Aerial drone view of a boat driving through the Saltstraumen maelstrom

10 Reasons to visit Bodø

The gateway to northern Norway, Bodø has much to offer visitors. From awe-inspiring natural wonders to a thriving arts scene, these are ten reasons to explore in and around Bodø.

  • For a community that’s north of the Arctic Circle, Bodø is surprisingly well connected. Its rail terminal is Norway’s northernmost stop and the airport is so close to the town center you can reach it on foot. There are even ferry connections to Lofoten!
  • It’s a terrific destination to see the Northern Lights. Bodø is surrounded by nature, making it easy to find a prime viewing spot in the wilderness. There’s also very little light pollution in the area, increasing viewing quality.
Northern lights above Bodø city
Photo: Gøran Kristensen | Visit Bodø
  • You can experience the midnight sun in Bodø. Thanks to its Arctic location, the midnight sun is visible from June 1st to July 13th.
  • For film fans, Bodø is a must-see destination. Fram Kino was the very first cinema in Norway, dating all the way back to 1908. It’s still going strong, screening a mix of Norwegian films and Hollywood blockbusters.
  • Bodø is filled with hip art. Thanks in large part to a traveling art festival, UpNorth, which visited Bodø in 2016, the town is filled with amazing street art and massive murals on the sides of buildings.
  • Bodø’s art scene is still growing strong and for good reason. The town is one of the 2024 European Capitals of Culture and, already, work is underway to highlight the region’s art, history, and culture.
  • The community is a gateway to Sjunkhatten National Park. Sometimes nicknamed “the children’s national park”, the trails are very accessible and user-friendly for children and beginners. July and August are the best times to explore, as most of the snow is gone.
  • Bodø’s remarkable wild spaces include the Bliksvær nature reserve, a group of islands about 15 kilometers (nine miles) off the west coast. This protected space, a signatory to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, is a spectacular birding destination.
Paradisbukta beach close to the town of Bodø
Photo: Terje Rakke | Nordic Life |
  • It’s an under-the-radar beach destination. Bodø’s Arctic waters are crisp but certainly swim-worthy in summer and the tranquil turquoise waves will remind you of Italy or Greece. Mjelle Beach is even more colourful. Its red and white sands seem to change their hues with every tide.
  • Finally, you might just say that Bodø’s a whirlwind destination. That’s because the town is next to the world’s largest whirlpool, known as a maelstrom. This naturally occurring phenomenon, caused by water rushing through a long, narrow channel, is ten meters (33 feet) wide.

Experience the powers of Saltstraumen

RIB boat driving in the currents of Saltstraumen

RIB to Saltstraumen with sea eagle safari

See the world’s strongest tidal current at Saltstraumen and scout for sea eagles
From NOK 1195