A troll statue greets visitors to Lillehammer
Mid-June to mid-August is the national vacation period, and many Norwegians depart cities and towns for the fjords, mountains and countryside. This can be a good time to visit Oslo.
During the peak summer vacation season, North Cape (Nordkapp) and its approaches are very busy with traffic and visitors.
When driving in Norway, dimmed headlights must be kept on even during daylight hours.
Because of Norway's strict control on the sale of alcohol, you will have difficulty buying your own wines and spirits outside larger towns. You cannot buy alcohol (except beer) from supermarkets. Special state-controlled Vinmonopolet are the only liquor stores, and they are very expensive. Most restaurants are licensed, and you may be able to buy beer in some grocery stores.
Norwegians are catching up on international fashion, but there is more interest in good outdoor clothing. For something truly Norwegian try the Oslo Sweater Shop AS, at the Radisson SAS Scandinavia Hotel (BTullins gate 5, Phone:22 11 29 22), the Clarion Royal Christiania Hotel (BSkippergaten/ Biskop Gunnerusgate 3, Phone:22 42 42 25) or Thv. L. Holm AS (BH. Heyerdahls gate 1, Phone:22 41 15 74). Other souvenirs include ceramics, pewter, glass, wooden troll figures, enamel jewelry and woven wall hangings.
You can eat very well in Norway, especially in Oslo and the larger towns. Norwegians are experts at buffet preparation, the ideal lunch experience, often with elaborate fish specialties. Smoked salmon and trout, and lamb dishes such as fenalår (smoked leg of lamb) are delicious, or try reindeer or elk for a real taste of mountain Norway.
As in Sweden and Finland, some things are about 30 percent more expensive in Norway than in the rest of Europe. Several passes and discount schemes offer reduced prices at hotels (contact your local travel agent for information). Overall, prices are higher than elsewhere in Europe. If you're on a budget, watch for Lavpris (low-price) food stores.