Aerial view of rock formation, body of water and houses on Lofoten islands in Norway

Best Places to Live in Norway | 10 Beautiful Cities for Expats + Families

Norway is a Scandinavian country that is incredibly beautiful and one of the best places in the world to live. Filled with natural beauty, rich history, and strong culture, it is a great option if you are looking to relocate to a new city.

There are many job opportunities in Norway and the quality of life is very high. If you are a lover of nature then there is no better option than Norway with its abundant outdoor activities. There is always something to do in this wonderful country and many cities that are great options for settling down. Read on to find out which Norwegian city could be your ideal home.

Best Places to Live in Norway for:

  1. Expats: Oslo
  2. English Speakers: Arendal
  3. Digital Nomads: Fredrikstad
  4. Solo Travelers: Bergen
  5. Couples: Trondheim
  6. Groups: Kristiansand

Top 10 Places to Live in Norway

1. Oslo

Best City for ExpatsRed house in with closed door and three windows in Oslo City, Norway

Cost of Living: $$$

Oslo is renowned for its cleanliness and the fact that it’s the second healthiest city in the world. It has a population of just over 600,000 and offers many job opportunities. It offers everything you could want in a city, from great restaurants, shops and bars to parks, museums and efficient public transport.

Tip: Walk to your destination to save money on transport—the city center of Oslo is small and many attractions are close by.

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats, Couples & Solo travelers


  • Great work/life balance
  • Clean and safe
  • Abundant job opportunities


  • Expensive accommodation
  • Restaurants are expensive
  • Unpredictable weather

2. Arendal

Best City for English SpeakersBoats in a harbor with buildings in the background in Arendal City, Norway

Cost of Living: $$$

Arendal is a small town located in the south of Norway. It is a beautiful place that is popular for its music scene and its historic architecture. There are wooden houses in the center of the town that date back to the 17th century, an example of the town’s historic significance.

Tip: Learn a few basic Norwegian phrases to help you talk to strangers and settle in quicker.

Who Would Like to Live There: English speakers, Couples & Solo travelers


  • Locals have a good command of English
  • Very safe
  • Music festivals, like the Hove festival, in the summer


  • Cold climate
  • Nightlife is not very exciting
  • High cost of living

3. Fredrikstad

Best City for Digital NomadsBoats in Glomma River with buildings on a hill behind it in Fredrikstad City, Norway

Cost of Living: $

This small and cozy town is not far from Oslo city. The longest river in Norway, Glomma, runs through the town and had a big influence on how the town was built. Fredrikstad is the best-preserved fortified city in Norway and is full of history; it houses a fortress that was built in the 17th century.

Tip: Visit the market that’s hosted in the old town square every Saturday to find some hidden gems like vinyl records or musical instruments.

Who Would Like to Live There: Digital Nomads & Solo travelers


  • Low cost of living
  • Home to the most beautiful archipelago in the country
  • Beautiful town


  • Rain all year round
  • Lack of job opportunities
  • Slow nightlife

4. Bergen

Best City for Solo TravelersColorful wooden house on the old wharf in Bergen City, Norway

Cost of Living: $$

Bergen is situated on the west coast of Norway. It is known as the street art capital of Norway with Banksy himself visiting the city and leaving his mark on it. The city is a cultural hotspot with a thriving music scene. The Grieg Hall, which is home to the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, is the main cultural venue in the city.

Tip: Be sure to visit Mount Floyen near the city to see the stunning fjords.

Who Would Like to Live There: Solo travelers, Couples & Groups


  • City of culture
  • Cheap food
  • Embraces diversity and social inclusion


  • Never-ending rain
  • Alcohol is expensive
  • Smog gets thick from pollution

5. Trondheim

Best City for CouplesColorful houses on either side of the Nivelda River in Trondheim City, Norway

Cost of Living: $$$

Blessed with an oceanic climate, Trondheim is located in the north of Norway. It is surrounded by an incredible landscape and has a strong sense of community. The city enjoys warm summers and milder winters, which are perfect for exploring the picturesque nature that Trondheim is lucky to have.

Tip: Visit Kafe Skuret on the harbor for the best beer and seafood.

Who Would Like to Live There: Couples & Groups


  • Mild winters and warm summers
  • Rich in culture
  • Efficient public transport


  • The cost of living is very high
  • International travel is not always available in this city
  • Days are very short during winter

6. Kristiansand

Best City for GroupsA Park with a tree and buildings with people in front of them in Kristiansand City, Norway

Cost of Living: $$

Known to have the best beach in Norway, Kristiansand is situated in the south of the country. There are many job opportunities in this town and most of the locals have a basic grasp of English, which helps when trying to settle in. There are also beautiful national parks to stroll through and get your daily dose of nature.

Tip: You should take public transport instead of taxis to save money for a rainy day.

Who Would Like to Live There: Groups & Solo travelers


  • Best beach in the country
  • Very safe
  • Many job opportunities


  • Kristiansand gets busy during the tourist season
  • Can run out of things to do
  • Average nightlife

7. Stavanger

Best City for Food loversSwan on lake near city buildings in Stavanger City, Norway

Cost of Living: $$$

Stavanger is on the west coast of Norway and is another city that is home to stunning fjords. The natural landscape is truly beautiful and the city is filled with incredible architecture. There are numerous festivals hosted in Stavanger every year and the food scene is a big driving force behind why so many people visit this wonderful city.

Tip: You should learn to cook as eating out all the time can be expensive.

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats, Couples & Solo travelers


  • Great food scene
  • Amazing architecture
  • Vibrant nightlife


  • Constant rain
  • Finding a job can be tough

8. Alesund

Best City for SeafoodAerial shot of Alesund City, Norway between a body of water and mountains in the background

Cost of Living: $$

Alesund is a seaport town that has a large furniture industry. It is home to the most important fishing harbor in Norway, which means if you like seafood, this is the perfect city for you. It is also home to the Atlanterhavsparken aquarium which is a huge tourist spot and definitely worth a visit.

Tip: The walk up to Fjellstua viewpoint is not far from the city and is worth it for an incredible view over Alesund.

Who Would Like to Live There: Couples, English speakers & Expats


  • Atlanterhavsparken aquarium
  • Incredibly tasty seafood
  • Art Nouveau architecture


  • Cultural adjustment can be hard
  • Small town
  • Winters are long and cold

9. Tromso

Best City for Cultural EnthusiastsNorthern lights over Tromso City and mountains in Norway

Cost of Living: $$

Tromso is situated in the north of Norway and is alive with cultural events, most famously its film festival. It is home to amazing architecture and the only wooden cathedral in Norway. There are a number of outdoor activities to do in this city—you can even go on a Northern Lights expedition to witness its beauty yourself.

Tip: Be sure to wear the proper clothes outside and have a warm jacket available as the weather changes quickly.

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats, Couples & Groups


  • Many cultural events
  • Great nightlife
  • Numerous outdoor activities


  • November to January the sun doesn’t rise
  • May to July the sun doesn’t set
  • Can be difficult finding accommodation to rent

10. Tonsberg

Best City for History EnthusiastsOld se marker on rocky hill in Tonsberg city, Norway

Cost of Living: $$$

Tonsberg is the oldest city in Norway with music festivals held every summer. The Castle Rock Tower is a famous landmark in the city and a sight you do not want to miss. It is a city filled with history, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring—you’ll find it has a vibrant nightlife too.

Tip: A train to Oslo for a weekend away only takes around 1 hour.

Who Would Like to Live There: English speakers, Expats, Couples & Solo travelers


  • Historical significance
  • Music festivals every summer
  • High quality of life


  • Finding a job is difficult
  • Learning the language can be hard
  • Getting a driver’s license is expensive


1. Is It Safe in Norway?

It is very safe in Norway—in fact, it is known as one of the safest countries in the world.

2. What Currency Do They Use in Norway?

They use the Norwegian krone in Norway.

3. What Language Do They Speak in Norway?

Locals speak Norwegian and English is commonly spoken too.

4. How to Travel Around Norway?

You can travel by train, bus, car, boat, and plane in Norway.

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