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25 Interesting Facts about Norway

25 Interesting Facts about Norway

What do you know about Norway? It’s one of the Scandinavian countries, and here’s a list of 25 Interesting Facts about Norway that you probably didn’t know.

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you. How many of these facts about Norway did you know beforehand?

1. Leif Erikson discovered North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus

Did you think that Christopher Columbus was the first European to cross the Atlantic and reach North America? Well, guess again. Leif Erikson is the original European discoverer of North America and the United States. 500 years before Christopher Columbus arrived!

Although Leif was born in Iceland, his father was the famous Norwegian Viking – Erik the Red.

2. There’s a village named Hell

This village has 1524 inhabitants, who can honestly say that they’re living in Hell.

Or some other classics such as “I’m born and raised in Hell” and “I’m going to Hell” or a simple welcome to Hell.

hell village

The railway station in Hell – Photo: Shutterstock

3. Norway introduced salmon sushi to the Japanese in the eighties

Definitely one of the most interesting facts about Norway because before the introduction, the Japanese didn’t serve salmon sushi, and now it’s one of the most common options when you go to a sushi restaurant in Japan.


Also read: Interesting facts about Japan


4. One of the happiest nations in the world

No matter which survey, the Norwegians are always at the top when it comes to happiness.

5. The world’s most successful nation at the Winter Olympic Games

While this might not come as a surprise to everyone since Norway is home to some of the best ski slopes, it’s still a great accomplishment to have won as many medals at the Winter Olympic Games.

Especially considering the total amount of the population. Norway is the most Succesful nation at the Winter Olympic Games!

winter olympic games

Photo: Shutterstock

6. Midnight Sun during summer and polar nights during winter

Did you know that the sun never goes down for several weeks during summer? And during winter, the opposite as the sun never rises for several weeks. This is called “Midnight Sun” and “Polar Night” and occur in the Northern parts of the country.

This means that for some weeks it’s constantly bright outside, and for some weeks it’s pitch-black all day long.

7. Norway has the highest concentration of fjords in the world

The Fjords of Norway are world famous and each year tourists from all around the world come to admire their beauty. There are over 1000 fjords scattered across the country which is the highest concentration of fjords in the world!

The most famous fjord are Geiranger fjord, Lysefjord, Hardangerfjord, The Nærøyfjord and The Sognefjord.

geirangerfjord

9. Norway has more than 450 000 lakes

Many of these lakes are small though, but still, 450 000 lakes are a huge amount of lakes. Divided by the total Norwegian population, there is a lake for every twelfth person in the country.

9. Birthplace of the Vikings

Scandinavia is the birthplace of the Vikings. The fearsome and skilled warriors and sailors who discovered, conquered and raided various regions for centuries before Christianity found its way here.

Norway was home to some of the most famous Vikings of all time!

Some famous Norwegian Vikings are Erik the Red, Leif Erikson, Eric Bloodaxe and Harald Hardrada.

vikings - norway facts

10. There are two official written versions of Norwegian

Did you know that there are two separate versions of the Norwegian language? The primarily used version is called “Bokmål” and the second one is called “Nynorsk”.

As for speaking, there are several dialects depending on the region.

11. In the winter you can see the Northern Lights

From October to March, it’s possible to get a glimpse of the magical and natural light show, also known as Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. It can also be possible to see the Northern Lights for a longer period because the phenomenon is active all-year round, but can only be seen when the sky is dark enough.

Note: It’s common in the Northern parts of Norway. In Oslo, for example, it’s rare.

Northern lights

12. Norway is rich, really rich

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is currently worth around $1 trillion. That’s a lot of money!

People always say that Norway is so expensive, but when you think about it, the wages and money flow in the country is also a lot higher than most other countries.

13. There are more than 4.5 million Norwegian Americans

Just as Sweden and Denmark, a lot of Norwegians set sail towards the new world – North America back in the 1800’s.

A lot of them became very successful in the United States of America, so it’s not a big surprise that a lot of Americans are Norwegian descendants.

14. They’re #1 in the Human Development Index

This is the global index to measure how good a country is when it comes to equality, expected lifespan, education and much more. Norwegians can pride themselves on being number 1 in the Human Development Index!

Which essentially mean that Norway is one of the best countries in the world.

15. The country is proof that you can be proud of your country without being racist

Every year, the 17th of May, the Norwegians celebrate their constitution day and independence from Denmark and Sweden. It’s a big celebration with flags everywhere, people in traditional costumes (bunad) and a lot of singing and cheering.

17 may - national day norway

Photo: Marius Dobilas / Shutterstock.com

5 x Fun facts about Norway and Norwegians

  • The Norwegians love coffee and are one of the world’s biggest consumers of coffee
  • Voss water is just water from the municipal water supply in Iveland.
  • The Norwegian Vikings founded Dublin, Ireland, in A.D. 836.
  • You can only buy alcohol from stores called Vinmonopolet (except 4,5% and below)
  • In 2008, Norway knighted a Penguin – Sir Nils Olav

Bonus Fact: Allemannsretten (The Public Right to Access)

The public right of access (Allemannsretten) entitles all people to recreational activities in the countryside, even on privately owned land (under certain conditions).

This also includes picking flowers, berries and camping out in the wild.

5 x Norway facts for kids

  • Home to about 20 species of whales.
  • You can see puffins in several places, for example, on the island of Bleiksøya.
  • Norway owns an uninhabited frozen island located halfway between Africa and Antarctica, it’s called Bouvet Island.
  • Svalbard is a Norwegian island in the Arctic region
  • The local name of Norway is “Norge”.
svalbard - facts about norway

Svalbard is the only place in Norway with Polar Bears in the wild – Photo: Shutterstock

3 x Common Myths about Norway

  • There are polar bears roaming freely in the streets – FALSE
  • It’s always cold – FALSE
  • All Norwegians are blonde and have blue eyes – FALSE

General Facts about Norway

If you’re looking for facts about Norway, it might also be interesting to know these general Norway facts, such as total population, biggest mountain, government, capital, country code etc.

  • Total Population: 5,295,619.
  • Highest Mountain: Galdhøpiggen – 2469 meters above the sea
  • Land area: 385,203 km2
  • Biggest Lake: Mjøsa – 362 km2
  • National Day: 17 May
  • Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy.
  • Monarch: Harald V.
  • Currency: Norske Kroner (NOK).
  • Official language: Norwegian and Sami.
  • Official Minority languages: Kven, Romani, Romanes
  • Member of EU: No.
  • Member of Nato: Yes.
  • National song: Ja, vi elsker dette landet”
  • Time zone: UTC+1 and (DST – UTC+2)
  • Country Number/Prefix: +47
  • Capital: Oslo.

oslo

Biggest Cities

  • Oslo
  • Bergen
  • Trondheim
  • Stavanger
  • Drammen
  • Fredrikstad
  • Kristiansand
  • Sandnes
  • Tromsø
  • Sarpsborg

Norwegian Flag

facts about norway

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How many of these Norway Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!

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Bjørn Risvik

Thursday 19th of July 2018

Another interesting fact about Hell is that on the train station “Hell station”, you have the “Gods terminal” (goods terminal). Hence, you can take the train to Hell Station and visit the Gods Terminal ?

Fladager

Wednesday 27th of June 2018

I knew most of the facts about Norway.

R. Andersen

Saturday 23rd of June 2018

Rosalie Andersen June 23, 2018 at 8:49am

We had the pleasure of knowing a young Norwegian girl. She was an exchange student for a year (early 1990s) her in New Jersey, USA. We learned many of the facts about Norway you mentioned from our conversations with her. Although she did not live with us, she spent many, many hours with our family. She was from the northern most part of the country. We still stay in touch. My husband is Norwegian; his grandparents were from Bergen.

Arlene Neilsen

Thursday 21st of June 2018

It Must Be My Royal Bloodline. Which Is That Of King Harold The First Of "Norway" The Fairhaired....Its Such A Beautiful Beautiful Country. Thank You Brit For Sharing With Me. Always, Arlene Neilsen..Granddaughter Of Marie Nyggard..

Terry

Wednesday 20th of June 2018

Having lived in Norway for 22 years now i knew all of these and as a bonus here is a little known fact you left out...

Norwegians hate the winter ? At least all the ones i know and have met do. 8 months of the year they do nothing but complain and moan about the snow ?

Norwegian-girl

Sunday 22nd of July 2018

I can't say that I share your hatred of winter. I love winter! <3 Many of my friends also loves winter and snow.

Alexander Waltner

Wednesday 20th of June 2018

We tend to do that in Sweden too. But I guess you can't help yourself when you're freezing your nose off ;)