“The most beautiful thing in the world is the world itself.” You get to experience this saying when you visit Norway, a beautiful Nordic country in the Baltic Sea region of Europe. It is one of eight countries in the world that has land within the Arctic Circle. The other seven countries are Alaska, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Denmark, and Canada regions. Let’s check out some interesting facts and the must-visit places in this beautiful Scandinavian country.
Facts About Norway
Norway, officially the “Kingdom of Norway” is a country in Northern Europe which covers 304,282 sq.km. of land and 19,520 sq.km of water. It is the world’s 68th largest country with a total geographical area of 323,802 sq.km. It is a nation of about 5,096,300 (2013) people of diverse origins, cultures, languages, and religions. The country has 2-5 official languages and follows Latin as its writing system. It is famous for its varied landscapes, extending into the Arctic Circle, which include fjord-indented coastlines, mountains, ski resorts, lakes, and forests.
At a Glance
Capital - Oslo
Largest City - Oslo
Currency - Norwegian Krone (NOK)
Time zone - UTC+1 (CET) , Summers- UTC+2 (CEST )
Driving side - Right
Calling code - +47
Writing System - Latin
Major Official Languages - Norwegian, Sami
Government - Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Major Attractions - Fjords, Northern Lights, Attractive and dramatic scenery, and landscapes
What You May Not Know About Norway
The standard of living in Norway is among the highest in the world.
The country records the highest airline trips per capita amongst the European countries.
National Geographic has listed the Norwegian fjords as the world's top tourist attraction.
The 2018 Environmental Performance Index puts Norway in the Fourteenth position with an Environment Health score of 97.86%.
The country is considered to be one of the most developed democracies and states of justice in the world.
Norway has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
Norway has had the highest Human Development Index ranking in the world since 2009.
Norway made to the Top 1 rank on the World Happiness Report for 2017. In 2018, It moved to second as Finland raised to be the first.
Norway had the highest inequality-adjusted ranking until 2018.
Norway has the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, with a value of US$1 trillion.
How to Get a Visa
Information about the tourist visa for Norway is found on the official site of VFS Global. .The processing time depends on your country and region.
Top Places To Visit
Known for its white clouds, northern lights, and steep black hillsides, Lofoten is a dramatic archipelago landscape off the beaten track and draped by small villages. It is home to picturesque fishing villages precariously clutching the edge of the turbulent waters of the Norwegian Sea.
Lofoten is in one of the most beautiful natural settings, and there are many things to do in this area. Here you can explore hiking trails and beautiful beaches. Surprisingly, you can even surf its beaches. Of course, one of the more exciting things to do is to explore the town and fishing villages of this archipelago.
Oslo is the largest and most populous city in Norway. This metropolitan capital is situated in Eastern Norway and was selected as the European Green Capital of 2019. In Spring, Summer, and Autumn, whenever the sun is out, the city is ideal for walks, bicycle rides, and park visits. The Oslofjord consists of many islands where swimming and island hopping are some of the favorite activities in the summer days. The city can be explored via walking tours, bike tours, or cruise tours.
Seafood lovers can enjoy fish and other seafood directly at the harbor. Oslo is also a city of diverse world-foods like the Thai based Plah, Italian Baltazar, Japanese Alex Sushi and Omakase by Alex Cabiao. Some of the world’s most renowned coffee baristas and coffee brewers like Tim Wendelboe are based in the city.
Oslo Airport at Gardermoen is the main international airport that connects to 26 domestic and 152 international destinations using Norwegian Air Shuttle, Scandinavian Airlines, and Widerøe.
Alesund is a sea-port noted for its concentration of Art Nouveau architecture. As a cultural center of the region and with proximity to the fjords, Alesund is a tourist attraction. The Atlanterhavsparken aquarium is another tourist attraction in the town. Alesund has the most important fishing harbor in Norway with a fishing fleet that is one of the most modern in Europe.
The town and its surrounding areas have a large furniture industry where some well-known household items are manufactured. The city supports all sorts of transportation.
Located on the west coast of Norway, the streets of this capital of the fjords is full of wooden, fairy tale houses with the seven mountains as a backdrop. Bergen has a temperate oceanic climate with plentiful rainfall in all seasons and is thought to be the rainiest city in Europe. Bergen Port is Norway's busiest in terms of both freight and passengers.
The city has a vibrant culture scene if you’re fond of art, museums, and galleries. At the same time, being so close to nature makes it ideal for outdoor adventure activities. It is also an international center for aquaculture, shipping, the offshore petroleum industry, and subsea technology, as well as, a national center for higher education, media, tourism, and finance. The city supports all sorts of transport medium.
Stavanger, a seaside city, is the third largest city in Norway and has been recognized as Norway’s Oil Capital for the past 50+ years. The Stavanger region has some of Norway’s main hiking attractions and is a popular tourist destination in summer.
Here, you can explore the Lysefjord area and famous mountains plateaus like Preikestolen known as ‘The Pulpit Rock,’ a massive rock overhanging the fjord and Kjeragbolten, a rock wedged in the cliff approximately 1000 meters above the fjord. Not too far from Stavanger, alpine centers are available for skiers and snowboarders throughout the winter season.
Local food here is served at both Michelin-starred restaurants and similarly ambitious, but more low-key eateries. The city is served by an international airport Stavanger Airport, Sola, which offers flights to cities in most major European countries.
Trondheim lies on the south shore of Trondheim Fjord at the mouth of the River Nidelva. The city is a destination for outdoor activities such as kayaking for adventure lovers and a lot many museums for art lovers.
The Trondheim Museum of Arts has Norway's third largest public art collection featuring Norwegian art from the last 150 years. The islet Munkholmen is a popular tourist attraction and recreation site. The islet has served as a place of execution, a monastery, a fortress, prison, and a Second World War anti-aircraft gun station.
Music stands bold in this city with the Rockheim and Ringve musical museums. Trondheim has a full music scene and is known for its active communities committed to rock, jazz, and classical music. The music conservatory spearheads the city's interest in Jazz and classical music at Norweign University of Science and Technology which has been called one of the most innovative in the world. The town also features a lively film scene, including three film fests in March and November.
Trondheim has plenty of modern cafes. Food markets and festivals add to the right mood. The city has an international airport which fourth largest airport in terms of passenger traffic with non-stop connection to major European countries.
Tromso is the largest city in Northern Norway. It is a combination of urban and international style architecture. One can admire the steep mountains, deep fjords right from the main streets of the city. Its nickname is 'Capital of the Arctics.' The city offers modern cuisine, rich culture, unspoiled surroundings with a blend of Arctic history.
Places to visit in Tromso include Polaria Center, Polar Museum and 160+ years old Mack brewery. It is possible to spot sea eagles and playful seals at a half an hour drive from downtown Tromso. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover or a romantic couple, there are plenty of winter activities to do in Tromso.
Some of the things to do in Tromso include whale spotting, midnight sun and undoubtedly, the Northern Lights excursion. The NorwayLights app provides the best prediction for when to see the northern lights in the area. Tromso has all sorts of transportation services except the Train.