Norway Traveler's Guide to Make The Most Out of Your Trip
By The Non Fiction
Published by The Non
The Non Fiction Author
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Table of Contents
Why You Will Fall in Love with Norway!
1: Welcome to Norway - One of the Most Beautiful Countries In the
2: Let’s Start at the Beginning - Planning Your Trip
3: Planning Your Trip - Part 2 (Travel Costs, Organizing, Budget)
4: Immersing Yourself in the Culture, Language & More
5: Oslo & Eastern Norway
6: Western Norway
7: Central Norway
8: Southern Norway
9: Northern Norway & Finnmark - “Land of the Midnight Sun”
Aren't You Excited? Your Trip Is About to Begin!
Why You Will Fall in Love with Norway!
It might be worth a bit of a
congratulations that you are off to Norway. So, congratulations!
Norway is renowned around the world as being one of the most
beautiful lands of the world. Making the choice to go to Norway must
mean you have a sense of adventure, a love for the outdoors and a
lust for true, wild and untamed nature. Norway is full of culture
and pride of its past and it is proud of its natural wonder and
splendor from corner to corner and end to end.
Norway is an
expansive land known for its seemingly endless beauty. Visit the
modern cities with an intriguing and almost mysterious past, but do
not neglect making any time for some outdoor time. Anyone can
appreciate and be in awe of the nature of Norway, the mountains, the
fjords which are its namesake, the farmland and the winter
wonderlands. It does not matter what time of year you visit, there
is always something to embrace about Norway. Just bring the right
gear and simply enjoy.
This guide is about
to show you how you can go to Norway. How you may enjoy it, where
you can go, what you can see and most importantly what you can truly
experience, on more than one level. Utilize each of the chapters to
guide your trip from beginning to end. Plan a trip suiting only your
dreams and imagination. There is plenty to see and do for all, both
near and far. Norway is truly for everyone. There is a past, there
is a present and there is a future and you can see it in their modern
cities with many proud remnants from their past. Norway is a culture
about living in harmony with its surroundings and making the world a
Part of enjoying
Norway on your visit will simply be about enjoying the present, your
surroundings and the fortunate opportunity you have been given to
travel to this distant land.
Welcome to Norway - One of the Most Beautiful Countries In the
You are about to embark on one of
the most beautiful journeys in your lifetime. Norway has been known
for many years for its endless and inspirational views of nature
still in its virgin state, of towering mountains along the coastline,
the endless miles of fjords up the west coast, crystal-blue waters
and beautiful skyline, powder snow for winter enthusiasts, the
northern lights, the never-setting summer sun and so much more. Be
sure when you visit to check some of these experience off your bucket
In the very near
future you will find yourself in a distant land of beauty and
pristine nature. Even if you are not much of a ‘nature’
person, very few will arrive in Norway and can appreciate all the
natural wonder and immense and spectacular scenery. This is sure to
be a big highlight of your trip with some pictures to be permanent in
your memories and not just in a snapshot photo.
The people of Norway
are very friendly and hospitable and are happy to give you ideas and
share with you how it best to experience their country. In the
popular urban destinations of Oslo and Bergen, you are sure to
experience a little of old Europe mixed in with modern and
contemporary design throughout the entire cities.
There are plenty of
activities to take advantage of the outdoors. It does not matter
what time of year you go, there are more than enough opportunities to
play. Go hiking in the national parks or journey up to the North
Cape for more hiking or for more seasoned hikers, trekking. Or just
take a scenic drive. If you don’t mind the opposite side of
summer, Norway will become your favorite winter destination.
Norway’s ski resorts are highly favored for ski enthusiasts.
If you are not into the slopes, there is dog-sledding, snowshoeing,
ice-climbing, cross-country or just cozying up in the lodge by the
fire with a toasty libation.
Just with one
mention of Norway, people will automatically conjure up images of the
vast fjords that lie all along the coastlines. This is iconic
Norway. But there is more to this country than the fjords which you
should see. Spoil yourself for one meal and dine on Minke whale
meat. Even if you are not a skier, take a ski lesson or do some
‘easier’ cross country minus the steep slopes. The sport
dates back to 5100 BC and Norway has played a big role in the
modernization of the sport as we know it today.
Visit the national
parks to spot some wildlife in its natural habitat. You may see
reindeer or elk and possibly even, but hopefully not too close, bears
and wolves. Before you set out on your days of adventure, sit and
have a cup of coffee. They are very passionate about their brew here
and Norwegians consume more coffee than in any other country.
Whether you are in small towns or the big cities, there are unique
and authentic cafes around every corner and on every street. Along
with your coffee, experience the Norwegian waffle. Belgium is not
the only country who can boast a good waffle. Grab one on the street
in between attractions with sour cream and jam.
If you are staying
in some nights or afternoons to cook your meals, do your food
shopping at the local fish markets. When in season, the salmon here
is some of the best. Mackerel and pickled herring are national
staples from the sea as well. If you are in Bergen, eat at the fish
There are many
iconic factors about Norway, however, for most tourists, these very
things which make Norway what it is, are very unique. Chances are,
that no matter where you find yourself in the country, there will be
something unique about it. Maybe it will be the scenery, the
cuisine, the people, the local architecture or experiencing their
history. There are many things to see and do and just take in just
for what is right in front of you.
If you are visiting
Norway in the summer, take advantage of the long-days and the ‘land
of the midnight sun’. In some towns and cities you can take
part in 24-hour festivities, celebrations and festivals. Check out a
local calendar for where you are traveling. Take a cruise, just
dedicated to the sun which never sets. Head north to Tromsø
and belly up at a pub while the sun is still up and walk around the
city that will not sleep.
See the Royal Palace
in Oslo. Go to the botanical garden and Ringve Music Museum in
Trondheim. Be sure to see the medieval wooden churches that are
dotted all around the country. Many are still in tip-top shape and
many history enthusiasts will come to Norway just to see them and get
a tour. Another part of ancient Norwegian history are the vikings.
The enormous ships are iconic to Norway and unique to tourists who
have the opportunity to be wowed at their construction and utter
enormity and power.
Your travel to
Norway will be what you make of it, what you choose to see and how
you experience it. Take your time as you read through this guide,
write down a list of what you want to see and do, and then perhaps
another list. You may not be able to experience it all, but you will
have a wonderful time regardless.
How to Use This
The purpose of this
guide is to help you not only get acquainted with Norway and plan
your trip, but to get you excited about this amazing country. Peruse
through the chapters and use them to take notes, make your ‘To-Do
Lists’ for before and during your travels. The following
chapter, Chapter 2 will inform you of basic travel requirements, how
to arrive and get to travel to your final destinations or
destinations to follow.
As Norway is a vast
country, it may be a challenge for travelers who only have a short
amount of time to stay to narrow down the places and destinations to
visit and how to budget such a trip. Chapter 3 will give some advice
and tips on how to budget your travel and overall trip. There are
some example budgets for all types of travellers with all types of
pockets, along with a few ways on how you can save money in Norway.
In Chapter 4, we get
into the culture of Norway and all it entails. We talk about the
people of Norway and local customs and mannerisms, the local food and
drink and how you can just have a nice and enjoyable time.
Chapter 5 and the
chapters beyond will take you from region to region and from city to
city. There will be plenty of information on what you can see and do
in these amazing regions and cultural cities. Each of these chapters
will give you advice on where to stay and what accommodations are in
each area and where the best places to eat are. Depending on the
region and/or city there may be some happening nightlife worth
experiencing or some world-class nature escapes. You will not leave
Norway without feeling fulfilled and inspired and the goal of this
guide is to help you plan it all. Utilize this guide in the
beginning to inform yourself, then use it to plan and create an
itinerary. Finally, take this guide along with you for reference in
We hope that by the
end you are not only well-informed and ready for your trip, but along
the way we hope you have been entertained, excited and truly
motivated with wide-eyes and big expectations!
Let’s Start at the Beginning - Planning Your Trip
Your trip to Norway may just be a
few weeks away or even months, but it helps to plan ahead as much as
you can. In this chapter we begin sort of ‘part 1’ of
planning your trip. Before you even arrive there are some details
you may want to work out, including visa requirements, getting travel
insurance and organizing where and when you want to go within Norway.
Before we get into all the boring details of budget and such, in
this part of the guide we will give you a brief overview of the
country and some helpful advice on traveling around, the best time to
go and even some example itineraries depending on how long your stay
When you are off to
any destination, it is always a good idea to check up on the
paperwork you might need to enter the country first. If you are from
Europe, most of the visiting countries can enter without a visa,
however there may be stipulations on the amount of days you can stay
within Norway. However, for vacation purposes, it is unlikely you
will need to worry about these details. A simple visitor or tourist
visa for Norway is good for up to three months. If you are from the
United States, UK, Ireland, Wales and other parts of Eastern Europe,
all you will need to enter is your passport.
If you are taking a
holiday in Norway, the best way to get there first, even if it is not
your ultimate destination, is to fly into Oslo. If you are flying
from New York, it is a direct, 7-hour flight. If you are planning on
taking a connecting flight to another destination within Norway, the
main airport, Oslo Airport Gardermoen is the main hub for domestic
travel as well. The airport is about thirty miles north of the
main city, but it is easily accessed via express buses and trains,
hired cars and taxis.
If you are located
in another part of Europe, you can also access Oslo via the ferry
from Kiel, Germany or Frederikshavn and Copenhagen in Denmark. There
are trains which also arrive at the Oslo Central Station also with
international bus routes as well that stop at the Oslo Bus Terminal.
Both the main bus terminal and train station are located in the
center of Oslo.
If you are planning
on taking advantage of domestic air travel during your travel to
Norway, there plenty of ways to fly about and even perks to take
advantage of to save some money. SAS’s or ‘Visit
Scandinavia’ Fares are encouraged to use if you are going off
to far distances in Norway or other parts of Scandinavia. Norway is
known as one of the most expensive countries in the world to travel
in, so save money where you can. If you are flying across the
Atlantic, take advantage of the SAS’s! There are six coupons
available if you are flying from Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Depending on your itinerary, the cost of the coupons start around
$US60 and go up to $US100. If you are traveling for long-distance
within the Scandinavian area, these coupons can save you a
substantial amount. For more details go to www.flysas.com.
travelling there are a few airline carriers to reach the top tourist
destinations. However if you would like to see the more
hard-to-reach areas check in with Wideroe Flyveselskap. They will
help get you the details for more options for domestic flights.
Check out their website, www.wideroe.no.
If you have an
extended vacation, even a couple weeks and you do not have the budget
to fly, you can see the country and get to other destinations via
their train network. There are diesel-electric trains and electric
trains which run as far north as Bodø, located about sixty
miles north of the Arctic Circle. If you want to go further, you
will have to go by plane, bus or the coastal steamer to the North
Cape and Tromsø. For more details see www.nsb.no.
One of the more
traveled routes and most scenic is the train from Oslo to Bergen. It
runs for almost 300 miles and the tracks run along picturesque
countryside through mountains, over raging rivers, gorges and by the
fjords. The train will even take stops for the passengers to be able
to see the views at a standstill and snap some photos.
To save some money,
you can expect to have all the comforts you need by simply travelling
second-class on the train. It is almost as good as most of the
first-class seating aboard other trains in Europe. The seats recline
and there are many other amenities. The first-class is not that much
different, though of course if you have the budget it is the best way
To have an idea of
some costs for the well-travelled train routes in Norway, a
second-class seat from Oslo to Bergen will run around $US148
including a mandatory additional reservation cost of $US8. From Oslo
to Trondheim, the ticket is about $US160 for second class.
If you are making
for longer distance travel in Norway on the trains, there are
sleeping cars available. Their costs will depend on how many berths
there are in each room. There are reduced fares for both children
from 4 to 15 years old and for seniors.
If you are doing
some hopping and travelling about making stops in Norway’s main
city destinations, there are Eurail Norway Passes available. These
passes are only permitted to use on the state railway lines. If you
have a detailed itinerary for your travels within Norway, the passes
available can save you money. For instance, within 1 month, you can
have unlimited travel for any three days in the same month for
$US299. For 4 days of unlimited travel within a month, you can pay
$US325. Five days $US359, 6 days $US405, and for 8 days $US455. The
fares for children from four to 15 years old are half of the adult
fee. Children under 4, travel for free. There are also youth
passess with discounts available for young adults from the ages of 16
to 25 years old.
For the regional
trains, depending where you are traveling, there is some more money
to save. The tickets are only limited to a number of seats. Check
for details. If you have your travel plans well-thought out in
advance, it is best to book these money-saving seats well in advance
as they sell-out very quickly.
The bus system about
Norway is well-organized and will link to the villages along the
fjords. The transport coaches are very comfortable with adjustable
seats for sleeping, air-conditioning, toilets, reading lights and a
telephone. There are motor-coach tours often combined with travel in
steamers that leave from Oslo and Bergen in the summer time. If you
are travelling to Bodø on the train, it will end there, but
you can get a bus to take you on to Fauske all the way along the
Arctic Highway via Lapland (aka Finnmark) to Kirkenes and return.
The service from Fauske to Alta is year-round, but you can only
access the region from Alta to Kirkenes from June to October.
There are no
reservation systems for buses, as you pay the driver when you board.
Each fare will depend on the distance you travel. The only route you
will need to make a reservation for is the one from Oslo to Sweden to
Hammerfest, called ‘Express 2000’ that takes about thirty
hours. Children under 4 travel for free and children from 4 to 16,
along with seniors pay half the cost of an adult ticket.
Renting a Car
If you wish to make
the road trip all your own, rental cars are available with a few
international companies to choose from. The cars are well-maintained
and if you can reserve in advance the prices are fairly reasonable.
If you have an AA (Automobile Association), AAA (American Automobile
Association) or AARP membership, you may even get promotional deals.
Other than the
well-known rental car companies, you can contact Kemwel
They will have a listing of all available cars in Europe, including
in Norway. They can offer a prepaid system to a wide variety of cars
and you can save more money if you plan in advance with Kemwel than
directly contacting the other rental car companies. A credit card
will be used to prepay for your car and you will need to present a
national driver’s license and even an international permit
would be a good idea. Regarding insurance, even if you have a North
American policy, it may not always cover the rental. Just
double-check the paperwork.
If you can travel
via car in Norway, this is sure to be a road-trip of a lifetime with
the dazzling scenery you will pass at every bend, fjord and mountain.
It is important to know that not all roads are paved and some are
more often dirt and gravel, so planning a little extra time for
travel is a good idea. A popular route is going around Oslo and
going south to Stavanger.
**If you are
travelling to Norway in the winter and you plan on renting a car, be
prepared to travel a bit more slowly with even a chance for delays
due to know over the mountain passes. The roads are well-maintained
throughout the winter months with snowplows, but hard-pack snow and
ice is often a hazard. Just take your time and be sure the car you
rent has proper tires and chains available for challenging
If you are going via
car in Norway and travelling through the fjord regions, there are
some bridges, however to cross some of them, you will need to board
with your car to get across. there is a large network of ferry
companies privately run to get cars across the numerous fjords and
waterways. Before you get on the road, you should be able to find a
tourism office that can give you a map of getting around Norway by
car that will also have the ferry schedules.
However, the ferries
are not only for those travelling by car. With almost 100,000 miles
of coastline, the ferries and boats are a popular way to travel and
catch the scenery. From the mainland urban centers to the smaller
towns on the islands there are ferries and boats you can catch on a
fairly regular basis. If you are travelling from Bergen to Kirkenes
and back there is one line that combines those who need transport
with their cars, local travelers and cruises for tourists. The line
is called ‘Hurtigruten’ (www.hurtigruten.co.uk)
and you can board at many ports along the western coastline from the
south in Bergen to the north in Kirkenes. If you are aboard for a
cruise, the cabins are cozy and the food is great along with the
spectacular views passing along the coastline of the fjords.
For more information
regarding the local ferries, most of the local accommodations and
hotels can give you all the details about the water transport, times
and cruise options available near your stay.
Travel Routes &
A few days: If you
can visit Norway for a few days, it is best to pick one destination.
As you read this guide, you will discover that there are many places
to visit and tour around. As moving from one place to another can
take a fair amount of time, it might help you decide where to go,
depending on the type of visit you want. Norway has at least two or
three cities that are youthful and vibrant and full of attractions
and things to do, even in the outdoors. However, on the other side
of urban scenery there are plenty of remote locations that are
possible to explore within a few days. Once you are there, it is
relatively easy to get around and see the sights thanks to great
public transportation all over the country. So pick a place, go and
have the most fun you can!
Up to One Week: The
season you travel to Norway might determine what you can do and see
within a week’s time. During the summer months, it is peak
tourist season, so you may pay more, however, travelling and getting
to most destinations will be quicker and more efficient. Pick an
urbanesque destination like Oslo, Bergen or Trondheim. If you want
to see more outside of these cities getting out in nature to tour the
fjords, hike or more is only just outside the city limits. If you go
in the wintertime, it might be best to choose just one destination,
as weather conditions may cause complications with getting to other
destinations. Go on a snow vacation in Geilo or sea the quaint and
charming city of Bergen (You can fly directly there from most
places). The wintery views of the fjords there will be gorgeous and
Two Weeks: What can
you do and see in Norway in two weeks? Pick a couple locations.
Domestic travel is easy and there are plenty of options. If you can
fly, there are many possibilities, but if you are trying to save
money and going on the road, getting from one place to another can
take a bit more time. Just plan in advance. The best way to see
Norway in two weeks would be to pick one town or city, see both the
center of town and the natural surroundings and pick another region,
maybe more out-of-the-way. Start in Oslo or Trondheim and go to the
west to spend a week in the Fjordlands or head north to explore
Finnmark and the most northern beauty of the country. If you travel
in the winter, this might be the perfect opportunity for all you
snowbunnies to get in a long ski vacation. Geilo comes to mind.
Three or More Weeks:
In three week’s time, you can see a lot in Norway and a
diverse range. The best vacation might be to hop to and from the
main cities of Norway; Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen and/or Stavanger.
These cities are alive with culture, history and entertainment. From
these city centers, many are good starting grounds to bounce to outer
locations to see the wild nature of the countryside. Take the train,
as you will have time from Oslo to Bergen for one of the most
beautiful train rides in the world. If you are in Bergen be sure to
catch a ferry up the coast of the endless and iconic fjords, make
your way north to Bodø where you can easily ferry around to
the outlying islands. Or go south to Stavanger and head out for
hiking and other outdoor activities in the surrounding areas where
there is nothing between you and Mother Nature.
See what you can…
Fly into Oslo and stay here the time of your stay. There is plenty
to see and do about the city to get a feel of the Norwegian culture,
food, nightlife, sights and a touch of nature is not far off. Book a
city tour or two so you don’t miss anything in Oslo. Head just
outside the city to view the fjord, go hiking, take a cruise.
> A quick
getaway… Pick a destination, any destination. Fly straight
into Bergen or Bodø. Stay in the city center for a day and
one night and then just get away. Go see the fjords, the sea, the
mountains and take a cruise among them. Go hiking and/or rent a bike
and see nature in Norway and all its glory before you have to get
back to ‘reality’.
Up to One
Adventure at its best... Fly into Trondheim, Norway’s big
university city and see all the sights it can offer and party all
night in the bars, pubs and nightclubs. The next few days you can
catch a bus to the region outside of the city center and hike, bike,
or just relax off the excess from city nightlife and enjoy the
wonders and beauty of the backdoors to get refreshed and ready for
one more full day in the city before you fly out.
> Ski Holiday…
Fly into Bergen or Oslo just for one day and a night to see what
they have to offer in the ways of local culture and just a good
location to unwind from the long travel. Get a connection out the
next day straight to Geilo and spend the remainder of your vacation
on the slopes and playing in the powder.
> Iconic Outdoors
Norway trip… Fly to Oslo and just stay for 24-hours and book a
city tour so as not to miss anything. See the sights, the historical
and cultural aspects and then head to western Norway and spend the
rest of your time exploring the fjords along the coastline. Hike,
take pictures, rent a bike and just breathe.
Up to Two
The best spots in
Norway… Pick two main spots to see; Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen
and/or Stavanger. Fly into one and see what you can see for a couple
days including the surrounding areas. Go shopping, visit the markets
and make time to see the historical aspects of these regions, because
it is worth it. You can only hike so many hours in a day. Relax and
have a couple days as the locals might in the cafes and just walking
about the cozy city centers.
splendor… Fly into Bergen or Bodø and then get out of
the way of as many people as you can. Bring your camping gear,
‘cause you might need it. Spend long days out in the
wilderness and if you haven’t enough time to get back to any
village or town, pitch your tent and light a fire. Take a
once-in-a-lifetime vacation and just be one with nature. Go fishing,
rent a bike and just pop into a small village or two to fuel up on
supplies before you disappear once more.
> Do you want to
ski, hike, or road trip it? Pick which activity suits your ideal
trip to Norway and/or budget and just go on that. On the road you
can see a lot on your own and travel as you like. Start in Oslo or
Bergen and even Bodø in the summer and drive where you’d
like. Stretch your legs on a good hike every once in a while and
cross on a ferry to another destination for views of the fjordlands.
If you’re into hiking, make a list of the national forests,
trails and viewpoints you want to check off your list and plan your
travel; air, bus, train and/or ferry trips from there. Want to ski?
Go to Geilo for a two-week ski vacation and luxury stay in Geilo, but
maybe make a side trip and head up to the super-remote north and
spend a couple nights outside of Bodø and stay in a snow/ice