10 Things About Norway First Time Travelers Need to Know
Norway is always present in ever travel bucket list or dream destination but even lesser people know information of the place which might make the trip for first time travelers difficult. Here are some tips and advice for those who are thinking of planning a trip to Norway any time soon.
Always keep in mind that Norway is a VERY large country
Travelers typically underestimate just how big the country is and pretty much neglect travel time and distances. The number one mistake anyone could ever make is having a too tight itinerary and detailed schedules without time allowances for unexpected happenings.
Prepare to be self-reliant.
The topography is very complex and public transport is most often limited to just one or two trips every day. Norway is modern and has plenty of well-organized tours and transport services but the country has so much stretch of land that would make travelers feet tingle from the prospect of walking adventures and road trips.
Norway is sparsely populated
For a country with a mainland span of distance equating NY City to Miami and one of the longest coastlines in the world, Norway only has a population of less than 5 million inhabitants. Finnmark, the largest and most northerly county, has only 70,000 inhabitants.
Don’t miss the landscape and nature for the cities allure.
Norway offers all sorts of natural attractions ranging from fjords, islands, coastline, forest, lakes, mountains and waterfalls. Norway may have interesting and reputable cities but the best and greatest landscapes places to visit are found in remote rural districts, not in popular cities or national parks.
Norway does not have an arctic climate.
The south-west coast (Bergen) has a mild humid climate like Britain and the Netherlands. The east (Oslo and “eastern valleys”) has a kind of continental climate, and summers can be quite warm (20-30 C). Most settlements and all major cities are close to the sea and therefore enjoys the warm Gulf Stream.
Fjords are found all over the country.
Fjords are Norway’s most famous attraction and can be found typically in West Norway from Stavanger to Kristiansund as well is in North Norway (until about Tromsø). It is better to visit the ones in route to your itinerary rather than detour to the famous ones.
The Midnight sun experience.
The midnight sun can be seen only during summer anywhere north of Bodø, and on very short nights, even further south. The midnight sun is an important part or the Nordic summer where the sky hardly ever gets dark.
Norway is expensive…
The country is among the richest in the world and thus cost of living is high. This is especially true to personal services and food, transport and accommodations. VAT will always be included in the bill. However nature and wilderness is free for all and some state institutions like museums don’t have admission fees.
..But cheap eats are still available
You can get around the expensive restaurants prices by choosing to buy from supermarkets. Budget supermarkets offers reasonable prices and can be found almost anywhere. You can also opt to eat at bakeries, which is more or less equally satisfying as restaurants or in pizzerias if you’re really stretching your finances.
Health and security.
Standards of living here is very high and most tourists don’t have problems regarding personal safety. Tap water is potable and safe for drinking and fresh produce are of quality. Summer also provides almost 24 hour daylight which adds to security. Accidents are limited to nature-related so keep distance from cliffs, rock edges, glaciers and waterfalls.