Alcohol

You can buy beer in most grocery stores and wine and spirits and the Vinmonopolet State Monopoly outlets. You must be 18 to buy beer and wine and 20 to buy spirits.

Activities

What kind of activities can you enjoy in Fjord Norway? Fjord Norway offers a wide variety of outdoor activities. Some of the most popular ones are

Attractions

What are the top attractions in Fjord Norway? The Art Nouveau Town Ålesund, the famous Bryggen wharf in Bergen, the Flåm Railway, the Atlantic Road and Trollstigen Mountain Road, the UNESCO protected Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord, Loen Skylift and the famous mountain formations Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) and Trolltunga are all on the top list of most popular attractions.

Brochures

We publish a travel guide every year for those who would like to bring printed information on your holiday in Fjord Norway.

Credit cards

Payment by credit card is the usual way to pay for almost anything, and almost all services offer payment by credit card.

Currency

The currency in Norway is Norwegian kroner, abbreviated as NOK.

Drinking water

There is no need to buy plastic bottled water. The tap water in Norway is not only drinkable it also tastes good, so bring your own bottle!

Drones

To use a drone, you must be at least 150 metres away from other people when flying your drone, and not fly it higher than 120 metres above the ground. Stay at least 5 kilometres away from airports and only fly your drone during daylight. Find necessary info on local differences.

Emergency telephone numbers

  • Fire 110
  • Police 112
  • Ambulance 113
  • Poison information centre +47 22 59 13 00
  • TDD – Text Phone for deaf 1412

Fjords

It might be obvious to some, but not to others. What is really a fjord?

Food

Tasting Norwegian food and local specialities is a big part of the experience. Fjord Norway is known for world-class seafood and there are Michelin rated restaurants in Bergen and Stavanger.

When visiting Fjord Norway you should look for recommendations like smoked salmon, clip fish, fish soup (especially the Bergen one) and the famous apple cider in the Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord regions.

You should try Raspeballer, also called klubb and komle, which is a traditional potato dumpling. Also look for the Skillingsbolle, which is a delicious cinnamon bun. And then there is the locally produced cheese. Both Kraftkar from Tingvoll and Fanaost from Ostegården have been rated best cheese in the world.

Glaciers

You might know what it looks like, but what really is a glacier?

History

The last ice age ended in Norway about 14 000 years ago. Even though it is believed to have been people settling in Norway earlier, the oldest human bones found in Norway date to 6000 BC. In modern times Norway has been in unions with Denmark and Sweden and got its constitution in 1814. Some important historical facts concerning Fjord Norway are:

The Vikings

The Viking era lasted from about 800 to 1200. The Vikings were tradesmen, farmers and only partly violent explorers who settled in foreign countries. There are several visible traces of them in Fjord Norway. Avaldsnes outside of Haugesund is Norway's oldest residence. Read more about the Vikings here.

Fishery and trade

Ever since the stone age, people have been fishing off the coast of Fjord Norway.

Bergen was the main fishing capital from the middle ages all up to the 1800s, exporting fish to Europe on a large scale. The German guild of Merchants known as The Hansa controlled much of the fishery in Fjord Norway from 1200 to 1500. You can visit the Hanseatic Museum in Bergen for a dive into this fascinating period. Not to mention Bryggen, the Hanseatic Wharf on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Stave Churches

Norway is the only country in Europe with remaining tree churches from the medieval ages. There might have been as many as 2000 of these extraordinary buildings known as Stave Churches. Today 28 are remaining and almost half of them are in Fjord Norway. You will find the oldest one from 1130 in Luster. Some are open to visitors all year, some only during summer.

Languages

The official language is Norwegian. Most people speak English well and learn either French, German, or Spanish in school.

Pets

Pets from EU countries need a pet passport ID marking and a valid anti-rabies vaccination. Dogs also need a tapeworm treatment minimum 24 and maximum 120
hours before arrival. If planning to bring a pet, please read carefully updated info at the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

Prices

Norway can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. Some examples of prices in NOK:

  • A litre of milk: 15 to 23
  • Coffee at a bar: 35 to 50
  • Cinema ticket: 120 to 150
  • A meal in a budget restaurant: 140 to 250
  • A meal in a mid-range restaurant: 600 to 1000
  • Beer in a shop: 30 to 50
  • Beer at a bar: 60 to 120

Public holidays

Public holidays in Norway occur on 1 January, 1 May, 17 May, and 25-26 December. Easter, Ascension Day, Whit Sunday, and Whit Monday are also public holidays, with different dates every year.

Freedom to roam

You are free to roam almost anywhere you would like, as long as you pick up your rubbish and show respect for nature and landowners. Outdoor recreation is established by law. You can read more about the right of access in this brochure from the Norwegian Environment Agency.

Tipping

Tipping is not necessary. People working in bars and restaurants have normal salaries and are not dependent on tipping. When very satisfied, Norwegians still leave a tip of 10-15%, most often after dinner at a restaurant, and not necessarily after a coffee and a snack at a coffee bar.

Travel to and around Fjord Norway

By air

There are several direct routes to Bergen, Stavanger and Ålesund from European destinations, and even more, if you travel through Oslo. You can find a list of all airports in Norway here.

Approximate air travel time to Norway from:

  • USA (New York): 7,5 hours
  • China (Beijing): 9,5 hours
  • Germany (Frankfurt): 2 hours
  • Australia (1 stop): 28 hours

By car

Before you leave for your road trip, you need to be aware of the many car ferries, toll roads and winter closed roads. And be aware, even when the roads are not closed, winter driving is not recommended unless you have such experience.

As an example of distances within Fjord Norway, a drive from Stavanger in the south via Bergen to Ålesund in the north is almost 600 km and will take about 9 hours to drive. More time consuming than you might think, because of the ferries included and the fact that there are no highways.

Approximate driving time to Bergen from:

  • Oslo: 7 hours (460 km)
  • Kristiansand: 8 hours (465 km)
  • Trondheim: 11 hours (660 km)

Approximate driving time to Stavanger from: 

  • Oslo: 7 hours (440 km)
  • Kristiansand: 3,5 hours (230 km)
  • Trondheim: 13,5 hours (860 km)

Approximate driving time to Ålesund from:

  • Oslo: 7,5 hours (550 km)
  • Kristiansand: 11 hours (870 km)
  • Trondheim: 5,5 hours (300 km)

Approximate driving time to Flåm from: 

  • Oslo: 4,5 hours (315 km)
  • Kristiansand: 7,5 hours (490 km)
  • Trondheim: 9 hours (495 km)

Approximate driving time to Geiranger from:

  • Oslo: 8 hours (450 km)
  • Kristiansand: 12 hours (770 km)
  • Trondheim: 6,5 hours (375 km)

Norwegian Scenic Routes

Eighteen carefully selected roads in Norway have been designated Norwegian Scenic Routes. Half of them are in Fjord Norway. Each route has viewpoints and places to stop for a break with exciting architecture.

By train

Travelling by train in Norway is easy and popular and not at least very scenic. Some of the railways to consider when travelling to and around Fjord Norway are:

  • Flåm Railway: One of the world's most beautiful train journeys runs between Flåm and the Hardangervidda plateau.
  • Rauma Railway: This trip takes you through the spectacular nature between Dombås and Åndalsnes.
  • Bergen Railway: The train journey between Oslo and Bergen is the highest in Northern Europe and much of it goes through mountain areas.

By public transportation

Travelling around Fjord Norway with public transportation is easy when well planned. Even the remote small places have access by public transport.

Visa requirements

Schengen residents don't need a visa when travelling to Norway, only a valid ID. Please bring your passport or European Union ID card. A visa is required from certain countries. Please find necessary information at UDI.

What to wear

The weather is everchanging in Fjord Norway. Especially autumn and winter can be different from what you are used to. Please have a look at our suggested packing list before you travel.

Weather

There are four distinct seasons and great local variations in temperatures and weather, from the tall snowy mountains to the white beaches on the coastline. Please read up on the weather and temperatures before you travel.