Norway in winter

Norway, in winter, on New Year's. What kind of idea is that? I always wanted to experience a real winter. The one from Mrazík, where you are up to your knees in snow and your main means of transport is a sled and your arch enemy is the baba jaga. For such an experience, I would have to go much further east, but Norway will have to do.

More funny czech language version available


Finances and availability of accommodation played a big role in the decision. The original Italian scenario collapsed on the price of accommodation, so we chose the second most expensive country in Europe, because why not. Norway, under certain conditions, is paradoxically not as expensive as it may seem at first glance. Just stay away from Oslo and don't go to the restaurant, ever.

I'm a spreadsheet person and Google sheets are my best friend. We knew that we would have to fly, so I entered the nearest airport, Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Polish Katowice into the table. Opposite were our potential destinations, Helsinki, Stockholm, Tallinn, Oslo and Bergen, Norway. And the cheapest option Katowice - Bergen came out right from the start. One shouldn't get drunk on a roll so quickly, and that's how a quick research of accommodation and car rental came about. This is what I was most afraid of, as Norway is notorious for this expenditure item. Turns out I was wrong. Renting a car in Bergen costs less than in Brno. For 1,000 CZK per day in the Moravian metropolis, you can rent a barely used octave. Hybrid Toyota Rav4 with autonomous driving in Bergen. No shit.

Accommodation costs almost as much as in London, but it really depends on the need for comfort. Traveling with children has its specifics, and if you don't want to spend the rest of the evening arguing in the bathroom or in the hotel corridor, you have to look for apartments or even holiday homes. I have a very inappropriate characteristic when looking for accommodation. I like to round up and if something average costs CZK 5,000 per night, then CZK 8,000 for something a level better is actually a very good deal, and then CZK 9,500 for an even better property is not that much extra. It was worth it? You bet! You can't live like that every day, but we thought we'd do well for a few nights. Then you can sleep in the car and it doesn't matter if it's -20 outside. But no, accommodation for 4 people can be found around Bergen for 2500 CZK per night and it's not a cesspool.

We have a car, accommodation as well, tickets bought. Suitcase full, almost as expensive as tickets (yes, Wizz Air can make money where others can't). So we can fly!

Tip for families with children. Invest in plane tickets. Invest in everyone sitting together. You never know when your child will decide to have a panic attack just because one parent is sitting elsewhere.

Winter in Norway is not that different from ours. At the coast, in Bergen or Oslo, the temperature hovers around zero and snow alternates with rain. Hinterland is a different song. There can be -25.


Bergen is beautiful. Architecture more interesting than Oslo. Warmer. Everything essential is accessible on foot. The historic center, Bryggen, is amazing. Even though most of the small shops are closed, you feel like you are in a Norwegian fishing village… wait, but this is a Norwegian fishing village. There is wood, ropes everywhere, the accommodation is practically on the second floors, so you feel like you are in a Norwegian fishing village… wait. Every other shop is a gift shop, I'm not a fan, but local natives operate here, so no I love Bergen suitcases, but ridiculously expensive sheep wool gloves and socks. In addition, several artists have studios here. Anyway, it's worth a visit. It's actually one of the few places that people go to Bergen for.

The second most exposed place is the lookout over the city - Fløibanen. There, the cogwheel rises practically non-stop. Just watch the weather forecast and the wind. If the frost and screams combine, you will fly down the hill like a ski jumper. But the sunset is amazing there.

The fish market is only open during the summer, so over the Christmas holidays you can only shop in the restaurant. And here I would add one big exclamation point. If you want to save money in Norway. Never go to a restaurant. Never! For such an ordinary lunch, Fish & Chips, well, plus some oysters and champagne you can leave as in a Michelin restaurant for a 10-course menu.

With the kids, you can go to the water aquarium or the Vilvite science center, where they can try to build a hydrogen puma or a time machine... but no, water toys and practicing physics and dynamics are included.

I would have completely forgotten about the largest gingerbread museum in the world! Various manufacturers of methamphetamine present in one place.. no, not this gingerbread. Important information, the location on the Google map is incorrect. All you will find is a demolished building. One of the gingerbreads grew to a giant size, collected the rest and ran away into the forest. That's not entirely accurate, but the entire museum moved a few hundred meters to the Permanenten Norway museum. It's worth it? It's not as big as I expected, and it seems to me that quality has come at the expense of quantity. But if you get hungry along the way…

Well, what about the alcohol? You can buy it, but you have to think about some special conditions and your pocket. You dig deep and buy only at a certain time during the day. It's best not to drink at all, but if you're an alcoholic, buy some whiskey at the airport and you'll be fine.

Up north

I call it the closest fjord. Sognefjord. There is actually only one road leading to it from Bergen, and that is to the village of Flam. Which is actually just such a port where there is absolutely nothing at all. But the journey is the destination, so we stop at the mountain resort in the town of Voss. Outside -20 and the local children are playing carefree on the playground. I throw mine out in the cafe and the 100 meters between the car and the door I fear for their lives. Meanwhile, my fingers froze. It sounds drastic, and it's almost true, almost. That's us, the temperate ones.

There is also a museum of Norwegian culture in Voss, a kind of open-air museum, and it is beautiful. It would be more beautiful if it was 40 degrees outside, but it's still beautiful. Norway had a similar situation. Up to 15 people could sleep in a room the size of a standard modern kitchen. Definitely worth it! The rest of my frozen limbs remain in the open-air museum and we leave. Also, the car drives itself.


Destination station reached. In the Norwegian winter, you can't do without a 4x4 car, or at least it will be a little less fun when they pull you out of a ditch, lake or sea. Our cottage for the next few nights is at the top of the hill. People from the Nordic countries are quite contactless, both in their personal and professional lives, so you can almost always find your keys in a safe. Unlike other countries where I haven't encountered this yet, cleaning is not included in the price, so you either clean up after yourself - even disinfect the toilet and clean the waste in the bathroom, paint the rooms... or pay unchristian money for cleaning. We're on vacation, we're paying.

There are a few things worth seeing around Flam. The Stegastein viewpoint, to which a crazy road leads in winter, but I trust the comrades from Japan for a well-assembled car. One tip - don't go too far over the shoulder when avoiding another car. It might just be a snowy ditch that you can't get out of. The advantage of extreme cold is that you won't meet anyone at the usual tourist spots. I succeeded. I took this trip alone, just me and my camera. You'll know it's really cold when your lens stops focusing. Maybe I should write this post in Japanese since I kind of rely on their technique. I have their car, camera and lenses. Arigatō! A little further you will find the old wooden church of Borgund. But Flam is mainly known for the Flam - Myrdal scenic railway. If you enjoy looking out of the train window at an icy landscape for an hour, this is yours. I enjoyed it.

Norway in winter? It's somehow beautiful. Probably the silence, the hardness of nature, the fear of fingers. The downside is that the winter is too harsh for children who need to stay warm. Next time I would like to see Lofoten. And next time probably in warmer weather.

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