Timeline, oversimplified

793-1066: Viking area.
Late 9th century: Harald Fairhair started to gather Norway into one kingdom.
1060ies: Harald Hardråde finished Fairhairs gathering.
1066: Viking area ended with the Battle of Stamford bridge (England).
1349: The black death came to Norway. Half of all inhabitants in Norway died because if the illness.
1380: Norway went into a union with Denmark, partly due to the black death and its consequenses.
1536: The Danish rule over Norway started.
1814: The Danish rule over Norway ended, and Norway went into a union with Sweden. Norway got its own Constitution, inspired by the French and the US constitution. It was signed 18th of may (not the 17th as our national day indicates). Norway was practically (but not quite formally) self govenered.
1850 (ca.): "Nynorsk", a written language based on norwegian dialects, was published by Ivar Aasen.
1905: Union with Sweden ended.
1940: WW2 started in Norway 9th of april.
1945: WW2 ended in Norway the night from 8th to 9th of may.
1965: Oil was found in the bedrock under the Norwegian sea.
1994: Winter olympics at Lillehammer. (Have you seen the series Lillyhammer?)
2011, 22nd of June: The greatest terror attack on Norway (excluding wartime).

Things to experience

This could be a LONG list, and I am not the right to ask about things to experience north of Trondheim (oh, the shame!). I desided to make it (too?) short.

- Bergen
- Stavanger
- Trondheim
- If you like museums; Oslo
- Experience some small towns too.

- The nature in Sunnmøret, maybe Ålesund city
- If you travel between Bergen and Ålesund, travel through Olden and Stryn. It's like heaven (at least on a nice summer day)!
- Geirangerfjorden
- The entire coast
- Svalbard
- The Norwegian mountains. An idea is to take the train between Bergen and Oslo. If possible, have a stop at Geilo or Ustaoset and take a mountain hike.
- Find a glacier.
- The beaches near Stavanger

Specific places:
- Trollstigen
- Hulderfossen
- Prekestolen
- Trolltungen
- Heddal stavkirke

Reccomended litterature

Henrik Ibsen may be the most famous Norwegian author. But we have more to offer than just Ibsen. The 19th century were a special century for Norway since the Danish rule over Norway ended (we kicked Danish butt out). We needed a norwegian identidy. and this lead to much debare and creativity among the Norwegian authors. I SHOLD take you on a deep dive into this period, but I'll try to keep this as short as possible. Here are a few (of too many) suggestions what to read (if you find them published in a language you understand).

If you like (Norse) mythology, you should read Edda. Edda is divided into two parts; The older Edda and the younder Edda. The Older Edda is old poems related to mythology and The Younger Edda is written by Snorri.

Snorri also wrote The Norse King saga, often called Heimskringla in Norway. Here you'll read the sagas of the first Norwegian king.

We jump ahead a "few" years to 1723: Ludvig Holbergs comedy "Erasmus Montanus" tells the story of the young student Rasmus Berg, a young man from a little village in Norway. He is the the only person from his village that have any formal education, and when he comes back, there are a hard, comedic crash between culture and common sense.

If you are a little sci-fi-oriented, you may want to read "Anno 7603", one of the first plays to include time travel. Herman Wessel wrote that play in 1731.

As mentioned, the 19th century were a special century. The authors Asbjørnsen and Moe traveled around in Norway and collected folk tales. There are many collections in English out there, but I haven't found any complete publications in English. And if you are in the... "naugthy-mood", there are a few naugthy folk tales too, and those are also collected by Asbjørnsen and Moe.

Henrik Wergeland, the patriot, wrote a collection of poems in 1845. This collection is called "Hassel-Nødder", directly translated "Hazle nuts".

OK, OK, I have to mention Henrik Ibsen, I will reccomend reading "Peer Gynt" (1867) and "Terje Vigen" (1861).

It is said that "Sult" by Knut Hamsund is a classic from 1890. I will reccomend alot of coffee if you start reading this novel.

If you prefer strong women, you may consider the books about Kristin Lavransdatter. They are written by Sigrid Undset and published in the early 1920ies. It is also made a film based on the books.

If you like the sea and exploring, you may like the book about the Kon Tiki ekspedition by Thor Heyerdahl.

And I saved the best for last. The Odinschild series by Siri Pettersen is well worth reading, especially if you enjoy Fantasy.

Reccomended films

Orions belt: Political action-drama based on Norways position during the cold war between USSR and USA.

Børning (1, 2 and 3): The norwegian answer to the film "Cannonball run".

Trolljegeren: Fantasy-ish films where trolls are hunted.

The wave: Action-drama about the consequences of a monster wave in a norwegian fjord.

Pinchcliffe grand prix: Puppet animation made by Ivo Caprinos studio (who also made films in the same style, but based on folk stories). Pinchcliffe GP is a charming film with a race as the climax.

Fritt villt (1, 2 and 3): Three horror films. If you like Halloween, you may like these films.

Dead snow: A norwegian version of Evil dead, but with naxi zombies.

Kon-Tiki: One of the Kon-tiki films is a documentary about Thor Heyerdahls trip over the Atlantic ocean. The other film is a feature film bout the same trip.


As many (or all?) cultures, we also have our traditional folk music. You can clearly see connection to the folk music from Great Britain. If you want to explore Norwegian music with a dash of Brittish inspiration, the Norwegian group Secret Garden is a good place to start.

We have indigenous people called Sami. They have a music tradition called joik.

You may have heard of a-ha, Grieg, Kygo or even Sondre Lerche and Ole Bull, but there are several norwegian artists that have had an international breakthrough, maybe withouth the listeners realise the norwegian connection.

Especially in the second half of the 20th century, there have been common practice for norwegian artists to sing international hits (by other artists / bands), but with norwegian text. The reason may be censorship, comedic effect or as a tribute to the original artist.

Short facts

There are at least four "industries" that are or was extra important to Norway; Fish (especially cod and salmon), petrolium, ship industry and peace engotiations. Electric power may be the fifth worth mention.

Historically, Norway (or parts of Norway) have an extra strong bonds to Great Brittain, Denmark, Sweden and Germany.

Bergen is called a "Hansa city" because the Germans traveled to Bergen to buy Norwegian fish.

The music industry on the west cost of Norway, especially in Bergen, have experienced the same thing as The Beatles did; The youth got new music through the workes onboard ships. The music in Bergen has also close relations to the Brittish music.