Norway is a European country located in Scandinavia. The country is famous for the midnight sun, fairy tale landscapes including fjords, waterfalls, and mountains, as well as its viking heritage.
Norwegian is the main language. Other languages include: Northern Sami, Lule Sami, Kven, and Southern Sami. About 80% of people in Norway are Christian with the majority belonging to the Church of Norway.
For four long centuries, Norway was part of Denmark. Later, it was forced to join Sweden and finally got independence in 1905. Since that time, Norway has attained one of the highest standards of living in the world with the fourth highest per capita income. The abundance of oil and natural gas in the North Sea has helped the economy as well as the locals hard-working ethic and determination to live comfortably in some of the world's most hostile environments and climate. Today, Norway is widely recognised as being one of the most beautiful countries in the world. With stunning scenery, a relatively small population, low pollution, clear rivers, and snow, it is widely renown for its natural landscapes. Citizens of other European countries often choose Norway as a place to travel when they want to get away from it all and get close to nature.
Top 5 places to visit
Geirangerfjord is perhaps the most scenic fjord in Norway. It certainly is one of the most popular tourist destinations and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are a number of spectacular lookouts that give unprecedented views of the fjord. The journey to the fjord is also spectacular with alpine mountains, hairpin curved roads, waterfalls and year round snow. If you have time to see one fjord only, then this one is it.
Sognefjord is the third longest fjord in the world at 110 km (68 mi) long. Best described as an extensive series of valleys inundated by the ocean that wind through alpine mountains. This fjord system has a number of quaint villages on the shores.
Pulpit Rock is a 600 metre vertical cliff on the edge of the Lysefjord. The top of the rock is flat and makes for a natural lookout of the fjord below.
Hurtigruten is a ferry service along the Norwegian western coastline and has been dubbed, the world’s most scenic sea voyage. It doesn't travel through fjords except in summer when the boat can come into Geirangerfjord. However, the boat stops at cities that are near other fjords.
Lofoten Islands a group of islands in the north of Norway with abrupt peaks rising out of the ocean and small settlements nestled in fjords.
Top cities by population
Oslo is the biggest city in Norway and the most expensive city in the world to live. It is a city of museums, parks, shops, cafes and eateries. Outside the CBD and still within the city limits are large areas of forest.
Bergen is the second biggest city in Norway. It sits on the western coast with a mountainous backdrop and spectacular views out to sea. The train between Oslo and Bergen is one of the world's great rail trips with views of mountains, fjords, snow, and glaciers.
Trondheim is an old city with a young heart. Being a university city, it is lively and has a thriving art, music, and social scene. It is also rich in ancient heritage with lovely older buildings that give the city its character.
Ålesund is a city built on a number of Atlantic Islands. It was destroyed by fire in the early twentieth century and was consequently rebuilt in Art Nouveau style giving the city a consistent central European look. The city sits between both sea and alpine mountains and is the gateway to a number of fjords including the famous Geirangerfjord.
Tromsø in the northern-most part of Norway is a sophisticated city surrounded by spectacular landscapes. Being 350km north of the Artic Circle it is a great place to see the famous Northern Lights. The city also experiences the midnight sun from May 18 to July 26.
Bodø is a coastal city in the country's north. It is a great place to experience the midnight sun. It is the gateway town to The gateway to the magnificent Lofoten islands and from the town you can see huge rocky islands beyond the coast. It is a windy city so bring a wind jacket.