Madison and I are just returning from a glorious week spent in Oslo, Norway. Before our trip to Oslo, I definitely did my fair share of research. It’s silly to travel to a new country unprepared, especially when there’s so much information out there to help you get ready, and I didn’t want to find myself caught off-guard during my stay.
Fortunately, I didn’t run into many surprises when I was in Oslo. Many of the tips and tricks I picked up online before I left prepared me well for my adventures. Not sure what to expect on your trip? Here are a handful of things that might be helpful to know as you get ready to go to Norway:
THEY DON’T USE THE EURO. If you’re visiting Norway as part of a longer European itinerary, or you’re hoping to get rid of some currency left over from your last adventure, be warned – the vast majority of places in Norway will not accept the Euro. Norway is not a member of the European Union, and therefore, they maintain their own currency: the Norwegian krone. One krone is roughly the equivalent of $0.11, so you’ll need to do some math along the way to understand how rates compare between the U.S. and Norway.
IT’S EXPENSIVE. While you won’t be absolutely shocked by the prices you find, you’ll quickly see that Norway isn’t the most affordable vacation destination. From Whoppers (we spent around $30 in Burger King for a 9pc nugget, cheeseburger and whopper meal) to gasoline, the prices in Norway are some of the highest you’ll find in the world, so prepare to spend a few dollars while you’re there. As long as you budget accordingly, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about!
MOST LOCALS SPEAK ENGLISH. You’ll score some bonus points by learning a few common phrases in the native language, but the overwhelming majority of people in Norway – especially those involved in tourism – speak English fluently. You won’t have any issues being understood when placing an order at a restaurant or asking for help, which can take a lot of stress out of a trip!
IT’S SAFE. Want peace of mind on your next vacation? Add Norway to the top of your must-see list. From rural areas to the most populated (and often high-crime) urban centers, the country boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the world. While you should always take precautions to keep yourself and your family safe when traveling, you can usually rest easy when visiting Norway. Madison got sick while there, and we had to make a quick trip to the ER around 3am in the morning, and we felt absolutely safe outdoors around that time.
NORWAY EXPERIENCES DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT SEASONS. If you’re planning a trip to Norway, you’ll want to consider the seasons before you go. They’re dramatically different from one another, and your ideal itinerary should dictate the time of year you plan your trip. If there are specific attractions or spots you’re determined to see while you’re there, you’ll definitely want to do some research beforehand to confirm they’re open and available when you’re around.
Winter offers the best opportunity to see the Northern Lights, but you’ll find yourself faced with short days and long nights – not ideal for activities or exploring. As spring approaches, you’ll be treated to gorgeous natural views of wildflowers, waterfalls, and lush landscapes, and during the summer, you’ll experience virtually non-existent nights as you enjoy the midnight sun (and the warm temperatures that accompany it). Wait until autumn to visit, and you’ll find cooler, wetter weather – and fewer tourists to ruin the view in your photos!
Now that you know everything you need to before you visit Norway, what are you waiting for? Add Norway to your next travel itinerary, and you won’t be disappointed by the experience!