Language - Bokmal Norwegian and Nynorsk Norwegian are the official languages and there are small Sami and Finnish speaking minorities. Sami is official in six municipalities.
Religion - Evangelical Lutheran (Church of Norway) is the predominant and official religion. Others include Roman Catholic, Pentecostal and other Christian and Muslim.
Late January - Northern Lights Festival, Tromsø: week-long classic and contemporary music festival marking the return of the sun.
February - Sami Week, Tromsø: Sami crafts market, national lasso throwing championship and reindeer-sled race, surrounding the Sami National Day, 06 February.
March/April - Birkebeinerrennet: 58km cross-country ski race from Rena to Lillehammer, following the route taken by Håkon Håkonsson when the young prince was taken over the mountains to safety in 1206.
March/April - Finnmarksvidda Easter festivals: Sami celebrations marking the start of spring include folk music concerts, art exhibitions, church services and traditional sports such as reindeer-sled racing, cross-country skiing and lassoing.
May/June - Bergen International Festival: city-wide contemporary music festival.
June - Norwegian Wood, Oslo: three-day open-air rock festival in Frogner Park with international acts and local bands.
June - Extreme Sport Week, Voss: Ekstremsportveko (or 'Veko' to the locals) combines international competitions in paragliding, base jumping, rafting, bungee jumping and other thrill-seeking pursuits with a suitably loud music festival.
June - Midnight Sun Marathon, Tromsø: annual international night run under the Arctic sun.
July - Kongsberg Jazz Festival: four-day festival of mostly Norwegian jazz.
July - Moldejazz: six days of jazz attracting international stars.
July - St Olav Festival, Stiklestad, Trondheim and countrywide: historical pageants, plays and other activities commemorating Norway's first Christian king, killed at the Battle of Stiklestad on 29 July 1030.
July/August - Rauma Rock, Åndalsnes: two-day/two-night international rock festival.
August - International Chamber Music Festival, Stavanger: a statelier-than-average music festival including recitals in Stavanger Cathedral.
August - Oslo Jazz Festival: a six-day event with big-name international performers.
August - Norwegian International Film Festival, Haugesund: 'the Nordic Cannes' with invitation-only industry-focused screenings.
September - Dyrsku'n Festival, Seljord: Norway's largest traditional market and cattle show.
September - Ultima, Oslo: ten-day festival of contemporary classical music featuring Scandinavian and international musicians.
October - UKA, Trondheim: the largest cultural festival in Norway, lasting 25 days, and arranged solely by student volunteers. Biennial (2013, 2015, etc.).
October - Bergen International Film Festival: public-facing film festival established in 2000 when Bergen was a European Capital of Culture, and now the country's biggest.
October - Svalbard Blues, Longyearbyen: scheduled concerts and improvised jam sessions herald the return of the long polar night.
Please note that entry requirements and visa regulations can change often and at short notice. We can provide general information about the passport and visa requirements for your trip and this information may be included after the itinerary section of your quotation. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the principal(s) or supplier(s) accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. Please call your WEXAS specialist if you wish to discuss entry requirements.
Passports must be valid for the full duration of your stay. No additional period of validity is required.
"It's such sport with these heroes of finance; they are like beads on a string - when one slips off, all the rest follow."
Henrik Ibsen, The League of Youth
Notes and coins are issued by the Central Bank of Norway. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 20 kroner; notes in 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 kroner. The krone is divided into 100 øre, but the last small-change coin, the 50 øre, was withdrawn from circulation in May 2012.
ATMs are everywhere in towns and cities, and in rural areas you can usually withdraw money at kiosks or petrol stations.
Cash and EFTPOS
Always keep some cash on you for small purchases. If you wish to withdraw or exchange money over the counter, banks are normally open from 9 am to 3.30 pm on Monday to Friday only, with longer hours on Thursdays to 5 or 5.30 pm. Credit and debit cards are accepted almost everywhere, even for small amounts like parking fees or tolls. Some supermarkets and grocery stores accept foreign debit cards but not credit cards.
Norwegian prices can be a shock to first-time travellers. A bottle of beer in a bar is around 60 kr, a main course in a good restaurant 200-250 kr, and a bottle of wine 350 kr. Car rental for a week is 3,000-6,000 kr, depending on season, location and type of vehicle.