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How to be a tourist in Norway

by Lisa Stentvedt

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Whenever I travel back home to the beautiful fjords of Norway, it seems that so has the rest of the world. Having grown up in one of the most visited areas of Norway sure has gotten me used to having tourists trampling around in my driveway on a regular basis, and there are a few ways to point out the tourists from miles away. If you are heading to Norway at any point in the near future I figured I would give you a firsthand guide to exactly how to be a tourist in Norway. That way you don’t have to worry about whether people understand whether you are local or not. You’re welcome.

If you are looking for a guide to Norway, click that link to read the only one you’ll ever need.

I feel like a disclaimer is quite natural here; please take this post with a good dose of humour. Everything listed below relates to tourist stereotypes I have personally encountered, and each point on the list can usually be used to tell the visitors from the locals. When several of these are present, you are guaranteed to have met a tourist.

Planning a trip to Norway? Here is my step-by-step guide to planning your perfect trip!

funny how to be a tourist in norway

How to be a tourist in Norway: A quick guide

This post was inspired by this article, written by my friend Tara. Here’s exactly how you can be a tourist in Norway.

  • Arrive on a cruise ship whenever possible. If it’s your first cruise, head this way for my top tips!
  • After arriving on a cruise ship, contemplate how the cruise ship made it onto the fjord in the first place (I mean, they are lakes, aren’t they?).
  • If the above is not possible and you are considering renting a camper van in Norway; completely disregard common sense when it comes to traffic, and park anywhere.
  • Have no regard for private property – Norway is your oyster!
  • Complain about how expensive it is to any customer service assistant you are dealing with. I’m sure it’s the ticket officer themselves who set the prices here.
  • Don’t do your research when it comes to national holidays and celebrations, especially Norwegian Christmas traditions. This way you can show up unannounced on Christmas Eve and complain that everywhere is closed because people are too busy celebrating Christmas.
  • Be mesmerised by the majestic nature, but ask us where the fjord is anyway. You may have missed it.
  • Don’t believe us when we say that all the country’s beauty is natural. Ask us when we turn off the waterfalls and if we drain the fjords in the Winter. Hint: We do not.
  • Insist on driving through our hairpin turns, in spite of locals advising you to take the outer route. Those roads aren’t meant for the untrained eye.
  • Carry one of these.
  • Don’t bother with research, knowing why the fjords are so popular and what they are isn’t necessary to make your trip perfect.
  • If English is your first language: act incredibly surprised when every single Norwegian person you meet speak it fluently.
  • If English isn’t your first language: ask us if we speak Spanish.

Now you should be all set to come and visit my beautiful country, without having to worry about standing out from the crowd. Welcome!

In all seriousness; I do love it when people come to visit Norway, and there’s a reason I share so many guides to Norway here on my blog. I hope you have an amazing time during your visit, and that you’ll know better than to follow this list. In fact, it should be seen as a list of things to avoid doing when visiting Norway.

If you are planning a trip to Norway in the next few months, but you are a little unsure of where to start when it comes to the planning, don’t miss my itineraries here. They are easy to follow, and ready for immediate download in PDF form, and range from a few to several days. You can start them in several of Norway’s major city, and all focus on how you can best see the fjords during your visit!

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How to be a tourist in #Norway

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Rachel G 06/06/2016 - 13:03

haha! We live (as expats, but I’ve had a home here since I was 13, so it feels like forever) in a tourist destination, too. Sometimes tourists are just plain embarrassing. With my pale skin I can be mistaken for a tourist by locals but that problem is easily solved when I break into Mandarin or Bahasa…

LisaLDN 06/06/2016 - 13:46

Haha, that sounds like a sure way to prove to people you are indeed not a tourist, Rachel! 🙂

Pauline 06/06/2016 - 23:37

Hahahah Hilarious!! please walk in high heels when hiking the mountains! 🙂

LisaLDN 07/06/2016 - 05:16

Hahaha, that’s another great one, Pauline! 🙂

Karin Rambo 07/06/2016 - 04:58

So awesome! I cringe just thinking about these things haha!

LisaLDN 07/06/2016 - 05:16

Haha, me too, Karin! 🙂

Chiara Marie 07/06/2016 - 14:49

LOL – i love it. Be very asian 😉 This post is classic. I do have some friends that do live in Norway, now I’ll know how to act. I’ve always wanted to see a fjord…………

LisaLDN 07/06/2016 - 20:08

Thank you, Chiara! You’ll act like a proper Norwegian when you come visit them! And you’ll love the fjords 🙂

Becky @Disney in your Day 07/06/2016 - 19:45

Haha! I would love to visit but hopefully not act too much like this 😉

LisaLDN 07/06/2016 - 20:07

Please do come visit, and please don’t act like this, haha 🙂 I have a feeling you’d be fine, Becky!

Katie 08/06/2016 - 18:17

I’m so desperately wanting to visit Norway. It looks so beautiful. Hopefully not as you describe 😉

Katie // Words By Katie

LisaLDN 08/06/2016 - 18:21

It truly is beautiful, but unfortunately many tourists act exactly as I’ve described 😛


Arzo Travels 08/06/2016 - 21:18

Haha. Love this post. Really, really want to visit and I will do all the things mentioned above 🙂

LisaLDN 08/06/2016 - 21:25

I’m glad! Haha, if you do; PLEASE film reactions on SnapChat! You should have seen mine the other day when I was standing on the docks and someone asked me where the fjords was… 🙂

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