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A Norwegian Study Guide

Chapter 1: Dealing with Norwegians

To help you understand the Norwegian culture, we want to teach you about some Norwegian customs that can seem weird at first, but in the long run they can help you assimilate into the community.

  • 17 May

    The Norwegian constitution day. It might seem overwhelming at first, with champagne breakfasts, national costumes and children parading through town saluting the king. Trust us, you don't want to miss this. Dress up, smile and eat as much sausage and ice cream as you want.

     

    Photo credit: VISITOSLO/Tord Baklund

     
  • Trips to the cabin

    Norwegians love to travel from their comfortable houses and apartments and live in wooden cabins without water and electricity for the weekend. This is called a “hyttetur”. Norwegians on “hyttetur” like to go hiking, make grandiose meals, play board games, and have the occasional glass of wine.

     

    Photo credit: VISITOSLO/Tord Baklund

  • DNT

    The Norwegian Trekking Association is Norway's biggest outdoor association. If you want to explore Norwegian nature, we recommend you look up DNT's trekking routes and tips on how to enjoy nature in Norway. Through DNT you can also sign up for group trips where you can go hiking with other like-minded nature lovers, a great way to make some friends.

     

    Photo credit: VISITOSLO/Tord Baklund

  • Sunday stroll

    To fully understand the Norwegian way of living you can't miss the traditional Sunday stroll. If you are observant you will notice that on Sundays, people go trekking before they eat their Sunday dinner. It can be a walk in town, to the nearest coffee shop, or in a forest to a nearby mountain top. Keep in mind that Norwegians go hiking no matter rain, snow or sunshine. Go with the flow and say as the Norwegians say: there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

     

    Photo credit: VISITOSLO/Tord Baklund

  • Holmenkollen

    A symbol of Oslo for many people. You can see it from most parts of the city, making it an important landmark. It's not only pretty to look at, however: it's also popular for sports enthusiasts to run the stairs up the jump tower, or take the zip line down.

  • Frognerparken

    Another “must-see” is Frognerparken (also known as Vigelandsparken). A large park in the city centre, it's known for a permanent sculpture installation devoted to the human form, created by Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland in the early 20th century. Take a walk around to admire the sculptures, go for a run, or do as many Norwegians do in the summer - invite some friends and bring a blanket and a barbeque.

     

    Photo credit: VisitOSLO/Frank Eivind Rundholt

  • The royal palace

    You'll find the royal palace at the end of Oslo's main street, Karl Johans gate. The palace is surrounded by a beautiful park that people enjoy during the warm months of summer. At 1:30 p.m. you can watch the changing of the guard in front of the palace.

  • The Opera

    Maybe one of the most well-known spots in Oslo. Designed by the internationally renowned architecture firm Snøhetta, it's a spectacular monument that greets you if you enter the city by sea. The opera is conveniently located a short walk from central train station. Take a walk on the white granite roof to enjoy the splendid view over the islands in the Oslo fjord. During the summer you can even enjoy outdoor concerts on the roof.

     

    Photo credit: VISITOSLO/Tord Baklund

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