Travel in Norway

This item appears on page 17 of the September 2010 issue.
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My wife and I spent three weeks in the Oslo area with our daughter’s family in May ’10. We stayed at their home in Skui, but our experiences and observations may be of interest to others traveling to Norway.

Having previously visited Oslo and Bergen and taken one of the coastal ships to the North Cape, we knew that Norway is expensive, that most Norwegians speak English and are friendly and that the scenery is fantastic.

Oslo’s airport is excellent. It has good shops, and there are bars and eating places on both sides of security (no liquor served before 1 p.m.).

Liquor, wine and beer are heavily taxed and therefore quite expensive. Liquor and wine are available only from vinmonopolet (state stores). At the state store, a liter of a brand of vodka I’d never heard of cost $56, and Smirnoff cost $66. Beer can be purchased in supermarkets.

Dining out can be very expensive, but check the guidebooks, which generally include suggestions for relatively inexpensive places. We didn’t dine out except for a couple of lunches. A hamburger at a simple café cost $10 and a beer cost $4.

The train and bus systems are excellent and easy to use. An airport express train runs to downtown Oslo and continues to the western edge of the metro area.

While businesses use chip-and-PIN credit cards, we never had a problem using our “swipe-strip” MasterCard or Visa at service stations, stores, vinmonopolets or restaurants. Sometimes we were asked to show photo ID. (I showed my driver’s license.)

KENT SHAMBLIN

Beaver Bay, MN

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

My wife and I spent three weeks in the Oslo area with our daughter’s family in May ’10. We stayed at their home in Skui, but our experiences and observations may be of interest to others traveling to Norway.

Having previously visited Oslo and Bergen and taken one of the coastal ships to the North Cape, we knew that Norway is expensive, that most Norwegians speak English and are friendly and that the scenery is fantastic.

Oslo’s airport is excellent. It has good shops, and there are bars and eating places on both sides of security (no liquor served before 1 p.m.).

Liquor, wine and beer are heavily taxed and therefore quite expensive. Liquor and wine are available only from vinmonopolet (state stores). At the state store, a liter of a brand of vodka I’d never heard of cost $56, and Smirnoff cost $66. Beer can be purchased in supermarkets.

Dining out can be very expensive, but check the guidebooks, which generally include suggestions for relatively inexpensive places. We didn’t dine out except for a couple of lunches. A hamburger at a simple café cost $10 and a beer cost $4.

The train and bus systems are excellent and easy to use. An airport express train runs to downtown Oslo and continues to the western edge of the metro area.

While businesses use chip-and-PIN credit cards, we never had a problem using our “swipe-strip” MasterCard or Visa at service stations, stores, vinmonopolets or restaurants. Sometimes we were asked to show photo ID. (I showed my driver’s license.)

KENT SHAMBLIN

Beaver Bay, MN