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What are the rules and culture of camping in Norway? 

One of the best things about living in Norway is having the great outdoors on your doorstep. But before you go on your next adventure, it's essential to know a little bit more about the unwritten (and written) rules of camping culture in the country. 

What are the rules and culture of camping in Norway? 
The nature in Norway is one of the best things about the country. Photo by Daan Weijers on Unsplash


Wherever you are in Norway, you will always be close to nature and outstanding natural scenery. The best thing about this proximity to nature is the Allemannsretten, the right to public access. The Outdoor Recreation Act has protected this right to access since 1957. 

This gives people the right to travel or camp anywhere they like, regardless of who owns the land. The exception to this rule is cultivated land.

Another thing to note is that if you are planning to set up shop on somebody else’s land, you can only do so if you are 150 meters from their property, and you can only stay a maximum of two days before you are required to ask for their permission. 

READ ALSO: Five great places to go on a hammock trip in Oslo this summer

Furthermore, while it isn’t a rule per se, those camping with tents and hammocks are encouraged to pick spots already established as camping sites.

So while it may be tempting to look for your own hidden gem, please stay close to an established spot to avoid minimal disruption to nature and wildlife in the area. 

Allmennhetens høstingsrett

Similar to the public right to access, this grants you the freedom to harvest, forage and eat any berries, nuts, herbs, mushrooms or plants you come across. 

There are some exceptions, however, namely cloudberries that are found on private property in Northern Norway. 

This public right to harvest means you can choose a spot abundant with fresh berries, for example, and have them as a dessert on your trip or make them into a jam to be served with some sveler (thick Norwegian pancakes, often served with jam, sour cream or brown cheese).

Keen anglers can also fish for saltwater species such as haddock and pollock without a licence. You will need a licence issued by the municipality you are visiting for freshwater species, however. 

Lighting fires 

Due to the risk of forest fires, campfires are prohibited from April 15th and September 15th in wooded areas and forests. 

However, fires are allowed in areas where the risk of fires spreading is unlikely, such as near water or at an approved campsite.

Campers are also required to bring their own firewood and not to fell any trees.

In extreme droughts, some standard camping equipment such as grills, gas burners and camping stoves will also be prohibited. 

You can check the risk of forest fires spreading where you are going camping by using

Det er ikke dårlig vær bare dårlige klær

Depending on when and how you hear this, it will either be one of the most infuriating or helpful things a local can say to you. 

Translated to “there is no bad weather, only bad clothes”, this phrase could be the bane of your existence should a Norwegian find you drenched and shivering while they beam from ear to ear in their warm weatherproof outdoors wear. 

It could also be a handy reminder to check the weather and pack appropriately when telling someone you are planning a camping trip or excursion to the great outdoors. 

The weather in Norway is unpredictable, which means you should prepare for all scenarios. 

More importantly, though, this saying offers a good insight into Norway’s relationship with nature. The proverb isn’t just a reminder to pack a jacket. It’s also to encourage people to make the most of the great outdoors even if the weather isn’t picture perfect. 

Ut på tur aldri sur

Out on a trip never sour! This is a phrase all Norwegians have adopted as an unofficial rule when it comes to camping and spending time in the great outdoors. 

This un-written rule encourages people to embrace being in the great outdoors and to take the time out in nature to relax, unwind, enjoy themselves and not take the scenery around them or the opportunity to be with those they love for granted. 

This is an important one to keep in mind if things don’t plan on your trip.

Respect nature

This one may be obvious wherever you are in the world but is especially important given that Norway is home to many endangered species, delicately poised eco-systems and national parks that are meant to be for everyone’s enjoyment. 

You should try to leave no or little impact on the area you are staying in. 

Or, to put it in the words of famous Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss: To use something is not the same as consuming it. 

You should do as little to disturb the surrounding area and wildlife in the site you are staying in as possible. 

If you aren’t camping at a site with toilet facilities, make sure to bring a shovel to dispose of your waste. As well as that, be sure to make sure you don’t go to the bathroom within 50 metres of any water sources, as many hikers and campers in Norway will drink from the streams, waterfalls and rivers.

As well as that, don’t move anything from its natural habitat or leave any permanent changes such as carving your name into a tree or stone. 

Useful links

Below is a list of links to all the resources you’ll need to go camping in Norway, from camping sites to top tips.

The right to roam | Guidelines to roaming where you want (

The Norwegian Mountain Code — The Norwegian Trekking Association (

Useful vocab 

Telt Tent 

Sovepose– Sleeping bag

Myggnett– Mosquito net 

Hengekøyetur– Hammock trip 

Stormkjøkken– Camping stove

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For members


The most common complaints that foreigners have about Bergen

Bergen, Norway's second-biggest city, is a beautiful international hub that almost effortlessly captures the hearts of both visitors and new residents. However, even amidst its beauty and hospitality, some aspects of life in Bergen can leave you a bit frustrated.

The most common complaints that foreigners have about Bergen

It’s hard to overstate how magnificent Bergen actually is – due to its unique coastal location in western Norway, it’s commonly known as the “gateway to the fjords,” and it is widely popular as the starting point of many a fjord cruise.

Nestled among seven mountains, the city also offers almost limitless hiking and outdoor opportunities for nature lovers, and its rich cultural heritage (best embodied by the old Bryggen wharf and old town) draws in tens of thousands of tourists each year.

However, as is the case with city life in any town, even Norwegian urban gems have some aspects that leave visitors – and new residents – somewhat perplexed or frustrated.

The rain, does it ever stop?

If you’ve read any review of a trip to Bergen or a guide to the city, the first complaint you probably noticed was related to the weather.

The city is located on the coast and surrounded by mountains, so it has a very wet microclimate. How wet can it be, you ask? Well… Barely a day goes by that it doesn’t rain.

According to the latest figures, it rains in Bergen more than 230 days a year. If you moved to western Norway from a southern or eastern European country, you’ll likely quickly develop nostalgia for sunny and warm days back home.

But don’t give into depressing thoughts – the key to accepting Bergen’s weather is in adopting a lifestyle that is best described by local mantras such as “there is no bad weather, just bad clothes” and “if you wait for nice weather, you never actually leave the house.”

So, invest in some waterproof clothes and footwear, and start treating the rain like any other local – as an everyday fact of life in Bergen.

The dialect… This is not what I was taught in my language course!

Locals in Bergen speak a dialect (called bergensk) that is very different to the Norwegian language taught in many foreign language schools and which is closer to the eastern, Oslo dialect.

If you weren’t prepared for Norway’s linguistic diversity and wealth of dialects, this could come as somewhat of a negative surprise – especially if you have invested tens of thousands of kroner in language courses.

Instead of being angry at Bergen and its residents, complaining to anyone who’s willing to listen, try a different approach – pick up a local language course to upgrade your Norwegian language skills and master one of the key challenges related to this dialect, pronunciation.

Be patient and show yourself some grace. The transition to a new dialect will take (at least!) a couple of months. However, you can speed up the process by expanding your social circle and spending more time with the locals.

As a first step, you can also consult The Local’s beginner’s guide to the Bergen dialect.

Bybanen Flesland

Bergen Airport offers a broad range of regular services to more than 60 destinations. Photo by Jørgen Håland on Unsplash

Why aren’t there more flight options?

This is a complaint you’ll hear way too often once you relocate, considering the available flight routes from and to Beren.

While Bergen has more modest flight connections, if you compare them with those in the capital, Oslo, it is by no means poorly connected.

Bergen Airport (Flesland) currently offers an extensive range of regular services to various destinations (roughly 65), supplemented by a selection of seasonal or charter flights primarily during the summer months.

 Around twenty, operate regular flights out of Flesland, ensuring a comprehensive network of connectivity for travellers.

So, while Flesland might not offer flight routes to insert your European city of choice as the second-largest airport in the country, it does not deserve the bad rep it sometimes gets.

Bergen is so expensive!

When complaining about life in Norway, it’s quite common for people to mention its reputation for being expensive. This holds true for all of the country’s cities.

According to Eurostat, Norway ranks second in terms of food and non-alcoholic beverage prices in Europe. A report by Statistics Norway (SSB) in 2018 revealed that the cost of food and non-alcoholic drinks in Norway was 63 percent higher than the EU average.

The same report highlighted that food prices in Norway were 40 percent higher than in Sweden and 25 percent higher compared to Denmark… So, yes, the fact that Norway is expensive is well documented, and if you continuously lament about the high prices, you’ll likely start annoying even the typically stoic Norwegians.

The other side of the story is that, apart from being among the most expensive countries in Europe, Norway is also among the countries with the highest salaries and most generous welfare systems.

So, at the end of the day, most Bergen residents will tell you that the two sort of even each other out.

Don’t dwell on the negatives

While it’s important to acknowledge the occasional complaint voiced by foreigners about Bergen, it’s also important not to let these gripes overshadow the incredible experiences that await prospective visitors.

Instead of letting these perceived “downsides” of life in Bergen discourage you, why not embrace the city’s unique qualities, adopt local wisdom, and cultivate useful habits?

By doing so, both Bergen and Norway will warmly embrace you, despite their occasional rainfall, leaving you with enchanting memories and a resilient attitude that will prove invaluable when faced with challenging situations in life.