Norway is a truly majestic choice when it comes to nature, adventure, and getting in touch with what matters in life. It might be difficult for some to plan their trip because of geographic location, but once you get to the country, everything is worth it. However, this should not mean it is a good idea to just hop on a flight and go. Here are 9 things you should know before you visit Norway.
There are several things you should know to make your Norway visit better. Here are some you should remember.
It Is Not That Common To See Polar Bears
A very common misconception about Norway is that polar bears are everywhere. In reality, you will find zero polar bears on the mainland Norway area. The country is actually quite civilized and the cities are modern. But, this does not mean you cannot see some polar bears. You can go to Svalbard for that. There, there are fewer people present than polar bears and you will be happy to hear incidents are rare.
Norway Does Not Have The Euro As The National Currency
The currency used is NOK, which means Norwegian Krone. If you think Euro bills are enough, you would be mistaken. Fortunately for travellers though, NOK is weaker than it used to be. This means your trip will be cheaper.
We should also highlight that the use of debit and credit cards is constantly growing. You can now even take taxis and pay with your card. In most parts of the country, it will not be a big problem if you do not have cash on you. However, if you visit some of the remote or underrated Norway destinations, it is best to plan ahead and have some cash on you.
Speaking English Is Fine
Learning Norwegian is difficult for many nationalities but this should not be a problem for you if you know English because most locals speak the language. It is common to see people who are shy when it comes to having conversations but they can understand and answer your questions when you have them. Talking to strangers is not something you should worry about.
Norway Is Very Safe For Tourists
Some documentaries might make you think Norway is not safe but we are talking about one of the safest options in the entire world. Crime rate is low even when looking at the major cities like Stavanger, Bergen, or Oslo.
Obviously, as a tourist, precautions are a very good idea. But, you will not have problems walking at night. Most Norway crimes are office and home burglaries. And you do have pickpoketers in touristic areas, es everywhere else. If you use your due diligence, you will not have a problem.
Take Extra Clothes With You
Norway’s weather changes quite a lot between the seasons. You do need to make sure you have enough clothes with you. This is particularly important when you plan hikes. An extra layer can be a huge difference even during summer. Rain jackets and fleeces should be present in your backpacks since weather can changes really fast while temperature drops can be serious as you reach higher altitudes.
Wild Camping Is Possible In Most Of The Country
Allemannsretten dictates that everyone is allowed to pitch their tents in the country wherever they want, unless something else is stated in a specific area. For the locals, the outdoors can only be considered as very important. The only rule is that you should leave no traces so nature is not damaged by your stay.
In the country, there are several really affordable campsites tourists love. They are perfect if you want to use tents when you travel since you get the opportunity of taking a shower, charging batteries, and cleaning clothes.
As an extra thing to remember, you can access public lands for free. This means most outdoor locations and the national parks have no entry fee.
Eating Out Can Be Expensive
Although traveling to Norway is not as expensive as many think, if you decide to only eat out, your budget will be drained fast. Restaurants are great and Norwegian salmon is the best in the world, but if you do want to save money, you do want to buy your own food. Supermarket purchases are simply a lot cheaper.
The Outdoors Are Quite Safe
The polar bears we mentioned above are basically the only dangerous animals you can find in Norway. Generally, the wild is quite safe for humans. Obviously, you will want to avoid some animals but most will just run away as they see you.
Norwegians Love Taco
Last but not least, here is a very funny fact for visitors. Visiting Norwegian families during Fridays means there is quite a high chance you will see them eating tacos. These are very popular and surprise most tourists when they learn about it.
9 Things You Should Know Before You Visit Norway, written exclusively for Daily Scandinavian by Boris Dzhingarov.