It may be more than three years since the release of the movie Frozen, but Frozen fever is still alive and well. In fact, I was recently at Walt Disney World and the new “Frozen Ever After” ride at Epcot is one of the most popular (as in, book your FastPass+ now). This new ride replaced “Maelstrom” in Norway. Still the same floating logs, but now with a brand new story.
So, it’s no surprise that Norway continues to see growth from visitors from the United States. Adventures by Disney even has an eight-day/seven-night tour across Norway just for families. Or, you can create your own itinerary, taking in fjords, mountains and classic architecture along the way. Here are seven places to visit in Norway to feed your love (er, your children’s love) of all things Frozen.
1. Akershus Fortress. Located in the center of Oslo, Akershus Fortress is a lovely place to explore the history and culture of Norway’s capital city. Guided tours take place between May and August. As a quick side note, Akershus is also the name of a popular restaurant in the Norway pavilion at Epcot (good to know if a trip to Orlando is a bit more manageable than a getaway to Oslo).
2. Nidaros Cathedral. While not a short distance from Oslo, you may enjoy relaxing and taking in the Norwegian countryside on the scenic seven-hour journey to Trondheim to explore Nidaros Cathedral. The cathedral is the largest in all of Scandinavia and it’s built over the tomb of St. Olav. Take a guided tour or simply stand back to take in the beauty of the stained glass windows that make up Rose Window.
3. Bryggen. Bryggen, the wharf of Bergen, is one of the town’s most popular attractions. You’ll find artists’ studios, boutiques, gift shops and tasty seafood restaurants. Located seven hours from Oslo, this town has two museums that hosts art works and themed exhibitions. In the town of Bergen, children will also enjoy the Bergen Aquarium, VilVite (a science center) and Vannkanten Waterworld.
4. Naeroyfjord. The inspiration for Arendelle, the name of the kingdom in Frozen, Naeroyfjord is one branch of the Sognefjord, the largest fjord (a narrow inlet between high cliffs) in Norway. A few must-dos here include fjord cruises, hiking and kayaking. You may also want to take a ride on the Flam railway, one of the steepest rail lines, which goes past waterfalls and in-between mountains.
5. Viking Ship Museum. For Frozen fans, no trip to Norway would be complete without seeing and learning more about Viking ships at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. The museum displays two well-preserved wooden Viking ships, as well as a variety of smaller boats and tools used to build and maintain the ships in the 9th century. The museum is open daily and children under 16 enter for free.
6. Stave Churches. You’ll find unique wooden churches dotted throughout Norway. Norway’s oldest wooden church, Urnes Stave Church, is located in Luster (near to Naeroyfjord) and has a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Or, check out Borgund Stave Church, which is likely one of the most photographed stave churches.
7. Tjostheim Farm. Head to Tjostheim Farm in Ryfylke (210 miles from Oslo) to ride on a fjord horse. They are easy to ride and you can take lessons and go on trips through mountain scenery at Tjostheim Ridesenter. While in Ryfylke, there are also a variety of other activities to explore, like kayaking and cruising on the Lysefjord.
Photo Credits: Michael Gwyther-Jones (Norway), Darcy (Akershus), Cristina Schultz (Nidaros Cathedral), Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho (Bryggen), Jean-Baptiste (Naeroyfjord), CeBepuH (Viking Ship Museum), xynt4x (Borgund Stave Church), Jennifer Slot (Fjord Horses)