🌎Currency: Norwegian Krone (NOK)
🌎Zone: +1 GMT
🌎Phone Code: +47
🌎Best time to visit: May to October
🌎Must eat: Norwegian Salmon
🌎Must drink: Pils (light lager)
🌎Don't miss: Akershus Fortress (Oslo)
Located within Scandinavia, Norway is best known for its scenery, dense forests and beautiful landscape which attracts many tourists year round. Specially to witness the natural phenomenon, the "Aurora Borealis".
Reaching Norway is very easy from Europe, benefiting from many national carriers flying to its main city, Oslo, as well as low cost airlines coming from main or secondary cities.The national carrier is Sas Scandinavian Airlines which operates many flights from the capital and with the best connections if you're travelling domestically up north. It operates in cooperation with Wideroe, which provides vital links to the smaller communities in the north of the country. Another airline which is popular to fly to Norway is Norwegian Airlines, a low cost airline which has grown a lot in the recent years and provides links to Oslo and other cities from many European cities.
If you are flying out of Europe there are limited direct services to Norway, but with only one transit stop the journey isn't long.
There are other alternatives to flying. If you are already within Scandinavia then it's worth checking ferries trains and busses. Quite often there are tours which use the ferries to go from one city to another and this can be a good option if you're touring around. Busses and trains are also available, this being a great option to admire the countryside as you pass by. They are cheaper than flying, but much slower.
Big cities have a good and effective public transport system. Norway is very punctual in its services, some towns and villages might not have many connections but by knowing the times and stops you can plan and organise your own tours without having to spend much on agencies.
TIP: If you are considering in seeing many of Norway's cities, then it will be worth to consider buying a multiple air pass. Wideroe offers passes which can be used on a forthrightly basis and you can get as many flights as you wish from €500. Check the following link for more info: Norway Pass
Although it's always been considered to be a cold country from the outside, Norway can surprise, with warm Summer's and plenty of sunshine. Because of Norway's high latitude, there are large seasonal variations in daylight. From late May to late July, the sun never completely descends beneath the horizon in areas north of the Arctic Circle. The rest of the country experiences up to 20 hours of daylight per day. During this time of year it's best to visit Norway and the massive mountains ranges, dense forests and walk around little fishing villages and be able to enjoy comfortably activities in the outdoors.
However, from late November to late January, the sun never rises above the horizon in the north, and daylight hours are very short in the rest of the country.
Temperatures can reach the 20C during the Summer season, so it's very enjoyable to visit during this time. The only disadvantage that July and August are high season and it can be very expensive. During the Winter Norway covers itself in snow, which is an attraction in itself and is very popular also to visit for sport lover's (skiing). Temperatures can reach below -10C easily. So it's advised to come prepared with extra thick clothes.
Another thing to bare in mind is the amount of precipitation which falls in Norway, the country can get very wet, specially in the Winter and Spring.
Fish is naturally the number one dish to have in Norway, specially Salmon, along with meat, potatoes and other root vegetables. The favourite traditional hot snack is the pølse, a type of sausage. The roadside kro (traveller's restaurant) is a good choice if you want to sample traditional Norwegian cuisine. Breakfasts are often enormous with a huge variety of fish, meat, cheese, and bread served buffet-style with coffee and boiled or fried eggs. Open sandwiches are topped with meat, fish, cheese and salads. Popular dinner dishes include meatballs (kjøttboller or karbonader) with boiled potatoes, boiled fish and bacalao, a spiced dried cod stew.
Specialities include: Brunost (a sweet brown cheese made with whey). Roast wild elk, or reindeer. Lutefisk (baked preserved cod). Grøt (a form of porridge). Multer (cloudberries, a summer delicacy).
As for drinks, buying alcohol in Norway is very expensive as a note. You can find drinks such as Aquavit (schnapps), Pils (light lager) and Lagerøl (lager with less than 2.5% volume). Also wine and cider are widely available around the country but it's not a producer.
A good starting point to Norway, is arriving in Oslo and staying in the city for a few days to get to know the culture, ways of life and deepening into the past of the country by it's many museums and galleries. The story of the Vikings is very well represented and it's fascinating to see some of the ships which they used back then with real scale models and originals to view.
Oslo is also an epicentre for business, trade and tourism, so there are multiple options to enjoy in the city day and night.
Getting from the airport to the city centre is possible by train and bus.There is an express train called "Flytoget" which offers links from the Airport to Drammen, Asker, Sandvika, Lysaker, Skøyen, Nationaltheatret, Oslo S and Lillestrøm. To go to the city centre get the train to Oslo S, ticktets cost NOK 180 (€20 one way) trip takes 20 minutes. Scandinavian Airlines offers a direct bus service to the city centre every 20 min at a cost of Nok 190 (€22 one way) taking 45 minutes aprox.
Once in the city centre, the transportation is simple to follow, extremely punctual, translated into English and quick due to being a small city and not having much traffic congestion problems. All the public transport in Oslo and the surrounding county (Akershus) is operated by Ruter. Ruter's tickets are valid for buses, trams, subways, ferries (not the Bygdøy ferry) and local trains.
However if you staying in the centre, there is not much need to get public transport as everything can be found at walking distance.
Below you can access the maps for more details on the transportation options in Oslo:
Oslo is known for its green spaces and museums. Many of these are on the Bygdøy Peninsula, including the waterside Norwegian Maritime Museum and the Viking Ship Museum. You can also even go to a ski museum. During the day why not hop on of the many ferries that go around the city or take a train to the outskirts of Oslo and marble at the views below.
The main highlights of the city are:
Oslo, and Norway in general, are very expensive for a budget conscious traveller, as per the quality of life is higher, everything tends to be more expensive. Hotels and Hostels are of a very high standard and rooms can be quite overpriced when compared to other countries. It's recommended to find accommodation with in reach of public transport and avoid key tourist areas for the price to be a bit lower. Hostels are a good option, having individual rooms with shared bathroom as well as private accommodation like Airbnb. The average price you can expect to pay is €50 per room.