Tourism in Norway

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The main tourist attractions of Norway are the fjord-indented coastline and its mountains, the unspoiled nature of the inner parts of the country, and the cities and smaller towns.

Attractions[edit]

The main attractions of Norway are the varied landscapes that extend across the Arctic Circle. It is famous for its fjord-indented coastline and its mountains, ski resorts, lakes and woods. The main tourist cities in Norway are Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim and Tromsø. Much of the nature of Norway remains unspoiled, and thus attracts numerous hikers and skiers. The fjords, mountains and waterfalls in Western and North Norway attract several hundred thousand foreign tourists each year. In the cities, cultural idiosyncrasies such as the Holmenkollen ski jump attract many visitors, as well as historic and cultural buildings and areas such as Bryggen in Bergen and the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo.

The culture of Norway evolved as a result of its sparse population, harsh climate, and relative isolation from the rest of Europe. It is therefore distinct from other countries in Europe in that it has fewer opulent palaces and castles, smaller agricultural areas, and longer travel distances. Regionally distinct architecture, crafts, and art are presented in the various folk museums, typically based on an ethnological perspective. Norsk Folkemuseum at Bygdøy in Oslo is the largest of these.

Sport and holiday attractions[edit]

Norway is a very popular attraction for winter sports. Two of the most popular skiing resorts are:

Transport[edit]

The historical quarter of bryggen in Bergen.

The Norwegian highway system covers more than 90,000 kilometres, of which about 67,000 are paved. The highway system includes ferry transit across waterways, numerous bridges and tunnels, and several mountain passes. Some of these mountain passes are closed during the winter months, and some may close during winter storms. With the opening of the Oresund Bridge and the Great Belt Fixed Link, Norway is connected to the European continent by a continuous highway connection through Sweden and Denmark.

The 4,058 kilometres long rail network connects most of the major cities south of Bodø. The Norwegian rail network is also connected to the Swedish network. Oslo Airport, Gardermoen is the most important airport in Norway, with 19 million passengers in 2007. Most cities and towns have nearby airports, and some of the largest also have international flights. The cruise ferry Hurtigruten connects the cities on the coast between Bergen and Kirkenes. In the summer, the coastal cities are visited by numerous foreign cruise ships, Bergen being the main cruise port.

International rankings[edit]

As of 2008, Norway ranks 17th in the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report.[1]

Most visited tourist attractions[edit]

Innovation Norway, a state-owned promotion company which is also in charge of tourism affairs, makes annual reports on the country's most visited tourist attractions, both cultural and natural. The 2007 report lists 50 cultural and 20 natural attractions. The top ten of each category are listed below.[2]

Rank Cultural attraction Type Location Visitors, 2007
1 Fløibanen Railway Bergen 1,131,707
2 Holmenkollbakken and Ski Museum Ski jumping hill Oslo 686,857
3 Bryggen Heritage wharf Bergen 583,510
4 Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park Amusement park Kristiansand 532,044
5 Tusenfryd Amusement park Ås 501,235
6 Flåm Line Railway Flåm 457,545
7 Hadeland Glassverk Glass works Jevnaker 431,400
8 Fredrikstad Fortress, Old Town of Fredrikstad Heritage fortress and town Fredrikstad 372,360
9 Viking Ship Museum Museum Oslo 314,560
10 Hunderfossen Familiepark Amusement park Øyer/Lillehammer 270,500
Rank Natural attraction Type Location Visitors, 2006
1 Vøringsfossen Waterfall Eidfjord 655,000
2 Trollstigen Road Åndalsnes 563,331
3 Kjosfossen Waterfall Flåm 457,400
4 Geirangerfjorden Fjord Geiranger 423,643
5 Låtefossen Waterfall Odda/Hardanger 420,000
6 Steinsdalsfossen Waterfall Norheimsund/Hardanger 300,000
7 Nærøyfjorden Fjord Aurland 297,038
8 Briksdalsbreen Glacier Olden/Stryn 280,000
9 Sognefjellsvegen Road Lom-Luster 253,953
10 Atlantic Ocean Road Road Averøy/Kristiansund 237,316

Tourism exhibitions[edit]

In January 2009, the National Building Museum presented the exhibition Detour: Architecture and Design along 18 National Tourist Routes in Norway.[3] The exhibition, which was created in collaboration with the Norwegian Embassy, was available for view until May 2009.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]