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The country of Norway appears on a LOT of bucket lists. And for good reason: it's got Viking history, Northern Lights, beautiful fjords, and great cities. And that's not even taking into account the excellent food and tourism infrastructure.
Norway isn't known for being a cheap destination, though, and that scares away many people who might otherwise want to check it off their list.
But here's the thing: Norway is SO WORTH IT.
I've visited Norway twice in the past two years: once in the early summer, and once in mid-winter. And let me tell you that this place is well worth spending your money on.
To convince you that it's time to book that trip to Norway, here are 30 photos to prove just how magical this Nordic country really is.
The city of Ålesund is best viewed from above at the Mount Aksla lookout. From there, it looks like a town made of Legos!
Nothing quite like a cozy lavvo tent covered in snow with the Northern Lights dancing overhead. This is at the Holmen Husky Lodge in Alta.
Norway's fjords are magical. This one is Geirangerfjord, one of the most famous in the country.
In the winter, snow and ice cover Arctic Norway, making for roadside attractions like this frozen waterfall near Kåfjord.
Trondheim doesn't appear on every Norway itinerary, but I think it should! These old wooden buildings are so photogenic.
Did you know that Norway is full of trolls? This is Trollstigen, or Troll's Road, which winds down the mountain in 11 hairpin turns.
Tromsø is the Gateway to the Arctic and is beautiful under a layer of snow in the winter.
The old fishing cottages on Gripholmen island are now picture-perfect summer homes.
Are you even real, Norway?
The Northern Lights Cathedral in Alta is especially impressive at dusk. It's meant to resemble the “curtains” of light you can often see in the aurora borealis.
Is there anything more magical than a snowy forest? This is Camp Tamok in the Lyngen Alps.
Looking down on Geirangerfjord from Eagle's Bend gives you a whole new appreciation for how big this fjord is.
Even the old churches in Norway look like something straight out of a storybook. This is a stave church at the folk museum in Oslo.
The mighty Northern Lights!
The small village of Alnes is beautiful on a sunny day.
The Northern Lights are great, but sunsets in Norway can be beautiful, too. This one was captured in Kristiansund.
Boat in a snowstorm in Alta, Norway.
Driving over the Storseisundet Bridge on the Atlantic Ocean Road must go on your Norway bucket list.
Even Oslo is colorful, especially along Karl Johans Gate.
These clouds add a bit of magic to this photo of the Alnes lighthouse.
During the winter, the light during golden hour makes everything look special.
Queen of the Fjord high above Geirangerfjord – would you dare?
In the winter, head to Alta for an overnight stay at the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel – and keep an eye out for Elsa!
Tromsø at sunset under a blanket of snow is the stuff postcards are made of.
The fjords in Norway will take your breath away.
The coastline, too, is something to write home about.
The Northern Lights are extra magical because no two “shows” are ever the same.
Winter in northern Norway is stark, yet still beautiful.
Sailing on a fjord is also a must.
And no good fairy tale would be complete without some furry friends. In Norway, you'll find plenty of reindeer!
For more on Norway, check out one of these great posts:
Highlights from 10 Days in Norway
Oslo is Totally Cool
Why You Should Add Trondheim to Your Norway Itinerary
Going Back in Time in Grip
Driving the Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway
All You Need to Know About Alesund
Visiting Geirangerfjord: The Most Famous Fjord in Norway
10 Reasons Why Northern Norway in Winter is Awesome
Chasing the Northern Lights in Arctic Norway
Sled Dogs, Lavvos, and Northern Lights: Glamping at the Holmen Husky Lodge
Packing for a Trip to Northern Norway in Winter
Which photo makes you want to visit Norway the most?