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Mountains and lake view of northern Norway, Alta

Alta, Norway

Alta, Norway, is as enchanting as it gets. Nestled on the head of the Alta Fjord, between the mountains and the coast, Alta features lush green valleys, mild temperatures, and a friendly vibe. It is the gateway to the Nordic interior and nicknamed the “City of Northern Lights.” Many flock to Alta during the fall and winter months to hunt the aurora, as it has a lot of clear nights and a location above the Arctic Circle.

Alta is the place where scientists first conducted northern lights research and it’s nicknamed, “City of Northern Lights.” Don’t worry if you’re cruising to Alta outside peak viewing periods. Summer brings a different phenomenon—the Midnight sun and a flurry of outdoor activities. Hike, bike or fish for salmon amid the serene surroundings of Alta River Canyon, Northern Europe’s largest canyon. 

Ships dock in Alta, Norway about 2.5 miles (4 km) outside the town center. There will be courtesy shuttles and taxis available to take you into town. Shop for mementos at Amfi Alta, a spacious shopping mall. Stop into the Northern Lights Cathedral, a church with a unique spiral steeple and concrete walls. 

Leave a few hours in your itinerary to visit the town’s pride, the Alta Museum and World Heritage Rock Art Centre, an 8-minute drive from downtown Alta. The only prehistoric monument in Norway, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gain insight into life up to 7,000 years ago as you gaze at fascinating paintings and carvings of hunters, gatherers, and animals. The museum features rotating cultural and art exhibitions, and a café with a gorgeous view of the fjord.

Top 3 Things to Do in Alta, Norway

[1] Alta Museum & Rock Art Centre

View captivating rock art from 2,000 to 7,000 years ago.

[2] Alta River Canyon

Hike or bike trails surrounding Northern Europe’s largest canyons. 

[3] Northern Lights Cathedral

Tour a modern church that inspired by the aurora borealis. 

Featured Shore Excursions