People and Nature

Most people in Norway live and work in towns, but there are many who live out in the vast countryside. The Norwegian government helps to support rural parts of the country. This gives the people who live there access to the same types of schools, hospitals, businesses and museums and galleries as the people who live in cities.

Some Norwegians live in flats and some live in houses, but the towns and cities are not particularly big. Norway’s capital city, Oslo, has a population of just half a million people, which is about the same as Bristol or Edinburgh. By comparison, England’s capital city, London, has a population of over seven million people.

Norwegians are fond of outdoor activities, and most places in Norway have open countryside or forests nearby. People use the outdoor spaces near them regularly and children play outdoors a lot. There are lots of opportunities to go walking or hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter. Norway has many marked forest paths and ski trails where anyone can walk or ski freely.

There are many beaches along the coast of Norway, and in the summer months, especially in the south of the country, the sea is warm enough for swimming. The Oslo Fjord is particularly popular for swimming, sunbathing and sailing. Many people fish in the lakes near their homes or holiday cabins and in the autumn, Norwegians often pick wild mushrooms and berries, which taste much better than those you can buy in the shops.

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Did You Know?

There are three official written languages in Norway: Bokmål and Nynorsk, which are very similar to each other, and Sami, which is a completely different language. There are also many different dialects, and the same word can be pronounced in lots of different ways, depending on which part of Norway you are in.