NEED TO KNOW
Capital City: Oslo
Population: 4.6 million
Area: 125,000 square miles
Telephone Calling Code(s): 47
Electricity: 230V, 50 Hz
Currency: As of Nov 22, 2011:
1 Norway Kroner = $0.17 US Calculate Other Amounts
Norway does not require visas for citizens of the United States. A valid passport is sufficient for a three-month stay.
GOOD TO KNOW
Books and Movies
The Viking spirit still rages in Norwegian literature. Follow the exploits of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen in Andrew Langley and Kevin Barnes' The Great Polar Adventure or read the thrilling account of Thor Heyerdahl's nearly 7000-mile journey in Kon Tiki. For a more civilized look at Norway, the plays of Henrik Ibsen—especially A Doll's House—are treasured the world over.
Norway takes the mantra that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" to heart. Wake up to overflowing platters of smoked fish, meat, cheese, bread, cereal, and eggs. With such a long seafaring tradition—the Vikings didn't just disappear—it's no surprise that fish is especially prized and served in countless ways. Smoked salmon is the most popular export, but pickled herring and lutefisk (cod that's been fermented in lye—a Christmas delicacy) are also popular locally. Venison is the prized meat for roasting, and while the sub-arctic climate is short on spices, bounteous wild berries (from cloud to lingen) brighten every meal in preserves and sauces. Access to alcohol is severely limited by law, but Aquavit provides warmth on many a cold night. Similar to vodka, this clear liquor is taken straight and cold, often flavored with caraway or other herbs.
Nothing. Everything is expensive in Norway. But if you insist on spending money, clean-lined (if severe) Nordic fashions, traditional furs, silverware, and crystal are treasured throughout Europe for their exquisite design.
Tipping is an American sport you do not need to practice in Norway where waiters are paid a living wage. Exceptions may be made if you encounter exemplary service, but even then ten percent is considered a fine tip.
January: 1, New Year's Day
May: 1, May Day; 17, Constitution Day
December: 25, Christmas Day; 26, Boxing Day
Spring: Thursday before Easter, Holy Thursday; Friday before Easter, Good Friday; Easter; day after Easter, Easter Monday; sixth Thursday after Easter, Ascension; eighth Monday after Easter, Pentecost Monday