Norway – the land of fjords and Vikings!
Far away and snow laden, this is the land of the Vikings and the Highlanders, trolls and fabulous fjords. Norway will charm you with breathtaking natural beauty, Northern Lights, excursions, fishing and many other activities. This is a country with very friendly people who respect the individuality of each person and who generously welcomes visitors, warming them with the warmth of their hospitality in this harsh climate.
Norway is situated in northern Europe, in the west of the Scandinavian Peninsula and other small islands, including the archipelago of Svalbard, Bear Island, Jan Mayen and Buven. This Kingdom shares borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia and washes the shores of the Barents, Norwegian and the North Sea. The name of the country is from the ancient word meaning "the way of the north."
The climate is temperate near the sea on the coast, in the north it is subarctic and it is continental in the center. The average winter temperature ranges from +2C to -12C in the north, +15C in the summer (the north +6C), but can reach +25C.
The Kingdom of Norway is a constitutional monarchy, ruled by a king and is included in the Schengen area.
The population is about 5 million people, with the majority living in the south, west and east. The national language is Norwegian, but many people also speak English. The Religion is- Evangelical Lutheranism, but only 2% of the population regularly attend church and many do not believe in God.
The capital is the city of Oslo (about 900 000 people).
Norway is the largest producer of oil and gas in northern Europe.
The official currency is the Norwegian Krone (1EUR = 8.5NOK). There are no limits on funds that you can take in and out of the country. You can exchange money at the post office and banks and exchange offices. Travelers checks and credit cards are accepted everywhere. ATM's are prevalent.
The importation of milk products, meat and vegetables are strictly prohibited. To violate the rights of customs, you risk having your VISA revoked but also being refused entry back into the country for a long time.
Public transport is excellent including buses, trams, subways and ferries. Single ticket around 2EUR, daily passes are about 5EUR. Taxis are expensive (with landing at 3-4EUR and 1.3EUR per km). On the western territory there are many fjords and a it is very convenient to travel by water.
Hotels do not have classification numbers (stars) but are always clean and offer good service.
It is recommended that you buy an Oslo Card which then allows free entry to most of the museums and also for public transport without limit (1 day = 20EUR, 2 days = 30EUR, 3 days = 35EUR).
Oslo is regarded as the most cozy capital of Northern Europe. Essential sightseeing includes a walking tour of the city, a tour of the Oslo fjord, "road trolls" and "Norway in a nutshell" which is a trip along the western shore. There are also Museums and the Viking ship sculpture park, "Kon-Tiki". Other must see cities include Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, Narvik, Flom and Tromso Aalesund. The country is known for its ski resorts, including Trysil, Hemsedal, Lillehammer, Geilo, Hafjell and Golmenkollen.
The cuisine of Norway is dictated by the cold climate and the surrounding seas and, as such, salmon is the main product, especially Laks which is grilled or smoked salmon. Other foods include fish, meat, cereals and dairy products. The foods can be bloated, pickled and fermented, which helps to preserve food for the winter. Traditional dishes include lutefisk (dried fish, soaked and dried), fårikål (lamb with cabbage and potatoes), rakfisk - fermented trout, sandwiches, whale meat and goat cheese. The traditional alcoholic drink is akvavit. Alcohol is very expensive ("Finnish Act").
There is a variety of store types across the different cities of the country. This includes farmers' stalls, where you weigh the fruits and vegetables yourself and just leave the correct money.
Typical Norwegian souvenirs include troll figures, smoked fish and deer hides.
Enjoy your travels!