12 Tourist Traps In Norway: The Most Underwhelming Attractions

Norway is an incredible country with lots of different tourist attractions, both natural attractions as well as man-made structures aimed to wow people who experience them.

There are generally fewer tourist traps in Norway than in many other countries in the world, but there are still some big tourist traps that you might want to stay clear from.

We will be looking closer at the 12 biggest tourist traps in Norway in this article, including both underwhelming experiences, overpriced places, and things that no Norwegian would ever do.

The fish market in Bergen
The fish market in Bergen. Photo by Tu / CC BY 2.0.

1) Storelgen

Storelgen (“The Big Elk”) is a type of tourist attraction found in Østerdalen. It’s a huge structure that used to be the biggest moose statue in the world, but it’s considered the 2nd biggest as of 2022.

This huge metallic statue for some reason attracts thousands of tourists every year, but many people consider it to be a huge tourist trap. The reason is simply because it’s just a big, metallic moose statue without any historical context.

If you for some reason dream of seeing a big, metallic moose statue, then go ahead! If not, rather go to someplace more interesting when you are visiting Norway.

That said, the Storelgen statue is a nice place to stop if you are driving in Østerdalen and want to stretch your legs, but it’s not a place to have as a primary destination. It’s found on the main road between Oslo and Trondheim, so it gets a lot of visitors that drive by it.

And let’s not forget that this statue with the picnic area cost the public a whooping 27 million Norwegian kroner, which is around 2.7 million USD.

Why some people consider Storelgen to be a tourist trap: Many people find it underwhelming, and it’s just a big statue in the middle of nowhere without any context or anything to it.

Read more about The Big Elk here.

Storelgen. Phot by Trine Syvertsen / CC BY 2.0.

2) The fish market in Bergen

Bergen is an incredible city, and the waterfront area called Bryggen is even an UNESCO’s World Heritage Site! The fish market in Bergen lies here at this World Heritage Site, but despite being in the best location in the city, it’s a huge tourist trap!

The fish market in Bergen is just one of those things that are 100 % catered towards tourists, and rely on cruise tourists for most of their income. This means overpriced items, a full-on tourist vibe and roughly 0 % authentic Norwegian culture.

Don’t expect the people working in the shops to speak Norwegian or know much about the fish they sell or the city they are currently in. These sellers are typically hired to speak German or Chinese to be able to sell their goods to cruise tourists.

And let’s not forget the fact that the fish market in Bergen is extremely crowded all the time.

So unless you are interested in buying overpriced whale meat, consider going someplace else while in Bergen. What about seeing one of the stave churches near Bergen, or hike up one of the seven mountains that surround the city?

Why some people consider the fish market in Bergen to be a tourist trap: The fish for sale is over-priced, and it’s pretty much only tourists that use the fish market. A tell-tale sign that it’s a tourist trap is the fact that all prices and signs are in English, not Norwegian.

The fish market in Bergen is considered one of the biggest tourist traps in Norway
The fish market in Bergen. Photo by Palickap / CC BY-SA 4.0.

3) Tourist shops

Among all the tourist traps in Norway, the special “tourist shops” are one of the worst offenders. These souvenir shops sell cheap goods at a high price, often with generic designs based on Norwegian culture.

While it might be fun to pick up a hat, a coffee mug, a small figurine or whatever from these shops, be aware that they are generally low quality, and not something Norwegians would ever buy.

You can see these tourist shops from a mile away by their huge Norwegian flags in the logo, as well as big signs telling you that they are duty free.

The highest concentration of tourist shops are found at Karl Johan in Oslo, at the waterfront (Bryggen) in Bergen, and at popular tourist towns like Flåm, Geiranger etc.

Why some people consider tourists shops to be a tourist trap: These things are clearly aimed towards tourist, and sell low-value souvenirs at a premium. No Norwegian would ever shop at these places.

PS. if you’re looking to buy souvenirs from Norway, check out our article on how to buy authentic Norwegian souvenirs and gifts.

Tourist shop at the Fish Market in Bergen
Tourist shop at the Fish Market in Bergen. Photo by Hajotthu / CC BY 3.0.

4) Trolltunga

Trolltunga is a mountain ledge that has become a very popular tourist attraction in the last few years, and attracts thousands and thousands of tourists each summer.

While Trolltunga itself is an amazing place, many people also consider it to be one of the worst tourist traps in Norway. The reason is actually pretty simple: there is a 10 – 12 hour hike to get to Trolltunga, and the payoff is not as great as you might imagine after such a long hike.

One of the arguments that people use when asked why they consider Trolltunga to be a tourist trap in Norway is that the view is just OK (hundreds of other places got as great as or a better view in the surrounding area), and many of these can be reached much easier.

The only real reason why you might choose Trolltunga instead of all these other view points is because you can get your photo taken at the ledge like on the photo below. But there’s a catch! Trolltunga is extremely popular, so even if you avoids the crowds at Trolltunga, expect to stand in a long queue to get to the ledge and get your photo taken.

Why some people consider Trolltunga to be a tourist trap: The hike, view and place is just OK, and there are many better options with less tourists.

A man at Trolltunga. Photo published with permission.

5) Restaurants at Bryggen in Bergen or in Karl Johan in Oslo

Both Bryggen in Bergen as well as Karl Johan in Oslo are cool places that you will want to stop by when you are visiting the city, but it’s far from the best place to stop by if you are hungry.

The restaurants at both these places are considered subpar, and you get pretty generic food for a steep price. Most people agree that this is a classic tourist trap in Norway, so use Google Maps or do a search on where you can find good restaurants in Oslo or Bergen.

Because trust me, you will get much better food at a better or the same price point if you are willing to walk 500 meters or get on a short bus or tram ride.

Why some people consider restaurants at Bryggen in Bergen to be a tourist trap: These restaurants are pretty much only aimed towards tourists who are hungry and can’t be bothered to find a better restaurant.

Karl Johans gate
Karl Johans gate in Oslo. Photo published with permission.

6) Geiranger

There are many people who consider Geiranger to be one of the worst tourist traps in Norway, and there’s a good reason for it. The argument for this claim is pretty much that the only thing in Geiranger is the fjord, and nothing else.

Geiranger is a great place to see the fjords, but you will likely pass by hundreds of amazing places to see the fjord from on your way to Geiranger, so you are kind of already “done” with the incredible fjord view by the time you actually get to the town itself.

And combine this with the fact that Geiranger is a popular tourist stop for both buses and cruise ships, you end up with a small and boring town that only has the fjord and tourist shops going for it.

Things might change when regular cruse ships are banned from destinations like Geiranger in 2026, but we will see how that plays out. For now, Geiranger is simply not worth it.

Here’s my suggestion on what to do instead: Head to one of the many other small towns located on the fjords, preferably one without a cruise port. You will experience a much more authentic side of Norway while also having less crowds and a cheaper visit.

Why some people consider Geiranger to be a tourist trap: It’s a pretty non-special fjord town with an insane amount of tourists in it. There are just so many better options if you want to see the fjords.

Cruise ships in Geiranger
Cruise ships in Geiranger. Photo published with permission.

7) The Nordkapp (North Cape) plateau

Nordkapp is a special place, and people are really split on the subject of whether or not is should be considered to be one of the biggest tourist traps in Norway or an incredible attraction.

The reason for arguing that it’s a tourist trap is that you pretty much end up paying 300 NOK to see a small “museum” that is really a big gift shop and a restaurant. You used to have to pay 350 NOK to park your car there as well, so a family of 4 in a rental car had to pay around 1,300 NOK to get to the plateau.

So, was it worth it? Many people think not. And many people feel underwhelmed by the fact that the view is just out to sea, so it’s not really something you end up looking at for more than a few minutes.

The parking fee has been removed, but it’s still a costly affair to get to Nordkapp.

On the other hand, the view from the north-most point on mainland Norway is really something special, and it’s a unique experience that might be worth your visit.

Why some people consider Nordkapp to be a tourist trap: It’s very, very expensive, far away from everything, and many people have found it to be underwhelming.

Nordkapp. Photo published with permission.

8) Flåm

Flåm is an incredible place with lots of natural beauty all around, but it’s a big tourist trap in Norway all at the same time. I have heard people calling Flåm the “Disneyland of Norway”, and they’re not wrong.

When you enter Flåm, you really feel like you walk into an amusement park for tourists, and you are surrounded by tourist shops, generic attractions and a lot of crowds. It all just feels very fake an unauthentic.

If you think that visiting the “Norwegian Disneyland” is fine, then go ahead and enjoy your stay in Flåm! It’s beautiful there, and I’m sure it’s great for many people.

However, if you’re after a true Norwegian experience, rather go to one of the many small towns and villages along the fjords that doesn’t have a big cruise port or is considered a typical tourist attraction.

Why some people consider Flåm to be a tourist trap: It’s 99 % tourists with generic, mass produced tourist attractions and souvenir shops. It feels more like a theme park than a real town.

Flåm. Photo by Richard Mortel / CC BY 2.0.

9) Swords in Rock in Stavanger

Sverd i Fjell, also known as Sword in Rock, is a viking monument in Hafrsfjord in Stavanger, and a dedication to the battle of Hafrsfjord in year 872.

It’s actually a pretty cool monument with the three swords poking up from the mountain, but many people consider it to be a big tourist trap in Norway.

The reason is simply that it’s pretty underwhelming to many. You might end up disappointed if you come to Stavanger to see these swords, because while they are cool, they are just standing there by themselves with very little information around it.

It’s kind of like with Storelgen above. It’s cool and all that, but it’s not really a tourist destination that should impact the choices you take when planning your visit to Norway.

Why some people consider Swords in Rock to be a tourist trap: Many people have found the monument underwhelming and on the boring side.

Sverd i Fjell
Sverd i Fjell / Swords in Rock. Photo by Holger Uwe Schmitt / CC BY-SA 4.0.

10) Holmenkollen ski jump

Holmenkollen ski jump is a huge ski jump where you can witness a ski jumping competition or just go to the museum inside. For some reason, Holmenkollen has become a popular tourist attaction, but many people consider it to be one of the biggest tourist traps in Norway.

You pay 160 NOK to take the elevator to the top of the ski jump, and you are then rewarded with a decent view of the city. However, the view is far from as spectacular as most people expect it to be.

And the view itself is facing away from Oslo city, so you’re not going to see downtown Oslo from Holmenkollen.

Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo
Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo. Photo published with permission.

This leaves a lot of people underwhelmed, and asking themselves why they spend time and money to see a ski jump in the first place.

And to make matters worse, just keep riding the metro to the next stop (Frognerseteren), and you end up with a much better view of Oslo!

You might think that it is cool to see a ski jumping competition if you are visiting Holmenkollen, but this sport is not very good for people who are not very into ski jumping. You see small human-shaped figures at the top of the jump that gradually just down, but it’s not all that easy to see what exactly happens as a spectator.

Why some people consider Holmenkollen to be a tourist trap: It’s a big ski jump with a subpar view. Why would you want to spend time and money to see a ski jump when there are so many amazing things to see in Norway?

Holmenkollen. Photo published with permission.

11) The Viking Planet in Oslo

The Viking Planet is an interactive VR experience in the middle of Oslo, and many people consider this to be one of the worst tourist traps in Norway. The reason why has to do with the fact that it’s just OK, and nothing more.

You won’t be disappointed if you set your expectations low, but it’s simply not worth the 229 NOK price point to enter. The museum part is also 100 % VR, so you get to see the items in VR itself instead of seeing them for real.

The VR experiences are usually described as being just OK, so it’s not like you will feel scammed. But at the same time, you are not going to feel like you had a great time either.

I would much rather suggest to see the VÍKINGR exhibition at Museum of Cultural History, Oslo instead. This is a real viking exhibition with lots of real viking artifacts, so it’s a great place to visit until the Viking Ship Museum opens again in 2026.

PS. keep in mind that you get a small discount to The Viking Planet if you have the Oslo Pass, but you do not get free admission like most attractions in Oslo.

12) Tour guides at cruise destinations

Tour guides can be amazing when you want to experience a town, city or destination in a limited time, but you should think twice about booking a tour guide in the popular cruise port destinations without doing some basic research first.

The reason is simply because many of these tours are well-known to be of poor quality and have a too high price point. There will be good tour guides from serious companies, but there will also be low-quality tour guides that prey on cruise port tourists with little or no time to research if the company is serious or not.

If you want these tours, expect to pay more than in most other cities, and don’t expect too much from the tour itself. These are well-known to be one of the biggest tourist traps in Norway, and rely on cruise passengers with little time and too much money booking with them.

That said, cruise port destinations will also have great tours available, but it’s a bit of a challenge to tell them apart.

Why some people consider tour guides at cruise destinations to be tourist traps: They are generally considered to be overprices and often rushed.

A cruise ship in Flåm
A cruise ship in Flåm. Photo published with permission.

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