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Norway - Traveling

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Entry requirements

Organizing your trip

Means of transport recommended in town

Norway has an excellent transportation system. Public transportation is generally safe and the condition of roads is mainly good. Taxis are expensive, but usually easily available. Taxis can be hailed from the street or picked up from a taxi rank. All taxis accept common credit cards. Oslo has a well-functioning underground service and trams.

Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country

Trains can be used to get from city to city. Local transport in the cities is generally efficient and served mainly by public buses at reasonable prices. Road transportation is the dominant form of transport due to long distances and low population density.

Extensive system of ferries and express boats link Norway's coastal towns, fjords and islands. Ferries are mostly roll-on, roll-off car ferries. Small islands are served by water buses.

Rail companies: Norwegian State Railways
Airlines
Name Type Domestic flights International flights
Norwegian Air Shuttle low cost Yes Yes
Scandinavian Airlines Major Yes Yes

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: Car rentals are expensive, but easily available. Roads can be narrow and winding in the mountainous areas. Winter tires are mandatory on all motor vehicles from November to April. Road conditions can vary greatly, depending on weather and time of the year. Roadside assistance can be limited in the rural areas. Headlights should be on at all times when driving.

Norway is not ideal for cycling due to the long distances and hilly terrain.

Road maps: Google Maps

Visiting

Different forms of tourism

Historical: - Folk Museum (Oslo),
- Historical Museum (Oslo),
- Sculptures of Vigeland (Oslo),
- National Museum (Oslo),
- Bergen Museum (Bergen),
- Viking Ship Museum (Oslo)
Cultural: Please consult the list of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites in Norway
Nature: Norway's long slender coast with its numerous fjords offers breathtaking scenery. Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord, located northeast of Bergen, are considered exceptionally beautiful and are on the UNESCO's World Heritage list. More information about the fjords can be found here.

The most famous ferry route in Norway is the Hurtigrute coastal boat. It sails a long and beautiful route from Bergen to Kirkeness. Boat stops at thirty ports along the coast and the whole trip lasts eleven days, making the ride quite an experience.

Reaching the remote and wild Svalbard archipelago requires more effort and money.

Religious: - Trondheim cathedral (Scandinavia's largest medieval building.)

- Urnes stave church (Viking woodcarvings)

Thermal: No.
Beach: The island of Hovedoya lies just off the coast of Oslo. It's great for swimming and sunbathing and reachable by a ferry boat. Municipality of Mandal is famous for its long, sandy beaches.
Winter sports: Cross-country skiing is very popular in Norway. Also opportunities for downhill skiing and ice fishing.
Outdoor activities: Hiking, cycling, rock-climbing, swimming.
Shopping: Shops are usually open 09:00 - 17:00 Monday to Friday and until 15:00 on Saturday. Department stores stay open until 20:00 and until 18:00 on Saturday.

Paléet, Oslo City and Galleri Oslo are Oslo's shopping malls. A lot of shops and boutiques around the city centre. Woodcarvings, Viking paraphernalia, knitwear and ceramics and wrought-iron pieces are popular souvenirs.

Tourism organizations: Norwegian Tourist Board

Living conditions

Health and safety

Health precautions: No.
For further information on sanitary conditions: The World Health Organization webpages devoted to Norway

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: Oslo (GMT+1 in the winter, GMT+2 in the summer)
Summer time period: Summer time (Daylight Savings Time) is from March until October.
Climate: Warmer and damper climate than might be expected because of the North Atlantic Current and the Westerlies. Norway spans 13 degrees of latitude and its climate shows great variations. Even local differences in weather can be large due to the rugged topography.

Summers are generally hot and winters cold. Inlands and the northern parts are cooler than coastal areas, which experience more rain. The northernmost part has a maritime subarctic climate. The Svalbard archipelago has an arctic thundra climate. The hottest month is usually July with average temperature 17,3°C in Oslo. The coldest month is January, when the average falls to −4.7°C.

From November to late January, the sun never rises above the horizon in the northern areas, and daylight hours are short in the rest of the country. Conversely, during the summertime there can be 20 hours of daylight per day, except in the north where the sun never descends beneath the horizon.

The best time to visit is from May to September. The winter is cold and dark, but offers possibilities for skiing and watching the aurora borealis.

Eating

Food specialties: Being a fishing nation, Norway is one of the best places in Europe to enjoy seafood. Emphasis on game (moose, reindeer, duck) is also typical for Norwegian cuisine.

Some Norwegian specialties: Laks: Smoked (or grilled) salmon in many varieties.
Gravlaks: Raw salmon cured in salt, sugar and dill.
Rakfisk: Raw fermented trout or char.
Fårikål: Lamb meat and cabbage served with potatoes.
Geitost: Brown goat cheese

Drinks: Beer, wine, sodas. The climate isn't hospitable for wine production, but there are some local beers and distilled spirits. Akvavit (schnapps) is a traditional vodka-like drink distilled from potato or grain.
Dietary taboos: There are no dietary restrictions, but alcohol production and consumption is restricted. Beer or wine does not usually accompany lunch.

Speaking

Getting some knowledge: Basics of Norwegian language.
Free translation tools:
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