This land of the summer midnight sun, however, offers much more than that, including picturesque waterfronts, well-preserved wooden churches and great hiking trails. Quaint medieval towns, filled with modern amenities, are just waiting to be explored. An overview of the top tourist attractions in Norway:

Roros is a good place to learn about copper mining as it occurred a few centuries ago. Copper mining started there in the 17th century and continued for more than 300 years, until 1977. The town has about 2,000 wooden houses that have been preserved in their blackened state, suggesting a medieval look. The town is on the Winter Transport Route that used frozen lakes, streams and rivers to move people and goods.

Urnes Stave Church
The Urnes Stavkyrkje, or Urnes Stave Church, blends several architectural styles into a medieval church that is still standing after 900 years. What is remarkable about this church, however, is the building material used: wood, instead of the traditional stone. Located on Norwaya€™s west coast, the church blends Celtic, Viking and Romanesque features in a church that stands majestically in the woods.

Voringfossen is Norwaya€™s most famous waterfall, cascading down 180 meters (600 feet) in a series of drops, though it ranks only 83rd on the list of Norwaya€™s highest waterfalls. VA¸ringfossen is located at Mabodelen, a narrow valley between Oslo and Bergen. The top is easier to reach these days, but the falls arena€™t as powerful as they once were because of a hydroelectric plant built upstream.

Nidaros Cathedral
While William the Conqueror was busy invading Great Britain in 1066, the Vikings were occupied with building Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Nearly 1,000 years later, the cathedral is Norwaya€™s most important church and Scandinaviaa€™s largest medieval building. The cathedral was built to honor Olav, a Viking chieftain who later became a king and a saint. Olav was killed in a battle near Trondheim in 1030; his nephew began constructing the Nidaros Cathedral in 1066 to house his body; it was basically finished in 1090, though enlargements continued until the 1300s. The cathedral soon became an important pilgrimage destination in Norway.

Nordkapp, or North Cape, is a must for travelers who want to frolic under the midnight sun, since the sun never sets between May 14 and July 29. It is the northernmost point in Europe connected with the international road network. Because ita€™s in the far north, rising 300 meters (1,000 feet) above the Arctic Ocean, Nordkapp is mainly a summer destination, attracting about 200,000 visitors annually. Nordkapp offers stunning scenic views, with plenty of opportunities to hike under the Arctic sun or see puffin in their native habitat.

Globe monument at Nordkapp, the northern point of Europe, located in the north of Norway

Jostedalsbreen Glacier
Icy and scenic is perhaps the best way to describe Jostedalsbreen Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. Situated in southern Norway, the glacier is surrounded by Jostedalsbreen Glacier National Park. Many, many years ago, locals could cross the glacier on foot, perhaps herding animals on their way to market, but this isna€™t possible today as the glacier has shrunk significantly. Hiking and glacial skiing is allowed, but sportsmen need to be well prepared as these activities can be dangerous. It is much safer, and just as pretty, to take one of the walking tours around the park.

Viking Ship Museum
Many centuries ago, the Vikings sailed the northern seas, striking fear in the hearts of the region these fierce warriors were about to invade. Today, visitors can view, unafraid, some of these terror-causing vessels as the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo showcases some of these great ninth century ships. The list includes ships from Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune, including two of the best preserved wooden ships in the world from that era. The Oseberg ship is the best preserved and was found in a burial mound on a farm near Oseberg. The museum also displays textiles, tools and household items as well as items found in Viking tombs.

Heddal Stave Church
The Heddal Stave Church is Norwaya€™s largest stave church, with triple naves that stand proudly against the sky. The church, made entirely of wood, was built in the 13th century; according to local legend, it was built in three days by five farmers. After restorations in the 19th and 20th centuries, the church is still in use today for weddings and Sunday services during the summer months. Located in Notodden, the church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Travelers who get a€œmuseumeda€ out may enjoy a visit to the Bryggen waterfront, an informal museum that doesna€™t seem like a museum. Traditional buildings line the waterfront with boats tied just feet away on Bergena€™s seaside. The scene is so picturesque, visitors can easily forget Bryggen is linked to Bergena€™s importance as a trading center for 400 years during the Middle Ages, when it was part of the Hanseatic League. Todaya€™s traders can shop in trendy boutiques, visit craftsmena€™s studios or enjoy a bite to eat down a narrow alleyway.