Insider tips for your (first) trip - Norway from AZ

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In this blog post you will get all the important information, tips and details about the country in general as well as the perfect preparation for your trip to Norway

fishing

Fishing in Norway is basically allowed without a fishing license and basically possible for everyone in the sea. If you want to fish in one of the numerous lakes, you should inform yourself in the local community about the provisions. Mostly you need a permit (fishing license), which is usually in the tourist information, in the grocery store, at the gas station and often in the local sports shop to buy.

According to the Foreign Office, it is currently permitted to carry 15 kg of fish. From 2018, however, change the customs regulations: Anglers who DO NOT holiday in a registered tourist fishing operation, it is then only allowed to export 10 kg of sea fish. In return, all anglers who spend their holidays in a registered tourist fishing business can take home 20 kg of sea fish and carry them out of Norway. The taking of a trophy fish is from 2018 according to our information also no longer permitted.

We are currently seeing more and more frequently that at the time of departure, groups of anglers are being checked to see whether the given quantity has been complied with.


alcohol

How to explain the ambivalent relationship of Norwegians especially to alcoholic beverages? For outsiders, which we are in this case, this is almost impossible and actually we are not allowed to make an assessment in this issue. The fact is that the discussion in the country itself - always blazing - very controversial and emotionally led: From the absolute release of alcohol sales to a strict ban and a tightening of the already quite restrictive sales restrictions.

So there are only drinks in the supermarkets with an alcohol content up to 4.9%, such as beer and the popular in Norway cider (a kind of fermented apple juice, but now also in many flavors) to buy freely, if not communal Regulations restrict the sale in relation to the day of the week or the time of day. So we stood on a warm summer day after 18.00 clock even in front of a sealed beer rack, since the sale at this time was already prohibited ....

Which brings us to the beer that is available in Norway for all occasions and occasions in special editions: Whether it is the "Øl" varieties at Christmas, summer, the midnight sun or whatever, and the now numerous regional beers: it has Over the last few years, Norway has developed an impressive and accepted beer culture that, in terms of quality and diversity (based on the number of inhabitants of Norway), does not have to hide from the German offer and is now driven by many small, local breweries.

The national brandy "Aquavit" and other spirits and a variety of imported wines are available in the larger cities in the shops of the state chain "Vinmonopolet", but where you should expect high prices. You can find the stores and their opening times under this link.


Drive

The Norwegian roads are generally in a remarkably good condition. Small side roads, however, are often still unpaved and often lack the central belt due to the sometimes narrow routes. Impressive are again and again the gigantic bridge and tunnel structures, some of which span entire fjords or even several hundred meters deep below them. On many coastal roads, due to the routing and the mostly imposing construction method, the following is always true: The path is the destination ....

In the mountain and fjord regions, the roads are often narrow, sometimes even one-lane, winding and heavily used at least in the summer. For a trip along the coast you should always take into account ferry times and fees. All in all, progress is slow - even on the well-developed European roads. On average, you have to plan about two hours for 100 kilometers. The maximum speed outside built-up areas is 80 km / h. Only on some highways 90 km / h are allowed and on even fewer sections may now drive 110 km / h. Within closed areas 50 km / h are permitted as in Germany.
Important road traffic information and especially in winter necessary information on the condition and passability of the mountain passes for the whole of Norway, the Road Authority provides up-to-date on its website: www.vegvesen.no.

Low beam is also during the day - as in all Scandinavia - regulation !! It is compulsory for all riders. Children smaller than 1.35 m must ride in an approved child seat. Your vehicle must have a breakdown triangle, first aid kit, a safety vest and replacement headlamps.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is an expensive pleasure in Norway. The alcohol limit is 0.2 ‰ - in case of violations, foreign drivers are also threatened with immediate driving license withdrawal and even imprisonment. Even low speeding and non-observance of parking bans are many times more expensive in Norway than in Germany.

Gasoline and diesel also cost more, but are dependent on the exchange rate and oil prices to get quite bearable prices. In case of improper waste disposal (camping toilet or other garbage), the Norwegian people react to extremely sensitive. Again, sometimes drastic penalties are to be expected.

Wild accidents must always be reported to the road service (TEL: 175). Especially at dawn and dusk and on sections with a warning sign, special care is required. A collision with a moose often has far-reaching consequences due to the stature of the animals. Signs warn at particularly endangered places, in addition, always a danger of the game change should be assumed.

For breakdowns help the following services, which also have an agreement with the ADAC:

Caution !! In the winter until May, many passes are still blocked, such as:

Rv 13 Gaularfjell (Jan. - April)
Rv 13 Vikafjell (Dec. - May)
Rv 51 Valdresflya (Nov. - May)
Rv 55 Sognefjell (Nov. - May)
RV 63 Trollstigen (Oct. - May)
Rv 63 Geiranger - > Rv 98 Ifjordfjell (Nov. - May)
E 69 Skarsvåg - North Cape (Oct. - May)

The suspension may last until well into June. If you're planning a trip through Norway at this time, you should check in advance ( for example, here ).


Car Rental ("Leiebil")

If you want to rent a car, you must have a passport and a valid driving license and be older than 21 years. A rental car is not cheap, but a convenient way to travel the far north.
Offices of international and local car rental companies can be found in all major cities and at almost all airports.

It is usually worth reserving the car in advance. Check for full insurance and local fees. In Norway, two aspects should be taken into account: Very often the number of kilometers, even with well-known providers, is limited to 100 kilometers per day and, furthermore, one-way rentals in Norway are particularly expensive. We had this experience when we flew to Bodø, from there with a rental car to drive the so-called Kystriksveien (Helgelandskysten) towards Trondheim, and then fly back from there ....


Embassies in Norway

German Embassy in Oslo:
Oscars gate 45
N-0258 Oslo
Tel. 0047 - 22552010

Austrian Embassy:
Thomas Heftyes gate 19-21,
N-0264 Oslo
0047 22 54 02 00

Swiss Embassy:
Oscars gate 29
N-0244 Oslo
004722 54 23 90


Entry Customs

For travelers from EU countries a valid identity card is sufficient. The import of cash worth more than NOK 25,000 must be declared, but travelers' checks have no upper limit. Citizens of European countries may import the following goods duty free (only for visitors over 18 years):

Customs and duty free quota
Spirits: over 22 and up to 60 vol% (1 liter)
Wine: over 2.5 and up to 22 vol .-% (1.5 liters)
Beer: over 2.5% by volume (also strong beer) or Alcopop or cider over 2.5 and up to 4.7% by volume (2 liters)

The free range for spirits can be converted into 1.5 liters of wine or beer, alcopop or cider. The free range for wine can be converted into beer, alcopop or cider in the ratio 1: 1. Wine as well as beer, alcopop and cider can not be converted into beverages with a higher alcohol content.

Tobacco: 200 cigarettes or 250 g of other smoking tobacco and 200 sheets of cigarette paper
The allowance for tobacco products can be converted into 1.5 liters of wine or beer, alcopop or cider. Here are some visualized examples of these variants:
Source: www.toll.no


European Union

Norway does not belong to the EU. In a referendum the Norwegians voted against entering the EU. Nevertheless, Norway is closely linked to the EU and thus also a member of the Schengen Agreement. In addition, Norway participates in the European internal market. Like Lichtenstein and Iceland, Norway as a third country is part of the European Economic Area.


money

Funny video introducing the new 200 NOK banknote.

In Norway, you pay with the Norwegian krone. The amount is always rounded up or down to the nearest full crown. Banknotes are available from 50 to 1000 NOK, coins from 1 NOK to 20 NOK. You can change money in banks, exchange offices, main post offices and larger hotels. However, the cheapest exchange rate can be obtained from the numerous EC machines in the country, which are called minibanks in Norway. We therefore recommend that you withdraw the required crowns for your trip in Norway at the ATM (which are also mostly German or at least English-speaking).

Credit cards are accepted in most shops, hotels and restaurants and are generally broadened in Norway and therefore more accepted than in Germany. Even the fast coffee on the ferry is often and gladly paid by credit card. It is strongly recommended to carry the PIN for the credit card, as it is needed on many ATMs, for example, if you refuel outside of normal opening hours.

In cities and holiday regions there are enough ATMs. On excursions, you should have cash available for tolls, etc., as there are often variants with a "treasury of trust" where the money is put into circumstances and thrown into a kind of mailbox.

A "toll station" on a private residential trail in the mountains. Here only cash helps ....

public holidays

- Maundy Thursday,
- Good Friday,
- Easter Monday,
- Ascension and
- Whit Monday

In 2019, the holidays in Norway will be as follows:

  • 01.01: Nyttår (New Year)
  • 14.04: Palmesøndag (Palm Sunday)
  • 18.04 .: Skjærtorsdag (Maundy Thursday)
  • 19.04: >
  • 21.04: 1st Påskedag (Easter Sunday)
  • 22.04: 2nd Påskedag (Easter Monday)
  • 01.05: Offentlig høytidsdag (Labor Day)
  • 17.05: Grunnlovsdag (Norwegian National Day / Constitution Day)
  • 30.05: Kristi Himmelfartsdag (Ascension Day)
  • 09.06: 1st Pinsedag (Pentecost Sunday)
  • 10.06: 2nd Pinsedag (Whit Monday)
  • 25.12: 1st of July (Christmas Day)
  • 26.12: 2nd of July (Christmas Day)

The holidays are valid throughout Norway.


The official flag days in Norway

Being able to experience a flag day in Norway is something very special. The national flag is hoisted proudly throughout the country and Norway sinks in the flag colors (red, white, blue). On 17.05 the country celebrates its national holiday. On this day, parades are held throughout the country and it is celebrated hilariously. You can find our impressions for 17.May here.

  • 1st of January = New Year
  • January 21 = Birthday Princess Ingrid Alexandra
  • February 6 = holiday of the Sami people
  • February 21 = Birthday King Harald
  • April 21 = Easter Sunday
  • May 1st = Public holiday
  • May 8 = Liberation Day 1945
  • May 17 = national holiday
  • June 9 = Whitsun Sunday
  • 7th June = dissolution of the union with Sweden 1905
  • 4th of July = Birthday Queen Sonja
  • 20th of July = Birthday Crown Prince Haakon Magnus
  • July 29 = death of King Olaf of the saint
  • August 19th = Birthday Crown Princess Mette-Marit
  • December 25th = 1st Christmas Day

There is even a law in which the handling of the Norwegian flag is regulated: The law can be found here: " Lov om Norges Flag "


health

Norway's health care is excellent. An important note: In order to cover any possible treatment costs, the European Health Insurance Card must be presented in Norway. The dental emergency service (tannlegevakt) usually has to be paid directly on-site.
The Foreign Office also recommends concluding a foreign health insurance with repatriation insurance. This also protects against unexpected costs in the event of an accident in the vastness of Norway.

Where is there medical help?
During the week, finding a doctor in major cities will not be a problem. Outside normal office hours, a medical emergency service is then responsible. This emergency service is called Legevakt.

The nationwide emergency numbers are: 110 for the fire department, 112 for the police and 113 for the ambulance.


Pets

In Norway, there is no rabies and so that remains so, the entrainment of animals (dogs and cats) is strictly regulated.
If you are bringing an animal from an EU / EEA country to Norway, remember to contact a veterinarian / veterinarian and ensure that the animal meets the following requirements:
The animal must have an identification / microchip. Tattoos are now only accepted if they are legible and the animal has been tagged before 3 July 2011 (since 3 July 2011 a microchip is required). The animal must have an identification before it receives a rabies vaccine. The identity number must be stated in all veterinary certificates / passport and all original documents.

The animal must be vaccinated against rabies as recommended by the vaccine producer (usually at least three months old at the earliest). It must not be introduced before the 21st day after vaccination. The demand for a rabies vaccine also applies to the entry with animals from rabies-free states.

Dogs must be treated for tapeworm infestation (Echinococcus multilocularis) with a recognized preparation such as praziquantel or epsiprantel. Treatment must be completed within 120 to 24 hours prior to entry to Norway. The treatment must be certified by a veterinarian in the passport through a veterinary certificate. Cats do not need tapeworm treatment, but they need to be vaccinated against rabies.

Information on the pet owner's name, animal identity, rabies vaccination and treatment for tapeworm infestation must be documented in a veterinary certificate, signed by a public veterinarian in the sending country, or by a passport recognized in the EU (applicable to EU countries). / EEA countries).
When passing the border, the animal and the necessary documents must be presented to customs during opening hours for inspection. If you come from the EU, the animal and the papers must be presented unsolicited to the customs (red lane).
Source: www.mattilsynet.no


Internet

Network coverage in Norway is often excellent and you have stable reception even in the most remote corners. However, that changes as soon as you take mountain hikes. In civilization one often finds open networks such as in department stores, hotels, libraries or even campsites.


Everyman

In principle, in Norway, you can move freely anywhere in nature, unless otherwise stated. Countless opportunities to make an exciting exploration tour! The Everyman's Law (Norwegian: Allemannsretten) allows you to move around in nature, ie on the beach, in the forest, in the mountains and in other areas that are not developed. However, this does not apply to car tourists or RVs.

It is also prohibited to enter agricultural land without permission of the owner. These include meadows, clearings, nursery fields and similar areas where a public passage could harm the owner. You need to move around carefully so that neither nature nor property will be damaged. Take into account animals and people who are in the area.

The right of everyman is enshrined in the "Law on Life in the Outdoors" of June 28, 1957. Everyman's law allows one to freely use nature as a place of residence and to avail oneself of the fruits of nature, naturally with the native consideration of people, flora and fauna.

More and very detailed information can be found in our blog post on this topic , where we are very detailed and correct on the contents and rules of the Allemannsretten, so the so-called Everyman's rights.
Another source on the topic and for more information: www.norwegen.no


dress

The Norwegian weather is unpredictable. Varied as the weather should be your clothes. Warm, wind- and rain-repellent clothing should not be left out. For a hike in the mountains (even in summer) you should think of cap, scarf, sunglasses and gloves. Also important are good hiking boots, which in particular need a stable non-slip sole. For light tours, especially in marshy areas, rubber boots should not be missing. In the summer you should also be prepared for very hot days, do not forget sunscreen and mosquito repellent.

Under this link you will find an information booklet on safety in the Norwegian mountains . It has published Innovation Norway in cooperation with the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) and NHO Reiseliv. Further and more detailed information can be found in our blog post , which deals extensively with this topic.


climate

In Norway there is a relatively pleasant climate - thanks to the Gulf Stream. However, the weather in Norway is quite unstable: In one minute the sun is shining and in the next one is already in the rain. Therefore, a look at the Norwegian weather service yr.no (very good and quite precise) is essential. There you can see the weather hour by hour, as well as in the long-term forecast. This has helped us a lot with the tour planning, especially since the forecast is very precise.

Spring:

We love the spring in Norway. If you have the opportunity to travel to the fjord regions during the flowering of fruit trees in May, you should definitely do so. You will be surprised by the flowers and the intense colors. The interplay of blue water, bright green shores, blooming fragrant trees and the snow-capped mountains in the clear air are simply indescribable. An Eldorado for photographers .... In spring, the temperature differences between north and south are greatest (up to 20 degrees difference are possible). While in Bergen, the landscape already appears lush green and the plant world is in full bloom in almost summer temperatures, the winter in the far north fights to keep the upper hand. Above the Arctic Circle there is often the deepest winter - but from mid-May you can already admire the midnight sun. A phenomenon that makes the northern regions so fascinating and unique in the winter in addition to the northern lights.

Summer:

Also the summer in Norway is a wonderful travel time. In July and August temperatures reach between 20 and even 30 degrees. Even in the north, temperatures above 20 degrees are possible. In the more southerly mountains you can experience 19 hours of natural light during this time. The flowers bloom, the rivers are populated by fish and thundering waterfalls make their way with a lot of meltwater towards the sea - a picturesque scenery for a summer holiday. The midnight sun makes Norwegian nights north of the Arctic Circle a special experience with spectacular colors. Especially for hikers, a trip in high season is recommended: Many mountains are now easily accessible, which promise a magnificent view over the unique landscape of Norway. Some fjords turn turquoise-green from the melting waters of the glaciers, making it easy to believe they are in the tropics. In addition, Norway has beautiful, clean - often hidden - sandy beaches that invite you to swim in the (often still cool) sea.

Autumn:

Autumn invites you with its warm-flowering heathland. The sun is already very low and so the colorful landscape is bathed in an incredibly warm light. For photographers, this time is a MUST. But also for hiking this time is perfect. The temperatures are still quite mild and you can really beat his stomach with his numerous berries. Mushroom friends get their money. In no time you have a basket full and therefore a delicious lunch or dinner.
From mid-August, it is also much quieter in the country. The Norwegians themselves have no holidays and also many tourists are already turning their back on Norway at this time. Many shops, museums, cafes have already closed and during his walks you sometimes meet no human soul. The time is ideal for relaxing and to enjoy the last warm days and the beginning of autumn color in the fjell.

Winter:

If you want to experience a true winter in Europe, you must travel to Norway. Snow is available in many regions mostly from December and the whole country is a winter idyll from the picture book. It will be quiet and comfortable in Norway. Countless candles light up in the windows and many restaurants invite you to "Julebord" - the traditional Christmas buffet. Skiers will find plenty of room on the slopes and seemingly endless trails. After a day in the snow, you can warm yourself in the typical Scandinavian fireplace or in the sauna. But Norway offers much more in the winter: There is no better and more impressive experience of nature than dancing the northern lights in the sky on a clear winter's night, or seeing Polaris shine in the sky. If the sun does not rise over the horizon for about 2 months, then not only is official dark time but the best time for photographers. The locals call this time also color time, as the low sun with its indirect light conjures incredible colors from purple to red on the horizon.


campfire

Open fires are prohibited from April 15th to September 15th. During this time campfires may only be lit on beaches or on rocks by the sea.


toll

Toll is charged at the city entrances and on the city rings of Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim - as well as some bridges and tunnels that have not yet been "paid off" once they have been built. For these construction projects, a toll is payable in Norway until the construction costs are refinanced. In any case, a fair system ...

One pays either cash, by credit card or automatically by car pass, see also www.autopass.no . But it is also no problem to drive through the automatic toll stations ("Automatisk Bomstasjon"). The license plate of the vehicle is being filmed and you will receive a bill a few weeks after your trip, which you can settle by bank transfer. There are no higher costs or other amounts.

Alternatively, you can, but especially if you travel more often to Norway, also register with the contracted service provider EPC (homepage is German-speaking) and there deposit his license plate, a credit card connection and other information, so that the costs are automatically deducted after the trip. This simplifies the whole procedure considerably.

Anyone traveling by land, and thus across the bridges from Denmark to Sweden, would be advised to pick up the transponder of the company BroPass anyway, as it saves a great deal of tolls on the Öresund Bridge and the Storebelt Bridge. With this transponder you can also bill almost all tolls automatically in Norway, as this Danish company has a general agreement with the Norwegian toll companies. More about this contract, how to save money and the transponder can be found in our blog post for optimal arrival to Norway.


media

Government TV channels are complemented in many hotels with satellite and cable programs, including BBC World, CNN and various European channels. The Norwegians love their daily newspapers and so it is not uncommon that they have subscribed to up to three pieces and assert themselves in many regions even smaller daily newspapers to the present day.

The most well-known daily papers are the "Aftenposten" and the "Dagbladet" - in terms of their level but most likely to be compared to the "BILD" ... .. Leading German->


VAT refund

All businesses labeled "Tax free for tourists" will refund the Norwegian VAT to visitors from non-Scandinavian countries from NOK 1,000. You must complete a tax exemption document and present your passport. When leaving the country, you can use this form to claim the amount at the special counters in ports, airports, on ferries and at the national border, which in our experience is very easy and definitely worthwhile.


emergencies

Police emergency 112, fire 110, ambulance 113.


Public transport

The route network of the Norwegian State Railways is well developed. The north is not quite as well developed and thus Narvik is the northernmost station, but unfortunately not accessible via Norway itself, but only via Sweden. One of the most beautiful routes is probably the Bergensbahn which leads from Oslo to Bergen over the largest plateau in Europe - the Hardangervidda.

Also, you should definitely take the Flåmban: the route is one of the steepest in the world and therefore invites you to a spectacular experience while driving from Flåm (sea level) up to the Hardangervidda. In addition, the Rauma cable car, Dovrebahn and the Nordlandsbahn are no less exciting. The routes usually take you through beautiful landscapes with magnificent views over mountain, lake, fjord and valley. Not least, the routes often lead through picturesque villages and you can also experience a variety of impressive waterfalls.


opening hours

The opening times of public authorities, shops and banks are very similar to the German opening hours - regional but different and provided with a strong city-country gap. In less populated areas, the opening hours are therefore significantly limited. The food markets are often open until 11 pm and often also on Sundays.


Smoke

Norway has been running an effective anti-smoking campaign for years. Strict smoking is prohibited in all public transport, as well as in public buildings, in public places, in offices, at workplaces, in restaurants and cafes etc. Tobacco and cigarettes are only sold to over 18-year-olds.


safety

Norway is one of the safest countries, but lately unknown street crime in major cities in northern Europe has increased. Just take the usual precautions: Avoid dark or lonely places and streets at night, and leave nothing desirable visible in the car. Otherwise, it is still true that most Norwegians do not lock their homes and leave the car unlocked in front of the supermarket with the engine running ...


Sitten Bräuche

Norweger sind lebenslustige und sehr hilfsbereite Leute. Wir haben von unseren vielen Reisen nur positive Erlebnisse zu berichten. Mehr dazu findet ihr in unseren Erzählungen und Berichten aus Norwegen.


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