Norway Travel Rating: What To Expect If You Visit

So you are considering a visit to Norway, or maybe you’re just curious about how expensive Norway is. Either way, here is a balanced and unbiased view of how Norway stacks up globally in travel categories such as accessibility, popularity, quality of life, travel costs, and attractions. For each category, I include reliable data points that will give you a good idea of what to expect if you visit the country of fjords.

I feel lucky to have been able to grow up in and travel around the Nordics throughout my life. Whether it has been historical and educational trips with family or adventurous and explorational trips with friends, I have never run out of new places to discover and new things to do in Scandinavia.

But just because I love the Scandinavian countries doesn’t mean everyone would, so I was curious to find how Norway is like for the average traveler.

To find out how Norway stacks up travel-wise, and in an attempt to give you an unbiased and balanced view of how the country rates as a travel destination, I have collected relevant data points from different reliable indexes and surveys where countries around the world are compared in ways that relate to traveling experience and satisfaction.

So let’s take a look at how Norway rates as a travel destination for the average tourist, based on relevant data points and survey results:

6.7NP Score
Travel Rating: Norway 🇳🇴

Norway has some of the world’s most beautiful natural landscapes, a high quality of life and a very cool capital city. All in all a very good destination, with the exception for the cost of travel that brings down the average significantly.

You can click on each category for a deeper look into the data and the sources, or simply keep scrolling to look at how we arrived at these ratings, one by one.

Visitor Accessibility – How Easy Is It to Travel To & Within Norway?​

For this category, we’re trying to establish how convenient it is to travel to Norway, and how easy it is to get around in the country when you’re visiting. If you’re visiting as part of a bigger trip we’ll look at distance in travel time from different European cities, and we’ll also try to gauge how the country’s infrastructure holds up compared to other countries in order to figure out if it’s easy to get around in Norway.

Data PointsNorway 🇳🇴
EU member
Country is part of the European Union
No
Number of major airports
Number of airports servicing international airlines and 10M+ pax that visitors can fly in to/out of
1 (OSL)
Car drive from Berlin
How long it takes to drive from Berlin to the nearest major city, Google Maps 2021
12 hrs 9 min
Train ride from Berlin
How long it takes to drive from Berlin to the nearest major city, Google Maps 2021
15 hrs 2 mins
Car drive from Amsterdam
How long it takes to drive from Amsterdam to the nearest major city, Google Maps 2021
14 hrs 38 min
Train ride from Amsterdam
How long it takes to drive from Amsterdam to the nearest major city, Google Maps 2021
21 hrs 55 min
Road connectivity
94th out of 141 countries – Global Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum 2019
66% / 94th
Quality of road infrastructure
46th out of 141 countries – Global Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum 2019
59% / 46th
Railroad density
53rd out of 141 countries – Global Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum 2019
28% / 53rd
Efficiency of train services
28th out of 141 countries – Global Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum 2019
58% / 28th
Airport connectivity
34th out of 141 countries – Global Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum 2019
68% / 34th
Efficiency of air transport services
21st out of 141 countries – Global Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum 2019
76% / 21st
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
60%
6NP Score
Visitor Accessibility Score

With only 1 major airport and quite a far distance via roads and rail from the European continent, Norway isn’t the easiest to access. Add to that that the country isn’t part of the EU, and the score goes down even more. Transportation infrastructure is not very high, but luckily public transportation ranks much better.


Visitor Popularity, Demand, Total Area, and Global Reputation

Looking at how popular Norway is for visitors, how long they stay, and how the country’s reputation ranks globally, we can get a good sense of how people in general rate Norway. I’ve also chosen to include total area to get a sense of how much there is to explore in the country as a whole.

Data PointsNorway 🇳🇴
Number of visitors
Number of yearly foreign visitors to country – World Tourism Organization 2019
5.88 million
Length of stays
Nights spent in accom. by international guests – World Tourism Organization 2019
10.7 million
Total Area
Land + water area in square kilometers – CIA The World Factbook 2020
323 000 km²
Reputation
Out of 55 countries – Country RepTrak study 2018
4th
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
75%
7.5NP Score
Visitor Popularity, Demand, Total Area, and Global Reputation Score

Norway is a fairly popular destination, in high demand, and ranks 4th in global reputation. In other words, visitors seem to like Norway.


Quality of Life Index – How Does Norway Compare Globally?

To get a sense of how Norway ranks as a destination for expats and visitors, we’ve looked at a massive global index that ranks countries based on factors relating to quality of life.

Data PointsNorway 🇳🇴
Stability
Political & economic stability – WorldData 2020
100%
Rights
Legal system, civil rights & freedom of expression – WorldData 2020
100%
Health
Life expectancy, water cleanliness, health services – WorldData 2020
91%
Safety
Crime/homocide rate, displaced persons – WorldData 2020
99%
Climate
Assuming optimal climate is 25 C / 77 F and 55% humidity – WorldData 2020
15%
Relative cost
Cost of living, ease of doing business – WorldData 2020
15%
Popularity
Happiness, migration rate, number of tourists – WorldData 2020
37%
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
65%
6.5NP Score
Quality of Life Index Score

Norway places 49th out of 91 countries when we look at quality of life indicators for visitors and expats from a massive global dataset gathered by WorldData. The country scores in the top of every sub-category except for climate, cost, and travel popularity. Considering the sometimes harsh climate and higher travel costs commonly associated with Norway, the lower scores in these areas did not come as a surprise.


Quality of Life Surveys – What Do Actual Expats and Visitors Think of Norway?

We can definitely learn a lot from looking at the big data in the previous section, but I also wanted to include how actual visitors of the country rate Norway in different areas related to quality of life, which can give a good idea of how it is to visit the country. A great way to find out how good a country is for travelers is to ask the people who have actually visited the country.

I looked at three independent surveys which asked expats and visitors what their experience in Norway was:

Data PointsNorway 🇳🇴
Quality of living – employees working abroad
23rd out of 231 cities – Mercer 2019
89%
Quality of life – expats survey
Out of 60 countries – Expat Insider 2019
20th
Quality of life – user survey
Out of 83 countries – Numbeo User Survey 2020
10th
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
77%
7.7NP Score
Quality of Life Surveys Score

Looking at the smaller survey results, Norway places 23/231 in Mercer’s quality of living index for employees working abroad, and 10/83 in Numbeo’s user survey for visitors as well. In Expat Insider’s 2019 survey, Norway places toward the middle, which ultimately brings down the overall score in this category. In this survey Norway scores low in categories such as “ease of settling in”, “feeling at home”, “friendliness”, and “finding friends”.


Reported Cost of Food, Drinks and Shopping – How Expensive is it to Visit Norway?

We’ve touched on the cost of travel in Norway already, but I wanted to give an idea of actual costs travelers may be interested in, as reported by visitors (and verified by myself on my own visits).

Data PointsNorway 🇳🇴
Cost of eating out
Basic meal with drink at inexpensive restaurant – MyLifeElsewhere 2020
$21.01
Cost of drinking
Cost of a domestic beer in an inexpensive bar – MyLifeElsewhere 2020
$10.24
Cost of shopping
Cost of a regular dress from H&M or similar store – MyLifeElsewhere 2020
$55.86
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
25%
2.5NP Score
Reported Cost of Food, Drinks and Shopping Score

Norway is subjectively looking a very expensive place for travelers, and the country scores worse here than its Scandinavian neighbors do, which mostly is caused by Norway’s higher wages (which you as a visitor isn’t too affected by).


Attractions & Travel Community

Other important factors for travelers to consider before deciding on their travel plans are how many attractions there are, how excited other travelers seem to be about the country, how attractive the country’s natural assets are, and what the country’s main attraction categories are:

Data PointsNorway 🇳🇴
Number of attractions
Number of attractions listed on Tripadvisor June 2021
6 000+
Community topics
Number of community topics listed on Tripadvisor June 2021
39 371
Attractiveness of natural assets
Out of 140 countries – World Economic Forum Travel & Tourism report 2019
7th
Most popular attraction categories
Most popular attraction types – Lonely Planet 2021
Recreation, Scenic Landscapes, Skiing
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
95%
9.5NP Score
Attractions & Travel Community Score

Norway definitely offers some of the most striking landscapes in the world. There is a lot of buzz about Norway online, and Norway’s natural assets rank fairly high globally speaking.


Capital City Rating – Is Oslo a Good Travel Destination?

Finally, you get a pretty good sense of a country by looking at its capital city and how it stacks up against other capital cities, specifically when it comes to factors that are relevant for travelers.

Data PointsOslo, Norway 🇳🇴
Average temperature
Average maximum temperature
9.4°C / 48.2 ℉
Rainy days
Average amount of rainy days in a year
116
Universities
Number of universities in city
13
Museums
Number of museums in city
50
Theaters
Number of theaters in city
4
UNESCO World Heritage Landmarks
Number of UNESCO World Heritage Landmarks in city
0
Cost of living
Estimated monthly living expenses for a single person (excluding rent) – Numbeo 2021
$ 1202 USD
Quality of city living
The annual survey ranks 221 cities using 39 quality of life criteria – Mercer 2021.
33rd
Michelin restaurants
Number of restaurants listed in Guide Michelin that are currently open – Guide Michelin 2021
29
Population density
How densely populated the city is
3200 people/km²
Average salary
Average yearly salary in USD
$ 39 084 USD
Score
Weighted score out of 100%, higher is better (adjusted for relevant factors such as size, quality, etc.)
70%
7NP Score
Capital City Rating – Oslo

The capital of Norway was founded in 1040, and is one of the fastest-growing European cities over the last few decades. The city is located at the mouth of a fjord, and is an important maritime hub. The city ranks 33rd in a quality of life survey from Mercer comparing how it is to live in 231 different major global cities.


Data sources: 1234567891011121314151617, 18

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Karl Andersson

As a native Swede with a Finnish mother, Karl identifies as both Nordic and Scandinavian. He left Sweden at 19 to explore the world, and stayed abroad for almost 8 years—during which he backpacked, worked every job there was, earned a degree from UC Berkeley, and met the future mother of his children. He ultimately returned to his native Malmö with his love, where they now have 3 Swedish-American boys eager to explore the world.

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