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Holidays in Norway

Understanding Norway

Norway is well known for its amazing and varied scenery The fjords in the west of the country are long narrow inlets, flanked on either side by tall mountains where the sea penetrates far inland Norway was an old Viking kingdom Economically it is known for its oil and seafood exports

Norway is a sparsely populated country, roughly the same land size as Great Britain or Germany It has a population of only 476 million people but a land area of 385,155 square kilometers Thus, for each inhabitant there is 70,000 square meters of land, but the vast majority of this land is a rocky wilderness which is completely unusable for agricultural purposes As a result, Norway has a large number of completely unpopulated areas, many of which have been converted to national parks Even outside the national parks, much of the land is unspoiled nature, which Norwegians strive to keep unspoiled

In winter, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and snowboarding are very popular In summer, hiking and biking are obvious ways to enjoy the enormous mountain areas For the adventurous, kayaking, wildwater rafting, paragliding, cave or glacier exploration are possible Car tourists will enjoy driving along the fjords and mountains in the west or to the midnight sun in the north In short, Norway has a lot to offer in terms of nature Norwegians take pride in keeping fit and being sporty a Sunday walk is not 20 min to the pub but rather three-four hours or more in the forest or up a mountain

Norway is on a large peninsula shared with Sweden in the north of Europe In the north, it also borders Finland and Russia A large but loosely defined northern part of Norway and Sweden, as well as parts of Finland and Russia outlines an area known as Sapmi Sameland, which is where the most of the Sami people traditionally lived Today, most of the Sami people live in the capital, Oslo

A rugged landscape shaped by the Ice Age, shows forested hills and valleys, mountains, waterfalls, and a long coastline with fjords, islands, and mountains growing directly up from the sea Norway's highest point is Galdhøpiggen, 2469m 8100ft in the Jotunheimen region that lies midway between Oslo and Trondheim, but away from the coast In the far north Finnmark, you will find flatter open spaces Several of the worlds greatest waterfalls 2 are in Norway, particularly in the western fjords and the mountain region

Norway's primary income is the petroleum industry in the North Sea It also has several other natural resources such as fish and minerals, some industry, and a healthy technology sector Politically, it is dominated by a widespread and continued support for the Scandinavian model, which means high taxes and high government spending to support free schools, free healthcare, an efficient welfare system and many other benefits As a result the unemployment rate in Norway is extremely low about 2%

The Norwegian people have rejected membership in the European Union EU in two independent popular votes in 1972 and 1994, both times just by a few percent, after being vetoed out of membership by France in the 50s and 60s However, being a member state of the European Economic Area and part of the Schengen agreement, Norway is closely connected to the EU, and integrated as a full member in most economic matters, as well as in customs and immigration matters This is of great economic importance to Norway

Norway is a Christian country, so Sunday is considered a holy day and most business are closed Sundays Many gas stations are open 24-7, some malls are partly open and restaurants are normally open, but this varies from place to place Christmas and Easter are major holidays in Norway, and most Norwegians are on vacation for more than one week Formally it is a Christian country with a dominant Lutheran majority of near 90 %, but this number is skewed by a type of automatic membership of the state church, where people become automatic members when they're baptised or if one of the parents is a member In reality, roughly 3/4 is atheist or agnostic Because of this, Norway has become rather liberal in moral issues and thus more similar to southern neighbors like Denmark and the Netherlands Prostitution is as of 112009 illegal in Norway Homosexuality is accepted by most people and recently 2008 same-sex marriage was given the same legal status as traditional marriage For instance, a previous male minister of finance and prominent figure in the conservative party is in partnership with a prominent male business manager

As one of the richest countries in the world and with a strong currency, most visitors should be prepared for greater expenses than at home In addition, Norway has a very compressed wage structure which means that even the typical low skill work is relatively well paid For the same reason, firms try to keep the number of staff as low as possible, even for low skill service work On the other hand, many attractions in Norway are free of charge, most notably the landscape and nature itself


Climate

Because of the gulf stream, the climate in Norway is noticeably warmer than what would otherwise be expected at such a high latitude Almost half the length of Norway is north of the arctic circle Summers can be moderately warm up to 30 degrees C, even in northern areas, but only for limited periods The length of the winter and amount of snow varies In the north there is more snow and winters are dark; on the southern and western coast, winters are moderate and rainy, while further inland the temperature can fall below -25 degrees C Some mountain areas have permanent glaciers

In Northern Norway there is 24 hour sunshine in the summer and no sun at all at mid-winter Although Southern Norway can not enjoy the midnight sun, at midsummer the night is very short even in Oslo - it doesn't get really dark at all For comparison it gets as dark as NYC at around 8:45, when the sky is dark blue but not completely night

When

Norway generally has big differences in daylight, temperature and driving conditions across seasons Travellers are therefore advised to obtain specific information about seasonal variations when planning a trip Note that seasonal variations crucially depend on region as well as altitude Note in particular that the area with midnight sun north of the arctic circle also has winter darkness polar night when the sun does not rise above the horizon at all

Norwegian weather is most pleasant during the summer May to early September If you like snow, go to Norway in December to April Along the coasts and in southern part of West Norway there is little snow or frost and few opportunities for skiing even in winter In the mountains there is snow until May and some mountain passes opens end of May If you come in the beginning of May some passes can be still closed, but since the snow is melting very quickly, you will get a possibility to enjoy plenty of waterfalls before they shallow or disappear And in this time the number of tourists is very small Spring in Norway is quite intense due to the abundance of water melting snow in conjunction with plenty of sunlight and quickly rising temperatures typically in May

Be aware that daylight varies greatly during the year In Oslo, the sun sets at around 330 PM in December North of the Arctic Circle one can experience the midnight sun and polar night winter darkness However, even at Oslo's latitude, summer nights exist only in the form of prolonged twilight during June and July, these gentle "white nights" can also be a nice and unusual experience for visitors The polar or northern light aurora borealis occurs in the darker months, frequently at high latitudes Northern Norway but occasionaly also further South

Norway is a Christian predominantly Lutheran country and the Lutheran church is a government institution Christmas and Easter are major holidays and many Norwegians are away from work for a full week or more The major holidays are Easter, Christmas Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are all considered holidays, and the "common vacation" throughout July In May there are several holidays including constitution day - the main national celebration and an attraction in itself The Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17th is a celebration of the day in 1814 when Norway’s constitution was signed The day is celebrated in every city and tiny village across the country - in the morning all the schoolchildren parade through their town or local community, singing, shouting and waving their flags - walking behind colorful banners that represent either their school or their class Marching bands play Everyone dresses up - many wear our colourful national costumes After the Children's Parade, people usually gather in the school-yards for further celebrations: speeches, games for the kids, and food The 17th of May is primarily the children's day - filled with ice cream, cotton candy, balloons and games In most cities there are additional parades, usually in the afternoon, where all kinds of clubs & organizations take part - usually with a humouristic aspect Notice the russ - 18-year-olds dressed in red, partying and celebrating having finished 13 years of school The russ might appear somewhat calm & quiet on the 17th - but that's only because they've been partying for a month nonstop The 17th of May offers an opportunity to sample some of the traditional Norwegian dishes - such as "Rømmegrøt", a sour-cream porridge, served with cured meat Salmon is also a National Day favourite

Public holidays schools and offices closed:

  • January 1 - New Years day
  • Maundy Thursday Holy Thursday, "Skjærtorsdag"
  • Good Friday "Langfredag"
  • Easter Sunday "påskedag"
  • Second day of Easter Monday "andre påskedag"
  • May 1 - Labour day
  • May 17 - Constitution Day National Celebration in the streets
  • Ascension Thursday "Kristi himmelfart"
  • Pentecost Whit Sunday, "pinsedag"
  • Pentecost 2ed Whit Monday, "andre pinsedag"
  • December 25 - Christmas Day "juledag"
  • December 26 - Boxing Day "andre juledag"


Note that many Norwegian holidays are celebrated on the day before Holy Saturday, Christmas Eve etc On Christmas Eve "julekveld", "julaften", New Years Eve "nyttårsaften", Holy Saturday "påskeaften" and Saturday before Pentecost "pinseaften" shops close early Norwegians also celebrate midsummer at St John's day on June 24 by making a bonfire late evening the day before - "StJohn's Eve" "StHansaften" or "Jonsokaften"

Talking in Norway

Norwegian is the official language of Norway The language is very close and mutually intelligible with the two other Scandinavian languages, Danish and Swedish, and more distantly related though not mutually intelligible in spoken form with Icelandic and Faroese, but completely unrelated to Finnish Sami is a minority language which has official status in some Northern regions Road signs and other public information is then provided in both Norwegian and Sami note that Norwegian and Sami place names may differ, maps will typically use the Norwegian name Sami is related to Finnish, but not to Scandinavian languages There is no standard spoken Norwegian and a wide range of dialects is used even in public broadcasting, and there are even two standard ways of writing it, Bokmål and Nynorsk

Most Norwegians below 60 speak English well So, learning any Norwegian before your travel is not necessary Just asking the person you are talking to if he or she speaks English will suffice For the last 2-3 decades a lot of Norwegians have spent at least a few years learning either German or French at school, however this is nowhere near the number of people who speak English Spanish and Italian are now growing increasingly popular, but almost exclusively at larger schools in the largest cities

In addition, a wide range of minorities live in Norway, both native and more recent immigrant groups Several languages are spoken by cultural groups without having status as official languages, like Romani, Finnish, Kven and Urdu A great deal of immigrants are from Arab countries like Iraq and Pakistan Somali immigrants also make up a large share of immigrants

The capital, Oslo, is quite a melting pot It is a multi-cultural city with many different ethnic groups, in addition to all Norwegian dialects, a large number of languages from all corners of the world can be heard in Oslo Stavanger also has a lot of "western immigration" due to a large NATO headquarter being located there as well as the oil industry

What to do in Norway

A great introduction to Norway is the one-day Norway in a Nutshell 34 package on a single ticket from Oslo or Bergen into the mountains, with a boat trip through the fjords You can break the trip at several interesting cabins for walking or just admiring the view, and even hire a mountain bike for part of the journey One of the highlights of the 'Norway in a Nutshell' package is Flåmsbana 35, a 20km railway that's one of the steepest in the world Along the way you'll see beautiful mountains, rivers, valleys, waterfalls, and other beautiful sights on your way to the town of Flåm

  • Go on top of the nearest top/mountain Just for the walk And for the view
  • Try the fine beer pilsner from the oldest brewery in Norway, Aass Bryggeri pronounced: åås


Hiking

Norway has endless opportunties for hiking in its wide wilderness, from easy walks in Oslo's city forest to alpine climbing in Jotunheimen or Troms A number of areas are protected as national parks, but most the country is equally attractive and available to the public

In Norway, travelers enjoy a right to access, which means it is possible to camp freely in most places for a couple of days, as long as you're not on cultivated land and provided you are at least 150 m away from houses and farm buildings Don't leave any traces and take your rubbish away for recycling

Den Norske Turistforening DNT 36 The Norwegian Mountain Touring Association operates many staffed and self-service mountain cabins, marks mountain routes, offers maps and route information, guided tours, and several other services for mountain hikers in Norway

Skiing

Both cross country and alpine skiing are popular sports in the winter, and the largest areas, Trysil,Hafjell or Hemsedal for example, compete well with the Alps Telemark is also a nice area to ski in The birth place of cross country ski Voss, Geilo and Oppdal are other major ski resorts Around Oslo there is large park ideal for cross-country skiing In Stryn, at Galdhøpiggen and at Folgefonna there alpine ski centres that are open in summer only May-September, offering unique opportunities for alpine skiing in T-shirt and short pants

Cycling

In Norway, you can rent, virtually everywhere, a bicycle Cycling routes exist usually near bigger cities; you can find some tours at Cycle tourism in Norway 37 Some roads and tunnels are forbidden for cyclists as they are life-threatening; read the section By bicycle above

Buying stuff in Norway

The Norwegian currency is the Norwegian crown norske krone, abbreviated kr A 1/100th krone is called øre When you need to disambiguate the Norwegian krone from eg the Swedish or Danish krone, use the official three-letter abbreviation NOK As of May 2010, there is about 8 NOK to one euro

Coins come in 50 øre, 1, 5, 10, and 20 kroner Paper notes come in 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 kroner

ATMs in Norway are called Minibank There is no problem locating an ATM machine in urban areas At main airports and Oslo Central Station, you can withdraw euros, dollars, british pounds, swedish, danish and norwegian kroner Nearly all stores, with the notable exception of grocery stores and the post office, accept major credit cards such as Mastercard and Visa bring your passport/driver's license, as you are required to identify yourself when using a credit card

Costs

Norway is an expensive country While it is possible to travel in Norway on a limited budget, some care must be taken Because labour is costly, anything that can be seen as a "service" will in general be more expensive than you expect Travel costs can also be a killer, because the country is large and distances long, so a rail or air pass can save you a lot of money

As rules of thumb, subsisting on under 500 kr/day will be difficult even if you stay in hostels and self-cater, with 1000 kr/day allowing a more comfortable mid-range lifestyle and over 2000 kr/day needed for good hotels and good restaurants

Take care when buying alcohol and tobacco It will most certainly be more expensive than you expect A 400 or 500 ml beer in a pub or restaurant will cost upwards of 50 kr whilst a 500 ml can of 47% beer in a supermarket costs about 20 kr Cigarettes cost about 70 kr for a pack of 20 all 2007 prices, and a bottle of 500 ml Coke will usually cost 15 kr On the positive side: Norway has good quality tap water Buying bottled drinking water is usually unnecessary and this will help your budget

Fast food restaurants like McDonalds and Burger King are also more expensive than in most countries due to the produce and strict regulations that Norway has on food A large BigMac menu will set you back around 100 kr €115, $171 or £1044, the same goes for a Double Whopper Cheese menu Also, keep in mind that most bakeries, fast food chains, and other types of restaurants that offer takeout, have to charge more if you eat it at the restaurant than if you take it with you

In Norway, waiters are not dependent on tips from customers as they are in the US, as they are well paid However, tipping is not unusual in mid- to high-end cafés and restaurants, but only if you feel you have been treated well Tipping cab drivers is usual if you travel for more than 200 kr, but you will get no reaction from the driver should you choose not to tip, so this may be a new experience to American and English tourists Tipping is never considered offensive

If you are a bit careful about your expenses a daily budget of around 1500 NOK €190 per day is not unrealistic

You can save some money by buying supplies in Sweden instead, like many Norwegians

Money exchange

It is possible to exchange money in most banks near tourist information offices, in the post-office or withdraw the money in local currency from the ATM In some places, however, they don't handle cash in the banks so they only way to exchange money is in the post offices where the exchange fee might be up to 75 kr 95 €, US$ 122!

You will get the best rate when you withdraw money from the ATM or simply pay with a credit card Note that the country is currently upgrading to a new system using computer chips embedded in the card and a pin number Credit cards with magnetic strips are still accepted throughout the country; however, you will have to let the merchant know that the you do not have a pin code you need to sign instead It is also important to note that sometimes a merchant system will not allow signatures, so it is a good precaution to have cash on hand to pay if needed

For example August 2009 the exchange rate in the bank was 8,75 NOK for €1 taking into consideration that it is not possible to exchange an amount for more than 5000 NOK per one transaction and there is a comission of 100 NOK for each transaction; in the tourist information office the rate exchange was 7,28 no comissions, by withdrawal from ATM the rate was 7,74 taking into consideration all the bank comissions

Shopping

Opening hours in Norway are better than they used to be, though many smaller stores still close early on Saturday 1 PM or 3 PM is typical and nearly everything is closed on Sundays Grocery stores particularly in the cities have long opening hours frequently until 10 or 11 PM on weekdays You'll often see opening hours written as "9-21 9-18" on doors, meaning 9 AM to 9 PM weekdays, 9 AM to 6 PM Saturday "McDonalds" and "Burger King" are also options The grocery market is dominated by a handful of chains covering most of Norway: Rimi, Rema 1000, Kiwi, Prix and Bunnpris are low price shops with a narrow selection of items; Coop, ICA and Spar have wider selection and better quality at a slightly higher price; Meny, Mega and Ultra have fewer shops and higher prices

Convenience stores, notably the major chains Narvesen and Mix all over the country, Deli de Luca Oslo, Stavanger, and Bergen only and 7-Eleven bigger cities only, are open from early morning until late at night every day, with 24 hour service in the biggest cities All over the country you will find gas-stations, Statoil, Shell, fresh/selected, YX HydroTexaco these days turning into 7-eleven with gas and Esso, On the Run Virtually all gas-stations serve fast-food, especially sausages and cheese Also hamburgers, pizza, and so on The gas-stations have long opening periods, and the bigger stations in cities and near bigger crossroads are open 24 hours Convenience stores and gas stations are relatively expensive

Most big cities have over the years been almost exclusively dominated by shopping malls Although you do have shopping streets like Karl Johans Gate in Oslo and in all of the major cities, you are bound to find malls around the country by Thon Gruppen and other major companies Norway is also home to Scandinavias biggest mall - Sandvika Storsenter - located 15 minutes outside Oslo by train In Oslo you have Byporten Shopping Senter and Oslo City located right next to Oslo S train station and Paléet and Arkaden Shopping in Karl Johans Gate

Getting "good deals" and bargaining is frowned upon in almost all stores The price you see, is the price you pay Although asking for a discount is perfectly ok, getting one will in most cases never happen If you plan on buying tax-free, a good practice is to bring with you the necessary forms Most stores do will have these forms at hand themselves but it is a good precaution Also, if you pay with credit card, you might have to sign the receipt which will require some form of ID, driver license and passport are both ok This is due to the strict nature of money transactions

Food and eating in Norway

Traditional Norwegian "farm" food is made by whatever can grow in the northern climate, be stored for a year until new crops come out, and contain enough energy for you to do hard work Regional variances in traditional food are huge and hence, and what is thought to be "typical traditional" for one Norwegian might be totally unknown to another Typical examples are variations of yeasted and unyeasted bread and other forms of bakery, porridges, soups, inventive uses of potato, salted and smoked meat, and fresh, salted or smoked fish Dried cod tørrfisk and salted cod klippfisk are staples of coastal communities in the north and can be seen drying on outside racks in spring and summer The national dish of Norway is fårikål, a stewed casserole of lamb's meat and cabbage

Finer traditional food is usually based on hunted animals or fresh fish Steak, medallions and meat balls from game, deer, reindeer and elk are highly appreciated foods with international reputation, so are fresh, smoked and fermented salmon varieties as well as a host of other fish products Traditional pastries like lukket valnøtt marzipan-covered whipped cream cake are other original contributions to international cuisine Cheese of various types is common, but one particularly Norwegian favorite is geitost goat-cheese, a mild smoked cheese which bears a remarkable similarity to smooth peanut butter in color, texture and taste

Today, Norwegians use plenty of sliced bread for almost any meal except dinner, whereas recipes for hot meals will be taken from almost anywhere in the world, including of course the traditional kitchen, but seldom the most extreme examples Lunch usually consists of some bread and snacks instead of a warm dish but this is then compensated by eating well at dinner time For this reason, it might be sometimes problematic to find an open restaurant or a place that would serve warm meals before 2PM

Norwegians are also known for eating a lot of frozen pizza

Places to eat

Whale anyone?

Yes, Norwegians eat whale However, it's very seldom found in most ordinary restaurants, and chances are it might be overly expensive Young Norwegians did not grow up with eating whale because of the moratorium in the 1980s Although whaling started up again in the early 1990s, whale is no longer a staple food as it once was in the coastal areas Norway only allows a limited catch of the minke whale as this specific species is not regarded endangered

Eating out is expensive, with fast food starting from 50 kr and sit-down meals in a decent restaurant nearly always topping 200 kr or more for a main course Even a take-away sandwich and a coffee at a gas station may cost you up to 70 kr 9 €, US$ 115 One way to cut costs is self-catering, as youth hostels and guesthouses often have kitchens for their guests Supermarkets and grocery stores are not hard to find, even in the smallest village there is usually more than one grocery store The largest chains are Rimi, REMA 1000, ICA and Joker Breakfast is often hearty and buffet-style, so pigging out at breakfast and skipping lunch is also an option Buy/bring a lunchbox before attending breakfast, as most of the bigger hotels will allow you to fill it up for free from the breakfast buffet for eating later in the day

For a cheap quick snack Norwegian-style, look no further than the nearest grill or convenience store, which will dish up a sausage pølse or hot dog kjempegrill in either a hot dog bun brød or wrapped in a flat potato bread lompe for around 20-30 kr However prices can soar as high as 50kr if you buy at the right read wrong places In addition to ketchup and mustard, optional toppings include pickled cucumber sylteagurk, fried onion bits stekt løk and shrimp salad rekesalat To get the most for your money, order a kebab i pita which is lamb meat roasted on a spit then fried when you order, served together with vegetables in a pita bread This tastes great, is extremely filling and can be found for as little as 25-40 kr

Vegetarians

Very few Norwegian cuisine restaurants have vegetarian meals on the menu, but will make something if asked, with varying success Some of the few chains of stores/restaurants where you will always have a vegetarian option is Peppes Pizza, Dolly Dimple's, SubWay and Esso/On the run spinach panini

Allergies and diets

If you have allergies like lactose intolerance and gluten allergy, going to Peppe's Pizza, Dolly Dimple's, Subway and Burger King are good suggestions But if you want to eat somewhere a little fancier, asking the maître d' at the restaurant is always good practice In some cases, if it is not on the menu, they might be able to accommodate you anyway

As the regulations for food is extremely strict in Norway, the ingredients for anything you buy is always printed on the packages, and if you ask, you will always be told what is contained in the food you order

Food safety

Food safety is very good in Norway Salmonella is very rare compared to other countries, and health officials inspect restaurants at a regular basis Also tap-water is usually very nice; Voss water from Vatnestrøm in Aust-Agder is actually exported abroad, including USA

Drinking in Norway

Aquavit

Aquavit Norwegian: akevitt is a distilled beverage of about 40 % alcohol originating in the Nordic countries and Germany Norwegian aquavit, however, separates from other aquavits in that they are always made from potatoes, and that they are aged in used sherry casks Receipes remain secret, but most Norwegian aquavits are spiced with caraway and anise There are at least 27 different Norwegian aquavits, suitable to different kinds of food, in drinks or as avec Aquavit is especially popular with traditional food for Christmas The classics are Lysholm Linie a nice all-round aquavit to go with not too heavy food, Løiten Linie with salted and smoked meat, Gammel Opland all-round, especially good with traditional lutefisk and Simers Taffel to go with herring, you should also try Gilde Non Plus Ultra as avec if you enjoy the taste The "Linie" aquavits have in fact travelled across equator twice while aging!

Norway is often described as a "dry" country, because alcohol is highly priced and glass of wine/beer in a restaurant is in the range of 60 NOK When in cities/towns with many students Oslo/Bergen/Trondheim/Tromsø in particular, you can very often find prices to be lower Ask at your place of accommodation or young people in the streets for hints and tips of where to go Beer can be bought at the supermarkets, however wine and stronger alcoholic beverages have to be purchased in state owned liquor stores Vinmonopolet 38 The price of alcohol, however does not stop the locals from having a good time They are often found drinking and carrying on in local street parties and on their porches

The high prices are most likely part of the reason why the tradition to hold vorspiel and nachspiel before going out is very popular in Norway The words derives from German and can be translated into pre- and afterparty If going out in the weekend, it is not unknown for norwegians to gather at a friends house and not leave there until after twelve in the evening So if you've seen Norwegian drinking culture abroad, and are shocked by the empty bar/club at ten o'clock, call your Norwegian friend and ask where the vorspiel is It's likely to be a whole lot of fun Clubs tend to fill up around midnight-1 am However this is mostly true in weekends, during normal weekdays, you will often find Norwegians sitting in bars enjoying a couple of beers or a bottle of wine

You must be at least 18 years old to purchase beer/wine and 20 years old to purchase spirits alcohol levels of 22% and above in Norway

Technically, drinking in public is prohibited This law is very strict, and even encompasses your own balcony, if other people can see you! Luckily, the law is very seldom enforced I've never heard of anyone being fined on their own balcony, for instance, and Norwegians indeed do drink in parks There are calls for modifying the antiquated law, and recently, there has been a debate in media: most people seem to agree that drinking in parks is alright as long as people have a good time and remain peaceful However, if you bother others and get too intoxicated or a policeman happens to be in a bad mood, you may be asked to throw away your alcohol, and in a worst-case scenario, fined Drinking openly in the street is probably still considered somewhat rude, and it would be more likely to bring the police's attention than a picnic in a park, and is advised against Having a glass of wine in an establishment that legally serves alcohol at the sidewalk, of course, is not a problem

Be careful about urinating in major cities like Oslo if you're drunk, fines for public urination can be as high as 10000 krones $1750! However, this normally isn't a problem if you urinate in a place where nobody sees like a couple of yards into the woods Public intoxination is also something you should be a bit careful with, espacially in the capital, Oslo In smaller towns the police will have no problem giving you a night in the local jail if they think you are disrupting peace and order

In Norway, all alcohol with a volume percentage of under 4,75% can be sold at regular shops This means you can get decent beer all over the place The price varies, but imported beer is usually expensive except Danish/Dutch beers brewed in Norway on licence like Heineken and Carlsberg Shopping hours for beer are very strict: The sale stops at 8PM 2000 every weekday, and at 6PM 1800 every day before holidays incl Sundays Since the sale is decided in the local council, it may vary, but this is the latest times decided by law This means the beer will have to be PAID before this time If it's not paid, the person behind the counter will take your beer, and tell you "Sorry pal, too late!" On Sunday, you can't buy alcohol anywhere except bars/pubs/restaurants

For strong beer, wine and hard alcohol, you will have to find a Vinmonopolet branch The state shop have a marvellous choice of drinks, but at mostly sky-high prices The general rule is that table wines are more expensive than in nearly any other country Expect NOK 80-90 for a decent, "cheap" wine However, as the taxation is based on the volume of alcohol per bottle rather than the initial cost, you can often find more exclusive wines at comparably lower prices than in private establishments in other countries Vinmonpolet is open until 5PM 1700 Mon-Wed, 6PM 1800 Thu-Fri, and 3PM 1500 on Sat

Beers Norwegian beer isn't the best in the world, but it's certainly worth trying The brands you are most likely to see in pubs are Ringnes, Hansa and Frydenlund accompanied by a vast array of imported drinks Local brewer Aas Drammen tend to produce beers a notch above the rest, but there are also craft brew available from Nøgne Ø and Haandbryggeriet, some of which are of very high quality Other varieties are available at places such as Mikrobryggeriet Bogstadveien, Lorry's Parkveien or Beer Palace Aker Brygge all in Oslo

Accommodation in Norway

A single hotel room always book ahead for weekdays should cost you from around 800 kr and up special offers are common and cheaper, but you can find reasonable cheap lodgings in camping huts 300-600 kr, space for entire family, mountain cabins 150-300 kr per person, youth hostels 150-250 kr per person, etc Most of these will require you to make your own food, bring your own bedsheets, and wash before leaving

For longer stays one week or more consider renting an apartment, a house or a high quality cabin Several agencies offer reservations on houses or cabins owned by farmers or other locals This type of accommodation is frequently more interesting than a standard hotel

Working in Norway

Citizens of countries belonging to the European Union, plus Iceland and Lichtenstein do not require a permit and are free to live and work in Norway for up to 3 months some restrictions apply for recent members of the European Union You may start from the local office of the public agency NAV 39, to get legal advise and a list of available jobs Note that even though the unemployment rate in Norway is very low 2,5%40 , short-term employment may be hard to find Certainly when not fluent in a Scandinavian languageIf you decide to move there you have to fill in a "Residence Permit" which lasts for 3 years before it needs to be renewed

Salaries range from 25 000 kroner - 110 000 kroner €3100-€14000 per month 2010

Cities in Norway

a  a  adalsbruk  agotnes  al  alnes  alsvag  alta  alvdal  alvik  amli  amot  andenes  andselv  aneby  aras  ardalstangen  arnes  aros  aroysund  arset  as  asen  asgardstrand  ask  askim  askoy  aukra  aurdal  austnes  bagn  balestrand  ballangen  ballstad  bangsund  barkaker  batnfjordsora  batsfjord  beisfjord  bekkjarvik  berg  bergen  berger  berkak  berlevag  birkeland  bjerka  bjerkvik  bjorkelangen  bjornevatn  bjornli  blakstad  bleik  bo  bo  bodo  bogen  borgen  borkenes  botngard  brandal  brandsoy  braskereidfoss  brattvag  brekstad  bremsnes  bronnoysund  brumunddal  brusand  bryggja  bud  byglandsfjord  bykle  byrknes  dale  dale  dale  dalen  dimmelsvik  disena  dokka  dombas  dovre  drammen  drobak  egersund  eggkleiva  eidfjord  eidsvag  eidsvoll  eikeland  eikelandsosen  eina  elverum  ersfjordbotn  espeland  etne  evenskjaer  fagernes  fagerstrand  farsund  fauske  feda  fedje  fetsund  fevik  fillan  finnsnes  fitjar  fjelldal  fjellsrud  fjellstrand  flateby  flekkefjord  flesland  floro  folkestad  follafoss  folldal  follebu  forde  forset  fosby  fosser  fotlandsvag  frekhaug  frogner  fuglevik  furuflaten  fyresdal  geilo  gibostad  gilja  gjerstad  gjolme  gjovik  gjusvik  gladstad  glomfjord  gol  granvin  gravdal  grimstad  grinder  groa  grodas  grong  grov  grua  gryllefjord  gullhaug  gvarv  haddal  haga  hagavik  hakvik  halden  hallingby  hammarsland  hammerfest  hamnas  hansnes  hardbakke  hareid  harpefoss  harstad  hasvik  hauge  hauge  haugland  hauknes  havoysund  hegra  heias  hell  hellvik  hemnesberget  hemnes  hemsedal  henningsvaer  heradsbygd  heroysund  herre  hestvika  hillestad  hjelset  hjukse  hof  hole  holen  holevik  hollen  holme  holmestrand  holmsbu  hommelvik  hommersak  honefoss  honningsvag  horten  hovden  hov  hovin  hoyanger  hundorp  hvittingfoss  hyggen  hylkje  hylla  ibestad  ikornnes  indre arna  inndyr  innvik  ise  jessheim  jevnaker  jorpeland  judaberg  kabelvag  kalvag  karasjok  karlshus  kasfjord  kaupanger  kautokeino  kiberg  kil  kirkenaer  kirkenes  kjellmyra  kjollefjord  kjopsvik  klaebu  kleive  klofta  klokkarvik  knappskog  knarvik  kolvereid  kongsberg  kongsvinger  kopervik  koppang  koppera  korgen  korsvegen  kragero  kristiansand  kristiansund  kroderen  krokeidet  kval  kvalsvik  kvalvag  kvam  kvelde  kviteseid  kvithammer  kylstad  kyrkjebo  kyrksaeterora  laerdalsoyri  lakselv  lalm  langangen  langevag  langset  larkollen  larsnes  larvik  lauvsnes  leira  leirvik  leland  lena  ler  lervik  levanger  lia  liland  li  lillehammer  lillesand  lindas  lindeberg  lodingen  loding  lofthus  loken  lokken verk  lonevag  lopsmarka  lorenfallet  loten  lovund  lundamo  lyngdal  lyngseidet  lysoysund  magnor  malm  maloy  mandal  manger  maura  mehamn  melbu  melhus  melsomvik  midsund  miland  minnesund  misje  misvaer  moelv  moen  moi  mo i rana  molde  mo  mosjoen  mosterhamn  movik  muruvik  myklebost  myra  myre  mysen  naerbo  nakkerud  namsos  narvik  naustdal  nedstrand  nerland  nesbyen  nesjestranda  nesna  nesoddtangen  nodeland  nordfjordeid  nordkisa  nordkjosbotn  nordvagen  nordvik  noresund  norheimsund  notodden  nybergsund  nykirke  odda  ogna  oksfjord  olden  olderdalen  olen  oltedal  oppdal  opphaug  orje  ornes  orsta  oslo  os  osthusvik  otnes  otta  ottersbo  ovre ardal  oyslebo  oystese  pollestad  prestfoss  rafsbotn  rakkestad  ramsund  ranemsletta  raudeberg  raufoss  rausand  reine  reinsvoll  reipa  rena  rensvik  rindal  ringebu  risor  risoyhamn  rjukan  roald  rod  rognan  rokland  rora  roros  rorvik  rosendal  rosvik  rotnes  roverud  royken  royrvik  rubbestadneset  rypefjord  saebovik  saetre  sagvag  sandane  sandeid  sander  sande  sande  sandnes  sandnessjoen  sand  sandve  sauda  segalstad  selbekken  selje  seljord  selvik  sem  setermoen  sigerfjord  siljan  sira  sirevag  sistranda  sjoholt  sjovegan  skage  skanevik  skarnes  skibotn  skjaerhollen  skjeberg  skjervoy  skjold  skjold  skodje  skogn  skoppum  skotterud  skreia  slevik  smaland  smestad  snasa  sogne  sokna  soknedal  solsvik  sommaroy  sorkjosen  sorland  sortland  sorumsand  sorvaer  sorvagen  sovik  sovik  sparbu  sponvika  spydeberg  stamsund  stange  stanghelle  stavanger  stavern  steinkjer  steinshamn  stjordalshalsen  stokke  stokmarknes  storas  storebo  storforshei  storslett  storsteinnes  strai  stranda  strand  straumen  straumen  straume  stromsnes  stryn  sulitjelma  sundvollen  sunndalsora  svarstad  sveio  svelgen  svelvik  svene  svenevik  sviland  svolvaer  sylling  sylte  taelavag  tananger  tanem  tangen  tau  tennevoll  terrak  tjome  tjorvag  tjotta  tofte  tolga  tomra  tomter  tonstad  tornes  torpo  torsken  tovik  tranby  tretten  trofors  trolla  tromso  trondheim  trones  tvedestrand  tveitsund  tveit  tynset  tyristrand  tyssedal  ulefoss  ulsteinvik  ulvik  undheim  uskedal  utgard  uthaug  vadso  vagamo  vage  vagsvag  vaksdal  valer  valvatna  vanse  vardo  varhaug  vassenden  vatne  veggli  velde  verdalsora  vestbygda  vestby  vestnes  vigeland  vigrestad  vikedal  vikersund  vikesa  vikevag  viksoyri  vik  vinstra  visnes  volda  voll  vormsund  vossevangen  yli  ytre arna  

What do you think about Norway?

How expensive is Norway?
(1 NOK = 0.12 USD)
Meal in inexpensive restaurant150 NOK
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)869.18 NOK
McDonalds meal110.7 NOK
Local beer (0.5 draft)81.7 NOK
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 67.9 NOK
Cappuccino39.83 NOK
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)24.31 NOK
Water (0.33 bottle)25.38 NOK
Milk (1l)16.43 NOK
Fresh bread (500g)22.6 NOK
White Rice (1kg)25.08 NOK
Eggs (12) 34.97 NOK
Local Cheese (1kg) 90.97 NOK
Chicken Breast (1kg) 100.91 NOK
Apples (1kg) 25.25 NOK
Oranges (1kg) 20.84 NOK
Tomato (1kg) 27.25 NOK
Potato (1kg) 17.51 NOK
Lettuce (1 head) 19.68 NOK
Water (1.5l)19.43 NOK
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 137.88 NOK
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)27.02 NOK
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 36.08 NOK
Cigarettes104.69 NOK
One way local bus ticket41 NOK
Monthly pass for bus598 NOK
Taxi start77.28 NOK
Taxi 1km16.55 NOK
Taxi 1hour waiting422.28 NOK
Gasoline (1 liter) 16.59 NOK
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 248.59 NOK
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 15.3 NOK
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 12.61 NOK
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