Norway is considered as one of the best country to live, it has some of the most stunning natural wonders in the world like the Northern Lights and the mighty fjords. Before you pack your bags to explore Norway, there are some important things you should know before traveling to Norway. Here are 16 things you should know before you travel to Norway for the first time.
1. Norway is a Scandinavian Country
Norway is a Scandinavian country encompassing mountains, glaciers and deep coastal fjords. Oslo, the capital, is a city of green spaces and museums. It is ranked as one of the best countries to live in and has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Norway is a wonderful country for tourism.
2. Polar Bears do not Walk in the Streets
Many tourist come to Norway and hope to see Polar bears but you can only see polar bears in Svalbard in areas with sea ice. The highest density is found along the east coast and in the northern fjords. Nowaday, this kind of animal is in danger because of climate change.
3. The Norwegian currency is NOK (Norwegian Krone)
The currency we use in Norway is the Norwegian Krone. So, if you’re traveling with only Euro you won’t come far. It should be mentioned that Norway is using less and less cash. You can mostly anything with a credit card, even taxis and hot dogs! That means that it’s not a crisis if you forgot to bring cash.
4. Most Norwegians Speak English
Don’t know Norwegian? No problem! English is widely spoken in Norway, and virtually every Norwegian can speak fluent. Tourist information is usually printed in several languages. Information in museums, restaurants, hotels and public transport is often printed in English and other major languages such German and French.
5. Norway is a Safe Country to Visit
Norway is one of the best countries to live in and has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Crime rates are extremely low even in major cities such as Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, and Stavanger. Most crimes in Norway are related to home and office burglaries. There are some groups of pickpocketers traveling around the most touristic areas during summer so keep an extra eye on your wallet when you’re in a crowd.
6. There are 4 seasons in Norway
A lot of people make the mistake of assuming Norway is freezing cold all the time. While it’s true Scandinavia is known for its harsh winters, this isn’t the case all year round. Norway has 4 distinct seasons: summer, spring, fall and winter.
7. Always Bring an Extra Layer of Clothes
The weather is notoriously unpredictable in Norway, and that means you’ll need to have an extra jacket and raincoat even in the summer months. This is especially true if you plan to hike or spend a lot of time outside. Things can change quickly, so be prepared with an extra layer.
8. Wild camping is Allowed in Mostly all of Norway
All most land in Norway is free for camping. However, the outdoors is very important for Norwegians so make sure that you leave no traces behind and don’t do any damage to nature.
9. National Parks and Most Outdoor Locations are Free to Use
Due to “Allemannsretten", all public lands are free to access. This means that you don’t have to pay an entrance fee for a national park and you’re free to go mostly wherever you want. Once again, keep respecting the environment, don’t leave any traces behind.
10. Norway has the Best Salmon
It’s true, Norway has the best salmon. While salmon isn’t cheap, make sure that you have at least one proper salmon meal in Norway even if you’re traveling on a budget.
11. Eating out in Norway is very expensive
One way to avoid spending too much money during your travels in Norway is to eat less at restaurants. Purchasing your own food at a supermarket is much cheaper than going out every day.
12. Northern lights aren't visible everywhere
Many tourists come to Norway with the intent to see the northern lights. However, the northern lights (or Aurora Borealis) isn’t visible all over Norway. You can not see nothern lights in summer. Typically, you’ve got the best chance of seeing some activity between October and April.
14. There aren't Many Dangers in the Wild
The wildlife in Norway is largely safe with very few animals capable of harming humans. In the rest of the country, the main threat is posed by moose, elk and deer wandering out into the road with little warning.
15. The Midnight Sun Isn't a Different Sun
During winter, northern Norway has polar nights; a period where the sun never rises above the horizon and you have 24 hours of dark. During summer, however, it’s the exact opposite; the sun never sets.
16. Norwegian people seem cold
While most Norwegians are kind, genuine people, the Norwegian culture is not as warm and welcoming as other parts of the world. Until you get to know a person, you might think they’re cold and rude. A lot of travelers take offense to this until they realize it’s just a cultural difference.