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Norway Travel Guide

The Norway Traveler's Guide to Make The Most Out of Your Trip



By The Non Fiction Author

Published by The Non Fiction Author



Smashwords Edition



Copyright ©2017 The Non Fiction Author



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The information provided in this book is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. The author's books are only meant to provide the reader with the basics travel guidelines of a certain location, without any warranties regarding the accuracy of the information and advice provided. Each traveler should do their own research before departing.



Table of Contents



Introduction: Why You Will Fall in Love with Norway!

Chapter 1: Welcome to Norway - One of the Most Beautiful Countries In the World!

Chapter 2: Let’s Start at the Beginning - Planning Your Trip

Chapter 3: Planning Your Trip - Part 2 (Travel Costs, Organizing, Budget)

Chapter 4: Immersing Yourself in the Culture, Language & More

Chapter 5: Oslo & Eastern Norway

Chapter 6: Western Norway

Chapter 7: Central Norway

Chapter 8: Southern Norway

Chapter 9: Northern Norway & Finnmark - “Land of the Midnight Sun”

Conclusion: Aren't You Excited? Your Trip Is About to Begin!



Introduction:
Why You Will Fall in Love with Norway!



It might be worth a bit of a congratulations that you are off to Norway. So, congratulations! Norway is renowned around the world as being one of the most beautiful lands of the world. Making the choice to go to Norway must mean you have a sense of adventure, a love for the outdoors and a lust for true, wild and untamed nature. Norway is full of culture and pride of its past and it is proud of its natural wonder and splendor from corner to corner and end to end.

Norway is an expansive land known for its seemingly endless beauty. Visit the modern cities with an intriguing and almost mysterious past, but do not neglect making any time for some outdoor time. Anyone can appreciate and be in awe of the nature of Norway, the mountains, the fjords which are its namesake, the farmland and the winter wonderlands. It does not matter what time of year you visit, there is always something to embrace about Norway. Just bring the right gear and simply enjoy.

This guide is about to show you how you can go to Norway. How you may enjoy it, where you can go, what you can see and most importantly what you can truly experience, on more than one level. Utilize each of the chapters to guide your trip from beginning to end. Plan a trip suiting only your dreams and imagination. There is plenty to see and do for all, both near and far. Norway is truly for everyone. There is a past, there is a present and there is a future and you can see it in their modern cities with many proud remnants from their past. Norway is a culture about living in harmony with its surroundings and making the world a better place.

Part of enjoying Norway on your visit will simply be about enjoying the present, your surroundings and the fortunate opportunity you have been given to travel to this distant land.



Chapter 1:
Welcome to Norway - One of the Most Beautiful Countries In the World!



You are about to embark on one of the most beautiful journeys in your lifetime. Norway has been known for many years for its endless and inspirational views of nature still in its virgin state, of towering mountains along the coastline, the endless miles of fjords up the west coast, crystal-blue waters and beautiful skyline, powder snow for winter enthusiasts, the northern lights, the never-setting summer sun and so much more. Be sure when you visit to check some of these experience off your bucket list.



Highlights

In the very near future you will find yourself in a distant land of beauty and pristine nature. Even if you are not much of a ‘nature’ person, very few will arrive in Norway and can appreciate all the natural wonder and immense and spectacular scenery. This is sure to be a big highlight of your trip with some pictures to be permanent in your memories and not just in a snapshot photo.

The people of Norway are very friendly and hospitable and are happy to give you ideas and share with you how it best to experience their country. In the popular urban destinations of Oslo and Bergen, you are sure to experience a little of old Europe mixed in with modern and contemporary design throughout the entire cities.

There are plenty of activities to take advantage of the outdoors. It does not matter what time of year you go, there are more than enough opportunities to play. Go hiking in the national parks or journey up to the North Cape for more hiking or for more seasoned hikers, trekking. Or just take a scenic drive. If you don’t mind the opposite side of summer, Norway will become your favorite winter destination. Norway’s ski resorts are highly favored for ski enthusiasts. If you are not into the slopes, there is dog-sledding, snowshoeing, ice-climbing, cross-country or just cozying up in the lodge by the fire with a toasty libation.



Iconic Norway

Just with one mention of Norway, people will automatically conjure up images of the vast fjords that lie all along the coastlines. This is iconic Norway. But there is more to this country than the fjords which you should see. Spoil yourself for one meal and dine on Minke whale meat. Even if you are not a skier, take a ski lesson or do some ‘easier’ cross country minus the steep slopes. The sport dates back to 5100 BC and Norway has played a big role in the modernization of the sport as we know it today.

Visit the national parks to spot some wildlife in its natural habitat. You may see reindeer or elk and possibly even, but hopefully not too close, bears and wolves. Before you set out on your days of adventure, sit and have a cup of coffee. They are very passionate about their brew here and Norwegians consume more coffee than in any other country. Whether you are in small towns or the big cities, there are unique and authentic cafes around every corner and on every street. Along with your coffee, experience the Norwegian waffle. Belgium is not the only country who can boast a good waffle. Grab one on the street in between attractions with sour cream and jam.

If you are staying in some nights or afternoons to cook your meals, do your food shopping at the local fish markets. When in season, the salmon here is some of the best. Mackerel and pickled herring are national staples from the sea as well. If you are in Bergen, eat at the fish market there.



Unique Experiences

There are many iconic factors about Norway, however, for most tourists, these very things which make Norway what it is, are very unique. Chances are, that no matter where you find yourself in the country, there will be something unique about it. Maybe it will be the scenery, the cuisine, the people, the local architecture or experiencing their history. There are many things to see and do and just take in just for what is right in front of you.

If you are visiting Norway in the summer, take advantage of the long-days and the ‘land of the midnight sun’. In some towns and cities you can take part in 24-hour festivities, celebrations and festivals. Check out a local calendar for where you are traveling. Take a cruise, just dedicated to the sun which never sets. Head north to Tromsø and belly up at a pub while the sun is still up and walk around the city that will not sleep.

See the Royal Palace in Oslo. Go to the botanical garden and Ringve Music Museum in Trondheim. Be sure to see the medieval wooden churches that are dotted all around the country. Many are still in tip-top shape and many history enthusiasts will come to Norway just to see them and get a tour. Another part of ancient Norwegian history are the vikings. The enormous ships are iconic to Norway and unique to tourists who have the opportunity to be wowed at their construction and utter enormity and power.

Your travel to Norway will be what you make of it, what you choose to see and how you experience it. Take your time as you read through this guide, write down a list of what you want to see and do, and then perhaps another list. You may not be able to experience it all, but you will have a wonderful time regardless.



How to Use This Guide

The purpose of this guide is to help you not only get acquainted with Norway and plan your trip, but to get you excited about this amazing country. Peruse through the chapters and use them to take notes, make your ‘To-Do Lists’ for before and during your travels. The following chapter, Chapter 2 will inform you of basic travel requirements, how to arrive and get to travel to your final destinations or destinations to follow.

As Norway is a vast country, it may be a challenge for travelers who only have a short amount of time to stay to narrow down the places and destinations to visit and how to budget such a trip. Chapter 3 will give some advice and tips on how to budget your travel and overall trip. There are some example budgets for all types of travellers with all types of pockets, along with a few ways on how you can save money in Norway.

In Chapter 4, we get into the culture of Norway and all it entails. We talk about the people of Norway and local customs and mannerisms, the local food and drink and how you can just have a nice and enjoyable time.

Chapter 5 and the chapters beyond will take you from region to region and from city to city. There will be plenty of information on what you can see and do in these amazing regions and cultural cities. Each of these chapters will give you advice on where to stay and what accommodations are in each area and where the best places to eat are. Depending on the region and/or city there may be some happening nightlife worth experiencing or some world-class nature escapes. You will not leave Norway without feeling fulfilled and inspired and the goal of this guide is to help you plan it all. Utilize this guide in the beginning to inform yourself, then use it to plan and create an itinerary. Finally, take this guide along with you for reference in your travels.

We hope that by the end you are not only well-informed and ready for your trip, but along the way we hope you have been entertained, excited and truly motivated with wide-eyes and big expectations!



Chapter 2:
Let’s Start at the Beginning - Planning Your Trip



Your trip to Norway may just be a few weeks away or even months, but it helps to plan ahead as much as you can. In this chapter we begin sort of ‘part 1’ of planning your trip. Before you even arrive there are some details you may want to work out, including visa requirements, getting travel insurance and organizing where and when you want to go within Norway. Before we get into all the boring details of budget and such, in this part of the guide we will give you a brief overview of the country and some helpful advice on traveling around, the best time to go and even some example itineraries depending on how long your stay might be.



Basic Travel Requirements

When you are off to any destination, it is always a good idea to check up on the paperwork you might need to enter the country first. If you are from Europe, most of the visiting countries can enter without a visa, however there may be stipulations on the amount of days you can stay within Norway. However, for vacation purposes, it is unlikely you will need to worry about these details. A simple visitor or tourist visa for Norway is good for up to three months. If you are from the United States, UK, Ireland, Wales and other parts of Eastern Europe, all you will need to enter is your passport.



Getting There

If you are taking a holiday in Norway, the best way to get there first, even if it is not your ultimate destination, is to fly into Oslo. If you are flying from New York, it is a direct, 7-hour flight. If you are planning on taking a connecting flight to another destination within Norway, the main airport, Oslo Airport Gardermoen is the main hub for domestic travel as well. The airport is about thirty miles north of the main city, but it is easily accessed via express buses and trains, hired cars and taxis.

If you are located in another part of Europe, you can also access Oslo via the ferry from Kiel, Germany or Frederikshavn and Copenhagen in Denmark. There are trains which also arrive at the Oslo Central Station also with international bus routes as well that stop at the Oslo Bus Terminal. Both the main bus terminal and train station are located in the center of Oslo.



Internal Flights

If you are planning on taking advantage of domestic air travel during your travel to Norway, there plenty of ways to fly about and even perks to take advantage of to save some money. SAS’s or ‘Visit Scandinavia’ Fares are encouraged to use if you are going off to far distances in Norway or other parts of Scandinavia. Norway is known as one of the most expensive countries in the world to travel in, so save money where you can. If you are flying across the Atlantic, take advantage of the SAS’s! There are six coupons available if you are flying from Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Depending on your itinerary, the cost of the coupons start around $US60 and go up to $US100. If you are traveling for long-distance within the Scandinavian area, these coupons can save you a substantial amount. For more details go to www.flysas.com.

For domestic travelling there are a few airline carriers to reach the top tourist destinations. However if you would like to see the more hard-to-reach areas check in with Wideroe Flyveselskap. They will help get you the details for more options for domestic flights. Check out their website, www.wideroe.no.



Getting Around Norway

Train

If you have an extended vacation, even a couple weeks and you do not have the budget to fly, you can see the country and get to other destinations via their train network. There are diesel-electric trains and electric trains which run as far north as Bodø, located about sixty miles north of the Arctic Circle. If you want to go further, you will have to go by plane, bus or the coastal steamer to the North Cape and Tromsø. For more details see www.nsb.no.

One of the more traveled routes and most scenic is the train from Oslo to Bergen. It runs for almost 300 miles and the tracks run along picturesque countryside through mountains, over raging rivers, gorges and by the fjords. The train will even take stops for the passengers to be able to see the views at a standstill and snap some photos.

To save some money, you can expect to have all the comforts you need by simply travelling second-class on the train. It is almost as good as most of the first-class seating aboard other trains in Europe. The seats recline and there are many other amenities. The first-class is not that much different, though of course if you have the budget it is the best way to travel.

To have an idea of some costs for the well-travelled train routes in Norway, a second-class seat from Oslo to Bergen will run around $US148 including a mandatory additional reservation cost of $US8. From Oslo to Trondheim, the ticket is about $US160 for second class.

If you are making for longer distance travel in Norway on the trains, there are sleeping cars available. Their costs will depend on how many berths there are in each room. There are reduced fares for both children from 4 to 15 years old and for seniors.

If you are doing some hopping and travelling about making stops in Norway’s main city destinations, there are Eurail Norway Passes available. These passes are only permitted to use on the state railway lines. If you have a detailed itinerary for your travels within Norway, the passes available can save you money. For instance, within 1 month, you can have unlimited travel for any three days in the same month for $US299. For 4 days of unlimited travel within a month, you can pay $US325. Five days $US359, 6 days $US405, and for 8 days $US455. The fares for children from four to 15 years old are half of the adult fee. Children under 4, travel for free. There are also youth passess with discounts available for young adults from the ages of 16 to 25 years old.

For the regional trains, depending where you are traveling, there is some more money to save. The tickets are only limited to a number of seats. Check out www.nsb.no for details. If you have your travel plans well-thought out in advance, it is best to book these money-saving seats well in advance as they sell-out very quickly.



Bus

The bus system about Norway is well-organized and will link to the villages along the fjords. The transport coaches are very comfortable with adjustable seats for sleeping, air-conditioning, toilets, reading lights and a telephone. There are motor-coach tours often combined with travel in steamers that leave from Oslo and Bergen in the summer time. If you are travelling to Bodø on the train, it will end there, but you can get a bus to take you on to Fauske all the way along the Arctic Highway via Lapland (aka Finnmark) to Kirkenes and return. The service from Fauske to Alta is year-round, but you can only access the region from Alta to Kirkenes from June to October.

There are no reservation systems for buses, as you pay the driver when you board. Each fare will depend on the distance you travel. The only route you will need to make a reservation for is the one from Oslo to Sweden to Hammerfest, called ‘Express 2000’ that takes about thirty hours. Children under 4 travel for free and children from 4 to 16, along with seniors pay half the cost of an adult ticket.



Renting a Car

If you wish to make the road trip all your own, rental cars are available with a few international companies to choose from. The cars are well-maintained and if you can reserve in advance the prices are fairly reasonable. If you have an AA (Automobile Association), AAA (American Automobile Association) or AARP membership, you may even get promotional deals.

Other than the well-known rental car companies, you can contact Kemwel (www.kemwel.com). They will have a listing of all available cars in Europe, including in Norway. They can offer a prepaid system to a wide variety of cars and you can save more money if you plan in advance with Kemwel than directly contacting the other rental car companies. A credit card will be used to prepay for your car and you will need to present a national driver’s license and even an international permit would be a good idea. Regarding insurance, even if you have a North American policy, it may not always cover the rental. Just double-check the paperwork.

If you can travel via car in Norway, this is sure to be a road-trip of a lifetime with the dazzling scenery you will pass at every bend, fjord and mountain. It is important to know that not all roads are paved and some are more often dirt and gravel, so planning a little extra time for travel is a good idea. A popular route is going around Oslo and going south to Stavanger.

**If you are travelling to Norway in the winter and you plan on renting a car, be prepared to travel a bit more slowly with even a chance for delays due to know over the mountain passes. The roads are well-maintained throughout the winter months with snowplows, but hard-pack snow and ice is often a hazard. Just take your time and be sure the car you rent has proper tires and chains available for challenging conditions.



Ferry

If you are going via car in Norway and travelling through the fjord regions, there are some bridges, however to cross some of them, you will need to board with your car to get across. there is a large network of ferry companies privately run to get cars across the numerous fjords and waterways. Before you get on the road, you should be able to find a tourism office that can give you a map of getting around Norway by car that will also have the ferry schedules.

However, the ferries are not only for those travelling by car. With almost 100,000 miles of coastline, the ferries and boats are a popular way to travel and catch the scenery. From the mainland urban centers to the smaller towns on the islands there are ferries and boats you can catch on a fairly regular basis. If you are travelling from Bergen to Kirkenes and back there is one line that combines those who need transport with their cars, local travelers and cruises for tourists. The line is called ‘Hurtigruten’ (www.hurtigruten.co.uk) and you can board at many ports along the western coastline from the south in Bergen to the north in Kirkenes. If you are aboard for a cruise, the cabins are cozy and the food is great along with the spectacular views passing along the coastline of the fjords.

For more information regarding the local ferries, most of the local accommodations and hotels can give you all the details about the water transport, times and cruise options available near your stay.



Travel Routes & Itineraries

A few days: If you can visit Norway for a few days, it is best to pick one destination. As you read this guide, you will discover that there are many places to visit and tour around. As moving from one place to another can take a fair amount of time, it might help you decide where to go, depending on the type of visit you want. Norway has at least two or three cities that are youthful and vibrant and full of attractions and things to do, even in the outdoors. However, on the other side of urban scenery there are plenty of remote locations that are possible to explore within a few days. Once you are there, it is relatively easy to get around and see the sights thanks to great public transportation all over the country. So pick a place, go and have the most fun you can!

Up to One Week: The season you travel to Norway might determine what you can do and see within a week’s time. During the summer months, it is peak tourist season, so you may pay more, however, travelling and getting to most destinations will be quicker and more efficient. Pick an urbanesque destination like Oslo, Bergen or Trondheim. If you want to see more outside of these cities getting out in nature to tour the fjords, hike or more is only just outside the city limits. If you go in the wintertime, it might be best to choose just one destination, as weather conditions may cause complications with getting to other destinations. Go on a snow vacation in Geilo or sea the quaint and charming city of Bergen (You can fly directly there from most places). The wintery views of the fjords there will be gorgeous and unforgettable.

Two Weeks: What can you do and see in Norway in two weeks? Pick a couple locations. Domestic travel is easy and there are plenty of options. If you can fly, there are many possibilities, but if you are trying to save money and going on the road, getting from one place to another can take a bit more time. Just plan in advance. The best way to see Norway in two weeks would be to pick one town or city, see both the center of town and the natural surroundings and pick another region, maybe more out-of-the-way. Start in Oslo or Trondheim and go to the west to spend a week in the Fjordlands or head north to explore Finnmark and the most northern beauty of the country. If you travel in the winter, this might be the perfect opportunity for all you snowbunnies to get in a long ski vacation. Geilo comes to mind.

Three or More Weeks: In three week’s time, you can see a lot in Norway and a diverse range. The best vacation might be to hop to and from the main cities of Norway; Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen and/or Stavanger. These cities are alive with culture, history and entertainment. From these city centers, many are good starting grounds to bounce to outer locations to see the wild nature of the countryside. Take the train, as you will have time from Oslo to Bergen for one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. If you are in Bergen be sure to catch a ferry up the coast of the endless and iconic fjords, make your way north to Bodø where you can easily ferry around to the outlying islands. Or go south to Stavanger and head out for hiking and other outdoor activities in the surrounding areas where there is nothing between you and Mother Nature.



Detailed & Themed Itineraries



A Few Days...

See what you can… Fly into Oslo and stay here the time of your stay. There is plenty to see and do about the city to get a feel of the Norwegian culture, food, nightlife, sights and a touch of nature is not far off. Book a city tour or two so you don’t miss anything in Oslo. Head just outside the city to view the fjord, go hiking, take a cruise.

> A quick getaway… Pick a destination, any destination. Fly straight into Bergen or Bodø. Stay in the city center for a day and one night and then just get away. Go see the fjords, the sea, the mountains and take a cruise among them. Go hiking and/or rent a bike and see nature in Norway and all its glory before you have to get back to ‘reality’.



Up to One Week...

Urban/Outdoor Adventure at its best... Fly into Trondheim, Norway’s big university city and see all the sights it can offer and party all night in the bars, pubs and nightclubs. The next few days you can catch a bus to the region outside of the city center and hike, bike, or just relax off the excess from city nightlife and enjoy the wonders and beauty of the backdoors to get refreshed and ready for one more full day in the city before you fly out.

> Ski Holiday… Fly into Bergen or Oslo just for one day and a night to see what they have to offer in the ways of local culture and just a good location to unwind from the long travel. Get a connection out the next day straight to Geilo and spend the remainder of your vacation on the slopes and playing in the powder.

> Iconic Outdoors Norway trip… Fly to Oslo and just stay for 24-hours and book a city tour so as not to miss anything. See the sights, the historical and cultural aspects and then head to western Norway and spend the rest of your time exploring the fjords along the coastline. Hike, take pictures, rent a bike and just breathe.



Up to Two Weeks…

The best spots in Norway… Pick two main spots to see; Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen and/or Stavanger. Fly into one and see what you can see for a couple days including the surrounding areas. Go shopping, visit the markets and make time to see the historical aspects of these regions, because it is worth it. You can only hike so many hours in a day. Relax and have a couple days as the locals might in the cafes and just walking about the cozy city centers.

> Remote splendor… Fly into Bergen or Bodø and then get out of the way of as many people as you can. Bring your camping gear, ‘cause you might need it. Spend long days out in the wilderness and if you haven’t enough time to get back to any village or town, pitch your tent and light a fire. Take a once-in-a-lifetime vacation and just be one with nature. Go fishing, rent a bike and just pop into a small village or two to fuel up on supplies before you disappear once more.

> Do you want to ski, hike, or road trip it? Pick which activity suits your ideal trip to Norway and/or budget and just go on that. On the road you can see a lot on your own and travel as you like. Start in Oslo or Bergen and even Bodø in the summer and drive where you’d like. Stretch your legs on a good hike every once in a while and cross on a ferry to another destination for views of the fjordlands. If you’re into hiking, make a list of the national forests, trails and viewpoints you want to check off your list and plan your travel; air, bus, train and/or ferry trips from there. Want to ski? Go to Geilo for a two-week ski vacation and luxury stay in Geilo, but maybe make a side trip and head up to the super-remote north and spend a couple nights outside of Bodø and stay in a snow/ice hotel.


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