21 Nights | Europe
You will visit the following 11 places:
Norway is the westernmost, northernmost—and in fact the easternmost—of the three Scandinavian countries. Best known for the complex and deep fjords along its west coast which stretches from the North Sea near Denmark and Scotland into the Arctic Ocean and has borders with Finland, Sweden and the northwestern tip of Russia. Norway may have a clutch of attractive, cosmopolitan cities, appealing destinations in their own right, but where the country really shines is not in its urban culture, but rather in the low-key, amiable small-town feel that pervades throughout its settlements.
Stavanger is a city and municipality in Norway. The urban area of Stavanger stretches across many neighboring municipalities, making it the third largest city in Norway by total urban population with 197 852 inhabitants as of January 1, 2011. Stavanger's core is to a large degree 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses that are protected and considered part of the city's cultural heritage. This has caused the town centre and inner city to retain a small-town character with an unusually high ratio of detached houses, and has contributed significantly to spreading the city's population growth to outlying parts of Greater Stavanger. The city's rapid population growth in the late 20th century was primarily a result of Norway's booming offshore oil industry. Today the oil industry is a key industry in the Stavanger region and the city is widely referred to as the Oil Capital of Norway. Multiple educational institutions for higher education are located in Stavanger. The largest of these is the University of Stavanger.
Oslo is a county and municipality, as well as the capital and largest city in Norway. Oslo was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III "Hardraade" of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The Danish–Norwegian king Christian IV moved the city, rebuilding it closer to Akershus fortress, as Christiania (briefly also spelt Kristiania). In 1925, the city reclaimed its original Norwegian name, Oslo. The diocese of Oslo is one of the five original dioceses in Norway, which originated around the year 1070.
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with a population of 261,600 as of April 31, 2011. Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland county. Greater Bergen or Bergen Metropolitan Area as defined by Statistics Norway, has a population of 386,900 as of April 31, 2011. Bergen is located in the county of Hordaland on the south-western coast of Norway. It is an important cultural hub in its region, recognized as the unofficial capital of Western Norway and sometimes also referred to as the Atlantic coast capital of Norway. The city was one of nine European cities honoured with the title of European Capital of Culture in the Millennium year.
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and the largest port in Europe. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre. Its strategic location at the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta on the North Sea and at the heart of a massive rail, road, air and inland waterway distribution system extending throughout Europe means that Rotterdam can rightly be called the gateway to Europe. Located in the Province of South Holland, Rotterdam is in the west of the Netherlands and at the south of the Randstad. The population of the city proper was 603,425 in March 2010. The population of the greater Rotterdam area, called "Rotterdam-Rijnmond" or just "Rijnmond", is around 1.3 million people. Rotterdam is one of Europe's most vibrant and multicultural cities.
Kristiansand, historically Christiansand, is a city and municipality in Norway. It is the fifth largest city in Norway and the municipality is the sixth largest in Norway. Tourism is important in Kristiansand, and the summer season is the most popular for tourists. Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement park is the largest zoo in Norway. It receives over 900,000 visitors every year. Markens Street is the main pedestrian street in downtown Kristiansand. Bystranda is a city beach located in Kvadraturen; in addition, Hamresanden beach is the longest beach in Kristiansand. Hamresanden Camping is a popular family camp during the summer season. The city hosts a free concert in downtown Kristiansand once every week in the summer. Outside the city is the industry park Sørlandsparken, which has Sørlandssenteret, the largest mall in Norway.