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Norway Travel Guide Travel Information

 

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Overview of Norway

Norway Travel Guide

One of Europe’s monarchies and one of the largest, but least populated countries on the continent.

Norway is a heavily expensive country, but with wonderful attractions. Especially the fjords, valleys, mountains and islands are attractive. Large numbers of small, yet very clean, technically advanced and friendly towns and villages are scattered across the territory.

 

There are few places in Europe where you can breathe air as cool and as clean as in Norway. Also, there are few places in the World as safe and as friendly and prosperous as Norway.

 

 

Norway Travel Factsheet

State, geography 

Official name:

Kongeriket Norge/Kongeriket Noreg (Kingdom of Norway)

Government type:

Parliamentary democracy under constitutional monarchy

Location:

Northern Europe, on the Scandinavian Peninsula, west of Sweden.

Area/surface:

385,252 km² or 148.746 sq mi

Geography overview:

Mostly mountainous country with a long coast dotted with many islands along it. The country's territory is interrupted by the large number of gorges and mountains, rivers and bays. There are many lakes, fjords, cliffs, gorges and medium-sized mountains, forests.

Demographics, population

Official language(s):

Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk)

Locally used languages:

Sami

Other widely spoken languages:

English, German, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Turkish etc.

Nationalities, ethnic groups, races:

89,4 % Norwegian and Sami; 10,6 % other (primarily Pakistani, Finnish, Vietnamese, Turks, Arabs etc.)

Population:

4,8 million

Population density:

12.5/km² or 31/sq mi

Capital city & population:

Oslo (central area: 580.000, urban area: 876.000, metropolitan area: 1.400.000)

Largest city & population:

Oslo (central area: 580.000, urban area: 876.000, metropolitan area: 1.400.000)

Other large cities & population:

Bergen (central area: 253.000)

Trondheim (central area: 153.000)

Stavanger (central area: 121.000)

Ålesund (central area: 41.000)

Religion(s):

82,7 % Protestant (Evangelical-Lutheran); 17,3 % other (shamanistic religions, Muslim, atheist etc.)

Economy

Currency:

1 Norwegian Krone (NOK) = 100 Øre

Symbol/sign: kr

Foreign currencies widely used:

Euro (EUR)

GDP (nominal):

451,830 billion USD

GDP per capita (nominal):

94.386 USD

Other data

Time zone(s):

Central European Time (CET): UTC/GMT +1 h

Country telephone calling code:

+47

Internet TLD(s):

.no, .sj, .bv

Electric power system:

Voltage & frequency: 220-240 V/50 Hz

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Plugs/sockets/outlets: C, F

Driving system:

Right-hand drive

 

Norway Interactive Map

 


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Places to Visit & Things to Do in Norway

Oslo

The capital of the country.

Among attractions: Stortinget (the Norwegian Parliament), Akershus Fortress, the Slottet (the Royal Palace), art galleries and museums…

The city is located deep inside a fjord. It has a port, but one has to sail deep up between the mountains.

Bergen

This is Norway’s most attractive city. It has intense night life and many tourists arrive here. If you walk up to a high point on a nearby mountain, you can admire the picturesque views over Bergen.

The city has over 250.000 inhabitants. Of course, it has an airport. It is also a major port in the country.

Ålesund

Small city of over 41.000 inhabitants.

You must visit Ålesund if you travel to Norway…

Climb the small mountain behind it (a popular place frequented by travelers), a great spot for taking photos. Ålesund is beautiful at night and during the day as well.

The city’s buildings, the port are very beautiful indeed.

Lofoten Islands

Spectacular views, friendly small fisher towns and villages. Stockfish is a popular food here…

Not quite easy getting there… you might need to search for boats, ferries, but until you get there use train, bus or drive a car…

Hammerfest

One of the northernmost towns of Norway. Buses and airplanes can take you to it.

Only a little more than 9.000 people live in Hammerfest.

Hotels are very few and very expensive.

Svalbard Islands

Archipelago belonging to Norway, but located far north.

This is a place where polar bears, reindeers and a number of other polar animals live. It is dangerous to hike alone. Never travel alone.

The cold can be unbearable for someone who is not used to it.

The landscapes are fantastic. Flights can take you there, but don’t expect real hotels… Event though the Svalbard archipelago is is almost the size of Ireland and bigger than Costa Rica, it is inhabited by very few people.

Only Spitsbergen, Hopen and Bear Island are populated. Only a little above 2.000 people live here. Interestingly almost half of them are Russians.

By looking at the map, you might have the impression that Svalbard is a huge territory due to the large number of scattered islands that create the illusion of a wide land mass.


Transportation

By Air

Many cities, even numerous small ones with well under 50.000 inhabitants have their own airport. Prices might be higher than for the same distances in Central or southwestern Europe.

On Land

Bus services are abundant, but there will pass some time to reach from one place to another. Trains are faster, but only connect a few cities, generally the big ones.

On Water

There are numerous boat trips to-, from- and within Norway.

The landscapes, especially the fjords are fantastic and worth seeing. From a boat you can reach the best places easier than by car or any other means of transportation.


Best Time for Visiting Norway

Depends on what you would like to do, of course. But, if you would like to get to Norway in the sunny period, then you should try in the May – August period. Even so, some travelers complain of cold. If you travel to the north, then expect very cold winds.


Risks & Precautions in Norway

Accidents in the mountains and cold-related heath issues are the most frequent problems occurring.

Theft almost doesn’t exist, at least not among locals.


Interesting Things About Norway

Strangely, Norway is one of the very few Western European countries that is not member of the European Union.

 

It was Norwegian Roald Amundsen who discovered Antarctica in 1910. Norway therefore is one of the countries with territorial claims on Antarctica.

 

Norway is considered to be the most expensive country for travelers.
 

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