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Earth : Europe : Scandinavia : Norway
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|image=[[Image:Norway_fjord.jpg|noframe|250px]]
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|image=Lodalen.jpg
|location=[[Image:LocationNorway.png|noframe|250px]]
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|caption=Lodalen, Stryn, Sogn og Fjordane
|flag=[[Image:no-flag.png]]
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|location=Norway in its region.svg
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|flag=Flag of Norway.svg
 
|capital=[[Oslo]]
 
|capital=[[Oslo]]
|government=Constitutional monarchy with parliamentary democracy
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|government=Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
 
|currency=Kroner (NOK)
 
|currency=Kroner (NOK)
|area=324,220 km <sup>2</sup>
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| area=''total:'' 323,802 km<sup>2</sup><br />''water:'' 19,520 km<sup>2</sup><br />''land:'' 304,282 km<sup>2</sup>
|population=4,888,000 (July 2010)
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|population=5,063,709 (April 2013)
 
|language=[[Norwegian phrasebook|Norwegian]] (Bokmål and Nynorsk) and [[Saami phrasebook|Saami]]
 
|language=[[Norwegian phrasebook|Norwegian]] (Bokmål and Nynorsk) and [[Saami phrasebook|Saami]]
|religion=Protestant state church
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|religion= Christianity (mainly Lutheranism), though Norway is widely secular.
|electricity=230V/50Hz (European plug)
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|electricity=230V/50Hz (Schuko (Type F) European plug)
 
|callingcode=+47
 
|callingcode=+47
 
|tld=.no
 
|tld=.no
 
|timezone=UTC +1 (CET)
 
|timezone=UTC +1 (CET)
 
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'''Norway''' (''Norge'') [http://www.visitnorway.com/] is the westernmost, northernmost - and in fact the easternmost - of the three [[Scandinavia]]n countries, located in [[Scandinavia]] west of [[Sweden]]. Best known for the complex and deep fjords along its west coast, it stretches from the North Sea near [[Denmark]] and [[Scotland]] into the [[islands of the Arctic Ocean|Arctic Ocean]] where it borders northern [[Finland]] and the northwestern tip of [[Russia]].
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[http://www.visitnorway.com/ '''Norway'''] (''Norge'') is the westernmost, northernmost—and in fact the easternmost—of the three [[Scandinavia]]n countries. Best known for the complex and deep fjords along its west coast which stretches from the North Sea near [[Denmark]] and [[Scotland]] into the [[islands of the Arctic Ocean|Arctic Ocean]] and has borders with [[Finland]], [[Sweden]] and the northwestern tip of [[Russia]].
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
  
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===History===
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The Viking kingdoms of Norway were unified in 872 AD by Harald Fairhair. In the following period, Norwegians settled in many places, such as [[Iceland]], the [[Faroe Islands]] and parts of [[Scotland]] and [[Ireland]], where they founded [[Dublin]]. In the beginning of the 14th century, Norway and [[Sweden]] were unified as the Norwegian king was also elected king of Sweden. At the end of the century, the two countries and [[Denmark]] were unified in the so-called Kalmar Union.
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Sweden broke out of the union in 1521. Norway remained in union with Denmark until 1814. Only a few months after the declaration of independence, Norway entered into union with Sweden, though it must be noted that this union with Sweden allowed Norway to keep a great deal of independence.
  
Norway is well known for its amazing and varied scenery. The fjords in the west of the country are long narrow inlets, flanked on either side by tall mountains where the sea penetrates far inland. Norway was an old Viking kingdom. Economically it is known for its oil and seafood exports.
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The union with Sweden lasted until 1905, which is considered the beginning of modern Norway. From 1940 until 1945, Norway was occupied by [[Germany]].
  
Norway is a sparsely populated country, roughly the same land size as [[Great Britain]] or [[Germany]]. It has a population of only 4.76 million people but a land area of 385,155 square kilometers. Thus, for each inhabitant there is 70,000 square meters of land, but the vast majority of this land is a rocky wilderness which is completely unusable for agricultural purposes. As a result, Norway has a large number of completely unpopulated areas, many of which have been converted to national parks. Even outside the national parks, much of the land is unspoiled nature, which Norwegians strive to keep unspoiled.
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===Geography===
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Norway is on a large peninsula shared with [[Sweden]] in the north of [[Europe]]. In the north, it also borders [[Finland]] and [[Russia]].
  
In '''winter''', cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and snowboarding are very popular. In '''summer''', hiking and biking are obvious ways to enjoy the enormous mountain areas. For the adventurous, kayaking, wildwater rafting, paragliding, cave or glacier exploration are possible. Car tourists will enjoy driving along the fjords and mountains in the west or to the midnight sun in the north. In short, Norway has a lot to offer in terms of nature. Norwegians take pride in keeping fit and being sporty (a Sunday walk is not 20 min to the pub but rather three-four hours or more in the forest or up a mountain).  
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Norway is well known for its amazing and varied scenery. The fjords in the west of the country are long narrow inlets, flanked on either side by tall mountains where the sea penetrates far inland. By far the major part of the land is a rocky wilderness, and thus Norway has large, completely unpopulated areas, many of which have been converted to national parks. Even outside the national parks, much of the land is unspoiled nature.
  
Norway is on a large peninsula shared with [[Sweden]] in the north of [[Europe]]. In the north, it also borders [[Finland]] and [[Russia]]. A large but loosely defined northern part of Norway and Sweden, as well as parts of Finland and Russia outlines an area known as '''Sapmi''' (Sameland), which is where the most of the Sami people traditionally lived. Today, most of the Sami people live in the capital, Oslo.
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A rugged landscape shaped by the Ice Age, shows forested hills and valleys, mountains, waterfalls, and a long coastline with fjords, islands, and mountains growing directly up from the sea. Norway's highest point is Galdhøpiggen, 2,469m (8,100&nbsp;ft) in the [[Jotunheimen]] region that lies midway between [[Oslo]] and [[Trondheim]], but away from the coast. In the far north ([[Finnmark]]), you will find flatter open spaces. Several of the world's greatest waterfalls are in Norway, particularly in the western fjords and the mountain region.
  
A rugged '''landscape''' shaped by the Ice Age, shows forested hills and valleys, mountains, waterfalls, and a long coastline with fjords, islands, and mountains growing directly up from the sea. Norway's highest point is '''Galdhøpiggen''', 2469m (8100ft) in the [[Jotunheimen]] region that lies midway between Oslo and Trondheim, but away from the coast. In the far north ([[Finnmark]]), you will find flatter open spaces. Several of the worlds greatest waterfalls [http://www.world-waterfalls.com/worldsbest.php?orderby=best] are in Norway, particularly in the western fjords and the mountain region.
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===People===
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Norway is one of Europe's most sparsely populated countries. With a population of only 5 million people and a land area of 385,802 km<sup>2</sup>, the population density is only 16 inhabitants per km<sup>2</sup>. Most of the population are Norwegians. The indigenous Sami people traditionally inhabit the northern part of Norway, that along with parts of Sweden, Finland and Russia outlines an area known as ''Sapmi'' (or ''Sameland''). Other recognized minorities are the Kven people, Jews, Forest Finns, and Norwegian Romani Travellers. In recent years, immigration, in particular from the European Union, has increased greatly.
  
Norway's primary '''income''' is the petroleum industry in the [[North Sea]]. It also has several other natural resources such as fish and minerals, some industry, and a healthy technology sector. Politically, it is dominated by a widespread and continued support for the ''Scandinavian model'', which means high taxes and high government spending to support free schools, free healthcare, an efficient welfare system and many other benefits. As a result the unemployment rate in Norway is extremely low (about 2%).  
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Norwegians are shaped by surviving a harsh climate more than war and social hierarchy, and you'll find them to be generally friendly, but stubborn and fiercely individualistic. The people relies on a common understanding of things, with a lot of effort put in common law and regulation but with little hierarchy. A tradition where you don't rely much on a ruler or a fast moving society, but where some neighbours are all you have and you will probably have to depend on at least one of them for your life, and more than once. So it takes time to get to know Norwegians properly. Some misunderstand it as coldness, but the reasons are more skepticism and slowness of change. If you get to know one of these people, you get to know them on the depth. There's little front, they don't have that many people in their circles, so they probably won't trust you all that much unless they get to know you down to your faults. And they don't expect you to rush it either, for desperation is a weakness. But once a friendship is tried and tested, it can be solid and warm.  
  
The Norwegian people have rejected membership in the [[European Union]] (EU) in two independent popular votes in 1972 and 1994, both times just by a few percent, after being vetoed out of membership by France in the 50s and 60s. However, being a member state of the European Economic Area and part of the Schengen agreement, Norway is closely connected to the EU, and integrated as a full member in most economic matters, as well as in customs and immigration matters. This is of great economic importance to Norway.  
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Norway is no longer formally a Christian country. In 2012, the government separated from the church, leaving the country without an official religion. Before this, almost 85% of Norwegians were part of the national church, even though most Norwegians are nonbelievers and the regular church attendance was, and still is as low as 5%.  
  
Norway is a '''Christian country''', so Sunday is considered a holy day and most business are closed Sundays. Many gas stations are open 24-7, some  malls are partly open and restaurants are normally open, but this varies from place to place. Christmas and Easter are major holidays in Norway, and most Norwegians are on vacation for more than one week. Formally it is a Christian country with a dominant Lutheran majority of near 90 %, but this number is skewed by a type of automatic membership of the state church, where people become automatic members when they're baptised or if one of the parents is a member. In reality, roughly 3/4 is atheist or agnostic. Because of this, Norway has become rather liberal in moral issues and thus more similar to southern neighbors like Denmark and the Netherlands. Prostitution is (as of 1.1.2009) illegal in Norway. Homosexuality is accepted by most people and recently (2008) same-sex marriage was given the same legal status as traditional marriage. For instance, a previous male minister of finance and prominent figure in the conservative party is in partnership with a prominent male business manager.
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Norway has become rather liberal in moral issues and thus similar to neighbours like Denmark and Sweden. Homosexuality is accepted by most people and recently (2008) same-sex marriage was given the same legal status as traditional marriage. For instance, a previous male minister of finance and prominent figure in the conservative party is in partnership with a prominent male business manager. With that said, some parts along the southern and southwestern coast are fairly conservative, especially in the more rural areas.
  
As one of the richest countries in the world and with a strong currency, most visitors should be prepared for greater expenses than at home. In addition, Norway has a very compressed wage structure which means that even the typical low skill work is relatively well paid. For the same reason, firms try to keep the number of staff as low as possible, even for low skill service work. On the other hand, many attractions in Norway are free of charge, most notably the landscape and nature itself.  
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===Economy and politics===
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Norway's primary income is from the oil and gas industry in the [[North Sea]] which constitutes nearly a quarter of GDP. It also has several other natural resources such as fish and minerals, some industry, and a healthy technology sector. Politically, it's dominated by a widespread and continued support for the ''Scandinavian model'', which means high taxes and high government spending to support free schools, free healthcare, an efficient welfare system and many other benefits. As a result the unemployment rate in Norway is extremely low at about 2 percent.
  
[[Image:b27.jpg]]
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The Norwegian people have rejected membership in the [[European Union]] (EU) in two independent popular votes in 1972 and 1994, both times just by a few percent, after being vetoed out of membership by France in the 50s and 60s. However, being a member state of the European Economic Area and part of the Schengen agreement, Norway is closely connected to the EU, and integrated as a full member in most economic matters, as well as in customs and immigration matters. This is of great economic importance to Norway.
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As one of the richest countries in the world and with a strong currency, most visitors should be prepared for greater expenses than at home. In addition, Norway has a very compressed wage structure which means that even the typical low skill work is relatively well paid. Despite the extremely high prices, Norwegians enjoy a purchasing power parity per capita significantly higher than both the US and all EU countries. For the same reason, firms try to keep the number of staff as low as possible, even for low skill service work. On the other hand, many attractions in Norway are free of charge, most notably the landscape and nature itself. Furthermore, you don't have to spend much money on accommodation if you're prepared to sleep in a tent or under the open sky. According to the Norwegian [[right to access]], you may stay for up to two nights in one spot in uncultivated land if you keep away from houses and other buildings and out of the way of other people, provided that you [[Leave-no-trace camping|leave no trace]]. If you move far away from people, you can stay for as long as you want.
  
 
===Climate===
 
===Climate===
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: ''See also [[Winter in Scandinavia]].''
  
Because of the gulf stream, the '''climate''' in Norway is noticeably warmer than what would otherwise be expected at such a high latitude. Almost half the length of Norway is north of the arctic circle. Summers can be moderately warm (up to 30 degrees C), even in northern areas, but only for limited periods. The length of the winter and amount of snow varies.  In the north there is more snow and winters are dark; on the southern and western coast, winters are moderate and rainy, while further inland the temperature can fall below -25 degrees C. Some mountain areas have permanent glaciers.
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Because of the gulf stream, the climate in Norway, especially along the coast, is noticeably warmer than what would otherwise be expected at such a high latitude. Almost half the length of Norway is north of the arctic circle. Summers can be moderately warm (up to 30°C), even in northern areas, but only for limited periods. The length of the winter and amount of snow varies.  In the north there is more snow and winters are dark; on the southern and western coast, winters are moderate and rainy, while further inland the temperature can easily fall below -25°C. Even in the southeast, winter temperatures of -10ºC to -15ºC are common. Some mountain areas have permanent glaciers and patches of snow can be found in higher elevations even in the summer.
  
In Northern Norway there is 24 hour sunshine in the summer and no sun at all at mid-winter. Although Southern Norway can not enjoy the midnight sun, at midsummer the night is very short even in Oslo - it doesn't get really dark at all.  For comparison it gets as dark as NYC at around 8:45, when the sky is dark blue but not completely night.
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Norway's hours of daylight, temperature and driving conditions vary greatly throughout the year. Seasonal variations crucially depend on region as well as altitude. Note in particular that the area with midnight sun (north of the arctic circle) also has winter darkness (polar night) when the sun does not rise above the horizon at all.  
  
===When===
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Norwegian weather is most pleasant during the summer (June to mid-August). If you like snow, go to Norway in December to April. Along the coasts and in southern part of [[West Norway]] there is little snow or frost and few opportunities for skiing, even in winter. In the mountains there is snow until May and some mountain passes are closed until the end of May. If you come in the beginning of May some passes can be still closed, but since the snow is melting very quickly, you will get the possibility to enjoy plenty of waterfalls before they disappear. And in this time the number of tourists is very small. Spring in Norway is quite intense due to the abundance of water (melting snow) in conjunction with plenty of sunlight and quickly rising temperatures (typically in May).
Norway generally has big differences in daylight, temperature and driving conditions across seasons. Travellers are therefore advised to obtain specific information about seasonal variations when planning a trip. Note that seasonal variations crucially depend on region as well as altitude. Note in particular that the area with midnight sun (north of the arctic circle) also has winter darkness (polar night) when the sun does not rise above the horizon at all.  
 
  
Norwegian weather is most pleasant during the summer (May to early September). If you like snow, go to Norway in December to April. Along the coasts and in southern part of [[West Norway]] there is little snow or frost and few opportunities for skiing even in winter. In the mountains there is snow until May and some mountain passes opens end of May. If you come in the beginning of May some passes can be still closed, but since the snow is melting very quickly, you will get a possibility to enjoy plenty of waterfalls before they shallow or disappear. And in this time the number of tourists is very small. Spring in Norway is quite intense due to the abundance of water (melting snow) in conjunction with plenty of sunlight and quickly rising temperatures (typically in May).
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[[Image:Northern lights in Tromsoe.jpg|thumb|[[Northern lights]] (''aurora borealis'') in [[Tromsø]].]]
  
Be aware that daylight varies greatly during the year. In Oslo, the sun sets at around 3.30 PM in December. North of the Arctic Circle one can experience the midnight sun and polar night (winter darkness). However, even at Oslo's latitude, summer nights exist only in the form of prolonged twilight during June and July, these gentle "white nights" can also be a nice and unusual experience for visitors. The polar (or northern) light (aurora borealis) occurs in the darker months, frequently at high latitudes (Northern Norway) but occasionaly also further South.
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Be aware that daylight varies greatly during the year. In Oslo, the sun sets at around 15:30 in December. North of the Arctic Circle one can experience the midnight sun and polar night (winter darkness). However, even at Oslo's latitude, summer nights exist only in the form of prolonged twilight during June and July, these gentle "white nights" can also be a nice and unusual experience for visitors. The polar (or northern) lights (''aurora borealis'') occurs in the darker months, frequently at high latitudes (Northern Norway) but occasionally also further South.
  
Norway is a Christian (predominantly Lutheran) country and the Lutheran church is a government institution. Christmas and Easter are major holidays and many Norwegians are away from work for a full week or more. The major holidays are Easter, Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are all considered holidays), and the "common vacation" throughout July. In May there are several holidays including constitution day - the main national celebration and an attraction in itself.
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===Holidays===
The Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17th is a celebration of the day in 1814 when Norway’s constitution was signed.
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The major holidays are Easter, Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are all considered holidays), and the "common vacation" throughout July. In May there are several holidays including constitution day (17 May) - the main national celebration and an attraction in itself.
The day is celebrated in every city and tiny village across the country - in the morning all the schoolchildren parade through their town or local community, singing, shouting and waving their flags - walking behind colorful banners that represent either their school or their class. Marching bands play.
 
Everyone dresses up - many wear our colourful national costumes. After the Children's Parade, people usually gather in the school-yards for further celebrations: speeches, games for the kids, and food. The 17th of May is primarily the children's day - filled with ice cream, cotton candy, balloons and games. In most cities there are additional parades, usually in the afternoon, where all kinds of clubs & organizations take part - usually with a humouristic aspect. Notice the russ - 18-year-olds dressed in red, partying and celebrating having finished 13 years of school. The russ might appear somewhat calm & quiet on the 17th - but that's only because they've been partying for a month nonstop. The 17th of May offers an opportunity to sample some of the traditional Norwegian dishes - such as "Rømmegrøt", a sour-cream porridge, served with cured meat. Salmon is also a National Day favourite.  
 
  
'''Public holidays''' (schools and offices closed):
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Public holidays (schools and offices closed):
* January 1 - New Years day  
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* 1 January - New Years day  
 
* Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday, "Skjærtorsdag")  
 
* Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday, "Skjærtorsdag")  
 
* Good Friday ("Langfredag")  
 
* Good Friday ("Langfredag")  
 
* Easter Sunday ("påskedag")  
 
* Easter Sunday ("påskedag")  
 
* Second day of Easter (Monday) ("andre påskedag")  
 
* Second day of Easter (Monday) ("andre påskedag")  
* May 1 - Labour day  
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* 1 May - Labour day  
* May 17 - Constitution Day (National Celebration in the streets)
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* 17 May - Constitution Day
 
* Ascension Thursday ("Kristi himmelfart")  
 
* Ascension Thursday ("Kristi himmelfart")  
 
* Pentecost (Whit Sunday, "pinsedag")  
 
* Pentecost (Whit Sunday, "pinsedag")  
 
* Pentecost 2ed (Whit Monday, "andre pinsedag")  
 
* Pentecost 2ed (Whit Monday, "andre pinsedag")  
* December 25 - Christmas Day ("juledag")  
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* 25 December - Christmas Day ("juledag")  
* December 26 - Boxing Day ("andre juledag")  
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* 26 December - Boxing Day ("andre juledag")  
 
 
 
 
  
 
Note that many Norwegian holidays are celebrated on the day before (Holy Saturday, Christmas Eve etc). On Christmas Eve ("julekveld", "julaften"), New Years Eve ("nyttårsaften"), Holy Saturday ("påskeaften") and Saturday before Pentecost ("pinseaften") shops close early. Norwegians also celebrate midsummer at St. John's day on June 24 by making a bonfire late evening the day before - "St.John's Eve" ("St.Hansaften" or "Jonsokaften").
 
Note that many Norwegian holidays are celebrated on the day before (Holy Saturday, Christmas Eve etc). On Christmas Eve ("julekveld", "julaften"), New Years Eve ("nyttårsaften"), Holy Saturday ("påskeaften") and Saturday before Pentecost ("pinseaften") shops close early. Norwegians also celebrate midsummer at St. John's day on June 24 by making a bonfire late evening the day before - "St.John's Eve" ("St.Hansaften" or "Jonsokaften").
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| region1items=
| region1description=actually southeast, the region surrounding the capital [[Oslo]], where the largest number of people live
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| region1description=actually southeast, the region surrounding the capital [[Oslo]], where the largest number of people live, also a agricultural region with many people who live off farming.
  
 
| region2name=[[Middle Norway]]
 
| region2name=[[Middle Norway]]
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| region3items=
| region3description=also with great fjords, the midnight sun and the ancient Sami culture
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| region3description=also with great fjords, the midnight sun, the ancient Sami culture and the city of [[Tromsø]]
  
 
| region4name=[[South Norway]]
 
| region4name=[[South Norway]]
 
| region4color=#dc8080
 
| region4color=#dc8080
 
| region4items=
 
| region4items=
| region4description=the gentle coastline
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| region4description=the gentle coastline with [[Kristiansand]]
  
| region5name=[[Svalbard]]
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| region5name=[[West Norway]]
| region5color=#a7976e
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| region5color=#dc7fdf
 
| region5items=
 
| region5items=
| region5description=Arctic islands near the polar ice
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| region5description=with the famous fjords and the cities of [[Bergen]] and [[Stavanger]]
  
| region6name=[[West Norway]]
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| region6name=[[Svalbard]]
| region6color=#dc7fdf
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| region6color=#a7976e
 
| region6items=
 
| region6items=
| region6description=with the famous fjords and [[Bergen]]
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| region6description=Arctic islands near the polar ice. Not part of the [[Schengen Area]], it has its own border control and an entirely visa-free policy for all nationalities.
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| region7name=[[Jan Mayen]]
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| region7color=#777777
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| region7items=
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| region7description=A desolate, mountainous and volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean, partially covered in glaciers with some moss and grass.
  
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| region8name=[[Bear Island]]
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| region8color#8a84a3
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| region8items=
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| region8description=A purely isolated island surrounded by the silent ocean, ready for adventurers and people out of comfort zone, partially covered in ice and grass with polar bears.
 
}}
 
}}
  
 
==Cities==
 
==Cities==
 
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* [[Oslo]] - the capital and largest city of Norway, with museums of national importance, a beautiful setting and lively nightlife and cultural scene
* [[Oslo]] - the capital and largest city of Norway, with museums of national importance, a beautiful setting and lively nightlife and cultural scene.
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* [[Ålesund]] - a splendid Art Nouveau centre in the very western outskirts of Norway
* [[Bergen]] - Once the capital of Norway, old Hanseatic trading center with a rich culture and dramatic scenery, Norway's second largest city. Wonderfully cute wooden buildings, a magnificent mountain setting and tons of nightlife and atmosphere make Bergen the most enjoyable city in Norway. This is your gateway to the western fjords. The city has been dubbed "the rainiest city in Europe" with an average of 250 days of rainfall a year. Bring an umbrella.
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* [[Bergen]] - Once the capital of Norway, old Hanseatic trading centre with a rich culture and dramatic scenery, Norway's second largest city. Wonderfully cute wooden buildings, a magnificent mountain setting and tons of nightlife and atmosphere. This is your gateway to the western fjords. The city has been dubbed "the rainiest city in Europe" with an average of 250 days of rainfall a year. Bring an umbrella.
* [[Bodø]] - The gateway to the magnificent Lofoten islands. And the place of Saltstraumen, the worlds strongest maelstrom.
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* [[Bodø]] - The gateway to the magnificent Lofoten islands and Saltstraumen, the worlds strongest maelstrom
* [[Drammen]] - Once known as industrial and grimy, but recent refurbishing has made Drammen an enjoyable side trip from Oslo.
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* [[Kristiansand]] - The jolly capital of the South
* [[Fredrikstad]] - A magnificent old town stands out from the rest of the rather nondescript city. Brilliant as a day trip from Oslo.
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* [[Stavanger]] - The fourth largest city, and the third largest urban area. Commercially important due to the oil business. The wooden, cobbled central area is one of the most charming places in Norway. Home to one of Norway's medieval churches, you can also visit Iron Age homes, stone age caves, and sites where the Viking kings used to meet at Ullandhaugtårnet. Stavanger is where Erik the Red was born.  
* [[Kristiansand]] - The jolly capital of the South.
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* [[Tromsø]] - A magnificent, modern cathedral and absolutely no polar bears roaming the streets
* [[Stavanger]] - The fourth largest city, and the third largest urban area. Commercially important due to the oil business. The wooden, cobbled central area is one of the most charming places in Norway. Home to one of Norway's medieval churches, you can also visit Iron Age homes, stone age caves, and sites where the Viking kings used to meet at Ullandhaugtårnet. Stavanger is where Erik the Red was born.
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* [[Trondheim]] - Famous for its stunning cathedral (Nidarosdomen).Wonderful riverside wharfs, wooden buildings and the best student nightlife in Norway give beautiful, leafy Trondheim its charm.
* [[Tromsø]] - A magnificent, modern cathedral and absolutely no polar bears roaming the streets.
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<!-- Please do not change this list without first discussing your proposed change on the talk page. City lists are limited by Wikitravel policy to NINE, capital goes first.-->
* [[Trondheim]] - Famous for its stunning cathedral (Nidarosdomen). Wonderful riverside wharfs, wooden buildings and the best student nightlife in Norway give beautiful, leafy Trondheim its charm.
 
 
 
<!-- Please do not change this list without first discussing your proposed change on the talk page. Cities lists are limited by Wikitravel policy to NINE, capital goes first.-->
 
  
 
==Other destinations==
 
==Other destinations==
* [[Atlanterhavsveien]] - "The most beautilful road in the world". A unique road connected whit spectacular bridges surrounded by the wilderness of the atlantic ocean.
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* [[Atlanterhavsveien]] - "The most beautiful road in the world". A unique road connected with spectacular bridges surrounded by the wilderness of the Atlantic Ocean.
* [[Jostedalsbreen]] - The largest glacier on the european mainland.   
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* [[Jostedalsbreen]] - The largest glacier on the European mainland.   
 
* [[Jotunheimen]] - A majestic landscape and home of Norway's highest mountains.
 
* [[Jotunheimen]] - A majestic landscape and home of Norway's highest mountains.
 
* [[Lofoten]] - Experience the midnight sun in this traditional fishing district in the northern province with islands and mountains.
 
* [[Lofoten]] - Experience the midnight sun in this traditional fishing district in the northern province with islands and mountains.
* [[Nordkapp]] - This cliff is the northernmost point of continental Europe. Excelent place to experience the midnight sun.
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* [[Nordkapp]] - This cliff is the northernmost point of continental Europe. Excellent place to experience the midnight sun.
* [[Sognefjorden]] - Glaciers, mountains and picturesque towns are but a few of the sights on the Sognefjord. Flåm and Nærøyfjorden (also a UNESCO World Heritage site) are parts of the mighty Sognefjorden system.
+
* [[Sognefjorden]] - Glaciers, mountains and picturesque towns are but a few of the sights on the Sognefjord. [[Flåm]] and [[Nærøyfjorden]] (also a [[UNESCO World Heritage]] site) are parts of the mighty Sognefjorden system.
 +
* [[Trollheimen]] - A unique mountain area north west of Norway. East of the [[Atlanterhavsveien]]. Tourist cabins [[Trollheimshytta]], [[Gjevilvasshytta]] and [[Jøldalshytta]] can provide a wonderful experience of Norway's mountains.
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
 +
 +
===Entry requirements===
 +
{{infobox|Minimum validity of travel documents|* EU and EFTA citizens, as well as non-EU citizens who are visa-exempt (e.g. New Zealanders and Australians), need only produce a passport (or national ID card for EU/EFTA citizens) which is valid for the entirety of their stay in Norway.
 +
* Other nationals who are required to have a visa (e.g. South Africans), however, must have a passport which has '''at least 3 months' validity''' beyond their period of stay in Norway in order for a Schengen visa to be granted.}}
 +
 
{{Schengen}}
 
{{Schengen}}
  
Be keenly aware that Norway is '''not''' a member of the European Union. This means, especially if arriving by plane, that all persons entering Norway, regardless of point of origin, are subject to customs controls at the port of entry. Information on duty-free allowances and regulations can be found on the [http://www.toll.no/templates_TAD/Article.aspx?id=195294&epslanguage=EN Norwegian Customs Website].
+
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, as well as holders of Hong Kong SAR or Macau SAR passports are permitted to work in Norway without the need to obtain a visa or any further authorisation for the period of their 90 day visa-free stay. However, this ability to work visa-free does not necessarily extend to other Schengen countries.  
  
You can find all the timetables you need from Rutebok [http://www.rutebok.no] timetable service.
+
Be keenly aware that Norway is not a member of the European Union. This means, especially if arriving by plane, that all persons entering Norway, regardless of point of origin, may be subject to customs controls at the port of entry. Information on duty-free allowances and regulations can be found on the [http://www.toll.no/default.aspx?id=3&epslanguage=en Norwegian Customs Website].  This has implications for air travellers (see the next section).
  
 
===By plane===
 
===By plane===
 +
Notice that if you have a domestic connecting flight, customs clearance usually takes place at the airport of '''first''' arrival to Norway, not in the final destination. This means that you have to pick your luggage, go through the customs, check it in again, and pass through the security once more before taking the connecting flight.  This is the case '''even if your flight originates elsewhere in the Schengen area'''.  In big and busy airports such as Oslo, this is quite a nuisance, and can be time-consuming. There are two ways to avoid his: Either select connections that avoid the final domestic leg, or make sure that your Oslo transfer uses the "Connecting Norway" solution.
  
 
====Oslo====
 
====Oslo====
'''Oslo Airport Gardermoen [http://www.osl.no/Default.aspx?rqcall=index.asp%3flanguagecode%3d9/]''' ('''OSL''') is the biggest airport in the country and the main international hub, and is located 60 km north of [[Oslo]]. The airport had 21.3 million passengers in 2007 and is served by many major international and all domestic airlines.  
+
'''Oslo Airport, Gardermoen [http://www.osl.no/Default.aspx?rqcall=index.asp%3flanguagecode%3d9/]''' ({{IATA|OSL}}) is the biggest airport in the country and the main international hub, 60 km north of [[Oslo]]. The airport is served by many major international and all domestic airlines.  
  
The fastest way to reach the city of Oslo is with the Airport Express Train, which takes 19 minutes. See '''Flytoget [http://www.flytoget.no/]'''.
+
The airport has scheduled flights to around 140 destinations abroad and 24 destinations in Norway. From the United Kingdom there are direct services to Oslo Gardermoen from:  
 
 
The airport has scheduled flights to around 100 destinations abroad and 24 destinations in Norway. From the United Kingdom there are direct services to Oslo Gardermoen from:  
 
  
 +
*Manchester (Scandinavian Airlines)
 +
*Aberdeen (Eastern Airways)
 +
*Birmingham (flyBe)
 +
*Edinburgh (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
 
*London Heathrow (Scandinavian Airlines and British Airways)
 
*London Heathrow (Scandinavian Airlines and British Airways)
 
*London Gatwick (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
 
*London Gatwick (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
*Manchester (Scandinavian Airlines)
 
*Edinburgh (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
 
*Aberdeen (Eastern Airways)
 
  
 
From Ireland:
 
From Ireland:
Line 163: Line 183:
  
 
From the United States:
 
From the United States:
* New York Newark (Continental)
+
* Boston (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
* Philadelphia (US Airways)
+
* Fort Lauderdale (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
 +
* Los Angeles (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
 +
* Miami (Scandinavian Airlines)
 +
* New York JFK (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
 +
* New York Newark (United, Scandinavian Airlines)
 +
* Oakland (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
 +
* Orlando (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
 +
* San Juan (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
 +
 
  
From Australia and New Zealand, the quickest connection is via Bangkok. Thai Airways flies nonstop from Oslo to Bangkok.
+
From Australia and New Zealand, the quickest connection is via Bangkok, Doha or Dubai. Thai Airways flies nonstop from Oslo to Bangkok. Qatar Airways flies 5 times a week from Doha with connections from several destinations in Asia and Oceania. Emirates flies daily nonstop from Oslo to Dubai.
  
 
====Sandefjord====
 
====Sandefjord====
'''Sandefjord Lufthavn, Torp [http://www.torp.no/?GUID={NI6TH8NaFEzjFhvCqBuzTFC}&lang=en/]''' '''(TRF)''' is located just north of Sandefjord, 115 km to the south of Oslo, and is Ryanair's destination airport in Oslo. Here you can spend as much on the coach trip (about £10) as on the flight!  Ryanair now operate another service, from London Stansted to [[Haugesund]] on the west coast.
+
'''Sandefjord Airport, Torp [http://www.torp.no/?GUID={NI6TH8NaFEzjFhvCqBuzTFC}&lang=en/]''' ({{IATA|TRF}}) is located just north of [[Sandefjord]], 115 km to the south of Oslo, and is Ryanair's destination airport in Oslo. Ryanair now operates another service, from London Stansted to [[Haugesund]] on the west coast.
  
 
Sandefjord Airport Torp has scheduled flights to 14 destinations in Europe and 3 destinations in Norway.
 
Sandefjord Airport Torp has scheduled flights to 14 destinations in Europe and 3 destinations in Norway.
Line 182: Line 210:
 
From Ireland:
 
From Ireland:
 
* Dublin (Ryanair)
 
* Dublin (Ryanair)
 
Airlines operating at Sandefjord Lufthavn, Torp:
 
'''Ryanair [http://www.ryanair.com/site/NO/]'''
 
'''KLM [http://klm.com/travel/klm_splash/splashpage.html/]'''
 
'''Widerøe [http://wideroe.no/index.asp/]'''
 
'''Wizz Air [http://wizzair.com/default.asp?language=EN/]'''
 
  
 
====Moss====
 
====Moss====
'''Moss Airport, Rygge [http://www.en.ryg.no/]''' '''(RYG)''', recently opened and located 60km south of Oslo carries many flights by Norwegian that can be comparably cheaper than flying into Gardermoen. Either an express bus service (120NOK) or a free local bus to Rygge train station, then a regional service train (119 NOK) can get you into Oslo in roughly just under an hour, and both services are timed around arrivals and departures of flights.
+
[http://www.en.ryg.no/ Moss Airport, Rygge] ({{IATA|RYG}}) is located just outside [[Moss]] and approx. 60km south of Oslo. Moss Airport Rygge was closed for civilian traffic in late 2016, but there are plans to reopen the airport at a later date.
 
 
Airlines operating at Moss lufthavn, Rygge:
 
'''Norwegian Air Shuttle [http://www.norwegian.com]'''
 
'''Ryanair [http://www.ryanair.com/site/NO/]'''
 
 
 
Norwegian Air Shuttle flies to five domestic and 12 international destinations.
 
Ryanair will fly to eight European destinations when their initial route programme fully commences in November 2009. This includes a twice-daily flight to London Stansted.
 
  
 +
*Danish Air Transport [http://www.dat.dk]
  
 
====Stavanger====
 
====Stavanger====
Stavanger airport, Sola has scheduled flights to/from [[London]], [[Amsterdam]], [[Copenhagen]], [[Frankfurt]], [[Berlin]], [[Paris]], [[Krakow]], [[Madrid]], [[Nice]] and some other European cities. The cheapest alternative tends to be Norwegian, a low-cost airline with tickets as cheap as €20.
+
'''Stavanger Airport, Sola''' has scheduled flights to/from [[London]], [[Amsterdam]], [[Copenhagen]], [[Frankfurt]], [[Berlin]], [[Paris]], [[Krakow]], [[Madrid]], [[Nice]] and some other European cities.
  
 
From the United Kingdom there are direct flights from:
 
From the United Kingdom there are direct flights from:
London Heathrow (Scandinavian Airlines)
+
*London Heathrow (Scandinavian Airlines)
London Gatwick (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
+
*London Gatwick (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
Newcastle (Eastern Airways, Widerøe)
+
*Newcastle (Eastern Airways, Widerøe)
Aberbeen (Scandinavian Airlines, Eastern Airways and Widerøe)
+
*Aberbeen (Scandinavian Airlines, Eastern Airways and Widerøe)
  
 
====Bergen====
 
====Bergen====
Bergen Airport, Flesland has scheduled flights to/from major European cities as [[London]], [[Copenhagen]], [[Amsterdam]], [[Berlin]], [[Paris]], [[Stockholm]], [[Prague]], [[Warsaw]] and other cities.
+
'''Bergen Airport, Flesland''' ({{IATA|BGO}}) has scheduled flights to/from major European cities as [[London]], [[Copenhagen]], [[Amsterdam]], [[Berlin]], [[Paris]], [[Stockholm]], [[Prague]], [[Warsaw]] and other cities.
  
 
Apart from to previously mentioned airports there are domestic flights to [[Trondheim]] and [[Tromsø]].
 
Apart from to previously mentioned airports there are domestic flights to [[Trondheim]] and [[Tromsø]].
  
 
From the United Kingdom there direct flights from:  
 
From the United Kingdom there direct flights from:  
London Gatwick (Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian)
+
*London Gatwick (Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian)
Newcastle (Easter Airways)
+
*Newcastle (Easter Airways)
Edinburgh (Widerøe)
+
*Edinburgh (Widerøe)
Aberdeen (Eastern Airways and Widerøe)
+
*Aberdeen (Eastern Airways and Widerøe)
Kirkwall (Flybe)
+
*Kirkwall (Flybe)
  
====Trondheim (Trondhjem)====
+
====Trondheim====
Trondheim can be reached by direct flights from severeal European cities, notably Amsterdam, London and Copenhagen.
+
'''Trondheim Airport, Værnes ({{IATA|TRD}}) can be reached by direct flights from several European cities, notably Amsterdam, London and Copenhagen.
  
 
From the United Kingdom there are direct flights from London Gatwick with Norwegian Air Shuttle.
 
From the United Kingdom there are direct flights from London Gatwick with Norwegian Air Shuttle.
  
 
====Tromsø ====
 
====Tromsø ====
 +
'''Tromsø Airport''' ({{IATA|TOS}}) has direct flights from London Gatwick with Norwegian Air Shuttle twice every week.  Nordavia Regional Airlines also operates a flight between Tromsø and Murmansk in Russia.
  
From the United Kingdom there are direct flights from London Gatwick with Norwegian Air Shuttle twice every week. Nordavia Regional Airlines also operates a flight between Tromso and Murmansk in Russia.
+
===By bus===
 +
Several international bus lines run into [[Oslo]] from [[Sweden]], the major operators being Nettbuss Bus4You [http://www.nettbuss.se/] and Swebus. Service to [[Gothenburg]] and [[Copenhagen]] is almost hourly, and faster and cheaper than the train.
  
===By train===
+
The minibus service between [[Kirkenes]] and [[Murmansk]] run three times per day. Contact Grenseland/Sovjetreiser (yes, they are actually still called that!) in Kirkenes for booking.
There are trains from [[Sweden]] to [[Oslo]], [[Trondheim]] and [[Narvik]], with onwards inland connections.  
 
  
For [[Oslo]], daily service from [[Stockholm]], as well as an every-night night train running through [[Gothenburg]]. The night train also carries rail cars from [[Malmö]]. There are local services from [[Karlstad]] as well. In the summer, night trains run between Malmö and Oslo.
+
Other coach lines exist between Sweden and [[Bodø]] and [[Mo i Rana]], as well as between Denmark and [[Stavanger]].
For [[Trondheim]], the Nabotåget service from [[Östersund]] corresponds with one day and one night service from [[Stockholm]], as well as the train from [[Sundsvall]].
 
For [[Narvik]], two trains run daily from [[Stockholm]] via [[Kiruna]]. Both are overnight.
 
  
 +
Many minibuses offer minibuses, these services are provided from many European countries. From Poland to Norway, [http://nor-way.pl Nor Way] offers good and cheap services.
  
Train schedule web site: '''[http://www.nsb.no/internet/en/index.jhtml]'''
+
===By train===
 +
There are trains from [[Sweden]] to [[Oslo]], [[Trondheim]] and [[Narvik]], with onwards inland connections.  
  
===By bus===
+
For [[Oslo]], daily service from [[Stockholm]] and [[Gothenburg]]. There are local services from [[Karlstad]] as well.
Several international bus lines run into [[Oslo]] from [[Sweden]], the major operators being Eurolines, Swebus Express and Säfflebussen. Service to [[Gothenburg]] and [[Copenhagen]] is almost hourly. The service to [[Stockholm]] is also far more frequent than the train.
 
  
For budget travelers be sure to check out lavprisekspressen.no for cheap bus tickets between the large cities in Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
+
For [[Trondheim]], the Nabotåget service from [[Östersund]] corresponds with one day and one night service from [[Stockholm]], as well as the train from [[Sundsvall]].
  
The minibus service between [[Kirkenes]] and [[Murmansk]] run three times per day. Contact Grenseland/Sovjetreiser (yes, they are actually still called that!) in Kirkenes for booking.
+
For [[Narvik]], two trains run daily from [[Stockholm]] via [[Kiruna]]. Both are overnight.
  
Other coach lines exist between Sweden and [[Bodø]] and [[Mo i Rana]], as well as between Denmark and [[Stavanger]].
+
Train schedules can be found on the website of the Norwegian State Railways [http://www.nsb.no/] and the Swedish Railways [http://www.sj.se/start/startpage/index.form?l=en].
  
===By car===
+
===By car===
It is possible to enter by road from [[Sweden]], [[Finland]], or [[Russia]]. If you are staying for more that a few days in a region with tollbooths, getting an AutoPass RFID box for your car may pay itself in a very short time (and you don't have to fill out all those forms over again and/or fiddle with change). The same AutoPass box can be used in all tollbooths marked AutoPass all over Norway and Sweden.
+
It is possible to enter by road from [[Sweden]], [[Finland]], or [[Russia]]. In all cases, customs checks are in place and there will be a lane for those with goods to declare (red) and a lane for nothing to declare (green). Full passport control checks are found in the lone Norwegian-Russian land border crossing between Borisoglebsky and Storskog.  Major roads to Norway include European route E6 which runs through [[Malmö]], [[Helsingborg]] and [[Göteborg]] in Sweden before crossing the border at [[Svinesund]] in the south-east of Norway, E8 which runs through [[Turku]], [[Vaasa]] and [[Oulu]] in Finland before crossing the border at [[Kilpisjärvi]]. There is an enormous number of possible routes and border crossings, but keep in mind that the road standards are not impressive and that speed limits are low.
  
 
===By boat===
 
===By boat===
Line 258: Line 274:
  
 
====From Germany====
 
====From Germany====
Color Line [http://www.colorline.com/] run a daily ferry from [[Kiel]] to Oslo. The ferry leaves Kiel at 1.30PM and arrives in Oslo at 9.30AM, the following day. The ferry terminal in Kiel is on Norwegenkai, which is a short walk across the bridge from Kiel's main railway station (note that the bridge may at times be closed for pedestrians due to ship traffic). At the Oslo end of the journey, the terminal is located at Hjortneskai, which is just west of the city. There is a bus from the terminal to the city center, which departs shortly after passengers disembark.
+
Color Line [http://www.colorline.com/] run a daily ferry from [[Kiel]] to Oslo. The ferry leaves Kiel at 13.30 and arrives in Oslo at 09.30, the following day. The ferry terminal in Kiel is on Norwegenkai, which is a short walk across the bridge from Kiel's main railway station (note that the bridge may at times be closed for pedestrians due to ship traffic). At the Oslo end of the journey, the terminal is located at Hjortneskai, which is just west of the city centre. There is a bus from the terminal to the city centre, which departs shortly after passengers disembark (where shortly means that you might miss it if you're not one of the first leaving the boat). You can also get a cab or walk to the city centre (15 minutes walk).
 +
<br/>[http://www.aida.de Aida] operates cruises, usually from Hamburg, to places in Norway such as Bergen and the fjords.
  
 
====From Denmark====
 
====From Denmark====
 
Several companies run from various harbours in Denmark (Frederikshavn, Hirtshals, Copenhagen) to various Norwegian harbours (Oslo, Larvik, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen).
 
Several companies run from various harbours in Denmark (Frederikshavn, Hirtshals, Copenhagen) to various Norwegian harbours (Oslo, Larvik, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen).
  
'''Color Line [http://www.colorline.com/]''' traffic from [[Hirtshals]]  to [[Kristiansand]], [[Larvik]] and from [[Frederikshavn]] to [[Oslo]].
+
*'''Color Line [http://www.colorline.com/]''' traffic from [[Hirtshals]]  to [[Kristiansand]] and [[Larvik]].
'''Fjord Line [http://www.fjordline.eu/]''' traffic from [[Hirtshals]] to [[Stavanger]] and [[Bergen]].
+
*'''Stena Line [http://www.stenaline.no/ferge/]''' from [[Frederikshavn]] to [[Oslo]].
'''DFDS Seaways [http://www.dfdsseaways.com/]''' traffic from [[Copenhagen]] to [[Oslo]].
+
*'''Fjord Line [http://www.fjordline.com/]''' traffic from [[Hirtshals]] to [[Stavanger]] and [[Bergen]].
 +
*'''DFDS Seaways [http://www.dfdsseaways.com/]''' traffic from [[Copenhagen]] to [[Oslo]].
  
 
====From England====
 
====From England====
  
Thompson Cruise ships operate from [[Harwich (England)|Harwich]] and visit [[Flåm]], [[Bergen]], [[Molde]], [[Hammerfest]], [[Nordkapp]], [[Tromsø]], [[Lofoten]] Islands, [[Geiranger]] and [[Ålesund]] in Norway. The duration of the cruise varies from 5 days up to 2 weeks. Sailing time from Harwich to south Norway is 1.5 days.  
+
Thomson Cruise ships operate from [[Harwich (England)|Harwich]] and visit [[Flåm]], [[Bergen]], [[Molde]], [[Hammerfest]], [[Nordkapp]], [[Tromsø]], [[Lofoten]] Islands, [[Geiranger]] and [[Ålesund]] in Norway. The duration of the cruise varies from 5 days up to 2 weeks. Sailing time from Harwich to south Norway is 1.5 days.  
On board the cruise ship are a number of restaurants, bars, casinos, cinemas and also a stage show to keep you entertained during the journey. There are various classes of cabins available, ranging from shared rooms to singles, doubles and luxury suites.
+
Onboard the cruise ship there are a number of restaurants, bars, casinos, cinemas and also a stage show to keep you entertained during the journey. There are various classes of cabins available, ranging from shared rooms to singles, doubles and luxury suites.
  
There are no ferry routes to the UK from Norway anymore. There used to be a ferry between the Bergen, Stavanger and Newcastle.
+
====From Faeroe Islands and Iceland====
 
+
Smyril Line used to operate a once-weekly service to Bergen. This service now only operates Denmark-Faroe Islands-Iceland.
====From Shetland, Faeroe Islands and Iceland====
 
Smyril Line used to operate a once-weekly service to Bergen. This service now only operates Denmark-Shetland-Faroe Islands-Iceland.
 
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
Line 281: Line 297:
  
 
===By plane===
 
===By plane===
Norway's craggy coastline makes roads and trains slow, so domestic flights are very popular and, at least by Norwegian standards, competitively priced.  The largest operators are SAS Scandinavian Airlines [http://www.sas.no], Norwegian [http://www.norwegian.no] and Widerøe [http://www.wideroe.no].
+
Norway's craggy coastline makes roads and trains slow, so domestic flights are very popular.  The largest operators are SAS [http://www.sas.no], Norwegian [http://www.norwegian.no] and Widerøe [http://www.wideroe.no].
  
 
It is especially in northern Norway, where towns and cities are fewer and further between, that air travel is clearly the most convenient method to get from town to town. Planes between the small airports are small, and they generally have several intermediate stops along the route to embark and disembark passengers. Unfortunately, it is also in these areas where ticket prices can be most expensive.
 
It is especially in northern Norway, where towns and cities are fewer and further between, that air travel is clearly the most convenient method to get from town to town. Planes between the small airports are small, and they generally have several intermediate stops along the route to embark and disembark passengers. Unfortunately, it is also in these areas where ticket prices can be most expensive.
  
Flights in southern Norway are cheaper than in northern Norway, and even though this area has better roads and rail, planes are generally faster than taking the train or bus. There are however no air routes between the cities within 200 km from Oslo, use the train or bus for this kind of travel.
+
Flights in southern Norway are cheaper than in northern Norway, and even though this area has better roads and rail, planes are generally faster than taking the train or bus. There are however no air routes between the cities within 200km from Oslo, use the train or bus for this kind of travel.
  
If you plan to fly to the many smaller towns in Northern or Western Norway you should consider Widerøes Explore Norway Ticket [http://www.wideroe.no/modules/module_123/proxy.asp?D=2&C=362&I=3049&U=Y] (Unlimited air travel for 14 days in summer for less than a full price return ticket.).
+
If you plan to fly to the many smaller towns in Northern or Western Norway you should consider Widerøe's Explore Norway Ticket [http://www.wideroe.no/modules/module_123/proxy.asp?D=2&C=362&I=3049&U=Y] (unlimited air travel for 14 days in summer for less than a full price return ticket.).
 +
 
 +
===By bus===
 +
An extensive range of express buses connect cities all over Norway and even most national parks. Nettbuss express [http://www.nettbuss.no/], Nettbuss TIMEkspressen [http://www.nettbuss.no/] and NOR-WAY Bussekspress [http://www.nor-way.no/] are the biggest operators.
 +
 
 +
Bus schedules and frequencies vary greatly, and seating may be limited so plan ahead and book online. For more information check each operator's websites. Some mountain passes are closed all winter, and buses covering these typically run May—Sep only.
  
 
===By train===
 
===By train===
Norges Statsbaner [http://www.nsb.no/internet/en/index.jhtml?language=en] (NSB) operate all railways. Norway's rail network basically connects Oslo to other major cities, there are no rail lines North-South in West Norway between Stavanger and Trondheim, and there are no rail lines North-South in North Norway north of Bodø. These main lines run several times a day:
+
[[Image:Flaamsbana.jpg|thumb|The Flåm Railway, running between Myrdal and Flåm.]]
 +
The [https://www.nsb.no/en/frontpage Norwegian State Railways (NSB)] operates all railways. Norway's rail network basically connects Oslo to other major cities, there are no rail lines North-South in West Norway between Stavanger and Trondheim, and there are no rail lines North-South in North Norway north of Bodø. These main lines run several times a day:
  
 
*Oslo - Kristiansand - Stavanger (runs inland from Drammen to Kristiansand, connections to Arendal and [[Lillesand]])
 
*Oslo - Kristiansand - Stavanger (runs inland from Drammen to Kristiansand, connections to Arendal and [[Lillesand]])
*Oslo - Skien (serving coastal towns south-west of Oslo)
+
*Oslo - [[Skien]] (serving coastal towns south-west of Oslo)
*Oslo - Bergen (across the mountains via Finse, connections to Flåm)
+
*Oslo - Bergen (across the mountains via [[Finse]], connections to Flåm)
*Oslo - Trondheim (Dovrebanen, through Lillehammer and Dombås)
+
*Oslo - Trondheim (Dovrebanen, through [[Lillehammer]] and [[Dombås]])
*Oslo - Sarpsborg - Halden
+
*Oslo - [[Sarpsborg]] - [[Halden]]
*Hamar - Røros - Trondheim
+
*[[Hamar]] - [[Røros]] - Trondheim
 
*Trondheim - Bodø (through Trondheim airport, connections to Sweden)
 
*Trondheim - Bodø (through Trondheim airport, connections to Sweden)
  
Trains are generally well-maintained and comfortable with toilets, vending machines etc. on board. Trains are more comfortable than buses and with better views, but buy tickets in advance to get a good price.
+
Trains are generally well-maintained and comfortable.
  
You can buy a Norwegian Rail Pass [http://www.scandinavianrail.com]to travel cheap by train through Norway.
+
You can buy a [http://www.scandinavianrail.com Norwegian Rail Pass] or the equivalent [http://www.interrailnet.com/interrail-passes/one-country-pass InterRail One Country Pass] to travel cheap by train through Norway. If your itinerary is fixed and you don't have too many destinations, it might be cheaper to buy 'Minipris' tickets [http://www.nsb.no/ online]. If you book well in advance, you can get one-way tickets for as little as NOK199. When buying online, you can choose ticket delivery at the station or at the train, the latter means you only need to know your seat number, the train steward has your ticket. Their website sometimes does not work for people outside of Norway. In that case you can call their call centre, but be sure to mention that you tried on the website first. Phone reservations normally incur a NOK50 fee per train ticket bought.
  
If your itiniary is fixed and you don't have too many destinations, it might be cheaper to buy ordinary tickets online [http://www.nsb.no]. If ahead in time you will usually get tickets at '''Minipris''' kr 199-399, unlimited distance, no stop-over. When buying online, you can choose ticket delivery at the station or at the train, the latter means you only need to know your seat number, the train steward has your ticket. You should always buy ticket before entering the train.
+
For long-distance trains and night trains, seat reservation is mandatory, but usually can be done on short notice, e.g., at a train station, since the trains are rarely fully booked. Generally, the trains are most crowded at the beginning and end of the weekend, and that means Friday and Sunday evening. Shortly before and at the end of major holidays like Christmas/New Year and Easter, trains are usually very busy. If you try booking for these days at a late time, you may find all the cheap tickets sold out. Furthermore, the seat you reserve may be among the least desirable, that is, facing backwards, without recline, and facing towards and sharing the legroom with other passengers.
  
Night trains operate Oslo - Bergen, Kristiansand, Bergen, Trondheim and Bodø. You get ordinary seat and blanket. If you choose to order sleeping compartment, you pay for the compartment, not the bed: 2 people same price: kr 750.
+
Night trains operate Oslo - Bergen, Kristiansand, Bergen, Trondheim and Bodø. With a regular ticket, you will get an ordinary seat, blanket and earplugs. Sleeping compartments are available for an extra of kr 930. If you choose to order sleeping compartment, you pay for the compartment, not the bed: 2 people, same price. This also means that you will never have a stranger in your compartment.
  
You can add '''komfort''' to your ticket for kr 75, which means a little more room for you legs, free coffee, papers and power socket.
+
For NOK90 you can upgrade any regular train ticket to ''NSB Komfort'', the equivalent of first class, which means a little more room for your legs, free coffee, papers and a power socket. Usually the NSB Komfort coach is the last coach in the train and behind the dining coach, resulting in much less through traffic and a quieter environment. Power sockets are starting to become available on regular class on newer trains as well.
 +
The regular night train seats have a power plug, too. In some trains there is even free Internet access via Wi-Fi; one just needs to register (giving any 8-digit number as 'phone number').
  
Unlike much of Continental Europe, Norway does not have a high speed rail system, except for the route between Oslo and its airport. Attempts at implementing high speed trains are underway, but has failed so far. (The sleek blue and silver high speed trains are operating, just not at a high speed). Therefore, a journey between the two largest cities, Bergen and Oslo, takes as much as six and a half to seven and a half hours.
+
Unlike much of Continental Europe, Norway does not have a high speed rail system, except for the route between Oslo and its airport. Attempts at implementing high speed trains are under way, but have failed so far. Therefore, a journey between the two largest cities, Bergen and Oslo, takes as much as six and a half to seven and a half hours.
  
Most long distance (regional) trains leave several times a day. Don't forget you will have to make a reservation on long distance trains (Oslo-Bergen, Oslo-Stavanger, Oslo-Kristiansand, Oslo-Trondheim, Trondheim-Bodø). This will cost you kr 50 per person extra, if it's not already included in your ticket. As a rule of thumb, the trains cover a bit under 100 km in one hour and charge a bit over kr 100 for the distance.  
+
In eastern Norway, where cities are closer together, there are several people who make a daily commute, and hence many of these cities have more frequent train service with hourly departures much of the day. This includes the cities in the counties of [[Østfold]], [[Vestfold]] as well as [[Gjøvik]], [[Hamar]] and [[Lillehammer]]. In general, these trains do not have seating reservations available, but it is still possible to upgrade to NSB Komfort.
  
In eastern Norway, where cities are closer together, there are several people who make a daily commute, and hence many of these cities have more frequent train service with hourly departures much of the day. This includes the cities in the counties of [[Østfold]], [[Vestfold]] as well as [[Gjøvik]], [[Hamar]] and [[Lillehammer]]. In general, these trains do not have ''Ordinær'' class seating reservations available, but it is still possible to upgrade to ''komfort''. If you get even closer to Oslo, there are local trains which may have departures as often as every 30 minutes. Local trains never have seating reservations, nor do they have a first class section. Local trains also operate between [[Bergen]] and [[Voss]] (sometimes to Myrdal), [[Stavanger]] and [[Egersund]] and around [[Trondheim]].
+
If you get even closer to Oslo, there are local trains which may have departures as often as every 30 min. Local trains never have seating reservations, nor do they have a first class section. Local trains also operate between [[Bergen]] and [[Voss]] (sometimes to Myrdal), [[Stavanger]] and [[Egersund]] and around [[Trondheim]].
  
Generally, the trains are most crowded at the beginning and end of the weekend, and that means Friday and Sunday evening. Shortly before and at the end of major holidays like Christmas/New Year and Easter, trains are usually very busy. If you try booking for these days at a late time, you may find all the cheap tickets sold out. Furthermore, the seat you reserve may be among the least desirable, that is, facing backwards, without recline, and facing towards and sharing the legroom with other passengers.
+
===By boat===
 +
[[Image:Folkestad ferry.jpg|thumb|The Folkestad ferry in Volda.]]
 +
Car ferries is an integral part of the road network in coastal regions. Prices and time vary with the length of the crossing and amount of traffic, call 177 for more information or check nearby camping sites for information booklets and timetables. Ferries often have information about other ferries in the region. On the main roads ferries are frequent during daytime, typically every half hour. Reservations are usually not needed, drive to the ferry quay and wait in line until the ferry docks. On main roads tourists typically don't have to worry about timetables as there are frequent departures. Note however that most ferries don't run after midnight or they run only every second hour.
  
===By boat===
+
Stretches with lots of ferries are desirable when bicycling, as the ferries are cheap for bicyclists and offer an often well-deserved break with a great view. Except for some of the shortest crossings (10 min), ferries typically have cafeterias serving coffee, cold beverages, sandwiches and some hot food. Due to numerous deep fjords and islands, driving in [[West Norway]] and [[Northern Norway]] as a rule (with few exceptions) involves ferries. Although car ferries are very reliable and operate with spare capacity, tourists should allow plenty of time on stretches including ferries. Note that ferries on unusually long crossings (several hours) or ferries crossing open stretches of sea are more frequently delayed or cancelled.
 +
 
 +
In regions with lots of fjords and islands, that is along all the coast from [[Stavanger]] to [[Tromsø]], an extensive network of catamaran express boats ("hurtigbåt") shuttle between towns and cities, and connect islands otherwise accessible only with difficulty. Service and prices are comparable with trains. Check in advance if you want to bring a bicycle.
 +
 
 +
[[Image:Hurtigruten - Bergen, Norway.jpg|thumb|Hurtigruten]]
 +
One option particularly popular with tourists is [[Hurtigruten]] [http://hurtigruten.com/] ships that hops along the coastline from [[Bergen]] all the way to [[Kirkenes]], taking five and a half days for the whole journey. Cabins are expensive and mandatory for multi-day journeys, but deck fares are more reasonable and there's even a 50% off discount with [[Inter Rail]]. Prices are summed up for all chargeable elements like persons, fuel charge (app. 1/30 of a person), bike (app. 1/20 of a person), car, cabin (app. 125% of a person). Reservations are recommended for cabins and cars; on deck is usually enough space for persons and bikes.
 +
 
 +
===By taxi===
 +
Travelling with cab in Norway can be very expensive, and in most cities it's not necessary as bus, tram and train (or even walking) are easier. Taxies are generally safe as long as you choose a licensed taxi (with a white taxi sign on the roof).
 +
Many cab companies offer apps, and some like Oslo Taxi and partnered taxi companies use the Taxifix app. Some taxi companies offer pre-paid fees to and from the airport. Cab prices can vary a lot between companies.
  
'''Car ferries''' ("bilferge") are an integral part of the road network in coastal regions. Prices and time vary with the length of the crossing and amount of traffic, but expect 150 kr and 30 min as a standard fjord crossing with two adults in a normal car. Nearby camping sites and the ferries themselves will often have timetables (booklets) for other ferries in the region. On the main roads ferries are frequent during daytime, typically every half hour. Reservations are usually not needed, Norwegians typicallly drive to the ferry quay and wait in line until the ferry docks. According to Norwegian terminology, these ferries depart from "ferry quays" ("ferjekai"/"fergekai"), rather than from "ports" or "piers". Except for a few popular tourist destinations, ferries in the coastal regions normally have capacity to take all cars waiting. Ambulances, livestock transport and scheduled buses have priority. On main roads tourists typically don't have to worry about timetables as there are frequent departures. Note however that most ferries don't run after midnight or they run only every second hour.
+
Uber withdrew its regular service from Norway in october 2017. They may only offer some luxury or limo services currently.
  
Stretches with lots of ferries are desirable when bicycling, as the ferries are cheap for bicyclists and offer an often well-deserved break with a great view. Except for some of the shortest crossings (10 min), ferries typically have cafeterias serving coffee, cold beverages, sandwiches and some hot food. Due to numerous deep fjords and islands, driving in [[West Norway]] and [[Northern Norway]] as a rule (with few exceptions) involves ferries. Although car ferries are very reliable and operate with spare capacity, tourists should allow plenty of time on stretches including ferries. Note that ferries on unusually long crossings (several hours) or ferries crossing open stretches of sea are more frequently delayed or cancelled.
+
===By car===
 +
Norway has right hand traffic, as the rest of mainland Europe. Driving is generally easy as traffic is calm, and most drivers are disciplined and law abiding, although moderate speeding is common on highways. However, some city centres (such as Bergen and Oslo) may be confusing to navigate for the first time visitor due to many one-way streets. Traffic is generally light except for city centres and a handful of stretches on main roads (notably E18).
  
In regions with lots of fjords and islands, that is along all the coast from [[Stavanger]] to [[Tromsø]], an extensive network of '''catamaran expressboats shuttle''' ("hurtigbåt") between towns and cities, and connect islands otherwise accessible only with difficulty. Service and prices are comparable with trains. Check in advance if you want to bring a bicycle.  
+
Gas is expensive, starting at around NOK14.50 per litre (approx. US$9.30 per gallon). In some parts of Norway, the next gas station might be more than 100km away; a small village doesn't always have a gas station even if it is remotely located. Bring a full jerry can and fill up the tank in time. Manual transmission is regarded as standard in Norway and is found in most private cars. If you prefer to rent a car with automatic transmission, make sure to order one. Renting a car is very expensive, but can be essential for easy access to some of the more rural areas, although most areas have a good reliable bus service. If you live in Europe, consider bringing your own, but if you arrive during winter (November - April), be aware that winter tyres are necessary, do not under any circumstance try to drive without, even if you don't expect snow or ice. There's no really reliable weather forecast for these areas, snow and ice can stay a long time on lesser used roads, and steep roads need only a little ice to become difficult. Winter tyres must have a minimum of 3 mm deep grooves. Cars heavier than 3500 kg are required to bring snow chains during winter and whenever snow or ice can be expected, a minimum of 5 mm tread pattern depth is recommended for trucks and heavy cars. This is important as every year, at least a dozen trucks are blocking the roads because they wanted to save some money..
  
One option particularly popular with tourists is [[Hurtigruten]] [http://hurtigruten.com/] ships that hops along the coastline from [[Bergen]] all the way to [[Kirkenes]], taking five and a half day for the whole journey. Cabins are expensive and mandatory for multi-day journeys, but deck fares are more reasonable and there's even a 50% off discount with [[Inter Rail]]. Prices are summed up for all chargeable elements like persons, fuel charge (app. 1/30 of a person), bike (app. 1/20 of a person), car, cabin (app. 125% of a person). Reservations are recommended for cabins and cars; on deck is usually enough space for persons and bikes.
+
====Carpooling====
 +
Carpooling that operates in Norway includes:
  
===By bus===
+
- joinants.com
An extensive range of express buses connect cities all over Norway and even most national parks. Nor-way Bussekspress [http://www.nbe.no/], Timekspressen [http://www.timekspressen.no/] and FFR / Veolia Transport Nord [http://www.ffr.no/] (northern Norway) are the biggest operators. Fjord1 [http://www.fjord1.no] also runs some express routes. The frequency of buses may vary between '''summer and winter''', but times do not, so buses are driving on icy roads as fast as in perfect summer conditions - you get used to it.
+
- http://www.samkjoring.no
  
Timekspressen even runs the Oslo-Drammen-Kongsberg-Notodden service every hour, round the clock, every day - even at midnight on New Year's eve... However, this frequency does not apply to rural areas: Buses often leave just once a day, or possibly even more infrequently. During weekends, bus service is reduced to a minimum in northern Norway, even in high season. Hence, '''plan ahead!'''
+
===By Motorhome / Camper van ===
 +
Several companies hire motorhomes and mini-campers(2 person), that are "fully equipped" (beds, small kitchen, fridge, shower, toilet, heating, etc) and as a rough indication they cost about what one might spend on a reasonable hire car and reasonable accommodation - but allow a lot more flexibility.
  
All '''schedules''' are to be found various places on the Internet. You may try the extrensive connection search Rutebok.no [http://www.rutebok.no] - available in English, Norwegian and German. Note that some mountain passes are closed all winter, and buses covering these typically run May-September only.
+
While technically it's not legal to park overnight on the roadside or in rest areas, the practice is so common that it seems to be unenforced.
  
All major cities have some sort of '''city bus system''' mostly quite good, but not always. Oslo also has local trains, metro and trams, Trondheim has local trains and one tram line, while Bergen has a trolley bus line and a funicular railway, as well as local trains. Stavanger/Sandnes also has a local train system.
+
There are hundreds of camp grounds that cater to motorhomes (and caravans, or camping with tents - some have huts to rent), and these are well signposted. All have basic facilities (electricity, toilets, hot showers (pay per minute), mostly-flat ground), and some are more equipped (buy fresh food, hire boats, communal kitchens, tourist info, etc).  
  
===By taxi===
+
Some are of the "industrial" variety (hundreds of vans, spotless facilities, very straight paths, gravel, not grass, keypads to enter, lots of strict rules, right beside the highway), and others are more... loose - occasional visitors, honour system for payment, idyllic surroundings, lots of grass and space. It's impossible to tell from the signs, so a drive-by might be necessary to see if the campground suits your mood and preferences.  
Traveling with cab in Norway can be very expensive, and in most big cities it's not necessary as bus, tram and train are easier. If you land at Oslo Airport Gardermoen OSL, then as stated above the easiest way to get to Oslo is by train. Although most taxi companies offer a flat rate fee for travel between Oslo Airport and Oslo S train station. If you do find yourself wanting to travel by cab, make sure you use a reputable cab company. A few of these companies are
 
  
* Oslo Taxi
+
As a rough guide (August 2011), a night in a campground with electricity costs around NOK200, but ranges from NOK120-300.Showers are usually NOK10 for 4 minutes.
* Christiania Taxi
 
* Asker og Bærum Taxi
 
* Trondheim Taxi
 
* Bergen Taxi
 
* Taxi Sør
 
* Agder Taxi
 
  
Most cities have their own taxi service.
+
There are many rest stops on all major and many minor roads, and there's a fantastic system of National Tourist Routes with particularly spectacular rest stops (and facilities). Most of the rests tops have a toilet and picnic table.
  
===By car===
+
===Tolls===
Norway has right hand traffic, as the rest of mainland Europe. Driving is generally easy as traffic is calm, and most drivers are disciplined and law abiding, although moderate speeding is common on highways. However, some city-centres (such as Bergen and Oslo) may be confusing to navigate for the first time visitor. Traffic is generally light except for city centres and a handful of stretches on main roads (notably E18).
+
There are tollways in Norway, but most tollways are part of (AutoPass [http://www.autopass.no/]). Visitors can register their numberplate for the duration of their visit only, pre-buy NOK300 worth of tolls, and directly debit their (European) bank account or credit card for top ups. Any un-used funds are returned within 90 days. Occasionally, it may be necessary to stop and pay for tolls, but a huge majority are automated (numberplate is photographed while driving under a gantry over the road).
  
Gas is expensive in comparison to North America, starting at around US$6 per US gallon as of Feb 2009. When driving in northern Norway, be aware that the '''next gas station might be more than 100 km away'''; a small village doesn't always have a gas station even if it is remotely located. Bring a full jerry can and/or fill up the tank in time. Manual transmission is regarded as standard in Norway and is found in most private cars. If you prefer to rent a car with automatic transmission, make sure to order one. Renting a car is very expensive, but can be essential for easy access to some of the more rural areas, although most areas have a good reliable bus service. If you live in Europe, consider bringing your own, but if you arrive during winter (November - April), be aware that winter tires are necessary and required by law. DO NOT try to drive without, even if you don't expect snow or ice. Winter tires must have a minimum of 3 millimeter deep grooves. Cars heavier than 3500 kilograms are required to bring snow chains during winter and whenever snow or ice can be expected, a minimum of 5 millimeter tread pattern depth is recommended for trucks and heavy cars.  
+
The tolls differ from those in Stockholm and Gothenburg in that foreign vehicles are NOT exempt. Cases where foreign cars incur unpaid tolls are pursued by Europe-wide toll collection companies.
  
 +
===Tunnels===
 +
Any driving in Norway is not complete without tunnels. There are thousands of them, and they are fascinating to those unfamiliar with them. The longest seems to be 24km, but 1-3km is more common. Tunnels are always lit with "street" lighting, but are a little narrower than the regular roads. Driving out from a tunnel, over a bridge spanning a deep gorge, back into a tunnel, then down a 12% gradient is something to be remembered!
  
 
====Rules and regulations====
 
====Rules and regulations====
 +
Rules and regulations in the traffic are generally the same as in the rest of Europe. Foreign visitors should be aware that police controls are common and that fines are very high, and should take special note of the following rules:
  
Norwegian roads are like most European roads among the safest in the world due to extensive training of drivers, low speed limits and strict enforcement of rules. The Norwegian police is generally very strict on all kinds of aggressive driving, such as risky overtaking. The police also control traffic from unmarked cars.
+
* The give way rule is universal. On roads without the "Yellow Diamond" sign, all traffic from your right hand side has the right of way; you must yield to traffic from any road to your right, except from private areas such as parking lots.
 
+
* Buses have priority when leaving a bus stop where the speed limit is 60km/h or less. Trains, trams and light rail have right of way even from the left hand side.
* The ''Give Way'' rule is universal in Norway. On roads without the "Yellow Diamond" sign, all traffic from your right hand side has the "Right of Way" on to the road so BE AWARE! There is no concept of minor and major road, so the '''right hand rule''' means that you must yield to traffic from smaller roads to your right. This rule does not apply when leaving a parking space. Buses however have priority when leaving a bus stop and the speed limit is 60 kmh or less. Trams (and other rail-bound vehicles) have right of way even from the left hand side (Oslo has a few tram-lines).
+
* Quite a few roads are not wide enough for two cars to meet. Blue signs with a large M indicates a ''passing point''.
* There is a growing number of '''roundabouts''' in Norway. There are no special rules for roundabouts, but virtually every roundabout have give-way signs for traffic entering the roundabout, that is, in practice cars already in the roundabout have priority. Because Norway has right hand driving, traffic circles counter-clockwise in the roundabout (look to the left).
+
* Headlights are mandatory even during daylight.
* Some mountain roads are not wide enough for two cars to meet. Look for signs with a large M which indicates a ''passing point''. Traffic going down hill has to give way to traffic going up hill even if that means reversing.  
+
* An EN standard hazard waistcoat is required in the vehicle, reachable from the drivers seat.
* '''Headlights are mandatory''' even during daylight. A country ID sticker on the back of the vehicle and an EN standard hazard waistcoat is required in the vehicle, reachable from the drivers seat. Spare bulbs are a good idea.
+
* Pedestrians have the right of way at all marked crossings with no traffic lights. You are required to stop even if the pedestrian is not yet in the crossing, only showing intention to cross. You may be severely fined and your driver's licence may be suspended if you don't. This rule is strictly enforced.
* Pedestrians expect you to stop for them at marked crossings and you may be fined if you don't. This rule is strictly enforced.
+
* The general speed limit is 80km/h in the country side and on motorways (unless indicated otherwise), and 50km/h in urban areas. The speed limit is always a maximum limit, adjusted to population density but not road standards. Which is important, as keeping strictly to the speed limit can make your car fly if you don't adjust to the terrain. The driver is also expected to adjust speed downward to a safe level in for instance fog, heavy rain or snow, as there are no hard and fast rules. On the other hand, it's considered rude to drive slow to enjoy the view when there's other cars behind you, this can provoke dangerous drive-bys. If you drive a slow car, please use open spaces besides the road to let other cars pass by now and then. And take a rest when you need to, that's what resting areas are made for.
* Speeding is taken very seriously and even 6 kmh over the limit can result in a large "on the spot" fine. Fines for speeding can be up to 8000 NOK (1000 euros). There are also many unmarked grey speed camera boxes (facing the traffic) on all roads.  
+
* Don't drink and drive. Your blood alcohol concentration must not exceed 0.02 ‰. One small beer can be enough. This rule is strictly enforced and violators risk an enormous income-based fine, a long (or even indefinite) suspension of the driver's licence and prison time.
* The general '''speed limit''' is 80kmh/50mph in the country side, and 50 kmh in urban areas/towns. Note that there are no specific rules for change of speed limit (as in some other countries) when driving conditions change. The driver is expected to adjust speed downward to a safe level in for instance fog, heavy rain or snow.
+
* On typical Norwegian two-lane road with a narrow shoulder, overtaking is only allowed on long straights with plenty of visibility. Overtake only if really necessary, consider alternatives like taking a short break.
* '''Don't drink and drive'''. Your blood alcohol concentration must not exceed 0.2 (per mil). One small beer can be enough. This rule is strictly enforced.
+
* Using one's vehicle horn is considered impolite and may result in a fine unless used for an emergency.
* On typical Norwegian two-lane road with a narrow shoulder, '''overtaking''' is only allowed on long straightaways with plenty visibility. Overtake only if really necessary, consider alternatives like taking a short break.
+
* Right turn on red is illegal.
* Use your car horn only in case of emergency.
+
* White line in the road means the lanes go in the same direction, yellow line means the lanes go in opposite direction. Less used roads may have no line at all, keep to the right side at passing traffic but otherwise it isn't so strict. Which means, watch out at the turns.
* Make sure to keep a minimum of three seconds distance to the vehicle in front of you.
 
* For your own safety, wear the '''seatbelt''' at all times (also required by law).
 
* '''Road signs''' are essentially based on symbols (European standard) or codes, not explanatory text. Typical codes are: "8-16" (which means that the sign is valid on work days from 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon), numbers in parantheses "(8-16)" refers to Saturdays while numbers printed in red refers to Sundays (and other holidays). Because asphalt is often covered by snow or slush in the winter, Norwegians rely on signs rather than markings on the asphalt.
 
  
 
====Roads and driving conditions====
 
====Roads and driving conditions====
 
+
[[Image:Vikafjellet.jpg|thumb|Road RV13 over Vikafjellet. Note that this picture is taken mid June!]]
 
'''Norwegian roads''' have varying quality. The main roads are the European highways indicated with an "E" in front of the number. For instance '''E6''' is the main north-south corridor from Sweden via Oslo to Kirkenes in the very east of Northern Norway. European highways connect cities, regions and countries. '''E18''' connects Kristiansand and towns in South Norway to Oslo and Sweden. '''E16''' connects Bergen to Oslo (via Flåm and Voss), road 7 is an alternate route to Bergen (via Hardangervidda). '''E39''' is the coastal main road from Kristiansand via Stavanger, Bergen and Ålesund to Trondheim. The E-roads are excellent for navigation. Other main roads (national highways, "riksvei") have low one- or two-digit numbers, the most important of these are indicated with white fonts on green background (as opposed to black on white for most highways). Note however that the importance of the road does indicate quality: even the E's may have narrow and slow sections.  
 
'''Norwegian roads''' have varying quality. The main roads are the European highways indicated with an "E" in front of the number. For instance '''E6''' is the main north-south corridor from Sweden via Oslo to Kirkenes in the very east of Northern Norway. European highways connect cities, regions and countries. '''E18''' connects Kristiansand and towns in South Norway to Oslo and Sweden. '''E16''' connects Bergen to Oslo (via Flåm and Voss), road 7 is an alternate route to Bergen (via Hardangervidda). '''E39''' is the coastal main road from Kristiansand via Stavanger, Bergen and Ålesund to Trondheim. The E-roads are excellent for navigation. Other main roads (national highways, "riksvei") have low one- or two-digit numbers, the most important of these are indicated with white fonts on green background (as opposed to black on white for most highways). Note however that the importance of the road does indicate quality: even the E's may have narrow and slow sections.  
  
Asphalt cover on Norwegian roads is usually coarse and don't get very slippery when wet as can be experienced in some other countries. Note however that studded winter tyres tend to eat asphalt during the winter leaving deep tracks (or furrows). This can make the car sideways unstable, particularly in high speed, and if filled with water tyres may float on the water making the car difficult to control (as if driving on ice or snow). When driving downhill steep mountain roads it is best to use a low gear and let the engine control the speed. Brakes can overheat causing the brake fluid to boil.
+
Asphalt cover on Norwegian roads is usually coarse and doesn't get very slippery when wet as can be experienced in some other countries. Note however that studded winter tyres tend to eat asphalt during the winter leaving deep tracks (or furrows). This can make the car sideways unstable, particularly in high speed, and if filled with water tyres may float on the water making the car difficult to control (as if driving on ice or snow). When driving downhill steep mountain roads it is best to use a low gear and let the engine control the speed. Brakes can overheat causing the brake fluid to boil.
  
'''Moose/elk''' ("elg") and red deer can run onto the highway particularly at dusk and dawn so take extra care if driving at those times, particularly through forest. Red deer can also jump onto the highway without warning, particularly in Western Norway during late autumn and winter, special "crossing points" have been constructed several places, be aware. Reindeer may happen to walk on the road in Northern Norway. Note the warning signs. The elk, the most dangerous animal on the roads, is most active at full moon, after heavy snow fall and at dusk/dawn.
+
'''Moose/elk''' ("elg") and red deer can run onto the highway particularly at dusk and dawn so take extra care if driving at those times, particularly through forest. Red deer can also jump onto the highway without warning, particularly in Western Norway during late autumn and winter, special "crossing points" have been constructed several places, be aware. Reindeer may happen to walk on the road in Northern Norway. Note the warning signs. These warning signs will also, with few exceptions, specify for how long a distance there is an increased risk of animals crossing the road. The elk, the most dangerous animal on the roads, is most active at full moon, after heavy snow fall and at dusk/dawn.
  
Driving a car in '''winter''' conditions may be a real challenge without proper training and experience, this particularly applies to mountain passes all over Norway as well as other roads in Northern Norway. The golden rule for driving on snow, ice and slush: ''don't rush''. Braking distance increases dramatically, increase distance to the car in front of you from the standard 3 seconds to a 5-6 seconds or more. Inexperienced drivers should drive very careful until they get used to the conditions and the car, experienced drivers always "feel" the contact between tires and road. A number of mountain roads are frequently closed temporarily during bad weather, and the authorities routinely issue road information on radio, TV and internet. During blizzards on some roads you are only allowed to drive in a line behind a heavy snowplow, a method called "kolonnekjøring", you are then obliged to wait at a gate or sign until the snowplow arrives. Always obtain specific information about mountain roads the day and hours before going. Don't hesitate to ask locals or call '''175''' for last minute information. Always bring enough clothes and food, always calculate plenty of time. Be prepared to cancel or postpone trips in winter.
+
Driving a car in '''winter''' conditions may be a real challenge without proper training and experience, this particularly applies to mountain passes all over Norway as well as other roads in Northern Norway. The golden rule for driving on snow, ice and slush: ''don't rush''. Braking distance increases dramatically, increase distance to the car in front of you from the standard 3 seconds to a 5-6 seconds or more. Inexperienced drivers should drive very careful until they get used to the conditions and the car, experienced drivers always "feel" the contact between tyres and road. A number of mountain roads are frequently closed temporarily during bad weather, and the authorities routinely issue road information on radio, TV and internet. During blizzards on some roads you are only allowed to drive in a line behind a heavy snowplough, a method called "kolonnekjøring", you are then obliged to wait at a gate or sign until the snowplough arrives. Always obtain specific information about mountain roads the day and hours before going. Don't hesitate to ask locals or call '''175''' for last minute information, as Norwegians are generally comfortable with driving on snow and ice. Always bring enough clothes and food, always calculate plenty of time. Be prepared to cancel or postpone trips in winter.  
  
 
Some mountain passes, including popular roads around [[Geiranger]] are totally closed during winter (typically Nov-May). Other mountain roads may be closed for shorter periods (several days or only one night) during bad weather. These roads are always '''closed during winter''' ("vinterstengt"):
 
Some mountain passes, including popular roads around [[Geiranger]] are totally closed during winter (typically Nov-May). Other mountain roads may be closed for shorter periods (several days or only one night) during bad weather. These roads are always '''closed during winter''' ("vinterstengt"):
 
* Road 55 Sognefjell (Nov-May)
 
* Road 55 Sognefjell (Nov-May)
* Road 51 Valdresflya (Dec-April)
+
* Road 51 Valdresflya (Dec-Apr)
 
* Road 63 Geiranger (Nov-May)
 
* Road 63 Geiranger (Nov-May)
 
* Road 63 Trollstigen (Oct-May)
 
* Road 63 Trollstigen (Oct-May)
 
* Road 13 Gaularfjell (Dec-May)
 
* Road 13 Gaularfjell (Dec-May)
* E69 Nordkapp (North Cape) (Oct-April)
+
* E69 Nordkapp (North Cape) (Oct-Apr)
 
 
  
 
Visitors frequently underestimate '''distances and driving time''' in the Norwegian landscape. Key distances by car:
 
Visitors frequently underestimate '''distances and driving time''' in the Norwegian landscape. Key distances by car:
* Oslo-Bergen 500 km/ 8 hours
+
* Oslo-Bergen 500km/ 8h
* Oslo-Stavanger 540 km/ 8 hours
+
* Oslo-Stavanger 540km/ 8h
* Oslo-Trondheim 500 km/ 8 hours
+
* Oslo-Trondheim 500km/ 8h
* Trondheim-Bodø 700 km/ 12 hours
+
* Trondheim-Bodø 700km/ 12h
* Oslo-Geiranger 450 km/ 7 hours
+
* Oslo-Geiranger 450km/ 7h
* Oslo-Flåm 350 km/ 5 hours
+
* Oslo-Flåm 350km/ 5h
* Bodø-Tromsø 600 km/ 10 hours
+
* Bodø-Tromsø 600km/ 10h
* Bergen-Geiranger 400 km / 7 hours
+
* Bergen-Geiranger 400km / 7h
* Bergen-Flåm 170 km/ 3 hours
+
* Bergen-Flåm 170km/ 3h
* Ålesund-Trondheim 300 km/ 6 hours
+
* Ålesund-Trondheim 300km/ 6h
  
 
===By bicycle===
 
===By bicycle===
The bicycle seat is a one of the best ways to experience the landscapes of Norway. The sport is becoming increasingly popular in Norway, especially since the success of Norwegian cyclists like Thor Hushovd. As a result, Norwegians generally have a very positive attitude to bicycle tourists, so you'll have a lot of small talk. Norwegians themselves prefer to ride on nice or even expensive bicycles: in most cities good bicycle shops can be found.
+
The bicycle seat is one of the best ways to experience the landscapes of Norway. The sport is becoming increasingly popular in Norway, especially since the success of Norwegian cyclists like Thor Hushovd. As a result, Norwegians generally have a very positive attitude to bicycle tourists, so you'll have a lot of small talk. Norwegians themselves prefer to ride on nice or even expensive bicycles: in most cities good bicycle shops can be found.
  
You'll find quite a number of travel diaries online. Only few specific cycle tracks exist, mostly in the big cities, and they are not fully interconnected. Except for densely populated areas, they can mostly be ignored. You can safely use almost every road, as speeds are relatively low and the vast majority of drivers are responsible and patient. At places where a highway is built, the old road is often redesigned as a cycle route.  
+
You'll find quite a number of travel diaries online. Only few specific cycle tracks exist, mostly in the big cities, and they are not fully interconnected. Except for densely populated areas, they can mostly be ignored. You can safely use almost every road, as speeds are relatively low and the vast majority of drivers are responsible and patient. Cycling is banned on motorways and in most tunnels, but there is often an alternative route where cycling is allowed - even if this might involve a detour or a ferry ride in some of the more wild parts of the country.
  
 
In most of Norway, cycling can be physically challenging, due to steep climbs and strong winds. Your equipment should be lightweight and aerodynamic. You will need a wide range of gears: a ratio of 39-27 for a strong cyclist without luggage or even 22-32 for a normal cyclist with luggage is necessary on many slopes. Your brakes should be of high quality and you'll need spare brake pads when doing a trip of more than a few days. Lights are necessary because of the many tunnels. Because of the winds, it is advisable to avoid wide panniers and loose fitting clothes. A lightweight recumbent should be considered as a serious option for those experienced with this type of bicycle, especially when cycling south to north.
 
In most of Norway, cycling can be physically challenging, due to steep climbs and strong winds. Your equipment should be lightweight and aerodynamic. You will need a wide range of gears: a ratio of 39-27 for a strong cyclist without luggage or even 22-32 for a normal cyclist with luggage is necessary on many slopes. Your brakes should be of high quality and you'll need spare brake pads when doing a trip of more than a few days. Lights are necessary because of the many tunnels. Because of the winds, it is advisable to avoid wide panniers and loose fitting clothes. A lightweight recumbent should be considered as a serious option for those experienced with this type of bicycle, especially when cycling south to north.
Line 414: Line 443:
 
The roads are generally paved well, although gravel roads are sometimes unavoidable. As long as you don't go off-road, you will not need suspension or grooved tyres.
 
The roads are generally paved well, although gravel roads are sometimes unavoidable. As long as you don't go off-road, you will not need suspension or grooved tyres.
  
Because of the long distances and numerous hills, bicycle tourists are advised to plan well and be prepared to use public transport for the less interesting stretches. Special attention should be given to tunnels, as some of them are forbidden for cyclists, as are a few roads. An online map of tunnels can be found [http://www.cycletourer.co.uk/maps/tunnelmap.shtml]. The tourist information also has a map of those forbidden routes. When hiring a bike, you can consult the person that lends you the bike concerning the track you want to take. In many cases, signposts indicate the route for cyclists and pedestrians around forbidden roads or tunnels. Some of the high speed tunnels have bus stops a short distance from the entrance where you can board special buses equipped with bike racks to transport you through the tunnel. Buses usually run hourly and the departure times are posted.
+
Because of the long distances and numerous hills, bicycle tourists are advised to plan well and be prepared to use public transport for the less interesting stretches. Special attention should be given to tunnels, as some of them are forbidden for cyclists, as are a few roads. An [http://www.cycletourer.co.uk/maps/tunnelmap.shtml on-line map of tunnels]. The tourist information also has a map of those forbidden routes. When hiring a bike, you can consult the person that lends you the bike concerning the track you want to take. In many cases, signposts indicate the route for cyclists and pedestrians around forbidden roads or tunnels. Some of the high speed tunnels have bus stops a short distance from the entrance where you can board special buses equipped with bike racks to transport you through the tunnel. Buses usually run hourly and the departure times are posted.
  
Ferries take bikes for free or minimal charge, on trains you've to pay a fee and in buses, bikes are sometimes forbidden and in all other cases only transported if there's enough space (no fee or same like a child). The Norwegian Cyclist Association [http://www.syklistene.no/] offers information.
+
Ferries take bikes for free or minimal charge, on trains you've to pay a fee and in buses, bikes are sometimes forbidden and in all other cases only transported if there's enough space (no fee or same like a child). The [http://www.syklistene.no/ Norwegian Cyclist Association] offers information.
  
 
===By thumb===
 
===By thumb===
Line 422: Line 451:
  
 
When waiting make sure to stand in a place where the vehicles can see you and have a safe opportunity to stop. Ferry ports and main fuel stations are good places to try. Stretches with low speed limit (50-60) is generally better than high speed as drivers find it more cumbersome to make a halt. Drivers of heavy trucks in particular prefer to keep a steady speed. Roadside cafeterias where truckers have a break can be good place to ask for a lift.
 
When waiting make sure to stand in a place where the vehicles can see you and have a safe opportunity to stop. Ferry ports and main fuel stations are good places to try. Stretches with low speed limit (50-60) is generally better than high speed as drivers find it more cumbersome to make a halt. Drivers of heavy trucks in particular prefer to keep a steady speed. Roadside cafeterias where truckers have a break can be good place to ask for a lift.
 +
 +
Good hitchhiking spots from major cities are:
 +
Oslo to:
 +
Bergen and the mountains- if you're daring, try Oksenøyveien (see Kristiansand), but be aware that most cars continue southwards to Drammen. Rather catch the Timekspressen bus, direction Hønefoss, to Sollihøgda.
 +
Trondheim and the north- is getting more difficult as motorway development continues. The best bet inside Oslo is bus stop Ulvenkrysset. Get the metro to Helsfyr, then bus 76, 401 or 411 for one stop. Further outside, to avoid the local traffic, you are best off at the Shell gas station at Skedsmovollen, bus 845 and 848 from Lillestrøm train station.
 +
Kristiansand and the south: Few spots beat the bus stop Oksenøyveien, connected by bus 151, 251 and 252. You may be dropped in Sandvika by cars heading towards Hønefoss and the mountains/Bergen. Carry a sign.
 +
Sweden along E6: Highway all the way, except close to the centre. Try the bus stop Nedre Bekkelaget, bus 81 and 83.
 +
Sweden along E18: You may try Nedre Bekkelaget, but as most traffic continue towards Strömstad and Gothenburg, you should rather catck the Timekspressen bus 9 to Østensjø stop, just after the Holstad roundabout.
 +
 +
Bergen to:
 +
Oslo - Get local train to Arna and try near the entrance to Arnanipa tunnel.
 +
Northwards - Go by bus to Vågsbotn in Arna, and try hithing a ride close to the Hjelle bakery.
 +
Southwards - Get the light rail to Nesttun, then nearly any bus for three stops to Skjoldskiftet. Hitch southwards along E39.
 +
 +
Trondheim to:
 +
Oslo - Get bus 46 to the shopping centre City Syd, then go under the E6 and try your luck at City Syd E6 stop. Soon, the city tax on buses will be extended past the Klett roundabout, if this is in effect you should go to the bus stop just after the roundabout at any Melhus-bound bus and try your luck there.
 +
Molde/Ålesund - Get any Orkanger bus to the stop just after Klett roundabout. Soon, Trondheim city tax will extend to Børsa, after which you should stay on the bus for as long as you can, and hitch a ride from there.
 +
Northwards - Get city bus 7 or 66 to Travbanen stop.
 +
Sweden - To be sure to hitch only on cars going towards Sweden, get a train or bus to Stjørdal and hitch on the E14.
 +
 +
In general, looking polite and friendly is a good trick. Asking cars in line at a ferry quay (if travelling along the coast) is a very good idea, and may bring you very far. Hitching rides from Molde all the way to Bergen are not unheard of, but don't bet on it.
 +
 +
In general though, you can really get to anywhere from anywhere by thumb, just in some places it might take a while.
  
 
==Talk==
 
==Talk==
[[Norwegian phrasebook|Norwegian]] is the official language of Norway. The language is very close and mutually intelligible with the two other Scandinavian languages, [[Danish phrasebook|Danish]] and [[Swedish phrasebook|Swedish]], and more distantly related though not mutually intelligible in spoken form with [[Icelandic phrasebook|Icelandic]] and [[Faroese phrasebook|Faroese]], but completely unrelated to Finnish. Sami is a minority language which has official status in some Northern regions. Road signs and other public information is then provided in both Norwegian and Sami (note that Norwegian and Sami place names may differ, maps will typically use the Norwegian name). Sami is related to Finnish, but not to Scandinavian languages. There is no standard spoken Norwegian and a wide range of dialects is used even in public broadcasting, and there are even two standard ways of writing it, ''Bokmål'' and ''Nynorsk''.
+
There is no ''de jure'' standard spoken '''[[Norwegian phrasebook|Norwegian]]''' (although ''standard østnorsk'', the variety usually taught to foreigners, is the predominant language in much of ''Østlandet'' including Oslo and is the closest thing to a ''de facto'' standard, being widely used in media) and a wide range of dialects is used even in public broadcasting, and there are even two standard ways of writing it, ''bokmål'' and ''nynorsk''. Norwegians learn both at school. The two varieties are very close and mutually intelligible with the two other Scandinavian languages, [[Danish phrasebook|Danish]] and [[Swedish phrasebook|Swedish]]. Of the two standard ways of writing it, bokmål is by far the more common form of writing in most of the country, though nynorsk is prevalent in Western Norway. Overall, bokmål is the preferred written standard for about 85% of the population.  
  
Most Norwegians below 60 speak '''English''' well. So, learning any Norwegian before your travel is not necessary. Just asking the person you are talking to if he or she speaks English will suffice. For the last 2-3 decades a lot of Norwegians have spent at least a few years learning either German or French at school, however this is nowhere near the number of people who speak English. Spanish and Italian are now growing increasingly popular, but almost exclusively at larger schools in the largest cities.
+
Sami is a group of minority languages which have official status in some Northern regions as well as some municipalities further south. Road signs and other public information is then provided in both Norwegian and Sami (note that Norwegian and Sami place names may differ, maps will typically use the Norwegian name). Sami is related to Finnish, but not to Scandinavian languages, and virtually no non-Sami Norwegians speak Sami.  
  
In addition, a wide range of minorities live in Norway, both native and more recent immigrant groups. Several languages are spoken by cultural groups without having status as official languages, like Romani, Finnish, Kven and Urdu. A great deal of immigrants are from Arab countries like Iraq and Pakistan. Somali immigrants also make up a large share of immigrants.
+
Almost all Norwegians speak English, and unless you approach someone really old and isolated you should have no trouble whatsoever getting around in English. Officially, 91% of the population speaks fluent English, making Norway one of the most English-proficient countries on the planet where English is not an official language.
  
The capital, Oslo, is quite a melting pot. It is a multi-cultural city with many different ethnic groups, in addition to all Norwegian dialects, a large number of languages from all corners of the world can be heard in Oslo. Stavanger also has a lot of "western immigration" due to a large NATO headquarter being located there as well as the oil industry.
+
German and French are spoken by some workers in the tourism industry. However it is better to speak the local language, another Scandinavian language, or English.
  
Foreign television programmes and films are almost always shown in their original language with subtitles. Only children's programmes are dubbed into Norwegian.
+
Foreign films and television programmes are generally shown in their original language with subtitles. Only children's programmes are dubbed into Norwegian.
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
 +
 +
'''Northern Lights'''
 +
 +
Tromsø is a great place to see the aurora, or northern lights.
 +
 +
'''Midnight Sun'''
 +
 +
Tromsø should also be visited during summer to see the midnight sun. The duration of the Polar Day period depends on how far north you are. The further north you go, the longer the period lasts and the earlier it begins. The North Cape, Bodø, and Lofoten are ideal to experience the Midnight Sun. The frequency and intensity of Northern Lights coincide with high solar sunspot activity, that cycle in approximately eleven-year intervals.
 +
 +
'''Fjords'''
 +
 +
Norway is widely recognized for its plethora of fjords (even the word "fjord" is Norwegian). Two of Norway's most prominent fjords, Nærøyfjord and Geirangerfjord have received a UNESCO world heritage site listings, due to their outstanding natural beauty and scenery. Other notable mentions are Lysefjord, Oslofjord, and Sognefjord.
 +
 +
'''Lofoten Archipelago'''
 +
 +
Lofoten, is an archipelago north of the Arctic circle. During the summer the islands have 24 hours of daylight. It is a great place to cycle, rock climb or mountaineer. Reinebringen is a popular hiking destination due to the stunning panoramic view from its peak.
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
 
A great introduction to Norway is the one-day Norway in a Nutshell [http://www.norwayinanutshell.no] package on a single ticket from Oslo or Bergen into the mountains, with a boat trip through the fjords. You can break the trip at several interesting cabins for walking or just admiring the view, and even hire a mountain bike for part of the journey. One of the highlights of the 'Norway in a Nutshell' package is Flåmsbana [http://www.flaamsbana.no/eng/Index.html], a 20km railway that's one of the steepest in the world. Along the way you'll see beautiful mountains, rivers, valleys, waterfalls, and other beautiful sights on your way to the town of Flåm.
 
A great introduction to Norway is the one-day Norway in a Nutshell [http://www.norwayinanutshell.no] package on a single ticket from Oslo or Bergen into the mountains, with a boat trip through the fjords. You can break the trip at several interesting cabins for walking or just admiring the view, and even hire a mountain bike for part of the journey. One of the highlights of the 'Norway in a Nutshell' package is Flåmsbana [http://www.flaamsbana.no/eng/Index.html], a 20km railway that's one of the steepest in the world. Along the way you'll see beautiful mountains, rivers, valleys, waterfalls, and other beautiful sights on your way to the town of Flåm.
  
*Go on top of the nearest top/mountain. Just for the walk. And for the view.
+
Another great way of experiencing and learning all about Norway is by going on a guided excursion. '''Norway Excursions'''[http://www.norwayexcursions.com] provides all sorts of excursions, from sightseeing to hiking. A local guide will take you to the most interesting and beautiful places and tell you all about the fjords and mountains, history and culture of the particular region you visit.  
  
*Try the fine beer (pilsner) from the oldest brewery in Norway, Aass Bryggeri (pronounced: åås).  
+
'''Norway Travel Guide'''[https://norwaytravelguide.no] provides detailed information on everything relating to travelling in Norway and services with great value and insider tips on what to do and see while in Norway They offer you to contact with locals all over Norway who can help you out with everything you need for your trip.
  
 +
===Hiking===
 +
Norway has endless opportunities for hiking in its wide wilderness, from easy walks in Oslo's city forest to alpine climbing in Jotunheimen or [[Troms]]. A number of areas are protected as national parks, but most the country is equally attractive and available to the public.
  
 +
In Norway, travellers enjoy a [[right to access]], which means it is possible to camp freely in most places for a couple of days, as long as you're not on cultivated land and provided you are at least 150m away from houses and farm buildings. Don't leave any traces and take your rubbish away for recycling.
  
===Hiking===
+
Den Norske Turistforening (DNT) [http://www.turistforeningen.no/english/] (''The Norwegian Mountain Touring Association'') operates many staffed and self-service mountain cabins, marks mountain routes, offers maps and route information, guided tours, and several other services for mountain hikers in Norway.
Norway has endless opportunties for hiking in its wide wilderness, from easy walks in Oslo's city forest to alpine climbing in Jotunheimen or [[Troms]]. A number of areas are protected as national parks, but most the country is equally attractive and available to the public.
 
  
In Norway, travelers enjoy a [[right to access]], which means it is possible to camp freely in most places for a couple of days, as long as you're not on cultivated land and provided you are at least 150 m away from houses and farm buildings. Don't leave any traces and take your rubbish away for recycling.
+
Mountainous areas are popular among both Norwegians and tourists. Why not visit Galdhøpiggen (2469), the highest mountain in Norway, or join a [[[[musk ox safari]]]] in Dovrefjell!
  
Den Norske Turistforening (DNT) [http://www.turistforeningen.no/english/] (''The Norwegian Mountain Touring Association'') operates many staffed and self-service mountain cabins, marks mountain routes, offers maps and route information, guided tours, and several other services for mountain hikers in Norway.
+
For maps, bypass Google Maps, whose coverage of Norway is poor, and try the national mapping agency's [http://www.norgeskart.no/ Norgeskart.no] site, which concords with their excellent printed hiking maps.
  
 
===Skiing===
 
===Skiing===
Line 456: Line 526:
  
 
===Cycling===
 
===Cycling===
In Norway, you can rent, virtually everywhere, a bicycle. Cycling routes exist usually near bigger cities; you can find some tours at Cycle tourism in Norway [http://bike-norway.com/]. Some roads and tunnels are forbidden for cyclists as they are life-threatening; read the section [[Norway#By_bicycle|By bicycle]] above.
+
In Norway, you can rent, virtually everywhere, a bicycle. Cycling routes exist usually near bigger cities; you can find some tours at Cycle tourism in Norway [http://bike-norway.com/]. Some roads and tunnels are forbidden for cyclists as they are life-threatening; read the section [[Norway#By_bicycle|By bicycle]] above. Some city dumps may have a special section where you can pick up discarded bicycles (and other stuff) for free. The charity thrift-stores (FRETEX/ELEVATOR/NMS Gjenbruk)sometimes stock used bicycles.
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
The Norwegian currency is the '''Norwegian crown''' (''norske krone''), abbreviated ''kr''. A 1/100th ''krone'' is called ''øre''. When you need to disambiguate the Norwegian ''krone'' from e.g. the Swedish or Danish ''krone'', use the official three-letter abbreviation NOK. As of May 2010, there is about 8 NOK to one euro.
+
The Norwegian currency is the ''Norwegian crown'' (''norske krone'', in Norwegian), sometimes abbreviated to just the two letters ''kr'' placed after the amount. A 1/100th ''krone'' is called ''øre''. When you need to disambiguate the Norwegian ''krone'' from other krone (eg: the Swedish or Danish ''krone''), use the official three-letter abbreviation '''NOK''' placed before the amount with no space. As of August 2018, there are about NOK9.54 to one euro.
  
Coins come in 50 øre, 1, 5, 10, and 20 kroner. Paper notes come in 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 kroner.
+
Coins come in 1, 5, 10, and 20 kroner. Paper notes come in NOK50, NOK100, NOK200, NOK500, and NOK1000 banknotes.
  
ATMs in Norway are called ''Minibank''. There is no problem locating an ATM machine in urban areas. At main airports and Oslo Central Station, you can withdraw euros, dollars, british pounds, swedish, danish and norwegian kroner. Nearly all stores, with the notable exception of grocery stores and the post office, accept major credit cards such as Mastercard and Visa (bring your passport/driver's license, as you are required to identify yourself when using a credit card).
+
ATMs in Norway are called ''Minibank''. There is no problem locating an ATM in urban areas. At main airports and Oslo Central Station, you can withdraw euros, dollars, pounds sterling, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian kroner. Nearly all stores, with the exception of some grocery stores, accept major credit cards such as MasterCard and Visa (bring your passport or driver's license, as you are required to identify yourself when using a credit card). If you buy something in a store, you can often ask to get some extra cash. Debit cards are the most common payment method with mobile payment on the rise. Do understand that Norway is technically well-developed and that many people no longer use cash on a daily basis. Banks and politicians alike are pushing to allow stores to refuse cash as payment, but as of 2017 shops are still required by law to accept cash. For withdrawals of more cash than NOK 10 000, you will have to go to a bank. The bank is required to document what you intend to use the money for (they will ask you). This is part of anti money laundering and to prevent tax evasion.  
  
 
===Costs===
 
===Costs===
Norway is an expensive country.  While it is possible to travel in Norway on a limited budget, some care must be taken. Because labour is costly, anything that can be seen as a "service" will in general be more expensive than you expect. Travel costs can also be a killer, because the country is large and distances long, so a rail or air pass can save you a lot of money.
+
Norway is an expensive country.  While it is possible to travel in Norway on a limited budget, some care must be taken. Because labour is costly, anything that can be seen as a "service" will in general be more expensive than you expect. Travel costs can also be a killer, because gas is heavily taxed, the country is large and distances long. So a rail or air pass can save you a lot of money.  
  
As rules of thumb, subsisting on under 500 kr/day will be difficult even if you stay in hostels and self-cater, with 1000 kr/day allowing a more comfortable mid-range lifestyle and over 2000 kr/day needed for good hotels and good restaurants.
+
As rules of thumb, subsisting on under NOK500/day will be difficult even if you stay in hostels and self-cater, with NOK1000/day allowing a more comfortable mid-range lifestyle and over NOK2000/day needed for good hotels and restaurants.
  
Take care when buying alcohol and tobacco. It will most certainly be more expensive than you expect. A 400 or 500 ml beer in a pub or restaurant will cost upwards of 50 kr whilst a 500 ml can of 4.7% beer in a supermarket costs about 20 kr. Cigarettes cost about 70 kr for a pack of 20 (all 2007 prices), and a bottle of 500 ml Coke will usually cost 15 kr. On the positive side: Norway has good quality tap water. Buying bottled drinking water is usually unnecessary and this will help your budget.  
+
Take care when buying alcohol and tobacco. It will most certainly be more expensive than you expect. A 400 or 500&nbsp;mL beer in a pub or restaurant will cost around NOK80 whilst a 500&nbsp;mL can of 4.7% beer in a supermarket costs about NOK30. Cigarettes cost about NOK115 for a pack of 20, and a bottle of 500&nbsp;mL Coke will usually cost NOK20. On the positive side: Norway has good quality tap water. Buying bottled drinking water is unnecessary and hugely expensive. Some Norwegians drink straight from streams when hiking, but periodic outbreaks of Tularemia makes this a bit risky.
  
Fast food restaurants like McDonalds and Burger King are also more expensive than in most countries due to the produce and strict regulations that Norway has on food. A large BigMac menu will set you back around 100 kr (€11.5, $17.1 or £10.44), the same goes for a Double Whopper Cheese menu. Also, keep in mind that most bakeries, fast food chains, and other types of restaurants that offer takeout, have to charge more if you eat it at the restaurant than if you take it with you.  
+
Fast food restaurants like McDonalds and Burger King are also more expensive than in most countries due to the labour costs. A large Big Mac meal ("Big Mac Meny") will set you back around NOK100, and the same goes for a Double Whopper with Cheese meal. Also, keep in mind that most bakeries, fast food chains, and other types of restaurants that offer takeout, charge more if you eat it at the restaurant than if you take it with you, due to differences in the VAT rate.
  
In Norway, waiters are not dependent on tips from customers as they are in the US, as they are well paid. However, tipping is not unusual in mid- to high-end cafés and restaurants, but only if you feel you have been treated well. Tipping cab drivers is usual if you travel for more than 200 kr, but you will get no reaction from the driver should you choose not to tip, so this may be a new experience to American and English tourists. Tipping is never considered offensive.
+
In Norway, waiters are not dependent on tips from customers as they are in the US, as they are well paid. However, tipping is not unusual (and increasingly usual) in mid- to high-end cafés and restaurants, but only if you feel you have been treated well. If you do decide to tip, somewhere around 10% is common. Or you can round off upwards. Tipping cab drivers is usual if you travel for more than NOK200, but you will get no reaction from the driver should you choose not to tip, so this may be a new experience to American and English tourists. Tipping is never considered offensive, but not tipping is also rarely frowned upon.
  
If you are a bit careful about your expenses a daily budget of around 1500 NOK (€190) per day is not unrealistic.
+
If you are a bit careful about your expenses a daily budget of around NOK1500 (€190) per day is not unrealistic.
  
You can save some money by buying supplies in Sweden instead, like many Norwegians.
+
You can save some money by bringing supplies. Be aware of the strict Norwegian border regulations, which allow a maximum of 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco, 1 litre of hard alcohol and 1.5L of wine and 2L of beer OR 3L of wine and 2L of beer OR 5L of beer. As a general rule, tobacco, alcohol and meat will be comparatively expensive. Vegetables, flour, baby articles, car supplies (oil, window wiper fluid and so on), and clothes will have (almost) the same price as in neighbouring countries, or even be cheaper.
 +
 
 +
When in Norway do as the Norwegians do, and venture into Sweden for supplies, when you have the opportunity.
  
 
===Money exchange===
 
===Money exchange===
It is possible to exchange money in most banks near tourist information offices, in the post-office or withdraw the money in local currency from the ATM. In some places, however, they don't handle cash in the banks so they only way to exchange money is in the post offices where the exchange fee might be up to 75 kr (9.5 €, US$ 12.2)!
+
It is possible to exchange money in most banks near tourist information offices, in the post-office or withdraw the money in local currency from the ATM. In some places, however, they don't handle cash in the banks so the only way to exchange money is in the post offices where the exchange fee might be up to NOK75 (€9.50, USD12.20)!
 
   
 
   
 
You will get the best rate when you withdraw money from the ATM or simply pay with a credit card. Note that the country is currently upgrading to a new system using computer chips embedded in the card and a pin number. Credit cards with magnetic strips are still accepted throughout the country; however, you will have to let the merchant know that the you do not have a pin code you need to sign instead. It is also important to note that sometimes a merchant system will not allow signatures, so it is a good precaution to have cash on hand to pay if needed.
 
You will get the best rate when you withdraw money from the ATM or simply pay with a credit card. Note that the country is currently upgrading to a new system using computer chips embedded in the card and a pin number. Credit cards with magnetic strips are still accepted throughout the country; however, you will have to let the merchant know that the you do not have a pin code you need to sign instead. It is also important to note that sometimes a merchant system will not allow signatures, so it is a good precaution to have cash on hand to pay if needed.
  
For example (August 2009) the exchange rate in the bank was 8,75 NOK for €1 (taking into consideration that it is not possible to exchange an amount for more than 5000 NOK per one transaction and there is a comission of 100 NOK for each transaction); in the tourist information office the rate exchange was 7,28 (no comissions), by withdrawal from ATM the rate was 7,74 (taking into consideration all the bank comissions).
+
For example (August 2009) the exchange rate in the bank was NOK8.75 for €1 (taking into consideration that it is not possible to exchange an amount of more than NOK5000 per one transaction and there is a commission of NOK100 for each transaction); in the tourist information office the exchange rate was 7.28 (no commission), by withdrawal from ATM the rate was 7.74 (taking into consideration all the bank commissions).
  
 
===Shopping===
 
===Shopping===
Opening hours in Norway are better than they used to be, though many smaller stores still close early on Saturday (1 PM or 3 PM is typical) and nearly everything is closed on Sundays. Grocery stores (particularly in the cities) have long opening hours frequently until 10 or 11 PM on weekdays. You'll often see opening hours written as "9-21 (9-18)" on doors, meaning 9 AM to 9 PM weekdays, 9 AM to 6 PM Saturday. "McDonalds" and "Burger King" are also options. The grocery market is dominated by a handful of chains covering most of Norway: Rimi, Rema 1000, Kiwi, Prix and Bunnpris are low price shops with a narrow selection of items; Coop, ICA and Spar have wider selection and better quality at a slightly higher price; Meny, Mega and Ultra have fewer shops and higher prices.
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Opening hours in Norway are better than they used to be, though many smaller stores still close early on Saturday (13:00 or 15:00 is typical) and nearly everything is closed on Sundays. Grocery stores (particularly in the cities) have long opening hours frequently until 22:00 or 23:00 on weekdays. You'll often see opening hours written as "9-21 (9-18)" on doors, meaning 09:00 to 21:00 weekdays, 09:00 to 18:00 Saturday. The grocery market is dominated by a handful of chains covering most of Norway: Rimi, Rema 1000, Kiwi, Prix and Bunnpris are low price shops with a narrow selection of items; Meny, ICA Supermarked and Spar have wider selection and better quality at a slightly higher price; Coop Mega and Ultra have fewer shops and higher prices.
  
Convenience stores, notably the major chains '''Narvesen''' and '''Mix''' (all over the country), '''Deli de Luca''' (Oslo, Stavanger, and Bergen only) and '''7-Eleven''' (bigger cities only), are open from early morning until late at night every day, with 24 hour service in the biggest cities. All over the country you will find gas-stations, '''Statoil''', '''Shell, fresh/selected''', '''YX''' (HydroTexaco) (these days turning into 7-eleven with gas) and '''Esso, On the Run'''. Virtually all gas-stations serve fast-food, especially sausages and cheese. Also hamburgers, pizza, and so on. The gas-stations have long opening periods, and the bigger stations in cities and near bigger crossroads are open 24 hours. Convenience stores and gas stations are relatively expensive.
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Convenience stores, notably the major chains '''Narvesen''' and '''Mix''' (all over the country), '''Deli de Luca''' (Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim only) and '''7-Eleven''' (bigger cities only), are open from early morning until late at night every day, with 24 hour service in the biggest cities. All over the country you will find gas-stations, '''Statoil''', '''Shell, fresh/selected''', '''YX''' (HydroTexaco) (these days turning into 7-eleven with gas) and '''Esso, On the Run'''. Virtually all gas-stations serve fast-food, especially sausages, hamburgers, pizza, and so on. The gas-stations have long opening periods, and the bigger stations in cities and near bigger crossroads are open 24 hours. Convenience stores and gas stations are relatively expensive.
  
Most big cities have over the years been almost exclusively dominated by shopping malls. Although you do have shopping streets like Karl Johans Gate in Oslo and in all of the major cities, you are bound to find malls around the country by Thon Gruppen and other major companies. Norway is also home to Scandinavias biggest mall - Sandvika Storsenter - located 15 minutes outside Oslo by train. In Oslo you have Byporten Shopping Senter and Oslo City located right next to Oslo S train station and Paléet and Arkaden Shopping in Karl Johans Gate.
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Most big cities have over the years been almost exclusively dominated by shopping malls. Although you do have shopping streets like Karl Johans Gate in Oslo, Strandgaten in Bergen and Nordre gate/Olav Tryggvasons gate in Trondheim, you are bound to find malls around the country by Thon Gruppen and other major companies. Norway is also home to Scandinavia's biggest mall - Sandvika Storsenter - located 15 minutes outside Oslo by train. In Oslo you have Byporten Shopping Senter, Oslo City and Gunerius located right next to Oslo S train station and Paléet and Arkaden Shopping in Karl Johans Gate, as well as several malls and shopping centres a bit further out.
  
Getting "good deals" and bargaining is frowned upon in almost all stores. The price you see, is the price you pay. Although asking for a discount is perfectly ok, getting one will in most cases never happen. If you plan on buying tax-free, a good practice is to bring with you the necessary forms.  Most stores do will have these forms at hand themselves but it is a good precaution. Also, if you pay with credit card, you might have to sign the receipt which will require some form of ID, driver license and passport are both ok. This is due to the strict nature of money transactions.
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Getting "good deals" and bargaining is frowned upon, and the caterers are not authorized to give you a better price. The price you see, is the price you pay. Although asking for a discount is perfectly OK, getting one will in most cases never happen. If you plan on buying tax-free, a good practice is to bring with you the necessary forms.  Most stores will have these forms at hand themselves but it is a good precaution. Also, if you pay with credit card, you might have to sign the receipt which will require some form of ID, drivers license and passport are both OK. This is due to the strict nature of money transactions.
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Prices are almost always including VAT and other taxes, so the price you see is the price you pay. If a business primarily caters to other businesses, prices may be stated excluding VAT with a sign that says "eks MVA" (opposite being "ink mva". MVA = merverdiavgift, meaning VAT). The MVA is currently 25% for goods, 15% for food items and 12% for some services (cab, hotel stays, cinema tickets). MVA was previously known as merverdiomsetningsavgift, shortened to "moms" and you may hear or see "moms" used informally.
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
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Traditional Norwegian "farm" food is made by whatever can grow in the northern climate, be stored for a year until new crops come out, and contain enough energy for you to do hard work.  Regional variances in traditional food are huge and hence, and what is thought to be "typical traditional" for one Norwegian might be totally unknown to another.  Typical examples are variations of yeasted and unyeasted bread and other forms of bakery, porridges, soups, inventive uses of potato, salted and smoked meat, and fresh, salted or smoked fish.  Dried cod (''tørrfisk'') and salted cod (''klippfisk'') are staples of coastal communities in the north and can be seen drying on outside racks in spring and summer.  The national dish of Norway is ''fårikål'', a stewed casserole of lamb's meat and cabbage.  
 
Traditional Norwegian "farm" food is made by whatever can grow in the northern climate, be stored for a year until new crops come out, and contain enough energy for you to do hard work.  Regional variances in traditional food are huge and hence, and what is thought to be "typical traditional" for one Norwegian might be totally unknown to another.  Typical examples are variations of yeasted and unyeasted bread and other forms of bakery, porridges, soups, inventive uses of potato, salted and smoked meat, and fresh, salted or smoked fish.  Dried cod (''tørrfisk'') and salted cod (''klippfisk'') are staples of coastal communities in the north and can be seen drying on outside racks in spring and summer.  The national dish of Norway is ''fårikål'', a stewed casserole of lamb's meat and cabbage.  
  
Finer traditional food is usually based on hunted animals or fresh fish.  Steak, medallions and meat balls from game, deer, reindeer and elk are highly appreciated foods with international reputation, so are fresh, smoked and fermented salmon varieties as well as a host of other fish products. Traditional pastries like ''lukket valnøtt'' (marzipan-covered whipped cream cake) are other original contributions to international cuisine.  Cheese of various types is common, but one particularly Norwegian favorite is ''geitost'' (goat-cheese), a mild smoked cheese which bears a remarkable similarity to smooth peanut butter in color, texture and taste.
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Finer traditional food is usually based on hunted animals or fresh fish.  Steak, medallions and meat balls from game, deer, reindeer and elk are highly appreciated foods with international reputation, so are fresh, smoked and fermented salmon varieties as well as a host of other fish products. Traditional pastries like ''lukket valnøtt'' (marzipan-covered whipped cream cake) are other original contributions to international cuisine.  Cheese of various types is common, but one particularly Norwegian favorite is ''geitost'' (goat-cheese), which is technically not a cheese but a type of fudge without all the sugar and cream but with various amounts of goat milk. The milder, more common varieties are made mostly of cow milk and bears a remarkable similarity to smooth peanut butter in colour, texture and taste. The stronger varieties are made purely of goat milk and considered an acquired taste.
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Today, Norwegians use plenty of sliced bread for almost any meal except dinner, whereas recipes for hot meals will be taken from almost anywhere in the world, including of course the traditional kitchen, but seldom the most extreme examples. Lunch usually consists of some bread and snacks instead of a warm dish but this is then compensated by eating well at dinner time.
  
Today, Norwegians use plenty of sliced bread for almost any meal except dinner, whereas recipes for hot meals will be taken from almost anywhere in the world, including of course the traditional kitchen, but seldom the most extreme examples. Lunch usually consists of some bread and snacks instead of a warm dish but this is then compensated by eating well at dinner time. For this reason, it might be sometimes problematic to find an open restaurant or a place that would serve warm meals before 2PM.
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Strawberries, raspberries and other berries are exceptionally tasty in Norway during the summer season. This is due to the cool summers – together with the long days – which allows the berries to grow slower, thus intensifying the concentration of aromatics in the berries.
  
 
Norwegians are also known for eating a lot of frozen pizza.  
 
Norwegians are also known for eating a lot of frozen pizza.  
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===Places to eat===
 
===Places to eat===
 
{{infobox|Whale anyone?|Yes, Norwegians eat whale. However, it's very seldom found in most ordinary restaurants, and chances are it might be overly expensive.  Young Norwegians did not grow up with eating whale because of the moratorium in the 1980s.  Although whaling started up again in the early 1990s, whale is no longer a staple food as it once was in the coastal areas. Norway only allows a limited catch of the minke whale as this specific species is not regarded endangered.}}
 
{{infobox|Whale anyone?|Yes, Norwegians eat whale. However, it's very seldom found in most ordinary restaurants, and chances are it might be overly expensive.  Young Norwegians did not grow up with eating whale because of the moratorium in the 1980s.  Although whaling started up again in the early 1990s, whale is no longer a staple food as it once was in the coastal areas. Norway only allows a limited catch of the minke whale as this specific species is not regarded endangered.}}
  
Eating out is '''expensive''', with fast food starting from 50 kr and sit-down meals in a decent restaurant nearly always topping 200 kr or more for a main course.  Even a take-away sandwich and a coffee at a gas station may cost you up to 70 kr (9 €, US$ 11.5). One way to cut costs is '''self-catering''', as youth hostels and guesthouses often have kitchens for their guests.  Supermarkets and grocery stores are not hard to find, even in the smallest village there is usually more than one grocery store. The largest chains are Rimi, REMA 1000, ICA and Joker. Breakfast is often hearty and buffet-style, so pigging out at breakfast and skipping lunch is also an option. Buy/bring a lunchbox before attending breakfast, as most of the bigger hotels will allow you to fill it up for free from the breakfast buffet for eating later in the day.
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Eating out is '''expensive''', with fast food starting from 50 kr and sit-down meals in a decent restaurant nearly always topping NOK200 or more for a main course.  Even a take-away sandwich and a coffee at a gas station may cost you up to NOK70(€9, USD11.50). One way to cut costs is '''self-catering''', as youth hostels and guesthouses often have kitchens for their guests.  Supermarkets and grocery stores are not hard to find, even in the smallest village there is usually more than one grocery store. The largest chains are Coop, REMA 1000, Meny, Kiwi and Joker. Breakfast is often hearty and buffet-style, so pigging out at breakfast and skipping lunch is also an option. Buy/bring a lunchbox before attending breakfast, as most of the bigger hotels will allow you to fill it up for free from the breakfast buffet for eating later in the day.
  
For a cheap quick snack Norwegian-style, look no further than the nearest grill or convenience store, which will dish up a sausage (''pølse'') or hot dog (''kjempegrill'') in either a hot dog bun (''brød'') or wrapped in a flat potato bread (''lompe'') for around 20-30 kr.  However prices can soar as high as 50kr if you buy at the right (read wrong) places.  In addition to ketchup and mustard, optional toppings include pickled cucumber (''sylteagurk''), fried onion bits (''stekt løk'') and shrimp salad (''rekesalat'').  To get the most for your money, order a (''kebab i pita'') which is lamb meat roasted on a spit then fried when you order, served together with vegetables in a pita bread.  This tastes great, is extremely filling and can be found for as little as 25-40 kr.
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For a cheap quick snack Norwegian-style, look no further than the nearest grill or convenience store, which will dish up a sausage (''pølse'') or hot dog (''grillpølse'') in either a hot dog bun (''brød'') or wrapped in a flat potato bread (''lompe'') for around NOK20-30.  However prices can soar as high as NOK50 if you buy at the right (read wrong) places.  In addition to ketchup and mustard, optional toppings include pickled cucumber (''sylteagurk''), fried onion bits (''stekt løk'') and shrimp salad (''rekesalat'').  To get the most for your money, order a (''kebab i pita'') which is lamb meat roasted on a spit then fried when you order, served together with vegetables in a pita bread.  This tastes great, is extremely filling and can be found for as little as kr 50 in central Oslo and Bergen. Outside, you will have to stick with your grillpølse.
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The new Nordic cuisine has gained a lot of fame and attention. Most of these restaurants are in the upper segment. The most famous in Norway is probably Maemo, a three star restaurant located downtown Oslo. Others worth a visit are Kontrast and Bokbacka.
  
 
===Vegetarians===
 
===Vegetarians===
Very few Norwegian cuisine restaurants have vegetarian meals on the menu, but will make something if asked, with varying success. Some of the few chains of stores/restaurants where you will always have a vegetarian option is Peppes Pizza, Dolly Dimple's, SubWay and Esso/On the run (spinach panini).
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Very few Norwegian cuisine restaurants have vegetarian meals on the menu, but will make something if asked, with varying success. Some of the few chains of stores/restaurants where you will always have a vegetarian option is Peppes Pizza, Dolly Dimple's, Egon, SubWay and Esso/On the run (spinach panini).
  
 
===Allergies and diets===
 
===Allergies and diets===
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===Food safety===
 
===Food safety===
Food safety is very good in Norway. Salmonella is very rare compared to other countries, and health officials inspect restaurants at a regular basis. Also tap-water is usually very nice; Voss water from Vatnestrøm in [[Aust-Agder]] is actually exported abroad, including USA.
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Food safety is very good in Norway. Salmonella is very rare compared to other countries, and health officials inspect restaurants at a regular basis. Also tap-water is usually very nice; Voss water from Vatnestrøm in [[Aust-Agder]] is actually exported abroad, including to the USA.
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
{{infobox|Aquavit|Aquavit (Norwegian: ''akevitt'') is a distilled beverage of about 40 % alcohol originating in the Nordic countries and Germany. Norwegian aquavit, however, separates from other aquavits in that they are always made from potatoes, and that they are aged in used sherry casks. Receipes remain secret, but most Norwegian aquavits are spiced with caraway and anise. There are at least 27 different Norwegian aquavits, suitable to different kinds of food, in drinks or as avec. Aquavit is especially popular with traditional food for Christmas. The classics are Lysholm Linie (a nice all-round aquavit to go with not too heavy food), Løiten Linie (with salted and smoked meat), Gammel Opland (all-round, especially good with traditional ''lutefisk'') and Simers Taffel (to go with herring), you should also try Gilde Non Plus Ultra (as avec) if you enjoy the taste. The "Linie" aquavits have in fact travelled across equator twice while aging!}}
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{{infobox|Aquavit|Aquavit (Norwegian: ''akevitt'') is a distilled beverage of about 40% alcohol originating in the Nordic countries and Germany. Norwegian aquavit, however, is distinguished from other aquavits in that they are always made from potatoes, and that they are aged in used sherry casks. Recipes remain secret, but most Norwegian aquavits are spiced with caraway and anise. There are at least 27 different Norwegian aquavits, suitable to different kinds of food, in drinks or as avec. Aquavit is especially popular with traditional food for Christmas. The classics are Lysholm Linie (a nice all-round aquavit to go with not too heavy food), Løiten Linie (with salted and smoked meat), Gammel Opland (all-round, especially good with traditional ''lutefisk'') and Simers Taffel (to go with herring), you should also try Gilde Non Plus Ultra (as avec) if you enjoy the taste. The "Linie" aquavits have in fact travelled across the Equator twice while aging!}}
  
Norway is often described as a "dry" country, because alcohol is highly priced and glass of wine/beer in a restaurant is in the range of 60 NOK.  When in cities/towns with many students (Oslo/Bergen/Trondheim/Tromsø in particular), you can very often find prices to be lower.  Ask at your place of accommodation or young people in the streets for hints and tips of where to go. Beer can be bought at the supermarkets, however wine and stronger alcoholic beverages have to be purchased in state owned liquor stores (Vinmonopolet [http://www.vinmonopolet.no]). The price of alcohol, however does not stop the locals from having a good time. They are often found drinking and carrying on in local street parties and on their porches.
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Norway is often described as a "dry" country because alcohol is highly priced and a glass of wine/beer in a restaurant is in the range of NOK80.  When in cities/towns with many students (Oslo/Bergen/Trondheim/Tromsø in particular), you can very often find prices to be lower.  Ask at your place of accommodation or young people in the streets for hints and tips on where to go. Beer can be bought at supermarkets, however wine and stronger alcoholic beverages have to be purchased in state owned liquor stores (Vinmonopolet [http://www.vinmonopolet.no]). The price of alcohol, however, does not stop the locals from having a good time. They are often found drinking and carrying on in local street parties and on their porches.
  
The high prices are most likely part of the reason why the tradition to hold '''vorspiel''' and '''nachspiel''' before going out is very popular in Norway. The words derives from German and can be translated into pre- and afterparty. If going out in the weekend, it is not unknown for norwegians to gather at a friends house and not leave there until after twelve in the evening. So if you've seen Norwegian drinking culture abroad, and are shocked by the empty bar/club at ten o'clock, call your Norwegian friend and ask where the vorspiel is. It's likely to be a whole lot of fun. Clubs tend to fill up around midnight-1 a.m. However this is mostly true in weekends, during normal weekdays, you will often find Norwegians sitting in bars enjoying a couple of beers or a bottle of wine.
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The high prices are most likely part of the reason why the tradition of holding '''vorspiel''' and '''nachspiel''' before going out for a night on the town is very popular in Norway. The words derive from German and can be translated as "pre-party" and "after-party". If going out on the weekend, it is not unknown for Norwegians to gather at a friend's house and not depart for a chosen night-time venue until after midnight. So if you've seen Norwegian drinking culture abroad and are shocked by the empty bar/club at 22:00, call your Norwegian friend and ask where the vorspiel is. It's likely to be a whole lot of fun. Clubs tend to fill up around midnight-01:00. However, this is normally the case on weekends only; during weekdays, you will often find Norwegians sitting in bars enjoying a couple of beers or a bottle of wine.
  
 
You must be at least 18 years old to purchase beer/wine and 20 years old to purchase spirits (alcohol levels of 22% and above) in Norway.
 
You must be at least 18 years old to purchase beer/wine and 20 years old to purchase spirits (alcohol levels of 22% and above) in Norway.
  
Technically, drinking in public is prohibited. This law is very strict, and even encompasses your own balcony, if other people can see you! Luckily, the law is very seldom enforced (I've never heard of anyone being fined on their own balcony, for instance), and Norwegians indeed do drink in parks. There are calls for modifying the antiquated law, and recently, there has been a debate in media: most people seem to agree that drinking in parks is alright as long as people have a good time and remain peaceful. However, if you bother others and get too intoxicated or a policeman happens to be in a bad mood, you may be asked to throw away your alcohol, and in a worst-case scenario, fined. Drinking openly in the street is probably still considered somewhat rude, and it would be more likely to bring the police's attention than a picnic in a park, and is advised against. Having a glass of wine in an establishment that legally serves alcohol at the sidewalk, of course, is not a problem.
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Technically, drinking in public is prohibited. This law is very strict, and encompasses even your own balcony if other people can see you! Luckily, the law is very seldom enforced, and Norwegians indeed do drink in parks. There are calls for modifying the antiquated law, and recently, there has been a debate in media: most people seem to agree that drinking in parks is alright as long as people have a good time and remain peaceful. However, if you bother others and get too intoxicated or a policeman happens to be in a bad mood, you may be asked to throw away your alcohol, and in a worst-case scenario, fined. Drinking openly in the street is probably still considered somewhat rude, and it would be more likely to bring the police's attention than a picnic in a park, and is advised against. Having a glass of wine in an establishment that legally serves alcohol at the sidewalk, of course, is not a problem.
  
Be careful about urinating in major cities like Oslo if you're drunk, fines for public urination can be as high as 10.000 krones ($1750)! However, this normally isn't a problem if you urinate in a place where nobody sees like a couple of yards into the woods. Public intoxination is also something you should be a bit careful with, espacially in the capital, [[Oslo]]. In smaller towns the police will have no problem giving you a night in the local jail if they think you are disrupting peace and order.
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Be careful about urinating in major cities like Oslo if you're drunk, as fines for public urination can be as high as NOK10,000 (USD1750)! However, this is normally not a problem if you urinate in a place where you cannot be seen, such as a couple of yards into the woods. Public intoxication is also something you should be a bit careful with, especially in the capital [[Oslo]]. In smaller towns the police will have no problem giving you a night in the local jail if they think you are disrupting peace and order.
  
In Norway, all '''alcohol''' with a volume percentage of under 4,75% can be sold at regular shops. This means you can get decent beer all over the place. The price varies, but imported beer is usually expensive (except Danish/Dutch beers brewed in Norway on licence like Heineken and Carlsberg). '''Shopping hours''' for beer are very strict: The sale stops at 8PM (20.00) every weekday, and at 6PM (18.00) every day before holidays (incl Sundays). Since the sale is decided in the local council, it may vary, but this is the latest times decided by law. This means the beer will have to be PAID before this time. If it's not paid, the person behind the counter will take your beer, and tell you "Sorry pal, too late!". On Sunday, you can't buy alcohol anywhere except bars/pubs/restaurants.
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In Norway, all '''alcohol''' with a volume percentage of under 4,75% can be sold at regular shops. This means you can get decent beer all over the place. The price varies, but imported beer is usually expensive (except Danish/Dutch beers brewed in Norway on licence like Heineken and Carlsberg). '''Shopping hours''' for beer are very strict: The sale stops at 20:00 every weekday, and at 18:00 every day before holidays (incl. Sundays). Since the sale is decided in the local council, it may vary, but this is the latest times decided by law. This means the beer will have to be PAID before this time. If it's not paid, the person behind the counter will take your beer, and tell you "Sorry pal, too late!". Don't argue with them. The clerk or even the shop can get in severe legal trouble if caught, or the cash register will refuse to let them scan the items. On Sunday, you can't buy alcohol anywhere except bars/pubs/restaurants.
  
For strong beer, wine and hard alcohol, you will have to find a '''Vinmonopolet''' branch. The state shop have a marvellous choice of drinks, but at mostly sky-high prices. The general rule is that table wines are more expensive than in nearly any other country. Expect NOK 80-90 for a decent, "cheap" wine. However, as the taxation is based on the volume of alcohol per bottle rather than the initial cost, you can often find more exclusive wines at comparably lower prices than in private establishments in other countries. Vinmonpolet is open until 5PM (17.00) Mon-Wed, 6PM (18.00) Thu-Fri, and 3PM (15.00) on Sat.
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For strong beer, wine and hard alcohol, you will have to find a '''Vinmonopolet''' branch. The state shop have a marvellous choice of drinks, but somewhat expensive. The general rule is that table wines are more expensive than in nearly any other country. Expect NOK 80-90 for a decent, "cheap" wine. However, as the taxation is based on the volume of alcohol per bottle rather than the initial cost, you can often find more exclusive wines at comparably lower prices than in private establishments in other countries. Vinmonpolet is open until 17:00 M-W, 18:00Th-F, and 15:00) on Saturday.
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As mentioned, Vinmonopolet offers a good selection of both famous and rarer liquors, and the staff tend to be quite knowledgeable about trends, brands and what food it goes well with, and the advise is free. They also offer a selection of wine tasting classes and information campaigns to give new experiences.
  
 
'''Beers'''
 
'''Beers'''
Norwegian beer isn't the best in the world, but it's certainly worth trying.  The brands you are most likely to see in pubs are Ringnes, Hansa and Frydenlund (accompanied by a vast array of imported drinks). Local brewer Aas (Drammen) tend to produce beers a notch above the rest, but there are also craft brew available from Nøgne Ø and Haandbryggeriet, some of which are of very high quality. Other varieties are available at places such as Mikrobryggeriet (Bogstadveien), Lorry's (Parkveien) or Beer Palace (Aker Brygge) all in Oslo.
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Norwegian beer isn't the best in the world, but it's certainly worth trying.  The brands you are most likely to see in pubs are Ringnes, Hansa, Aass and Frydenlund (accompanied by a vast array of imported drinks). In northern Norway, Mack and Nordlandspils are the commenest beers. There are also craft brew available from Nøgne Ø and Haandbryggeriet, some of which are of very high quality. Other varieties are available at places such as Mikrobryggeriet (Bogstadveien), Lorry's (Parkveien) or Beer Palace (Aker Brygge) all in Oslo.
  
 
==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==
A single hotel room (always book ahead for weekdays) should cost you from around 800 kr and up (special offers are common and cheaper), but you can find reasonable cheap lodgings in camping huts (300-600 kr, space for entire family), mountain cabins (150-300 kr per person), youth [[hostels]] (150-250 kr per person), etc. Most of these will require you to make your own food, bring your own bedsheets, and wash before leaving.
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A single hotel room (always book ahead for weekdays) should cost you from around NOK800 and up (special offers are common and cheaper), but you can find reasonable cheap lodgings in camping huts (NOK300-600, space for entire family), mountain cabins (NOK150-300 per person), youth [[hostels]] (NOK150-250 per person), etc. Most of these will require you to make your own food, bring your own bedsheets, and wash before leaving.
  
 
For longer stays (one week or more) consider renting an apartment, a house or a high quality cabin. Several agencies offer reservations on houses or cabins owned by farmers or other locals. This type of accommodation is frequently more interesting than a standard hotel.
 
For longer stays (one week or more) consider renting an apartment, a house or a high quality cabin. Several agencies offer reservations on houses or cabins owned by farmers or other locals. This type of accommodation is frequently more interesting than a standard hotel.
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Airbnb is worth checking out for experiences and deals.
  
 
==Work==
 
==Work==
Citizens of countries belonging to the European Union, plus Iceland and Lichtenstein do not require a permit and are free to live and work in Norway for up to 3 months. (some restrictions apply for recent members of the European Union). You may start from the local office of the public agency NAV [http://www.nav.no/], to get legal advise and a list of available jobs. Note that even though the unemployment rate in Norway is very low (2,5%)[http://www.indexmundi.com/norway/unemployment_rate.html] , short-term employment may be hard to find. (Certainly when not fluent in a Scandinavian language.)If you decide to move there you have to fill in a "Residence Permit" which lasts for 3 years before it needs to be renewed.
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Citizens of countries belonging to the European Union, plus [[Iceland]], [[Liechtenstein]] and [[Switzerland]], do not require a permit and are free to live and work in Norway for up to 3 months (some restrictions apply for recent members of the European Union). In addition, citizens of a number of non-EU countries are permitted to work in Norway without the need to obtain a visa or any further authorisation for the period of their 90 day visa-free stay (for more information, see the 'Get in' section above).
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You may start from the local office of the public agency NAV [http://www.nav.no/], to get legal advise and a list of available jobs. Note that even though the unemployment rate in Norway is very low (2.5%)[http://www.indexmundi.com/norway/unemployment_rate.html] , short-term employment may be hard to find. (Certainly when not fluent in a Scandinavian language.) If you decide to move there you have to fill in a "Residence Permit" which lasts for 3 years before it needs to be renewed.
  
Salaries range from 25 000 kroner - 110 000 kroner ($3900-$17000/€3100-€14000) per month (2010).
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Salaries range NOK15,000-35,000 (UD$2,500-5,700/€2,000-3,500) per month (2012).
  
 
==Stay safe==
 
==Stay safe==
Norway has a low crime rate. Police do not routinely carry guns. They do have guns though. Crime is mostly limited to theft and vandalism. Single women should have no problems, although ordinary street sense is advised after dark, especially in Oslo. With a higher crime rate than the rest of the country, there are some areas in Oslo that you should avoid after dark. Even in day time, certain areas should be avoided: the pedestrian stroll along the ''Akerselva'' river and the area around the street ''Skippergata''.  
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Norway has a low crime rate. The most likely crimes for tourists to experience are car break-ins and bicycle theft. Pickpockets do also tend to be an increasing problem in urban areas in the summer season, but it's still nothing like in larger cities in Europe. It is always a good idea to look after your belongings, this includes never leaving valuable objects visual in your car and locking your bike safely.
  
According to Transparency International, Norway is one of the countries with least corruption. Police and other authorities cannot be bribed, travellers are strongly advised against attempting in any form of bribery. Except petty thefts, [[common scams]] are extremely rare or non-existent in Norway. Travelers should not get involved in betting in the street as these "street bets" are very likely to be scams. Norwegians will more than gladly help out tourists when asked. Although a very rich country, beggars, drug dealers and prostitutes are not uncommon sights, especially in Oslo. While usually not dangerous, they can be both unpleasant and clingy.  
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Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Norway are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Although this is entirely dependant on which type of drug you get caught with. Cocaine and amphetamine for example will land you a much harsher punishment than possession of cannabis will. Also, possession will not land you a punishment anywhere near as severe as trafficking will, but this depends on the mood of the officers you encounter, as it is in most other countries. In Norway, driving under the influence (defined generally as 0.02% Blood Alcohol Content) could land you immediately in jail.
  
Norwegians tend not to put up warning signs if there is no real reason; you will find few "watch your step", or "slippery when wet" signs. Even at the popular Pulpit Rock no safety ledge has been constructed on the edges of the cliff despite the great danger. Where there are warnings, pay attention. Every year, quite a few tourists get hurt, even killed, in the mountains or on the seas, usually after given, unheeded warnings. For example, do not approach a glacier front, big waves on the coast, or a big waterfall unless you know what you're doing. ''Do not'' walk on '''glaciers''' without proper training and equipment. Wind and water will cool you faster than cold air, keeping dry means keeping warm. A person that falls into cold water (close to zero C) can die in a few minutes. Safety in '''small boats''': Don't drink alcohol, wear a life vest at all times, if your boat capsizes - keep clothes on to stay warm, cling to the boat if possible (swim only if shore is a few hundred meters away, never try to swim in cold water below 20 dg C).
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Single women should have few problems, although ordinary street sense is advised after dark. Especially the inner east side of Oslo has become more dangerous during night hours over the last decade. Even so, there are still relatively few violent crimes.
  
Norway (mainland) has few (if any) dangerous '''wild animals'''. Car crashes with the mighty moose (elk, elg) or the smaller red deer (hjort) accounts for the bulk of wild animal-related deaths and injuries. Also note that in some rural districts, sheep, goats, cows or reindeer can be seen walking or sleeping on the road. Specific rules and precautions apply to [[Svalbard]]. As for other wild animals, there are not much more than a few extremely rare encounters with brown bear (''bjørn'') and wolf (''ulv'') in the wilderness. Both of these animals are listed as protected species. Contrary to popular belief abroad, there are ''no polar bears'' in mainland Norway, let alone polar bears walking city streets. The Scandinavian brown bear is peaceful and will generally run away from humans. In any case it is extremely unlikely that tourists will even see a glimpse of one of the around 50 brown bears remaining in Norway. Norwegian wolves are not dangerous to humans. In general, there is no reason worry about dangerous encounters with wild beasts in Norway.  
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Norway is one of the countries with the least corruption in the world. Police and other authorities cannot be bribed, and travellers are strongly advised against attempting in any form of bribery.
  
When '''hiking''', ''always'' make sure to bring a map and a compass, and make sure someone knows where you're going (be specific), and when you get back. While a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit may offer some help and convenience, do not rely on it exclusively. While a map is failsafe, a GPS is not. Make sure you bring some food and plenty of warm clothing. Always be prepared for a sudden shift in the weather, as these can happen very quickly in Norway. Even though the sun is shining when you sit out you can have a medium sized blizzard on your hands (no joke!) an hour or two later. Keep in mind that rain and wind will cool you faster than snow and low temperatures. Also keep in mind that the temperature drops as the altitude increases, above 1200 meters there can be snow storms in midsummer and there typically deep and wide snow fields remaining from the winter. Dress warmly in appropriate layers, ask experienced locals or experts if unsure. In winter and spring '''avalanches''' is a real risk in the mountains, particularly on slopes steeper than 25-30 degrees and after recent heavy snow fall. If unsure about conditions, ask locals or go on a guided tour. You are expected to manage on your own in the Norwegian wilderness, don't expect to find fences or warning signs even at the most dangerous places.
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[[Image:Warning sign polar bears.jpg|thumb|Warning - polar bears. "Applies to all of Svalbard".]]
  
During summer, it's generally forbidden to make a fire in the wilderness.
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The greatest dangers to tourists in Norway are found in nature. Every year, quite a few tourists get hurt, even killed, in the mountains or on the seas, usually after given, unheeded warnings. For example, do not approach a glacier front, big waves on the coast, or a big waterfall unless you know what you're doing, and do not walk on glaciers without proper training and equipment.
  
Norway has a unified '''police force''' ("politi"). Although there are specialized units within the national police force, visitors don't need to know the different branches. The police is the government authority in areas like crime, national security, major accidents, missing persons, traffic control, passports and immigration control. Most cities have municipal parking attendants, these do not however have any authority beyond fining and removing vehicles. Note also that there has been a growth in the number of private security, these do not have police authority. In rural areas the police officer is called "lensmann" (sheriff). Police officers do not carry guns (unless on a dangerous assignment), but it is not advisable to challenge the police, as they are heavily trained in non-firearm combat. The coast guard has police authority on the sea.
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Norway has few dangerous wild animals. Car crashes with the mighty moose or the smaller red deer account for the bulk of wild animal-related deaths and injuries. Also note that in some rural districts, sheep, goats, cows or reindeer can be seen walking or sleeping on the road.  
  
Car traffic in Norway is generally safe for pedestrians compared to most other countries.
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Specific rules and precautions apply to [[Svalbard]], where you should never travel outside [[Longyearbyen]] without someone in your party carrying a weapon, which contrary to popular belief is not actually a legal requirement but you may not be given a tour permit if your group is not armed. If you want to rent a gun yourself, you need a gun licence valid in Norway or your home country- bring documentation. The polar bears on Svalbard are a real and extremely dangerous threat for the unprepared. In the summer, during the tourist season, there are more polar bears here than humans. They are strong, quick if they want to, curious, and have no fear of people, but will mostly shy away at the sound of a gunshot. Still, it's one of the few areas polar bears can survive on when there's no frozen waters to hunt from during summer, and they're protected as an endangered species. Svalbard is a fragile, dry arctic tundra with large parts almost untouched by humans. Both growth and decay is extremely slow here, so all activity is under management. The current recommendation is that non-local visitors participate on organized tour arrangements only. Breaking the law, disturbing wildlife or being reckless can land you a fine and/or deportation from the archipelago. That said, if you come well prepared with common sense, the visit will be one of the most memorable you've ever had. The nature, scenery and history of Svalbard is simply breathtaking.
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As for other wild animals on mainland Norway, there are not much more than a few extremely rare encounters with brown bear and wolf in the wilderness. Contrary to popular belief abroad, there are ''no polar bears'' in mainland Norway, let alone polar bears walking city streets. The Scandinavian brown bear is peaceful and will generally run away from humans. In any case it is extremely unlikely that tourists will even see a glimpse of one of the around 50 brown bears remaining in Norway. Norwegian wolves are not dangerous to humans. In general, there is no reason worry about dangerous encounters with wild beasts in Norway.  
  
'''Phone numbers:'''
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When hiking or skiing, be prepared for a sudden shift in the weather, as these can happen very quickly in Norway. If unsure about conditions, ask locals or go on a guided tour. Norwegians develop a common sense on security, and may give warnings but won't, essentially, protect you from ignoring them. You are expected to manage on your own in the wilderness, so only the most common tourist spots have fences or warning signs. Even at the most dangerous places. Norwegian nature can be a safe place to enjoy if you take time to develop the necessary skills to handle it, but lives are lost when people think too much of themselves and lack the training. Nature is full of surprises, so the most important preparations are done through trips that don't look all that exciting on the outset, but will have yet another list of things you've never been into before. Keep in mind that avalanches are common. Unless you know exactly what you're doing, stay in marked slopes when skiing. If you think you know what you're doing, think twice. Only in the first three months of 2011 12 people were killed in avalanches in Norway.
'''Fire Department''' (brann) '''110'''
 
For major accidents and drowning accidents, you may also call the police.
 
  
'''Police''' (politi) '''112'''
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If you plan to cross the mountains by car (for instance by driving from Oslo to Bergen) in the winter season, it is imperative that you are prepared for the journey. The conditions are harsh. Always keep a full tank of fuel, and keep warm clothes, food and drink in the car. Make sure your tires are good enough and suited for winter conditions (studded or non-studded winter tires, "all-year" tires are not enough), and that you have the sufficient skills for driving in snowy and cold conditions. Roads are often closed on short notice due to weather conditions. For advice on conditions and closed roads, call 175 in Norway or check the online road reports [http://www.vegvesen.no/Trafikkinformasjon/Reiseinformasjon/Trafikkmeldinger] (in Norwegian only) from the Norwegian State road authorities. Remember that not all parts of the roads have cellular phone coverage.
May also be contacted for major car accidents involving injuries or death, or resulting in traffic jams. Car accidents not involving injuries, deaths or resulting in traffic jams, need not be reported to the police's emergency line, 112, but to the general police phone number: 02800
 
  
'''Ambulance''' and medical emergency '''113'''
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[[Image:Norwegian police.jpg|thumb|250px|Norwegian police car.]]
For inquiries about toxins (from mushrooms, plants, medicine or other chemicals) call the national Toxin Information Office at 22 59 13 00
 
  
'''Safety phrases, English pronounciation in brackets:'''
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Norway has a unified police force ("politi"). The police is the government authority in areas like crime, national security, major accidents, missing persons, traffic control, passports and immigration control. Most cities have municipal parking officers, these do not however have any authority beyond fining and removing vehicles.
; fare [Far-eh] : danger (or risk)
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Commercial areas are mostly guarded by private companies. They generally act as public service, peaceful and friendly, but are well connected in case anything happens. Anyone may hold anyone for the purpose of immediately getting hold of police, but they have no special rights.
; farlig [Far-lee] : dangerous
 
; rasfare [Raas-far-eh] : risk of avalanche/landslide/mudslide
 
; takras [Taak-raas] : snow falling from the roof
 
; elgfare : [Ehlg-far-eh] risk of moose/elks on the road
 
; livsfare : [Leaves-far-eh] life threatening danger
 
; brann : [Brahnn] fire
 
; forbudt [Fore-booth] : prohibited
 
; adgang forbudt [Adh-gaangh fore-booth]: no entry
 
; nødutgang : Nuhd-ooth-gaangh] emergency exit
 
; lege : Leh-ge doctor, physician
 
; politi : po-ll-ete, police
 
  
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It's generally considered good practice to help others in case of need, and basic rescue training is part of school education. The country is too sparsely populated to always have to wait for someone with a license, and no one can sue anyone for a honest effort. Robberies happen and there's reason to be wary in public areas, but it's still good practice to call for police or for an ambulance.
  
Please note that "e" is read "eh", "i" is read "e" and "g" is hard as in "grammar". However, when saying loanwords, "g" may be spoken softly as in "gele" (jelly).
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{{infobox|Emergency Numbers|
Many popular tourist places also have warning signs in English, and some in French and/or German. These are most commonly seen on trains, trams and busses.
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* Before calling, find, if possible, the exact position
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# '''Police ☎112''' 
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# '''Fire ☎110'''
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# '''Emergency Medical Services ☎113'''
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# If you are unsure which number to call, ☎112 is the central for all rescue services and will put you in contact with the correct department.
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# For non-emergencies, the police is to be called on ☎02800.  
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# The hearing impaired using a '''text telephone''' can reach the emergency services by dialing 1412
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=== Road assistance ===
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# Falck  ☎02222
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# Viking ☎06000
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# AAA members may call NAF on ☎08505
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}}
  
 
==Stay healthy==
 
==Stay healthy==
* The water quality in Norway is mostly adequate and tap water is always drinkable (except on boats, trains etc).  
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* The water quality and distribution in Norway is excellent and tap water is always drinkable (except on boats, trains etc). There is no need to buy water bottles for consumption at home/indoors.
  
* The hygiene in public kitchens is very good, and food poisoning rarely happens to tourists.  
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* The hygiene in public kitchens are very good, with frequent controls by the food authority ("Mattilsynet"). Food poisoning rarely happens.  
  
* Norway can get relatively warm in the summer, but be prepared to bring warm clothes (sweater, windbreaking/waterproof jacket), as they might come in handy. It's hard to predict the weather, and in the summer time, you may experience severe weather changes during your stay.  
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* Norway can get relatively warm in the summer, but be prepared to bring warm clothes (sweater, windbreaking/waterproof jacket), as they might come in handy. It's hard to predict the weather, and in summer, you may experience severe weather changes during your stay.  
  
* Tourists hiking in the high mountains (above the forest) should bring sports wear for temperatures down to freezing (zero degree C).   
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* Tourists hiking in the high mountains (above the forest) should bring sports wear for temperatures down to freezing.   
  
 
* Norway has a high density of pharmacies. Nose sprays and standard pain killers (paracetamol,  aspirin) can also be purchased in grocery stores and gas stations.
 
* Norway has a high density of pharmacies. Nose sprays and standard pain killers (paracetamol,  aspirin) can also be purchased in grocery stores and gas stations.
Line 615: Line 698:
 
* In southern Norway there are '''ticks''' (''flått'') that appear in summertime. They can transmit Lyme's disease (borreliosis) and more serious TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) through a bite. The risk areas for TBE are mainly along the coast from Oslo to Trondheim. Although incidents are relatively rare and not all ticks carry diseases, it's advisable to wear long trousers rather than shorts if you plan to walk through dense or tall grass areas (the usual habitat for ticks). You can buy special tick tweezers from the pharmacy that can be used to remove a tick safely if you happen to get bitten. You should remove the tick from your skin as quickly as possible and preferably with the tick tweezers to reduce the risks of getting an infection. If the tick bite starts to form red rings on the skin around it or if you experience other symptoms relating to the bite, you should go visit a doctor as soon as possible. Since ticks are black, they are more easily found if you wear bright clothes.  
 
* In southern Norway there are '''ticks''' (''flått'') that appear in summertime. They can transmit Lyme's disease (borreliosis) and more serious TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) through a bite. The risk areas for TBE are mainly along the coast from Oslo to Trondheim. Although incidents are relatively rare and not all ticks carry diseases, it's advisable to wear long trousers rather than shorts if you plan to walk through dense or tall grass areas (the usual habitat for ticks). You can buy special tick tweezers from the pharmacy that can be used to remove a tick safely if you happen to get bitten. You should remove the tick from your skin as quickly as possible and preferably with the tick tweezers to reduce the risks of getting an infection. If the tick bite starts to form red rings on the skin around it or if you experience other symptoms relating to the bite, you should go visit a doctor as soon as possible. Since ticks are black, they are more easily found if you wear bright clothes.  
  
*There's only one type of venomous snake in Norway: the European adder (hoggorm), which has a distinct zig-zag pattern on its back. The snake is not very common, but lives all over Norway until the arctic circle (except for the highest mountains and areas with little sunshine). Although its bite hardly ever is life-threatening (except to small children and allergic people), be careful in the summertime especially when walking in the forests or on open fields. If you are bitten by a snake, seek medical assistance. The probability of being bitten is however very small.
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*There's only one type of venomous snake in Norway: the European adder (hoggorm), which has a distinct zig-zag pattern on its back. The snake is not very common, but lives all over Norway up to the arctic circle (except for the highest mountains and areas with little sunshine). Although its bite hardly ever is life-threatening (except to small children and allergic people), be careful in the summertime especially when walking in the forests or on open fields. In the unlikely event that one encounters the adder, the most common and effective advice to simply stomp hard on the ground (not on the adder!). The adder will feel the vibration and seek to get away, as it will only attack if all its attempts to avoid contact fail. If you are bitten by a snake, seek medical assistance. The probability of being bitten is however very small, as the adder is very shy of humans.  
  
 
'''Contact'''
 
'''Contact'''
For minor injuries and illness, go to the local "Legevakt" (emergency room/physician seeing patients without appointment). In cities this is typically a municipal service centrally located, be prepared to wait for several hours. In rural districts you typically have to contact the "district physician" on duty. For inquiries about toxins (from mushrooms, plants, medicin or other chemicals) call the national Toxin Information Office at 22 59 13 00
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For minor injuries and illness, go to the local "Legevakt" (emergency room/physician seeing patients without appointment). In cities this is typically a municipal service centrally located, be prepared to wait for several hours. In rural districts you typically have to contact the "district physician" on duty. For inquiries about toxins (from mushrooms, plants, medicine or other chemicals) call the national Toxin Information Office at 22 59 13 00. Information about your rights as foreign is available at the Norwegian goverment pages in English [https://helsenorge.no/foreigners-in-norway/healthcare-benefits-during-a-temporary-stay-in-norway].
  
 
==Respect==
 
==Respect==
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Norwegians are generally open-minded and tolerant and there are few, if any, dos and don'ts that foreign visitors need to keep in mind.
  
Norwegians are generally sincere and polite, though small talk often doesn't come easy &ndash; it's usually up to you to break the ice (sometimes literally). They can be very direct and rarely say please, which can come across as rude, but it's due to the fact that the Norwegian language rarely uses the word. On the other hand, they say "Thank you" for most everything. They also tend to address people by their first name even in many formal occasions.  
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=== Cultural Overview ===
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* Norwegians may come across as unwelcoming, but it is important to understand that Norwegian culture and society is built upon trust, humility, sincerity and honesty. For this reason, small talk doesn't come very easy and even making contact with strangers is uncommon, such as talking with fellow passengers on the bus, is uncommon.
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* Norwegians are direct communicators. Norway is a society that reveres honesty and trust, and for this reason they are generally scrupulous about honesty in communication. Jante's law, an important cornerstone of Norwegian culture, encourages humility and for this reason it is demonstrated in other people's mannerisms to not confront or criticise someone who they think is doing something wrong. Once you get past a certain barrier, you will find other people open and candid with you.
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* Norwegian as a language is very straightforward. If asked for a favor, you are likely not to hear a "please." On the other hand, Norwegians say "takk" ("thank you") for almost anything, including, for example, receiving change back from cashier or bus driver. It is customary to thank the cook for the food ("takk for maten") in a private home. The reply will be "velbekomme" or "værsågod". The once-common use of the polite pronoun is nowadays extremely rare, and so is polite phrases and words in everyday situations, so don't be surprised if a Norwegian speaking a foreign language forgets themselves and use a very familiar language.
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* The Norwegian culture is, in some aspects, very informal, and Norwegians usually address each other by first name only, except perhaps in official meetings. The informal culture is, however, not equivalent of that in southern parts of Europe; showing up late for meetings is considered rude, and so is talking loud, being too personal with strangers, and losing your temper. Although you may get away with arriving "fashionably late" at dinners in someone else's home, this is certainly not expected and should be limited to no more than fifteen minutes. It is customary to take off your shoes when entering a Norwegian home - particularly in the winter.
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* Norwegians can also be perceived as somewhat patriotic. It is common to use the flag in private celebrations (such as anniversaries and weddings), and many will also fly the flag on public holidays, and violating the flag rules is frowned upon. Most Norwegians will speak warmly of their country, in particular about subjects such as nature, sports, and the country's economic success.
  
There is no polite form of talking to members of different "hierarchical" social structures, and even if there are some definite differences in the Norwegian society this is not expressed directly through linguistic intentionality. Politeness and respect in Norway is more a matter of behavior, than a matter of phrases (linguistic codes). Not talking loudly and keeping calm are key virtues in Norway, silence and limited body language should not be confused with grumpiness. Norwegians are generally very informal and most bars and restaurants do not have any dress code. Some bars and nightclubs will however not accept guests in jogging shoes or blue jeans. During the warmest summer days even in the centre of Oslo lots of young people will hang around with as little clothes as possible (in order to cool down or to enjoy the sun).  
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=== Helpful Hints ===
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* '''Avoid the need to prove yourself or show off your accomplishments.''' Norway is an egalitarian society that prides itself on respecting people for who they are, not where they come from.
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* '''Avoid criticising the country or the culture.''' Norwegians in general are very proud of their country and making any kind of negative remarks, no matter how major or minor, can be taken negatively. However, it is also considered good form to be proud of your own country as long as the discussion doesn't turn too competitive.
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* '''Norwegians tend to loosen up with drink.''' Don't be surprised if the seemingly cold Norwegians lighten up tremendously with drink. That said, there is also an expectation that what was said when drunk is not lightly brought up when sober. That can lead to akward situations.
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* '''Avoid confusing Norwegians with Swedes or Danes.''' This can lead to some amused reactions and corrections.
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* '''Norwegians are egalitarian.''' Women generally receive the same kinds of benefits and privileges as men do, and Norwegian women generally don't expect or assume that doors will be held or special treatment purely for being women.
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* '''Do not bargain or haggle.''' Prices in Norway are fixed, and attempting to bargain or haggle in any way is incredibly disrespectful to vendors, and it will more than likely result in puzzled or angry looks. It is also usually out of the control of clerks to give discounts.
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* '''Do not be afraid of discussing news topics.''' Norwegian media covers a lot of issues from around the world, and Norwegian people in general have some very strong political opinions, including that of their own country. Be prepared for lengthy conversations should you choose to engage in political discussions. This can be an ice breaker.
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* '''Respect other people's personal space.''' Never stand too close to someone, back slap or put your arm around anyone except if they're your good friends.
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* '''Do not discuss religion.''' As in the rest of Scandinavia, religion is a strictly private manner.
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* '''Tipping isn't mandatory.''' Anywhere. You can choose to tip if you want to, but you have no obligation to do so.
  
One sensitive subject in Norway is the Second World War. The country was occupied by Nazi-Germany and, like elsewhere in Europe, some people suffered as a result of the occupation. Women who had relationships with German soldiers were persecuted after the war. Even the children who were born and had a German father (lebensborn), were subsequently discriminated against by Norwegians; a few older people even have strong negative opinions towards lebensborn-children today. Norwegians who co-operated with Nazi-Germany were called "quislings" which is equal to "traitor of the Norwegian nation", named after Vidkun Quisling.
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==Cope==
 
 
Here are some general tips worth remembering as a tourist in Norway, but keep in mind that most Norwegians are very tolerant towards foreigners whose traditions differ from the Norwegian. As a western tourist in Norway, you shouldn't have too many difficulties, since Norway is quite a cosmopolitan and international country, with a "European way of thinking."
 
 
 
* Norwegians are often very patriotic and ''very'' proud of their country. It is not uncommon for a Norwegian to ask a foreigner for his or her opinion of Norway as a first question. This is in large due to Norway being a fairly small country, unknown to many foreigners. It is often best to be positive, as many Norwegians are likely to be offended by negative views of their country and thus get defensive.
 
 
 
* Norway is one of only a few countries with an active '''whaling industry''', and if you choose to assert an anti-whaling position expect many Norwegians to have strong pro-whaling opinions and be well prepared to argue the issue.
 
 
 
* Norwegians value '''equal opportunities''' for women and sexual minorities, as well as foreign cultures, religions and races. Avoid racist and sexist jokes or derogatory statements. A man is usually not expected to pay for a female companion's meals or drinks, or help her carrying baggage. However, if you do, you still sometimes might be very appreciated by the ladies, who are not that used to it.
 
 
 
* If invited into a home, be sure to '''remove your shoes''' and hat in the hallway before entering the living area as not doing so is considered very disrespectful, and frequently ruins the delicate wood floors found in most homes. This is particularly important in winter and early spring when boots carry salt, slush and dirt from the street. Should you be dressed up (or if you do not like to take off your shoes when indoors), bring a pair of clean indoor shoes. Your effort will be appreciated.
 
 
 
* Norwegians try to abridge differences between social classes. Modesty is a virtue and bragging, or showing off wealth, is considered rude. Economic matters are private - don't ask Norwegians questions like how much they earn, or what their car costs. As in Britain and the rest of the Nordic countries, weather is a good conversation topic.
 
  
* Norwegians are Scandinavian, but they are not Swedes or Danes, so do not offend people by lumping them together or confusing them with these other countries or nationalities.  
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===Numbers, times and dates===
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Norwegians use a comma as the decimal sign, eg: 12,000 means 12 (specified with three decimal places) not 12 thousand, whereas 12 000 or 12.000 means 12 thousand.  
  
* Most Norwegians usually refer to each other, and introduce themselves, by first name only, when meeting live. Full name is preferred on the phone, in written word and in official (business) meetings. As in English there is basically no difference in addressing strangers and friends, but some Norwegians might adress strangers as "de" when being polite.
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Norwegians use both 24 and 12 hour system; often the 12 hour system when speaking and the 24 hour system in writing. Norwegians don't use am/pm to indicate morning or afternoon. In Norwegian "half ten" ("halv ti") means half past nine, when speaking to a person not fluent in English better not use this form to avoid misunderstanding. Dates can be seen abbreviated in a number of ways, but the order is always DATE-MONTH-YEAR, for instance 12.7.08 (or 120708, 12/7-08 or 12.07.08; the first and latter being the only ''correct'' forms) is July 12, 2008. Monday is considered the first day of the week, while Sunday is the last. In timetables, weekdays are thus often indicated by numbers 1 (Mon) through 7 (Sun). Norwegian calendars will also indicate the number of the week 1 through 53. Timetables for public transport often use the abbreviation Dx67, meaning "all days except Saturday and Sunday".
  
* Greetings between men and women who know each other (e.g. are good friends, close relatives, etc.) is often in the form of a hug. It is rare to see a peck on the cheek as a form of greeting, and it might be taken as way too personal by older Norwegians but is common among youth, both female and male population.  
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Norway uses the '''metric''' system only. A Norwegian mile, ''mil'', is exactly 10km. Land is commonly measured in decares (''dekar'' or ''mål''), and equals 1000m². There is overall limited knowledge of Imperial or US measures, although most younger Norwegians will be somewhat familiar with US weight and distance measures. Few Norwegians will be able to convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit, and weather forecasts use metric units. However, many modern cell-phones have conversion programmes which can be used to understand the metric system.
  
* Be careful about talking to people spontaneously in public places, some people might get a bit uncertain when a stranger start talking uninvited, but this is often just the language barrier (although most people speak English, not everyone uses it daily, and may take some "warming-up"). Be nice, and never intrusive. Don't ask personal questions to people you don't know, and many women feel offended by men who stare, whistle, or come and speak to them intrusively in public.  
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In Norwegian there is usually no concept of a ''ground floor'' as in the UK (or ''Erdgeschoss'' in German); instead, the entrance level of a building is called the first floor (''første etasje'') like in the US. Levels are then counted 1, 2, 3 etc.
  
* If you're being served food do not start eating until the host has "opened" the meal (saying "vær så god!" [pronounced "ver so goo"], translated "please (start)"). Be sure that you do not eat too little or too much. <br>As a rule of thumb, one to two times is the appropriate number of times you can refill your plate. Any less, and the host might think you did not like the food. Any more, and you might seem indulgent and greedy and thus pushing the host's hospitality. Coffee is the national drink of choice, expect it black, strong and drunk by the bucketful.
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First time visitors not familiar with the country tend to plan a trip in Norway from city to city. Although Norway has many nice cities the country's main attraction is the land itself, the nature, the landscapes, the wilderness, as well as a number of man-made sights in rural districts, notably road constructions and cultural treasures such as the stave churches. Unlike many other countries in Europe, a trip to Norway should ideally be planned according to types of landscapes to visit as well as a selection of cities. Norway is wide country with long distances and complex topography, and travellers should not underestimate distances.
  
* Norwegians are very proud of being "the best winter sport nation in the world", and consider cross-country skiing, ski jumping and biathlon as being equally important to football. Telemark is regarded as the birth place of cross country ski.
+
If '''purchasing a house''' and business in Norway do check all legal documents (''kjøpekontrakt/takst'')and maps (''grensekart'') are correct. Ask for information in the native language you are used to. Make sure the Estate Agent is registered with NEF.
 
 
* You might find Norway to be expensive, but remember that the average income in Norway is very high, compared to many other countries, thus the high prices. Norway does in fact have one of the highest domestic products per capita in the world, and  benefits from the export of oil. Norway also has a universal welfare system paid for by very high taxes (30% on up), Norwegians thus enjoy free health care, unemployment benefits, universal pensions and so forth. High prices is also a result of the small wage differences in Norway, labour intensive services is relatively well paid. Being critical of high prices can come across as being critical of Norway's huge economic and social success.
 
 
 
* Talking loudly is generally considered rude. You will notice how most Norwegians tend to keep their voices down in public places. Keeping your cool rather than losing your temper is the way of handling conflicts.
 
 
 
* Although Norwegians appear casual, make sure to show up on the minute for formal (business) meetings, preferably five minutes before set time. For a formal dinner in somebody's home, do not show up ''before'' set time as this may embarrass the host, preferably a few minutes late. For informal parties ("student style"), you can afford to be late. Show respect for the elderly. Offer your seat to elderly and disabled in public transport (note that some seats are reserved for elderly and disabled persons).
 
 
 
'''The Flag''' is used for national celebrations like May 17 (constitution day) and on May 17 the country is covered in flags. Also note that privates use the flag on major public holidays like Christmas Day, New Years Day, Easter Day and Labour Day. On public buildings the flag is in addition flying on full mast several other days, such as Liberation day (May 8), Independence Day (June 7) and day of the Sami people (February 6). Although Norwegians are patriotic, many uses of the flag should not be interpreted as expressions of patriotism or national events: The flag is frequently used to signal a private celebration (such as an anniversary or a wedding) or to signal that a funeral is in process (half mast; raised to full mast after the funeral).
 
 
 
===Smoking===
 
Smoking is strictly forbidden inside of restaurants, bars or other public places indoors, and violations might force the establishment to deny you service, or else they'll risk large fines by the county or the police. Smoking is also forbidden in buses, trains, airplanes, domestic ferries, stations and terminals.
 
 
 
==Cope==
 
'''Numbers, time and dates'''
 
Note that Norwegians use comma as the decimal sign, for instance 12,000 means 12 (specified with three decimal places) not 12 thousand, whereas 12 000 or 12.000 means 12 thousand. Norwegians use both 24 and 12 hour system, spoken often 12 hour system and 24 hour system in writing. Norwegians don't use PM/AM to indicate morning or afternoon. In Norwegian "half ten" ("halv ti") means half past nine, when speaking to a person not fluent in English better not use this form to avoid misunderstanding. Dates can be seen abbreviated in a number of ways, but the order is always DATE-MONTH-YEAR, for instance 12.7.08 (or 120708, 12/7-08 or 12.07.08; the first and latter being the only ''correct'' forms) is July 12, 2008. Monday is considered the first day of the week, while Sunday is the last. In timetables, week days are thus often indiciated by numbers 1 (Mon) through 7 (Sun). Norwegian calendars will also indicate the number of the week 1 through 52. Timetables for public transport often use the abbreviation Dx67, meaning "all days except Saturday and Sunday".
 
 
 
Norway uses the '''metric''' system only. One exception is the Norwegian mile, 'mil'. It is equal to 10 km. There is virtually no knowledge of Imperial or US measures. Few Norwegians will be able to convert from Centigrade (Celsius) to Fahrenheit, and weather forecasts use metric units. However, many modern cell-phones have conversion programmes which can be used to understand the metric system.
 
 
 
In Norwegian there is no concept of ground '''floor''' as in the UK (or "Erdgeschoss" in German), instead the entrance level of a building is called the first floor ("første etasje") like in the US. Levels are then counted 1, 2, 3 etc.
 
 
 
'''First time visitors''' not familiar with the country tend plan a trip in Norway from city to city. Although Norway has many nice cities the country's main attraction is the land itself, the nature, the landscapes, the wilderness, as well as a number of man-made sights in rural districts, notably road constructions and cultural treasures such as the stave churches. Unlike many other countries in Europe, a trip to Norway should ideally be planned according to types of landscapes to visit as well as a selection of cities. Norway is wide country with long distances and complex topography, and travelers should not underestimate distances.
 
 
 
If '''purchasing a house''' and business in Norway do check all legal documents (kjøpekontrakt/takst)and maps (grensekart) are correct. Ask for information in the native language you are used to. Make sure the Estate Agent is registered with NEF.
 
  
 
==Contact==
 
==Contact==
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Even in the most remote mountain cabins, as long as they are staffed, you will usually be able to send a postcard.   
 
Even in the most remote mountain cabins, as long as they are staffed, you will usually be able to send a postcard.   
  
Most Norwegian households are connected to the Internet in some way (often broadband), making cybercafés hard to find outside major cities, due to a relatively small market. Most public libraries have free public access to the internet, but a limited number of computers and limited opening hours.
+
===Internet===
However, if you bring a laptop with a wireless connection you will find wireless internet zones just about everywhere(gas stations, city centres, cafés, shopping centres, hotels etc), be prepared to pay for it though. It is not unusual for hotels to have a terminal for guest use.
+
Norway has excellent 4G+ or 4G coverage. Even in rural areas you will mostly find 3G or better. For citizens of EU, additional roaming costs should not apply. If you plan to go hiking in the mountains you may experience 2G or no connection at all. Also, mountains may cause local radio shadows where you will have no signal at all. Most of the coastline has good coverage. It is however recommended to bring a VHF radio when sailing.
  
 +
Most Norwegian households are connected to the Internet in some way (mostly broadband), making cybercafés hard to find outside major cities, due to a relatively small market. Most public libraries have free public access to the internet, but a limited number of computers and limited opening hours. As of May 2015, free Internet appears to be available in all 7-11 and Deli de Luca convenience stores, no purchase required.
  
 +
However, if you bring a laptop with a wireless connection you will find wireless internet zones just about everywhere(gas stations, city centres, cafés, shopping centres, hotels etc), be prepared to pay for it though. It is not unusual for hotels to have a terminal for guest use. Around 60% of camp grounds have wifi internet, but if it's crucial for you, best to ask before paying for your camping space.
 +
 +
As of August 2011, Telenor (national telecoms provider) sells prepaid wireless 3G internet dongles for computers (NOK700, about €100), NOK150 buy-in must be purchased with the dongle itself, that comes with NOK50 credit and 300Mb of data to be used in 4 days. Then, another NOK150 purchase must be made for 15 days unlimited internet access. 3G speeds are very usable, and if 3G service is not available the dongle steps down to 2G (not so much fun). Of course, these prices and conditions may change quickly. There is a mobile phone shop at Oslo airport (land side) that sells phone equipment.
  
 
==Further reading==
 
==Further reading==
  
 
===Classical Travel Journals from Norway===
 
===Classical Travel Journals from Norway===
 
 
W. Matthiue Williams: Through Norway With a Knapsack (1859)
 
W. Matthiue Williams: Through Norway With a Knapsack (1859)
  
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Lees, James A. and  Clutterbuck, Walter J: Three in Norway (by two of them)  (1912)
 
Lees, James A. and  Clutterbuck, Walter J: Three in Norway (by two of them)  (1912)
 
 
  
  
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[[sv:Norge]]
 
[[sv:Norge]]
 
[[wts:Category:Norway]]
 
[[wts:Category:Norway]]
 
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[[WikiPedia:Norway]]
 
[[WikiPedia:Norway]]
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{{isPartOf|Scandinavia}}
 
{{isPartOf|Scandinavia}}
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{{outline}}
 
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Latest revision as of 20:48, 6 December 2019

Lodalen, Stryn, Sogn og Fjordane
Location
Norway in its region.svg
Flag
Flag of Norway.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Oslo
Government Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy
Currency Kroner (NOK)
Area total: 323,802 km2
water: 19,520 km2
land: 304,282 km2
Population 5,063,709 (April 2013)
Language Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk) and Saami
Religion Christianity (mainly Lutheranism), though Norway is widely secular.
Electricity 230V/50Hz (Schuko (Type F) European plug)
Country code +47
Internet TLD .no
Time Zone UTC +1 (CET)

Norway (Norge) is the westernmost, northernmost—and in fact the easternmost—of the three Scandinavian countries. Best known for the complex and deep fjords along its west coast which stretches from the North Sea near Denmark and Scotland into the Arctic Ocean and has borders with Finland, Sweden and the northwestern tip of Russia.

UnderstandEdit

HistoryEdit

The Viking kingdoms of Norway were unified in 872 AD by Harald Fairhair. In the following period, Norwegians settled in many places, such as Iceland, the Faroe Islands and parts of Scotland and Ireland, where they founded Dublin. In the beginning of the 14th century, Norway and Sweden were unified as the Norwegian king was also elected king of Sweden. At the end of the century, the two countries and Denmark were unified in the so-called Kalmar Union.

Sweden broke out of the union in 1521. Norway remained in union with Denmark until 1814. Only a few months after the declaration of independence, Norway entered into union with Sweden, though it must be noted that this union with Sweden allowed Norway to keep a great deal of independence.

The union with Sweden lasted until 1905, which is considered the beginning of modern Norway. From 1940 until 1945, Norway was occupied by Germany.

GeographyEdit

Norway is on a large peninsula shared with Sweden in the north of Europe. In the north, it also borders Finland and Russia.

Norway is well known for its amazing and varied scenery. The fjords in the west of the country are long narrow inlets, flanked on either side by tall mountains where the sea penetrates far inland. By far the major part of the land is a rocky wilderness, and thus Norway has large, completely unpopulated areas, many of which have been converted to national parks. Even outside the national parks, much of the land is unspoiled nature.

A rugged landscape shaped by the Ice Age, shows forested hills and valleys, mountains, waterfalls, and a long coastline with fjords, islands, and mountains growing directly up from the sea. Norway's highest point is Galdhøpiggen, 2,469m (8,100 ft) in the Jotunheimen region that lies midway between Oslo and Trondheim, but away from the coast. In the far north (Finnmark), you will find flatter open spaces. Several of the world's greatest waterfalls are in Norway, particularly in the western fjords and the mountain region.

PeopleEdit

Norway is one of Europe's most sparsely populated countries. With a population of only 5 million people and a land area of 385,802 km2, the population density is only 16 inhabitants per km2. Most of the population are Norwegians. The indigenous Sami people traditionally inhabit the northern part of Norway, that along with parts of Sweden, Finland and Russia outlines an area known as Sapmi (or Sameland). Other recognized minorities are the Kven people, Jews, Forest Finns, and Norwegian Romani Travellers. In recent years, immigration, in particular from the European Union, has increased greatly.

Norwegians are shaped by surviving a harsh climate more than war and social hierarchy, and you'll find them to be generally friendly, but stubborn and fiercely individualistic. The people relies on a common understanding of things, with a lot of effort put in common law and regulation but with little hierarchy. A tradition where you don't rely much on a ruler or a fast moving society, but where some neighbours are all you have and you will probably have to depend on at least one of them for your life, and more than once. So it takes time to get to know Norwegians properly. Some misunderstand it as coldness, but the reasons are more skepticism and slowness of change. If you get to know one of these people, you get to know them on the depth. There's little front, they don't have that many people in their circles, so they probably won't trust you all that much unless they get to know you down to your faults. And they don't expect you to rush it either, for desperation is a weakness. But once a friendship is tried and tested, it can be solid and warm.

Norway is no longer formally a Christian country. In 2012, the government separated from the church, leaving the country without an official religion. Before this, almost 85% of Norwegians were part of the national church, even though most Norwegians are nonbelievers and the regular church attendance was, and still is as low as 5%.

Norway has become rather liberal in moral issues and thus similar to neighbours like Denmark and Sweden. Homosexuality is accepted by most people and recently (2008) same-sex marriage was given the same legal status as traditional marriage. For instance, a previous male minister of finance and prominent figure in the conservative party is in partnership with a prominent male business manager. With that said, some parts along the southern and southwestern coast are fairly conservative, especially in the more rural areas.

Economy and politicsEdit

Norway's primary income is from the oil and gas industry in the North Sea which constitutes nearly a quarter of GDP. It also has several other natural resources such as fish and minerals, some industry, and a healthy technology sector. Politically, it's dominated by a widespread and continued support for the Scandinavian model, which means high taxes and high government spending to support free schools, free healthcare, an efficient welfare system and many other benefits. As a result the unemployment rate in Norway is extremely low at about 2 percent.

The Norwegian people have rejected membership in the European Union (EU) in two independent popular votes in 1972 and 1994, both times just by a few percent, after being vetoed out of membership by France in the 50s and 60s. However, being a member state of the European Economic Area and part of the Schengen agreement, Norway is closely connected to the EU, and integrated as a full member in most economic matters, as well as in customs and immigration matters. This is of great economic importance to Norway.

As one of the richest countries in the world and with a strong currency, most visitors should be prepared for greater expenses than at home. In addition, Norway has a very compressed wage structure which means that even the typical low skill work is relatively well paid. Despite the extremely high prices, Norwegians enjoy a purchasing power parity per capita significantly higher than both the US and all EU countries. For the same reason, firms try to keep the number of staff as low as possible, even for low skill service work. On the other hand, many attractions in Norway are free of charge, most notably the landscape and nature itself. Furthermore, you don't have to spend much money on accommodation if you're prepared to sleep in a tent or under the open sky. According to the Norwegian right to access, you may stay for up to two nights in one spot in uncultivated land if you keep away from houses and other buildings and out of the way of other people, provided that you leave no trace. If you move far away from people, you can stay for as long as you want.

ClimateEdit

See also Winter in Scandinavia.

Because of the gulf stream, the climate in Norway, especially along the coast, is noticeably warmer than what would otherwise be expected at such a high latitude. Almost half the length of Norway is north of the arctic circle. Summers can be moderately warm (up to 30°C), even in northern areas, but only for limited periods. The length of the winter and amount of snow varies. In the north there is more snow and winters are dark; on the southern and western coast, winters are moderate and rainy, while further inland the temperature can easily fall below -25°C. Even in the southeast, winter temperatures of -10ºC to -15ºC are common. Some mountain areas have permanent glaciers and patches of snow can be found in higher elevations even in the summer.

Norway's hours of daylight, temperature and driving conditions vary greatly throughout the year. Seasonal variations crucially depend on region as well as altitude. Note in particular that the area with midnight sun (north of the arctic circle) also has winter darkness (polar night) when the sun does not rise above the horizon at all.

Norwegian weather is most pleasant during the summer (June to mid-August). If you like snow, go to Norway in December to April. Along the coasts and in southern part of West Norway there is little snow or frost and few opportunities for skiing, even in winter. In the mountains there is snow until May and some mountain passes are closed until the end of May. If you come in the beginning of May some passes can be still closed, but since the snow is melting very quickly, you will get the possibility to enjoy plenty of waterfalls before they disappear. And in this time the number of tourists is very small. Spring in Norway is quite intense due to the abundance of water (melting snow) in conjunction with plenty of sunlight and quickly rising temperatures (typically in May).

 
Northern lights (aurora borealis) in Tromsø.

Be aware that daylight varies greatly during the year. In Oslo, the sun sets at around 15:30 in December. North of the Arctic Circle one can experience the midnight sun and polar night (winter darkness). However, even at Oslo's latitude, summer nights exist only in the form of prolonged twilight during June and July, these gentle "white nights" can also be a nice and unusual experience for visitors. The polar (or northern) lights (aurora borealis) occurs in the darker months, frequently at high latitudes (Northern Norway) but occasionally also further South.

HolidaysEdit

The major holidays are Easter, Christmas (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are all considered holidays), and the "common vacation" throughout July. In May there are several holidays including constitution day (17 May) - the main national celebration and an attraction in itself.

Public holidays (schools and offices closed):

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

Note that many Norwegian holidays are celebrated on the day before (Holy Saturday, Christmas Eve etc). On Christmas Eve ("julekveld", "julaften"), New Years Eve ("nyttårsaften"), Holy Saturday ("påskeaften") and Saturday before Pentecost ("pinseaften") shops close early. Norwegians also celebrate midsummer at St. John's day on June 24 by making a bonfire late evening the day before - "St.John's Eve" ("St.Hansaften" or "Jonsokaften").

RegionsEdit

 
Norway regions
East Norway
actually southeast, the region surrounding the capital Oslo, where the largest number of people live, also a agricultural region with many people who live off farming.
Middle Norway
with the ancient city of Trondheim
Northern Norway
also with great fjords, the midnight sun, the ancient Sami culture and the city of Tromsø
South Norway
the gentle coastline with Kristiansand
West Norway
with the famous fjords and the cities of Bergen and Stavanger
Svalbard
Arctic islands near the polar ice. Not part of the Schengen Area, it has its own border control and an entirely visa-free policy for all nationalities.
Jan Mayen
A desolate, mountainous and volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean, partially covered in glaciers with some moss and grass.
Bear Island
A purely isolated island surrounded by the silent ocean, ready for adventurers and people out of comfort zone, partially covered in ice and grass with polar bears.

CitiesEdit

  • Oslo - the capital and largest city of Norway, with museums of national importance, a beautiful setting and lively nightlife and cultural scene
  • Ålesund - a splendid Art Nouveau centre in the very western outskirts of Norway
  • Bergen - Once the capital of Norway, old Hanseatic trading centre with a rich culture and dramatic scenery, Norway's second largest city. Wonderfully cute wooden buildings, a magnificent mountain setting and tons of nightlife and atmosphere. This is your gateway to the western fjords. The city has been dubbed "the rainiest city in Europe" with an average of 250 days of rainfall a year. Bring an umbrella.
  • Bodø - The gateway to the magnificent Lofoten islands and Saltstraumen, the worlds strongest maelstrom
  • Kristiansand - The jolly capital of the South
  • Stavanger - The fourth largest city, and the third largest urban area. Commercially important due to the oil business. The wooden, cobbled central area is one of the most charming places in Norway. Home to one of Norway's medieval churches, you can also visit Iron Age homes, stone age caves, and sites where the Viking kings used to meet at Ullandhaugtårnet. Stavanger is where Erik the Red was born.
  • Tromsø - A magnificent, modern cathedral and absolutely no polar bears roaming the streets
  • Trondheim - Famous for its stunning cathedral (Nidarosdomen).Wonderful riverside wharfs, wooden buildings and the best student nightlife in Norway give beautiful, leafy Trondheim its charm.

Other destinationsEdit

  • Atlanterhavsveien - "The most beautiful road in the world". A unique road connected with spectacular bridges surrounded by the wilderness of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Jostedalsbreen - The largest glacier on the European mainland.
  • Jotunheimen - A majestic landscape and home of Norway's highest mountains.
  • Lofoten - Experience the midnight sun in this traditional fishing district in the northern province with islands and mountains.
  • Nordkapp - This cliff is the northernmost point of continental Europe. Excellent place to experience the midnight sun.
  • Sognefjorden - Glaciers, mountains and picturesque towns are but a few of the sights on the Sognefjord. Flåm and Nærøyfjorden (also a UNESCO World Heritage site) are parts of the mighty Sognefjorden system.
  • Trollheimen - A unique mountain area north west of Norway. East of the Atlanterhavsveien. Tourist cabins Trollheimshytta, Gjevilvasshytta and Jøldalshytta can provide a wonderful experience of Norway's mountains.

Get inEdit

Entry requirementsEdit

Minimum validity of travel documents

  • EU and EFTA citizens, as well as non-EU citizens who are visa-exempt (e.g. New Zealanders and Australians), need only produce a passport (or national ID card for EU/EFTA citizens) which is valid for the entirety of their stay in Norway.
  • Other nationals who are required to have a visa (e.g. South Africans), however, must have a passport which has at least 3 months' validity beyond their period of stay in Norway in order for a Schengen visa to be granted.


Norway is a member of the Schengen Agreement.

There are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented this treaty - the European Union (except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Likewise, a visa granted for any Schengen member is valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. But be careful: not all EU members have signed the Schengen treaty, and not all Schengen members are part of the European Union. This means that there may be spot customs checks but no immigration checks (travelling within Schengen but to/from a non-EU country) or you may have to clear immigration but not customs (travelling within the EU but to/from a non-Schengen country).

Please see the article Travel in the Schengen Zone for more information about how the scheme works and what entry requirements are.

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, as well as holders of Hong Kong SAR or Macau SAR passports are permitted to work in Norway without the need to obtain a visa or any further authorisation for the period of their 90 day visa-free stay. However, this ability to work visa-free does not necessarily extend to other Schengen countries.

Be keenly aware that Norway is not a member of the European Union. This means, especially if arriving by plane, that all persons entering Norway, regardless of point of origin, may be subject to customs controls at the port of entry. Information on duty-free allowances and regulations can be found on the Norwegian Customs Website. This has implications for air travellers (see the next section).

By planeEdit

Notice that if you have a domestic connecting flight, customs clearance usually takes place at the airport of first arrival to Norway, not in the final destination. This means that you have to pick your luggage, go through the customs, check it in again, and pass through the security once more before taking the connecting flight. This is the case even if your flight originates elsewhere in the Schengen area. In big and busy airports such as Oslo, this is quite a nuisance, and can be time-consuming. There are two ways to avoid his: Either select connections that avoid the final domestic leg, or make sure that your Oslo transfer uses the "Connecting Norway" solution.

OsloEdit

Oslo Airport, Gardermoen [1] (IATA: OSL) is the biggest airport in the country and the main international hub, 60 km north of Oslo. The airport is served by many major international and all domestic airlines.

The airport has scheduled flights to around 140 destinations abroad and 24 destinations in Norway. From the United Kingdom there are direct services to Oslo Gardermoen from:

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

From Ireland:

  • Dublin (Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle)

From the United States:

  • Boston (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • Fort Lauderdale (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • Los Angeles (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • Miami (Scandinavian Airlines)
  • New York JFK (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • New York Newark (United, Scandinavian Airlines)
  • Oakland (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • Orlando (Norwegian Air Shuttle)
  • San Juan (Norwegian Air Shuttle)


From Australia and New Zealand, the quickest connection is via Bangkok, Doha or Dubai. Thai Airways flies nonstop from Oslo to Bangkok. Qatar Airways flies 5 times a week from Doha with connections from several destinations in Asia and Oceania. Emirates flies daily nonstop from Oslo to Dubai.

SandefjordEdit

Sandefjord Airport, Torp [2] (IATA: TRF) is located just north of Sandefjord, 115 km to the south of Oslo, and is Ryanair's destination airport in Oslo. Ryanair now operates another service, from London Stansted to Haugesund on the west coast.

Sandefjord Airport Torp has scheduled flights to 14 destinations in Europe and 3 destinations in Norway.

From the United Kingdom there are direct services from:

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

From Ireland:

  • Dublin (Ryanair)

MossEdit

Moss Airport, Rygge (IATA: RYG) is located just outside Moss and approx. 60km south of Oslo. Moss Airport Rygge was closed for civilian traffic in late 2016, but there are plans to reopen the airport at a later date.

  • Danish Air Transport [3]

StavangerEdit

Stavanger Airport, Sola has scheduled flights to/from London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, Krakow, Madrid, Nice and some other European cities.

From the United Kingdom there are direct flights from:

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

BergenEdit

Bergen Airport, Flesland (IATA: BGO) has scheduled flights to/from major European cities as London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm, Prague, Warsaw and other cities.

Apart from to previously mentioned airports there are domestic flights to Trondheim and Tromsø.

From the United Kingdom there direct flights from:

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

TrondheimEdit

Trondheim Airport, Værnes (IATA: TRD) can be reached by direct flights from several European cities, notably Amsterdam, London and Copenhagen.

From the United Kingdom there are direct flights from London Gatwick with Norwegian Air Shuttle.

TromsøEdit

Tromsø Airport (IATA: TOS) has direct flights from London Gatwick with Norwegian Air Shuttle twice every week. Nordavia Regional Airlines also operates a flight between Tromsø and Murmansk in Russia.

By busEdit

Several international bus lines run into Oslo from Sweden, the major operators being Nettbuss Bus4You [4] and Swebus. Service to Gothenburg and Copenhagen is almost hourly, and faster and cheaper than the train.

The minibus service between Kirkenes and Murmansk run three times per day. Contact Grenseland/Sovjetreiser (yes, they are actually still called that!) in Kirkenes for booking.

Other coach lines exist between Sweden and Bodø and Mo i Rana, as well as between Denmark and Stavanger.

Many minibuses offer minibuses, these services are provided from many European countries. From Poland to Norway, Nor Way offers good and cheap services.

By trainEdit

There are trains from Sweden to Oslo, Trondheim and Narvik, with onwards inland connections.

For Oslo, daily service from Stockholm and Gothenburg. There are local services from Karlstad as well.

For Trondheim, the Nabotåget service from Östersund corresponds with one day and one night service from Stockholm, as well as the train from Sundsvall.

For Narvik, two trains run daily from Stockholm via Kiruna. Both are overnight.

Train schedules can be found on the website of the Norwegian State Railways [5] and the Swedish Railways [6].

By carEdit

It is possible to enter by road from Sweden, Finland, or Russia. In all cases, customs checks are in place and there will be a lane for those with goods to declare (red) and a lane for nothing to declare (green). Full passport control checks are found in the lone Norwegian-Russian land border crossing between Borisoglebsky and Storskog. Major roads to Norway include European route E6 which runs through Malmö, Helsingborg and Göteborg in Sweden before crossing the border at Svinesund in the south-east of Norway, E8 which runs through Turku, Vaasa and Oulu in Finland before crossing the border at Kilpisjärvi. There is an enormous number of possible routes and border crossings, but keep in mind that the road standards are not impressive and that speed limits are low.

By boatEdit

From BelgiumEdit

DFDS operates a cargo line from Ghent to Brevik with limited passenger capacity which is normally for truck drivers. There are departures once or twice a week. Note that the ferry may be scheduled to arrive at Brevik in the middle of the night.

From GermanyEdit

Color Line [7] run a daily ferry from Kiel to Oslo. The ferry leaves Kiel at 13.30 and arrives in Oslo at 09.30, the following day. The ferry terminal in Kiel is on Norwegenkai, which is a short walk across the bridge from Kiel's main railway station (note that the bridge may at times be closed for pedestrians due to ship traffic). At the Oslo end of the journey, the terminal is located at Hjortneskai, which is just west of the city centre. There is a bus from the terminal to the city centre, which departs shortly after passengers disembark (where shortly means that you might miss it if you're not one of the first leaving the boat). You can also get a cab or walk to the city centre (15 minutes walk).
Aida operates cruises, usually from Hamburg, to places in Norway such as Bergen and the fjords.

From DenmarkEdit

Several companies run from various harbours in Denmark (Frederikshavn, Hirtshals, Copenhagen) to various Norwegian harbours (Oslo, Larvik, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen).

From EnglandEdit

Thomson Cruise ships operate from Harwich and visit Flåm, Bergen, Molde, Hammerfest, Nordkapp, Tromsø, Lofoten Islands, Geiranger and Ålesund in Norway. The duration of the cruise varies from 5 days up to 2 weeks. Sailing time from Harwich to south Norway is 1.5 days. Onboard the cruise ship there are a number of restaurants, bars, casinos, cinemas and also a stage show to keep you entertained during the journey. There are various classes of cabins available, ranging from shared rooms to singles, doubles and luxury suites.

From Faeroe Islands and IcelandEdit

Smyril Line used to operate a once-weekly service to Bergen. This service now only operates Denmark-Faroe Islands-Iceland.

Get aroundEdit

Norway is a big country and getting around, particularly up north, is expensive and time-consuming. The best way to see the Norwegian wilderness and countryside is by having access to your own vehicle. This way you can stop wherever you want, admire the view and venture onto smaller roads.

By planeEdit

Norway's craggy coastline makes roads and trains slow, so domestic flights are very popular. The largest operators are SAS [12], Norwegian [13] and Widerøe [14].

It is especially in northern Norway, where towns and cities are fewer and further between, that air travel is clearly the most convenient method to get from town to town. Planes between the small airports are small, and they generally have several intermediate stops along the route to embark and disembark passengers. Unfortunately, it is also in these areas where ticket prices can be most expensive.

Flights in southern Norway are cheaper than in northern Norway, and even though this area has better roads and rail, planes are generally faster than taking the train or bus. There are however no air routes between the cities within 200km from Oslo, use the train or bus for this kind of travel.

If you plan to fly to the many smaller towns in Northern or Western Norway you should consider Widerøe's Explore Norway Ticket [15] (unlimited air travel for 14 days in summer for less than a full price return ticket.).

By busEdit

An extensive range of express buses connect cities all over Norway and even most national parks. Nettbuss express [16], Nettbuss TIMEkspressen [17] and NOR-WAY Bussekspress [18] are the biggest operators.

Bus schedules and frequencies vary greatly, and seating may be limited so plan ahead and book online. For more information check each operator's websites. Some mountain passes are closed all winter, and buses covering these typically run May—Sep only.

By trainEdit

 
The Flåm Railway, running between Myrdal and Flåm.

The Norwegian State Railways (NSB) operates all railways. Norway's rail network basically connects Oslo to other major cities, there are no rail lines North-South in West Norway between Stavanger and Trondheim, and there are no rail lines North-South in North Norway north of Bodø. These main lines run several times a day:

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

Trains are generally well-maintained and comfortable.

You can buy a Norwegian Rail Pass or the equivalent InterRail One Country Pass to travel cheap by train through Norway. If your itinerary is fixed and you don't have too many destinations, it might be cheaper to buy 'Minipris' tickets online. If you book well in advance, you can get one-way tickets for as little as NOK199. When buying online, you can choose ticket delivery at the station or at the train, the latter means you only need to know your seat number, the train steward has your ticket. Their website sometimes does not work for people outside of Norway. In that case you can call their call centre, but be sure to mention that you tried on the website first. Phone reservations normally incur a NOK50 fee per train ticket bought.

For long-distance trains and night trains, seat reservation is mandatory, but usually can be done on short notice, e.g., at a train station, since the trains are rarely fully booked. Generally, the trains are most crowded at the beginning and end of the weekend, and that means Friday and Sunday evening. Shortly before and at the end of major holidays like Christmas/New Year and Easter, trains are usually very busy. If you try booking for these days at a late time, you may find all the cheap tickets sold out. Furthermore, the seat you reserve may be among the least desirable, that is, facing backwards, without recline, and facing towards and sharing the legroom with other passengers.

Night trains operate Oslo - Bergen, Kristiansand, Bergen, Trondheim and Bodø. With a regular ticket, you will get an ordinary seat, blanket and earplugs. Sleeping compartments are available for an extra of kr 930. If you choose to order sleeping compartment, you pay for the compartment, not the bed: 2 people, same price. This also means that you will never have a stranger in your compartment.

For NOK90 you can upgrade any regular train ticket to NSB Komfort, the equivalent of first class, which means a little more room for your legs, free coffee, papers and a power socket. Usually the NSB Komfort coach is the last coach in the train and behind the dining coach, resulting in much less through traffic and a quieter environment. Power sockets are starting to become available on regular class on newer trains as well. The regular night train seats have a power plug, too. In some trains there is even free Internet access via Wi-Fi; one just needs to register (giving any 8-digit number as 'phone number').

Unlike much of Continental Europe, Norway does not have a high speed rail system, except for the route between Oslo and its airport. Attempts at implementing high speed trains are under way, but have failed so far. Therefore, a journey between the two largest cities, Bergen and Oslo, takes as much as six and a half to seven and a half hours.

In eastern Norway, where cities are closer together, there are several people who make a daily commute, and hence many of these cities have more frequent train service with hourly departures much of the day. This includes the cities in the counties of Østfold, Vestfold as well as Gjøvik, Hamar and Lillehammer. In general, these trains do not have seating reservations available, but it is still possible to upgrade to NSB Komfort.

If you get even closer to Oslo, there are local trains which may have departures as often as every 30 min. Local trains never have seating reservations, nor do they have a first class section. Local trains also operate between Bergen and Voss (sometimes to Myrdal), Stavanger and Egersund and around Trondheim.

By boatEdit

 
The Folkestad ferry in Volda.

Car ferries is an integral part of the road network in coastal regions. Prices and time vary with the length of the crossing and amount of traffic, call 177 for more information or check nearby camping sites for information booklets and timetables. Ferries often have information about other ferries in the region. On the main roads ferries are frequent during daytime, typically every half hour. Reservations are usually not needed, drive to the ferry quay and wait in line until the ferry docks. On main roads tourists typically don't have to worry about timetables as there are frequent departures. Note however that most ferries don't run after midnight or they run only every second hour.

Stretches with lots of ferries are desirable when bicycling, as the ferries are cheap for bicyclists and offer an often well-deserved break with a great view. Except for some of the shortest crossings (10 min), ferries typically have cafeterias serving coffee, cold beverages, sandwiches and some hot food. Due to numerous deep fjords and islands, driving in West Norway and Northern Norway as a rule (with few exceptions) involves ferries. Although car ferries are very reliable and operate with spare capacity, tourists should allow plenty of time on stretches including ferries. Note that ferries on unusually long crossings (several hours) or ferries crossing open stretches of sea are more frequently delayed or cancelled.

In regions with lots of fjords and islands, that is along all the coast from Stavanger to Tromsø, an extensive network of catamaran express boats ("hurtigbåt") shuttle between towns and cities, and connect islands otherwise accessible only with difficulty. Service and prices are comparable with trains. Check in advance if you want to bring a bicycle.

 
Hurtigruten

One option particularly popular with tourists is Hurtigruten [19] ships that hops along the coastline from Bergen all the way to Kirkenes, taking five and a half days for the whole journey. Cabins are expensive and mandatory for multi-day journeys, but deck fares are more reasonable and there's even a 50% off discount with Inter Rail. Prices are summed up for all chargeable elements like persons, fuel charge (app. 1/30 of a person), bike (app. 1/20 of a person), car, cabin (app. 125% of a person). Reservations are recommended for cabins and cars; on deck is usually enough space for persons and bikes.

By taxiEdit

Travelling with cab in Norway can be very expensive, and in most cities it's not necessary as bus, tram and train (or even walking) are easier. Taxies are generally safe as long as you choose a licensed taxi (with a white taxi sign on the roof). Many cab companies offer apps, and some like Oslo Taxi and partnered taxi companies use the Taxifix app. Some taxi companies offer pre-paid fees to and from the airport. Cab prices can vary a lot between companies.

Uber withdrew its regular service from Norway in october 2017. They may only offer some luxury or limo services currently.

By carEdit

Norway has right hand traffic, as the rest of mainland Europe. Driving is generally easy as traffic is calm, and most drivers are disciplined and law abiding, although moderate speeding is common on highways. However, some city centres (such as Bergen and Oslo) may be confusing to navigate for the first time visitor due to many one-way streets. Traffic is generally light except for city centres and a handful of stretches on main roads (notably E18).

Gas is expensive, starting at around NOK14.50 per litre (approx. US$9.30 per gallon). In some parts of Norway, the next gas station might be more than 100km away; a small village doesn't always have a gas station even if it is remotely located. Bring a full jerry can and fill up the tank in time. Manual transmission is regarded as standard in Norway and is found in most private cars. If you prefer to rent a car with automatic transmission, make sure to order one. Renting a car is very expensive, but can be essential for easy access to some of the more rural areas, although most areas have a good reliable bus service. If you live in Europe, consider bringing your own, but if you arrive during winter (November - April), be aware that winter tyres are necessary, do not under any circumstance try to drive without, even if you don't expect snow or ice. There's no really reliable weather forecast for these areas, snow and ice can stay a long time on lesser used roads, and steep roads need only a little ice to become difficult. Winter tyres must have a minimum of 3 mm deep grooves. Cars heavier than 3500 kg are required to bring snow chains during winter and whenever snow or ice can be expected, a minimum of 5 mm tread pattern depth is recommended for trucks and heavy cars. This is important as every year, at least a dozen trucks are blocking the roads because they wanted to save some money..

CarpoolingEdit

Carpooling that operates in Norway includes:

- joinants.com - http://www.samkjoring.no

By Motorhome / Camper vanEdit

Several companies hire motorhomes and mini-campers(2 person), that are "fully equipped" (beds, small kitchen, fridge, shower, toilet, heating, etc) and as a rough indication they cost about what one might spend on a reasonable hire car and reasonable accommodation - but allow a lot more flexibility.

While technically it's not legal to park overnight on the roadside or in rest areas, the practice is so common that it seems to be unenforced.

There are hundreds of camp grounds that cater to motorhomes (and caravans, or camping with tents - some have huts to rent), and these are well signposted. All have basic facilities (electricity, toilets, hot showers (pay per minute), mostly-flat ground), and some are more equipped (buy fresh food, hire boats, communal kitchens, tourist info, etc).

Some are of the "industrial" variety (hundreds of vans, spotless facilities, very straight paths, gravel, not grass, keypads to enter, lots of strict rules, right beside the highway), and others are more... loose - occasional visitors, honour system for payment, idyllic surroundings, lots of grass and space. It's impossible to tell from the signs, so a drive-by might be necessary to see if the campground suits your mood and preferences.

As a rough guide (August 2011), a night in a campground with electricity costs around NOK200, but ranges from NOK120-300.Showers are usually NOK10 for 4 minutes.

There are many rest stops on all major and many minor roads, and there's a fantastic system of National Tourist Routes with particularly spectacular rest stops (and facilities). Most of the rests tops have a toilet and picnic table.

TollsEdit

There are tollways in Norway, but most tollways are part of (AutoPass [20]). Visitors can register their numberplate for the duration of their visit only, pre-buy NOK300 worth of tolls, and directly debit their (European) bank account or credit card for top ups. Any un-used funds are returned within 90 days. Occasionally, it may be necessary to stop and pay for tolls, but a huge majority are automated (numberplate is photographed while driving under a gantry over the road).

The tolls differ from those in Stockholm and Gothenburg in that foreign vehicles are NOT exempt. Cases where foreign cars incur unpaid tolls are pursued by Europe-wide toll collection companies.

TunnelsEdit

Any driving in Norway is not complete without tunnels. There are thousands of them, and they are fascinating to those unfamiliar with them. The longest seems to be 24km, but 1-3km is more common. Tunnels are always lit with "street" lighting, but are a little narrower than the regular roads. Driving out from a tunnel, over a bridge spanning a deep gorge, back into a tunnel, then down a 12% gradient is something to be remembered!

Rules and regulationsEdit

Rules and regulations in the traffic are generally the same as in the rest of Europe. Foreign visitors should be aware that police controls are common and that fines are very high, and should take special note of the following rules:

  • The give way rule is universal. On roads without the "Yellow Diamond" sign, all traffic from your right hand side has the right of way; you must yield to traffic from any road to your right, except from private areas such as parking lots.
  • Buses have priority when leaving a bus stop where the speed limit is 60km/h or less. Trains, trams and light rail have right of way even from the left hand side.
  • Quite a few roads are not wide enough for two cars to meet. Blue signs with a large M indicates a passing point.
  • Headlights are mandatory even during daylight.
  • An EN standard hazard waistcoat is required in the vehicle, reachable from the drivers seat.
  • Pedestrians have the right of way at all marked crossings with no traffic lights. You are required to stop even if the pedestrian is not yet in the crossing, only showing intention to cross. You may be severely fined and your driver's licence may be suspended if you don't. This rule is strictly enforced.
  • The general speed limit is 80km/h in the country side and on motorways (unless indicated otherwise), and 50km/h in urban areas. The speed limit is always a maximum limit, adjusted to population density but not road standards. Which is important, as keeping strictly to the speed limit can make your car fly if you don't adjust to the terrain. The driver is also expected to adjust speed downward to a safe level in for instance fog, heavy rain or snow, as there are no hard and fast rules. On the other hand, it's considered rude to drive slow to enjoy the view when there's other cars behind you, this can provoke dangerous drive-bys. If you drive a slow car, please use open spaces besides the road to let other cars pass by now and then. And take a rest when you need to, that's what resting areas are made for.
  • Don't drink and drive. Your blood alcohol concentration must not exceed 0.02 ‰. One small beer can be enough. This rule is strictly enforced and violators risk an enormous income-based fine, a long (or even indefinite) suspension of the driver's licence and prison time.
  • On typical Norwegian two-lane road with a narrow shoulder, overtaking is only allowed on long straights with plenty of visibility. Overtake only if really necessary, consider alternatives like taking a short break.
  • Using one's vehicle horn is considered impolite and may result in a fine unless used for an emergency.
  • Right turn on red is illegal.
  • White line in the road means the lanes go in the same direction, yellow line means the lanes go in opposite direction. Less used roads may have no line at all, keep to the right side at passing traffic but otherwise it isn't so strict. Which means, watch out at the turns.

Roads and driving conditionsEdit

 
Road RV13 over Vikafjellet. Note that this picture is taken mid June!

Norwegian roads have varying quality. The main roads are the European highways indicated with an "E" in front of the number. For instance E6 is the main north-south corridor from Sweden via Oslo to Kirkenes in the very east of Northern Norway. European highways connect cities, regions and countries. E18 connects Kristiansand and towns in South Norway to Oslo and Sweden. E16 connects Bergen to Oslo (via Flåm and Voss), road 7 is an alternate route to Bergen (via Hardangervidda). E39 is the coastal main road from Kristiansand via Stavanger, Bergen and Ålesund to Trondheim. The E-roads are excellent for navigation. Other main roads (national highways, "riksvei") have low one- or two-digit numbers, the most important of these are indicated with white fonts on green background (as opposed to black on white for most highways). Note however that the importance of the road does indicate quality: even the E's may have narrow and slow sections.

Asphalt cover on Norwegian roads is usually coarse and doesn't get very slippery when wet as can be experienced in some other countries. Note however that studded winter tyres tend to eat asphalt during the winter leaving deep tracks (or furrows). This can make the car sideways unstable, particularly in high speed, and if filled with water tyres may float on the water making the car difficult to control (as if driving on ice or snow). When driving downhill steep mountain roads it is best to use a low gear and let the engine control the speed. Brakes can overheat causing the brake fluid to boil.

Moose/elk ("elg") and red deer can run onto the highway particularly at dusk and dawn so take extra care if driving at those times, particularly through forest. Red deer can also jump onto the highway without warning, particularly in Western Norway during late autumn and winter, special "crossing points" have been constructed several places, be aware. Reindeer may happen to walk on the road in Northern Norway. Note the warning signs. These warning signs will also, with few exceptions, specify for how long a distance there is an increased risk of animals crossing the road. The elk, the most dangerous animal on the roads, is most active at full moon, after heavy snow fall and at dusk/dawn.

Driving a car in winter conditions may be a real challenge without proper training and experience, this particularly applies to mountain passes all over Norway as well as other roads in Northern Norway. The golden rule for driving on snow, ice and slush: don't rush. Braking distance increases dramatically, increase distance to the car in front of you from the standard 3 seconds to a 5-6 seconds or more. Inexperienced drivers should drive very careful until they get used to the conditions and the car, experienced drivers always "feel" the contact between tyres and road. A number of mountain roads are frequently closed temporarily during bad weather, and the authorities routinely issue road information on radio, TV and internet. During blizzards on some roads you are only allowed to drive in a line behind a heavy snowplough, a method called "kolonnekjøring", you are then obliged to wait at a gate or sign until the snowplough arrives. Always obtain specific information about mountain roads the day and hours before going. Don't hesitate to ask locals or call 175 for last minute information, as Norwegians are generally comfortable with driving on snow and ice. Always bring enough clothes and food, always calculate plenty of time. Be prepared to cancel or postpone trips in winter.

Some mountain passes, including popular roads around Geiranger are totally closed during winter (typically Nov-May). Other mountain roads may be closed for shorter periods (several days or only one night) during bad weather. These roads are always closed during winter ("vinterstengt"):

  • Road 55 Sognefjell (Nov-May)
  • Road 51 Valdresflya (Dec-Apr)
  • Road 63 Geiranger (Nov-May)
  • Road 63 Trollstigen (Oct-May)
  • Road 13 Gaularfjell (Dec-May)
  • E69 Nordkapp (North Cape) (Oct-Apr)

Visitors frequently underestimate distances and driving time in the Norwegian landscape. Key distances by car:

  • Oslo-Bergen 500km/ 8h
  • Oslo-Stavanger 540km/ 8h
  • Oslo-Trondheim 500km/ 8h
  • Trondheim-Bodø 700km/ 12h
  • Oslo-Geiranger 450km/ 7h
  • Oslo-Flåm 350km/ 5h
  • Bodø-Tromsø 600km/ 10h
  • Bergen-Geiranger 400km / 7h
  • Bergen-Flåm 170km/ 3h
  • Ålesund-Trondheim 300km/ 6h

By bicycleEdit

The bicycle seat is one of the best ways to experience the landscapes of Norway. The sport is becoming increasingly popular in Norway, especially since the success of Norwegian cyclists like Thor Hushovd. As a result, Norwegians generally have a very positive attitude to bicycle tourists, so you'll have a lot of small talk. Norwegians themselves prefer to ride on nice or even expensive bicycles: in most cities good bicycle shops can be found.

You'll find quite a number of travel diaries online. Only few specific cycle tracks exist, mostly in the big cities, and they are not fully interconnected. Except for densely populated areas, they can mostly be ignored. You can safely use almost every road, as speeds are relatively low and the vast majority of drivers are responsible and patient. Cycling is banned on motorways and in most tunnels, but there is often an alternative route where cycling is allowed - even if this might involve a detour or a ferry ride in some of the more wild parts of the country.

In most of Norway, cycling can be physically challenging, due to steep climbs and strong winds. Your equipment should be lightweight and aerodynamic. You will need a wide range of gears: a ratio of 39-27 for a strong cyclist without luggage or even 22-32 for a normal cyclist with luggage is necessary on many slopes. Your brakes should be of high quality and you'll need spare brake pads when doing a trip of more than a few days. Lights are necessary because of the many tunnels. Because of the winds, it is advisable to avoid wide panniers and loose fitting clothes. A lightweight recumbent should be considered as a serious option for those experienced with this type of bicycle, especially when cycling south to north.

The roads are generally paved well, although gravel roads are sometimes unavoidable. As long as you don't go off-road, you will not need suspension or grooved tyres.

Because of the long distances and numerous hills, bicycle tourists are advised to plan well and be prepared to use public transport for the less interesting stretches. Special attention should be given to tunnels, as some of them are forbidden for cyclists, as are a few roads. An on-line map of tunnels. The tourist information also has a map of those forbidden routes. When hiring a bike, you can consult the person that lends you the bike concerning the track you want to take. In many cases, signposts indicate the route for cyclists and pedestrians around forbidden roads or tunnels. Some of the high speed tunnels have bus stops a short distance from the entrance where you can board special buses equipped with bike racks to transport you through the tunnel. Buses usually run hourly and the departure times are posted.

Ferries take bikes for free or minimal charge, on trains you've to pay a fee and in buses, bikes are sometimes forbidden and in all other cases only transported if there's enough space (no fee or same like a child). The Norwegian Cyclist Association offers information.

By thumbEdit

Hitchhiking in Norway is best on the the routes from Oslo-Trondheim (E6), Oslo-Kristiansand (E18) and Kristiansand-Stavanger (E39). However, near the cities these are now motorways and it is not possible to stand at the road itself. Hitchhiking is not that common in Norway. If hitchhiking is ever safe, it's pretty safe in Norway, however it's difficult to get a lift and it may be very slow.

When waiting make sure to stand in a place where the vehicles can see you and have a safe opportunity to stop. Ferry ports and main fuel stations are good places to try. Stretches with low speed limit (50-60) is generally better than high speed as drivers find it more cumbersome to make a halt. Drivers of heavy trucks in particular prefer to keep a steady speed. Roadside cafeterias where truckers have a break can be good place to ask for a lift.

Good hitchhiking spots from major cities are: Oslo to: Bergen and the mountains- if you're daring, try Oksenøyveien (see Kristiansand), but be aware that most cars continue southwards to Drammen. Rather catch the Timekspressen bus, direction Hønefoss, to Sollihøgda. Trondheim and the north- is getting more difficult as motorway development continues. The best bet inside Oslo is bus stop Ulvenkrysset. Get the metro to Helsfyr, then bus 76, 401 or 411 for one stop. Further outside, to avoid the local traffic, you are best off at the Shell gas station at Skedsmovollen, bus 845 and 848 from Lillestrøm train station. Kristiansand and the south: Few spots beat the bus stop Oksenøyveien, connected by bus 151, 251 and 252. You may be dropped in Sandvika by cars heading towards Hønefoss and the mountains/Bergen. Carry a sign. Sweden along E6: Highway all the way, except close to the centre. Try the bus stop Nedre Bekkelaget, bus 81 and 83. Sweden along E18: You may try Nedre Bekkelaget, but as most traffic continue towards Strömstad and Gothenburg, you should rather catck the Timekspressen bus 9 to Østensjø stop, just after the Holstad roundabout.

Bergen to: Oslo - Get local train to Arna and try near the entrance to Arnanipa tunnel. Northwards - Go by bus to Vågsbotn in Arna, and try hithing a ride close to the Hjelle bakery. Southwards - Get the light rail to Nesttun, then nearly any bus for three stops to Skjoldskiftet. Hitch southwards along E39.

Trondheim to: Oslo - Get bus 46 to the shopping centre City Syd, then go under the E6 and try your luck at City Syd E6 stop. Soon, the city tax on buses will be extended past the Klett roundabout, if this is in effect you should go to the bus stop just after the roundabout at any Melhus-bound bus and try your luck there. Molde/Ålesund - Get any Orkanger bus to the stop just after Klett roundabout. Soon, Trondheim city tax will extend to Børsa, after which you should stay on the bus for as long as you can, and hitch a ride from there. Northwards - Get city bus 7 or 66 to Travbanen stop. Sweden - To be sure to hitch only on cars going towards Sweden, get a train or bus to Stjørdal and hitch on the E14.

In general, looking polite and friendly is a good trick. Asking cars in line at a ferry quay (if travelling along the coast) is a very good idea, and may bring you very far. Hitching rides from Molde all the way to Bergen are not unheard of, but don't bet on it.

In general though, you can really get to anywhere from anywhere by thumb, just in some places it might take a while.

TalkEdit

There is no de jure standard spoken Norwegian (although standard østnorsk, the variety usually taught to foreigners, is the predominant language in much of Østlandet including Oslo and is the closest thing to a de facto standard, being widely used in media) and a wide range of dialects is used even in public broadcasting, and there are even two standard ways of writing it, bokmål and nynorsk. Norwegians learn both at school. The two varieties are very close and mutually intelligible with the two other Scandinavian languages, Danish and Swedish. Of the two standard ways of writing it, bokmål is by far the more common form of writing in most of the country, though nynorsk is prevalent in Western Norway. Overall, bokmål is the preferred written standard for about 85% of the population.

Sami is a group of minority languages which have official status in some Northern regions as well as some municipalities further south. Road signs and other public information is then provided in both Norwegian and Sami (note that Norwegian and Sami place names may differ, maps will typically use the Norwegian name). Sami is related to Finnish, but not to Scandinavian languages, and virtually no non-Sami Norwegians speak Sami.

Almost all Norwegians speak English, and unless you approach someone really old and isolated you should have no trouble whatsoever getting around in English. Officially, 91% of the population speaks fluent English, making Norway one of the most English-proficient countries on the planet where English is not an official language.

German and French are spoken by some workers in the tourism industry. However it is better to speak the local language, another Scandinavian language, or English.

Foreign films and television programmes are generally shown in their original language with subtitles. Only children's programmes are dubbed into Norwegian.

SeeEdit

Northern Lights

Tromsø is a great place to see the aurora, or northern lights.

Midnight Sun

Tromsø should also be visited during summer to see the midnight sun. The duration of the Polar Day period depends on how far north you are. The further north you go, the longer the period lasts and the earlier it begins. The North Cape, Bodø, and Lofoten are ideal to experience the Midnight Sun. The frequency and intensity of Northern Lights coincide with high solar sunspot activity, that cycle in approximately eleven-year intervals.

Fjords

Norway is widely recognized for its plethora of fjords (even the word "fjord" is Norwegian). Two of Norway's most prominent fjords, Nærøyfjord and Geirangerfjord have received a UNESCO world heritage site listings, due to their outstanding natural beauty and scenery. Other notable mentions are Lysefjord, Oslofjord, and Sognefjord.

Lofoten Archipelago

Lofoten, is an archipelago north of the Arctic circle. During the summer the islands have 24 hours of daylight. It is a great place to cycle, rock climb or mountaineer. Reinebringen is a popular hiking destination due to the stunning panoramic view from its peak.

DoEdit

A great introduction to Norway is the one-day Norway in a Nutshell [21] package on a single ticket from Oslo or Bergen into the mountains, with a boat trip through the fjords. You can break the trip at several interesting cabins for walking or just admiring the view, and even hire a mountain bike for part of the journey. One of the highlights of the 'Norway in a Nutshell' package is Flåmsbana [22], a 20km railway that's one of the steepest in the world. Along the way you'll see beautiful mountains, rivers, valleys, waterfalls, and other beautiful sights on your way to the town of Flåm.

Another great way of experiencing and learning all about Norway is by going on a guided excursion. Norway Excursions[23] provides all sorts of excursions, from sightseeing to hiking. A local guide will take you to the most interesting and beautiful places and tell you all about the fjords and mountains, history and culture of the particular region you visit.

Norway Travel Guide[24] provides detailed information on everything relating to travelling in Norway and services with great value and insider tips on what to do and see while in Norway They offer you to contact with locals all over Norway who can help you out with everything you need for your trip.

HikingEdit

Norway has endless opportunities for hiking in its wide wilderness, from easy walks in Oslo's city forest to alpine climbing in Jotunheimen or Troms. A number of areas are protected as national parks, but most the country is equally attractive and available to the public.

In Norway, travellers enjoy a right to access, which means it is possible to camp freely in most places for a couple of days, as long as you're not on cultivated land and provided you are at least 150m away from houses and farm buildings. Don't leave any traces and take your rubbish away for recycling.

Den Norske Turistforening (DNT) [25] (The Norwegian Mountain Touring Association) operates many staffed and self-service mountain cabins, marks mountain routes, offers maps and route information, guided tours, and several other services for mountain hikers in Norway.

Mountainous areas are popular among both Norwegians and tourists. Why not visit Galdhøpiggen (2469), the highest mountain in Norway, or join a [[musk ox safari]] in Dovrefjell!

For maps, bypass Google Maps, whose coverage of Norway is poor, and try the national mapping agency's Norgeskart.no site, which concords with their excellent printed hiking maps.

SkiingEdit

Both cross country and alpine skiing are popular sports in the winter, and the largest areas, Trysil,Hafjell or Hemsedal for example, compete well with the Alps. Telemark is also a nice area to ski in. (The birth place of cross country ski.) Voss, Geilo and Oppdal are other major ski resorts. Around Oslo there is large park ideal for cross-country skiing. In Stryn, at Galdhøpiggen and at Folgefonna there alpine ski centres that are open in summer only (May-September), offering unique opportunities for alpine skiing in T-shirt and short pants.

CyclingEdit

In Norway, you can rent, virtually everywhere, a bicycle. Cycling routes exist usually near bigger cities; you can find some tours at Cycle tourism in Norway [26]. Some roads and tunnels are forbidden for cyclists as they are life-threatening; read the section By bicycle above. Some city dumps may have a special section where you can pick up discarded bicycles (and other stuff) for free. The charity thrift-stores (FRETEX/ELEVATOR/NMS Gjenbruk)sometimes stock used bicycles.

BuyEdit

The Norwegian currency is the Norwegian crown (norske krone, in Norwegian), sometimes abbreviated to just the two letters kr placed after the amount. A 1/100th krone is called øre. When you need to disambiguate the Norwegian krone from other krone (eg: the Swedish or Danish krone), use the official three-letter abbreviation NOK placed before the amount with no space. As of August 2018, there are about NOK9.54 to one euro.

Coins come in 1, 5, 10, and 20 kroner. Paper notes come in NOK50, NOK100, NOK200, NOK500, and NOK1000 banknotes.

ATMs in Norway are called Minibank. There is no problem locating an ATM in urban areas. At main airports and Oslo Central Station, you can withdraw euros, dollars, pounds sterling, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian kroner. Nearly all stores, with the exception of some grocery stores, accept major credit cards such as MasterCard and Visa (bring your passport or driver's license, as you are required to identify yourself when using a credit card). If you buy something in a store, you can often ask to get some extra cash. Debit cards are the most common payment method with mobile payment on the rise. Do understand that Norway is technically well-developed and that many people no longer use cash on a daily basis. Banks and politicians alike are pushing to allow stores to refuse cash as payment, but as of 2017 shops are still required by law to accept cash. For withdrawals of more cash than NOK 10 000, you will have to go to a bank. The bank is required to document what you intend to use the money for (they will ask you). This is part of anti money laundering and to prevent tax evasion.

CostsEdit

Norway is an expensive country. While it is possible to travel in Norway on a limited budget, some care must be taken. Because labour is costly, anything that can be seen as a "service" will in general be more expensive than you expect. Travel costs can also be a killer, because gas is heavily taxed, the country is large and distances long. So a rail or air pass can save you a lot of money.

As rules of thumb, subsisting on under NOK500/day will be difficult even if you stay in hostels and self-cater, with NOK1000/day allowing a more comfortable mid-range lifestyle and over NOK2000/day needed for good hotels and restaurants.

Take care when buying alcohol and tobacco. It will most certainly be more expensive than you expect. A 400 or 500 mL beer in a pub or restaurant will cost around NOK80 whilst a 500 mL can of 4.7% beer in a supermarket costs about NOK30. Cigarettes cost about NOK115 for a pack of 20, and a bottle of 500 mL Coke will usually cost NOK20. On the positive side: Norway has good quality tap water. Buying bottled drinking water is unnecessary and hugely expensive. Some Norwegians drink straight from streams when hiking, but periodic outbreaks of Tularemia makes this a bit risky.

Fast food restaurants like McDonalds and Burger King are also more expensive than in most countries due to the labour costs. A large Big Mac meal ("Big Mac Meny") will set you back around NOK100, and the same goes for a Double Whopper with Cheese meal. Also, keep in mind that most bakeries, fast food chains, and other types of restaurants that offer takeout, charge more if you eat it at the restaurant than if you take it with you, due to differences in the VAT rate.

In Norway, waiters are not dependent on tips from customers as they are in the US, as they are well paid. However, tipping is not unusual (and increasingly usual) in mid- to high-end cafés and restaurants, but only if you feel you have been treated well. If you do decide to tip, somewhere around 10% is common. Or you can round off upwards. Tipping cab drivers is usual if you travel for more than NOK200, but you will get no reaction from the driver should you choose not to tip, so this may be a new experience to American and English tourists. Tipping is never considered offensive, but not tipping is also rarely frowned upon.

If you are a bit careful about your expenses a daily budget of around NOK1500 (€190) per day is not unrealistic.

You can save some money by bringing supplies. Be aware of the strict Norwegian border regulations, which allow a maximum of 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco, 1 litre of hard alcohol and 1.5L of wine and 2L of beer OR 3L of wine and 2L of beer OR 5L of beer. As a general rule, tobacco, alcohol and meat will be comparatively expensive. Vegetables, flour, baby articles, car supplies (oil, window wiper fluid and so on), and clothes will have (almost) the same price as in neighbouring countries, or even be cheaper.

When in Norway do as the Norwegians do, and venture into Sweden for supplies, when you have the opportunity.

Money exchangeEdit

It is possible to exchange money in most banks near tourist information offices, in the post-office or withdraw the money in local currency from the ATM. In some places, however, they don't handle cash in the banks so the only way to exchange money is in the post offices where the exchange fee might be up to NOK75 (€9.50, USD12.20)!

You will get the best rate when you withdraw money from the ATM or simply pay with a credit card. Note that the country is currently upgrading to a new system using computer chips embedded in the card and a pin number. Credit cards with magnetic strips are still accepted throughout the country; however, you will have to let the merchant know that the you do not have a pin code you need to sign instead. It is also important to note that sometimes a merchant system will not allow signatures, so it is a good precaution to have cash on hand to pay if needed.

For example (August 2009) the exchange rate in the bank was NOK8.75 for €1 (taking into consideration that it is not possible to exchange an amount of more than NOK5000 per one transaction and there is a commission of NOK100 for each transaction); in the tourist information office the exchange rate was 7.28 (no commission), by withdrawal from ATM the rate was 7.74 (taking into consideration all the bank commissions).

ShoppingEdit

Opening hours in Norway are better than they used to be, though many smaller stores still close early on Saturday (13:00 or 15:00 is typical) and nearly everything is closed on Sundays. Grocery stores (particularly in the cities) have long opening hours frequently until 22:00 or 23:00 on weekdays. You'll often see opening hours written as "9-21 (9-18)" on doors, meaning 09:00 to 21:00 weekdays, 09:00 to 18:00 Saturday. The grocery market is dominated by a handful of chains covering most of Norway: Rimi, Rema 1000, Kiwi, Prix and Bunnpris are low price shops with a narrow selection of items; Meny, ICA Supermarked and Spar have wider selection and better quality at a slightly higher price; Coop Mega and Ultra have fewer shops and higher prices.

Convenience stores, notably the major chains Narvesen and Mix (all over the country), Deli de Luca (Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim only) and 7-Eleven (bigger cities only), are open from early morning until late at night every day, with 24 hour service in the biggest cities. All over the country you will find gas-stations, Statoil, Shell, fresh/selected, YX (HydroTexaco) (these days turning into 7-eleven with gas) and Esso, On the Run. Virtually all gas-stations serve fast-food, especially sausages, hamburgers, pizza, and so on. The gas-stations have long opening periods, and the bigger stations in cities and near bigger crossroads are open 24 hours. Convenience stores and gas stations are relatively expensive.

Most big cities have over the years been almost exclusively dominated by shopping malls. Although you do have shopping streets like Karl Johans Gate in Oslo, Strandgaten in Bergen and Nordre gate/Olav Tryggvasons gate in Trondheim, you are bound to find malls around the country by Thon Gruppen and other major companies. Norway is also home to Scandinavia's biggest mall - Sandvika Storsenter - located 15 minutes outside Oslo by train. In Oslo you have Byporten Shopping Senter, Oslo City and Gunerius located right next to Oslo S train station and Paléet and Arkaden Shopping in Karl Johans Gate, as well as several malls and shopping centres a bit further out.

Getting "good deals" and bargaining is frowned upon, and the caterers are not authorized to give you a better price. The price you see, is the price you pay. Although asking for a discount is perfectly OK, getting one will in most cases never happen. If you plan on buying tax-free, a good practice is to bring with you the necessary forms. Most stores will have these forms at hand themselves but it is a good precaution. Also, if you pay with credit card, you might have to sign the receipt which will require some form of ID, drivers license and passport are both OK. This is due to the strict nature of money transactions.

Prices are almost always including VAT and other taxes, so the price you see is the price you pay. If a business primarily caters to other businesses, prices may be stated excluding VAT with a sign that says "eks MVA" (opposite being "ink mva". MVA = merverdiavgift, meaning VAT). The MVA is currently 25% for goods, 15% for food items and 12% for some services (cab, hotel stays, cinema tickets). MVA was previously known as merverdiomsetningsavgift, shortened to "moms" and you may hear or see "moms" used informally.

EatEdit

 
Cod drying in the wind, a common (and smelly) sight along the coast
 
Fit for a Viking: fiskeboller (fish balls) in cream sauce with potatoes, grated carrots and a smattering of bacon

Traditional Norwegian "farm" food is made by whatever can grow in the northern climate, be stored for a year until new crops come out, and contain enough energy for you to do hard work. Regional variances in traditional food are huge and hence, and what is thought to be "typical traditional" for one Norwegian might be totally unknown to another. Typical examples are variations of yeasted and unyeasted bread and other forms of bakery, porridges, soups, inventive uses of potato, salted and smoked meat, and fresh, salted or smoked fish. Dried cod (tørrfisk) and salted cod (klippfisk) are staples of coastal communities in the north and can be seen drying on outside racks in spring and summer. The national dish of Norway is fårikål, a stewed casserole of lamb's meat and cabbage.

Finer traditional food is usually based on hunted animals or fresh fish. Steak, medallions and meat balls from game, deer, reindeer and elk are highly appreciated foods with international reputation, so are fresh, smoked and fermented salmon varieties as well as a host of other fish products. Traditional pastries like lukket valnøtt (marzipan-covered whipped cream cake) are other original contributions to international cuisine. Cheese of various types is common, but one particularly Norwegian favorite is geitost (goat-cheese), which is technically not a cheese but a type of fudge without all the sugar and cream but with various amounts of goat milk. The milder, more common varieties are made mostly of cow milk and bears a remarkable similarity to smooth peanut butter in colour, texture and taste. The stronger varieties are made purely of goat milk and considered an acquired taste.

Today, Norwegians use plenty of sliced bread for almost any meal except dinner, whereas recipes for hot meals will be taken from almost anywhere in the world, including of course the traditional kitchen, but seldom the most extreme examples. Lunch usually consists of some bread and snacks instead of a warm dish but this is then compensated by eating well at dinner time.

Strawberries, raspberries and other berries are exceptionally tasty in Norway during the summer season. This is due to the cool summers – together with the long days – which allows the berries to grow slower, thus intensifying the concentration of aromatics in the berries.

Norwegians are also known for eating a lot of frozen pizza.

Places to eatEdit

Whale anyone?
Yes, Norwegians eat whale. However, it's very seldom found in most ordinary restaurants, and chances are it might be overly expensive. Young Norwegians did not grow up with eating whale because of the moratorium in the 1980s. Although whaling started up again in the early 1990s, whale is no longer a staple food as it once was in the coastal areas. Norway only allows a limited catch of the minke whale as this specific species is not regarded endangered.


Eating out is expensive, with fast food starting from 50 kr and sit-down meals in a decent restaurant nearly always topping NOK200 or more for a main course. Even a take-away sandwich and a coffee at a gas station may cost you up to NOK70(€9, USD11.50). One way to cut costs is self-catering, as youth hostels and guesthouses often have kitchens for their guests. Supermarkets and grocery stores are not hard to find, even in the smallest village there is usually more than one grocery store. The largest chains are Coop, REMA 1000, Meny, Kiwi and Joker. Breakfast is often hearty and buffet-style, so pigging out at breakfast and skipping lunch is also an option. Buy/bring a lunchbox before attending breakfast, as most of the bigger hotels will allow you to fill it up for free from the breakfast buffet for eating later in the day.

For a cheap quick snack Norwegian-style, look no further than the nearest grill or convenience store, which will dish up a sausage (pølse) or hot dog (grillpølse) in either a hot dog bun (brød) or wrapped in a flat potato bread (lompe) for around NOK20-30. However prices can soar as high as NOK50 if you buy at the right (read wrong) places. In addition to ketchup and mustard, optional toppings include pickled cucumber (sylteagurk), fried onion bits (stekt løk) and shrimp salad (rekesalat). To get the most for your money, order a (kebab i pita) which is lamb meat roasted on a spit then fried when you order, served together with vegetables in a pita bread. This tastes great, is extremely filling and can be found for as little as kr 50 in central Oslo and Bergen. Outside, you will have to stick with your grillpølse.

The new Nordic cuisine has gained a lot of fame and attention. Most of these restaurants are in the upper segment. The most famous in Norway is probably Maemo, a three star restaurant located downtown Oslo. Others worth a visit are Kontrast and Bokbacka.

VegetariansEdit

Very few Norwegian cuisine restaurants have vegetarian meals on the menu, but will make something if asked, with varying success. Some of the few chains of stores/restaurants where you will always have a vegetarian option is Peppes Pizza, Dolly Dimple's, Egon, SubWay and Esso/On the run (spinach panini).

Allergies and dietsEdit

If you have allergies like lactose intolerance and gluten allergy, going to Peppe's Pizza, Dolly Dimple's, Subway and Burger King are good suggestions. But if you want to eat somewhere a little fancier, asking the maître d' at the restaurant is always good practice. In some cases, if it is not on the menu, they might be able to accommodate you anyway.

As the regulations for food is extremely strict in Norway, the ingredients for anything you buy is always printed on the packages, and if you ask, you will always be told what is contained in the food you order.

Food safetyEdit

Food safety is very good in Norway. Salmonella is very rare compared to other countries, and health officials inspect restaurants at a regular basis. Also tap-water is usually very nice; Voss water from Vatnestrøm in Aust-Agder is actually exported abroad, including to the USA.

DrinkEdit

Aquavit
Aquavit (Norwegian: akevitt) is a distilled beverage of about 40% alcohol originating in the Nordic countries and Germany. Norwegian aquavit, however, is distinguished from other aquavits in that they are always made from potatoes, and that they are aged in used sherry casks. Recipes remain secret, but most Norwegian aquavits are spiced with caraway and anise. There are at least 27 different Norwegian aquavits, suitable to different kinds of food, in drinks or as avec. Aquavit is especially popular with traditional food for Christmas. The classics are Lysholm Linie (a nice all-round aquavit to go with not too heavy food), Løiten Linie (with salted and smoked meat), Gammel Opland (all-round, especially good with traditional lutefisk) and Simers Taffel (to go with herring), you should also try Gilde Non Plus Ultra (as avec) if you enjoy the taste. The "Linie" aquavits have in fact travelled across the Equator twice while aging!


Norway is often described as a "dry" country because alcohol is highly priced and a glass of wine/beer in a restaurant is in the range of NOK80. When in cities/towns with many students (Oslo/Bergen/Trondheim/Tromsø in particular), you can very often find prices to be lower. Ask at your place of accommodation or young people in the streets for hints and tips on where to go. Beer can be bought at supermarkets, however wine and stronger alcoholic beverages have to be purchased in state owned liquor stores (Vinmonopolet [27]). The price of alcohol, however, does not stop the locals from having a good time. They are often found drinking and carrying on in local street parties and on their porches.

The high prices are most likely part of the reason why the tradition of holding vorspiel and nachspiel before going out for a night on the town is very popular in Norway. The words derive from German and can be translated as "pre-party" and "after-party". If going out on the weekend, it is not unknown for Norwegians to gather at a friend's house and not depart for a chosen night-time venue until after midnight. So if you've seen Norwegian drinking culture abroad and are shocked by the empty bar/club at 22:00, call your Norwegian friend and ask where the vorspiel is. It's likely to be a whole lot of fun. Clubs tend to fill up around midnight-01:00. However, this is normally the case on weekends only; during weekdays, you will often find Norwegians sitting in bars enjoying a couple of beers or a bottle of wine.

You must be at least 18 years old to purchase beer/wine and 20 years old to purchase spirits (alcohol levels of 22% and above) in Norway.

Technically, drinking in public is prohibited. This law is very strict, and encompasses even your own balcony if other people can see you! Luckily, the law is very seldom enforced, and Norwegians indeed do drink in parks. There are calls for modifying the antiquated law, and recently, there has been a debate in media: most people seem to agree that drinking in parks is alright as long as people have a good time and remain peaceful. However, if you bother others and get too intoxicated or a policeman happens to be in a bad mood, you may be asked to throw away your alcohol, and in a worst-case scenario, fined. Drinking openly in the street is probably still considered somewhat rude, and it would be more likely to bring the police's attention than a picnic in a park, and is advised against. Having a glass of wine in an establishment that legally serves alcohol at the sidewalk, of course, is not a problem.

Be careful about urinating in major cities like Oslo if you're drunk, as fines for public urination can be as high as NOK10,000 (USD1750)! However, this is normally not a problem if you urinate in a place where you cannot be seen, such as a couple of yards into the woods. Public intoxication is also something you should be a bit careful with, especially in the capital Oslo. In smaller towns the police will have no problem giving you a night in the local jail if they think you are disrupting peace and order.

In Norway, all alcohol with a volume percentage of under 4,75% can be sold at regular shops. This means you can get decent beer all over the place. The price varies, but imported beer is usually expensive (except Danish/Dutch beers brewed in Norway on licence like Heineken and Carlsberg). Shopping hours for beer are very strict: The sale stops at 20:00 every weekday, and at 18:00 every day before holidays (incl. Sundays). Since the sale is decided in the local council, it may vary, but this is the latest times decided by law. This means the beer will have to be PAID before this time. If it's not paid, the person behind the counter will take your beer, and tell you "Sorry pal, too late!". Don't argue with them. The clerk or even the shop can get in severe legal trouble if caught, or the cash register will refuse to let them scan the items. On Sunday, you can't buy alcohol anywhere except bars/pubs/restaurants.

For strong beer, wine and hard alcohol, you will have to find a Vinmonopolet branch. The state shop have a marvellous choice of drinks, but somewhat expensive. The general rule is that table wines are more expensive than in nearly any other country. Expect NOK 80-90 for a decent, "cheap" wine. However, as the taxation is based on the volume of alcohol per bottle rather than the initial cost, you can often find more exclusive wines at comparably lower prices than in private establishments in other countries. Vinmonpolet is open until 17:00 M-W, 18:00Th-F, and 15:00) on Saturday. As mentioned, Vinmonopolet offers a good selection of both famous and rarer liquors, and the staff tend to be quite knowledgeable about trends, brands and what food it goes well with, and the advise is free. They also offer a selection of wine tasting classes and information campaigns to give new experiences.

Beers Norwegian beer isn't the best in the world, but it's certainly worth trying. The brands you are most likely to see in pubs are Ringnes, Hansa, Aass and Frydenlund (accompanied by a vast array of imported drinks). In northern Norway, Mack and Nordlandspils are the commenest beers. There are also craft brew available from Nøgne Ø and Haandbryggeriet, some of which are of very high quality. Other varieties are available at places such as Mikrobryggeriet (Bogstadveien), Lorry's (Parkveien) or Beer Palace (Aker Brygge) all in Oslo.

SleepEdit

A single hotel room (always book ahead for weekdays) should cost you from around NOK800 and up (special offers are common and cheaper), but you can find reasonable cheap lodgings in camping huts (NOK300-600, space for entire family), mountain cabins (NOK150-300 per person), youth hostels (NOK150-250 per person), etc. Most of these will require you to make your own food, bring your own bedsheets, and wash before leaving.

For longer stays (one week or more) consider renting an apartment, a house or a high quality cabin. Several agencies offer reservations on houses or cabins owned by farmers or other locals. This type of accommodation is frequently more interesting than a standard hotel.

Airbnb is worth checking out for experiences and deals.

WorkEdit

Citizens of countries belonging to the European Union, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, do not require a permit and are free to live and work in Norway for up to 3 months (some restrictions apply for recent members of the European Union). In addition, citizens of a number of non-EU countries are permitted to work in Norway without the need to obtain a visa or any further authorisation for the period of their 90 day visa-free stay (for more information, see the 'Get in' section above).

You may start from the local office of the public agency NAV [28], to get legal advise and a list of available jobs. Note that even though the unemployment rate in Norway is very low (2.5%)[29] , short-term employment may be hard to find. (Certainly when not fluent in a Scandinavian language.) If you decide to move there you have to fill in a "Residence Permit" which lasts for 3 years before it needs to be renewed.

Salaries range NOK15,000-35,000 (UD$2,500-5,700/€2,000-3,500) per month (2012).

Stay safeEdit

Norway has a low crime rate. The most likely crimes for tourists to experience are car break-ins and bicycle theft. Pickpockets do also tend to be an increasing problem in urban areas in the summer season, but it's still nothing like in larger cities in Europe. It is always a good idea to look after your belongings, this includes never leaving valuable objects visual in your car and locking your bike safely.

Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Norway are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Although this is entirely dependant on which type of drug you get caught with. Cocaine and amphetamine for example will land you a much harsher punishment than possession of cannabis will. Also, possession will not land you a punishment anywhere near as severe as trafficking will, but this depends on the mood of the officers you encounter, as it is in most other countries. In Norway, driving under the influence (defined generally as 0.02% Blood Alcohol Content) could land you immediately in jail.

Single women should have few problems, although ordinary street sense is advised after dark. Especially the inner east side of Oslo has become more dangerous during night hours over the last decade. Even so, there are still relatively few violent crimes.

Norway is one of the countries with the least corruption in the world. Police and other authorities cannot be bribed, and travellers are strongly advised against attempting in any form of bribery.

 
Warning - polar bears. "Applies to all of Svalbard".

The greatest dangers to tourists in Norway are found in nature. Every year, quite a few tourists get hurt, even killed, in the mountains or on the seas, usually after given, unheeded warnings. For example, do not approach a glacier front, big waves on the coast, or a big waterfall unless you know what you're doing, and do not walk on glaciers without proper training and equipment.

Norway has few dangerous wild animals. Car crashes with the mighty moose or the smaller red deer account for the bulk of wild animal-related deaths and injuries. Also note that in some rural districts, sheep, goats, cows or reindeer can be seen walking or sleeping on the road.

Specific rules and precautions apply to Svalbard, where you should never travel outside Longyearbyen without someone in your party carrying a weapon, which contrary to popular belief is not actually a legal requirement but you may not be given a tour permit if your group is not armed. If you want to rent a gun yourself, you need a gun licence valid in Norway or your home country- bring documentation. The polar bears on Svalbard are a real and extremely dangerous threat for the unprepared. In the summer, during the tourist season, there are more polar bears here than humans. They are strong, quick if they want to, curious, and have no fear of people, but will mostly shy away at the sound of a gunshot. Still, it's one of the few areas polar bears can survive on when there's no frozen waters to hunt from during summer, and they're protected as an endangered species. Svalbard is a fragile, dry arctic tundra with large parts almost untouched by humans. Both growth and decay is extremely slow here, so all activity is under management. The current recommendation is that non-local visitors participate on organized tour arrangements only. Breaking the law, disturbing wildlife or being reckless can land you a fine and/or deportation from the archipelago. That said, if you come well prepared with common sense, the visit will be one of the most memorable you've ever had. The nature, scenery and history of Svalbard is simply breathtaking.

As for other wild animals on mainland Norway, there are not much more than a few extremely rare encounters with brown bear and wolf in the wilderness. Contrary to popular belief abroad, there are no polar bears in mainland Norway, let alone polar bears walking city streets. The Scandinavian brown bear is peaceful and will generally run away from humans. In any case it is extremely unlikely that tourists will even see a glimpse of one of the around 50 brown bears remaining in Norway. Norwegian wolves are not dangerous to humans. In general, there is no reason worry about dangerous encounters with wild beasts in Norway.

When hiking or skiing, be prepared for a sudden shift in the weather, as these can happen very quickly in Norway. If unsure about conditions, ask locals or go on a guided tour. Norwegians develop a common sense on security, and may give warnings but won't, essentially, protect you from ignoring them. You are expected to manage on your own in the wilderness, so only the most common tourist spots have fences or warning signs. Even at the most dangerous places. Norwegian nature can be a safe place to enjoy if you take time to develop the necessary skills to handle it, but lives are lost when people think too much of themselves and lack the training. Nature is full of surprises, so the most important preparations are done through trips that don't look all that exciting on the outset, but will have yet another list of things you've never been into before. Keep in mind that avalanches are common. Unless you know exactly what you're doing, stay in marked slopes when skiing. If you think you know what you're doing, think twice. Only in the first three months of 2011 12 people were killed in avalanches in Norway.

If you plan to cross the mountains by car (for instance by driving from Oslo to Bergen) in the winter season, it is imperative that you are prepared for the journey. The conditions are harsh. Always keep a full tank of fuel, and keep warm clothes, food and drink in the car. Make sure your tires are good enough and suited for winter conditions (studded or non-studded winter tires, "all-year" tires are not enough), and that you have the sufficient skills for driving in snowy and cold conditions. Roads are often closed on short notice due to weather conditions. For advice on conditions and closed roads, call 175 in Norway or check the online road reports [30] (in Norwegian only) from the Norwegian State road authorities. Remember that not all parts of the roads have cellular phone coverage.

 
Norwegian police car.

Norway has a unified police force ("politi"). The police is the government authority in areas like crime, national security, major accidents, missing persons, traffic control, passports and immigration control. Most cities have municipal parking officers, these do not however have any authority beyond fining and removing vehicles. Commercial areas are mostly guarded by private companies. They generally act as public service, peaceful and friendly, but are well connected in case anything happens. Anyone may hold anyone for the purpose of immediately getting hold of police, but they have no special rights.

It's generally considered good practice to help others in case of need, and basic rescue training is part of school education. The country is too sparsely populated to always have to wait for someone with a license, and no one can sue anyone for a honest effort. Robberies happen and there's reason to be wary in public areas, but it's still good practice to call for police or for an ambulance.

Emergency Numbers

  • Before calling, find, if possible, the exact position
  1. Police ☎112
  2. Fire ☎110
  3. Emergency Medical Services ☎113
  4. If you are unsure which number to call, ☎112 is the central for all rescue services and will put you in contact with the correct department.
  5. For non-emergencies, the police is to be called on ☎02800.
  6. The hearing impaired using a text telephone can reach the emergency services by dialing 1412

Road assistance

  1. Falck ☎02222
  2. Viking ☎06000
  3. AAA members may call NAF on ☎08505


Stay healthyEdit

  • The water quality and distribution in Norway is excellent and tap water is always drinkable (except on boats, trains etc). There is no need to buy water bottles for consumption at home/indoors.
  • The hygiene in public kitchens are very good, with frequent controls by the food authority ("Mattilsynet"). Food poisoning rarely happens.
  • Norway can get relatively warm in the summer, but be prepared to bring warm clothes (sweater, windbreaking/waterproof jacket), as they might come in handy. It's hard to predict the weather, and in summer, you may experience severe weather changes during your stay.
  • Tourists hiking in the high mountains (above the forest) should bring sports wear for temperatures down to freezing.
  • Norway has a high density of pharmacies. Nose sprays and standard pain killers (paracetamol, aspirin) can also be purchased in grocery stores and gas stations.
  • The sun is generally not as strong as in southern Europe. Keep in mind that in cool conditions (low temperatures or wind) you don't feel that the sun burns your skin. The air is often very clear and clean in the North and UV-levels can be high despite the low sun. Also keep in mind: the sun is stronger in the high mountains, radiation is multiplied on or near snow fields as well as water surfaces. Even when it's cloudy the light can be strong on snow fields. Do not underestimate the power of the Nordic sun! Bring sunglasses when you go to the high mountains, when you go skiing in spring and when you go to the beach.
  • In southern Norway there are ticks (flått) that appear in summertime. They can transmit Lyme's disease (borreliosis) and more serious TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) through a bite. The risk areas for TBE are mainly along the coast from Oslo to Trondheim. Although incidents are relatively rare and not all ticks carry diseases, it's advisable to wear long trousers rather than shorts if you plan to walk through dense or tall grass areas (the usual habitat for ticks). You can buy special tick tweezers from the pharmacy that can be used to remove a tick safely if you happen to get bitten. You should remove the tick from your skin as quickly as possible and preferably with the tick tweezers to reduce the risks of getting an infection. If the tick bite starts to form red rings on the skin around it or if you experience other symptoms relating to the bite, you should go visit a doctor as soon as possible. Since ticks are black, they are more easily found if you wear bright clothes.
  • There's only one type of venomous snake in Norway: the European adder (hoggorm), which has a distinct zig-zag pattern on its back. The snake is not very common, but lives all over Norway up to the arctic circle (except for the highest mountains and areas with little sunshine). Although its bite hardly ever is life-threatening (except to small children and allergic people), be careful in the summertime especially when walking in the forests or on open fields. In the unlikely event that one encounters the adder, the most common and effective advice to simply stomp hard on the ground (not on the adder!). The adder will feel the vibration and seek to get away, as it will only attack if all its attempts to avoid contact fail. If you are bitten by a snake, seek medical assistance. The probability of being bitten is however very small, as the adder is very shy of humans.

Contact For minor injuries and illness, go to the local "Legevakt" (emergency room/physician seeing patients without appointment). In cities this is typically a municipal service centrally located, be prepared to wait for several hours. In rural districts you typically have to contact the "district physician" on duty. For inquiries about toxins (from mushrooms, plants, medicine or other chemicals) call the national Toxin Information Office at 22 59 13 00. Information about your rights as foreign is available at the Norwegian goverment pages in English [31].

RespectEdit

Norwegians are generally open-minded and tolerant and there are few, if any, dos and don'ts that foreign visitors need to keep in mind.

Cultural OverviewEdit

  • Norwegians may come across as unwelcoming, but it is important to understand that Norwegian culture and society is built upon trust, humility, sincerity and honesty. For this reason, small talk doesn't come very easy and even making contact with strangers is uncommon, such as talking with fellow passengers on the bus, is uncommon.
  • Norwegians are direct communicators. Norway is a society that reveres honesty and trust, and for this reason they are generally scrupulous about honesty in communication. Jante's law, an important cornerstone of Norwegian culture, encourages humility and for this reason it is demonstrated in other people's mannerisms to not confront or criticise someone who they think is doing something wrong. Once you get past a certain barrier, you will find other people open and candid with you.
  • Norwegian as a language is very straightforward. If asked for a favor, you are likely not to hear a "please." On the other hand, Norwegians say "takk" ("thank you") for almost anything, including, for example, receiving change back from cashier or bus driver. It is customary to thank the cook for the food ("takk for maten") in a private home. The reply will be "velbekomme" or "værsågod". The once-common use of the polite pronoun is nowadays extremely rare, and so is polite phrases and words in everyday situations, so don't be surprised if a Norwegian speaking a foreign language forgets themselves and use a very familiar language.
  • The Norwegian culture is, in some aspects, very informal, and Norwegians usually address each other by first name only, except perhaps in official meetings. The informal culture is, however, not equivalent of that in southern parts of Europe; showing up late for meetings is considered rude, and so is talking loud, being too personal with strangers, and losing your temper. Although you may get away with arriving "fashionably late" at dinners in someone else's home, this is certainly not expected and should be limited to no more than fifteen minutes. It is customary to take off your shoes when entering a Norwegian home - particularly in the winter.
  • Norwegians can also be perceived as somewhat patriotic. It is common to use the flag in private celebrations (such as anniversaries and weddings), and many will also fly the flag on public holidays, and violating the flag rules is frowned upon. Most Norwegians will speak warmly of their country, in particular about subjects such as nature, sports, and the country's economic success.

Helpful HintsEdit

  • Avoid the need to prove yourself or show off your accomplishments. Norway is an egalitarian society that prides itself on respecting people for who they are, not where they come from.
  • Avoid criticising the country or the culture. Norwegians in general are very proud of their country and making any kind of negative remarks, no matter how major or minor, can be taken negatively. However, it is also considered good form to be proud of your own country as long as the discussion doesn't turn too competitive.
  • Norwegians tend to loosen up with drink. Don't be surprised if the seemingly cold Norwegians lighten up tremendously with drink. That said, there is also an expectation that what was said when drunk is not lightly brought up when sober. That can lead to akward situations.
  • Avoid confusing Norwegians with Swedes or Danes. This can lead to some amused reactions and corrections.
  • Norwegians are egalitarian. Women generally receive the same kinds of benefits and privileges as men do, and Norwegian women generally don't expect or assume that doors will be held or special treatment purely for being women.
  • Do not bargain or haggle. Prices in Norway are fixed, and attempting to bargain or haggle in any way is incredibly disrespectful to vendors, and it will more than likely result in puzzled or angry looks. It is also usually out of the control of clerks to give discounts.
  • Do not be afraid of discussing news topics. Norwegian media covers a lot of issues from around the world, and Norwegian people in general have some very strong political opinions, including that of their own country. Be prepared for lengthy conversations should you choose to engage in political discussions. This can be an ice breaker.
  • Respect other people's personal space. Never stand too close to someone, back slap or put your arm around anyone except if they're your good friends.
  • Do not discuss religion. As in the rest of Scandinavia, religion is a strictly private manner.
  • Tipping isn't mandatory. Anywhere. You can choose to tip if you want to, but you have no obligation to do so.

CopeEdit

Numbers, times and datesEdit

Norwegians use a comma as the decimal sign, eg: 12,000 means 12 (specified with three decimal places) not 12 thousand, whereas 12 000 or 12.000 means 12 thousand.

Norwegians use both 24 and 12 hour system; often the 12 hour system when speaking and the 24 hour system in writing. Norwegians don't use am/pm to indicate morning or afternoon. In Norwegian "half ten" ("halv ti") means half past nine, when speaking to a person not fluent in English better not use this form to avoid misunderstanding. Dates can be seen abbreviated in a number of ways, but the order is always DATE-MONTH-YEAR, for instance 12.7.08 (or 120708, 12/7-08 or 12.07.08; the first and latter being the only correct forms) is July 12, 2008. Monday is considered the first day of the week, while Sunday is the last. In timetables, weekdays are thus often indicated by numbers 1 (Mon) through 7 (Sun). Norwegian calendars will also indicate the number of the week 1 through 53. Timetables for public transport often use the abbreviation Dx67, meaning "all days except Saturday and Sunday".

Norway uses the metric system only. A Norwegian mile, mil, is exactly 10km. Land is commonly measured in decares (dekar or mål), and equals 1000m². There is overall limited knowledge of Imperial or US measures, although most younger Norwegians will be somewhat familiar with US weight and distance measures. Few Norwegians will be able to convert from Celsius to Fahrenheit, and weather forecasts use metric units. However, many modern cell-phones have conversion programmes which can be used to understand the metric system.

In Norwegian there is usually no concept of a ground floor as in the UK (or Erdgeschoss in German); instead, the entrance level of a building is called the first floor (første etasje) like in the US. Levels are then counted 1, 2, 3 etc.

First time visitors not familiar with the country tend to plan a trip in Norway from city to city. Although Norway has many nice cities the country's main attraction is the land itself, the nature, the landscapes, the wilderness, as well as a number of man-made sights in rural districts, notably road constructions and cultural treasures such as the stave churches. Unlike many other countries in Europe, a trip to Norway should ideally be planned according to types of landscapes to visit as well as a selection of cities. Norway is wide country with long distances and complex topography, and travellers should not underestimate distances.

If purchasing a house and business in Norway do check all legal documents (kjøpekontrakt/takst)and maps (grensekart) are correct. Ask for information in the native language you are used to. Make sure the Estate Agent is registered with NEF.

ContactEdit

Mobile phone coverage is universal in urban areas and generally also good in rural Norway, though on occasion some rural valley areas might be badly covered.

Even in the most remote mountain cabins, as long as they are staffed, you will usually be able to send a postcard.

InternetEdit

Norway has excellent 4G+ or 4G coverage. Even in rural areas you will mostly find 3G or better. For citizens of EU, additional roaming costs should not apply. If you plan to go hiking in the mountains you may experience 2G or no connection at all. Also, mountains may cause local radio shadows where you will have no signal at all. Most of the coastline has good coverage. It is however recommended to bring a VHF radio when sailing.

Most Norwegian households are connected to the Internet in some way (mostly broadband), making cybercafés hard to find outside major cities, due to a relatively small market. Most public libraries have free public access to the internet, but a limited number of computers and limited opening hours. As of May 2015, free Internet appears to be available in all 7-11 and Deli de Luca convenience stores, no purchase required.

However, if you bring a laptop with a wireless connection you will find wireless internet zones just about everywhere(gas stations, city centres, cafés, shopping centres, hotels etc), be prepared to pay for it though. It is not unusual for hotels to have a terminal for guest use. Around 60% of camp grounds have wifi internet, but if it's crucial for you, best to ask before paying for your camping space.

As of August 2011, Telenor (national telecoms provider) sells prepaid wireless 3G internet dongles for computers (NOK700, about €100), NOK150 buy-in must be purchased with the dongle itself, that comes with NOK50 credit and 300Mb of data to be used in 4 days. Then, another NOK150 purchase must be made for 15 days unlimited internet access. 3G speeds are very usable, and if 3G service is not available the dongle steps down to 2G (not so much fun). Of course, these prices and conditions may change quickly. There is a mobile phone shop at Oslo airport (land side) that sells phone equipment.

Further readingEdit

Classical Travel Journals from NorwayEdit

W. Matthiue Williams: Through Norway With a Knapsack (1859)

Mary Wollstonecraft: Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark (1796)

Thomas Malthus: Travel journal from Norway (1799)

Samuel Beckett: The fjords and folk of Norway (1915)

W.C. Slingsby: Norway: the Northern Playground (1904)

Dhiravat na Pombejra: A Month in Norway: King Chulalongkorn's travels July-August 1907.

Robert Everest: A journey through Norway, Lapland, and part of Sweden : with some remarks on the geology of the country, its climate and scenery. (1829)

Lees, James A. and Clutterbuck, Walter J: Three in Norway (by two of them) (1912) 


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