Norway - Tourism, travel, and recreation

Norway's main tourist attractions are the cities of Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim, which are connected by road, rail, and daily flights; the marvelous scenery of the fjord country in the west; and the arctic coast with the North Cape and "midnight sun."

A favorite method of tourist travel is by coastal steamer, sailing from Bergen northward to Kirkenes, near the Soviet frontier. Many cruise ships ply the Norwegian fjords and coastal towns as far north as Spitsbergen. Notable outdoor recreational facilities include the Oslomarka, a 100,000 ha (247,000 acre) area located near Oslo, with ski trails and walking paths. To compensate for the shortness of winter days, several trails are illuminated for evening skiing. Other popular sports include ice skating, freshwater fishing, mountaineering, hunting (grouse, reindeer, and elk), and soccer. In 1994, Norway hosted the XVII Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer.

There are major theaters in Oslo and Bergen, as well as six regional theaters; Den Norske Opera in Oslo; and four symphony orchestras. International musical events include the Bergen Festival, held annually in late May or early June; and several jazz festivals in July.

No passport is required of visitors from the Nordic area, but travelers arriving in Norway directly from non-Nordic countries are subject to passport control. A visa is not required for visits of less than three months.

In 2000, foreign visitors numbered 4.3 million and income from tourism totaled $1.9 billion. There were 65,200 hotel rooms with 140,580 beds and a 38% occupancy rate that year.

In 2002 the US government estimated the daily cost of staying in Norway as being between $199 and $255.

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