Whether you move here to work or study, life in Norway is super expensive and it’s difficult to live on a budget. Difficult, however, doesn’t mean impossible! I’ve been making the budget life in Norway work for me ever since moving here as a student and although there’s no way of getting around the fact that the cost of living is just really high in Norway, I’ve had plenty of time to learn how best to save money during the last 4,5 years.
Every summer, thousands of tourists come to Stavanger for one reason only: to hike Pulpit Rock (and maybe Kjerag too). Did you know that the city has a ton of other things to offer, though? And that the trail leading up to Pulpit Rock is notoriously crowded? Why not take the boat to an island in the fjord, just a short cruise from the city centre, where you can enjoy Norway’s nature in peace? I’ve recently explored Lindøy - one of Stavanger’s city islands in its mini-archipelago in the Byfjord (city fjord) and had an absolute blast! Here’s all you need to know in order to explore Stavanger’s city islands yourself.
To be honest, though, I still get reactions of people who can’t understand why I would choose Stavanger over Tromsø, and I think there’s also some people who think that my boyfriend Simon and I will eventually move back north for good (nope!). So, I thought this would be the perfect time to compare life in Tromsø with life in Stavanger and give you the detailed rundown of why I love living in Stavanger so much!
You want to live in Norway and experience all the gorgeous sights that tourists get to see for free - or even better - while getting paid for it? It’s the end of the guiding season for me now and to say that I’m exhausted is an understatement - BUT I’m already looking forward to summer next year as I’m going to work as a tour guide in Stavanger again! And maybe you’ll be my new colleague? Here’s everything you need to know if you want to work as a tour guide in Norway!
Whenever I tell my cruise guests that I’ve moved to Norway 4 years ago and that yes, I am permanently living in the country without any plans to ever move back to Germany, they almost always assume I did so because of love. It makes sense, right? Most people either move abroad to be with a loved one and/or because work requires them to do so. Neither of these two reasons applied to me. I first and foremost moved abroad because I wanted to. I didn’t know a single soul in Tromsø before moving there in 2014 - yet, I arrived on a very rare, sunny and warm, August evening with two overweight suitcases that held the secret to how I managed to build a life in Norway from scratch: my admission to pursue a Master’s degree at the local university.
Of course, how locals deal with winter depends a lot on each individual person and where they live exactly. Having lived for 3 years in the Norwegian Arctic and (at this point) 1 year in Southern Norway, I know that perceptions about winter differ greatly throughout the north and south of Norway alone, so surely they differ a lot more across cultures. The general attitude about winter seems to differ between areas north and south of the Arctic Circle, though. While most people I know in Tromsø or Bodø in Northern Norway are either quite fond of winter or simply don’t really care about the lack of daylight much, people here in the south of the country seem to be affected a lot more. What seems to be the key in this issue isn’t the lack of daylight, though - it seems as though it’s the lack of snow!
It might seem like Stavanger in summertime is full of tourists, while all the locals disappear to either their summer cabin or to Spain in search of vitamin D. However, there's actually loads going on in the city during the summer months and besides Hafrsfjordkaupangen in June, late July is a time when the entire region gathers in Stavanger again after the summer break to celebrate food at Glad Mat Food Festival and this year, also to have a look behind the scenes of the world's sailing vessels at the Tall Ships Races.
Norwegians quite simply have a different understanding of a simple hike than someone who grew up in the plains of Germany (in other words: me). Understandably so, Norwegian kids grow up hiking in the mountains while I, even after 4 years in the country, still can’t get myself to even attempt to hike Pulpit Rock - that edge just looks too scary! So, when I say “easy hikes”, I really mean it! The following 7 hikes all feature relatively flat terrain and well-maintained trails, and could probably easily be done by any Norwegian 2-year old ;) ... Well maybe not quite a 2-year old but at least, these hikes are manageable even if you’re not in best shape and/or suffer from a fear of heights! Happy hiking!
This is my fourth year of living in Norway and you should think that Norway's National Day isn't a big deal for me anymore, except that this year was the first one I got to spend in my new home of Stavanger! Having spent it in cold and rainy (and one year even snowy) Tromsø in previous years, I had high hopes of lovely weather and warm temperatures for the day - which, except for the coastal wind, was a wish come true!
Today I wanted to take the time to not only update you on myself, though, but also fill you in on the Norwegian healthcare system that I've now been forced to get to know a lot better than I ever did before in recent weeks. Whether you're a tourist coming to Norway on holiday or planning to move to the country, in this article I'd like to tell you everything I've learnt about what happens when you get sick in Norway!
When I moved to Stavanger, I was almost certain that from now on, I'd only ever see snow when visiting Simon's family for the Easter holidays. Literally, everyone told us that "it only ever rains in Stavanger" and asked if we wouldn't miss the snow in Tromsø. Of course, we would, but as it turns out - there was no need to worry!
Last week, we explored locally and checked out what our new home of Stavanger has to offer in terms of Christmas. Turns out, a lot! From a Christmas market of the unusual sort, to a stunning gingerbread village at the Oil Museum, to absolutely gorgeous fairy lights all over the city!Stavanger is such a lovely town and you should definitely consider visiting in winter to skip (most of) the crowds and experience the Christmas magic :)
You might have heard it by now, but 4 months ago, I left the city of Tromsø, that was my expat home for 3 years, to move to Stavanger at the west coast of Norway - mainly because I just couldn't deal with polar night anymore!Now that I've got to know the city a bit better and have lived here for a while, I thought it was time for a little update, and, of course, for a little more insight into what life in Stavanger actually is like!
I've been living in Stavanger for 2 months now and I keep hearing people say that Stavanger can easily be explored in a day as there "isn't much to see anyway". Now, maybe it's because I'm still in the honeymoon phase of living somewhere new but to me, Stavanger offers endless opportunities to go out and explore! I live west of the city center, in an area that's called Madla, situated at the famous Hafrsfjord. Don't worry if you haven't heard about the fjord before though - I hadn't either!
After 5 turbulent weeks in Fauske, we've finally moved down south and if you're following me on Instagram, you already know where. Gorgeous Stavanger - the home of Preikestolen, Trolltunga, Kjerag and anything else that tourists love so much about Norway! I can't say that we've explored much just yet. Getting our flat ready and settling in took a bit longer than expected - hence the sudden blog hiatus, sorry for that! Now everything's back to normal though...