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*I spent about 5 days on the Western Coast of Norway (Bergen) and I was blown away by the natural beauty! Inside of this Bergen Guide, you’ll hear about my experiences and get recommendations for things like — culture, food, nightlife, and things to do.
If you haven’t done so already, add Norway to the very top of your bucket list.
With a population of about 5 million people, Norway is the second least densely populated country in Europe. The endless green landscape combined with a small population makes Norway the most peaceful country I’ve ever been to.
If you like explore the outdoors, experience complete blissful nature, and adventure through the natural beauty of planet earth, then Norway is a place for you. Every little part of this country is picturesque.
But don’t book your plane tickets just yet… First, I must warn you about these two things:
1) Norway is very, very cold (June-August are the only bearable months to visit)
2) Norway is absurdly expensive. It puts places like Sydney and NYC to shame.
Norway is in the top 3 most expensive countries in the world. Just to give you an idea of how expensive it was, a little bowl of clam chowder was $15USD. But don’t let that scare you away, because Norway CAN be done on a tight budget (I did so myself). There are plenty of cheap street food options, and cheap(ish) hostels that you can stay at.
There are ways to be a smart money spender, so use your money wisely!
During the Summer months, Norway is famous for its Midnight sun because it is so high in Latitude. If you visit in the summer (which I highly recommend), then it will stay light outside 24/7 because the sun doesn’t set over the Arctic Circle! The picture you see above was taken at 12 PM Midnight by my iPhone. It was a little confusing when I was coming home from a bar and it was still light outside at 3AM, but it was really cool to experience.
Alright, let’s get into some quick facts!
– Currency: Norwegian Krone (NOK)
– Language: Norwegian
– Population: 5.2 million people
– Norway has the 4th highest per-capita income in the world
– It is the world’s largest oil producer (per capita) and the largest natural gas producer outside the Middle East. Together, oil and gas account for 57% of Norway’s economy.
-Norway is ranked #1 in the Human Development Index (a measurement of life expectancy, education and income)
– Norway is home to polar bears, and other arctic animals such as reindeer, wolverines, and the arctic fox.
– The Norwegians invented skiing, and have won more Winter Olympic Medals than any other country
– 40% of Norwegians have completed a postsecondary education- the highest rate in Europe
– The Eiksund tunnel is the deepest undersea tunnel in the world. It is 7,765 meters (25,476 ft.) long and goes 287 meters (942 ft.) deep.
Culture & People
As history tells, people have been roaming around the Norwegian land for tens of thousands of years. The vikings may have a bad reputation when it comes to slavery, but they were actually traders, explorers and settlers.
The vikings were really hard workers, and Norway wouldn’t be the same today without all they did in the land. Another group of people, which are indigenous to Norway, are the sami people. The samis have been in Scandinavia for the last 10,000 years and they are known for their colorful clothes and hunting reindeer.
Norwegian people are tall and thin and have amazingly clear skin. Along with Swedish people, I think Norwegians are the most beautiful in the world. Essentially, there features are flawless and the will make you feel insignificant (I sure did!) And even better, they are so friendly and charming. It made me never want to leave Norway .
Trolls are a huge part of Norwegian culture- specifically folklore.
Legend says that trolls turn to stone when contact with the sun. The trolls are very old looking, ugly, have long crooked noses, and bushy tails. Statues of Trolls are commonly found all over Norway, as it has sort-of become symbolic to the culture. There are even 3 cities named after trolls (Trollheimen, Trollstigen and Trollveggen.)
I think you won’t have any difficulties adjusting to the culture in Norway. Everything is so peaceful and the people are so kind that they will make you feel at home 🙂
I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and make some new local friends! Click this link to learn the Top 10 Norwegian Words to keep in your back pocket 😉
What to Do?
During my trip to Norway, I explored the second-biggest city called Bergen.
Located in the Southwestern part of Norway, I choose to visit Bergen because it is known as the “Gateway to the Fjords.” If you’ve never heard of the Fjords before, they are long, narrow inlets with steep sides or cliffs on the sea. They are created from glacier erosions that occurred thousands of years ago.
My friend and I I took an all-day tour through the fjords. First, we took scenic trains through the countryside and then we took a boat through the most popular fjords!
Pictures don’t do justice to how incredible the fjords were. Never in my life have I seen something so amazing – it felt like I was in a constant dream. Moreover, I have never felt so small and inferior to the world. The giant, steep mountains dominate the landscape for miles and miles.
Although a little expensive, the tour that I went on was Norway in a Nutshell, and I absolutely recommend you to take the same tour because the tour guides are amazing and you get to see plenty of Norway’s best fjords!
For a more complete list of the things to do, check out my post on 10 Things to do in Bergen.
If there is one thing know about Norwegian Food, it’s the FRESH FISH.
My advice is this: eat as MUCH fish as you can.
That was my food schedule in Norway for lunch and dinner. Norway is most famous for their cod and salmon. Bergen has a famous Fish Market with the freshest fish caught out of the ocean every morning. People will grill the salmon (or whatever fish) in front of you until cooked perfectly. Hands down the best seafood I’ve ever had in the world.
If you want to know what other delicious foods that Bergen has to offer, then please read my post on the Top 5 Norwegian Foods to Try.
Norway is not really a place to go for the nightlife, but it can be fun if you have money to spend.
I do not have any good recommendations for where to party in Bergen, but I would advise you to stroll around the main parts of the city and find a few scattered bars to hang out at.
Norwegians are some of the friendliest people that I’ve ever met and they enjoyed welcoming me into their country. They really do like to drink booze (what else is there to do when it’s -40 outside), so I am sure that you’ll find a nice and cozy bar to hang out and meet some local Norwegians.
Thanks for reading, and I hope that you have an awesome and exciting trip to Norway 🙂