Cruise ships do not stop here.
Byørnøya was named by Dutch navigator Willem Barents to commemorate his first sighting of the Far North's great white polar bear. The island sits like a large rock between the Norwegian mainland and Svalbard, radiating an eerie atmosphere because of the perpetual fog that hovers along its rocky shores. The island's southern face is made up of a cliff that may appear to be a moving wall of birds, with tens of thousands of murres and kittiwakes jostling for position on narrow ledges, and glaucous gulls breeding at the very top.
The Norwegian currency is the Norwegian crown (Norske krone), abbreviated kr. A 1/100th krone is called øre. 1.00 EUR = about 9 NOK. Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world!
ATMs in Norway are called Minibank.
Nearly all stores accept major credit cards such as Mastercard and Visa (Bring your passport/driver's license, as you are required to identify yourself when using a credit card).
Norwegian is the official language of Norway. The language is very close and mutually intelligible with the two other Scandinavian languages, English is widely spoken.
Most Norwegian households are connected to the internet in some way (often broadband), making Cybercafés hard to find outside major cities, due to a relatively small market. Most public libraries have free public access to the internet. WiFi is in many spots (not free).
Opening hours in Norway are better than they used to be, but many smaller stores still close early on Saturday (1 PM or 3 PM is typical) and nearly everything is closed on Sundays. You'll often see opening hours written as "9-21 (9-18)" on doors, meaning 9 AM to 9 PM weekdays, 9 AM to 6 PM Saturday.
For public holidays click here.
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