Travel guides: Norway

Norwegian river

Norwegian river

Norway is, by any standards, one of the most beautiful countries on earth. It has the midnight sun, Nordkapp (the North Cape) - usually referred to as the northernmost point of Europe, spectacular fjords, high mountains, trolls, a beautiful coast, and tons of places to visit.


Cityscape in Norway

This page has references to and short reviews of good travel guides and books providing historical information about The Kingdom of Norway that improves understanding and appreciation of the country and its people for people wanting to travel there.

Vigeland Park, Oslo

The Vigeland Park in Oslo

Some quick facts about Norway: Norway is a constitutional monarchy. Is has zero external debt, in one of the 2-4 richest countries in the world, low unemployment, has 42 weeks of full pay maternity leave for working parents, the population is 4.5 million, it ranks #1 on 2006 UNDP Human Development Index, and has a life expectancy of 82.46 years (women) and 77.04 years (men).

Stortinget, Oslo

Stortinget in Oslo

The main cities in Norway:

  • Oslo - the capital and largest city of Norway, with great museums, the Vigeland Park, a beautiful setting and lively nightlife and cultural scene.
  • Bergen - an old Hanseatic trading center with a rich culture and dramatic scenery, Norway's second largest city. Wonderfully cute wooden buildings, a magnificent mountain setting and tons of nightlife and atmosphere. The city has been dubbed "the rainiest city in Europe" with an average of 250 days of rainfall a year. Bring an umbrella.
  • Bodø - The gateway to the magnificent Lofoten islands. And the place of Saltstraumen, the world's strongest maelstrom.
  • Drammen - an enjoyable side trip from Oslo.
  • Kristiansand - The jolly and beautiful capital of the South.
  • Stavanger - the oil capital of Norway. The wooden, cobbled central area is one of the most charming places in Norway. Home to one of Norway's medieval churches and Iron Age homes, stone age caves, and sites where the Viking kings fought. Stavanger is where Erik the Red was born.
  • Tromsø - A magnificent, modern cathedral (no polar bears) - beautiful.
  • Trondheim - Famous for its stunning old cathedral (Nidarosdomen). Wonderful riverside wharfs, wooden buildings.

One of Norway's famous and spectacular fjords:

Fjord in Norway

  Title/author Description Order from:
Rough Guide to Norway The Rough Guide to Norway "The Rough Guide to Norway" is a good, very useful book. Being from Norway, I know the country well, and even so I was impressed by this guide. I don't think you will be able to all the 24 things in the 24 things not to miss list - but the list is great and has impressive advice.
Overall a good looking, quite handy, fact-filled and good guide to my home country! The Oslo chapter is very good, and the info on Hurtigruten to the point! And, of course - you find the good advice on hotels, cafes, restaurants and shops. This is a valuable travel companion!
Amazon US, Amazon England
Insight Guide Norway Insight Guide Norway

This is an excellent guide book. It contains gorgeous photos, good descriptions and maps, lots of interesting background information. The background articles are quite good, and will help you to develop an understanding of the country and its people.
I liked the new 'Best of' and 'Places' sections a lot - they feature recommendations on many exclusively Norwegian experiences, such as the best views, best drives, best geographical points of interest, and places in each region. They even have some useful money-saving tips.

Amazon US,
Amazon UK
Norway Lonely Planet Lonely Planet Norway This guide starts with my top 3 experiences as the top item on their 17 top experiences list: The Geiranger fjord, Lofoten Islands and Hurtigruta along the coast. It lists stirring landscapes, the call of the wild, and Scandinavian sophistication as reasons for visiting Norway. To my mind, Norway is a marvel: Stunningly beautiful all four seasons, stunning views along the coast, in the mountains and even in the cities, and more than twice as rich as the US. This guide is an excellent choice - easy to travel with, full of useful and smart advice, and lots of information that will make planning your trip seem easy! The section on Spectacular Norway is very inspiring! Amazon US, Amazon UK
Eyewitness Norway Norway (Eyewitness Travel Guides) Norway (Eyewitness Travel Guides), written by Snorre Evensberget, is an inspiring guide to a lot of the best of Norway: stunning fjords and solitary mountains, wooden stave churches and small fishing villages. It has features on Vikings, wildlife and Sami culture, as well as lots of practical information on local transport, outdoor activities and entertainment in Norway. A good and handy guide! Amazon US, Amazon UK
Rick Steves' Snapshot Norway Rick Steves' Snapshot Norway Rick Steves’ Snapshot guides are slim books, with excerpted chapters from Rick Steves’ European country guidebooks. The Snapshot travels well, and has black/white photos rather than color. The content is good, with the kind of practical, smart, to-the-point advice that you would expect in a Rick Steves' guide. The recommendations for eating, travelling and sleeping seem quite sound. However, the Snapshot may be more useful for a quick trip than for an extended stay in Norway. Amazon US, Amazon UK
Living in Norway Living in Norway, by Elisabeth Holte Living in Norway is a beautiful pictorial tour throughout Norway, with the grand fjords and the majestic mountains, as well as the cities and the cultural landscape. It is divided into the four seasons: fall, winter, spring and summer. You can experience the beauty of Norway through all seasons. This book offers hundreds of color photographs, but don't forget to read the text, it is a fantastic tour of Norway. You will also find a rich selection of Norwegian homes, interior and exterior, modern or antique. This is an excellent gift or a beautiful book for your coffee table. Amazon US
Grieg Complete Music Grieg: Complete Music with Orchestra [Box Set] Norwegian-born Edvard Grieg has created many works for the orchestra, and this 6-CD box set contains almost all of them. Neeme Jarvi handles the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and the choirs very well. The sound is crystal clear and has the perfect digital sound for every CD player/stereo. Amazon US

Some good / useful links about Norway:

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