Home to winding roads and sophisticated Scandinavian culture, Norway is a hub of natural beauty, perfectly blended with modern architecture for a truly memorable holiday experience. From lush green hilltops to bustling cities centres and, of course, the stunning Northern Lights, there’s truly no place more naturally breathtaking than Norway. Here, we’ve compiled a simple guide to ensure your trip to Norway is packed full of unforgettable experiences to cherish for a lifetime.
A Brief History
Norway’s appeal is simple; it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world. With an expansive coastline filled with vibrant sea life and an agriculture industry still thriving, Norway is the home to some of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world. Not limited to just nature, Norway’s capital city of Oslo is a rapidly growing metropolis ready to rival New York and London.
So whether you’re a city dweller or you love the countryside, Norway is well worth a visit. We’ve culminated this guide to ensure that once you’ve renewed your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you can make the most out of your trip.
Places to visit:
We’ve selected three of Norway’s most diverse locations to illustrate the nation’s sheer volume of differing landscapes. While all locations are unique in their own way, we first travel to the nation’s capital:
We’d recommend Oslo as your first stop when travelling to Norway. It serves as the perfect palette of Norwegian culture.
To try Norwegian delicacies you can head to the Vippa, a food market filled with over a dozen pop up stalls all serving incredible local cuisine, ranging from noodle soups, pulled duck, shawarma kebabs and even Nordic inspired tacos!
You’ll also be introduced to the country’s unique architecture, most notable of which is the Oslo Opera house. Opened 10 years ago, the venue plays host to a number of operatic and ballet events all year round.
The Svalbard Islands
When you pay the Svalbard Islands a visit, ensure to wrap up warm as its one of the coldest regions in Norway. In fact, temperatures drop as low as -30 °C in the midst of winter!
Provided you visit in the spring though you’ll be able to enjoy a wide variety of activities including tobogganing, dog sledging and even ride in a snowmobile.
If wildlife is more your thing, then you’ll want to journey to the Svalbard Islands between June and August. With the Midnight Sun providing constant daylight, you’ll be able to see a frenzy of arctic bird activity, along with polar bears, walruses and even whales.
The quaint village of Flåm is a hidden gem, with just 350 inhabitants; the village borders the Aurlandsfjord fjord and is the most picturesque destination to appear on our guide.
Situated just a 90-minute drive away from the Sogndal Airport – Haukåsen – the town’s calming ambience provides a welcome respite from Norway’s major cities.
The surrounding area also has a number of great hiking and cycling routes as well as an endless number of excellent photo opportunities for you and your friends to take advantage of.
Sights To See:
Norway is the home to some of the most extraordinary attractions and here, we’ve listed our personal favourites we think you should visit.
A tourist destination for sightseers and adrenaline junkies alike, the Kjeragbolten is a boulder wedged between two separate mountains. Suspended 984 metres in the air, the boulder is thought to have been caught between the two mountain ridges during the last glacial period, in 50,000 B.C.
It has been an incredibly popular attraction for decades, with people travelling from across the world to have their photo taken on top of the famed boulder. The destination has also become popular with base jumpers.
In 2005 the Atlantic Road was voted Norway’s ‘Engineering Feat of the Century’ and it’s easy to see why. First opened in 1989, the road spans for over 8274 metres, traversing a series of small islands that border the Norwegian Sea. The entire stretch of road is one filled with spectacular coastal scenery, although it does become treacherous in the winter months, so it’s best to avoid it while snow is falling or there’s ice on the road.
Vigeland Sculpture Park
The Vigeland is the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist, Gustav Vigeland. With over 200 sculptures made from bronze, granite and cast iron, the park took over a decade to complete.
Attracting more than 1 million visitors annually, the park’s most famous sculptures include ‘The Angry Boy’, ‘The Monolith’ and ‘The Wheel of Life’. The perfect destination if you’re travelling with your family, the park is free to enter and also includes a museum and other temporary art exhibitions.
Situated in the northernmost part of Norway, Svalbard will provide you with the best possible view of the Northern Lights. With a number of excursion tours available, you’ll be guided to a remote location without any artificial light to watch the spectacular formation in all its glory.
The Northern lights have fascinated humans for centuries. They are caused by solar winds, where the sun has emitted charged solar particles and they arrive on earth, leading the mystical green light appearing in the sky.
What you need to know:
To finish our guide we’ve collated some practical information to help you understand a bit more about the cost of travelling to Norway and what to expect from transport and accommodation:
Fortunately, Norway has a well-established public transport system, complete with a large network of buses, ferries, trams and trains, so you can travel around the Nordic country with ease. With a range of tickets to choose from including singles, returns, day passes, weekly passes, travel cards and even monthly passes you can also travel your own way.
Car rental is available but incredibly expensive, a five-door vehicle can cost in excess of £130 a day according to the travel website Full Suitcase.
Flights to Norway begin at £70, and for a mid-range hotel, it costs between £180–270 to visit during peak season. However, there is a range of more affordable accommodation and living options, including dorms, B&B’s and hostels.
One English pound currently exchanges to 10.7kr (Norway’s currency) so you’ll benefit from a positive exchange rate. You can compare the best Norwegian Krone exchange rates from some of the UK’s biggest currency suppliers, here.
With all this in mind, we hope that this guide on Norway has given you more information to help you plan your trip and that you decide to visit the amazing country that is Norway after renewing your Euro Health Insurance Card. Happy Travels!