About Norway

  • Norway is a long country…if you put a pin through Oslo and spin Norway around it will touch Italy!
  • If you’re in the north of Norway in the winter (minus 20 degrees) try this party trick.  Take a cup of boiling water and throw it outside – it will turn into snow flakes instantly.
  • The Christmas tree, which stands in Trafalgar Square in London, has been presented by ‘City of Oslo’ to the UK, for over fifty years
  • There are more Norwegian descendants living in the United States than there are Norwegian people in Norway (6 mill. vs. 4,8 mill.)
  • Hydropower accounts for 99 per cent of the electricity generated in Norway.
  • Norway is the 5th most expensive country in the world to live in, after Japan, South Korea, Russia and Taiwan.  A beer is between £6 – £9 and a glass of wine approx £8 per glass. 
  • In terms of GDP per capita, Norway is the 5th richest country in the world – it’s all that oil!
  • The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo every year
  • Food stores are not allowed to stay open on Sundays – when you’re used to a 24 x 7 culture, this takes a lot of adjusting to
  • In Norway, wine and liquor is only sold in a monopoly store called “Vinmonopolet”, which translates to “The Wine Monopoly” – best to bring the full duty free allowance when travelling!
  • The population of Norway is approx 4.6 million and some 80 per cent of that population lives in the coastal areas
  • Norway is the sixth largest country of Europe, in terms of land mass. However, in terms of population, it ranks only 28th
  • Norway is one of very few European countries not to be a member of the European Union, after twice rejecting membership after having a referendum (1972 and 1994)
  • Norway won the Eurovision competition in May 2009 with Fairytales by Alexander Rybak
  • The coastline is more than 20,000km (12,400 miles) long – it’s the 7th longest coastline in the world going after Australia, USA, Canada, Indonesia, Russia, Phillippines and Japan. 
  • It’s very popular to eat lunch at 11am and dinner at 3pm (they have a 4th meal around 8 or 9pm called “kveldsmat” which is an “evening food”)
  • Norway is the world’s third largest exporter of oil. Only Saudi Arabia and Russia exceeds Norways export.


  1. Hi. I love your blog. I got interested in Norway through YouTube. There are four Norwegian artists that I’ve followed, my favorites being Kurt Nilsen and Espen Lind. But I digress. I would like to visit Norway and take the “Norway in a Nutshell” trip. Have you taken it? Also what would the cheapest trip cost? When is the best time to travel (without snow ;) Thanks, Lyn

    • Hi Lyn – thanks for your comment. Great to hear from readers. I’ve been meaning to do that “Norway in a Nutshell” trip since we moved here. I haven’t taken it but I know a few people who have and said it is superb. Summer is apparently the best time and try to make it all the way to Bergen so you can take a fjord cruise. We’re planning to drive the journey this summer – that’s possibly the cheapest way to do it. To my knowledge the organers maintain their prices so you probably best book directly with them online here (http://www.norwaynutshell.com/en/explore-the-fjords/norway-in-a-nutshell/prices)

      If it’s the fjords you’re interested in you might want to check out the cruises that run in the summer time up to the North of Norway from Bergen. A cheaper way to do that kind of trip is to take the Hurtigruten (http://hurtigruten.co.uk/norway/) – like a hop on/hop off ship. Hope that helps!

  2. Im Norwegian, and read your blog to get another person´s view on Norway =)
    I don´t know any people who eat dinner at 3pm, though. People are usually not done with school or work yet.

    Great blog :)

    • Thanks Sandra – did I put 3pm? You’re right, that’s way too early. Probably 5 is more like it. I’ll adjust.

  3. Hi Sarah
    I am Norwegian and live in England. You say you work and live in England. I think you should mention wages. Norway is expensive but wages are realy good compare to England. You can work in a till and get paid up to £15 pr hour. Here in England things do not get any cheaper, but wages stay more or less the same. Office work is 0900 am – 1500pm, this is full time, other jobs from 0800am – 1600pm full time. You got time to spend with your family. Child care is cheap in Norway because its run by the local goverment and they will look at your wages to see how much you should pay pr month.

    • Hi Janne – thanks for your comment and you’re absolutely right, even though the taxes tend to be higher so do the base level salaries. I believe bar staff and waitresses can earn up to 15GBP an hour in Norway which is so much higher than the UK where minimum wage is approx 6GBP per hour. I can’t believe how much cheaper child care is here though. It seems heavily subsidised by the government. I’m sure my friends and family in the UK are paying at least 1000GBP a month for childcare and here it is only 250GBP a month. We’re just looking at the childcare options now.

  4. Sorry I ment that you live and work in Norway :)

  5. Nice blog, I found it by accident searching on world oil prices. I remember when I was there in 2000 and how it was expensive then.

    • Oh cheers Brent – thanks for the comment. Hope you found what you needed on oil prices and it’s still expensive :-)

  6. Sarah,

    I noticed that you said there are more Norwegian people living in the United States than there are in Norway. Why do you feel that is? Is it just because the cost of living is so high or are there other reasons? With that in mind, what does a daily routine for you look like and what makes living in Norway unique compared to living in other parts of the world? Any information/insight you could provide would be much appreciated. Thanks! :)


  7. Sarah,

    I noticed that you said there are more Norwegian people living in the United States than there are in Norway. Why do you think that is? Is it just because the cost of living is so high or are there other reasons? With that in mind, what does a daily routine for you look like and what makes living in Norway unique compared to living in other parts of the world? Any information/insight you could provide would be much appreciated. Thanks! :)


    • Hi Jennifer – I think it’s more to do with the fact that Norwegians are big travellers and love to live abroad. I guess they then settle, have family and as such more Norwegian nationals live outside of Norway than in Norway – I don’t think it’s because they all left the country but more that they are having families abroad. It is pretty expensive here though. My day is pretty routine – dropping Lizzie off to barnehage, off to work, picking her up and putting her to bed. I guess the key difference for me is that certainly in winter, getting out of the house often involves shovelling a lot of snow and we have to finish at 4pm (which is normal in Norway) so we can pick up Lizzie before the barnehage closes. I don’t have to do such a long commute as in the UK so whilst everything is a little more expensive, the lifestyle is more relaxed.

      • Sarah,

        I really appreciate your insight. It’s interesting to find out that Norwegians are big travelers, that’s awesome! It makes total sense that they would then have families abroad as well. Your day sounds pretty similar to one you’d find here in America, so that’s interesting to find out also. It’s amazing that things are done so early in Norway compared to here. It definitely sounds like you guys live a more relaxed lifestyle, that’s so cool! Could you elaborate more on barnehage? Is that what daycare, or school, is called in Norway? Are there some key differences between the way barnehage works in Norway compared to other places? Also, if you don’t mind me asking, when I was doing research on Norway, something that didn’t really show up were topics that are taboo, or not really socially acceptable to talk about in public. Have you noticed any of those taboo topics in Norway that may be unique to Norwegians, or just any in general? If so, what are they? Thanks so much! I hope all is well!


  8. Hi Sarah.

    My wife is a Norwegian citizen and wants to move back. I was born in the US and have lived here my whole life. I’m scared out of my mind with a potential move. Can you give me some insight as to moving into a new culture? Is the language hard to pick up? Will work be hard to come by? I’m a teacher and don’t know if my credentials are even applicable. Any info would be great here. Thanks.

    • Hi Abel – thanks for the comment. It is a bit of a culture shock when you move to Norway. The pace of life is much slower, the focus on family is huge and they work to live (not the other way around). If you love being outdoors (in all weather) and appreciating nature you’ll fit right in! The language isn’t easy but you’ll pick it up and they LOVE folks who try…not matter how bad they are. They put up with me for nearly 5 years :-) Most speak excellent English in the main cities so you’ll find it hard to try your Norwegian out since they love to speak English. I don’t think you’ll have too much of a problem finding a job as a teacher…especially if you’re teaching English! Jobs (as with anything else in Norway) can be found on Finn.no but it’s also worth hooking up to the local NAV office when you move who will advise you through the process. It is terrifying but you will have such an amazing adventure!

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