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Some essentials to keep in mind while planning a trip to Norway

Trip Trail Given Norway's sheer size, there is no way you can see the best of the country even in a week. So, if you are strapped for time, zero in on one area of interest. For instance, if it's the fjords that draw you, consider an action-packed five-day Oslo and Geirangerfjord tour. Norway ImmigrationArrive in Oslo and check out the local sights that day. On Day 2, catch a train to Andalsnes, and then take a local bus to Alesund, where you can spend two nights. The next morning, take the Hurtigruten ship tour to Geiranger and back (only in summer), which takes you through one of the most famous fjords in the country. On Day 4, take the overnight Hurtigruten ship to Bergen, and the following morning, take the scenic train ride back to Oslo, and your flight home. If you want to cross the Arctic circle and try spotting the whales, you will need at least 8-10 days. For more itinerary suggestions visit www.norwaynutshell. com.   Best Time to Visit June/July are most suitable as the weather is good. To enjoy lower rates, May and September are better time to visit fewer crowds. Tourist Attractions Free Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park, Oslo Palace Park, Oslo Botanical Gardens, Oslo Historical Museum, Oslo (free only on Sundays) Hanseatic Wharf of Bryggen, Bergen Fjellstoua Viewpoint, Alesund Alesund Church, Alesund Alnes Lighthouse, Alesund Paid (approximate per person rates) The Viking Ship Museum: NOK 60 (Rs 592) Norwegian Folk Museum: NOK 110 (Rs 1,084) Munch (Moonch) Museum (Art): NOK 95 (Rs 937) City Hall where the Nobel Peace Prize is presented: NOK 80 (Rs 789) Bryggens Museum, Bergen: NOK 70 (Rs 690) Floibanen Funicular, Bergen: NOK 80 Bergen Aquarium: NOK 200 (Rs 1,971) Fjell fortress, Bergen: NOK 60 Saving Tips The Norway weather is prone to changing from warm to wet and chilly. So plan to dress in layers and pack accordingly. It's windier on board cruise ships and ferries, even in peak summer. A raincoat or waterproof windbreaker and fast-drying boots/walking shoes are a must, no matter when you visit. Food in Norway is expensive, so plan on picnic meals bought at bargain supermarkets, such as Bunnpris, Rema 1000, Kiwi and Rimi, instead of going to cafes and restaurants. Don't Miss... ... the chance to cross the Arctic circle and sail past the northernmost reaches of Europe, where the sun doesn't set in the summers. The best way to cover the most popular fjords in Norway and the polar north is to take the seven-night Hurtigruten Cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes. You can also visit the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, the colourful Art Nouveau town of Alesund, as well as towns like Trondheim, Bodo, Tromso and Honningsvag. The cruise costs Euro 1,146 (Rs 90,000) onwards. Before You Leave... Air Fare The Delhi-Oslo return air fare starts at Rs 50,000 per person, but the flights with bearably long stopovers cost anything from Rs 55,000-74,000. The return air fare from Mumbai, however, costs upwards of Rs 57,000. Exchange Rate At a time when the dollar, euro and pound sterling seem out of reach, the Norwegian Kroner (NOK) is actually a pleasant surprise. Currently, Rs 100 will fetch NOK 10.15. However, make sure you keep aside a fat travel budget because Norway is an expensive country. Visa Indians need a Schengen visa to enter Norway. Applicants have to register online at https://selfser vice. udi.no/, pay the fee euro 60 (Rs 4,655), and book an appointment with one of the Cox & Kings Global Service Visa Applicaton Centres in India (www.no.ckgs.in). Trip Expense As a yardstick, keep Rs 2,800-3,000 per person, per day on a budget trip, covering stay, meals, local commute and sightseeing (one or two paid attractions). For mid-range trips, the average expenses would be Rs 8,500-9,000 per person, per day. Luxury trips, on the other hand, will cost upwards of Rs 18,000 per person per day. Accommodation The typical rates for a double room in a hotel will be NOK 1,000-1,500 (Rs 9,800-14,800), with breakfast. A hostel would cost Rs 6,000-7,000. If you're in a group, consider selfcatering cottage rentals, which cost Rs 6,400-8,400 a night. One of the cheapest options is renting a cabin, hytter, at a campsite, starting at Rs 2,500 a day. Visit http://www.visitnorway.com to locate accommodation and book online. Local Commute Take your pick from buses, trams, trains and ferries; each is efficient. For local bus timings, check http://www. 177mr.no/ and for ferries visit http://www.fjord1.no/eng. You can book train connections at http://www.nsb.no/?lang=en_ US. Source:http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-07-22/news/40727679_1_nok-fjords-tromso    

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