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.
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
Norway is a very popular attraction for winter sports. Two of the most popular skiing resorts are:
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.
Most visited tourist attractions
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.
|Rank||Cultural attraction||Type||Location||Visitors, 2007|
|2||Holmenkollbakken and Ski Museum||Ski jumping hill||Oslo||686,857|
|4||Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement Park||Amusement park||Kristiansand||532,044|
|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|
|10||Atlantic Ocean Road||Road||Averøy/Kristiansund||237,316|
- "World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Report Highlights the Importance of Environmental Sustainability". World Economic Forum. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-06.
- "Attraksjon 2007" (in Norwegian). Innovasjon Norge. 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-23.[dead link]
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Norway.|