Our Family Friendly Norway Itinerary
I visited Norway 20 years ago with a friend and we did the Norway In A Nutshell Tour. So, for my Dad’s 75th birthday, we spent nine days back in this gorgeous country with friends and family. We did a Norway In A Nutshell Tour and the following is our family friendly Norway itinerary. I don’t think I would change a thing. We had an incredible time, with plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying ourselves.
Day 1-2- Oslo- Hotel Continental- Museum Boat Tour- Opera House
Day 3-4- Voss- Fleischer’s Hotel
Day 5-7- Bergen- Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz- Flyoen Mountain/Funicular/Troll Forest, Bryggen
Day 8-9- Oslo- Vigeland Sculpture Park, Akershus Fortress
Oslo- Day 1 and 2
We started our holiday in Oslo at the Hotel Continental. This hotel was probably the nicest of all the hotels we stayed at on this trip. I would recommend this hotel if you are planning a trip to Oslo. The breakfast was incredible, the staff is friendly, and the hotel is quite pretty. There was not a pool, but we were right in the city center and a couple short blocks from Oslo Harbor waterfront, Bryggen, and all tourist attractions.
We arrived at dinnertime on Day 1 in Oslo and checked into Hotel Continental for 2 nights before starting our Norway In A Nutshell Tour. After a delicious breakfast, we headed to the harbor and bought the 24 Hour Oslo Pass to explore the Museums of Oslo. The Oslo Pass gives you free admission to more than 30 museums.
Our family friendly favorite was the Folk Museum, (pictured below) which had a lot of great outdoor space, a petting zoo, a playground, café, and a horse drawn carriage ride. It is a gorgeous place to spend the day. We also went to the Fram Museum as well as the Viking Museum.
Just when we thought we were done for the day, we headed to the architecturally gorgeous Oslo Opera House. We walked up and down the entire structure and on the roof! The Opera House overlooks the harbor and is absolutely gorgeous on the inside and out. This is definitely worth taking an hour to see when in Oslo.
Day 3 was our official first day of the Norway In A Nutshell Tour. We started our tour at 8am in Oslo by train to Myrdal (5 hours), took the Flam train (1 hour), then a fjord tour boat (2 hours), then a spectacular, but scary hair pin turn bus with epic waterfall views to Voss (1 hour). Finally arriving in Voss at 7pm. What a full day of travel! Remember to find the kid carriage on the trains in Norway. It will keep the kids busy for a bit. And load up on snacks. Although the waffles and hot dogs in the restaurant cart did make our girls quite happy.
Voss- Day 3 and 4
We spent two nights in Voss. I had planned on us staying in Flam, but it was fully booked over six months ahead of time. So we stayed in the beautiful and quiet town of Voss. I had the most amazing fish and chips at our hotel, Fleischer’s Hotel. The breakfast was not the most spectacular, nor was the service. Besides breakfast, the hotel was fantastic. The location for breakfast was absolutely gorgeous with a full view of the lake.
Our girls loved swimming in the pool and relaxing in the hot tub. We loved walking through the beautiful town and wandering through the woods and along the lake. The dinner at the hotel was fantastic and was served in a large wooden banquet hall overlooking the lake. There was a gorgeous picture window with amazing views from the restaurant. And I’m still dreaming about the fish and chips.
From Voss we took a one hour train ride to Bergen. All part of the Norway In A Nutshell Tour.
Bergen- Day 5-7
The Hotel in Bergen
I was most excited about seeing Bergen again after 20 years. It was my favorite place of all the cities we visited 20 years ago and I couldn’t wait to see just how cute it was all over again. We stayed at Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz. This hotel had the best breakfast of our entire trip with everything you could imagine. Also, we had a free dinner every night included! It was a small communal buffet dinner, but it had plenty of food to fill us up for the night.
The rooms, however, need to be addressed. Our family room for the four of us was absolutely perfect. We had a superior double room. The rest of the family and friends, however, had the smallest rooms I had ever seen! They had standard queen rooms. So be warned. If you want to stay at this hotel, which I would recommend, book a superior room or find yourself with just enough room for a bed.
When we checked in, the reception told us the rooms were tiny and that they were fully booked that first night, but could accommodate larger rooms for the other two nights. The service was great and the location couldn’t be beat. We could see the famous UNESCO Bryggen street from our hotel. It was just a few steps out our front door. Also, the hotel always has coffee and little snacks available. It’s the small things when you are traveling.
Sight Seeing In Bergen
The first morning in Bergen we took the funicular up to Mount Floyen on the Floibanen. This is a must when in Bergen. The troll forest from the movie Frozen is at the top, making it amazingly fun for the kids. There is a big playground at the top, canoeing, hiking, and many more little playgrounds. The view from the top of all of Bergen is spectacular.
The second day was so gorgeous that we hiked up to the top instead of taking the funicular. Our hotel was only 3-4 blocks from the funicular, making it all quite easy. The hiking path up goes past the most beautiful houses in Bergen and into the woods, all of which is just gorgeous.
There were things we did every day in Bergen. We woke up and walked along the famous UNESCO Bryggen street right outside our hotel. This colorful street is from the 1700’s. The alleyways and colorful buildings are very photogenic. We stopped each day at Baker Brun, in the white building, for cinnamon rolls, pastries, and iced cookies. You can smell the bakery as soon as you see Bryggen. We also wandered through the fish market each day and ate lunch there one of the days.
We stayed in Bergen for three nights. On the fourth day we took the six and a half hour train from Bergen to Oslo. We left at 4pm and arrived in Oslo at 10:30pm. It was a long beautiful train ride, complete with kid and restaurant carriage.
Oslo- Day 8 and 9
We arrived back in Oslo at 10:30pm after the long train ride from Bergen to Oslo, the last of our Norway In A Nutshell Tour. We checked in at the Hotel Continental. With one more fantastic breakfast we headed for the Vigeland Sculpture Park with nearby incredible playground. I went to Vigeland 20 years ago and really wanted to see it again. It was more amazing than I remembered with so many more sculptures than I remember. And, now that we have kids, the huge playground near the entrance was an incredible sight.
My Norway Recommendations
I would highly recommend the Norway In A Nutshell Tour as we saw so much of the country with the ease of trains and boats. Also, I would highly recommend booking accommodation more than 6 months in advance as the fjord towns book up quickly. We liked stopping for two nights in the cute and quiet fjord towns as they are off the beaten path and feel more like a vacation than the cities. The cities of Oslo and Bergen are incredibly well laid out for tourism. They are easily walkable to all tourist destinations with very little thought or effort. You can essentially see everything from everywhere in these two seaside towns.
Two of my favorite things about Norway besides the epic scenery and fantastic public transportation, of course are food, the brown cheese and the soft serve. When I came to Norway 20 years ago, soft serve was everywhere. And I’m so happy to report that it still is. I am a huge fan of soft serve ice cream and absolutely love the taste of the vanilla soft serve found on every street corner in Norway. Just plain vanilla is my favorite, but most people go wild with the various toppings. The brown cheese is goat cheese and we found it at every breakfast buffet we encountered on our trip. It’s sweet and melt in your mouth delicious.
I would recommend all three hotels in Norway, Hotel Continental, Fleischer’s Hotel, and Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz. Just make sure to get a bigger room at Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz in Bergen.
Have you taken your family to Norway?