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Guidebook for Norway

I'm a little stumped about what guidebook to use for Norway. The RS Scandinavian book covers about 5% of the country, and only the most popular things, or what is adjacent to the most popular things. I found the Lonely Planet book (for Sweden) to be pretty flat and uninspiring, although I haven't seen the Norway one. Is there an obviously best guidebook for Norway or am I stuck gleaning forums like TripAdvisor and blogs for answers? I'm still in disbelief that Tronheim, Ålesund, and Geiranger Fjord, 3 of Norway's biggies, are not in RS nor is anything arctic.

Posted by
16883 posts

If you haven't already, check out the Tourist Information office at I can usually find any links I need there about local ferry routes and resources and brochures to download. If you're planning to take the coastal Hurtigruten boat, their web site also can be helpful and of course they sell land excursions and flight connections if you want them. Although the Lonely Planet can be a bit more like reading the phone book sometimes, they do seem to have the chapters you want.

Posted by
23 posts

I have found that links to independent and/or outside resources listed IN the various guidebooks have been incredibly helpful in taking me down various planning rabbit trails. That and reading the forums sparks ideas for additional research. But I definitely slogged through the various guides to pick up on various cultural and historical nuances that might not be apparent when reading forums or doing "off the beaten path" travel planning.

Posted by
5784 posts

The Lonely Planet guides are a good starting point for exploring a big country such as Norway. While Rick Steves guidebooks are great for the popular tourist destinations (e.g. Oslo, Nutshell and Bergen), Rick's coverage is limited to the must see/do and almost must see/do places and activities.

And while Lonely Planet touches on lesser know destinations in an almost encyclopedic way, LP is also very limited in information about lesser known to foreigners destinations. Wikipedia will often be a better source of basic information for the small towns and villages.

In terms of tourist information, I also look to the website for starting point information and will correspond with the local TI for specific information such as transit options for visiting etc.

BTW When I was planning my first trip to Norway, Rick covered Norway as one part of his "Scandinavia" book, sharing space with other Scandinavian countries and even threw in the Nordic countries such as Finland. Rick now markets a Norway guide that I believe is just an excerpt from his Scandinavia book.

Posted by
1767 posts

I hope in the near future Rick Steves will consider adding more areas of Norway for new books, tv shows, etc...

Geiranger/Alesund is very popular and the amount of tourists going north to Lofoten, Senja, Tromso, etc... has been increasing by huge amounts each year and not just those taking the Hurtigruten cruise. Norway is kind of a hotspot right now, as is Iceland which Rick is as I understand it currently working on this year.

To the OP: is a very comprehensive site. It can take many clicks and many hours on the site to go through various locations but most any possible tourist location is given a write up on that site with good photo support.

Posted by
3652 posts

Thanks for the visitnorway website suggestion. I will look through both the Rough Guide and LP as well. If I see a good one will post back.

Posted by
3652 posts

Got my hands on the Norway Rough Guide and it's exactly what I'm looking for: readable, comprehensive, well-organized, great pictures.

FWIW: my normal choice of guidebooks is:

Lonely Planet for Asia, Australia NZ, Africa, South America

Moon for North America, Central America, and Caribbean

Rick Steves for Europe