Landscape in Bárrás, Norwayhttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Landscapes_of_Norway#/media/File:View_from_B%C3%A1rr%C3%A1s_part_II.jpg
The Kingdom of Norway
is a Nordic country on the western side of the Scandinavian peninsula. It has a size of 385,252 square kilometers, and a population of close to 5 million people. Norway shares a long border with Sweden, some 1,619 kilometers in length, and a much shorter one with Finland, about 727 km. It also shares a 196-km border with Russia to the east.
As with its Scandinavian neighbors, Norway is a very wealthy country - the third wealthiest in the world in monetary value. It is also the world's fifth biggest oil exporter, with petroleum accounting for a quarter of its GDP. The Norwegian krone is said to be the strongest currency in the world.
Bunesfjorden, Lofoten, Norwayhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bunesfjorden_Lofoten_01.jpg
Due to Norway's high latitude, it is one of the countries that experience the midnight sun, which occurs between late May to late July, when the sun does not entirely sets below the horizon in the northernmost part of Norway. On the other hand, northern Norway is cast into total darkness between late November to late January, while the rest of the country gets only very short daylight hours.
A trip to Norway would appeal to travelers who loves nature, in particular, those looking for breathtaking landscape. Norway is a rugged mountainous country. The jagged landscape contains numerous fjords, islets, waterfalls and glaciers. Although the coastline of Norway is 2,500 km from north to south, it is 83,000 km when you count the total coastline of all its fjords and islands. Much of Norway remains wilderness. It has 250 species of birds, 90 species of mammals, 45 species of freshwater fish, 150 species of saltwater fish and 16,000 species of insects.
Fast Facts about Norway
The village of Reine in Lofoten, Norwayhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Reine_Lofoten_2009.JPG
- Official Name: Norway (Norge)
- Capital: Oslo (551,000)
- Population of Norway: 4,593,000
- Languages: Bokmal Norwegian, Nynorsk Norwegian, Sami
- Currency: Norwegian Krone
- Religions: Church of Norway (86%), other Christian faiths (2%), Muslim (2%)
- Size: 324,220 sq km (125,180 sq miles)
Planning your visit to Norway
Norway is a member of the Schengen Agreement. As of January 2010, visitors from countries which do not need a visa include the citizens of Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, and Venezuela.
The main air gateway to Norway is the Oslo Airport, Gardermoen (OSL), the second businest airport in the Nordic countries, and hub for Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle. Arriving at this airport, you can take the train, bus or taxi to reach downtown Oslo.
The Airport Express Train, called Flytoget (www.flytoget.no/eng/), connects the airport with Oslo.
The Norwegian State Railways (www.nsb.no/?lang=en_US) also have trains stopping at the airport on the way to Skien, Oslo, Lillehammer and Trondheim.
There are several buses going between the airport and downtown Oslo. The SAS Flybussen (www.flybussen.no/index.asp?lang=ENG) runs between the airport and Oslo. Another airport bus company, the NOR-WAY Bussekspress (www.nor-way.no), runs coaches to Bekkestua, Fredrikstad, Majorstuen, Gjøvik and Ski. Yet another company, Nettbuss (www.nettbuss.no), runs buses to Kongsvinger and Årnes from Oslo Airport.
You can reach Norway from Sweden by train. There are services from Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö.
Preparing Money for your trip to Norway
The currency used in Norway is the Norwegian Krone (NOK).
Planning your travel within Norway
If you wish to see the countryside, then taking the train would be the recommended option. Norges Statsbaner (www.nsb.no/internet/en/index.jhtml?language=en) is the state railway authority. You should get the Norwegian Rail Pass (www.scandinavianrail.com) to really explore Norway on a budget.
Royal Palace, Oslo, Norwayhttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Slott_noreg_bak_1.jpg
Bjørn Erik Pedersen
Principal Cities of Norway
The biggest city as well as capital of Norway. The cultural hub of the country, with many museums to visit.
The northernmost university city in the world, a place to view the northern Lights.
A former capital, and today the second-biggest city in the country. Being an old Hanseatic trading port, Bergen has beautiful historic buildings from its merchantile past, set amongst mountains and fjords.
The largest city in Nordland, and the second largest in North Norway, Bodø is your base for visiting the picturesque Lofoten Islands.
A manufacturing town with industries in logging, shipbuilding and seafaring, Drammen, located just 40 km from Oslo, today also has many tourist attractions.
City with a beautifully preserved Old Town, located to the south of Oslo, an excellent day-trip excursion.
Fifth largest city in Norway and capital of Vest-Agder county.
Small, beautifully preserved town, site of the 1994 Winter Olympics
The third largest urban area, fourth largest city, and some say, the prettiest in Norway. The Old Town is absolutely charming with its cobbled streets and medieval churches.
City on the northernmost part of Norway, another good place to view the Northern Lights in winter.
The fourth largest urban area in Norway, Trondheim has lovely riverside wharfs, wooden buildings, and a vibrant nightlife. It is also home to the majestic Nidaros Cathedral, the largest church in Northern Europe.
Beautiful coastal city with some of the best buildings of the Art Nouveau style in the world.
Tourist Destinations in Norway
The biggest glacier on mainland Europe.
An archipelago in the north of Norway, famous for its picturesque landscape.
A cliff, on the northernmost tip of continental Europe.
Longest fjord in Norway with picturesque landscape.
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