With the Christmas season behind us, now is the time to start planning where you would like to spend the holidays next year. These destinations are a must-visit if you love that festive feeling.
Bergen – an amazing Christmas city nestled between the fjords and mountains
Bergen is renowned as one of the most beautiful cities in Norway. The focal point of this city built amongst seven hills is the historic UNESCO-protected and beautifully preserved Hanseatic wharf. This dates back to the 14th century and is now full of gift shops, cafes, and restaurants. During the month of December, the wharf houses a huge Christmas market which is surely the most scenic in Norway.
As Bergen is surrounded by “city mountains,” views of this gorgeous city, and the fjords, are very accessible. Perhaps the best known is Mount Fløyen which will reopen its funicular in April 2022. From Bergen, you can also take the train to Flåm which is ranked as one of the most beautiful train rides in Norway, if not the world.
The city is linked to all major Norwegian cities by railway and also by an international airport. For those that want an especially Christmas journey, the railway journey from Oslo, which first climbs up the mountains that are the backbone of Norway then winds its way down through the fjords to Bergen is highly recommended.
Fredrikstad: Norway’s historic city only gets better during Christmas
Just over an hour’s drive from Oslo, lies the historic city of Fredrikstad. Situated 20 kilometers from the Swedish border, this city was established in 1567 and has Northern Europe’s best-preserved fortified town. Though it is primarily known as a summer favorite – as it often hosts a segment of the “Tall Ship’s Race” – it is worth seeing the city with a layer of snow.
The old town (Gamlebyen) is a perfect location for the annual Christmas market, mixing a blend of festive cheer and old-world charm. Where else can you get into the festive spirit amongst buildings that are over 5 centuries old and perfect for that #InstagramChristmasPost. It is no wonder that it won Norway’s most attractive town in 2017.
Fredrikstad is an hour from Oslo and just over two hours from Gothenburg so it makes a perfect day trip from either city.
A Christmas cruise – riding the Hurtigruten
One of the most popular ways to see the gorgeous Norwegian coast is to take one of the cruises offered by Hurtigruten. This coast route has 34 ports of calls between Bergen and Kirkenes, in the far north of Norway.
There is no better way to experience the majesty of coastal Norway than by cruising gently in a ship that will cater to your every need. There is simply no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than by cruising between picturesque fjords and coastal towns during winter.
Both Ålesund and Tromsø are well worth a day’s visit. After a fire ravaged the city, much of modern Ålesund was built with an Art Nouveau style in the early 20th century and is full of Christmas shops and markets. Tromsø is the gateway to the Arctic and is the perfect place to experience the majesty and wonder of the Northern Lights.
Lofoten – the “midnight sun,” mountains and magical scenery
You will simply not find a better location for Christmas celebrations than amongst the Lofoten archipelago. There is no better way to experience the Northern lights than against this dramatic mountain scenery.
Small fishing villages are nestled amongst the fjords with the largest being Svolvær. Despite it being far into the Arctic Circle, the area experiences exceptionally mild winters. This makes it a tourist dream as you can experience a White Christmas without freezing too much!
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