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Norway travel guide - Travel S helper

Norway

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Norway, formally the Kingdom of Norway, is a sovereign and unitary monarchy occupying the western half of the Scandinavian Peninsula, as well as the island of Jan Mayen and the Svalbard archipelago. Peter I Island in Antarctica and Bouvet Island in the subantarctic are dependent territories and are therefore not regarded to be part of the Kingdom. Norway also claims an area of Antarctica dubbed Queen Maud Land. The Kingdom was comprised of the Faroe Islands (from 1035), Greenland (1261), and Iceland until 1814. (1262). Until 1468, it also encompassed Shetland and Orkney.

Norway is 385,252 square kilometers (148,747 square miles) in size and has a population of 5,213,985 people (May 2016). The nation is bounded on the east by Sweden (1,619 km or 1,006 mi long). Norway is bounded on the north by Finland and Russia and on the south by the Skagerrak Strait and Denmark. Norway has a long coastline that runs parallel to the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea.

Norway is now ruled by King Harald V of the Dano-German House of Glücksburg. Erna Solberg succeeded Jens Stoltenberg as Prime Minister in 2013. Norway, a constitutional monarchy, distributes governmental authority according to the 1814 Constitution between the Parliament, the Cabinet, and the Supreme Court. The Kingdom is formed by the amalgamation of many minor kingdoms. The Kingdom has existed continuously for 1,144 years, according to the conventional count, beginning in the year 872, and the list of Norwegian rulers includes over sixty kings and earls.

Norway is divided into two administrative and political levels: counties and municipalities. Through the Sámi Parliament and the Finnmark Act, the Sámi people enjoy a measure of self-determination and control over traditional areas. Norway is a member of the European Union and the United States. Norway is a founding member of the United Nations, NATO, the Council of Europe, the Antarctic Treaty, and the Nordic Council; it is a member of the European Economic Area, the World Trade Organization, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; and it is also a member of the Schengen Zone.

The country maintains a market economy while still adhering to the Nordic welfare model, which includes universal health care and a robust social security system. Norway has significant petroleum, natural gas, mineral, timber, seafood, fresh water, and hydroelectric reserves. Around a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product is derived from the petroleum sector (GDP). Norway is the world’s biggest producer of oil and natural gas per capita outside the Middle East.

According to the World Bank and IMF, the nation has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world. Norway is ranked eleventh on the CIA’s GDP (PPP) per capita list (2015 estimate), which includes territories and certain regions. Norway earned the top Human Development Index rating in the world from 2001 to 2006, and then again from 2009 to 2015. As of 2015, Norway has led the Legatum Prosperity Index for seven consecutive years. Norway also tops the OECD’s Better Life Index, the Public Integrity Index, and the Democracy Index.

Norway gives the appearance of a nation with plenty of space and an exceptionally harsh terrain. While the interior is renowned for its huge fjords along the Atlantic, it also boasts vast valleys, broad woods, and fjord-like lakes. Norway is one of Europe’s most mountainous nations. The vast coastline, magnificent fjords, innumerable waterfalls, sparkling rivers, gorgeous lakes, and many glaciers are probably what define Norway the most.

Although the vast outdoors is the most popular attraction in Norway, there are still many fascinating and vibrant towns such as Oslo and Bergen. Norway’s cultural history, as well as contemporary buildings and architecture – typically seen in cities, but also in terms of remarkable engineering in distant areas – are examples of man-made attractions.

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Norway - Info Card

Population

5,425,270

Currency

Norwegian krone (NOK)

Time zone

UTC+1 (CET)

Area

385,207 km2 (148,729 sq mi)

Calling code

+47

Official language

Norwegian

Norway | Introduction

Geography Of Norway

Norway is located in northern Europe on a broad peninsula shared with Sweden. It shares borders with Finland and Russia in the north. A population of 5 million people lives in a region about the size of Germany and bigger than the United Kingdom. Norway is mainly a very long nation; traveling from the southernmost to the northernmost cities matches the distance between Hamburg and Malaga (and through much more rugged terrain). Norway’s coastline is also one of the longest in the world; if islands and fjords are included, the coastline is estimated to be 50,000 to 100,000 kilometers long. When fjords and islands are included, Nordland county alone has a longer coastline than the whole United Kingdom.

Norway is well-known for its breathtaking and diverse landscapes. The renowned fjords are long, narrow ocean inlets bordered on each side by towering mountains where the sea penetrates deep inland. Norway’s unending coastline is also home to a plethora of islands of all sizes – there are over 200,000 recognized islands along Norway’s coast (only surpassed by Greece). Because of the many islands and skerries that protect the coast from the stormy Atlantic, Hurtigruten and other ships may cruise for extended periods in calm seas. This area of protected (internal) waterways (fjords, bays, and straits) is about 100,000km2.

Norway has about 450,000 lakes; even inside the city of Oslo, there are several hundred lakes. Norway has some of Europe’s deepest lakes. Because the overwhelming majority of the country (about 95 percent) is rocky wilderness and woods, Norway has several huge, totally unpopulated regions, many of which have been designated as national parks. Outside of the national parks, most of the country is mainly untouched nature; in fact, there is no need to visit a national park to enjoy wildness and beautiful vistas. Roads and railroads, as well as regular ferries, provide convenient access to breathtaking views. There are few sandy beaches along Norway’s infinite coastlines; instead, the shoreline are usually rocky, with high cliffs or gently polished slabs of granite.

The highest peak in Norway is Galdhpiggen (2,469m/8,100 ft) in the Jotunheimen area, which is located halfway between Oslo and Trondheim but distant from the coast. There are rather flat open areas in the far north (Finnmark). Norway is home to many of the world’s highest waterfalls, especially in the western fjords and mountain ranges. While mountains may be found across Norway, several significant mountain ranges characterize the country’s primary regions. The north-south mountain line (particularly Hardangervidda and Jotunheimen) is a significant barrier that separates West Norway from East Norway. Similarly, the Dovrefjell divides Middle Norway (Trndelag) from East Norway. Norway also contains the virtually uninhabited Svalbard archipelago, located distant from the mainland on the northern ice shelf.

Water is the one thing that best defines Norway, thanks to its long rocky shoreline, fjords, numerous lakes, towering waterfalls, and beautiful rivers.

Administratively, Norway is split into counties, which are further subdivided into East, South, West, Middle (Trndelag), and North regions. Norway’s scenery may also be characterized by zones that span these administrative boundaries.

  • The “fjordland“,The region of Norway characterized by fjords extends as a broad belt all the way across the nation, 20 to 200 kilometers wide. This kind of terrain is usually made up of a jumble of fjords and peninsulas, valleys and lakes.
  • Island belt, Further out, the mainland is protected by a belt of islands and skerries, which may be vast and complicated, as in the case of Bergen or the Lofoten archipelago. A ring of islands like this one enables ships to travel safely over large stretches of the coast. There are no fjords or islands just south of Stavanger, thus the broad sandy beaches remain unprotected.
  • Mountain region: The high mountain belt running essentially South-North across the whole Scandinavian peninsula between East Norway and West Norway, and further north separating Norway and Sweden, is somewhat inland and partly coincides with fjords. The high mountains range from dramatic alpine peaks and glaciers to more peaceful vistas farther east.
  • Big valleys: The terrain east/south of the central mountains is characterized by large valleys that extend from the lowlands surrounding Oslo to the central highlands. The usual large valleys include Gudbrandsdal, Hallingdal, Setesdal, and Valdres. In eastern and central Finnmark, the fjords give way to a broad flat at a moderate height, rather than steep mountains.
  • Central eastern lowland: Greater Oslo, both sides of the Oslofjord (Vestfold and Stfold counties), and the region around the large lakes Mjsa and Tyrifjorden, is the most densely inhabited and agriculturally significant area.

Climate In Norway

The southern and western regions of Norway get more precipitation and have warmer winters than the eastern and far northern sections due to their proximity to Atlantic storm fronts. Rain and snow totals are lower in areas to the east of the coastal mountains than in areas to the west. The summers in the lowlands surrounding Oslo are pleasant and sunny, while the winters are cold and snowy.

Because of Norway’s high latitude, daylight hours vary greatly from season to season. From late May to late July, the sun never fully sets below the horizon in regions north of the Arctic Circle (thus Norway’s nickname “Land of the Midnight Sun”), while the remainder of the nation has up to 20 hours of daylight each day. From late November to late January, however, the sun never rises above the horizon in the north, and daylight hours are very limited throughout the remainder of the nation.

The coastal climate of Norway is unusually mild when compared to regions at comparable latitudes elsewhere in the globe, with the Gulf Stream flowing straight offshore the northern parts of the Atlantic coast in the winter, constantly warming the region. Temperature anomalies observed along the coast are unusual, with Rst and Vry not experiencing a meteorological winter while being north of the Arctic Circle. Despite popular belief, the Gulf Stream has this impact exclusively on the northern regions of Norway, not the south. If it weren’t for the Gulf Stream, Norway’s northern shore would be completely covered in ice. As a result, the Scandinavian Mountains prevent continental winds from reaching the shore, resulting in extremely cold summers in Atlantic Norway. Oslo has a continental climate, comparable to that of Sweden. The climates of the mountain ranges are subarctic and tundra. Rainfall is also extremely heavy in places exposed to the Atlantic, such as Bergen. Oslo, on the other hand, is dry due to its location in a rain shadow. Skjk in Oppland county is likewise in the rain shadow and is one of the driest locations in the country, with 278 millimetres (10.9 inches) of precipitation each year. Finnmarksvidda, as well as the inner valleys of Troms and Nordland, get fewer than 300 millimetres (12 inches) of rain each year. With 190 mm of rain per year, Longyearbyen is the driest location in Norway (7.5 inches).

Warm-summer humid continental climates (Köppen Dfb) prevail in areas of southeastern Norway, including parts of Mjsa, whereas oceanic climates prevail in the southern and western shores (Cfb). Subarctic climate (Dfc) prevails farther inland in (southeastern and northern Norway), particularly in regions under the rain shadow of the Scandinavian Mountains. Because of the rain shadow effect, some of Oppland’s interior valleys get so little precipitation each year that they satisfy the criteria for dry-summer subarctic climates (Dsc). The uncommon subpolar oceanic climate may be found at higher elevations along the coastlines of southern and western Norway (Cfc). This climate is also prevalent in Northern Norway, although at lower elevations, all the way down to sea level. A tiny portion of Norway’s northernmost coast has a tundra/alpine/polar climate (ET). Norway is covered in mountains and high altitude plateaus, many of which have a tundra/alpine/polar climate (ET).

Biodiversity In Norway

The total number of species includes 16,000 species of insects (probably 4,000 more species yet to be described), 20,000 species of algae, 1,800 species of lichen, 1,050 species of mosses, 2,800 species of vascular plants, up to 7,000 species of fungi, 450 species of birds (250 species nesting in Norway), 90 species of mammals, 45 fresh-water species of fish, 150 salt-water species of fish, 1,000 species of squid, and 1,000 squid. Science has described about 40,000 of these species. The 2010 red list includes 4,599 species.

Seventeen species are included primarily because they are threatened on a worldwide scale, such as the European beaver, even though the population in Norway is not considered threatened. There are 3,682 endangered and near-threatened species, including 418 fungus species, many of which are intimately linked with the few surviving patches of old-growth woods, 36 bird species, and 16 mammal species. In 2010, there were 2,398 species classified as endangered or vulnerable, with 1250 listed as vulnerable (VU), 871 listed as endangered (EN), and 276 listed as critically endangered (CR), including the grey wolf, Arctic fox (healthy population on Svalbard), and pool frog.

The sperm whale is the biggest predator in Norwegian seas, while the basking shark is the largest fish. The polar bear is the biggest predator on land, whereas the brown bear is the largest predator on the Norwegian mainland. The elk is the biggest land mammal on the continent (American English: moose). In Norway, the elk is renowned for its size and power, and it is frequently referred to as skogens konge, or “king of the forest.”

Environment

Throughout Norway, there is stunning and dramatic landscapes and terrain. The west coast of southern Norway and the north shore of Norway have some of the most visually stunning coastline scenery in the world. The Norwegian fjords have been named the world’s top tourist destination by National Geographic. Norway ranked tenth in the 2014 Environmental Performance Index, based on the environmental performance of the country’s policies.

Daylight

Throughout Norway, there is stunning and dramatic landscapes and terrain. The west coast of southern Norway and the north shore of Norway have some of the most visually stunning coastline scenery in the world. The Norwegian fjords have been named the world’s top tourist destination by National Geographic. Norway ranked tenth in the 2014 Environmental Performance Index, based on the environmental performance of the country’s policies.

Demographics Of Norway

In October 2013, the population of Norway was 5,096,300 people. Norwegians are a North Germanic ethnic group. Norway has drawn numerous immigrants from southern and central Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia since the late twentieth century. All of these groups speak a variety of languages and come from a variety of cultures and faiths.

According to a 2012 government survey, 86 percent of the entire population had at least one parent who was born in Norway. More over 710,000 people (14 percent) are immigrants and their descendants, with 117,000 children born in Norway to immigrants.

According to the Norwegian government, 14 percent of the Norwegian population were immigrants or children of two foreign parents in 2013. Approximately 6% of the immigrant population is from the EU, North America, and Australia, while 8.1 percent is from Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

In 2012, 407,262 of the total 660,000 people with immigrant backgrounds had Norwegian citizenship (62.2 percent ).

Immigrants have settled in every municipality in Norway. In 2012, the cities or municipalities with the greatest proportion of immigrants were Oslo (32% ) and Drammen (31% ). (27 percent ). In Stavanger, the proportion was 16%. According to Reuters, due to increasing immigration, Oslo is the “fastest expanding city in Europe.” Immigration has accounted for the majority of Norway’s population increase in recent years. In 2011, 16% of newborn infants were of immigrant origin.

The Sami are indigenous to the Far North and have historically lived throughout central and northern Norway and Sweden, as well as northern Finland and Russia’s Kola Peninsula. The Kven people are another national minority, descendants of Finnish-speaking people who moved to northern Norway from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The Norwegian government attempted to integrate both the Sami and the Kven from the nineteenth century until the 1970s, pushing them to embrace the majority language, culture, and religion. Many families of Sami or Kven origin today identify as ethnic Norwegian as a result of this “Norwegianization” process.

Religion In Norway

The majority of Norwegians are baptized as members of the Church of Norway, the official state church. The constitution still mandates the ruling king to be a Lutheran, and the country’s ideals to be founded on its Christian and humanist history. Many people stay in the church to be a member of the community and to participate in rituals such as baptism, confirmation, marriage, and burial. In 2015, about 74.3 percent of Norwegians belonged to the Church of Norway. In 2014, about 59.3 percent of all infants were baptized, and approximately 62.9 percent of all 15-year-olds were confirmed in the church.

According to surveys conducted in the early 1990s, between 4.7 percent and 5.3 percent of Norwegians attended church on a weekly basis. This number has fallen to about 2%.

In 2010, 10% of the population was religiously unaffiliated, while another 9% belonged to religious groups other than the Church of Norway. According to 2009 official data, other Christian faiths account for about 4.9 percent of the population, with the Roman Catholic Church having the most adherents (83,000). In October 2012, an article in the Norwegian daily Aftenposten said that there were about 115,234 registered Roman Catholics in Norway; the writer believed that the overall number of individuals with a Roman Catholic heritage might be 170,000–200,000 or more.

Pentecostals (39,600), Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of Norway (19,600), Methodists (11,000), Baptists (9,900), Eastern Orthodox (9,900), Brunstad Christian Church (6,800), Seventh-day Adventists (5,100), Assyrians and Chaldeans, and others are among the others. In all, the Swedish, Finnish, and Icelandic Lutheran churches in Norway have about 27,500 members. Other Christian groups account for less than 1% of the total, with 4,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and 12,000 members of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Islam is the biggest non-Christian religion, with 132,135 registered members in 2014 and likely less than 200,000 in total. It is mostly practiced by Somali, Arab, Bosniak, Albanian, and Turkish immigrants, as well as Norwegians of Pakistani origin.

Other faiths account for less than 1% of the total, with Judaism accounting for 819 followers. Hinduism was brought to Norway by Indian immigrants, and it now counts little more than 5,900 followers, or 1% of non-Lutheran Norwegians. Sikhism has around 3,000 followers, the most of whom live in Oslo, which has two gurdwaras. Sikhs arrived in Norway for the first time in the early 1970s. The unrest in Punjab after Operation Blue Star, as well as rioting against Sikhs in India following Indira Gandhi’s murder, resulted in an increase in the number of Sikh refugees fleeing to Norway. Drammen also has a sizable Sikh community; the biggest gurdwara in northern Europe was constructed in Lier. There are eleven Buddhist organizations, which are united together under the Buddhistforbundet organization, with little more than 14,000 members, accounting for 0.2 percent of the population. The Baha’i faith has little more than 1,000 followers. The secular Norwegian Humanist Association has about 1.7 percent (84,500) of the Norwegian population.

Orthodox Christianity was the fastest-growing religious faith in Norway from 2006 to 2011, with membership increasing by 80%; nevertheless, its proportion of the overall population remained modest, at 0.2 percent. It is linked to massive immigration from Eritrea and Ethiopia, as well as, to a lesser degree, Central and Eastern European and Middle Eastern nations. The Roman Catholic Church (78.7 percent ), Hinduism (59.6 percent ), Islam (48.1 percent ), and Buddhism were among among the fastest-growing faiths (46.7 percent ).

The ancient Norse, like the peoples of neighboring Scandinavian nations, practiced a type of native Germanic paganism known as Norse paganism. When Norway was Christianized towards the end of the 11th century, the traditional Norse religion and customs were outlawed. Norway’s original religion and beliefs may still be found in names, referential names of towns and regions, the days of the week, and other aspects of daily language. Modern curiosity in the ancient ways has resulted in the resurgence of pagan religious rituals known as satru. The Norwegian Satrufellesskapet Bifrost was founded in 1996 and has about 300 members in 2011. The Norwegian government recognized Foreningen Forn Sed, which was founded in 1999.

The Sami minority practiced shamanism until the 18th century, when the majority converted to Christianity under the influence of Dano-Norwegian Lutheran missionaries. Some adhered to their ancestral faith. Today, there is a resurgence of interest in the Sami traditional way of life, which has resulted in the rebirth of Noaidevuohta. Some Norwegian and Sami celebrities are said to seek advice from shamans.

According to the Eurobarometer Poll 2010, 22% of Norwegian people said they “think there is a deity.” Gustafsson and Pettersson (2002) discovered three years earlier that 72 percent of Norwegians did not believe in a ‘personal God.’

Language In Norway

There is no standard spoken Norwegian (norsk) — even in public broadcasting, a variety of dialects are utilized. Bokml and Nynorsk are the two traditional methods of writing it. Both are taught in schools in Norway. The two variants are closely related and mutually intelligible with the other Scandinavian languages, Danish and Swedish. Bokml is by far the most popular in the majority of the nation, while Nynorsk is more widespread in Western Norway.

Sami is a minority language with formal recognition in certain northern areas. There are road signs and other public information in both Norwegian and Sami. Place names in Norwegian and Sami may vary; maps will usually use the Norwegian name. Sami is closely linked to the Finnish language, but not to Indo-European languages like Norwegian or English (but there are quite a few loanwords).

Almost every Norwegians speak English, so you should have no difficulty getting about. 91 percent of the population speaks English, making Norway one of the most English-proficient nations where English is not an official language. Many individuals also study French, German, and/or Spanish.

Foreign films and television shows are often broadcast with subtitles in their native language. Only kids’ shows are dubbed into Norwegian.

Internet & Communications in Norway

Mobile phone coverage is ubiquitous in metropolitan areas and usually excellent in rural Norway, but certain rural valley regions may be underserved on occasion.

Even at the most distant mountain cottages, if they are manned, you may generally send a postcard.

Internet

Because most Norwegian homes are linked to the Internet in some manner (typically through broadband), cybercafés are difficult to locate outside of large cities owing to a limited market. Most public libraries provide free internet access to the public, albeit with a restricted number of computers and hours of operation.

If you have a laptop with a wireless connection, you will discover wireless internet zones almost everywhere (gas stations, city centers, cafés, shopping malls, hotels, and so on). But be prepared to pay for it. It is fairly uncommon for hotels to have a terminal available for guests to use. Around 60% of camp sites offer Wi-Fi Internet, however if it’s important to you, inquire before purchasing for your camping spot.

Telenor (the national telecommunications operator) offers pre-paid SIM cards for NOK49, which give rapid 4G internet access with a daily limit of NOK10. Unless you buy an additional data plan (extra NOK49 / 500MB), speed is decreased after 500MB in a month. This SIM card costs NOK199 in Telenor shops (including the one at the airport), however it is available for NOK49 at convenience stores. On-line activation needs a Norwegian ID, however Telenor shops may do it quickly and for free for foreigners with the display of a passport. (Prices current as of May 2014)

As of August 2011, Telenor (the national telecommunications operator) offers prepaid wireless 3G internet dongles for PCs (NOK700, approximately €100). A NOK150 buy-in is required with the dongle, which comes with NOK50 credit and 300MB of data to be utilized in four days. Then, another NOK150 is required to buy 15 days of unrestricted internet access. 3G speeds are quite useable, and if 3G service is not available, the dongle automatically switches to 2G. (not so much fun). Of course, all pricing and terms are subject to change at any time. There is a mobile phone store (landside) at Oslo Airport that offers phone equipment.

There are alternative carriers; NetCom (part of the TeliaSonera group) has somewhat less coverage than Telenor but lower costs; NOK150 gets you a data-only SIM with 1GB data at 4G speeds for a week, NOK29 gets you 500MB for a day, NOK200 gets you 2GB/2 weeks, and NOK300 gets you 4GB/month. Packages for voice include 1GB+talk/text for NOK199, 3GB+talk/text for NOK299, and 6GB+talk/text for NOK399.

Economy Of Norway

Norwegians have the second-highest GDP per capita in Europe (after Luxembourg) and the world’s sixth-highest GDP (PPP) per capita. Norway is now the world’s second-wealthiest country in terms of monetary value, having the biggest capital reserve per capita of any country. Norway is a net foreign creditor of debt, according to the CIA World Factbook. Norway ranked first in the world in the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) for six years in a row (2001–2006), and again regained the top spot in 2009–2015. Norway has one of the best living standards in the world. Norway is ranked bottom on Foreign Policy Magazine’s 2009 Failed States Index, despite being the world’s most well-functioning and stable country. Norway is ranked fourth in the 2013 adjusted Better Life Index and third in intergenerational earnings elasticity, according to the OECD.

The Norwegian economy is an example of a mixed economy, a successful capitalist welfare state and social democracy with a mix of free market activity and significant governmental ownership in important industries. In Norway, public health care is free (after an annual fee of approximately $230 for those over the age of 16), and parents enjoy 46 weeks of paid parental leave. Petroleum production contributes significantly to the state’s revenue from natural resources. Norway presently has a relatively low unemployment rate of 2.6 percent. 69 percent of those aged 15 to 74 are employed. People in the labor force are either employed or seeking employment. Disability pensions are received by 9.5 percent of the population aged 18–66, while the government employs 30 percent of the labor force, the most in the OECD. Norway has some of the greatest hourly production levels and average hourly earnings in the world.

Because of the egalitarian ideals of Norwegian culture, the pay disparity between the lowest paid worker and the CEO of most businesses is considerably less than in similar Western countries. This is also shown by Norway’s low Gini coefficient.

The state owns a significant portion of important economic sectors, including the strategic petroleum industry (Statoil), hydroelectric energy production (Statkraft), aluminum production (Norsk Hydro), the biggest Norwegian bank (DNB), and telecommunications provider (Telenor). The government controls about 30% of the stock prices on the Oslo Stock Exchange via these large corporations. When non-listed businesses are added, the state has an even greater ownership stake (mainly from direct oil licence ownership). Norway is a significant maritime country and boasts the world’s sixth biggest commercial fleet, with 1,412 merchant boats owned by Norwegians.

Norwegians rejected attempts to join the European Union in referendums in 1972 and 1994. (EU). Norway, along with Iceland and Liechtenstein, does, nevertheless, participate in the European Union’s single market via the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement. The EEA Treaty between the European Union and the EFTA nations, which has been translated into Norwegian legislation via “ES-loven,” outlines the processes for adopting European Union regulations in Norway and the other EFTA countries. Norway is a strongly integrated member of the EU internal market in the majority of industries. Agriculture, oil, and fish are only a few of the industries not fully covered by the EEA Treaty. Norway has also ratified the Schengen Agreement and a number of other intergovernmental agreements between EU member states.

The nation is blessed with abundant natural resources like as petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals. Large quantities of petroleum and natural gas were found in the 1960s, resulting in an economic boom. Norway has one of the best living standards in the world, thanks in part to a huge quantity of natural resources relative to population size. The petroleum sector contributed 28 percent of state income in 2011.

Norway was the first nation to prohibit tree cutting (deforestation) in order to avoid the extinction of rain forests. In 2014, the nation, together with the United Kingdom and Germany, announced its intention at the United Nations Climate Summit. Timber, soy, palm oil, and cattle are often associated with forest degradation. Norway must now find alternative ways to supply these vital goods without negatively impacting the environment.

Resources

Oil and gas export earnings have grown to almost 50% of total exports and account for more than 20% of GDP. Norway is the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter and third-largest gas exporter, although it is not an OPEC member. The Norwegian government created the sovereign wealth fund (“Government Pension Finance — Global”) in 1995, using oil earnings, including taxes, dividends, sales revenues, and license fees, to fund it. This was designed to minimize overheating in the economy caused by oil profits, to lessen uncertainty caused by oil price volatility, and to create a cushion to compensate for expenditures associated with population aging.

The government controls its petroleum resources via a mix of state ownership in major oil field operators (with about 62 percent ownership in Statoil in 2007) and the wholly state-owned Petoro, which has a market value almost twice that of Statoil, as well as SDFI. Finally, the government regulates the licensing of field exploration and production. Outside of Norway, the fund invests in established financial markets. The budgeting guideline (Handlingsregeln) states that no more than 4% of the money should be used each year (assumed to be the normal yield from the fund).

The Government Pension Fund’s assets were valued at about US$884 billion (equivalent to US$173,000 per capita) in August 2014, or nearly 174 percent of Norway’s current GDP. It is the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund. The fund owns about 1.3 percent of all listed shares in Europe and more than one percent of all publicly traded shares worldwide. The Norwegian Central Bank has offices in London, New York, and Shanghai. Guidelines established in 2007 enable the fund to invest up to 60% of its capital in shares (up from a previous limit of 40%), with the remainder allocated to bonds and real estate. As the stock market plummeted in September 2008, the fund was able to purchase additional shares at bargain rates. As a result, by November 2009, the losses caused by the market volatility had been recovered.

Other countries with resource-based economies, such as Russia, are attempting to emulate Norway by creating comparable funds. The Norwegian fund’s investment decisions are guided by ethical standards; for example, the fund is not permitted to invest in businesses that manufacture components for nuclear weapons. The worldwide community applauds Norway’s extremely transparent investment system. The fund’s future size is inextricably tied to the price of oil and developments in international financial markets.

In an IPO in 2000, the government sold one-third of the state-owned oil firm Statoil. Telenor, the major telecom provider, was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange the following year. The state also holds a sizable stake in Norway’s biggest bank, DnB NOR, as well as the airline SAS. Since 2000, the economy has grown rapidly, reducing unemployment to levels not seen since the early 1980s (unemployment in 2007: 1.3 percent ). The worldwide financial crisis mainly impacted the manufacturing sector, although unemployment remained low in August 2011, at at 3.3 percent (86,000 individuals). In comparison to Norway, Sweden had much higher actual and predicted unemployment rates as a consequence of the recession. Thousands of mostly young Swedes moved to Norway seeking employment during these years, which was simple since the Nordic countries’ labor markets and social security systems overlapped. Norway’s GDP exceeded Sweden’s for the first time in history in the first quarter of 2009, despite having half the population.

Norway has substantial mineral resources, and its mineral output in 2013 was estimated at US$1.5 billion (Norwegian Geological Survey data). Calcium carbonate (limestone), building stone, nepheline syenite, olivine, iron, titanium, and nickel are the most valuable minerals.

Norway is also the world’s second-largest seafood exporter (in value, after China). Hydroelectric facilities provide about 98–99 percent of Norway’s electric power, more than any other nation on the planet.

Oil fields

Between 1966 and 2013, Norwegian firms developed 5085 oil wells, the majority of which were in the North Sea. 3672 are utviklingsbrnner (normal production); 1413 are letebrnner (exploration); and 1405 have been discontinued (avsluttet).

Wisting Central—calculated size in 2013, 65–156 million barrels of oil and 10 to 40 billion cubic feet (0.28 to 1.13 billion cubic metres) of gas (utvinnbar). The Castberg Oil Field (Castberg-feltet) is estimated to have 540 million barrels of oil and 2 to 7 billion cubic feet (57 to 198 million cubic metres) of gas (utvinnbar). The Barents Sea is home to both oil fields.

Things To Know Before Traveling To Norway

First-time tourists who are unfamiliar with the nation usually plan a journey from city to city in Norway. Although Norway has many beautiful towns, the country’s primary draw is the land itself, the environment, landscapes, and wildness, as well as a variety of man-made attractions in rural areas, including road projects and cultural assets such as stave churches. In contrast to many other European nations, a vacation to Norway should preferably be organized based on the kinds of landscapes to see as well as a selection of towns. Norway is a large nation with vast distances and diverse terrain, and visitors should not underestimate the length of their journey.

Numbers, time and dates

A comma is used as the decimal separating symbol or radix in Norway. For example, “12,000” implies 12 (three decimal places), not 12 thousand, while “12 000” or “12.000” also means 12 thousand.

Norwegians, like many other nations, utilize the 12 hour clock system in speech and the 24 hour clock system in writing, print, signage, and schedules. Norwegians do not use the terms pm/am to denote whether it is morning or afternoon. In Norwegian, “half ten” (“halv ti”) indicates half past nine; avoid using this form while speaking to someone who does not speak English well.

Dates may be shortened in a variety of ways, but the sequence is always DAY-MONTH-YEAR, thus 12.7.08 or 12.07.08 is always 12 July 2008 (120708 and 12/7-08 are other popular but erroneous versions). Monday is the beginning day of the week, while Sunday is the last. Weekdays are frequently denoted in schedules by the numbers 1 (Mon) through 7 (Sat) (Sun). Norwegian calendars will also include the week numbers 1 through 53. Timetables for public transportation often include the acronym Dx67, which stands for “daily except Saturday and Sunday.”

Only the metric system is used in Norway. A Norwegian mile, or’mil,’ is equivalent to 10 kilometers. There is almost little understanding of Imperial or US measurements. Few Norwegians will be able to convert between Celsius (Centigrade) and Fahrenheit, and weather predictions will be in metric measurements. However, many contemporary mobile phones have conversion programs that may be used to learn about the metric system.

In Norway, there is no notion of ground floor (or “Erdgeschoss” in German), thus the entry level of a building is termed the first floor (“frste etasje” or marked zero, 0) as in the US. The levels are then tallied as 1, 2, 3, and so on.

Entry Requirements For Norway

Visa & Passport for Norway

Norway is a signatory to the Schengen Agreement.

Border restrictions are usually not required between nations that have signed and implemented the pact. This covers the majority of the European Union as well as a few additional nations. Before boarding foreign planes or boats, passengers’ identities are typically checked. Temporary border restrictions are sometimes used at land boundaries. A visa issued to any Schengen member is also valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty.
There is still an identification check required before boarding planes or boats entering Norway. Russians who live within 30 kilometers of the border may enter Norway visa-free for up to 15 days if they have lived in the border region for at least three years and do not travel more than 30 kilometers from the border. A border certificate valid for multiple entries must be acquired in advance from the Norwegian embassy in Murmansk.

Citizens of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela, and holders of Hong Kong SAR or Macau SAR passports may travel. This right to work without a visa, however, does not necessarily apply to other Schengen nations.

Keep in mind that Norway is not a member of the European Union. This implies that all visitors to Norway, regardless of their country of origin, may be subject to customs checks at the port of entry.

Minimum validity of travel documents

EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals, as well as non-EU citizens who are visa-free (e.g., New Zealanders and Australians), need simply show a passport valid for the duration of their stay in Norway.

Other nations who need a visa (for example, South Africans) must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond their stay in Norway in order to be granted a Schengen visa.

How To Travel To Norway

Get In - By plane

Oslo

Oslo Airport, Gardermoen (IATA: OSL) is Norway’s largest airport and major international hub, located 60 kilometers north of Oslo. Many major international and local airlines service the airport.

The airport offers scheduled flights to about 100 international destinations as well as 24 domestic destinations. There are direct flights from the United Kingdom to Oslo Gardermoen from:

  • London Heathrow (Scandinavian Airlines and British Airways)
  • London Gatwick (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • Birmingham (Flybe)
  • Manchester (Scandinavian Airlines)
  • Edinburgh (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • Aberdeen (Eastern Airways)

From Ireland:

  • Dublin (Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle)

From the United States:

  • Boston, MA (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • Las Vegas, NV (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • Los Angeles, CA (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • Newark, NJ (United, Scandinavian Airlines)
  • New York JFK, NY (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • Oakland, CA (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • Orlando, FL (Norwegian Air Shuttle)

The fastest route between Australia and New Zealand is through Bangkok, Doha, or Dubai. Thai Airways and Norwegian Air Shuttle both provide nonstop flights from Oslo to Bangkok. Qatar Airways and Emirates both fly daily from Doha and Dubai, with connections from a variety of Asian and Oceania locations.

Sandefjord

Sandefjord Airport, Torp (IATA: TRF) is situated 115 kilometers south of Oslo, just north of Sandefjord, and is Ryanair’s destination airport in Oslo. Ryanair now offers another flight from London Stansted to Haugesund on Norway’s west coast.

Sandefjord Airport Torp offers scheduled flights to 14 European destinations and three Norwegian destinations.

There are direct services from the United Kingdom to:

  • London Stansted (Ryanair)
  • Birmingham (Ryanair)
  • Liverpool (Ryanair)
  • Glasgow Prestwick (Ryanair)
  • Edinburgh (Ryanair)

From Ireland:

  • Dublin (Ryanair)

Moss

Moss Airport, Rygge (IATA: RYG) is situated just outside of Moss, some 60 kilometers south of Oslo. Moss Airport Rygge offers regular flights to and from about 15 European locations as well as three local destinations.

Moss Airport, Rygge is served by the following airlines:

  • Danish Air Transport
  • Ryanair

Stavanger

Stavanger Airport, Sola (IATA: SVG) operates regular flights to and from London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, Kraków, Madrid, Nice, and other European destinations.

There are direct flights from the United Kingdom to:

  • London Heathrow (Scandinavian Airlines and BMI)
  • London Gatwick (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • Newcastle (Eastern Airways, Widerøe)
  • Aberbeen (Scandinavian Airlines, Eastern Airways and Widerøe)

From the United States there are direct flights from:

  • Houston, TX (Scandinavian Airlines)

Bergen

Bergen Airport, Flesland (IATA: BGO) serves major European cities like as London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, Prague, Warsaw, and others.

Aside from the above listed airports, domestic flights are available to Trondheim and Troms.

There are direct flights from the United Kingdom to:

  • London Gatwick (Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian)
  • Newcastle (Easter Airways)
  • Edinburgh (Widerøe)
  • Aberdeen (Eastern Airways and Widerøe)
  • Kirkwall (Flybe)

From the United States there are seasonal direct flights from:

  • New York JFK, NY (Norwegian Air Shuttle)

Trondheim

Trondheim Airport, Vrnes (IATA: TRD) is accessible by direct flights from a number of European destinations, including Amsterdam, London, and Copenhagen.

Norwegian Air Shuttle operates direct flights from London Gatwick in the United Kingdom.

Tromsø

Norwegian Air Shuttle operates twice-weekly direct flights from London Gatwick to Troms Airport (IATA: TOS). Nordavia Regional Airlines also flies between Troms and Murmansk, Russia.

Get In - By train

Trains run from Sweden to Oslo, Trondheim, and Narvik, with further interior connections.

Daily service from Stockholm and Gothenburg to Oslo. Local services are also available from Karlstad.

The Nabotget service from stersund coincides with one day and one night service from Stockholm, as well as the train from Sundsvall, for Trondheim.

Two trains each day operate from Stockholm to Narvik via Kiruna. Both are for the night.

Get In - By bus

Eurolines, Swebus Express, and Säfflebussen are the main international bus lines that operate into Oslo from Sweden. Service to Gothenburg and Copenhagen is provided nearly every hour. The rail service to Stockholm is also much more frequent. Lavprisekspressen offers low-cost bus tickets between major cities in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.

Kirkenes-Murmansk minibus service operates three times each day. For reservations, contact Grenseland/Sovjetreiser (yep, they are still named that!) in Kirkenes.

Other coach routes connect Sweden to Bod and Mo I Rana, as well as Denmark to Stavanger.

Get In - By car

Road access is available from Sweden, Finland, and Russia. European route E6 goes through Malmö, Helsingborg, and Göteborg in Sweden before crossing the border at Svinesund in the south-east of Norway, while E8 runs through Turku, Vaasa, and Oulu in Finland before crossing the border at Kilpisjärvi. There are many routes and border crossings available, however bear in mind that road conditions vary, there are few highways, and speed limits are low (usually 80km/h). Ferries between Denmark and Kiel (Germany) accept automobiles as well and are a convenient method to skip lengthy transportation legs.

Get In - By boat

From Belgium

DFDS has a freight line from Ghent to Brevik with minimal passenger capacity, which is mostly used by truck drivers. Once or twice a week, there are departures. It should be noted that the boat may arrive in the middle of the night in Brevik.

From Germany

Color Line operates a daily boat service from Kiel to Oslo. The boat departs Kiel at 13:30 and arrives in Oslo the next day at 09:30. The ferry port in Kiel is located on Norwegenkai, just over the bridge from Kiel’s major train station (note that the bridge may at times be closed for pedestrians due to ship traffic). The terminus at the conclusion of the trip in Oslo is situated at Hjortneskai, which is just west of the city. A bus runs from the airport to the city center, leaving soon after passengers disembark.

From Denmark

Several firms operate from different Danish ports (Frederikshavn, Hirtshals, and Copenhagen) to various Norwegian ports (Oslo, Larvik, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen).

  • Color Line traffic from Hirtshals to Kristiansand and Larvik.
  • Stena Line from Frederikshavn to Oslo.
  • Fjord Line traffic from Hirtshals to Langesund, Stavanger and Bergen (Seasonal to Kristiansand).
  • DFDS Seaways traffic from Copenhagen to Oslo.

From England

There are no longer any ferry lines from Norway to the UK, but DFDS Seaways has been known to accept people on its freight service from Immingham to Brevik.

Thompson From Harwich, cruise ships visit Flm, Bergen, Molde, Hammerfest, Nordkapp, Troms, Lofoten Islands, Geiranger, and Lesund in Norway. The cruise may last anything from 5 days to 2 weeks. It takes 1.5 days to sail from Harwich to south Norway. There are a variety of restaurants, bars, casinos, theaters, and a stage performance on board the cruise ship to keep you amused throughout your trip. Cabins are offered in a variety of grades, ranging from shared rooms to singles, doubles, and luxury suites.

From Shetland, Faeroe Islands and Iceland

Smyril Line used to provide a weekly service to Bergen. This service is currently only available between Denmark, Shetland, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland.

How To Travel Around Norway

Because Norway is a large nation with some challenging terrain, traveling around is costly and time-consuming, especially in the north. Because of the challenging terrain in many areas of the nation, navigation is focused on landscape features such as valleys, lakes, fjords, and islands rather than cities. Norway is sparsely populated in comparison to continental Europe; tourists should not expect every name on a map to be serviced by regular public transportation or to provide commercial facilities such as taxis, cafés, and motels — it may not even be a town or settlement at all. Having your own car is the greatest way to explore the Norwegian nature and countryside. This way, you may stop anywhere you wish, enjoy the scenery, and explore minor roads.

Get Around - By plane

Because of Norway’s rocky coastline, roads and railways are sluggish, thus domestic flights are extremely popular. SAS, Norwegian, and Widere are the three biggest operators.

Traveling by air is the most convenient way to go from town to town, particularly in northern Norway, where towns and cities are few and far between. Regrettably, it is also in these places that ticket costs may be the most costly. Planes connecting tiny airports are small, with numerous intermediate stops along the trip to board and unload passengers.

Flights in southern Norway are less expensive than in northern Norway, and despite superior roads and rail, flying is usually quicker than taking the train or bus. However, there are no air connections connecting the cities within 200 kilometers of Oslo; instead, use the train or bus.

If you want to visit the numerous smaller towns in Northern or Western Norway, Widere’s Explore Norway ticket is a good option (unlimited air travel for 14 days in summer for less than a full price return ticket).

Get Around - By train

All railroads in Norway are operated by the Norwegian State Railways (NSB). Norway’s rail network mostly links Oslo to other major cities; there are no rail lines running north to south in West Norway between Stavanger and Trondheim, and no rail lines running north to south in North Norway north of Bod. These major routes operate several times each day:

  • Oslo–Kristiansand–Stavanger (runs inland from Drammen to Kristiansand, connections to Arendal)
  • Oslo–Skien (serving coastal towns southwest of Oslo)
  • Oslo–Bergen (across the mountains via Finse, connections to Flåm)
  • Oslo–Trondheim (Dovrebanen, through Lillehammer, connections to Åndalsnes at Dombås)
  • Oslo–Sarpsborg–Halden
  • Hamar–Røros–Trondheim
  • Trondheim–Bodø (through Trondheim airport, connections to Sweden)

Trains are usually clean and pleasant.

To travel cheaply by rail across Norway, get a Norwegian Rail Pass or the equivalent InterRail One Country Pass. If your plan is set and you don’t have too many locations, buying ‘Minipris’ tickets online may be less expensive. One-way tickets may be purchased for as low as NOK199 if purchased in advance. When purchasing tickets online, you have the option of having them delivered to the station or to the train; the latter means you just need to know your seat number; the train steward will have your ticket. Their website sometimes may not function properly for visitors from countries other than Norway. In such instance, you may contact their call center, but be sure to explain that you initially tried the website. Phone bookings usually carry a charge of NOK50 each rail ticket purchased. The NSB offers a phone app for purchasing tickets, however as of 2016, it requires a Norwegian mobile phone number.

Seat reservations are required for long-distance trains and night trains, although they may generally be made on short notice, e.g., at a railway station, since the trains are seldom completely filled. Trains are generally most busy during the start and conclusion of the weekend, i.e. Friday and Sunday evenings. Trains are typically extremely crowded just before and during big holidays such as Christmas/New Year’s and Easter. If you attempt to purchase for these days at a later date, you may discover that all of the inexpensive tickets have been sold out. Furthermore, the seat you book may be among the least desired, that is, facing backwards, without recline, and facing other passengers and sharing legroom.

Oslo-Bergen, Kristiansand-Bergen, Bergen-Trondheim-Bergen-Trondheim-Bergen-Trondheim-Bergen-Trondheim-Bergen A normal ticket entitles you to an average seat, a blanket, and earplugs. Sleeping chambers may be added for an additional fee of NOK750. If you order a sleeping compartment, you pay for the compartment rather than the bed: two persons, same price. This also implies that you will never be in the company of a stranger in your compartment.

For NOK90, you can upgrade any ordinary rail ticket to NSB Komfort, the equivalent of first class, which includes extra legroom, complimentary coffee and newspapers, and a power outlet. NSB Komfort coaches are usually the first or last coaches of a train, resulting in less through traffic and a calmer atmosphere.

The standard night train seats also feature a power outlet. In certain trains, there is even free Wi-Fi Internet access; just register (using any 8-digit number as the ‘phone number’).

Except for the route between Oslo and its airport, Norway does not have a high-speed rail infrastructure, unlike most of Continental Europe. Attempts to deploy high-speed trains are ongoing, but have so far failed. As a result, a trip between the two biggest cities, Bergen and Oslo, may take up to six and a half to seven and a half hours.

Many people travel everyday in eastern Norway, where cities are closer together, and as a result, many of these cities have more regular rail service, with hourly departures throughout the day. This comprises the cities of Stfold and Vestfold, as well as Gjvik, Hamar, and Lillehammer. Seating reservations are not offered on these trains in general, although it is still possible to upgrade to NSB Komfort.

If you go even closer to Oslo, there are local trains that run as often as every 30 minutes. Local trains do not have reserved seats, nor do they have a first class section. Local trains run between Bergen and Voss (and sometimes to Myrdal), Stavanger and Egersund, and in and around Trondheim.

Get Around - By boat

Car ferries are an essential component of the road network in coastal and fjord areas. In theory, the road extends onto the boat, such that the Fodnes-Mannheller ferry, for example, is part of national route 5. Prices and times vary depending on the length of the crossing and the volume of traffic; contact 177 for additional information, or look for information pamphlets and schedules at adjacent campgrounds. Ferries often carry information about other ferries in the area and along the same route. During the day, boats run every half hour along the major routes. Reservations are generally unnecessary; just drive to the ferry wharf and wait in line until the boat arrives. Foot passengers are also transported on car ferries. Tourists seldom have to bother about schedules on major highways since departures are frequent. However, most boats do not operate after midnight, or just every other hour on major crossings. Car ferries are known as “ferje” or “ferge” in Norway. The term “bt” refers to vessels that exclusively transport foot passengers (boat). To prevent misunderstanding, tourists should only refer to vehicle ferries when using the word ferry.

Stretches with a number of ferries are ideal for biking since the ferries are inexpensive for bikers and provide a well-deserved rest with a beautiful view. Except for the shortest crossings (10 minutes), ferries usually feature cafeterias that provide coffee, cold drinks, sandwiches, and some hot meals. Due to the many deep fjords and islands, driving in West Norway and Northern Norway is almost always (with a few exceptions) by ferry. Despite the fact that vehicle ferries are extremely dependable and have extra capacity, visitors should allow plenty of time for sections that include boats. Ferries with particularly lengthy voyages (many hours) or those traversing wide expanses of water are more likely to be delayed or cancelled.

In areas with a lot of fjords and islands, especially along the whole coast from Stavanger to Troms, a large network of catamaran express passenger boats (“hurtigbt”) shuttle between towns and cities, and link islands that are normally only accessible with difficulty. It should be noted that there is no common network of boats linking every town along the fjords and coast; thus, a transfer by bus or vehicle to the closest port may be required. Also, keep in mind that they are not ferries. Train service and pricing are similar. Check ahead of time if you want to bring a bicycle. Passengers may also be found in the inner reaches of Oslofjord.

The Hurtigruten coastal steamers, which travel down the Norwegian coast from Bergen to Kirkenes in five and a half days, are especially popular with visitors. Cabins are costly and required for multi-day trips, although deck tickets are less expensive, and Inter Rail offers a 50% discount. Prices are totaled for all charged components such as people, gasoline charge (about 1/30 of a person), bike (approximately 1/20 of a person), vehicle, and cabin (app. 125 percent of a person). Reservations are strongly advised for rooms and vehicles; on deck, there is typically adequate space for people and bikes.

Lakes, in general, do not offer public boat transportation; however, there are a few notable exceptions. The Randsfjorden lake is crossed by a single vehicle ferry. Skibladner, a 150-year-old steam boat, enables visitors to traverse Lake Mjsa the old-fashioned manner (at Gjvik and Hamar). The Telemark canal, Norway’s only true canal, transports tourists from the coast to deep interior through beautiful lakes and magnificent locks.

Get Around - By bus

An large network of express buses connects cities across Norway, including most national parks. The largest operators are NOR-WAY Bussekspress, Timekspressen, and Boreal Transport. Nettbuss also operates express services.

Lavprisekspressen provides low-cost tickets from Oslo to Trondheim (through Rros and the Dovre mountain range), as well as from Oslo to Kristiansand and Stavanger. If you’re fortunate, you may obtain a ticket for as low as NOK49, but most tickets cost between NOK199 and NOK299. The double decker buses are clean and contemporary, with complimentary Wi-Fi, coffee, and tea.

Bus timetables and frequency vary considerably, and seats may be restricted, so make your plans accordingly. For additional information, visit each operator’s website or use Rutebok.no’s comprehensive connection search, which is accessible in English, Norwegian, and German. It’s worth noting that certain mountain crossings are blocked throughout winter, and buses traversing them usually operate only from May to September.

Get Around - By taxi

Traveling by taxi in Norway may be extremely costly, and in most cities, using the bus, tram, or rail (or simply walking) is preferable. Taxis are usually safe as long as they are licensed (with a white taxi sign on the roof). Because there may be no or just one taxi vehicle in a hamlet, tourists should plan ahead of time.

Get Around - By car or motorcycle

Norway, like the rest of Europe, has right-hand traffic. The condition of Norwegian roads varies, although all public roads are asphalt. The majority of highways are two-lane divided, with a small motorway network surrounding Oslo. The general speed restriction is 80km/h, although speed is often reduced owing to road conditions. Driving in the winter requires specific equipment, and previous snow and ice expertise is strongly advised. During the winter, several of the most beautiful mountain passes, including Geiranger, Trollstigen, and Nordkapp (North Cape), are closed.

Driving is usually simple since traffic is quiet, and most drivers are disciplined and follow the rules, but mild speeding is frequent on highways. However, because of their numerous one-way streets, certain city centers (such as Bergen and Oslo) may be difficult to traverse for first-time visitors. Except for city centers and a few sections on major highways, traffic is usually low (notably E18 near Oslo). The E18, E6, and ring roads around or within Oslo may get crowded during morning and afternoon rush hours, as well as during weekend rush hours (Friday afternoon) out of Oslo. Gas is costly, with prices beginning at NOK14.50 per litre (approx. USD9.30 per gallon). In Norway, manual gearbox is considered standard and is present in the majority of private vehicles. Although most places have an excellent dependable bus service, renting a vehicle is extremely costly but may be necessary for easy access to some of the more remote areas.

  • Even during the day, headlights are required.
  • Off-roading is often prohibited. Vehicles must remain on public roadways.
  • Don’t drive if you’ve had a few drinks. Your blood alcohol content must not be more than 0.2. (or 0.02 percent ).
  • The rules are rigorously enforced, especially when it comes to drinking, speed, and overtaking.

Get Around - By bicycle

While riding a bicycle is one of the finest ways to see Norway’s landscapes, it may be a strenuous experience for people who are not physically strong. There are few bike routes, and most riders must share small roads with heavy vehicles. Bicyclists are seen differently by different people. While some cars show respect by slowing down and giving bicycles a wide berth, others demonstrate animosity by passing much too close and at far too fast. Cycling as a sport is growing in popularity in Norway, thanks in part to the success of Norwegian riders like as Thor Hushovd. Attitudes toward bicycle visitors vary, but are generally favorable. Hostels and camping grounds are usually excellent places to meet individuals who share your interests. Norwegians like to travel on well-equipped, sometimes costly, bicycles. In most cities, there are good bicycle stores.

There are many trip diaries available online. There are just a few authorized bike routes, mainly in major cities, and they are not completely linked. With the exception of highly inhabited regions, they may mostly be disregarded. While speed restrictions in Norway are relatively modest and the overwhelming majority of drivers are responsible and patient, the country does have its fair share of speeders and road hogs. When a freeway is constructed, the previous road is frequently re-designated as a bike path.

It is critical for bikers to be seen. To assist avoid accidents, highly visible safety jackets and flashing lights on bicycles are recommended.

Cycling throughout much of Norway may be physically demanding owing to steep ascents and strong winds. Lightweight and aerodynamic equipment should be used. On many hills, you’ll need a broad range of gears: a ratio of 39-27 for a strong cyclist without baggage or even 22-32 for a typical cyclist with luggage is required. When traveling for more than a few days, your brakes should be of excellent quality, and you’ll require extra brake pads. Because of the many tunnels, lighting is required. Because of the gusts, it is best to avoid wearing large panniers and loose-fitting clothing. For those who are familiar with this kind of bicycle, a lightweight recumbent should be regarded as a serious alternative, particularly while riding south to north.

The roads are usually well-paved, but gravel roads are sometimes necessary. You won’t need suspension or grooved tyres if you don’t go off-road.

Due to the lengthy distances and many hills, bicycle visitors should plan ahead of time and be prepared to take public transportation for the less fascinating or challenging sections. Passenger boats (including longer tourist ferries) may occasionally be utilized to bypass tunnels, mountain passes, or less attractive sections, particularly in western and northern Norway.

Ferries accept bikes for free or at a low cost. On trains, you must pay a fee. Some buses do not accept bikes, but in all other instances, bikes will only be carried if there is sufficient room (no charge or children’s fee).

It is allowed to pitch a tent anyplace in Norway (as well as Finland and Sweden) for one night. This must not be too close to someone’s house or in any other inappropriate location. This is especially useful for bikers, who may roll their bikes into the forest at a good location. It is more difficult for vehicle drivers to accomplish this since it is difficult to locate a decent parking spot near a suitable tent location (car parking is not permitted on private roads e.g. in the forest).

Tunnels

Special consideration should be paid to tunnels, since many of them, as well as a few highways, are off-limits to bicycles. Even if motorcycles are permitted, certain lengthy and tight tunnels are not advised. A tunnel map may be available online. A map of the prohibited paths is also available at the tourist information. When hiring a bike, you may discuss the route you wish to travel with the person who lends you the bike. In many instances, signposts direct bicycles and pedestrians around closed roads or tunnels. Some high-speed tunnels feature bus stations near the entrance where you may board special buses outfitted with bike racks to carry you through the tunnel. Buses typically operate regularly on major roadways. Some subsea tunnels are also very steep. If you must ride through a tunnel, utilize lights and safety reflectors (such as reflector jackets or vests). In tunnels, Norwegian drivers do not slow down.

Caution: Don’t underestimate the quantity and length of tunnels, especially in western Norway. For example, on the E16 between Bergen and Lrdal, 30–50% of the route is under tunnel. Tunnels often replace older roads that are accessible for cyclists and pedestrians in the summer or for local traffic all year. To locate your route, ask locals or carefully study the map.

Get Around - By thumb

Hitchhiking in Norway is ideal on roads from Oslo to Trondheim (E6), Oslo to Kristiansand (E18), and Kristiansand to Stavanger (E19) (E39). However, they are now highways near cities, and it is no longer feasible to stand on the road itself. Hitchhiking is uncommon in Norway. If hitchhiking is ever safe, it is fairly safe in Norway; nevertheless, getting a ride may be tough and slow.

When waiting, stand in a location where cars can see you and have a safe chance to stop. Ferry terminals and major gasoline stations are also excellent locations to start. Stretches with modest speed limits (50–60 km/h) are usually preferable to high-speed roads since vehicles find it easier to come to a stop there. Heavy truck drivers, in particular, like to maintain a constant pace. Roadside cafeterias where truckers stop for a break may be an excellent location to request a ride.

From large cities, the following are good hitchhiking spots:

Oslo to:

Bergen and the mountains—if you’re feeling adventurous, try Oksenyveien (see Kristiansand), but keep in mind that most vehicles continue south to Drammen. Rather, take the Timekspressen bus from Hnefoss to Sollihgda.

As highway construction proceeds, access to Trondheim and the north-east becomes increasingly difficult. Inside Oslo, the best bet is bus station Ulvenkrysset. Take the metro to Helsfyr, then transfer to bus 76, 401, or 411 for one stop. To escape local traffic, go farther outside to the Shell petrol station at Skedsmovollen, which is served by buses 845 and 848 from Lillestrm railway station.

Kristiansand and the south: Few places beat the Oksenyveien bus stop, which is served by buses 151, 251, and 252. Cars going towards Hnefoss and the mountains/Bergen may drop you off at Sandvika. Display a sign.

Sweden along E6: All highway, except near the center. Buses 81 and 83 stop at Nedre Bekkelaget. Sweden along E18: You might attempt Nedre Bekkelaget, but because most traffic is heading towards Strömstad and Gothenburg, you should take the Timekspressen bus 9 to the stensj stop, right after the Holstad roundabout.

Bergen to:

Oslo – Take a local train to Arna and try near the Arnanipa tunnel opening. North – Take the bus to Vgsbotn in Arna and attempt hitching a ride near the Hjelle bakery. To the south, take the light rail to Nesttun, then any bus for three stops to Skjoldskiftet. Take the E39 exit and go south.

Trondheim to Oslo: Take bus 46 to City Syd, then travel under the E6 and try your luck at the City Syd E6 station. If the city tax on buses is extended beyond the Klett roundabout, you should proceed to the bus stop immediately after the roundabout and try your luck on any Melhus-bound bus.

Molde/Lesund – Take any Orkanger bus to the stop just after the Klett roundabout. Trondheim city tax will soon be extended to Brsa, at which point you should remain on the bus as long as you can and catch a ride from there. North – Take the city bus 7 or 66 to the Travbanen station. Sweden – To ensure that you only hitch on vehicles heading into Sweden, take a train or bus to Stjrdal and hitch on the E14.

Looking courteous and pleasant is an excellent technique in general. Asking vehicles in line at a ferry dock (if traveling along the coast) is a great idea that may lead you very far. It’s not unheard of for people to hitch rides from Molde to Bergen, but don’t count on it.

In general, you can travel to anyplace from anywhere by thumb, but it may take a long in certain areas.

Destinations in Norway

Regions in Norway

  • East Norway
    Østlandet, literally southeast, the region around the capital Oslo, is the most densely populated area in Norway, with the bulk of the population residing here.
  • Trøndelag
    Middle Norway, often known as Trøndelag, is home to the historic city of Trondheim.
  • Northern Norway
    also with magnificent fjords, the midnight sun, and the old Sami culture, 50% of land, 10% of people
  • Agder
    With its smooth shoreline, it is also known as Sørlandet or South Norway.
  • West Norway
    Vestlandet is renowned for its fjords and Bergen.
  • Svalbard
    A Barents Sea island north of Norway known for its severe environment, coal mining, and satellite sites. Except for northeasternmost European Russia, polar bears are found exclusively in Europe.
  • Jan Mayen
    A barren, hilly, and volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean, partly covered in glaciers and dotted with moss and grass. Admission to the military sector is only granted with specific authorization. During the winter, it is inaccessible.

Cities in Norway

  • Oslo is Norway’s capital and biggest city, featuring museums of national significance, a gorgeous location, and a vibrant nightlife and cultural scene.
  • Bergen, Norway’s second biggest city, was formerly the capital of Norway. It is an ancient Hanseatic trade center with a rich culture and spectacular landscape. Wonderfully charming wooden houses, a breathtaking mountain backdrop, a diverse nightlife, and plenty of atmosphere. This is your entry point to the western fjords. With an average of 250 days of rain each year, the city has been called “the rainiest city in Europe.” Bring an umbrella with you.
  • Bodø is the entry point to the beautiful Lofoten islands. And the location of Saltstraumen, the world’s most powerful maelstrom.
  • Drammen – Once regarded as an industrial and filthy town, recent renovations have transformed Drammen into a pleasant day excursion from Oslo..
  • Fredrikstad – A beautiful ancient town distinguishes itself from the rest of the fairly unremarkable metropolis. It’s ideal for a day excursion from Oslo.
  • Kristiansand is the South’s joyful capital.
  • Stavanger is Norway’s fourth biggest city and third largest urban area. Because of the oil industry, it is commercially significant. The center wooden and cobblestone area is one of Norway’s most beautiful areas. You may see one of Norway’s medieval churches, as well as Iron Age houses, stone age caverns, and places where Viking monarchs used to gather at Ullandhaugtrnet. Erik the Red was born in Stavanger.
  • Tromsø – A beautiful, contemporary cathedral with no polar bears wandering the streets.
  • Trondheim – Trondheim is well-known for its magnificent cathedral (Nidarosdomen). Beautiful riverfront wharfs, wooden buildings, and Norway’s finest student nightlife add to the allure of Trondheim.

Other destinations in Norway

  • Atlanterhavsveien – A beautiful route with bridges over islands and skerries on the Atlantic’s edge.
  • Hardangervidda – Norway’s biggest national park, located on a highland plateau.
  • Jostedalsbreen – The Jostedalsbreen glacier is the biggest on the European continent.
  • Jotunheimen – Jotunheimen is a magnificent environment that is home to Norway’s tallest mountains.
  • Lofoten – Enjoy the midnight sun in this historic fishing region in the northern province of Lofoten, which is surrounded by islands and mountains.
  • Nordkapp – This cliff overlooks the Barents Sea and is the northernmost point of continental Europe.
  • Sognefjorden – The Sognefjord has glaciers, mountains, and beautiful towns, to name a few attractions. The enormous Sognefjorden system includes Flm and Nærøyfjorden (both of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites).

Accommodation & Hotels in Norway

A single hotel room (always book ahead for weekdays) should cost around NOK800 and up (special offers are common; look for them), but you can find reasonably priced lodgings in camping huts (NOK300-600, space for entire family), mountain cabins (NOK150-300 per person), youth hostels (NOK150-250 per person), and so on. The majority of them will need you to prepare your own meals, pack your own bedsheets, and wash your clothes before departing.

Consider renting an apartment, a home, or a high-quality chalet for longer visits (one week or more). Several organizations provide reservations for homes or cabins owned by farmers or other residents. This kind of lodging is often more fascinating than a traditional hotel.

Things To See in Norway

Mountains, fjords, islands, glaciers, waterfalls, woods, and tiny settlements abound in rural Norway. Natural and cultural attractions in Norway often combine, such as an outstanding mountain route surrounded by beautiful landscapes or old stave churches nestled in the most tranquil environment.

Natural

Norway offers a plethora of waterfalls of all sizes and shapes. Norway is home to a significant number of the world’s highest waterfalls, especially in the central and western highlands. Many waterfalls are unexpectedly accessible since they are often located near major highways or railroads, and others drop straight into huge fjords. Other noteworthy attractions include Nordkapp, Europe’s northernmost point, the island of Lofoten, the Jostedalsbreen glacier, and the Jotunheimen mountains.

Fjords

Norway’s well-known fjords may be found across the nation and are not restricted to a single area or place. All major cities are located on the banks of a fjord. While the most beautiful fjords are less inhabited, the majority of them are readily accessible by road. The fjords expand Norway’s coastline from 3000km to 30,000km, and islands add another 70,000km, making it the world’s most complicated shoreline. National Geographic Traveler has named Norway’s fjords the greatest location in the world twice.

Norway has well over 1,000 unique (named) fjords. To the far end of the enormous Sognefjord, which is around 200 kilometers long, there are a number of arms, each roughly the size of New Zealand’s renowned Milford Sound. Some fjords are extremely narrow, such as Geirangerfjord and Nyfjord, while others, like Boknafjord or Trondheimsfjord, are vast, like bays or contained seas. Fjords are the dominating geographical characteristics in most areas of Norway; traditional districts are frequently defined by proximity to a major fjord, and the district or region often has the same name as the dominant fjord. Sogn, for example, is the region around Sognefjord. Fjords are often so deep and/or broad that they can only be traversed by ferry (especially in western Norway) (a few daring bridges or tunnels have been built). Fjords are still an impediment to roads and railroads today; only cruise passengers may travel through these enormous passageways.

In reality, there is very little continuous land in vast areas of Norway, instead a labyrinth of islands and peninsulas. These peninsulas are often linked to the real mainland via (thin) isthmuses. These isthmuses provide as a shortcut between fjords and have historically served as key transportation routes. Even today, major highways often traverse such isthmuses. In many instances, such isthmuses are located between a saltwater fjord and a freshwater lake (essentially an extension of the lake), such as Nordfjordeid (“Nordfjord isthmus”), which is located between Nordfjord and Hornindal lake.

Fjord regions

  • Western Fjords: The most spectacular and well-known fjords are mostly found in West Norway, roughly from Stavanger to Molde. Although the aspect of the western fjords varies somewhat, they are always very narrow, bordered by sheer rock walls, towering mountains, and quite deep (particularly the middle and innermost parts). These classic western fjord characteristics are particularly noticeable in the easternmost section, where the fjords meet with the highest mountains (such as Jotunheimen). Melting glacier water flows into large fjords like Sognefjorden. The western Norwegian fjords (represented by the fjords of Geiranger and Nry) are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Nordland and Troms: These counties also have natural landscapes with mountain peaks, islands, and spectacular fjords. The Saltstraumen, the world’s strongest tidal current, is created by the short strait entering Skjerstadfjorden near Bod.
  • Middle Norway: Trøndelag fjords, particularly the huge Trondheimsfjord, are less spectacular yet nevertheless dominate the terrain. The Trondheimsfjord connects the huge island of Hitra to the inland town of Steinkjer. This fjord’s center section resembles a tiny contained ocean.
  • East Norway: The fjords in the greater Oslo area, particularly the Oslofjord, are especially important to the geography of these lowlands and flatlands, as is the Trondheimsfjord. The Drammensfjord is a vital branch of the vast Oslofjord. There are no saltwater fjords in East Norway’s interior, but there are many lakes, many of which resemble western fjords and are therefore referred to as “fjords,” such as the long, narrow Randsfjorden, which is a lake.
  • South Norway contains a few fjords, although they are minor in comparison to the wild fjords of the west and the vast Trondheimsfjord.
  • Eastern Finnmark’s fjords are much less spectacular, yet these long and broad fjords dominate the terrain.

Fjord-lakes

Many freshwater lakes in the interior are referred to as fjords, such as Randsfjorden and Tyrifjorden; even Lake Mjsa is referred to as “the fjord” by locals. These lakes have an extended form and are usually deep, comparable to saltwater fjords. Mjsa, for example, is 450 meters deep, such that even if the water top is 120 meters, the majority of the lake is really below sea level. Several lakes in Western Norway are really extensions of the main fjord, and several were formerly part of the saltwater fjord itself. The surface of the extremely deep Hornindal lake, for example, is just 50m above sea level and is separated from Nordfjord by a narrow isthmus. These western lakes are often so similar to fjords that only the absence of salt distinguishes them.

Northern lights and midnight sun

If you want to view the northern lights, CNN ranks Troms as the finest location to do so. Tromso is especially worth a visit in the summer to view the midnight sun. Of course, both may be enjoyed anywhere in the country’s north. Northern lights are most often north of the arctic circle (from Bod and farther north). Because the midnight sun and the midnight sun occur in the same region, both phenomena cannot be witnessed at the same time. Because the northern lights are not limited to a particular place, the only requirements are a dark night and a clear sky. Clear skies are associated with chilly weather, so tourists should dress warmly, especially from November to March. Midsummer midnight sun and, more significantly, 24 hour daylight occur during midsummer north of the arctic circle – the farther north, the longer the midnight sun season. There is a similar time in midwinter when the sun is below the horizon and there is no actual daylight (so called polar night).

Cultural

While most visitors do not choose Norway because they want to stroll about in towns with museums, monuments, parks, streetside cafés, or expensive restaurants, this is an option in Oslo and some other cities. Simply going about in Norway by car, boat, rail, bike, or foot typically results in spectacular scenery. Speaking of transportation, Norway is also the place to go if you want to actually take a train trip to Hell!

The following are the country’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • The rock paintings of Alta
  • The Vega archipelago
  • Urnes stave church in Luster
  • The mining town of Røros
  • Bergen’s waterfront, Bryggen

While Norway’s cultural history is mainly visible in rural regions, the country’s cities also have fascinating cultural attractions, both ancient and modern. Cities with noteworthy architecture and histories include Bergen, Lesund, Kongsberg, Rros, Trondheim, and others. Norway’s cities also include interesting contemporary architecture, particularly in the capital Oslo, which has iconic structures such as the new Opera House and the University Library, as well as the new disputed downtown skyline.

Except for the local church, there are few, if any, colossal structures outside of major cities. Norway lacked an aristocracy capable of erecting palaces or magnificent manors. Wooden structures, including most churches, predominate in rural regions. Around 30 unique stave churches (from a possible 1000) and approximately 100 stone churches survived the Middle Ages. The majority of churches constructed during the Protestant Reformation are simple wooden “long” churches (rectangular shape), although there are a variety of different forms available, including the distinctive cruciform (cross shape) design with a central tower. Only a few churches have the unusual Y-shape. The octagonal form was utilized for a greater number of churches, and many landmark buildings in this mostly indigenous design can be seen in Trndelag, Mre og Romsdal, and Nordland, among other places. Also church interiors are barren protestant in style, however there are many churches with ornate interiors such as tolepainted walls, magnificent wood carved altar items, and pulpit designs. Many churches are log structures, and the logs are typically visible on the interior. The intricate architecture of stave churches is clearly evident.

Cityscapes

Oslo was destroyed by fire in 1624 and rebuilt entirely in stone and brick (in a grid plan), and its fast growth in the 1800s distinguishes it from most other towns. Trondheim and Kristiansand were built in a rigorous “military” grid plan, while Bergen and many other timber towns to the south developed naturally into beautiful labyrinths. Lesund burnt down in 1904 and was rebuilt in an unusual art nouveau style (Jugendstil). Molde, Kristiansund, ndalsnes, Steinkjer, Namsos, Bod, Narvik, Hammerfest, and Kirkenes were all devastated during WWII and rebuilt in a less attractive post-war style, but Kristiansund is a noteworthy example of ambitious urban design. These World War II “burned towns” also house the first bold, unconventional church design.

Wooden towns

The extensive use of wood as a construction material, even in the heart of major towns such as Bergen, Stavanger, and Trondheim, and the pleasant environment produced by the numerous small structures are typical of Norway. Some wooden towns have been destroyed by fire, such as Lesund (which was destroyed by fire in 1904 and rebuilt in the local Jugend style) and Steinkjer (bombing second world war). During the conflict, Molde, Kristiansund, Bod, Narvik, and the whole of Finnmark were devastated. The bombs had little effect on Levanger or Trondheim, and their timber beauty has been preserved. The wooden village of Rros is included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lillehammer, Skudeneshavn, Risr, Arendal, Tvedestrand, Kristiansand, Farsund, Flekkefjord, Lrdal, Brevik, and Son village are among the other towns with noteworthy wooden architecture. The wooden villages of Norway’s south/southwest coast are the country’s equivalent of “pueblos blancos.” The capital, Oslo, is not typical in that the inner city is dominated by concrete and masonry buildings, with just a few clusters of timber homes in the city center. Fire is a continuous danger to these historic towns and neighborhoods, and some of their history is destroyed each year.

Things To Do in Norway

Hiking

Hiking, g p tur, is a national activity in Norway, ranging from simple walks in Oslo’s city forest to mountain climbs in Jotunheimen or Troms. Approximately 30% of Norway is covered in forest, more than 50% of Norway’s total land is barren mountain (little or no vegetation), and just 5% includes farms and other types of built-up regions (houses, roads, towns etc). A handful of places have been designated as national parks, but the majority of the country is equally appealing and accessible to the general population. The ski season lasts from mid-November to late April, whereas the bare ground hiking season lasts from mid-summer to late September. It is important to note that the hiking season changes significantly depending on location (and from year to year): Deep snow may last in the high mountains until July, while trekking season begins in the lower regions and along the shore in early spring. Visitors should be warned that the tree line in Norway is considerably lower than in continental Europe and the US Rockies, resulting in high alpine conditions (no vegetation, glaciers, extremely rugged surface may start even at 1000 to 1500 metres above sea level).

Even in the summer, proper mountain gear is required for treks in the uplands. A good pair of shoes is important for a successful trek. Hiking boots with ankle support and a strong sole are recommended for tougher routes and terrain, especially at high elevations (above 1000 to 1500 meters), where trails often traverse broad screes or blockfields.

Travelers in Norway have a right to access, which means they may camp freely in most locations for a couple of days as long as they are not on cultivated ground and are at least 150m away from homes and farm buildings. Leave no sign of your presence and recycle your trash.

Den Norske Turistforening (DNT) (The Norwegian Mountain Touring Association) maintains numerous staffed and self-service mountain cabins in Norway, designates mountain routes, provides maps and route information, guided tours, and a variety of additional services to mountain walkers.

Mountainous regions are popular among Norwegians as well as visitors. Tourists may climb Galdhpiggen (2469m), Norway’s highest peak, or go on a musk ox safari in Dovrefjell.

Google Maps may only be used for preliminary planning and not for on-the-ground navigation. Try the Atlas.no website, which corresponds with their excellent paper hiking maps. Hikers in the woods should carry a compass and a precise topographical map 1:50,000 (1:75,000 may also be used). GPS (satelite navigation) is meant to complement, not replace, conventional map and compass navigation.

Skiing

Cross-country skiing and alpine skiing are popular winter activities, and the biggest regions, such as Trysil, Hafjell, and Hemsedal, compete well with the Alps at lower elevations. Telemark skiing is also popular. (This is the birthplace of cross-country skiing.) Other significant ski resorts are Voss, Geilo, and Oppdal. Norway has over 200 alpine ski resorts and numerous cross-country groomed paths, some with lights to enable exercising in the winter nights.

Winter sports destinations usually open in early December, while cross-country skiing may begin in certain uplands as early as November. Around Oslo, there is a huge park suitable for cross-country skiing, as well as slopes for alpine skiing, all within walking distance of the metro and city buses. There are alpine ski facilities at Stryn, Galdhpiggen, and Folgefonna that are only open in the summer (May–September), providing unique possibilities for alpine skiing in T-shirt and short trousers. Backcountry skiing is popular in late winter and early spring, and the season on the upper plateaus/central mountains lasts until late May.

Cycling

In Norway, you can rent a bicycle almost everywhere. Cycling routes are typically found around larger cities; such trips may be found at Cycle tourism in Norway. Some routes and tunnels are off-limits to bicycles because they are dangerous. Some municipal landfills may have a designated area where you may pick up abandoned bicycles (and other items) for free. Used bicycles are sometimes available in charity thrift shops (FRETEX/ELEVATOR/NMS Gjenbruk).

Swimming

There are few sandy beaches, and the water is usually chilly, both in salt and fresh water. However, certain fjords, such as sections of Oslofjord, may become delightfully warm in late summer. The shore is mainly rocky, but some places have lengths of softly rounded, polished slabs of rock known as “svaberg,” which dry fast and warm up in the sun and are a favorite summer hangout.

Music

Norway has a thriving folk, classical, and popular music culture, and is particularly well-known for heavy metal music.

Food & Drinks in Norway

Food in Norway

Cuisine

While Norwegian eating habits have grown more cosmopolitan in recent decades, traditional Norwegian “farm” cuisine is still commonly consumed. It is prepared from whatever can grow in the northern environment, can be preserved for a year until fresh crops grow, and has enough energy to perform hard labor. Regional variations in traditional cuisine are enormous, and what one Norwegian considers to be “typical traditional” may be completely unknown to another. Variations of yeasted and unyeasted bread and other kinds of bakery, porridges, soups, creative uses of potato, salted and smoked meat, and fresh, salted, or smoked fish are typical examples. Dried cod (trrfisk) and salted cod (klippfisk) are mainstays of coastal towns in the west and north, and may be seen drying on outdoor racks throughout the spring and summer. Norway’s national meal is frikl, a stewed casserole of lamb meat and cabbage. Other specialties include lutefisk (lyefish), which is prepared from dried/salted fish that has been processed in lye, and potato dumplings served with salt meat (raspeball) or combined with fish (blandeball). In Western Norway, sheep’s head (smalahove) and dried mutton ribs (pinnekjtt) are typically offered before or during Christmas.

Finer traditional cuisine is often centered on hunted animals or fresh seafood. Steak, medallions, and meat balls from game, deer, reindeer, and elk are popular worldwide meals, as are fresh, smoked, and fermented salmon variations, as well as a variety of other fish items. Other unique additions to international cuisine include lukket valntt (marzipan-covered whipped cream cake) and lukket valntt (marzipan-covered whipped cream cake). Cheese of different kinds is widespread, but one especially Norwegian favorite is brun geitost (brown goat-cheese), a mild sweet cheese that, in color, texture, and flavor, has an uncanny resemblance to smooth peanut butter.

Today, Norwegians eat a lot of sliced bread for virtually every meal except supper, while hot meal recipes may be found almost everywhere in the globe, including, of course, the traditional kitchen, but seldom the most extreme instances. Lunch is typically bread and snacks rather than a hot meal, but this is made up for by eating properly at dinner. The majority of Norwegians do not eat out for lunch and instead have a fast meal at work.

Norway maintains high food import taxes, particularly on meat, dairy goods, and alcoholic drinks. Norwegians who reside near Sweden or Finland often cross the border to purchase these items.

Norwegians are also renowned for purchasing a large quantity of frozen pizzas at low rates at any grocery shop.

Places to eat

Eating out is costly, with fast food beginning at 50 kr and sit-down dinners in a good restaurant often exceeding 200 kr or more for a main dish. Even a quick sandwich and a cup of coffee at a petrol stop may set you back NOK70 (€9, USD11.50). Self-catering is one method to save money, since youth hostels and guesthouses often offer kitchens for their guests. Supermarkets and food shops are not difficult to come across; even in the tiniest town, there is typically more than one. Rimi, REMA 1000, ICA, and Joker are the biggest chains. Breakfast is often substantial and buffet-style, so overindulging at breakfast and skipping lunch is a possibility. Purchase or carry a lunchbox before attending breakfast, since most larger hotels will enable you to fill it up for free from the breakfast buffet for later use.

Look no farther than the local grill or convenience shop for a cheap fast snack Norwegian-style, which will serve up a sausage (pølse) or hot dog (grillpølse) in either a hot dog bun (brød) or wrapped in a flat potato bread (lompe) for about 20-30 kr. However, if you purchase in the incorrect (read: improper) locations, costs may skyrocket above 50kr. Optional toppings include pickled cucumber (sylteagurk), fried onion pieces (stekt løk), and shrimp salad, in addition to ketchup and mustard (rekesalat). To get the most bang for your buck, get a (kebab I pita), which is lamb meat grilled on a spit and then fried to order, served with veggies in a pita bread. This tastes excellent, is quite filling, and can be purchased in downtown Oslo for as cheap as NOK40. Outside, you’ll have to rely on your grillpølse.

Vegetarians

There are very few vegetarian dishes on the menus of Norwegian cuisine restaurants, although they will create anything if requested, with variable degrees of success. Peppes Pizza, Dolly Dimple’s, SubWay, and Esso/On the Run are just a handful of the few store/restaurant brands that always offer a vegetarian choice (spinach panini).

Allergies and diets

If you have lactose sensitivity or a gluten allergy, Peppe’s Pizza, Dolly Dimple’s, Subway, and Burger King are all excellent options. However, if you prefer to dine someplace a bit nicer, asking the restaurant’s maître d’hôtel is usually a smart idea. Even though it is not on the menu, they may be able to accommodate you in certain circumstances.

Because food laws in Norway are very stringent, the ingredients for whatever you purchase are always written on the packaging, and if you ask, you will always be informed what is in the meal you order.

Food safety

Norway has excellent food safety standards. Salmonella is very uncommon in the United States when compared to other nations, and health authorities check eateries on a regular basis. Tap water is generally quite good as well; Voss water from Vatnestrm in Aust-Agder is actually sold overseas, especially to the United States.

Drinks in Norway

Norway is often referred to as a “dry” nation because alcohol is expensive, with a glass of wine or beer in a restaurant costing NOK60 or more. Lower costs may frequently be found in cities and towns with a large student population, such as Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, and Troms. Inquire with young people on the street or at your place of residence about where to go. Beer may be purchased in supermarkets, but wine and heavier alcoholic drinks must be obtained at state-owned liquor shops (Vinmonopolet). The Vinmonopolet is a monopoly, but it maintains excellent quality and a diverse product line; the best items are reasonably priced. The high cost of alcohol, on the other hand, does not deter the residents from having a good time. They are often seen drinking and having a good time at neighborhood street parties and on their porches.

Because of the high costs, the custom of holding vorspiel and nachspiel before going out is extremely popular in Norway. The terms come from German and may be rendered as pre- and post-party. On weekends, it is fairly uncommon for Norwegians to meet at a friend’s home and not depart until after twelve o’clock in the evening. So, if you’ve witnessed Norwegian drinking culture elsewhere and are surprised by an empty bar/club at ten o’clock, contact a Norwegian buddy and ask where the vorspiel is. (If that individual is one of the numerous Swedes living in Norway, vorspiel would be foreplay – they would say foreparty.) It’s going to be a lot of fun. Clubs tend to fill up around the time of midnight. However, this is mainly true on weekends; throughout the week, you’ll frequently see Norwegians lounging at bars, having a few beers or a bottle of wine.

In Norway, you must be at least 18 years old to buy beer or wine, and at least 20 years old to buy spirits with an alcohol concentration of 22% or more.

Drinking in public is technically illegal. This rule is very severe, and it even extends to your own balcony if other people can see you! Fortunately, the rule is seldom enforced (for example, instances of someone getting fined on their own balcony are very uncommon), and Norwegians do indeed drink in parks. There have been demands to change the outdated legislation, and there has lately been a media debate: most people appear to think that drinking in parks is OK as long as people have a nice time and stay quiet. However, if you disturb others while inebriated, or if a police officer is in a foul mood, you may be ordered to throw away your alcohol and, in the worst-case situation, punished. Drinking openly on the street is certainly still regarded somewhat impolite, and it is more likely to draw police notice than a picnic in a park, therefore it is discouraged. Of course, having a glass of wine on the sidewalk at a business that legally sells alcohol is not an issue.

If you’re intoxicated, avoid peeing in big cities like Oslo; penalties for public urination may reach NOK10,000 (USD1,750)! However, urinating at a spot where no one can see you, such as a few yards into the woods, is usually not an issue. You should also be cautious about public drunkenness, particularly in the capital, Oslo. If the authorities believe you are disturbing peace and order in a tiny town, they will not hesitate to lock you up for the night.

All alcohol with a volume percentage of less than 4.75 percent may be sold in ordinary stores in Norway. This implies that good beer may be found all over the area. The cost of imported beer varies, although it is generally costly (except Danish and Dutch beers brewed in Norway on licence like Heineken and Carlsberg). Beer shopping hours are strictly enforced: Every weekday at 20:00 (8PM) and every day before holidays at 18:00 (6PM) (incl Sundays). Because the sale hours are set by the local council, they may change, however these are the most recent times set by law. This implies that the beer must be PAID FOR BEFORE THIS TIME. If you don’t pay, the person behind the counter will take your drink and say, “Sorry buddy, too late!” On Sunday, you may only purchase alcohol at bars/pubs/restaurants.

You’ll need to locate a Vinmonopolet branch if you want strong beer, wine, or hard alcohol. The state store offers a fantastic selection of beverages, however they are generally exorbitantly priced. Table wines are often more costly than in almost any other nation. Expect to pay NOK80-90 for a good “affordable” wine. However, since taxation is dependent on the amount of alcohol per bottle rather than the wholesale cost, more rare wines may frequently be found at comparable cheaper rates than in private venues in other countries. Vinmonpolet is open Monday through Wednesday until 17:00, Thursday through Friday until 18:00, and Saturday until 15:00.

Many car-borne tourists (as well as Norwegians on shopping excursions to Sweden and Finland) bring alcohol into Norway, although there are import limits for private use; 1 litre of liquor and 3 litres of beer are permitted without paying hefty taxes.

Beers

The most common brands found in pubs are industrial lagers from Ringnes, Hansa, Borg, CB, Mack, Aass, and Frydenlund (accompanied by a vast array of imported drinks). However, in the past 10 years, a slew of microbreweries and craft brewers have made locally produced beer of all kinds and, in many cases, of excellent quality accessible. For example, Ngne, gir, Haandbryggeriet, Kinn, 7 Fjell, and many more. Beer from small or speciality breweries may also be found at pubs or cafés such as Mikrobryggeriet (Bogstadveien Oslo), Lorry’s (Parkveien, Oslo), Grünerlkka Brygghus (Oslo) or Beer Palace (Aker Brygge, Oslo), GRI (Flm), Trondhjem Mikrobryggeri (Trondheim), and Christianssand Brygghus ( (Kristiansand).

Aquavit

Norwegian akevitt, a distilled beverage with approximately 40% alcohol content, differs from other Nordic and German aquavits in that it is always produced from potatoes and matured in old sherry barrels. Although the recipes are kept secret, most Norwegian aquavits are flavored with caraway and anise. There are at least 27 distinct Norwegian aquavits, each suited for various types of food, beverages, or as an accompaniment. Aquavit is particularly popular with traditional Christmas foods. Lysholm Linie (a nice all-round aquavit to go with not too heavy food), Liten Linie (with salted and smoked meat), Gammel Opland (all-round, especially good with traditional lutefisk), and Simers Taffel (to go with herring) are the classics; if you enjoy the taste, you should also try Gilde Non Plus Ultra (as avec). The “Linie” aquavits have really crossed the equator twice while maturing!

Money & Shopping in Norway

Currency

The Norwegian crown (norske krone) NOK is the currency of Norway. It is often shortened as kr or kr., although on price tickets, only the amount is displayed. A 1/100th krone is referred to as re. When crossing borders, be sure to distinguish the Norwegian krone (NOK) from the Swedish (SEK) or Danish (DKK) krone. The exchange rate between the Scandinavian currencies is about one to one. In September 2014, the exchange rate was about NOK8.24 to one euro. Euros are usually not accepted in stores, with the exception of certain airports and international transportation (flights, ferries).

Coins are available in denominations of one, five, ten, and twenty kroner. Paper notes are available in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 kroner. While price tags still contain re, for example, NOK9.99, since there are no coins smaller than 1 kroner, prices are rounded.

Banking

Minibank ATMs are used in Norway. In metropolitan regions, it is easy to find an ATM machine. Euros, dollars, British pounds, Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian kroner may be withdrawn at major airports and Oslo Central Station. Almost all shops accept major credit cards such as MasterCard and Visa (carry your passport/license driver’s with you, since you will be asked to identify yourself while using a credit card).

Costs

Norway is an expensive destination for tourists. While it is feasible to travel in Norway on a tight budget, some caution is advised. Because labor is expensive, everything that may be considered a “service” will be more expensive than you anticipate. Because the nation is vast and the distances are lengthy, travel expenses may be prohibitively expensive, therefore a train or plane ticket can save you a lot of money.

As a general rule, living on less than NOK500/day will be tough, even if you stay in hostels and self-cater, with NOK1000/day allowing for a more comfortable mid-range lifestyle and more than NOK2000/day required for nice hotels and restaurants.

When purchasing alcohol or cigarettes, use caution. It will almost likely cost more than you anticipate. In a bar or restaurant, a 400 or 500mL beer will cost about NOK60, while a 500mL can of 4.7 percent beer in a supermarket would cost around NOK25. Cigarettes cost about 100 kr for a pack of 20, while a bottle of 500mL Coke costs around NOK20 in stores. On the plus side, Norway boasts high-quality tap water. Purchasing bottled water is both useless and prohibitively costly.

Due to labor expenses, fast food outlets such as McDonald’s and Burger King are also more costly in the United States than in most other nations. A big BigMac menu will cost you about NOK90, as would a Double Whopper Cheese meal. Also, bear in mind that most bakeries, fast food chains, and other kinds of eateries that provide takeaway charge more if you eat it at the restaurant than if you take it with you owing to VAT rate variations.

If you are a little frugal with your spending, a daily budget of about NOK1,500 (€190) per day is not out of the question.

You may save money by bringing your own materials. Be aware of Norway’s stringent border rules, which allow a maximum of 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco, 1 litre of hard alcohol and 1 1/2 litre of wine and 2 litres of beer OR 3 litres of wine and 2 litres of beer OR 5 litres of beer. Tobacco, alcohol, and meat will all be more costly than usual. Vegetables, flour, baby items, vehicle supplies (oil, window wiper fluid, and so on), and clothing will be (nearly) the same, if not cheaper, as in neighboring nations.

Many Norwegians who live near the borders with Sweden, Finland, or Russia go there to buy food since the prices are considerably lower. While most visitors will not be able to enter Russia owing to Russia’s onerous visa requirements, those visiting regions near the Swedish or Finnish borders may explore this alternative before venturing further, since there are no border checkpoints between Norway and Sweden or Finland. Sweden and Finland are relatively sparsely inhabited along the Norwegian border, with the exception of the border regions near Oslo. There are still businesses along the border that would not exist without Norway.

Tipping

The advice has not been widely used in the past, but it is becoming more popular as a result of outside influence. Tipping should be offered solely as a genuine expression of gratitude for the service provided.

Waiters in Norway, like in the rest of Europe, are not as reliant on client tips as they are in the United States since they are highly compensated. Tipping, on the other hand, is not uncommon at mid- to high-end cafés and restaurants, but only if you believe you have been served properly. Even though there is a service charge at restaurants, rounding up is the standard, and 10% is considered kind. Outside of restaurants and bars, it is not customary to tip, although in circumstances where change is frequent, it is courteous to leave the change (for example, taxis). Tipping taxi drivers is customary if you spend more than NOK200, but you will get no response from the driver if you do not tip, thus this may be a novel experience for American and English visitors. Tipping is never considered impolite, although not tipping is seldom frowned upon.

Money exchange

Money may be exchanged at most banks near tourist information offices, at the post office, or through an ATM in local currency. However, in certain areas, banks do not accept cash, thus the only option to convert money is through post offices, where the conversion charge may be up to NOK75 (€9.09, USD11.78)!

When you withdraw money from an ATM or just pay with a credit card, you will receive the greatest rate. It should be noted that the nation is presently transitioning to a new system that employs computer chips integrated in the card as well as a pin number. Credit cards with magnetic strips are still accepted throughout the nation; however, you must notify the retailer that you do not have a pin number and must sign instead. It is also essential to remember that a merchant system may refuse to accept signatures at times, so having cash on hand to pay if necessary is a smart precaution.

For example, in August 2009, the exchange rate in the bank was NOK8.75 for €1 (taking into account that it is not possible to exchange an amount for more than NOK5000 per transaction and that there is a commission of NOK100 for each transaction); in the tourist information office, the rate exchange was NOK7.28 (no commissions), and the rate by ATM withdrawal was NOK7.74 (taking into consideration all the bank commissions).

Shopping

Opening hours in Norway are better than they used to be, but many smaller shops still shut early on Saturday (usually at 13:00 or 15:00) and almost everything is closed on Sundays. Grocery shops (especially in cities) often stay open until 22:00 or 23:00 on weekdays. Opening hours are often printed on doors as “9-21 (9-18),” which means 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. The grocery market is dominated by a few chains that cover the majority of Norway: Rimi, Rema 1000, Kiwi, Prix, and Bunnpris are low-cost stores with a limited selection of items; Coop, ICA, and Spar have a wider selection and better quality at a slightly higher price; and Meny, Mega, and Ultra have fewer stores and higher prices.

Convenience stores, particularly the major chains Narvesen and Mix (which operate throughout the country), Deli de Luca (which operates only in Oslo, Stavanger, and Bergen), and 7-Eleven (which operates only in larger cities), are open from early morning until late at night every day, with 24 hour service in the larger cities. There are gas stations all throughout the nation, Statoil, Shell, fresh/selected, YX (HydroTexaco) (which is now changing into 7-Eleven with gas) and Esso, On the Run. Almost every gas station serves quick food, particularly sausages and cheese. Also available: hamburgers, pizza, and so on. The gas stations offer extended opening hours, and the larger stations in cities and at major intersections are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Convenience shop and gas station items are generally costly.

Most major cities have been almost entirely dominated by retail malls throughout the years. Although there are retail avenues such as Karl Johans Gate in Oslo, Strandgaten in Bergen, and Nordre gate/Olav Tryggvasons gate in Trondheim, malls built by Thon Gruppen and other large businesses can be found across the nation. Norway also has Scandinavia’s largest mall, Sandvika Storsenter, which is situated 15 minutes by rail outside of Oslo. In Oslo, you’ll find Byporten Retail Senter, Oslo City, and Gunerius immediately close to Oslo S railway station, as well as Paléet and Arkaden Shopping in Karl Johans Gate and a few malls and shopping centers farther afield.

Getting “good bargains” and negotiating are frowned upon, and service employees are usually not allowed to offer you a cheaper price – only bigger goods, like as automobiles, are susceptible to haggle. The price that you see is the price that you pay. If you want to purchase tax-free, it is a good idea to carry the appropriate paperwork with you. Most shops will have these forms on available, but it is a smart precaution to take. Also, if you pay with a credit card, you may be required to sign the receipt, which may need some kind of identification; a driver’s license or a passport are both acceptable. Because of the rigorous nature of money transactions, this is the case.

Festivals & Holidays in Norway

Easter, Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day are all recognized holidays), and the “common vacation” in July are the main holidays. There are many holidays in May, including Constitution Day (17 May), which is the major national event and an attraction in and of itself.

Public holidays (schools and businesses are closed):

  • January 1 – New Year’s Day
  • Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday, “Skjærtorsdag”)
  • Good Friday (“Langfredag”)
  • Easter Sunday (“påskedag”)
  • Second day of Easter (Monday) (“andre påskedag”)
  • May 1 – Labour day
  • May 17 – Constitution Day
  • Ascension Thursday (“Kristi himmelfart”)
  • Pentecost (Whit Sunday, “pinsedag”)
  • Pentecost 2ed (Whit Monday, “andre pinsedag”)
  • December 25 – Christmas Day (“juledag”)
  • December 26 – Boxing Day (“andre juledag”)

Many Norwegian holidays are observed on the preceding day (Holy Saturday, Christmas Eve etc.). Shops shut early on Christmas Eve (“julekveld”, “julaften”), New Year’s Eve (“nyttrsaften”), Holy Saturday (“pskeaften”), and the Saturday before Pentecost (“pinseaften”). Norwegians also celebrate midsummer on St. John’s Day, June 24th, by building a bonfire late in the evening the night before – “St.Eve.” John’s (“St.Hansaften” or “Jonsokaften”).

Traditions & Customs in Norway

Norwegians are usually tolerant and open-minded, and there are few, if any, dos and don’ts that foreign tourists should be aware of. It is essential to remember that Norway is perhaps the most equitable nation in the world. Behaving in a manner that implies either party is inferior or superior is regarded very impolite, and displaying money or status (if any) is frowned upon. Most Norwegians will react positively to misconceptions or potentially offending remarks, and nearly all will respond positively to praise for the nation as a whole.

Many Norwegians, on the other hand, may be misunderstood as harsh and unwelcoming since they can be blunt and small chat is difficult for them. This is just a cultural difference; establishing contact with strangers, such as conversing with other bus riders, is unusual. This does not apply to train rides or outside of major cities, when small conversation will be made out of curiosity. It is common to converse with strangers on the same route when hiking in distant areas.

Furthermore, Norwegian is a fairly simple language. The once-common usage of the polite pronoun, as well as polite phrases and terms in daily settings, is now very uncommon, so don’t be upset if a Norwegian speaking a foreign language employs a very familiar language. When shopping, checking in at hotels, and other similar circumstances, employ casual language, but don’t anticipate small chat. Although Norwegian does not have a direct equivalent to please (German bitte), people may say unnskyld (pardon me) to get your attention. On the other hand, in Norway, it is customary to show gratitude in a variety of circumstances. In a private house, for example, it is usual to express gratitude for the meal (takk för maten); on more official occasions, the “thanks” is frequently followed with a handshake. For example, after dining or traveling together, several Norwegians express gratitude for excellent company. Many Norwegians also express gratitude for the last time we met, for example, a few days after attending a party.

In general, Norwegian culture is extremely casual, and Norwegians generally address each other by first name exclusively, unless in official meetings. The casual culture is not the same as in southern Europe; being late for appointments is regarded impolite, as is chatting loudly, getting too intimate with strangers, and losing your temper. When entering a Norwegian house, it is traditional to remove your shoes; in the cold, this is frequently a requirement.

Norwegians’ reputation for being chilly and unwelcoming may be due to a remarkably complicated unwritten code of behavior that contains many apparent inconsistencies. For example, although it is rare to establish eye contact with strangers on public transit like as buses, the reverse is true when meeting Norwegians in outdoor activities such as hiking or skiing: greeting a fellow hiker or skier is expected, and failing to do so is frequently regarded very impolite. Another phenomenon that often perplexes foreign visitors is the function of alcohol in social relations. With a few exceptions, it is best described as the oil that allows Norwegians to meet and establish touch without too much friction. Tourists, fortunately, are free from most or all social standards, and Norwegians are generally aware of, and amused by, the inconsistencies in their social norms.

Building stone cairns in the wilderness, along rocky beaches, and on mountain routes is becoming more popular among tourists. Stone cairns are used to indicate routes, although they may be deceiving to hikers. Visitors erecting cairns often choose stones from stone fences, some of which are cultural assets, while others are used for reindeer, sheep, or cows. It is, in fact, unlawful to tamper with nature in this way, even with a single boulder.

Patriotism

Norwegians are also considered to be quite patriotic. The flag is often used in private festivities (such as anniversaries and weddings), and many people fly it on public holidays. Most Norwegians are proud of their nation, especially when it comes to nature and the country’s economic prosperity. May 17, Constitution Day, may be a little overwhelming for visitors since the nation is draped in flags, people dress up in their best clothing, and celebrate all day. Norwegian nationalism, on the other hand, is usually a statement of pride in living in a prosperous society, and is not confrontational in any manner.

Dress up and attempt to say gratulerer med dagen (literally “congratulations on the day”) to everyone you encounter on Constitution Day, and you’ll definitely receive the same reaction and see a lot of smiles, even if you’re not Norwegian at all. Norwegians take pleasure in the fact that schoolchildren and families, rather than military soldiers, march in the parades on Constitution Day. It should also be mentioned that May 17 marks the anniversary of the 1814 constitution, which established Norway as a liberal democracy; the constitution is still in force.

Culture Of Norway

The Norwegian farm culture is still present in modern Norwegian culture. It sparked a powerful romantic patriotic movement in the nineteenth century, which may still be seen in Norwegian language and media today. Norwegian culture flourished as a result of nationalist attempts to establish an autonomous identity in literature, art, and music. This is still the case in the performing arts, as well as as a consequence of government funding for exhibits, cultural initiatives, and artwork.

Human rights

Norway is a progressive nation that has enacted laws and policies to promote women’s, minority, and LGBT rights. The Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights was established in 1884 by 171 prominent individuals, including five Prime Ministers from the Liberal and Conservative parties. They were successful in their campaigns for women’s education, suffrage, the right to work, and other gender equality laws. Gender equality rose to the top of the governmental agenda in the 1970s, with the creation of a public body to promote gender equality, which developed into the Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud. Civil society organizations continue to play a significant role, and women’s rights organizations are now organized under the umbrella organization Norwegian Women’s Lobby.

The Norwegian constitution was modified in 1990 to give the Norwegian monarchy absolute primogeniture, which means that the oldest child, regardless of gender, takes priority in the line of succession. Because it was not retroactive, the present heir to the throne is the King’s oldest son rather than his eldest child. According to Article 6 of the Norwegian constitution, “for people born before the year 1990, a man should take priority over a girl.”

For millennia, the dominant civilizations in Scandinavia and Russia, who claim ownership of Sami territories, have discriminated against and abused the Sami people. The Sami have never been a single community in a particular Lapland area. Norway has been heavily chastised by the world community for its policies of Norwegianization and discrimination towards the country’s indigenous people. Nonetheless, Norway was the first nation to recognize ILO-convention 169 on indigenous peoples, which was proposed by the UN in 1990.

In terms of LGBT rights, Norway was the first country in the world to pass an anti-discrimination legislation safeguarding gay and lesbian rights. Norway became the second nation to legalize civil union partnerships for same-sex couples in 1993, and Norway became the sixth country to offer full marriage equality to same-sex couples on January 1, 2009. Norway has hosted the annual Oslo Freedom Summit conference as a supporter of human rights, a meeting characterized by The Economist as “on its way to becoming a human-rights counterpart of the Davos economic forum.”

Religion

Separation of religion and state occurred much later in Norway than in the rest of Europe and is still not complete. The Norwegian parliament decided in 2012 to give the Church of Norway more autonomy, which was affirmed by a constitutional amendment on May 21, 2012. Until 2012, legislative officials had to be Lutheran Church members, and at least half of all clergy had to be Christian State Church members. Because the Church of Norway is the state church, its clergy are state workers, as are the central and provincial church administrations. Members of the Royal family are obliged to be Lutheran church members.

Cinema

International acclaim has been bestowed upon Norwegian film. The expedition’s documentary film Kon-Tiki (1950) received an American Oscar Academy Award. Arne Skouen’s Nine Lives was nominated but did not win in 1959. Ivo Caprino’s animated feature film Flklypa Grand Prix (English: Pinchcliffe Grand Prix) is also noteworthy. The film, which was released in 1975, is based on the characters created by Norwegian cartoonist Kjell Aukrust. It is the most popular Norwegian film of all time.

Pathfinder (1987), Nils Gaup’s tale of the Sami, was nominated for an Academy Award. The Other Side of Sunday, directed by Berit Nesheim, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1997.

The film industry has flourished during the 1990s, with up to 20 feature films produced each year. Kristin Lavransdatter, based on a book by a Nobel Prize winner, The Telegraphist, and Gurin with the Foxtail were all big hits. Knut Erik Jensen was one of the most successful new filmmakers, along with Erik Skjoldbjrg, best known for Insomnia.

The country has also used as a shooting site for a number of Hollywood and other foreign films, notably The Empire Strikes Back (1980), in which the filmmakers utilized Hardangerjkulen glacier to film sequences of the ice planet Hoth. It featured a spectacular snow fight. Norway was also featured in the movie Die Another Day, The Golden Compass, Spies Like Us, and Heroes of Telemark, as well as the television shows Lilyhammer and Vikings. The Spirit of Norway, a short film, was shown during Maelstrom at Norway Pavilion at Epcot, which is part of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, USA. On October 5, 2014, the attraction and film stopped operating.

Music

The classical music of the romantic composers Edvard Grieg, Rikard Nordraak, and Johan Svendsen is well-known across the world, as is Arne Nordheim’s contemporary music. Leif Ove Andsnes, one of the world’s most renowned pianists, Truls Mrk, an excellent cellist, and the legendary Wagnerian singer Kirsten Flagstad are among Norway’s classical artists.

Since the late twentieth century, Norwegian black metal has had an impact on global music. Norway’s export of black metal, a lo-fi, gloomy, and primal style of heavy metal, has grown during the 1990s, thanks to bands like Emperor, Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, Mayhem, Burzum, and Immortal. Recently, bands like as Enslaved, Kvelertak, Dimmu Borgir, and Satyricon have developed the genre into the current day while retaining global followers. Several church burnings and two major murder cases were among the controversial incidents connected with the black metal movement in the early 1990s.

Norway’s jazz culture is flourishing. Internationally recognized musicians include Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, Mari Boine, Arild Andersen, and Bugge Wesseltoft, while Paal Nilssen-Love, Supersilent, Jaga Jazzist, and Wibutee are among the newer generation.

Norway has a rich folk music heritage that is still popular today. Hardanger fiddlers Andrea Een, Olav Jrgen Hegge, and Annbjrg Lien, as well as singers Agnes Buen Garns, Kirsten Brten Berg, and Odd Nordstoga, are among the most famous folk artists.

Other well-known bands include A-ha, Röyksopp, Ylvis, and Maria Mena. A-ha first gained international attention in the mid-1980s. In the 1990s and 2000s, the group retained its local appeal and has continued to be successful outside of Norway, particularly in Germany, Switzerland, France, and Brazil.

Various Norwegian composers and production teams have contributed to the music of other worldwide musicians in recent years. Stargate, a Norwegian production company, has worked with Rihanna, Beyoncé, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, and Lionel Richie, among others. Espen Lind has written and produced songs for artists such as Beyoncé, Lionel Richie, and Leona Lewis. Rihanna and Lovebugs have both recorded songs penned by Lene Marlin.

Throughout the year, Norway hosts a slew of music events throughout the nation. Norway has one of the world’s largest extreme sport music festivals, Ekstremsportveko, which is held yearly in Voss. Many festivals are held in Oslo, including yafestivalen and by:Larm. Oslo used to host a summer parade in the style of the German Love Parade. Oslo sought to imitate the French music event Fête de la Musique in 1992. The event was founded by Fredrik Carl Strmer. Even in its first year, “Musikkens Dag” drew thousands of people and artists to Oslo’s streets. Musikkfest Oslo has replaced “Musikkens Dag.”

Architecture

Norway has a long history of constructing with wood due to its vast woods. Many of today’s most intriguing new structures are constructed of wood, demonstrating the material’s continued appeal among Norwegian designers and builders.

Churches were constructed after Norway’s conversion to Christianity around 1,000 years ago. For the most significant buildings, stonework architecture was imported from Europe, starting with the construction of Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Throughout Norway in the early Middle Ages, wooden stave churches were built. Some of them have been preserved, and they constitute Norway’s most unique contribution to architectural history. Urnes Stave Church in inner Sognefjord is a good example, and it is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The buildings at Bryggen Wharf in Bergen, which is also on the list of World Cultural Heritage sites, are another noteworthy example of wooden architecture, consisting of a series of tall, thin wooden structures along the quayside.

Cities and towns such as Kongsberg and Rros were founded under the Danish kingdom in the 17th century. A church in the Baroque style was constructed in the city. Traditional wooden structures from Rros have survived.

Oslo became the capital when Norway’s union with Denmark was broken in 1814. Christian H. Grosch was the architect who created the first sections of the University of Oslo, the Oslo Stock Exchange, and many other structures and churches built during that early national era.

Lesund was constructed in the Art Nouveau style, inspired by French influences, during the beginning of the twentieth century. The 1930s, when functionalism reigned supreme, were a golden era for Norwegian architecture. Norwegian architects have only gained worldwide acclaim during the late twentieth century. The Sami Parliament in Kárájohka, designed by Stein Halvorson and Christian Sundby, is one of Norway’s most stunning contemporary structures. Its wood debate chamber is an abstract representation of a lavvo, a traditional tent used by nomadic Sami people.

Art

For a long time, artwork from Germany and Holland, as well as the influence of Copenhagen, dominated the Norwegian art scene. A distinctively Norwegian period started in the nineteenth century, initially with portraits and subsequently with magnificent landscapes. Johan Christian Dahl (1788–1857), a member of the Dresden school, returned to paint landscapes in western Norway, defining Norwegian painting for the first time.”

Norway’s recently gained independence from Denmark spurred painters to establish their Norwegian identity, particularly via landscape painting by artists such as Kitty Kielland, a female painter who trained under Hans Gude, and Harriet Backer, another pioneer among female impressionist painters. Frits Thaulow, an impressionist, and Christian Krohg, a realism painter known for his paintings of prostitutes, were both inspired by the Paris art scene.

Edvard Munch is a symbolist/expressionist painter best known for his painting The Scream, which is believed to symbolize contemporary man’s uneasiness.

Other notable painters include Harald Sohlberg, a neo-romantic painter best known for his paintings of Rros, and Odd Nerdrum, a figurative painter who claims his work is kitsch rather than art.

Cuisine

Norway’s culinary traditions reflect old maritime and agricultural traditions, including salmon (fresh and cured), herring (pickled or marinated), trout, codfish, and other seafood balanced by cheeses, dairy products, and dark/darker breads.

Lefse is a Norwegian potato flatbread that is often topped with copious quantities of butter and sugar during the holidays. Lutefisk, smalahove, pinnekjtt, raspeball, and frikl are some typical Norwegian meals.

Sports

Popular sports in Norway include association football, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and, to a lesser extent, ice hockey and handball. Norway is the most successful nation in the history of the Winter Olympics.

In terms of active membership, association football is the most popular sport in Norway. Football trailed biathlon and cross-country skiing in terms of spectator appeal in 2014–15 polls. [216] The most popular indoor sport is ice hockey. The women’s handball national team has won two Summer Olympics (2008, 2012), three World Championships (1999, 2011, 2015), and six European Championships (1998, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014).

The Norwegian national football team has competed in three FIFA World Cups (1938, 1994, and 1998), as well as one European Championship (2000). Norway’s best FIFA rating is second, which it has held twice, in 1993 and 1995.

Chess is becoming more popular in Norway. The current world champion is Magnus Carlsen. Norway has approximately ten Grandmasters and 29 International Masters.

Norway initially sent athletes to compete in the Olympic Games in 1900, and has sent competitors to every Games since then, except for the poorly attended 1904 Games and the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, when they participated in the American-led boycott. Biathlete Ole Einar Bjrndalen and cross-country skiers Marit Bjrgen and Bjrn Dhlie are two well-known Norwegian winter sports athletes.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Norway

Stay Safe in Norway

Norway has a relatively low violent crime rate. Car break-ins and bicycle theft are the most common crimes that visitors may encounter. Pickpockets are also a growing issue in metropolitan areas throughout the summer, although not to the extent that they are in bigger European cities. It is always a good idea to take care of your possessions, which includes never leaving expensive items visible in your vehicle and securely securing your bike.

Single ladies should encounter little trouble, but common sense is recommended after midnight.

Norway is one of the least corrupt nations in the world. Police and other officials cannot be bribed; thus, travelers are strongly urged to avoid any kind of bribery.

Norway has a single police force (“politi”). In areas like as crime, national security, serious accidents, missing people, traffic control, passports, and immigration control, the police force is the government’s authority. Most cities also employ municipal parking attendants, although their power is limited to fining and removing cars.

Electric cars are widely used in Norway, especially in cities. These vehicles are very quiet, and pedestrians should cross highways and streets with their eyes rather than their ears.

Outdoor safety

Nature contains the most unexpected hazards to tourists. Every year, a large number of visitors are injured or murdered in the mountains or on the seas, generally as a result of warnings that go unheeded. Do not, for example, approach a glacier front, large waves on the shore, or a large waterfall unless you know what you’re doing, and do not go on glaciers without appropriate training and equipment.

Norway is home to a small number of hazardous wild species. The majority of wild animal-related fatalities and injuries are caused by car collisions with either the big moose or the smaller red deer. It’s also worth noting that sheep, goats, cows, and reindeer may be observed wandering or resting on the road in certain rural areas.

Svalbard has its own set of regulations and safeguards, and you should never go outside of Longyearbyen without someone in your group carrying a firearm. Polar bears in Svalbard are a real and very deadly menace to the unprepared, with reports of death and/or injury occurring nearly every year. There are more polar bears than people here. Svalbard is a fragile, dry northern tundra, with vast areas almost unexplored by mankind. The current suggestion is that non-local tourists only engage in scheduled tours. Breaking the law, disturbing animals, or being irresponsible may result in a fine and/or expulsion from the archipelago. That being said, if you arrive prepared and use common sense, your visit will be one of the most memorable you’ve ever had. Svalbard’s environment, landscape, and history are absolutely stunning.

In terms of other wild creatures in mainland Norway, there have only been a few very uncommon encounters with brown bear and wolf in the wild. In mainland Norway, there are no polar bears, much alone polar bears roaming the streets, contrary to common assumption elsewhere. The Scandinavian brown bear is a gentle species that will usually flee from people. In any event, visitors are unlikely to get a sight of one of Norway’s about 50 surviving brown bears. Humans are not threatened by Norwegian wolves. In general, there is no need to be concerned about hazardous interactions with wild animals in Norway.

When hiking or skiing, be prepared for a rapid change in weather, which may occur fast in Norway. If you’re uncertain about the weather, ask a local or take a guided tour. In the Norwegian wilderness, you are supposed to handle on your own, therefore you will not see fences or warning signs even in the most hazardous areas. Remember that avalanches are frequent. When skiing, remain on designated slopes unless you know precisely what you’re doing. Believe twice if you think you know what you’re doing. In the first three months of 2011, 12 persons were killed in avalanches in Norway.

At sea

The vast coastline of Norway is an experience for tourists, but it is also a dangerous region. Massive waves that gather up strength across the Atlantic slam against slick rocks and slabs around the outer shore. Every year, visitors are seriously injured, and in some cases killed, as they attempt to surf the large waves along the beaches. Many visitors leave the protected waters and go out into the open sea in tiny boats; every year, tourists are rescued at sea, and some even drown.

Glaciers

Glaciers are one of the most hazardous locations in Norway for tourists. Never underestimate the glacier’s strength. Keep an eye out for warning indicators. Never approach the glacier’s front. A glacier is not a solid piece of ice; it is continuously moving and large pieces break off on a regular basis.

Enter a glacier only with appropriate equipment and a competent local guide. Sunrays are reflected by the white snow, therefore apply sunscreen to protect your skin. Bring warm clothing for glacier excursions.

On road

If you want to traverse the mountains by vehicle (for example, traveling from Oslo to Bergen) during the winter season, you must be well equipped. The circumstances are difficult. Always have a full tank of gas in the vehicle, as well as warm clothing, food, and drink. Check that your tires are suitable for winter circumstances (studded or non-studded winter tires, “all-year” tires are insufficient), and that you have the necessary abilities for driving in snowy and cold weather. Roads are often blocked due to inclement weather. For information on road conditions and closures, dial 175 in Norway or see the Norwegian State road authority’ online road reports [2](in Norwegian only). Keep in mind that not all sections of the route have mobile phone service.

Emergency numbers

  • Police: 112
  • Fire: 110
  • Emergency Medical Services (ambulance): 113

If you are uncertain which number to dial, 112 is the central number for all rescue services and will connect you to the appropriate department.

Non-emergency calls should be directed to the police department at 02800. Call 116117 for non-emergency casualty care.

Dialing 1412 will connect the hearing impaired to emergency services if they are using a text phone.

Falck (tel. 02222) and Viking provide roadside help (tel. 06000). AAA members may contact NAF at 08505. In the event of a traffic collision, you are only required to contact the police if anyone are wounded or if the incident creates a traffic congestion. If the only damage is to the cars, the police will not intervene.

Stay Healthy in Norway

Norway’s water quality is generally acceptable, and tap water is always drinkable (except on boats, trains etc.).

Food poisoning is uncommon among visitors due to the high standard of cleanliness in public kitchens.
In the summer, Norway may be quite warm, so pack warm clothing (sweater, windbreaker/waterproof jacket) in case they come in useful. The weather is difficult to forecast, and during the summer, you may encounter significant weather fluctuations throughout your visit.

Tourists trekking in the high mountains (above the forest) should carry sports clothing that can withstand temperatures as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit (zero degree C).

Norway has a high concentration of pharmacies. Nose sprays and over-the-counter pain relievers (paracetamol, aspirin) are also available at supermarkets and petrol stations.

The sun is not as intense as it is in southern Europe. Keep in mind that the sun does not burn your skin under cold circumstances (low temperatures or wind). The air in the north is often pure and clean, and UV levels may be strong despite the low sun. Keep in mind that the sun is brighter in the high mountains, and radiation is amplified on or near snow fields and water surfaces. On snow fields, even when it’s overcast, the light may be intense. Do not underestimate the Nordic sun’s strength! Bring sunglasses when you go hiking in the high mountains, skiing in the spring, and going to the beach.

Ticks (fltt) emerge in southern Norway throughout the summer. Through a bite, they may spread Lyme disease (borreliosis) and the more severe TBE (tick-borne encephalitis). TBE is most dangerous along the coast from Oslo to Trondheim. Although instances are uncommon and not all ticks transmit illnesses, it is best to wear long pants rather than shorts if you want to go through thick or tall grass regions (the usual habitat for ticks). If you are bitten by a tick, you may obtain special tick tweezers from the pharmacy to securely remove it. To minimize the danger of illness, remove the tick from your skin as soon as possible and ideally using tick tweezers. If the tick bite begins to develop red rings on the skin surrounding it, or if you have other tick-related symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Ticks are black, therefore if you wear bright clothing, you will be able to see them more readily.

In Norway, there is just one poisonous snake: the European adder (hoggorm), which has an unique zig-zag pattern on its back. The snake is not common, yet it may be found all the way up to the Arctic Circle in Norway (except for the highest mountains and areas with little sunshine). Although its bite is seldom fatal (save to young children and allergic individuals), be cautious in the summer, particularly when wandering in the woods or on open fields. Seek medical attention if you have been bitten by a snake. However, the chances of getting bitten are very low since the adder is extremely afraid of people.

Go to the local “Legevakt” (emergency room/physician treating patients without an appointment) 116 117 for minor injuries and illnesses. In cities, this is usually a governmental service that is centrally situated; expect to wait many hours. In remote areas, you must usually contact the “district physician” on duty. Call the national Toxin Information Office at +47 22 59 13 00 if you have questions regarding toxins (from mushrooms, plants, medicine, or other substances).

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