Norway

Where will your dreams take you?

Capital is Oslo; country size is 149,000 square miles (385,000 square kilometers); Population is approximately 5.2 million; time zone is Central European Time (CET); country dialing code is +47.

Entry Requirements (Passports and Visas)PASSPORTS: Norway is not a member of the European Union, but it is a member of a broader group of countries called the European Economic Area and part of the Schengen Area. That means citizens of European Union countries simply need a valid identity card to visit Norway. Citizens of any other country seeking to enter Norway will need a passport that is valid for at least four months from the date of entry into Germany. VISAS: Citizens of many countries outside the European Union may need a visa to visit Norway; however, U.S. citizens for example do not since the United States falls under the Schengen Agreement. That agreement allows for certain countries, such as the United States, to visit EU countries for up to 90 days every 180 days (i.e. approximately three months within a six-month period). Before planning travel, use the iVisa search function below to verify requirements.

  • By Plane – Most international flights will arrive and depart from Oslo. However, flying around inside Norway is easy with connecting flights to Bergen, Stavanger, Tromso, Kirkenes, and Svolvaer.
  • By Train – It is easy to get to almost anywhere in Norway by train. There are more than 1,864 miles of railway line traveling across 2,577 bridges, through 733 tunnels, and passing by mountains, lakes and, of course, fjords. Rail routes of note include The Bergen Railway connecting Oslo with Bergen, the Flam Railway, The Dovre Railway between Oslo and Trondheim and The Rauma Railway between Dombas and Andalsnes. You can research ticket prices and train routes on Vy’s website (formerly the NSB, the official train company in Norway).
  • By Bus – If you are looking to go shorter distances, buses in Norway are a great option. But if traveling a long distance, opt for the train as it is typically much faster and less expensive. Vy now owns Nettbuss and operates specific routes throughout Norway. NOR-WAY Bussekspress is another major operator and its routes cover most of Norway.
  • By Car – Travel by car is very easy in Norway and renting a car is relatively uncomplicated. But there are a few things to keep top of mind: First, while most roads in Norway are well-maintained, mountain and rural roads can be very narrow, winding and, in the mountains, very steep. Second, speed limits are posted in kilometers per hour and they are strictly enforced – fines for speeding are high and enforced. If you rent a car, know the speed limits (a driver is expected to know them) and stay within them at all times – Norway is such a beautiful country there is no need to race through it after all! Third, all rental cars will be outfitted with an AutoPASS device to automatically pay tolls without stopping and, yes, you will pay a convenience fee for this. No special driver’s license is needed aside from your United States license if you are there for less than a year.
  • By Ferry – As one might expect, a country with so many fjords and such a lengthy coastline would have a robust ferry service. In addition to numerous express boats and ferries connecting towns and villages, the Hurtigruten serves 30 ports on its daily route up and down the coast from Bergen to Kirkenes. It is a classic and amazingly beautiful way to experience Norway, as well as a sometimes more direct way to travel in the coastal area. Be sure to read Hurtigruten Cruises: Travel booking tips.

Language – Norwegian is the official language of Norway (Sami is recognized as an official language in some northern parts of the country), though frankly in most areas of the country, you will do just fine with English. Before you go, however, do try to learn a few basic words in Norwegian as it will help break the ice and may even open a few doors for you.

Learn to speak a bit of Norwegian so you can get around more easily and don’t stand out as a tourist! Read our story Start to learn languages – Top language learning apps and websites.

Health –  Ticks are prevalent between April through November in the southernmost part of Norway and up the coast from Oslo to Helgelandskysten. These ticks can carry Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Be sure to use insect repellent or wear insect repellent clothing when walking in forests and fields. Ask your doctor about needing a TBE vaccination if you plan to spend significant time walking in these areas.

For over-the-counter medications and other minor health issue advice (sore muscles, cough, cold, etc.) you will go to an “Apotek” or pharmacy. Should you need a doctor or emergency care while in Norway, be sure your health insurance will cover you internationally — and know at what level. We strongly advise purchasing travel health insurance that will cover you in the event of an emergency.

Vaccinations – No vaccinations are required to enter Norway. However, it is very important you understand what vaccinations and immunization proof is required before travel as rules certainly change. The CDC Traveler’s Health page is your best and most up-to-date source for finding what shots are recommended and which are required for any country in the world.

Travel Advisories – Before you travel, we would recommend checking to see if there are any travel advisories or warnings issued for your intended country of travel. Also, for U.S. citizens, we do recommend that you register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

Emergencies – To reach the police, fire department or ambulance service, dial 112. Calling 112 is free from any landline or mobile phone. This is throughout Europe.

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Managing Money — The Norwegian Krone is the currency of Norway and is represented most often as NOK. Use the calculator from Oanda below to help you manage your money exchanges and know how much something selling in NOK would cost in dollars. And in Norway, credit cards and other electronic means of making payments, such as Apple Pay are widely accepted.

Currency Converter by OANDA

 

 

Late spring to early autumn (think May through early October) are the best times to visit if you are seeking warmer, sunnier weather — this is also the most crowded time to visit as a result.

To check the latest weather for any destination you are thinking of heading to in Germany, visit our weather page complete with weather radar and minute-by-minute forecasting.

What to do in Oslo: The ultimate Oslo city guide

What to do in Oslo: The ultimate Oslo city guide

Our Oslo city guide will help you make the most of your visit. Central Oslo is compact, cozy, walkable and enjoyable, especially with our Ultimate City Guide to Oslo. You’ll see Norway’s Resistance Museum, Akershus Fortress, The Viking Ship Museum, the Royal Palace, Vigeland Park and so much more.

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Cheery red flowers on barren trees in Kirkenes, Norway

Cheery red flowers on barren trees in Kirkenes, Norway

On a few hour break from our Hurtigruten ship, the Midnatsol before it would depart the dock to head back south along the Norwegian coast toward Oslo, we took a little walk through Kirkenes. Although mid-day, it felt more like twilight and everything was icy and snow-covered. We ended up along the banks of an inlet with Nordic skiing tracks.

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Kirkenes – Arctic light becomes artist’s delight

Kirkenes – Arctic light becomes artist’s delight

Kirkenes is located in the farthest (and iciest and darkest) reaches of northeastern Norway, a stone’s throw from the Russian border. It is approximately 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle off the Barents Sea. The small town serves as the northernmost port for the Hurtigruten coastal ferry and the northern terminus of the E6, the main road that runs north-south between Kirkenes and Oslo.

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Food and drink on Hurtigruten cruises in Norway

Food and drink on Hurtigruten cruises in Norway

You’ve booked your dream Hurtigruten cruise up the coast of Norway. Time to get ready for the onboard experience. Of course, a key part of this experience is food and drink on the Hurtigruten cruises in Norway. We learned by doing, and we hope you can also learn about Hurtigruten food choices and Hurtigruten drink options from our personal experiences.

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Eight reasons to visit Trondheim

Eight reasons to visit Trondheim

How many reasons do you need to visit Trondheim, Norway? Trondheim is one of Norway’s oldest cities and also boasts a vibrant cultural life. Despite its size, its historic city center still feels intimate. Visit Bakklandet, Old Town Bridge, Nidaros Cathedral and walk the Nidelva River.

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Choosing Hurtigruten cabins: differences, details

Choosing Hurtigruten cabins: differences, details

Prepping and planning for your Hurtigruten voyage can be a challenge, especially when it comes to picking the best cabin class for you among the many Hurtigruten cabins since there are 14-plus different types and shapes, although not all are available on all ships. Still, weighing out your ROI (Return on Investment!) is key. Do not just pick the cheapest Hurtigruten cabin OR the most expensive OR leave it to the Hurtigruten staff to necessarily steer you straight.

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Theta Museum in Bergen: tiny room with a huge story

Theta Museum in Bergen: tiny room with a huge story

It was a secret room then and, for many, it remains a secret museum and hidden room today. It is the itty-bitty Theta Museum, a minute 170-square-foot (16 square meters) low-ceiling room hidden away on an upper floor of the Bryggen wharf area in Bergen. The museum was the headquarters of the Theta Group, an important part of the Norwegian Resistance during WWII. Fascinating in its story, the room was reconstructed exactly how it looked when it operated with a few young men and one woman from 1940-1942 as their secret headquarters.

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Aurora borealis: hunting the northern lights around the world

Aurora borealis: hunting the northern lights around the world

Hunting the northern lights is, for many, a lifetime dream – viewing a night sky ablaze in phosphorescent green light that seems to move and swirl like luminescent smoke. The northern lights are a natural phenomenon that through the centuries has inspired legend, mystery, fear and awe. We had been teased the night before with a mild show of light, but this swirl is what greeted us on Nov. 15 as we exited a replica Viking king’s house following a theatrical “feast” near the Norwegian village of Stamsund. There were no words …. Many just stood and stared.

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Hurtigruten cruise excursions – Insider tips and advice

Hurtigruten cruise excursions – Insider tips and advice

Once you get your Hurtigruten cruise along the coast of Norway booked, it’s time to start thinking about what Hurtigruten cruise excursions you may want to add on – or if you can do some on your own. Like a regular cruise line, the Hurtigruten cruise ferries do have shore and city excursions that cover everything from city walking tours and bus trips to museums to a dinner at a Viking museum or dog sledding.

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