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Norway

Hardly any other country is better known for its impressive nature: breathtaking fjords, huge glaciers, countless mountains, picturesque villages, the most beautiful coastlines... And you can also experience natural phenomena such as the Northern Lights in winter and Midsommar in summer. Maybe you'll see a reindeer every now and then... or a troll.

Norway has a unique character. The focus is on pure activity. Because so much nature invites you to get active. Whether it's hiking, cycling, white-water rafting, kayaking or skiing, there's a wide range on offer. Norway is the perfect place for your next adventure vacation!

Overview

 


Capital

Norway's capital is Oslo.


 

Language

The national language is Norwegian, but almost everyone speaks and understands English.


 


Currency

In Norway, you pay in Norwegian kroner (NOK). 1 EUR corresponds to approx. 11.79 NOK.


 

Entry & Visas

Norway is not an EU member state, but Europeans only need an EU identity card to enter the country. Citizens of the EU and the Schengen area do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days.


 

Time

Central European Time (UTC+1) applies.


 

Credit cards & ATMs

There are ATMs almost everywhere and you can actually pay by card everywhere. We didn't need cash once.


 

Best time to visit

June to August are particularly suitable for summer activities. The weather is just not always stable. The months from November to March are best for seeing the Northern Lights or doing winter sports. However, it can be freezing cold at times and the Northern Lights tourism should not be underestimated.


 

Driving

A national driving license is sufficient for EU citizens. The road network is well developed and the roads are in good condition. However, some destinations can only be reached by ferry. The routes can therefore take some time.

The traffic signs and rules are by and large standardized within Europe.

The speed limits on expressways and freeways are 80 to 100 km/h; outside built-up areas 80 km/h and inside built-up areas 50 km/h. During the day, you must drive with daytime running lights or dipped headlights. The drink-drive limit is 0.2 per mille. You should adhere to all regulations if you don't want to pay expensive fines.

In the event of a breakdown, the NAF emergency call center can be reached 24/7 on 08508.

You can find more information here.


 

Phone

If you have a phone contract from the EU or the Schengen area, you do not pay any roaming charges. You can use your phone at the same rate as at home.

There is network reception almost everywhere, even on the hiking trails. The network is even better there in some cases, as most of the lines are new.



Everyone's right & Camping

In Norway, everyone's right (norw. Allemannsretten) applies, which has been enshrined in the Norwegian “Outdoor Life Act” since 1957. This right allows you to move freely in nature. Wild camping is therefore permitted. However, there are a few things you should bear in mind: You can move around freely on “open land” and camping is permitted as long as you keep a distance of at least 150m from the nearest house. Land that is privately owned may not be entered without further ado. In winter (between October 15 and April 30), however, agricultural land may be used for camping.

You should note that wild camping only means camping, not sleeping in a van etc. Therefore, you are not allowed to spend the night in any parking lot, but should make sure that it is designated as an appropriate parking space. You also need a permit to camp if you are spending more than two nights in the same place. Unless you are in a remote location.

If you prefer to pitch your tent on a campsite, you can find some campsites at camping.no. We can also recommend the app Park4Night. We had also read before our trip that the “Camping Key Europe Card” was mandatory at many campsites, but we didn't even need it.

  Food & Drinks

Food and drink in Norway is much more expensive than you are used to in Germany. That's why we bought food in Germany in advance to save money. However, if you want to import food into Norway like we did, you have to bear in mind that Norway is not an EU member state! You are therefore only allowed to bring goods with a value of NOK 6000. Special regulations also apply to some foodstuffs. For example, the import of alcohol is only possible to a limited extent: adults aged 20 and over may import 3 liters of wine (or alternatively 1.5 liters of wine and 1 liter of spirits) and 2 liters of beer. In addition, only 10 kg of meat products may be brought in. The import of potatoes is even completely prohibited.

In Norway itself, you can shop relatively cheaply at Rema 1000, Kiwi, Coop Prix, Coop Extra or Lidl. Fast food chains such as McDonalds are also no more expensive than elsewhere. On the contrary, there were even a few offers that were cheaper than in Germany. This surprised us a little, as we had previously read on the internet that some of the prices were twice as expensive.


  Hiking

We had already picked out the starting points for the hikes in advance on the internet (mostly via visitnorway.com). The hikes were always very well signposted from the start.

In general, you should always find out about the length and duration of the planned route so that you know whether you are fit enough. It is also important that you dress warmly enough. We resorted to the tried-and-tested onion look and put on several layers of clothing. That way, we didn't freeze and could easily take off a few layers when it got too warm. (The same applies for the night in the tent, by the way).

You should also pack enough food and drink. We always took 1.5 liters of water with us and - if possible - filled up with water at natural water sources on the hike. Just remember to always take the garbage from your food and drink with you and not to dispose of it in nature!


  Tax Back

If you want to buy something nice in Norway, you have the option of getting the tax back. All information on this can be found at globalblue.com. There you can also find out where you need to submit the necessary forms. We handed in the documents in Denmark at a service area (Motorvej 1, 2960 Karlslunde). It was very straightforward and quick!


  Crossing

We traveled to Norway by car via Denmark and Sweden. We took the Scandlines ferry from Puttgarden (Germany) to Rødby (Denmark). From there we continued by car through Denmark and over the Öresund Bridge to Sweden (Malmö). Once we arrived in Sweden, we continued along the Swedish coast towards Norway.

The journey with the Scandlines ferry takes about 45 minutes. We paid a total of EUR 66 each way (for one vehicle and two people). You must have checked in 30 minutes before departure.

With a length of 7.8 km, the Öresund Bridge is the longest cable-connected road and rail bridge in Europe. The exact prices for the crossing can be found here. If you book the toll online in advance (at least 30 minutes before crossing), you pay less.


Our entire route

  Lübeck (Germany)     Puttgarden (Germany)      Rødby (Denmark)     Göteborg (Sweden)      Nature reserve Kragenäs (Sweden)      Oslo      Gaustatoppen      Lysebotn & Kjerag      Preikestolen      Låtefossen      Odda & Trolltunga      Vøringsfossen      Steindalsfossen      Bergen      Ålesund      Geirangerfjord      Jotunheimen Nationalpark      Stockholm (Sweden)      Malmö (Sweden)      Copenhagen (Denmark)      Rødby (Denmark)      Puttgarden (Germany)   


I have put together a list of all the places on Google Maps.

You can find the list here.


On the road in Norway

Tourist roads

The National Roads Authority has currently designated 18 National Tourist Routes. These roads are particularly scenic routes. A number of stopping points have been built along the routes, from where you can enjoy the view or take a short hike.

You can find more information here.


Gas stations

The network of gas stations can be sparsely populated depending on the location. You should therefore always fill up before longer journeys as a precaution.

Fuel prices are slightly higher than in Germany. However, the fuel prices on the highways are no more expensive than in the cities (in some cases they were even cheaper).

When filling up, you often pay by credit card at the pump. If you have linked your credit card to an app, you shouldn't be surprised if you receive a push message about an overcharge. This is a kind of security charge. In the end, however, only the actual fuel price will be debited.


Tunnels

No other country has as many tunnels in relation to its road network as Norway! And the tunnels are quite something! There are even traffic circles in some of them. The tunnels are designed to make journeys faster.

That's good for getting around, of course, but stupid if you want to see the countryside. If you have enough time, the old routes are the better alternative - and in some cases you even save on the toll.