Did you know?
- The Lærdal tunnel, which was opened in 2000, situated on the Oslo-Bergen highway, is the longest road tunnel in the world… a staggering 24.5 kilometres in length!
- The Jostedalsbreen in Norway, is the largest glacier in Northern Europe.
- The sparsely populated country of Norway is divided by mountain ranges as well as a long coastline bordering the North Atlantic Ocean on its west, extending over 21,000 kilometers, which is gashed by its famous fjords, of which the Sogne Fjord, or the Sognafjorden, is the deepest and longest.
- Norway and Russia share a border… the Storskog border crossing is the northern most road border crossing in Europe.
- Norway is the sixth largest country of Europe, in terms of land mass. However, in terms of population, it ranks only 28th.
- The Nobel Prize is awarded in Norway every year.
- The sea has always been Norway’s source of strength, ever since the Vikings set out in their sea going vessels in the 9th century. Nowadays, Norway’s fleets of oil-tankers and merchant ships can be counted amongst the largest in the world, while its fishing boats boast of getting the largest catch in Western Europe.
- Norway has been most successful at the Winter Olympics, winning more medals than any other country.
Visas and Passports
Australian passport holders travelling to Norway do not need a visa at this time.
We require that your passport is valid for travel for at least six months from the date you are planning to return to Australia. Your passport must be valid to travel internationally and must be machine-readable. You also need to carry a valid return ticket on you.
Whether travelling on an Australian passport or the passport of another country, all travellers require visas for a number of countries, and it is your responsibility to secure what may be required before departing Australia. You can consult with your travel agent, but it is also recommended that you check the foreign embassy website for your respective destination as it can also provide you with useful information.
Australian Embassy in Norway:
Currently, there is no Australian Embassy located in Norway. It is represented by the Australian Embassy in Denmark.
Dampfaergevej 26, 2nd floor
Ph. +45 7026 3676
Fax. +45 7026 3686
The official currency of Norway is the Norwegian Krone. Notes come in denominations of kr1,000, 500, 200, 100 and 50.
The recommended currency to take to Norway is the Norwegian Krone or the Euro. Ensure you change a small amount into small denominations.
Advise your bank of your travel plans so that they can make a note of it, otherwise they may cancel your credit card as a safety measure due to the overseas transactions. Also make a note of the 24-hour emergency contact number of the bank or building society which issued your credit card in the unlikely event that your card is lost or stolen.
Whenever possible use ATMs when the banks are open (Mon – Fri) so that if a machine ‘eats’ your card you can then deal with it straight away. It is always advisable to carry a supply of cash in addition to your credit card.
If you don’t have Euro’s with you on arrival, we advise you to exchange some money into the local currency at the airport even if the exchange rate is not the best, this way you’ll have money to get a drink, snack or give a tip during those first few hours of arrival. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to exchange money.
Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many places outside of Australia.
- The price of a cappuccino in Oslo is approximately kr40-50.
- The price of an inexpensive lunch is approximately kr200.
- The price dinner in a moderate restaurant is approximately kr700.
- The price of a beer in a local pub is approximately kr90-100.
The Norwegian cuisine, from its very beginning, has relied on raw materials available in nature, and it makes particular use of meat derived from game and fisheries. In Norway, breakfast is a rich buffet (sweet/salty) with a coffee. Lunch is very fast, usually based on smørbrød (canapés assorted seafood, vegetables and sauces) or home-made sandwiches (matpakke). Dinner is the main meal, and is consumed very early, usually consists of an appetiser, a main course and dessert. Among drinks, the most consumed is beer (Øl).
Important: When dining at buffets (i.e. breakfast) please refrain from taking food away with you to ‘save’ for later! If you feel that you’ll need snacks between meals, pack some dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars etc.
If you have specific food allergies and/or preferences, we highly recommend you take every precaution before your tour, including carrying a small card with your food allergy listed in each language of every country you are travelling to show to table staff when ordering. Whilst we take all dietary requirements seriously, due to the serious nature of potential allergic reactions, it is your responsibility to be as prepared as possible.
Norway's weather is warmer than might be expected from its geographical location. Due to the warmth of the Gulf Stream, most of Norway falls within temperate climate. An interesting phenomenon in Norway (and some other parts of Scandinavia) is the seasonal change in the length of day and night. In midwinter, daylight lasts 5-6 hours in southern Norway and in the north, darkness prevails. Those dark days and nights are a Scandinavian phenomenon called the Polar Nights. In midsummer, daylight takes over and there is no night darkness during June and July, even as far south as Trondheim.
Want to get out and explore on your own?
The Norwegian public transport system is extremely efficient and often different modes of transport are timetabled to connect. A great way to experience the cities you are visiting is to explore on foot. You’ll see some amazing scenery, historic buildings and witness the locals going about their daily business.
When catching taxis, have small change on you and choose one with a meter, if it doesn’t have one then negotiate the price before getting in. Also, ask your guide or hotel staff the names of reputable taxi companies.
So, you’d love to bring home a special souvenir from Norway…
Traditional items you can buy as souvenirs include porcelain, handmade glass, textiles of various sorts, pine furniture, ski equipment, Helle hunting knives, toys, wood carvings, and chunky hand knitted jumpers. Viking styled souvenirs are also very popular. Viking jewellery is amongst the most common with items ranging from chunky silver necklaces to brooches. Pewter goblets and drinking bowls are always a popular gift.
The poet Aksel Sandemose put Jante Law into words and they convey an important element of Norwegian culture: humility. Jante's Law teaches people to be modest and not 'think big'. It is demonstrated in most people's refusal to criticise others. Norwegians try to see all people as being on equal footing. They do not flaunt their wealth or financial achievements and look askance at those who do.
Greetings are casual, with a firm handshake, direct eye contact, and a smile.
Celebrations & Public Holidays
Norwegians love to throw a good festival and some of these include Bergenfest, held in Bergen in June, an extreme sports week, a Bollywood Fest and a frozen waterfall festival in February.
Other national public holidays to be aware of include:
- New Year’s Day
- Easter Friday and Easter Monday
- Labour Day (May 1st)
- Constitution Day (May 17th)
- Ascension Day (40 days after Easter)
- Whit Monday (50 days after Easter)
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
The biggest city in Norway, Oslo has been the capital since 1814. The name of the city has changed from time to time as it was called Christiania from 1624 to 1878, and Kristiania from 1878 to 1924. Oslo first founded its own municipality in 1837, a county of its own was formed. The Royal Family of Norway, the Government and the Parliament are based in Oslo. As it is located at the head of Oslo Fjord, the city is surrounded by a lot of greenery and woody hills. All the attractions are nearby to each other and most of the parks are a ten minute walk. During the winter season, one can access all eight ski centres in the city or for the adventurous there are hundreds of kilometres of cross-country trails in the snow-covered forests and mountains.
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and is the administrative centre of Hordaland county. Its city centre is situated among a group of mountains known as "De syv fjell" (literally translated to The Seven Mountains), although which mountains these are is a matter of definition. Bergen is an important cultural centre in its region and was one of nine European cities honoured with the title of European Capital of Culture in 2000. The old wharf area, Bryggen, is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site because of its characteristic wooden houses that used traditional patterns and building methods.
Tromsø is the self-proclaimed “capital of the Arctic” and lies 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. The city experiences the warming effect of the Gulf Stream and as such is often warmer than many other cities situated on the same northern latitude. Tromsø’s centre contains the highest number of old wooden houses in Northern Norway with the oldest house dating back to 1789. Whilst here, visits to the Arctic Cathedral, Tromsø’s most famous landmark, and the Tromsø Museum are a must. The city is a cultural centre for its region, with several festivals taking place in the summer
Flåm & Flåm Railway
The Flåm Railway is an incredible train journey from the mountain station at Myrdal on the Bergen Railway, down to Flåm station nestled in the innermost corner of the Aurlandfjord. Each year, this exciting stretch of railway attracts people from all corners of the world, making the Flåm Railway one of Norway's major and most spectacular tourist attractions. On the 20 km-long train ride you can see rivers that cut through deep ravines, waterfalls cascade down the side of steep, snow-capped mountains and mountain farms cling dizzily to sheer slopes. The Flåm Railway is one of the world’s steepest railway lines on normal gauge. At the foot of the mountains you can enjoy the natural beauty of the Flåm Valley and admire the majestic Aurlandfjord, a branch of the world's longest fjord, the Sognefjord.
Independent Tours & Extensions
Experience a rare chance to discover the wondrous islands of Franz Josef Land on our Franz Josef Land voyage.
Experience a rare chance to discover the wondrous islands of Franz Josef Land on our Franz Josef Land voyage.
Encompassing some of the wildest, most rugged outliers of the North Atlantic Ocean and the high Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, this distinctive voyage offers a fascinating journey through time.
Enjoy the best of Svalbard, a world of endless daylight where polar bear sightings quicken your pulse, guillemot cries echo from sea cliffs and beluga whales rise from the sea.