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Norway Hostels, Eurail Passes, and Backpacking Tips

 Norway (Norge) is a ruggedly beautiful country of high mountains, deep fjords and icy blue glaciers. It stretches 2000km from beach towns in the south to treeless Arctic tundra in the north. Norway offers incredible wilderness hiking, year-round skiing and some of the most scenic ferry, bus and train rides imaginable. Summer days are long - in the northernmost part of the country the sun doesn't set for weeks on end.

Highlights

The 470km trip on the Oslo-Bergen railway is Norway's finest. Don't miss the side trip on the Flam line, which winds sharply down the Flam Valley, stopping at a thundering waterfall mid-route. Another special train trip is the Rauma line from Dombas to Andalsnes.

Nothing typifies Norway more than its glacier-carved fjords, and ferrying along these inland waterways is Norway's top sightseeing activity. The cruise down the Geirangerfjord is Norway's most stunning and shouldn't be missed.

When to Go

Norway is at its best and brightest from May to September. Late spring is particularly pleasant. Unless you're heavily into winter skiing or searching for the Aurora Borealis, Norway's cold, dark winters are not the prime time to visit.

Time

One hour ahead GMT/UTC.

Business Hours

Business hours are generally 9 am to 4 pm weekdays, though stores often stay open to 7 pm Thursday and to 2 pm Saturday.

Be aware that many museums have short hours (11 am to 3 pm is quite common). On Sunday most stores are closed, including bakeries, grocers and many restaurants.

Public Holidays & Special Events

Public holidays are: 1 January, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, 1 May (Labour Day), 17 May (Constitution Day), Ascension Day, Whit Monday, 25 and 26 December.

Constitution Day (17 May) is Norway's biggest holiday, with many Norwegians taking to the streets in traditional folk costumes; the biggest celebration is in Oslo. Midsummer's Eve, which is celebrated with bonfires on the beach, is generally observed on 23 June, Saint Hans Day. The Sami people (Lapps) hold their most colourful celebrations at Easter in Karasjok and Kautokeino, with reindeer races, joik (traditional chanting) and other festivities.

Emergency

Fire 110, Police 112, Ambulance 113.

Foreign Embassies

Oslo:

Canada (22 99 53 00), Wergelandveien 7
UK (22 13 27 00), Thomas Heftyes gate 8
USA (22 44 85 50), Drammensveien 18
 

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