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Top 10 things to do in Bodø

What can you do in Bodø? What’s Bodø best known for? Read this top 10 list for Bodø to plan your great Northern Norway adventure.

Bodø has a wealth of spectacular ways to experience nature. Everything from awesome mountain peaks, white paradise beaches, magnificent glaciers to the world’s strongest tidal flow. The majestic white-tailed eagle is also found here.

What’s more, Bodø will be the European Capital of Culture in 2024, putting on hundreds of exciting and unique cultural events in the region throughout the year.  If you haven’t visited Bodø yet, this will be the year to head north for sure!

Wondering what exciting experiences Bodø has to offer? Take a look at our top 10 list below and start planning your adventure in Northern Norway.

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1. RIB boat on the Saltstraumen

Saltstraumen is one of Nordland county’s biggest tourist attractions, and a truly exciting experience in a RIB boat. © Werksted AS

If coming to Bodø, treat yourself to a RIB boat trip to Saltstraumen, 20 km east of the town to experience one of the world’s strongest tidal flows. An exciting natural phenomenon battling awesome maelstroms and eddies in the sea that occurs four times a day. The gravitational pull of the sun and the moon create the strong tidal forces that exert such a powerful pull on the water, creating ebb and flow.

Despite the strong currents, it’s also possible to dive for large parts of the day in Saltstraumen for a truly fascinating underwater experience. There's actually a very special ecosystem there, with the sea bed covered in algae and incredible formations. The area is also renowned as a sea fishing paradise, with good chances of catching cod, pollack, monkfish, halibut and catfish.

2. Go on a white-tailed eagle safari

Seeing this wondrous bird of prey sweep over you and dive onto the water to scoop up a fish is a fantastic experience nature has to offer. © Werksted AS

The white-tailed eagle became a protected species in 1968 and the world’s biggest concentration of them is now found in Bodø. So maybe it’s no wonder that Bodø has been voted as Norway’s white-tailed eagle town, as this majestic bird is a feature of the town in many ways, appearing on souvenirs and street art.

The best chance of seeing one is in Bodø's archipelago, especially above the Saltstraumen, which is abundant in fish. That’s why a white-tailed eagle safari is ideal as an integral part of a RIB boat trip to the Saltstraumen, allowing you to kill two birds with one stone (but not literally!).

3. Take a trip to the old trading post at Kjerringøy

A visit to the old Northern Norway trading post at Kjerringøy is a trip back in time. © Werksted AS

One hours’ drive north of Bodø (including a ferry) is the idyllic Kjerringøy.A totally intact cultural monument from the 19th C, frozen in time. The 15 authentic buildings are exceptionally well-preserved and give a unique glimpse of life in a traditional Northern Norway trading post.

A visit to memorable Kjerringøy is a trip back in time. Back to the days of the Nordland Boat and the local sloops, a time dominated by saltfish and cod liver oil. This jewel of an island also boasts white beaches and unique accommodation. Including the elegant Kjerringøy Bryggehotell, where several seasons of the hit Norwegian

Charming fishermen's cottages belonging to Kjerringøy Bryggehotell. © Werksted AS
Fancy a go at sea fishing while staying in Bodø? © Werksted AS
A traditional sloop on display at the Kjerringøy trading post. Sloops were commonly used to transport goods up until the end of the 19th C. © Susanne Lindeberg

4. Glacier walking on Svartisen

Svartisen used to be a single continuous glacier but is now divided into east and west arms. © Visit Bodø

Bodø is the perfect starting point for a guided tour to stunning Svartisen, Norway’s second-largest glacier. You can either take a long day trip or stay overnight right by the glacier.

Glacier walkng requires teamwork, with everyone responsible for each other's. You will be equipped with rope, ice pick and crampons. During the tour, you will look down into deep crevasses in the glacier and enjoy the sight of breathtaking ice tunnels and formations. The special blue colour of the ice, ranging from transparent to turquoise and dark blue is a perpetual photographer’s favourite.

Trips to Svartisen can arranged according to age and experience, but being used to walking on an uneven surface is an advantage.

5. Visit Bodø’s fabulous beaches

You can find your very own paradise beach in or around Bodø, complete with blindingly white sand. The sea temperature may be a little too refreshing! © Werksted AS

Many Northern Norway ‘Pacific beaches’ can be found along the entire coast of Bodø. You can quite simply find your own totally white beach here.

Bodø’s answer to Bora Bora is the hidden paradise beach of Hovdsundet. The water comes in from both sides of the beach and the white sand is a mega Instagram favourite! Getting to the beach requires a relatively long walk across rough terrain, or you can go by boat.

Mjelle is one of Bodø’s best beaches and Northern Norway’s most romantic midnight sun locations with a view of the island of Landegode and the Lofoten Wall. The actual beach has a reddish colour due to the mineral garnet and is surrounded by majestic mountains.

Auvika lies not far from Mjelle and is an expanse of beautiful, fine sand beach with a superb flat grassy area for anyone who wants to camp out.

6. Climbing in Bratten Via Ferrata

If you’re looking for excitement and an adrenaline rush, take the Bratten Via Ferrata. The sea is directly underneath you. © Kontrafei Media

Like heights and looking for an adrenaline rush? The Bratten Via Ferrata, just outside the centre of Bodø, is the place to try your hand at climbing a cliff towering over the sea. This is the world’s most northerly Via Ferrata and has the added bonus of being able to climb with the sea directly beneath you. You also get the chance to walk over a suspended bridge and climb a breathtaking overhang.

In addition to the unique climbing experience, the surroundings are fantastic, with views across Vestfjord and the island of Landegode. You may even be lucky enough to see dolphins and whales as you climb.

7. Try a round of midnight golf

Bodø Golfpark brings you close to the sea and surrounding mountains. A round of midnight golf is something you’ll never forget. © Karoline O.A. Pettersen

Love playing golf? How about a round under the midnight sun? Bodø Golfklubb is just 10 minutes from the centre of town and has a fantastic location with views over the island of Landegode and the Lofoten Wall. If the weather’s good, this will be a golfing experience you'll never forget.

The midnight sun shines in Bodø from early June to mid-July and is a fantastic experience in itself.

8. Go mountain hiking

The mountain plateau of Keiservarden provides great views over Vestfjord, the Lofoten Wall and the island of Landegode. © Werksted AS

The mountains around Bodø and Bodømarka offer lots of spectacular walks lower down and to the peaks.One of the most popular and accessible walks goes to the Keiservarden plateau at an altitude of 366 metres, often referred to as Bodø’s roof. From the top, you can look over Vestfjord, the island of Landegode, the Lofoten Wall, the Bodø peninsula, Saltenfjord and Børrvass peaks.

Junkerfjellet, at a height of 283 metres, is even closer to the town and only takes 20-30 minutes to reach the top with its fantastic views over the town. Per Kalsatinden is a mountain towering 1,036 metres in the Børrvas peaks and one of the best known and most-visited in the Bodø area. Climbing it takes 3-4 hours depending on your level of fitness. But the reward waiting at the top is spectacular views in all directions.

Steigtind at 793 metres is one of the most characteristic mountain formations in Bodø, with a fantastic view over Vestfjord, the island of Landegode and the Lofoten Wall.

9. Visit the Norwegian Aviation Museum

You’ll find Norway’s national Aviation Museum in Bodø, well worth a visit. © Kontrafei Media

Bodø is home to the Norwegian Aviation Museum.

The museum is housed in a building shaped like a gigantic propeller and tells the exciting story of Norwegian aviation. It covers a floor area of 10,000 square metres, with civilian and military exhibitions, topped off by a control tower with a 360-degree view over the whole of Bodø.

At the Newton Flight Academy you can also try your hand at being a pilot in a flight simulator, experiencing the true feeling of piloting a plane. The hours fly by quickly in an exciting experience for the whole family.

10. Fine dining in Bodø

Bodø has enjoyed a boom in great restaurants in recent years. © Werksted AS

Bodø has gained a justified reputation as an exciting dining destination in recent years and features a number of excellent restaurants providing top-notch dining experiences. Check out Lystpå for quality Nordic food, prepared according to Northern Norway traditions. Go to the Pangea Kitchen & Bar for an informal atmosphere and street food from around the world. If you prefer Asian food, head for Ohma for a menu inspired by meals from Sichuan and Japan, with dishes to share and a wide selection of sushi.

Also visit the cafe Brødrene Berbusmel for delicious rolls and salads, or Craig Alibone Pâtisserie & Champagneria for lovely homemade chocolate.

Small taste explosions at Popup Bodø in Landego Fyr lighthouse. © Werksted AS
Temptation is hard to resist at the chocolate counter of Craig Alibone Pâtisserie. © Werksted AS
Scandic Havet hotel serves tempting food and a great view. © Kontrafei media

Bodø is waiting for you...

Ready for spectacular experiences in Arctic surroundings? Start planning your adventure in Northern Norway. 

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