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Things to consider when visiting Norway

by Lisa Stentvedt

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Norway is an incredibly popular country to visit, and it’s easy to see why. From fjords and mountains in the West and the Northern lights up North, to the beautiful towns and cities along the South Coast and our capital Oslo in the East; there’s something for every taste. Whether you are traveling through the entire country or spending all your time in a specific region, there are certain things you should be aware of before visiting. I’m here to help you out, and have written this little post on the things you need to consider when visiting Norway.

Don’t miss my huge post on visiting Norway, which is full of information (over 6000 words of it, to be exact) for those planning a trip to Norway! If you want to skip straight to the good part, do make sure to read this guide to the best places to visit in Norway.

Things to consider when visiting Norway

You may enjoy this: How to be a tourist in Norway

Ask yourself; Why are you visiting?

aka do your research. You have no idea how many times I have been asked ‘Where is the fjord?‘, as I am standing there staring at it. If you are traveling to the West of Norway, you should know that the reason it is such a popular destination is because of the fjords. You should also know what a fjord is. I have no idea why someone would spend their money and time in order to get somewhere without knowing why the destination is so popular. Bonus: if you can show the locals that you know your stuff, we will be very impressed, and more inclined to answer all of your questions. Don’t be one of these.

Keep reading: how to plan your trip to Norway.

Norway is extremely expensive.

Ranked one of the most expensive countries in the world, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Yet, time and time again tourists are shocked at the prices and the cost of vacationing here. I’ll say it again: Norway is expensive. Just get used to the idea of paying at least $10 for a beer, and you may get pleasantly surprised if you ever find it for less.

In addition; prepare for tourist prices.

Tourist prices are common amongst popular destinations such as the villages along the fjords and the main shopping streets of Oslo. The cost of common tourist attractions usually comes as a shock to travelers, particularly when they are not prepared for Norwegian prices in general. In short; expect Norway to be expensive, and expect the prices in tourist areas to be even more costly.

You may enjoy this: Oslo on a budget

Norwegians are rude.

I feel like I am really on a roll with the negativity here. Please trust me when I say that visiting Norway truly is worth it, I’m just here to prepare you for it.

Norwegians in general are considered a rather rude people. We live in the dark for the largest part of the year, and this may be a reason why. The Norwegian language is not filled with ‘fluff’-words such as the English, and instead of saying ‘Pardon?’ or ‘Sorry?’ when we can’t hear you, we will just say ‘huh?’. Also, expect nothing but rude stares if you bump into someone on the street. When getting off public transport, don’t expect anyone to let you off, but be prepared to fight your way through the mass of people trying to get on at the same time.

This rudeness is not intentional, however. It is just how we are, and there is nothing more to it than culture.

Be careful with your selfies.

Norway has some stunning nature, and most of it is very easily accessible to the regular traveler. It is not a country filled with warning signs and fences, and it is possible to roam free as you please. This lack of warnings and stop signs does not mean that everywhere is safe and that you shouldn’t stay cautious. The mountains are steep, and the hikes can be quite dangerous, so please don’t ditch the path for an awesome selfie. The local (and national) rescue teams often get SOS calls from travelers who are lost or from those that have seen their friends fall and get injured due to silly attempts at getting the best photo. Please be aware of and follow The Norwegian Mountain Code at all times.

We actually live here.

On a similar note, please consider and respect the fact that a lot of the nature you see here is private property. Norway is a proud agricultural nation, and our farmers work very hard to keep and preserve their land. If something is fenced in, even if there is no house for miles, please respect this and do not enter the field. Also remember that some farming land (especially in the mountain areas) isn’t fenced in, and may have cattle or sheep roaming free. Respect this as much as you can.

You can’t just go anywhere.

Norway consists of many small towns and villages, where access to public transport is limited. It is always good to be aware of the transport opportunities before visiting an area. For example; where I’m from, we have two taxi companies, and public buses that go through the village 3-4 times a day toward Bergen. If you miss these, you are literally stuck in a village of 500 inhabitants, so being aware of the transport schedule ahead of time is a must. The National Rail Company website can be found here, and these (1 & 2) are two of the major public bus companies.

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Van @ Snow in Tromso 08/07/2016 - 12:45

Haha so true! I’ve heard of people asking for a hotel room facing south during December and of others wondering when the Northern Lights will finally appear during their trip in June! Some people just don’t do any research before coming here and especially in the Arctic, it’s so crucial! I mean, it’s quite difficult to go sightseeing during polar night 😀

LisaLDN 08/07/2016 - 12:55

I can only imagine, Van! I’ve wanted to ask visitors why they have even come here from time to time!

Silvia 08/07/2016 - 14:18

Oh my goodness, you are so spot on! Though weirdly over the past couple of decades I feel like Norwegians have become much warmer? I was talking about this with my parents (my mom is Norwegian) and my dad was saying how he used to find Norwegians so stern but now they’re really cheerful – maybe after all that wealth kicked in, haha.

LisaLDN 08/07/2016 - 14:21

Thank you, Silvia! I’m glad you liked it 🙂 and I definitely think you’re right about that. A contributing factor could be that we are traveling more (especially the younger generation) 🙂

Sarah @ DaydreamsofSummertime 10/07/2016 - 00:37

I have been wanting to visit Norway for the longest time but to be honest the cost of it has always put me off. Hopefully in the next couple of years I will make there though!


LisaLDN 10/07/2016 - 05:26

I can definitely see, that, Sarah, it sure is expensive! Luckily the Kroner hasn’t been too strong lately, and trust me when I say it’s totally worth it! 🙂 I hope you get to go some say!

Tanja / The red phone box trav 11/07/2016 - 09:57

really? rude? I haven’t felt that:)

Kassie- The Fly Away Life 11/07/2016 - 19:32

I’m always surprised how often tourists don’t research a destination before showing up. I live in Boston and have had tourists ask me where the Liberty Bell is which located in a totally different city hundreds of miles away!

I’ve always wanted to go to Norway someday so I will keep these things in mind 🙂

LisaLDN 11/07/2016 - 19:54

Wow, sounds like it’s not just here, then! You should definitely come visit, Kassie! 🙂

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