The steep cliff of North Cape is located at 71°10′21″N 25°47′04″E / 71.17250°N 25.78444°E / 71.17250; 25.78444, about 2,102.3 km (1,306.3 mi) from the North Pole. Nordkapp is often wrongly referred as the northernmost point of Europe. However, the neighbouring Knivskjellodden Cape, actually extends 1,450 m (4,760 ft) further north. Furthermore, both of these points are situated on an island, albeit one connected by road to the mainland. The northernmost point of mainland Europe is located at Cape Nordkinn (Kinnarodden) which lies about 5.7 km (3.5 mi) further south and about 70 km (43 mi) to the east. That point is located near the village of Mehamn on the Nordkinn Peninsula. The northernmost point of Europe including islands is hundreds of kilometres further north, either in Russia's Franz Josef Land or Norway's Svalbard archipelago, depending on whether Franz Josef Land is considered to be in Europe or in Asia.
The North Cape is the point where the Norwegian Sea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, meets the Barents Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean. The midnight sun can be seen from 14 May to 31 July. The sun reaches its lowest point between 00:14 and 00:24 during those days.
The North Cape is reached by European route E69 highway through the North Cape Tunnel, an undersea tunnel connecting the island of Magerøya to the mainland. The EuroVelo bicycle route EV1 runs from North Cape to Sagres, Portugal—a 8,196-kilometre (5,093 mi) distance by land and sea.
Regular buses run from the nearby town of Honningsvåg to the North Cape (36 km (22 mi)), and coaches meet the many cruise ships that call at the port of Honningsvåg. The nearest airport is Honningsvåg Airport, Valan (IATA code: HVG).
It is possible to visit North Cape during winter, but the last stretch of road is only open for convoy driving at certain times. The road to North Cape is kept open during winter and is accessible to regular vehicles and drivers that both can cope with the hard snow and wind conditions that may occur in winter. Before this, E69 was the only winter-closed E road in Europe.
The North Cape was named by the Englishman Steven Borough, captain of the Edward Bonaventure, which sailed past in 1553 in search of the Northeast Passage.
In 1943, the Battle of North Cape was fought in the Arctic Ocean off this cape, where the Kriegsmarine battleship Scharnhorst was eventually sunk by gunfire from the HMS Duke of York and torpedoes from Norwegian Navy destroyer HNoMS Stord, and other ships of the British Navy.
The government of Norway demanded in 2011 a reduction of the admission fee to the plateau. At the time, an adult ticket cost between 160 and 235 kr. The fee has not been lowered, instead slightly increased. Often there is fog (since the plateau is above the common cloud base), which obscures the view. There is no discount for this situation, but the full price ticket is valid for multiple entries within 48 hours.
The 2009 Trans Europe Foot Race started in Bari, Italy and finished at North Cape. The total distance was 4,485 kilometres.
The first stage of the 2014 Arctic Race of Norway was held on North Cape on 14 August 2014. The bicycle race started in Hammerfest, finishing on North Cape and was won by Norwegian, Lars Petter Nordhaug for LottoNL–Jumbo in a time of 4 hours 51 minutes 3 seconds.
The record of cycling from the northern to the southern end of Norway, North Cape to Lindesnes, is 4 days, 22 hours and 18 minutes, performed by a group of five men from Rye in Oslo, in July 2003.