Looking for Norway facts? You’re in the right place! The Kingdom of Norway is a Nordic, Scandinavian country with a rich and unique history. It is famous for its contrasting architecture, Vikings, fjords, mountains, and picturesque views.
Norway is one of the world’s economically advanced and prosperous countries, with large volumes of oil and gas exports. Year by year, it ranks first in ranking the best countries for life. There are many exciting things to do in Norway, which is why millions of tourists visit this fascinating country every year.
#1 The Norwegian capital Oslo is the Site of the Nobel Peace Prize
The Norwegian capital city Oslo has been the site of the Nobel Prize for promoting peace in the world since 1901, almost every year.
An interesting fact about Oslo: from 2020, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded again to the University of Oslo, where it used to be awarded in the 50th–80th of the 20th-century. But previously, the venues for the Nobel Peace award were the Norwegian Nobel Institute, the Parliament, and the Oslo City Hall in different periods. Other awards ceremonies take place in Sweden.
#2 The Largest Number of Wild Deer Live in Norway
The deer live on the largest high plateau in Europe – Hardangervidda, the country’s national park and home to 7,000 deer.
What do they eat there? Their main food is grass, reindeer moss, lichens, herbs, mushrooms and shrubs.
But the most surprising thing is that reindeer eat the food of animal origin with pleasure; they pick up fish washed up on the coast and eat the eggs of birds/
#3 The Official Form of Government in Norway is a Constitutional Monarchy
The king and the royal family are the symbols of the Norwegian nation. Although under the Constitution, he has broad powers. Now they are limited to an exclusively ceremonial nature.
In the Council, the king has the right to make decisions at his own discretion, but the Council of State carefully controls the legality of these decisions, so the king does not have such a right.
#4 About 30% of the Population of Oslo Came from Abroad
The opinion is being cultivated in the media that the main flow of immigration to Norway is made up of Muslim refugees, but it’s not. The largest group of visitors is actually the Swedes, Balts and Poles. They come here to work. The main flow of migrants is neighbours – Europeans.
#5 Norway owns the most remote island in the world
One of Norway’s geographical facts is that Bouvet Island is the remotest world’s uninhabited island in the South Atlantic Ocean, with an area of 49 square kilometres.
At the same time, more than 90% of the island’s territory is covered with glaciers.
Bouvet Island is essentially the surface part of a shield volcano. The central part of the island is an extinct volcano crater filled with ice. The last eruption occurred more than 2 thousand years ago.
#6 Norway has one of the strictest environmental regulations
Throughout the world, Norway is famous not only for its innovation but also for its beauty and cleanliness.
It is one of the first countries where people started to deal with ecological issues. However, one of Norway’s basic facts is that the country has refused to support a global moratorium on whaling, and hundreds of whales are legally killed annually in Norwegian waters.
#7 Norwegians are paid for electricity cuts offs
One of the fun Norway facts is that if, due to an accident, people in Norway are left without electricity, local authorities would after paying compensation to local households, and households must already distribute it among the residents.
#8 Norway has the largest open-air contemporary art museum in Northern Europe
Kistefos Park near Oslo is one of the best museums in Europe. It has amazing architecture and landscape design, with 45 works by contemporary sculptors: Anish Kapoor, Mark Quinn, Tony Cragg, Olafur Eliasson, etc. Make sure you visit this museum on your visit to Oslo with kids.
This museum is a great place to visit for the whole family. For the kids, it has a fantastic playground and a fun fountain. The whole park resembles a theme park.
#9 Bus stops in Norway are fully furnished like homes
One of the weird facts about Norway is that on Norwegian roads, in some places, you can see closed bus stops decorated like ordinary rooms in a house. There are armchairs, tables with vases, and even curtains. People take care of the decor and monitor its cleanliness and safety.
#10 Norway Has Two Official Languages, Norwegian and Sami
One of the facts about Norwegians is that they use two languages, Norwegian and Sami.
However, there are two main varieties of the Norwegian language. This is Bokmål – the same modified Norwegian, with many Danish words and grammatical features, and Nynorsk. Bokmål is spoken by most of the country’s population, about 90%.
The Sami language is spoken only by Sami people living in the country’s north.
#11 Norwegians Raise Flags When They are Home
One of the Norweigan culture Facts you probably didn’t know. Next to many Norwegian houses, you can see a national flagpole, which makes it immediately clear whether the houses are now occupied or not. If people are at home, the flag will be raised; if they are away, it will be lowered.
#12 Almost 100% of the Population Practise Winter Sports
Due to the Norwegian climate, winter sports are very popular here. One of the most amazing facts about Norway is that almost 100% of the population participates in winter sports. Skiing and snowboarding are especially popular; most Norwegian children start learning to ski at 4-5.
#13 Norway is the leader in medals at the Winter Olympics
For all time until 2018, the country managed to earn the most medals in winter sports. There are 368 medals in total, 132 of which are gold. The closest rival is the USA, with 305 medals and 105 golds.
#14 Norwegians do not like to live in high-rise buildings
There are not many skyscrapers in the country. The houses are beautiful and cosy, painted in warm colours with a predominance of red. Grass grows on the roofs of many houses so that rain and snow do not penetrate through the cracks.
#15 One Norwegian krone is not the smallest monetary unit in the country
One of the fun Norway facts is that they have smaller money than 1 Norwegian krone. 100 øre is one Norwegian krone. There are several denominations of coins and banknotes in circulation in Norway.
Among them are coins in denominations of 10 and 50 øre and 1, 5, 10 and 20 NOK.
#16 Norway has the second-most coffee consumption per capita in the world
Norway takes one of the first places in the world regarding coffee consumption per capita. Norwegians drink coffee in the morning, afternoon, evening, and often after dinner.
The most popular type of coffee is kokekaffe – coffee made by boiling water over an open fire and brewing the coffee for a few minutes. This invigorating drink is incredibly popular here.
#17 Norway inspired the creation of salmon sushi
One of the most famous things about Norway is its delicious salmon. Remarkably, salmon rolls were first created after the agreement between Norway and Japan for salmon supply.
The fact is that the Japanese never used salmon in sushi. In the 1980s, a Norwegian delegation agreed to supply salmon to Japan; sushi has been made with this redfish since then.
#18 The Nordkapp is the northernmost point in Europe
Nordkapp in Nothern Norway means the Northern Cape because it is located on the island of Mageroya – the northernmost point in Norway and Europe.
#19 Norway collects snow for further use
More fun facts about Norway. In winter, Norway’sNorway’s snow is collected and sent for storage in special hangars, which are something like huge freezers. It is used in autumn to create ski slopes when the weather is still too warm and there is no snow, but people already want to ski. If you’re planning to visit Norway, make sure you read this travel packing list for winter in Norway.
#20 The Norwegian City of Rjukan is in Dire Need of Sun
One of the important facts about Norway is that there is little sun there, and in the north of the country, beyond the Arctic Circle, it does not have the sun for several months. Thus, in the town of Rjukan, they found a way out by installing three huge mirrors at 450 m in 2013. Now its central square has been flooded with reflected sunlight for a long time. However, during the summer months, the sun can shine through the night; that’s why Norway is often called the land of the midnight sun.
#21 Norway has the most comfortable prisons in the world
One of the fun Norway facts is that prisons in Norway resemble good hotels. The Norwegian authorities believe that criminals, even those who have committed serious crimes, should not only be isolated from society but re-educated so that after leaving prison, they can start a new life and become useful members of society.
#22 Stones were used for orientation
One of the most interesting Norway Facts and History is that the locals used to build small cairns of stones called “togas” along the roads. In the past, the sculptures served as signposts for travellers so they would not get lost in adverse weather conditions, such as snowfall or fog. The inhabitants do not touch them as a tribute to tradition.
#23 One of the most popular types of sport in Norway is an e-sport
In addition to winter sports, e-sports, such as professional video games, are very popular here. Moreover, even schools, colleges and universities have esports teams regularly participating in competitions.
#24 Skis were invented in Norway
Norwegian Sondre Norheim is considered the father of modern skiing. At the end of the 19th century, he began to use ski knitting and developed skiing techniques. However, the creation of skiing goes deep into the history of Norway.
One of the Norway History Facts is that the oldest skis were used in Norway already 4 thousand years ago. Also, the words “ski” and “slalom” come from the Norwegian language.
#25 Personal space is very important in Norway
One of the facts about Norwegian people you probably didn’t know is that personal space is sacred for most Norwegians. So, it’s not customary to talk to strangers here unless necessary.
Moreover, even local friends should not be visited without prior agreement, which will most likely cause discomfort.
#26 Almost all Norwegian energy consumption, namely 98%, comes from hydroelectric power plants
In the list of countries that produce domestic energy from renewable sources, Norway is in 9th place. However, the state produces more energy than all eight countries above it in the ranking combined.
The government has tightened energy efficiency standards for buildings and is encouraging residents to use wood for heat.
#27 Fishing in Norway does not require a license
Unlike most European countries, Norwegians can fish anywhere in the sea without restrictions. This is often used by residents from the border countries (from Finland and Sweden) who come here, settle in campsites on the coastline, fish and stock up on fish for months to come.
#28 One of the Best Norway Facts – Norway has the deepest lake in Europe
One of the facts on Norway for kids who learn geography is that there are half a million lakes in Norway, and the deepest of them is Hornindalsvatnet, located in the More og Romsdal region. It ranks 18th among the deepest lakes on the planet, with a depth of 514 meters.
#29 The Christmas tree in London’s Trafalgar Square is a gift from Norway
Since 1947, the country has sent a Christmas tree to the UK in gratitude for supporting Britain in World War II.
#30 Norway has the longest road tunnel in the world
Norway has the Lærdal Tunnel, the longest road tunnel in the world. It stretches for 24.5 kilometres. To solve the problems of the monotony of traffic through the tunnel and improve the control over the concentration of drivers’ attention, the specialists divided the tunnel into 4 segments, placing three recreation areas between them.
#31 There is a place in Norway where you can’t bury people
In the northernmost settlement of Longyearbyen in the Swaldbard Islands, where 2,000 citizens live, the dead cannot be buried. There was no burial here for many years, all because of the extremely low temperatures at which the bodies do not decompose. Residents bury their relatives in other cities, incurring, besides the grief, significant financial losses for transportation.
#32 The highest waterfall in Europe is in Norway
Vinnufossen is considered one of the most impressive waterfalls in Norway. The height is 860 m above sea level, which makes it the highest in Europe. This glacial waterfall is the centrepiece of an extensive cascade that descends from a cliff near Sunndal.
It falls from a high rocky cliff, forming notches over time. That is why Vinnufossen causes a lot of positive emotions among tourists.
#33 Norwegians need to show their passport when travelling to Svalbard
The fact is that Norway is part of the European Schengen zone but not the archipelagos. While flights within the country do not involve passport control, Longyearbyen Airport is a non-Schengen area. Therefore, departing from Oslo to watch the northern lights, all passengers of any nationality must pass passport control and show their passports.
#34 The climate in Norway is quite mild, and summers are warm
Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Norway’s climate is milder than expected at this latitude within the Arctic Circle. Norway is located at the same latitude as Alaska, Greenland and Siberia, but compared to these regions, the climate on this land is much milder.
From the end of June to the beginning of August, the weather is warmest, and the days are long and clear.
#35 Scottish penguin Niels Olaf is the commander of the Norwegian Royal Guard
One of the funny facts about Norway is that the penguin who lives in Edinburgh Zoo is a commander! He was knighted and became the only penguin in the world to receive such a high rank.
Enjoy these Norway Facts? Discover More About Norway Below
More Facts About Europe
Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.