Island and sits on the invisible line that marks the Arctic Circle.

At this line, you will be able to see the sun shining for 24 hours during the summer. In the winter, late fall, and early spring, you will likely see the Northern Lights glowing around the monument's site.

The monument itself features a silver spherical structure that sits on a brick pedestal next to the icy Norwegian Sea.

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A tall obelisk monument with smaller stones around it next to the grass and flags
Haraldshaugen marks the 1,000th anniversary of the unification of Norway


Haraldshaugen is one of the most important landmarks of Norway. Located in Haugesund, the national monument was unveiled in 1872 on the 1,000th anniversary of the 872 Battle of Hafrsfjord, which resulted in the unification of Norway.

The monument features a 17-metre-tall granite obelisk surrounded by memorial stones and bronze panels. Some also believe that the monument marks the burial site of Harald Fairhair, the first king of Norway. However, there is no archaeological evidence to confirm this.

The Globe Monument

The Globe Monument is located on the country's North Cape and sits next to the water and a glass structure called Nordkapphallen. This monument marks the northernmost point of mainland Norway. It features a globe structure sitting on a platform, and snapping a picture of the landmark is a must if in the area.

Norway Natural Landmarks

Boats on a glacial lake next to a red house next to a snow-covered mountain
Reine on the Lofoten Islands is one of many Norwegian villages in the Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle is one of the most famous landmarks of the natural world. This landmark is one of two polar circles, the other being the Antarctic Circle. Of course, the Arctic Circle is not an area specific to Norway; however, parts of Norway sit within the Arctic Circle, making it well worth mentioning!

The areas in and above the circle include the country's northernmost point, the North Cape, and counties like Saltfjellet and Troms og Finnmark. Interestingly, the Norwegian arctic has the largest population of all countries in the Arctic Circle, with 390,000 people living in the area.

Small red houses next to a lake and a mountain with snow on it at sunset
You can see the Midnight Sun in places like Svalbard and the Lofoten Islands

Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun is a unique natural phenomenon that occurs in Svalbard, Norway. Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago that sits between Norway and the North Pole.

During the Midnight Sun period, the sun doesn't set, meaning you can enjoy sunlight at midnight. While this happens in other Northern areas of Norway, the Midnight Sun can be seen for the longest duration in Svalbard, generally occurring for around four months between April 20 and August 22.

The Lofoten Islands are another excellent place to see the Midnight Sun between the end of May to mid-July. If you decide to see the Midnight Sun, you can enjoy activities like a sunlit midnight hike on a glacier or a sea kayak tour!

A fjord with a cruise ship on it surrounded by tall mountains with snow and greenery
The Geirangerfjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Norway's many fjords

Norwegian Fjords

The Norwegian fjords are some of the best natural places to visit in Norway. Conveniently, you can discover the iconic fjords across the country, with over 1,000 fjords dotted over Norway. Some of the most popular ones to visit include the Nordfjord and the Geirangerfjord, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bergen is also an excellent destination to visit if you want to see fjords, as the small coastal city is surrounded by multiple fjords, mountains, and other natural features. In addition, many tourists opt to take scenic cruises around the fjords, making seeing these fantastic natural features easy.

☂️ See Geirangerfjord on a tour

A small red cabin in the snow next to a lake and the green Northern Lights
You can see the Northern Lights in many areas in the north of Norway

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are another natural phenomenon that can be seen across the globe, including in Norway.

You can see the dancing green and blue lights from various places in the country, notably in counties in Northern Norway. The best time to spot the lights is between September and late March. Just a few of the places to head to for Northern Lights viewing include Alta, Varanger, and the Lyngenfjord region.

Svartisen Glacier

Despite 'Svartisen' meaning "black ice," the Svartisen Glacier is a beautiful blue colour. Additionally, this natural landmark is the country's second-largest glacier and is located in Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park.

When in the park, you can quite easily hike to viewpoints that look out over the glacier and you can even find routes that take you onto the glacier.

A group of people on a clifftop next to a body of water and green hills
After hiking to the peak of Pulpit Rock, you can enjoy views of Lysefjord

Pulpit Rock

Known as Preikestolen in Norwegian, Pulpit Rock is a must-visit landmark for outdoor enthusiasts, especially those that enjoy scenic hikes. The natural landmark is located in the municipality of Strand and is a steep cliff with a peak that sits 604 metres above the surrounding Lysefjord.

It takes hikers about four hours round trip to complete the eight-kilometre hike up Pulpit Rock. This hike is moderate to difficult and recommended for those with a good activity level.

You can complete the hike at any time of the year. Going with a guide is recommended between November to April when special equipment will also be needed. At the peak, you can take in breathtaking views across the fjord and mountainous landscape.

A lake next to snowy mountains that reflect in the surface
Jotunheimen National Park has pretty scenery and Northern Europe's highest mountains

Jotunheimen National Park

Jotunheimen National Park is another breathtaking natural landmark in Norway. Located in the south of the country, the park covers 1,151 square kilometres.

As you explore, you can admire views of fjords and mountains. Notably, the park features Northern Europe's highest peaks, Galdhøpiggen and Glittertind. Many animals also call Jotunheimen National Park home, from wolverines and mink to reindeer and elk.

A lake next to grass with a path through it and small snow-covered hills
Hardangervidda National Park features beautiful landscapes to hike through

Hardangervidda National Park

As Norway's largest national park, Hardangervidda National Park has to be mentioned on this list of famous Norwegian landmarks! The park covers 3,422 square kilometres and includes part of the Hardanger mountain plateau.

Visitors can take in beautiful views as they hike around and see an array of wildlife. Notably, the park is home to one of the largest wild reindeer herds in the world.

Historic Landmarks in Norway

A castle on a hill surrounded by greenery and next to the water
Akershus Fortress has been in Oslo since 1300 and is now the Prime Minister's office

Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress is a beautiful medieval castle on the edge of central Oslo by the Inner Oslofjord. This fort has been in Oslo since 1300 and was constructed as a defence to protect royal residences in the capital city.

Since its construction in the 14th century, it has also been used as a prison and a military base. In the 1600s, it was renovated after a fire into a Renaissance castle and royal residence. It is now an office for the Prime Minister of Norway and has been since the Norway terror attacks in 2011.

Events are also held at the castle, and visitors can walk around parts of the grounds, learning more about the history of the building.

Gamle Stavanger

Gamle Stavanger is one of the most interesting and picturesque historic sites in Norway. Located in Stavanger in Rogaland, Gamle Stavanger is the area's historic city centre.

It features many 18th and 19th-century buildings, most of which feature white wooden panel facades. Today, you can wander around the pretty town, learning about its history and visiting shops housed in the old buildings.

A black wooden church next to the grass, trees, a hill, and gravestones
Urnes Stave Church is one of the oldest stave churches in Europe

Urnes Stave Church

Urnes Stave Church is a 12th-century timber church that opened in 1132 in Ornes. This landmark is the oldest stave church in the country and one of the oldest in Europe. It was also designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

An excavation in 1956 additionally found that two other churches had been built on the site, meaning the land the church sits on may have a history dating back hundreds or thousands of years before the 12th century.

If in the area, visiting this renowned building is a must and allows you to take in the unique Romanesque architectural design and stunning wood carvings.

Kristiansten Fortress

Kristiansten Fortress is a 17th-century fortress located in Trondheim. This landmark was constructed after a fire in 1681 and was completed four years later in 1685.

As it sits on a hill next to the Nidelva River, it acted as an important coastal defence, protecting the area from attack from the east. Visitors today can tour a museum within the fortress and take in the views of the city and the river.

Red ancient carvings of animals on a rockface next to some greenery
The Rock Carvings at Alta are Norway's only prehistoric World Heritage Site

Rock Carvings at Alta

Another of the must-visit famous sites in Norway is the Rock Carvings at Alta, which are part of the Alta Museum. As the name suggests, these carvings are located in Alta and were first discovered in 1973.

The site has around 6,000 ancient carvings and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Interestingly, it is Norway's only prehistoric World Heritage Site.

The Rock Carvings at Alta date back thousands of years, with some thought to have been drawn up to 7,000 years ago. The drawings detail life in the Stone Age and feature pictures of fishing scenes and animals, like bears and reindeer. There are also some mysterious geometric symbols whose meanings remain unknown today.

In Conclusion

Norway has no shortage of landmarks to check out. Notably, you will find many natural landmarks in the country, from the Norwegian fjords to Jotunheimen National Park.

You can also see monuments, famous buildings, historical sites, and more. No matter what part of Norway you visit, you'll be amazed by what you see!

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell FORMER WRITER Currently based in Canada, Alli has also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and traveled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She loves finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever she goes.

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