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Skiing in Geitgaljen in the Lofoten islands, Norway - Photo: Kristin Folsland Olsen - Visitnorway.com
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Skiing in Geitgaljen in the Lofoten islands, Norway Photo: Kristin Folsland Olsen - Visitnorway.com

Facts about Norway

Norway is known for nature attractions like fjords, mountains and midnight sun, and is easily accessible by plane from most European countries.

Facts about Norway

System of government: Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy
Head of government: Prime Minister Erna Solberg
Area: 148,709 square miles
Population: 5,156,451 inhabitants (as of 1 October 2014)
Capital city: Oslo
Languages:
Norwegian bokmål, Norwegian nynorsk and Sami
Religion
: Church of Norway (Protestant Christianity)
Currency: Norwegian kroner (NOK) 1 krone = 100 øre 
Time zone: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +1 hour
National day: 17 May

Fjords

Norway is famous for its fjords, two of which, the Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord, feature on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The Sognefjord, the longest of them all, and the Hardangerfjord, famed for its cherry and apple trees, are among the most visited. Read more about the Norwegian fjords.

Northern lights

The Northern lights are a common natural phenomenon in Northern Norway, and are most commonly observed above the Arctic Circle between late autumn and early spring. Read more about the northern lights.

Midnight sun

The sun does not set in summer over the Arctic Circle, meaning visitors to Northern Norway enjoy 24 hours of daylight this time of year. Read more about the midnight sun.

Weather

The weather in Norway is much milder than one would expect. Because of the Gulf Stream and warm air currents caused by the coriolis effect, temperatures along the coast of Norway are 41-46°F higher than at comparable latitudes elsewhere. Read more about season, weather and climate in Norway or check out the weather for your area.

Vikings

The Vikings have a bad reputation as raiders, but they were also traders, explorers and settlers, and the legacy from the Viking Age (AD 800-1050) lives on. Read more about the Vikings.

The Sami people

The Sami are the indigenous people of Norway. Known for their colourful clothes and the huge herds of reindeer they look after, the Sami have been living in northern Scandinavia for over 10,000 years, and today they have their own parliament in Karasjok. Read more about the Sami.

Winter sports

Norway’s success in the Winter Olympics is unrivalled, and the country has a total of 329 medals (118 gold, 111 silver and 100 bronze) to its tally. The best ever games for Norway were the Lillehammer winter games in 1994, when Norway, which was competing on home turf, topped the medal table, having won 26 medals, of which 10 gold. Read more about the history of skiing and winter in Norway.

Famous Norwegians

These include explorers Roald Amundsen, Fridtjof Nansen and Thor Heyerdahl, composer Edvard Grieg, violin virtuoso Ole Bull, artist Edvard Munch, playwright Henrik Ibsen, novelist Knut Hamsun, and politician Gro Harlem Brundtland, among many others. Read more about polar explorers.

The Royal Family

King Harald V, the King of Norway, and Queen Sonja have two children: a son, Crown Prince Haakon, who is married to Crown Princess Mette-Marit, with whom he has two children and a daughter, Princess Martha Louise, who is married to Ari Mikael Behn.

Trolls

Trolls are an important part of Norwegian folklore. They vary in size and appearance, but are invariably ugly and messy creatures, and always mischievous (if not downright nasty). They usually live in caves or deep in the forest, and only emerge from their hiding places after sunset - legend has it that they turn to stone upon contact with the sun. Several places in Western and Northern Norway have been named after them, such as Trollheimen, Trollstigen, Trollhatten and Trollveggen.

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Last updated:  2014-11-25
The Royal Castle in Oslo, Norway - Photo: Nancy Bundt/Innovation Norway
The Royal Castle in Oslo, Norway
The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway - Photo: Gunnar Strøm
The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway
Sami women wearing traditional clothing in Finnmark, Norway - Photo: Jørn Tomter/Finnmark Reiseliv
Sami women wearing traditional clothing in Finnmark, Norway
A one-eyed Norwegian troll - Photo: Caprino/Innovation Norway
A one-eyed Norwegian troll

Interest:  About Norway

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Skiing in Geitgaljen in the Lofoten islands, Norway - Photo: Kristin Folsland Olsen - Visitnorway.com

Facts about Norway

Norway is known for nature attractions like fjords, mountains and midnight sun, and is easily accessible by plane from most European countries.

Facts about Norway

Source: Visitnorway

Explore Norway

Experience northern lights or midnight sun above the Arctic Circle, or visit the world famous Norwegian fjords with tall mountains and glaciers.

About Norway

Norway has a population of about 5 million and covers an area of 385,155 square kilometres. The official Head of State is King Harald V.

Seasons, Weather and Climate in Norway

Due to the Gulf Stream and warm air currents, Norway has a friendlier climate than the latitude indicates. Check our weather report before you travel.

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