Are Norway and Norwegians Boring? (Here are the facts)

Anyone who has visited Norway for the right reasons will be quick to answer the question with a resounding no. Are Norway and Norwegians boring? Of course not!

That being said, there are those (Often those who have never been to Norway) who have heard that the fair land at the top of the world is dull. The same goes for neighboring Sweden.

To put the question to bed once and for all, let’s explore the reasons why some people might think Norway is boring and explain why it’s just not true. By the end of this article, you’ll be left in no doubt about the myth that Norway and Norwegians are boring is a myth.

Why some people might find Norway boring

First, there are a few common reasons why some think Norway is boring, let’s go through them one by one.

The average Norwegian

It’s no secret that the average Norwegian isn’t a bubbly bundle of expression the first time you meet. In fact, one of the main reasons people can think Norway is boring is because of the (perceived) closed-off nature of Norwegians.

But that initial coldness is not aloofness or unfriendliness, it’s just the natural reticence of people who value their own space.

Spend a few minutes getting past a Norwegian’s initial defenses and you will find a helpful, friendly person, happy to test their English skills and ready to tell you all about the stunning country they love.

The weather

Another factor that can count against Norway is the weather. located far north in the northern hemisphere, covered in mountainous terrain, Norway gets its fair share of bad weather.

As much as Norwegians might wish it were otherwise, there’s not a lot you can do about it. As a consequence, one of the most popular sayings in Norway is “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” (it rhymes in Norwegian).

That being said, I have stood in rainstorms so hard the water bounced up the inside of my waterproof trousers, So I might disagree with the factuality of that saying. But I don’t deny the principle.

Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. And on the plus side, when the sun does shine the entirety of Norway comes out to play.

The cost

Another fact you can’t do anything about. Norway is an expensive country to visit. Things like hotels, eating out, and shopping costs a lot.

These are unfortunately things that visitors need. But if you plan ahead and are careful with your money, it is still possible to enjoy Norway without a second mortgage.

The capital

When visiting a country you often want to take in its capital city. But Norway is a country with only 5 million people. Many capital cities have a larger population than the entirety of Norway. This means that if you are looking for a New York or Tokyo, Oslo will disappoint.

But Oslo has its own charms. As long as you don’t expect a big city, you won’t be disappointed. And if you ask around, Oslo natives are very proud of their city and they’ll happily point you in the right direction for anything you want.

Reasons why Norway is not boring

There are too many reasons to list why Norway is not boring. So here, we’re just going to give you a few to wet your appetite.

A natural wonderland

It’s impossible to be bored with a spectacular vista wherever you look. From watery panoramas on the coast to mountainous skylines inland, Norway is a natural wonderland. And nature offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy yourself.

Would you like to see a beach and a glacier on the same day? Well, you can on the west coast of Norway. How about the Northern Lights or the midnight sun? Both possible in the north (although not at the same time of year for obvious reasons).

With waterfalls and snow-capped peaks, fjords, and forests, Norway has it all. If you’re at all interested in the natural world, you’ll never get bored in Norway.

A sporting mecca

Norway’s obsession with winter sports is well known. If your favorite pastime involves snow, Norway’s got you covered with plenty of top-notch ski resorts within driving distance of most major cities. But what is less known are all the other sporting opportunities that you can find.

If there’s nothing you like more than watersports, Norway is the perfect destination. With its massive coastline, there are numerous surfing and windsurfing spots to explore. And kite surfing on both water and snow.

Yachting is hugely popular with an almost infinite number of bays, inlets, and hidden gems to discover. And don’t forget to hire a kayak or SUP for some unique experiences along the coast or in the fjords.

They cover even the most outrageous sports with the international extreme sports week held annually in Voss. Extreme athletes from all over the world gather to perform heart-stopping feats on land, sea, and air.

Spectacular road trips

Combine long, windy roads with outstanding scenery and you have a recipe for an awesome road trip. Norway is an extremely long country, spin it on its axis and you’d hit Italy.

Throughout the length and breadth of the country are remote towns and villages that need road access. Discovering single-track roads without another car for miles is the stuff your memories are made of.

The Norwegian authorities have even designated certain roads as tourist routes and have built attractions to keep you interested even when you stop.

the average Norwegian

You might think it odd that your average Norwegian is in both the boring and not-boring columns. But getting to know Norwegians is a rewarding experience. Once you get past the initial work, you’ll find a friend for life.

Getting to know a Norwegian also has other benefits. As proud of their country as most Norwegians are, they all have a secret location/fishing spot/hike/viewpoint that they like to keep for themselves. Get to know the locals and you might just hear of a hidden pearl you won’t find in any tourist guide.

So is Norway boring?

I don’t believe there is such a thing as a boring country. What I do believe is that people have different opinions about what makes a trip memorable and exciting.

If you have been to London, Paris, or Rome for a weekend to see the sights, my bet is that a similar trip to Oslo is going to be a disappointment. Norway is not known for its buzzing city life, cheap food and drinks and museums so don’t go there for that.

Seek out what makes Norway unique and exciting. A visit to Norway is what you make of it. There are endless things to do and see, people, to meet, and places to go.

Now, I’m off to my secret blueberry-picking spot. And no, I’m not telling you where it is. But come to Norway and I might show you.

Photo of author


Erik is the creator and editor of Planet Norway. Born in Trondheim and currently living in Oslo, Erik knows the ins and outs of Norwegian History, society, and culture. His idea for starting planet Norway came about when helping his foreign fiance to settle in Norway.