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Norway Travel Guide

In Norway, over 1,000 grand fjords grace the western coast. Idyllic towns out of a fairytale set against impressive valleys pepper the eastern side. And in the Arctic Circle, the epic northern lights illuminate the night sky for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As one of the most beautiful countries on earth, Norway most certainly deserves your time and attention.

The Highlights

  • Oslo

    Oslo’s atmosphere is so cultured that it’s contagious. The city has, after all, mastered the art of mixing business with pleasure, innovations with outdoor exploits, and modern architecture with breathtaking natural wonders. There are only a few places in the world where you can kayak down a fjord in the morning, visit a grand historic place at lunch, and see an opera at night.

  • Trondheim

    You don’t have to be a foodie, history buff or a cyclist to enjoy Trondheim, though if you are, then this town is for you. This colourful little city and old Viking capital is charming and energetic at the same time and is also a paradise for culture hounds and beer lovers. Carve your own trail based on your appetite – this is, after all, your adventure.

  • Jotunheimen National Park

    With towering peaks dotted with picturesque lakes and lush valleys, the Jotunheimen National Park in the heart of southern Norway hardly needs a sales pitch. But if we must, then we’ll just say that it’s simply the ideal venue for unforgettable outdoor adventures. Hike, fish, bike, camp, climb, sled, see its myriad wildlife, whatever else you can think of. The entire national park is your oyster.

  • Tromsø

    You might find yourself in Tromsø chasing the Northern Lights, but you’ll stay for the city itself. Start your visit right and slumber in an ice dome. Then, during the daytime, there are many activities on hand including dog sledding and whale watching, or warm up with a couple of drinks at Aurora Spirit, indulge in a delicious feast and shop for local wares. You’ll never want to leave.

  • Heddal Stave Church

    There’s something about grand old churches that are simply appealing, and in Norway, they’re no different. If you were to follow this trail, then do it right by putting Heddal Stave Church at the top of the list. This early 13th-century church, Norway’s largest, boasts a triple nave and beautiful wooden interiors. It’s the stuff fairytales are made of.

  • Låtefossen

    It might be hard to narrow down Norway’s long list of attractions, but your list is incomplete without the unique twin waterfalls of Låtefossen. The spectacular beauty tucked outside the town of Odda is picture-perfect as it pours from Lake Låtefossen past a stone arch bridge into the anticipating stream below. Come in the late afternoon when a warm light casts a soft glow, making for great shots.

The Basics

When to Visit

when to visit
  1. Peak Season

    June to August

    The months of June, July and August see Norway at its busiest. Summertime is the country’s warmest and most comfortable, the days are much longer and public transportation is more frequent, drawing in throngs of people from all over the world. The downside is most tourist attractions are overcrowded and everything is more expensive. Come from September to October when it’s less busy, the weather is cooler, the prices are cheaper and the Northern Lights start their stunning display. Keep in mind that business hours are shorter and public transportation runs less often.

  2. Low Season

    November to February

    Skip November as it can be cold and dreary. December, January and February are too, but if you’re looking for magical flurries and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and dog-sledding, they’re the best months to indulge. Be warned: the days are very short and the nights are excruciatingly long. March is just a little warmer and offers excellent chances for Northern Lights viewing. Come from April through early June when spring is in full swing, the landscape is bedecked with wildflowers, rates are low and festivals are aplenty (especially in May).

Norway Tours

FAQs about Norway

  • Do you tip in Norway?

    While not mandatory, tipping in Norway is customary. A tip of 5% to 10% of your total bill – 20% if the service is exceptional – at restaurants is the norm, as is the rounding up of your cab fare. Tipping to hotel staff and tour guides is not necessary.
  • What is the internet access like?

    It’s great! WiFi is easily accessible and even free in a lot of places including hotels, cafes, restaurants, trains and even some buses.
  • Is the tap water safe to drink?

    Absolutely! Norway has excellent tap water so unless otherwise stated, drink to your heart’s content.
  • Can I use my credit cards?

    Most businesses in Norway accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and even Diners Club. Keep some cash or at least your ATM card handy as there are still some that might not like gas stations and supermarkets.
  • What are the public holidays?

    Maudy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Monday are celebrated public holidays in Norway, as are Constitution Day (May 17), Ascension Day (39 days after Easter), Pentecost (49 days after Easter), Whit Monday (the day after Pentecost) and St. Stephen’s Day (December 26).
  • What are the toilets like?

    Toilets in Norway are modern; however public toilets are not as common. Establishments like restaurants, museums and attractions will have toilets for their patrons while a small few like shopping malls might charge a small amount for use of theirs.
  • How do I get around Norway?

    Because of its unique topography, you’ll most likely end up using several means of transportation. Hiring a rental car is best, as Norway is great for road trips; and ferries are reliable for getting around in the fjordlands as long as you check the schedule.
  • Can I travel to Norway on a budget?

    It’s true that Norway is an expensive country. However, if you plan right – keep your eating out to a minimum, find cheaper accommodations and travel during the low season, for example – you’ll do just fine on a budget.
A TRAVEL MAGAZINE BY TOURRADAR