Norway, a paradise for hitchhiking
Francisco1 I hitchhiked up alone from Göteborg in Sweden to Bergen in just 2 days, in March. Although the main road between the 2 biggest cities (E16) was closed due to a snowstorm, I took route number 7, wich passes by a beautifull fjord. I always found rides, and got helped by the people, it was overall a great experience. From Rygge to Honefoss I was unsure of how it would go because I had read that Oslo is hard to hitchhike out of, but the driver that picked me up (old norwegian man, the kind of person you would expect to be untrusty of foreigners) took me through the Oslo Fjord through Drommak, Slemmestad, past Sandvika and left me on the road going to Honefoss. Later that same day I was left at Flå, a tiny village and the people there advised me to camp in the woods besides a bear park. The next day a lady picked me up from there and invited me for coffee at her place where she checked the roads that were open (because of snowstorms), and let me use her internet to look for couchsurfing. The driver after that actually took me up to the mirador on the top of the Aurland Fjord to make me and another hitchhiker we found on the road visit, and then left me at Flåm, this making an almost 30 km and maybe an hour-long detour from his road. I then got to Bergen almost without waiting, which is amazing considering the roads were closed and the tunnels were alternating traffic for pollution. Maybe it was the fact that it was during Easter holidays but I found Norway to be the best country for hitchhiking so far.
Do think of the weather, it can get pretty cold and rainy (or snowy) and the distances are very big between the more populated east side of the country and the cities in the West Coast. Maybe taking a warm tent as I did was the best idea ever, the experience of camping in the woods in those mountains was very nice.
Remember, hichhiking is about patience, so maybe you'll have to wait for a good while (it IS true that there are not that many cars), but just enjoy the beautiful landscapes and you can always walk along the roads, they are not highways properly said.
Enjoy your trip !
Another counter note to negative feedback...
Fede doesn't really agree with what said here up and found Norway. in the 3 weeks he hitched around it from north to south (more than 2000 km), a paradise for hitchhikers. The dumpsters always full of amazing fresh and good food, an incredible amount of money busking in the streets and a lot of very cool people ready to help you as they can made his stay one of the best of his nomadic life. Of course is not a very easy country as of course you have to be lucky, but it's definitely worth doing it and the reward for that, a free amazing nature and life is so big that he couldn't even imagine. He was able to save more money and spend less than any other place. Go there for hitchin, dumpster diving and busking! (well maybe of course in summer, for winter sees other experiences)
Echoing the above statement
Earlyturtle spent June-July 2014 hitching all over Norway, mostly from bus stops along the E6. Usually waited half an hour at most, and the majority of lifts were close to 100km, with many over 350km.
A counter note to the below statement
I am a norwegian guy and have hitchhiked a lot in norway. It's allways been cool. When it's light outside, avarage standing time with OK traffic maybe 30 minutes to an hour, and that's not bad! Actually i once outran the train by half an hour, me and two girs was hitchhiking from fredrikstad to nesodden, and we really didn't spend much time standing, maybe thanks in part to the two beautiful girls - but it was women stopping mostly. South of norway is a dream for hitchhikers, i'd say.
Mostly though i've hitched in north where i come from. It's been enjoyable, i've continued with it for some trips even after i got my car. After dark falls, people are much less likely to stop for you, for obeous reasons. People ARE friendly. Maybe part of the problem for many will be that many older norwegians are afraid of their bad english and do not wish to talk it, not because they're unfriendly but because it's a struggle.
I advice hitchhiking here! :) (but maybe scrap that stupid sign people seem to be holding up all the time, in my eyes makes you seem silly. You're standing on the road in the direction you want to go, that sign is just pointless. Unless you're in a city center or something.) ThorRune 10:09, 21 September 2010 (CEST)
Counter note #2 Good thing that I hadn't read all this before I went hitchhiking in Norway - I might not have tried. I went from Tromsø northwards to Kåfjord (E6) with a friend, then we returned separately (I had to be back earlier). Everything went very smoothly, we never waited for longer than half an hour, and people were astonishingly friendly - not only the ones who picked us up, but even many people who didn't stop (smiling, waving, making apologising gestures..). Was it the sunny weather? Our sunny disposition? Plain luck? I don't know, I just thought I'd share this. marbledmurrelet 18:49, 22 September 2010 (CEST)
...and counter note #3 (from Paulgato - August 2010...) I just hitched a short distance near Oslo - from Rygge airport to the Swedish border on the E18 - and I got four lifts - all from Norwegians - and I found them all friendly and helpful. I'm a guy, I was hitching with a girl, and we both had huge rucksacks, which would have put off some drivers I'm sure. We had one long wait of an hour and a half when we were dropped off at a place where drivers couldn't easily stop, but we still beat the bus by a couple of hours.
'Counter note #4 (from teeshirt - June 2012). I have been hitchhiking around Norway for the past few weeks and I have to say I am impressed about how easy it is. I have hitched with around 25 people so far in Norway. Around 20 of them were Norwegians. Oslo - Bergen in ten hours. In the countryside there are fewer cars but people are friendlier and not as much in a hurry. I hitched for five days around Sognefjord with another guy and a dog (!) and we got picked up within 20-30 minutes. Never by trucks and never by vans. Many tourists in vans - they do not stop. Try to get a ride before a ferry rather than after it when everyone is impatient to get out of it.
Counter note #5 2015 - We are two French girls and we hitch hiked all the way from France to Narvik, Norway. It was really easy and almost only norwegian people took us. We were even hosted several times by locals. Norwegian people are really helpful and friendly, do not hesitate to hitch hike there !
No, it is not easy to hitchhike in Norway
Ok, as said on the main page, "Norway is a good country to hitch in", but not easy to hitch in. My experience there was not as easy as what I read in other feedbacks.
I hitchhiked From Oslo to Langoya (Narvik), in March 2010. I gave up to make it further, because it hasn't been that much fun to hitch in this country ...
First, I would point the fact that Norwegian people are not that much tourist-friendly, as some other "rich" countries. I know what I'm talking about, I'm from France. Even if the whole population do understand/speak English, a lot of drivers were distant, even sometimes rude with me. I had the same experience hitchhiking in Florida. Having your best smile and starting to ask a question to somebody who avoid your presence/voice/eye contact, is definitely not the funniest experience. A lot of Norwegians people didn't want me to talk to them and rushed to their car before I even finished to said what I was looking for.
I heard a lot about this famous highway E6, going all the away up North, like a dream road for hitchhikers. It's mostly a bad 2 lanes mountain road, dotted of wealthy villages that you absolutely need to avoid if you don't want to spend your day counting the huge amount of BMW and Mercedes driving toward you and frowning at your sign. Worst of all: Grong, 1day 1/2 to get a ride ... for 7km. Even if people living there (note that I do not say 'Norwegians'. See below) are used to drive on those icy roads, it takes some time to cross some portions of the road. If be any luck your stuck in a light snow storm, I hope you enjoy the company of you driver, which is actually most likely because of the point that I absolutely want to talk about now:
95% of people who offered me a ride were FOREIGNERS I type it big enough because this fact just made me feel like this beautiful country of Norway is absolutely not hitchhikers-friendly. Germany, Polona, Sudan, Colombia, Latvia, Belgium, Afghanistan, and I'm sure I forgot some others. Hitchhike Norway and you will travel the world. First, I've been really surprised to see that most (all) of the people offering me a ride where actually not from Norway. But it finally make sens when you figure out that you're not truly welcome in this country, as most of the foreigners-workers I met there, as native Samis as well.
Anyway, I don't want to talk about that at all, but I want to point the fact that hitchhiking in Norway is not as easy as it's said. Or maybe I am the only one how had such a bad experience there? I open the discussion, so please let's share your own experience!
I did hitchhike in Asia, Caribbean, North America and Europe. So far I would say that Norway is the worst place I hitchhiked, just after Florida. My advice: go there with a Norwegian flag tattooed on your forehead, that might do the job.
I am a French guy also, travelling alone and found it even better to hitchhike in Norway than in France (and France is a very good country to hitch in, in every different region apart from Paris, and not to say compared to Italy or Spain where it's way tougher). I don't look very norwegian and had no flag tatooed on my face, and always found people, many times locals (some foreigners also), any gender, any age, to pick me up, help me and give me good advice. Ok, so maybe it was not during the summer so the place wasn't crowded with tourists and it was a holiday so people were more relaxed, but nevertheless my experience was far from yours, and I'm sad that such a beautiful country with such nice people can give an unwelcoming image to some, and an amazing image to others.
Grata 23:27, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Hello, i can complete this experience with my point of view. I was hitchhiking end of march 2010 from oslo to Tromsö and in April from trömso to Stockholm and further to leipzig.
On my way to the north on the E6 i stucked 250km before Trondheim and finally after some other happenings (a truck driver drove over my backpack) i took the plane from trondheim to tromsö (i had to get another plane to svalbard and this was the best option). Hitchhiking in Norway is fucking annoying.
E06 Yeah this is the nice street which goes up to far north. I thought this would be really easy for hitchhiking, only one street, all the traffic will pass by me. But my experiences where different.
First of all: If you want to get a long distance lift with a trailer, it is quite impossible on the E06. Truck drivers usually take other roads! From oslo to trondheim the 3 and from trondheim to Tromsö they go through sweden. Only very few companys go straight up north on E06. I stucked in Dovre for the night at a big truck stop, but all of the truckers went to the coastline. Also, but that is just my personal impression, many truck drivers have been really unfriendly.
Second: At 9 o´clock in the evening the traffic was shut down. I didn´t expect that it was so hard, but there where about 5-6 cars per hour passing my gas station. Passing without stopping. There was no traffic. No way to get a night lift.
Third: I had not one ride over 100km. All lifts i got where just for a few "miles" and i can share the experience of grata, that there where not many norwegians (maybe one out of 7, who was original norwegian) who picked me up.
Also norwegians i met later told me, that it is hard for foreigners to come in contact, even if they speak the local language. The norwegians are very reserved towards aliens and foreigners.
I can say that was the worst hitchhiking trip i ever did. i did the whole way back from tromsö to leipzig in two parts (tromsö - stockholm 38h and stockholm - leipzig 25h) and sweden was a bit better, but also not so easy. Long waiting times, much longer than in every southern european country (except spain). latest in denmark my karma came back and hitchhiking was again a nice experience with interesting lifts and helpfull people.
I developed a little personal theory with some of my lifts. ;) I explained me all what happened with two thing. First, the way of travelling for young people in scandinavia is usually by plane (long distances, by plane fast and compared to car not soo expensive). So most6 of the drivers wouldn´t understand why there is someone beside the street, looking for a ride and not taking the plane. Second has to do with the very good welfare system in scandinavia. People are not used to help each other, because the goverment takes care and there is no need for solidarity (even the homeless in stockholm have a mobile haha) to each other. This is just a wacky theory! But maybe there is some truth in it.
If you hitchhike in norway take alot of time with you, much food (it´s so fucking expensive there) and a good tent. Then it will be a nice trip. The nature is still awesome. But anyway i wouldn´t recommend this country!!!
In my experience Norway is not so easy but drivers can be very nice. To explain more in depth: it worked less easily than in other countries (and definitely less easier than I expected), but once somebody stop they will hardly disappoint you, often taking you some kms further their destination.
In order to give the right picture I think it is necessary to talk separately about different areas/conditions.
Roads: some roads are most difficult than others just because of their nature. Hitchhiking down from Oslo (actually from Horten) to Kristiansand on the E18 was terrible and took too may hours (something like 8) because you could not hitch directly on the road (illegal and anyway crazy), so we got a lot of local traffic picking as up at some roundabout (not an easy place for cars to stop) up on the shoulders of the E18 and leaving us at another one often less than 10kms far, while most of the long-distance traffic was passing just below us. Only once we got a long lift that really saved us from being stuck in many (and not frequent anyway) micro-lifts. Once past Kristiansand (we were lucky in getting a lift past the city), things got much better on the E39 as there was plenty of bus stops very often from which you could easily hitchhike almost directly on the main road. Unfortunately we got just a couple of short lifts and then we got the last bus to Stavanger since we had wasted most of the day on the E18. As a side note, I tried to tell the bus driver we were hitchhiking (hoping in a free ride) but I was not very convinced and asked after a few seconds for price of regular ticket.. he said "I suppose you're student" (we were not anymore, but we did look young and this was enough, no papers) and gave us a student price... at this point I wanted to try and insist a bit making something like a sad/scared-by-the-price face (price was very high for that distance anyway) and he went down to children ticket. Being late and tired we found it reasonable and got it. So, if you're stuck you can still try your luck even if most of the Norwegians were very surprised by this kindness and they do not consider it normal.
Areas: Main roads around big cities are just more difficult to hitch than countryside roads. This is true everywhere, but especially in Norway as far as I could see. Hitchhiking also work very smooth on the way to/back from naturalistic attractions as you're very likely to get tourists (including local tourists) or locals who live in rural areas.. in any case more relaxed people. When getting down from some hike, even easier to make friends with people on the path and ask a lift after having broke the ice.
People: as I said, after they stop people are very nice. The difficult thing is to stop them. We got a long and important lift from a remorseful guy who had just ignored us and then got back after 2 mins feeling guilty for having ignored us in a remote place with not many cars at almost dusk. He turned ut to be one of the most kind drivers I've ever had... but if he had seen us maybe 2 hours earlier or in a less remote place, he would have just ignored us. So I think what somebody said is quite true: try to find a way to talk to them. I think asking in petrol stations, on ferries, and so on, might be more effective then just standing on the road. this is probably true for every country, but it seems to be especially true in Norway.
Conclusions: For long distances on main roads in the south, expect to find it difficult and time-consuming, quite frustrating sometimes when plenty of empty cars go in your directions ignoring you. For rural areas, especially nearby naturalistic attractions and/or place where you can get to talk with people it looks almost as any other country... so plan carefully, have b-plans (tent, or timetables of last buses, or places to sleep), and with some luck you'll really enjoy this beautiful country.
PS: just for a complete information, my experience is referred to my only trip to Norway, in august, only in the south (never been northern than Bergen), we were a couple (m/f) from south Europe, white, clean, nothing particularly weird or scary in our look.
--- In my humble opinion, there are some great information on this Talk side, some of them despite generalization about the character of people from Norway maybe even better than what you can find written on the normal site. Why not adding it there? I think a lot of user looking for information do not use the Talk page. dorfdisco, 19.01.2013. 22.38 (CET)
ex_ball I would like to share a small piece of experience about hitchhiking from Oslo to Sandnes in autumn 2016. The worst part was leaving Oslo. I spent more than 1.5h on a roundabout in Sandvika not far from Ikea and finally was picked up by a guy who drove me to Drammen. The things got better then. I had about 7 lifts on my way to Kristiansand and maybe 4 next day to Sandnes. People are curious and very friendly. Most of them were Norwegians and it took 5 mins to get a lift sometimes (not more than 30 mins), so hitchhiking in Norway seemed to me pretty smooth. And a lot of fun :) A good hint I think is finding a large foldable piece of carton and writing next town names on it instead of keeping a sing of the endpoint of your trip like Stavanger or Krisitansand. People usually go 30-100 km and are much more open to pick you up if you're going to the same place (capt. Obvious is my second name). Anyway you can always tell them what is your final destination, maybe they'll take you farther. I'm not sure but it can be connected with Norwegian mentality or habits, so just accept it and don't get mad. I also asked two girls traveling around Norway with a tent and such stuff this summer. They had no problem at all and it was even easier to hitchhike in the North ("because there are much less people living there and they're more helpful"). Good luck and come to Norway :) ex_ball
About going South / North Norway in winter
I read this article and discussion many times before I decided to hitchhike from Karlsoy (60km from Tromso) all the way down to Oslo in January (plain winter). I must say that most of the comments scared me a bit, but since I had no other choice I did it anyways.
In my opinion Norway is not Hitchhiking paradise, specially during winter, but it isn't hell either. You get rides, just not as often as you would elsewhere, so be prepared to spend a bit longer than usual... Anyways the scenery compensates the waiting times, specially if you do it in the summer, where long waiting times can end up in camping in the woods or next to fjords (very allowed!).
Dont mind those comments about Norwegians and how they are bla bla bla... I have a bit of a look and only got rides from very friendly and nice Norwegians who where very happy to pick me up. In my opinion, there is no general rule for this kind of things, some people experience a few drivers and then decide that the whole country is like that, and that doesn't sounds right to me... there are good and bad experiences only.
I say that if you are just wanting to get either north or south, or any place in particular in Norway, and you want to do it fast or just get there: go trough Sweden, you can always take an exit from Norway to Sweden and then back, and its easy because Norwegians that live close to the border go shopping there as its much cheaper, also most of the long distance traffic from Norway goes trough Sweden as roads are easier, straighter and cheaper (tolls, petrol, etc)
I tried from Karlsoy till Narvik, and after experiencing the long waiting times, and considering the risk of waiting in the middle of the cold mountains, I decided to take the road trough Sweden... After crossing the border, everything went very fast, I made it to the E4 down at the coast in a few hours and then all the way down to Stockholm and later to Oslo.
Conclusion: Sweden is very friendly, specially compared to Norway, people are very responsive and they know what you are doing out there with your thumb (In Norway it seems that they really dont know, sometimes), there are many ways of getting in and out of Norway to use Sweden as a fast passage, so use it when you feel that Norway doesn't deserve longer waiting times, otherwise stick around and enjoy the beautiful nature if you get stuck.