When people think of visiting Europe, some of the most popular countries that come to mind are Italy, France, and Spain. But what about Norway?
A hidden gem bordering Sweden with a vast coastline, Norway offers travelers a unique experience.
If you've never visited this region, here are a few tips to help plan your first trip to Norway:
Norway's highlights are primarily it's agriculturul make-up. The country has a wide variety of landscapes from islands and fjords to forests, lakes, and waterfalls.
When traveling this vast region, it's important to take your time. Unlike other European cities where main sites and attractions are clearly mapped out, Norway's charm is in the fact that a major part of your experience is the journey itself.
Another great thing about experiencing nature in Norway is that many of the sites are free. You can rent a car for a minimal fee and travel around the country, seeing fjords at every turn and discovering waterfalls along the way. Be sure to visit Geiranger where you'll see both!
Did you know that Norway has its own breathtaking view of the Northern Lights? If you enjoy hiking than you'll love Norway's Pulpit Rock. Located in Stavanger, this rocky incline is designed for hikers of all abilities. And the view at the top will be well worth the effort.
If you're traveling with family you can visit one of Norway's newest attractions, the Norwegian Mountaineering Centre with the purchase of a budget-friendly admission ticket. Here the family will learn about the history of mountaineering in the region and have the opportunity to discover indoor caves and rock climbing walls. Grab lunch at the Centre's cafe.
Learn the Language
This is an important tip when visiting any foreign land. It's helpful, and respectful, to learn at least a few commonly used words.
Using the native language in Norway isn't a must - most Norwegians speak fluent English. But wouldn't it be nice (and fun) to say thank you or ask a question in Norwegian? The residents will be both impressed and appreciative of your efforts.
But be prepared, just because you're using your manners doesn't always mean you'll be "thanked" in return. Some cultures handle manners differently than others and it is not uncommon for Norwegians to neglect to say "please" or "thank you". Try not to be offended. They aren't being rude, it's just a different way of life.
Bring Your Wallet (and be ready to use it)
That's right - even though you can budget while in Norway, be prepared to spend some money. Oslo, the capital of this beautiful country, is also voted one of the most expensive cities in the world.
If you plan to eat and drink in one of Norway's restaurants, you'll be spending quite a bit. A great way to save is to stay at a hotel that offers accommodations for cooking your own meals. Many Norwegian restaurants offer the staples of meat and potatoes. The cuisine is not that extravagant and might not be worth spending your cash on.
Regardless of when your trip is scheduled, be sure to dress warm when visiting Norway. The "hottest" month in the capital of Oslo is July and high temperatures only reach 64 degrees.
The country, over all, sees high temperatures in the upper 60's and low 70's. On occasion, temperatures will top out in the 80's but this isn't common. The warmth from the Gulf Stream is what brings more mild weather to this northern nation.
The best time to visit Norway is between the months of May and September when the climate is mild. If you plan to visit in the winter months, be prepared. Temperatures can dip as low as 20 degrees.
You also need to prepare for Norway's Polar Nights and Midnight Sun. During Polar Nights parts of the country are blanketed in darkness for nearly 20 hours a day - twilight is the most light you'll see. The Midnight Sun means exactly that - sunlight is visible 24 hours a day.
This natural phenomenon is amazing and worth seeing, so be sure to check the region and how it's effected before booking your trip.
Though it's a relatively uncommon, and costly, destination for travelers, Norway offers a unique experience. With an abundance of natural wonders and landscapes, this Nordic country is a nature enthusiast's dream.
With a little budgeting and preperation, Norway could be your next best excursion.