Some inside info about Norway from our local travel experts.
ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
Check- in time at most accommodations is typically around 14:00 and check out time around 12:00. If you will be arriving at your accommodation later than 18:00, please call to let them know you will be arriving late. Likewise, if you would like to eat dinner at your accommodation, it is recommended to call ahead—especially if you are staying in a rural area.
The cost of service and VAT is included in all prices at restaurants, hotels, taxis, hairdressers, etc. Tipping is therefore not customary in Norway, but tips are appreciated when offered.
Help us keep Norway clean! Please leave all natural areas in the same or better condition than you found them.
FOOD & SNACKS
You will find the cheapest and best variety of food at the major supermarket chains, such as Rimi, Rema 1000, ICA and Coop. These stores are usually open 09:00 – 21:00 weekdays, 09:00-20:00 Saturdays and closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Quick snacks and after-hours necessities can be found at 7-Eleven convenience stores, which are usually open 24 hours in the bigger cities, with Sunday and holiday hours.
Most hotels offer some laundry or dry-cleaning services for a fee. There are also coin-operated launderettes (self-service facilities) and dry cleaners in major Norwegian towns and cities.
WINE BEER & SPIRITS
Aside from bars, restaurants and some hotels, wine, spirits and strong beers are only sold at state liquor stores called Vinmonopolet in larger cities and towns throughout Norway.
Regular beer (i.e., with 5% or less alcohol) can be purchased at supermarkets. However, in some small towns/villages there are special outlets for the sale of beer. These places are open 10:00 - 17:00 Monday - Friday, and 10:00 - 15:00 on Saturdays with no service on Sundays or public holidays.
It is perfectly safe to drink cold water from the tap in Norway.
DINING AND NIGHTLIFE
Restaurants in bigger towns and cities tend to be busiest between 11:30 – 13:30 for lunch and 19:00 – 21:00 for dinner. Keep in mind that some cafes and coffee houses are closed on Sundays. Bars and clubs may stay open until 1:00 am on weekdays and 3:00 am on weekends. We recommend booking at restaurants in advance, especially on weekends. The manner of dress is generally casual in Norway, and most bars and restaurants in Oslo do not enforce a dress code. But the city does tend to have a more sophisticated atmosphere like other major European cities so you may wish to bring one nicer outfit and a smart pair of shoes if you plan on dining or drinking at fine or trendy establishments.
GETTING AROUND IN OSLO
Oslo has a comprehensive public transport system consisting of buses, trams, trains, metro (the “T-bane”) and boats. All run on the same fare scheme, meaning a ticket is valid for all modes of transport. Tickets must be validated before use (i.e., they must be stamped).
Single tickets, day passes and multi-day passes can be purchased at several locations in the city, including Oslo-Gardermoen Airport and Trafikanten, the information centre just outside of Oslo Central Station. We also recommend purchasing an Oslo Pass, which includes free travel on the public transport system in addition to discounts on entrance to museums, attractions, etc.
GETTING AROUND IN OTHER CITIES
Outside of Oslo, mass transportation in most cities consists of trams and/or city buses. If you have one or more days to spend in Bergen, we recommend getting a Bergen Pass, which offers similar benefits as the Oslo Pass mentioned above.