Heading to Southern Norway? Looking for activities, best places to see or itinerary ideas for your trip?
We took our motorhome up to Norway and spent two weeks exploring some of the most beautiful places I have ever visited! Seriously, if you've never been, you have to GO! You'll never regret it… (even if you're really unlucky like us and it rains most of the time you're there! *sob*)
We thought 2 weeks would be enough time to get around most of the country, but actually we only really explored Southern Norway in that time. We took coast roads, which had breathtaking views but were a lot slower. There are also more ferries between the islands, which also slows travelling down.
Still, we believe a self-guided road trip is one of the best ways to see this fantastic country and allows you to set your own itinerary. In order to help you plan, here are 11 of the best places to see in Southern Norway, so you can add them to your own bucket list!
Map with best places to see in Southern Norway
This is the map of our road trip route through Southern Norway. This is the itinerary which took us 2 weeks to drive, not including getting to/ from Norway back to the UK. The route is FULL of some of the prettiest places in Norway.
Want to know how expensive travelling in Norway is? Find out how much this trip cost us, including fuel, tolls, ferries and food!
Preikestolen is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever seen. It's also one of the most famous Southern Norway hiking spots! We camped with our motorhome right on the shores of the Fjord and were lucky enough to enjoy incredible views.
Sadly, we didn't hike up to the top of Preikestolen as the new Mission Impossible was screening up there the night we visited- seriously, they had a HUGE projector and screen and everything. However, 2000 people on a ledge with no barriers and a VERY long drop didn't appeal to me much, so we decided to stay at ground level.
Hiking Preikestolen is one of the most popular things to do in Southern Norway, so if you want to go, go early!
Oslo is such a beautiful, clean, friendly city. It feels modern, which is weird as the history you can find here is incredible. There are museums EVERYWHERE, but of course you can choose to do other things. It's one of the few cities I've visited which doesn't feel like a city- there's so much nature surrounding it, both trees and water.
You can visit Oslo in Winter or summer- it's a great weekend destination even if you aren't on a road trip and you can enjoy a small part of Southern Norway for a few days.
We didn't stop in Bergen on our road trip as the weather was just miserable, but I've been before and loved the place. (Apparently, Bergen is famous for its rain… wish we'd known that when we were visiting!) Still, don't let that put you off; this pretty city has a lot to offer, as well as stunning views across the sea.
Again, the history here is amazing to see- medieval buildings dating back hundreds of years, traditional costumes and ways of life, mixed in with more modern additions. The colourful houses and the Old Wharf are quintessentially Norwegian- definitely worth a visit.
Also, apparently, this is the city which inspired Frozen. So now you have to (let it) go…
No? Ok then. Moving on.
If you're on a guided tour and not enjoying a Southern Norway road trip, you have to do the Flamsbana Railway. It's a great way to get up into the mountains without hiking, see an incredible waterfall and some of the best views in the area. It's not cheap (where in Norway is!?) but the crazy girl dancing in the red dress at the bottom of a waterfall is enough to entertain anyone!! 🙂 Watch the video
The Norwegian Fjords
There probably aren't enough words to accurately describe the Norwegian Fjords- although many (many!) have tried!
The sheer SIZE and beauty of this incredible landscape is breathtaking. Wherever you go in Norway, you have to add at least one of the Fjords to your itinerary!
Our favourite was Geirangerfjord- which is also the biggest- but there are seriously so many to choose from.
Trollstigen Road is AWESOME! It's one of the twistiest, turniest (new word!) roads we've ever driven down- although actually, we rode down it on our motorbike.
If you're not on a road trip, try and rent a car (or even better, a motorbike!) so you can drive Trollstigen road for yourself. Definitely one of the best things we did in Norway! You won't forget doing that in a hurry.
Sverd i fjell
Sverd i fjell was something I found on Pinterest whilst looking for the best places to see in Southern Norway- and was instantly intrigued. Why on earth would three HUGE carved swords be put into the rock?
It's a fascinating place and the views across the bay are breathtaking. It's also close to Stavanger, which is another pretty place to visit.
I liked Alesund more than I thought I would. For a very touristy town, it's incredibly pretty and full with all sorts of fun things to do. We enjoyed wandering around the cute streets, enjoying the shops and people watching- many cruise ships dock here so it's normally quite a busy, bustling place, especially during the summer months.
Steinsdalsfossen was possibly my favourite waterfall in Norway- mainly because you can walk behind it and enjoy the force of the water crashing over the cliff above you. Watch the video of Steinsdalsfossen Waterfall.
Also, we had it all to ourselves. For about an hour. It was magical. If you're wondering what waterfalls to see in South Norway, add this to your list!!
Hornindalsvatnet- the Deepest Lake in Norway
As Southern Norway attractions go, this is possibly one of the more random- but we enjoyed our time at Hornindalsvatnet. Hornindalsvatnet is the deepest lake of Norway – the official depth of 514 meters and its bottom is 461 meters below sea level!
Drive through the world's Longest Tunnel!
This was cool- we drove through the world's largest tunnel! It's so long, there are rest stops in several places in the middle to allow you to stop and take a break- complete with blue mood lighting!! Learn more and watch the video of the world's longest tunnel.
Seeing the Northern Lights in Norway
Sadly, the Northern lights are rarely visible during the summer months, which is when we visited. Also, the best place to see the Northern Lights in Norway is north of the Arctic Circle (think Tromso or above), although of course it is possible to see them in Southern Norway if conditions are good.
We were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights several years ago on a Norwegian cruise, but we weren't any good at photographing the Northern Lights, so we'd love to go back and try again now we have a better camera!!
Planning a road trip to Norway?
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Have you visited Southern Norway? Where were your best places to see?