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What you need to know about summer travel to and from Norway

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
What you need to know about summer travel to and from Norway
The Local has put together a guide on everything you need to know if you're travelling to and from the country this summer. Pictured is a tent in Lofoten. Photo by Eugene Ga on Unsplash

Whether you should expect disruption, the weak krone, getting to and from the airport, and everything else you need to know if you are travelling in and out of Norway this summer.

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Strike risks now mostly averted

Several strikes had threatened to disrupt travel to and from Norway this summer. Thankfully, potential strikes among staff at airports in Oslo and Bergen were averted, as was one among pilots flying for Norwegian Air Shuttle. 

Meanwhile, the government has ended Norway's public sector strike. This strike affected the number of police officers working at the border at airports. 

SAS cabin staff are still at risk of striking. Talks on a deal have gone to mediation, but there isn’t currently a deadline for a deal. The airline's pilots won’t be able to strike following previous industrial action in 2022.

Another factor affecting travel to and from Norway could be strikes in other countries.

So far, no major strikes are planned in Spain, Germany, Austria, France, or Italy, although airport staff strikes are common in early summer. 
Strikes may still be announced in these countries, and border force staff at some UK airports may strike. 

Norwegian airports 

Norway’s airports are run by the state-owned company Avinor and are generally quite efficient when it comes to punctuality and baggage. 

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Oslo Gardermoen has been named the most punctual airport in Europe several times. Despite that, it is highly recommended that travellers arrive at the airport as instructed by their airlines. 

Getting to and from Oslo and Bergen airports is pretty straightforward. The Local has put together articles on getting to Oslo from Torp and Gardermoen and arriving into Bergen from the airport. 

When travelling from Gardermoen to Oslo, using local trains rather than express services costs around half as much. 

Getting to Trondheim from the airport is easy thanks to regular express buses. However, these are pretty expensive, and if you plan the journey correctly, you can take a regional train for a fraction of the cost. 

The Norwegian krone and cash versus card 

The last two summers have been a great time to travel to Norway due to the struggling krone.

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The krone is down considerably to most, but not all, major currencies. The situation is broadly expected to remain the same over the summer, meaning those paying in euros, dollars and pounds will enjoy favourable exchange rates – making trips to the country cheaper.

However, the situation has improved somewhat between May and June, meaning those hoping to travel abroad from Norway and spend kroner won't be hit as hard as last summer.  

Norway is pretty cashless, meaning most visitors will not need to bring cash – and may even have a hard time spending it as so few venues, stores and restaurants accept it these days. 

There are plenty of options for travellers wary of incurring large foreign transaction fees, such as cards that offer competitive rates, the ability to store quantities of foreign currencies, and zero fees on spending abroad. 

READ ALSO: Is it better for tourists in Norway to use cash or bank cards?

Quiet cities and infrequent business hours

Many workers in Norway usually take four weeks off between July and August. So, if you are planning a city break, you can expect it to be quieter than usual as the locals head off on their holidays. 

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Smaller restaurants and shops will close until mid-August, while others will have slightly tweaked operating hours during this period. For example, they may remain closed Monday through Thursday. 

Larger shops and restaurant chains will remain open, as will establishments with high tourist footfall, as it will be their busiest time of the year. 

Travel disruption 

Summer is normally the time of year when repairs are made to roads and train tracks. 

This can lead to plenty of disruption, such as bus for train replacements. 

The Local will keep you updated on major planned works. Before your travels, be sure to check online if any of the routes you wish to take will be affected. 

The best prices for rail and long-distance bus travel are found online and booked before you travel. Typically, discounted tickets will be labelled minipris

Watch the weather 

Given that so many people are attracted to Norway to see the stunning scenery, you should make sure the weather is safe for hiking, swimming, or cycling. 

Proper equipment is also important. Weatherproof clothes, many layers and good shoes are the bare minimum. 

When heading out, be sure to bring emergency food and drink and let someone know where you will be and when you expect to return from your trip. 

The best app for checking the weather in Norway is YR. 

You will also need to check for the risk of forest fires, which can restrict activities like bonfires and BBQs. 

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