Norway at a Glance
Living in NorwayFotolia
Norway's towns have a lot to offer and often allow you to live in close proximity to the surrounding countryside.
A relocation to Norway can be more than just an exciting professional experience. The country has a lot in store for those who value nature and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or skiing. Although the climate may be a little rough at times, life in Norway is worth your while.
Norway is particularly famous for its fjords, narrow inlets which have been carved into the land by glacial activity. Expats living in Norway enjoy the highest concentration of fjords in the world. The climate here is comparatively mild and many wild animals have declared Norway’s fjords their natural habitat.
While the Sognefjord is one of the deepest fjords, dropping 1,300 meters below sea level, it’s the Nærøyfjord and Geirangerfjord which are the most beautiful and popular. The UNESCO has declared them a World Heritage. This is absolutely justified, considering the breathtaking beauty of this natural wonder which you shouldn’t miss out on.
Norway’s capital city is just the right destination for those who enjoy the urban hustle and bustle. Located between fjords and woodlands, Oslo offers an easy-going atmosphere and an exciting mix of historic and modern architecture. It is quite easy for expats living in Norway to explore Oslo on foot and stroll from one museum to the other.
But don’t let that small-town atmosphere fool you! Oslo is the cosmopolitan, urban center of life in Norway. It offers a buzzing nightlife, with numerous clubs, bars, and restaurants. If you don’t want to choose between urban and rural life, Norway’s capital may be the perfect choice. It is easy to leave the city for some sailing or hiking. But even within the city limits, there are lots of opportunities for those living in Norway’s culture and business hub to pursue outdoor activities.
If your life in Norway has taken you to Bergen, you will find yourself right at the gateway to the fjords. The city boasts a rich cultural heritage and tradition. You’ll be happy to learn that, despite being a big city, Bergen does not lack a certain small-town charm. This is mostly due to the old streets and alleyways, the cobbled pavements and wooden houses. From the city center it is easy to travel to Mt. Fløyen or Mt. Ulriken, which offer a great view of the city and the surrounding area.
Situated between the Sognefjord and the Hadrangerfjord, Bergen truly lives up to its reputation. This is also why Bergen has a well-established cruise port and is a major destination for visitors and expats living in Norway who wish to explore Norway’s fjords. Outside of Bergen, however, there is not much to explore aside from small farms and villages.
The Old Norse name of Trondheim means “home of the strong and fertile ones.” Trondheim has long played a special role in Norwegian culture and history. Living in Norway’s first capital means living at the heart of Norway’s heritage. However, Trondheim has more in store than that. Today, it is an industrial and commercial center and education and research hub.
Trondheim is also considered Norway’s center of trade, handling the majority of the country’s imports and exports. Innovation and new developments are ensured by the many research facilities and the NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology). But even contemporary cultural life in Norway is thriving in Trondheim. Expats in Norway’s first capital benefit from many cultural events, like the St. Olavs Festival in July.
Svalbard is famous particularly for its main island, Spitsbergen, which has been selected as one of the top destinations by National Geographic Adventure in 2008. Indeed, living in Norway’s northernmost area offers little more than wild nature, old mines, and lots of polar bears. Some employment opportunities in mining and research nevertheless attract expats to spend their life in Norway’s north. Expats will quickly understand why this archipelago is named Svalbard, which means cold coasts. Indeed, the temperatures Svalbard range from -20°C to +6°C on average.