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Norway

Waterfront Warhols + fjord-rides.


Sidewalk dining in Oslo.   

Town:
Oslo

The third most expensive city in the world, Oslo continues to set ­opulent, modernist architecture against its lush landscape—particularly in seaside neighborhood ­Tjuvholmen, a former execution site also known as Thieves’ Island. Check into the granite-and-glass boutique hotel the Thief (from $360; thethief.com), a year-old property that just debuted a marine-­centric spa. Check out the Warhols at Renzo Piano’s ship-shaped Astrup Fearnley Museum of ­Modern Art, which opened in 2012. For dinner, sit on the wraparound balcony and sample the raw bar at Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin, or get a taste of fjordic cuisine at Fru K, which features dishes like spawning cod from the Arctic Circle paired with bleak roe, oysters, and cracklings.

Country:
Flåm


No amount of new oil wealth can alter the core of Norway’s pride and joy: the salty inlets, slivered between staggering mountain slopes, known as fjords. Take a roughly four-and-a-half-hour drive or train ride from Oslo, past cascading valleys, to Flåm. There is plenty to explore in this tiny ­village (so small that there are no addresses). Drop your bags at Fretheim Fjordhytter, where three-bedroom waterfront cottages sit on a centuries-old farm (from $1,234 per week; fretheimhytter.com), or the refurbished waterfront Fretheim Hotel (from $265; fretheimhotel.no/en), which originally dates back to the 1870s. Hop on the 50-minute Flåm Railway, a famously steep, scenic ride between Flåm and Myrdal (a tiny railway station tucked in the mountains). From Myrdal, rent a bike and zigzag down the verdant Flåmsdalen Valley, which overlaps with Rallarvegen, a 50-mile gravel road that’s become an iconic European bike route. Reward yourself at the Ægir Brewery, which is connected to Flåm’s Flåmsbrygga Hotel; its India Pale Ale won ­Norway’s Beer of the Year in 2013. If you’re still hankering to explore the fjords the way the Vikings did—riding along the crystalline channels themselves—hop on the two-hour ferry to Gudvangen ($63 per round-trip), which winds and twists through the narrow ­Nærøyfjord, with rock walls that soar upwards of 5,000 feet.


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