Things to do in Norway

Oslo, Bergen and the land of the fjords

Christmas traditions in Norway – Funny and weird

christmas traditions in norway 2

Last-minute Christmas shopping in Oslo.

So are you wondering what the norwegians did last christmas? Well they did not give you their heart…they were busy:

A Norwegian Christmas is a lot more than gingerbread, gløgg and tasteful decor.
Dressing up as a goat-like devil when you go out ‘julebukking’, and leaving porridge for your ill-tempered house spirit, Norway has certainly kept more pagan Jul traditions than the UK or US.

Here are some of the country’s weirder traditions, and a warning: do not make fun of their crust on top of their pork ribs:

Marzipan pigs:

cristmas in norway_marsipangris

There’s something gloriously random about the prize traditionally given to whoever finds the almond Norwegian parents drop in the special Christmas porridge. And speaking of random, feast your eyes on this.

Watching ancient Disney cartoons.

It’s only in the Nordic countries that anyone knows who Ferdinand the Bull is. But that’s because everyone has watched the exact same ten cartoons every Christmas Eve since 1953. Disney’s ‘Donald Duck og vennene hans’, or ‘Donald Duck and his Friends’, goes out this Christmas on NRK at 3pm, as it has done every year for as long as anyone remembers. To those who aren’t in on the joke, this is very odd indeed.

Smuggling:

christmas in norway

Norwegians drive en masse to huge shopping centres on the Swedish border where they stock up on vast quantities of cheap(er) booze (and during occasional shortages, butter too).Photo: nrk.no

 

Trick-or-treating at Christmas:

julebukk in norway

 

There’s little difference between what Norwegians do when they “går julebukk”, and what the rest of the world does at Halloween. Children travel in costume from house to house, singing in exchange for sweets. If adults go too, they are ideally so well disguised as to be unrecognisable. They then drink a glass of akvavit at every house, ideally until they are incomprehensible. Photo: mylittlenorway.com

 

Eating ribs instead of roasts:

pigs rib from norway

 

Whether they’re pork (julribbe) or lamb (pinnekjøtt), when Norwegians sit down for their Christmas meal, its ribs for the main course. Not a turkey in sight. And they are craaazy about the crust on top of the rib, which HAS TO be crispy.

Dancing around the Christmas tree:

christmas tree dancing

 

Foreigners who marry into Norwegian families can be disconcerted when asked to join hands and dance around the tree. The strangeness is only increased when accompanied by songs from God Jul, the 1967 album by Norwegian show band Dizzie Tunes.

Watching “tre nøtter til Askepott”:

tre nøtter til askepott norway

Norwegians would feel their Christmas was incomplete without watching Tre Nøtter til Askepott, or Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella, an East German-Czechoslovak adventure film from the early 1970s. If anything this is even weirder than the cartoons.

 

Things to do in Norway

Things to do in Norway are vast. You have exciting experiences and adventure possibilities waiting for you in each corner of this country.

We have tips and suggestions on what to do on weekends, on holidays or holiday in the evenings. Norway has many wonderful experiences that await you.

Viator offer a wide range of trips and activities in Norway.

Have a look at Donna Salernos Top 10 things to do in Oslo and Norway:

Fjords

Norway has the most spectacular Fjords in the world. Take a tour on the fantastic Sognefjorden, beautiful Hardangerfjorden or another of the many fjords in Norway. Take a boat trip, do some kaiaking, go fishing or do some other fun activity around the fjords.

The Northern Lights

Se the astonishing Northern Lights in the north of Norway! Go on a private guided tour to get the best opportunity to see nothern lights and get the best photographic opportunities. To see the Aurora Borealis – The Northern Lights,  are truly spectacular and is something to remember for life.

Culture and Outdoors

You’ll find tips on the cultural activities such as cinema and theater, inside activities for rainy days, like bowling and visit museums and healthy activities in the forest. Or how about a medieval walking tour through the historic city of Norway? Get to know your town!

Leisure and sightseeing

See also our guide to attractions in Norway. We also have an overview of where you can get tourist information and about guided tours and sightseeing in Norway.

Most provide shelter, and many interesting topics, such as books, cars, and travel. Click here for booking.

Excursions

We have a guide to exciting excursions for you who visit Norway. In this guide you will find tips on excursions and tips on sights, attractions and experiences. Click here for booking:
Experiences
activity menu
Artists
Waterworld
Boat sports
Visit Farms and farmhouses
Car sports
bowling
Guided walks
Dinner Show
animal Safari
Extreme adventure
family Activities
Performances and entertainment
Amusement parks in Norway
amusement Centres
Fireworks
karting
Golf
Mining and mining trips
Helicopter
Cottages in Norwasy
sports events
Rail and speeder
Sleigh rides and horse carriage
Cinema
laser Games
Maritime courses
Market
Minigolf
Motorsport
Museums in Norway
Restaurants Oslo – great guide
Sailing and boating
Banqueting in Norway
Serving in the woods
Sightseeing
Circus
School trips with accommodation
School trips, class trips and professional school visits
squash
bungee jump
Theatre and drama
Carnival
Stag
Skating
Viking camp and Viking raids
Villmarksturer and wilderness arrangement

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Western Norway

Some say the most beautiful place in Norway is the western part with its fjords, mountains, cultural heritage and food. So we took a trip to see if this was a myth or the truth.

western norwayBergen – Voss day 1

We started our trip in Bergen, the biggest city on the west coast and the second largest in Norway with its almost 270 000 inhabitants. Even though our roundtrip could be done by bus or train/boat we chose to rent a car at the airport as it suited our plan: No plan. June 20th 2016.

So me and my wife buckled up and should probably have spent a lot more time in Bergen and on the road to Voss, but as it was late and we had already been to Bergen several times, we put the volume on the stereo on 8 and sang our way towards the fjords.

Voss, Store Ringheim hotel

voss store ringheim hotel

Store Ringheim Hotel. Used to be a farm. 

Voss, know for winter sports, Olympic gold medal winning athletes, extreme sports, extreme food and the beautiful scenery. As there where no plan we called the old farm hotel Store Ringheim, which was highly recommended online, and to our luck they had 1 spare room! Lying on one of the hill sides of Voss we had a fantastic view over the valley.

We were starving after the ride and to our good fortune the owner kept the restaurant open until we arrived! Maybe it was my starvation or maybe it was the quality of the local food and the chef, either way this was one of my best food experiences ever! As you see from my pictures(handheld by phone) I had trouble keeping the food out of my mouth until I photographed:

Fillet of local lamb with potatoes, pea pure, root vegetables and lamb sauce

Fillet of local lamb with potatoes, pea pure, root vegetables and lamb sauce

Ostrich fern soup

Ostrich fern soup

Apple cured trout with chutney and some flowers

Apple cured trout with chutney and some flowers

Chocolate fondant

Chocolate with Store Ringheim strawberry sauce

Package Tours

Interested in package tours? Look no further!
Have a look at these packages.

Samarbeidspartnere

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Mr Link it

Send flowers to Moscow

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Oslo on a sunday

What to do in Oslo on a sunday?

Well it depends on the season of course. If you are into sports sunday is a big day in Norway and Oslo. November through March is winter season with cross country skiing, downhill skiing, ski jumping and hockey in focus. Oslo has several arenas within the city limits including a ski jumping hill called Holmenkollen in the center which you can see almost where ever you go.

Sundays are also a good day for museums which there are plenty of in Oslo. Art, historical and scientific musuems are numerus. We also recommend a walk down to Aker Brygge later in the day where its always lively packed with restaurants, bars and people.

Click here for booking.

Oslo at night

By night Oslo is a lively city, especially if you fuel up with the local liqour Aquavita which is made out of potatoes and herbs. Norwegians start their party day in Oslo with Champagne lunch, on a sunny day our favorite place is Bølgen&Moi or Champagneria. After lunch norwegians attend their vorspiel (pre-party) involving drinks at home,  before they hit the streets again. If you talk to people at lunch you will probably get invited for a vorspiel.

If you are more of a quite type or prefer less drinking there are lots of other activities to attend to.

Click here for booking.

Bars in Oslo

Champagneria

Champagneria is dedicated to bubbly stuff (including sparkling wine and Prosecco),  and is a prime place for champagne lunch. As a result it attracts an upmarket crowd with plenty of cash to splash. Minimalistic to say the least, but when the weather warms up, the outdoor patio is a perfect spot for a drink.

Address:
Frognerveien 2, Frogner, Oslo, 0257, Norway
Telephone: +47 2 194 8802.
Summit

Boasting spectacular views and an extensive (if pricey) cocktail menu, Summit is perched on the 21st floor of the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel and looks out over the Oslofjord. Ultra trendy with chic futuristic décor, this is where the Norwegian capital’s cool crowd come to see, and yes, be seen.

Address:
Holbergs gate 30, Sentrum, Oslo, 0166, Norway
Telephone: +47 2 329 3000.

Clubs in Oslo

Skansen

Once a run-of-the-mill clubbing venue, Skansen has reinvented itself as a bar-restaurant-club hybrid, and although the grime has gone, the party vibe has not. Despite the uninspiring food menu of generic tapas, it is always packed at weekends and comes into its own after midnight when the DJs arrive.

Address:
Rådhusgata 25, Sentrum, Oslo, 0158, Norway
Telephone: +47 2 139 3939.
Stratos

Stratos (or the ‘roof of Oslo’ as it likes to describe itself) is a rooftop bar perched atop the Folketeateret theatre. Although it’s only open in summer, and its minimalist lounge décor isn’t particularly special, the panoramic city views are enough to get you drunk – if the drinks don’t first.

Address:
Youngstorget 2, Sentrum, Oslo, 0181, Norway
Telephone: +47 2104 6400.
Website:
The Villa

Northern Lights in Norway

Private Northern Lights Chasing in Svolvær – Lofoten – Duration about 5 hours

Get the unforgettable experience of a Northern Lights chase in Lofoten with a private local guide and driver. Your guide will take you to where you have the best opportunity to see the astonishing Northern Lights by a comfortable minivan. You will learn how to take wonderful and stunning shots of the Queen of the Arctic, how to use your tripod properly and how to set up the camera.

You will introduced, by your guide, to the mystery of the northern lights and the impact they have had for centuries on local populations, scientists and philosophers.

The guide and staff will be at your disposal for the entire excursion. A comfortable car or minivan will be used around the archipelago. All photos will be sent to customers via mail. Warm coffee & tea, chocolate and biscuits will be offered you during the whole trip, and we will provide pick up and drop off at your hotel.

Book Now!

Northern Lights is a light phenomenon that occurs when energetic particles are ejected from the Sun toward Earth.

Northern Lights Norway Aurora boralis

It is a spectacular sight! It occurs in the upper polar atmosphere, between 80 km and rarely over 500 km above the Earth, when electrons and protons collide with the atmosphere gas. This gas is supplied energy as transmitted in the form of light. The light output comes mainly from atoms and molecules in the atmosphere and not from the primary particles.

The northern lights appear in many different forms. The colors of the northern lights is a line spectrum covering the entire range from ultraviolet to infrared. Colors an instance of aurora comprises are determined by the energy level of the particles and the composition of the atmosphere gas. The dominant colors in the part of the color spectrum we can see, green, red and blue. Incidence and intensity of the northern lights are in turn controlled by activity in Sola. Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere determine how on Earth Northern Lights occur.

The Latin name for the northern lights is the aurora borealis. The same phenomenon is called Southern Lights, or aurora australis, when it occurs in the southern hemisphere, and a generic term for both aurorae.
The Northern Lights are caused by electrically charged particles from the sun. When the particles penetrating the atmosphere, they will collide with the electrically neutral atmosphere gas, which is heated and ionized, i.e. electrons turns away so that ions are formed and free electrons. A small portion of the energy of the incoming particles, however, will also be used to increase the internal energy of atmospheric particles participating in the collision process. This occurs when electrons are brought into paths which represent a higher energy level than the ground state. In this excited energy state is not stable particle. Gas type determine how long a particle can remain unexcited. This varies from fractions of a second to a few hundred seconds. When the particles go down to a stable level, emitted energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation, such as one or more photons. The wavelength (color) of the light depends on the gas type and eksitasjonsnivå.

The sun is the source of a continuous stream of electrically charged particles, solar wind. In interaction between the solar wind and Earth’s magnetic field is formed a “magnetic cavity” around Earth, the magnetosphere, where the solar wind does not penetrate. However, there are gaps in the magnetic sheath in polarkløftene on dayside and tail region on the night side. Here need plasma in and are guided by the magnetic field into the polar regions in both the south and north. This gives the weak tranquil northern lights under undisturbed conditions. The solar wind is however very variable. There occurs high-speed plasma flows from the corona holes and plasma clouds with increased density and speed, output from other active areas Sola. When such gust of solar wind comes into the Earth, it will bring changes in the magnetosphere, with strong currents, disturbances in the magnetic field, increasing link between solar wind and magnetospheric plasma and acceleration of particles.

The direction of the magnetic field the solar wind carries with it is also important in the link between the solar wind and the magnetosphere. Søroverrettet field, ie a field that has a direction opposite of land area provides better coupling than a north-oriented fields.

The explosive release of an auroral starts in the tail region of the magnetosphere. In processes that govern this, electrical currents and coupling of magnetic field lines essential elements. The result is that a large plasma cloud is accelerated inward toward the Earth in the tail region. When the cloud hit the closed magnetic field lines, it will be guided along these, both the northern and southern polar regions, into the atmosphere. Here the particles will give the Northern Lights, and along with this increased ionization, electrical currents, magnetic field interference and heating of the ionosphere.

Northern Lights and the other ionosfæreforstyrrelsene accompanying this, have thus originated in two different processes: one that is directly driven by the solar wind, and another representing an explosive release of energy stored in the magnetosphere.

Northern Lights is thus a visible manifestation of the energy link between the solar wind and the magnetosphere and the subsequent processes in the magnetosphere.

Location
Management of aurora particles from Earth’s magnetic field determines where on Earth we will get the Northern Lights. The distinction between open and closed magnetic field lines indicate the area where the particles get into the atmosphere. This interface will be imaged as an oval in the ionosphere around the magnetic poles. Because of the pressure solar wind exerts on the magnetic field, the oval being slightly shifted towards the dark side. Looking at a snapshot of the distribution of the northern lights, this will therefore primarily lie in such an oval belt, the auroral oval. On the night side is oval about 23 degrees from the magnetic poles (67 degrees magnetic latitude), while it is about 15 degrees from the poles (75 degrees magnetic latitude) on the dayside. The width of the oval varies from 1-2 degrees in dagsektoren and 5-10 degrees in the night sector, depending on the activity level.

Northern Lights Oval is in a fixed position in space relative to the sun. Earth will rotate under the oval with the geographic polar axis as the rotation axis, so that a place on Earth with magnetic latitude 67 degrees will be below the oval in the midnight sector and on the equator next day. In the European part will auroral oval walk along the coast of Troms and Finnmark at night, while the day is over Svalbard. The location of the oval is changing, however, with solar activity. At high activity expanded oval so that the Northern Lights move toward lower widths and oval are also wider.

Inside the auroral oval will almost always have the northern lights, but it can at times be weak and inconspicuous. At the equator side of the oval they disappear quickly. Inside the oval, inside the polar cap, reduced aurora activity, but even here there are relatively often aurora. The light is weaker, and the shapes are different than in the oval. The strongest and most active northern lights are in the midnight sector of the oval.

Looking statistically how the occurrence of the northern lights spread over the Earth, we find that the maximum is in a circular zone centered at a distance of 23 degrees from the geomagnetic pole, with a width of about 10 degrees. This area is called the auroral zone. Here you will be clearly visible aurora more than 50 percent of all nights, even in periods of low solar activity. Northern Lights zone is really just a delineating location midnight sector of the auroral oval as the Earth rotates 360 degrees during this within a day.

Height
The energy of the primary particles determines how far down in the atmosphere particles will penetrate and thus how high northern lights located. Swede Carl Stormer pioneered the mapping of auroral arcs. He developed a photographic method with parallaktiske measurements. Northern Lights was photographed simultaneously from two or more locations spaced 20-100 kilometers. Featured aurora structures were identified on the images and localized to the starry sky. Thereafter, the elevation angle against the selected Northern Lights form determined and when the distance between the observation points were known, one could calculate the height of the Northern Lights trig. Stormer certain height for the area with maximum light emission and for under and over the northern lights.

His height calculations involving more than 14,000 measurement points. They showed that the northern lights at night mainly have maximum intensity in height range 100-120 kilometers. The light intensity decreases rapidly below the maximum height. The bottom edge of the northern lights may exceptionally go down to 85 kilometers. On the upper side decreases light more gradually with height. Nordlys height varies through the day and for different aurora forms. Beam structures extending higher than bows and ribbons, and often go up to 200-300 km altitude. Dayside aurora is usually at altitudes of 150-200 kilometers. Stormers photographic height regulations have now been replaced with direct and more detailed measurements from rockets, but they largely confirm Stormers results.

Shape
When you see an active aurora, one gets the impression that it constantly changes appearance and location, but it is part of basic shapes and structures that recur. Most aurora risers can be manufactured as an assembly of such elemental forms.

The most common aurora forms are bows and ribbons, both going across the sky in magnetic east-west direction. Bows are usually calm and regular in shape, while bands can have large structures also folded. Both bows and ribbons may act individually or as several parallel forms. Rays are narrow aurora structures that can occur in isolation or in larger accumulations. Often, they also form pleats located partially above each other. This is called draperies and it was this Northern Lights form included in the logo for the Olympics in Lillehammer in 1994.

Within bows and ribbons can also see beam structure. The beams in the northern lights are parallel to the magnetic field lines and will thus stand almost vertically in the polar regions. Perspective Effect may provide a completely different impression. An example of this is the most striking aurora form, the crown, where the northern lights emanating from a single point in the sky, forming a crown of light. This is essentially a draperiform occurring near the magnetic zenith, i.e. in the direction of the magnetic field line through the observation place. When an accumulation aurora rays reaches the zenith, it will to an observer on the ground look as if they come from one point in the sky, since field lines leading up to this point.

Other basic shapes in the Northern Lights is diffuse stains and surfaces, and large spiral structures with dimensions of between 10 and 100 kilometers. On the microscale level are also very small helical structures that rotate fast and in the opposite direction of the major spiral structures.

The most dynamic and varying aurora occurs in magnetic noon sector. Bows and ribbons can be seen at any time in the afternoon and early evening, while stains and surfaces, often with pulsations, often acting on the morning side.

Dayside aurora is characterized by quiet arches. It is usually weaker than the eye can perceive as visible light. It must be registered with the delicate optical instruments. But also in the daytime Northern Lights we can see the strong rays and discrete structures. This shows that even in polarkløftene may be mechanisms to accelerate the low energy solar wind particles so they get energy against what one can have a night the Northern Lights.

Over polar cap has the Northern Lights a different character than in the auroral oval. Diffuse spots and areas dominate. Often one can also see faint aurora arcs that cross polar cap in the direction from day to night sector. Strong polka lott aurora with arches that cross over the pole, often called the theta aurora, because the arc along with the auroral oval is reminiscent of the Greek letter theta,

Fjords

Things to do when you are in the fjords of norway.

These are the longest fjords in Norway.

  1. Sognefjorden – 204 km – Sogn og Fjordane (Measurepoint: Solund-Skjolden)
  2. Hardangerfjorden – 183 km – Hordaland (Measurepoint: Huglo-Odda)
  3. Trondheimsfjorden – 126 km – Sør- og Nord-Trøndelag (Agdenes-Steinkjer)
  4. Porsangerfjorden – 123 km – Finnmark (Brennelv-Sværholtklubben)
  5. Lyngen – 121 km – Troms (Fugløy – bunn Storfjorden; målt fra Lyngstuva: 90 km)
  6. Oslofjorden – 118 km – Oslo, Akershus, Buskerud, Vestfold og Østfold (Færder-Bunnefjorden)
  7. Kvænangen – 117 km – Troms (Veiboka oppgir 72 km)
  8. Ullsfjorden – 110 km – Troms (Veiboka oppgir 75 km)
  9. Nordfjord – 106 km – Sogn og Fjordane (Husevågøy-Loen)
  10. Varangerfjorden – 95 km – Finnmark
  11. Romsdalsfjorden – 94 km – Møre og Romsdal (Bud – bunn Eresfjorden)
  12. Boknafjorden – 94 km – Rogaland (Imsen/Jarstein-Tengesdal)
  13. Laksefjorden – 92 km – Finnmark
  14. Storfjorden1) – 86 km – Møre og Romsdal (Flisnes-Geiranger)
  15. Ofotfjorden – 82 km – Nordland
  16. Tysfjorden – 74 km – Nordland
  17. Foldafjorden – 71 km – Nord-Trøndelag
  18. Tanafjorden – 70 km – Finnmark
  19. Ranfjorden – 67 km – Nordland
  20. Bindalsfjorden – 66 km – Nordland

The deepests fjords of Norway

  1. Sognefjorden 1308 m
  2. Tysfjorden 897 m (andre oppgir 725 m[8])
  3. Hardangerfjorden 850 m
  4. Bindalsfjorden 724 m
  5. Boknafjorden 719 m
  6. Fensfjorden 680
  7. Storfjorden (Sunnmøre) 672 m[7] (686 m[9])
  8. Sjona 634 m
  9. Trondheimsfjorden 617 m
  10. Nordfjorden 565 m[10]
  11. Ofotfjorden 553 m
  12. Ranfjorden 525 m

Source: https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_over_norske_fjorder

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