V: What should travelers know about prices in Norway
compared the United States?
HH: Norway is much more expensive than the United States.
The price you see is the price you pay; there are no extra taxes.
And you can use the Global Refund System to get money back
before you leave the country if you shop for more than NOK 315
(approximately $50). global-blue.com
V: Is haggling on price ever acceptable while shopping?
HH: Never haggle! We do not know what it means.
V: What should travelers who smoke know before they
head to Norway?
HH: Smoking in Norway is prohibited in all public buildings,
trains, buses and restaurants. In general, more accepted to
smoke in Norway than in certain areas of the United States.
V: What is the best way to dress in Norway?
HH: Be casual, unless at a very high-end restaurant.
PHOTO BY CH VISITNORWAY.COM
Norwegians are very informal.
V: When visiting another home, should we bring a
HH: not expected, but if you feel like it, or wine
would be nice gifts.
V: Is it customary to remove shoes before entering a private
home, unless told otherwise?
HH: Yes, it is. But if a dinner party or more formal setting,
keep your shoes on.
V: Should men remove their hats before entering a house,
or sitting down to eat?
HH: Yes, it is common practice to take them off indoors.
V: What topics of conversation should be avoided in social
HH: No topics are really to be avoided. Norwegians love to
discuss politics, religion and social matters, but you should
always check who you are with, and not be too opinionated. You
probably should not go into deep discussions on these topics
V: The Law of Jante, or Janteloven, centers around
principles that discourage people from boasting about
successes. What should Americans know about this?
HH: Janteloven is still in existence in Norway, but over the
years become less relevant. Janteloven is about not putting
oneself out there and oneself. In recent years, it has
become more accepted to be more outgoing and take credit for
what one does or how one gained success. As Norwegians have
become less homogeneous, we have also learned to accept the
fact that people are individuals and are allowed to obtain success
V: What are some travel safety tips? Is it safe to carry cash?
HH: You should always pay attention in bigger cities at night.
Check with your hotel if there are areas to avoid after dark. And
yes, safe to carry cash.
V: Overall, is there something you'd suggest travelers avoid
doing to keep them from being labeled a
HH: Do not talk too loudly; keep your voice down a little.
V: What are some common misconceptions about Norway
or Norwegian people?
HH: People think we are cold and unfriendly. We are a little
reserved and it just takes us a little longer to warm up compared
to Americans. Americans are very outgoing, while Norwegians
are more reserved. But as soon as you get to know a Norwegian,
you most likely have a friend for life.
VIKING JANUARY 2015