Electricity

Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are in use.

Language

Norwegian and Sami are the official languages, but English is widely understood.

Money

The official currency is the Norwegian Krone (NOK), divided into 100 ore. Credits are accepted for almost all transactions, with Eurocard/Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club being the most common. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks and major post offices, as well as many hotels and travel agents, although for poorer rates. ATMs are available in all towns and cities.

Tipping

Norwegians generally earn good salaries and, while it's perfectly all right to tip, a tipping culture doesn't really exist in the country. But customers do usually round up bills to the nearest 10 or 100 NOK.

Health

There are no real health risks associated with travel to Norway and the standard of healthcare is high throughout the country. A reciprocal agreement exists between the UK and Norway under which British nationals are covered for emergency treatment while visiting Norway as long as they hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Travellers should ensure that they have adequate travel and medical insurance.

Safety

Norway is a safe country in which to travel. However, travellers should still take sensible precautions to avoid petty theft, as they would anywhere in the world. Petty theft is most common at airports and bus and train stations in Oslo.

Local customs

Smoking is prohibited in all public places and on public transport in Norway, unless otherwise indicated. Norwegians tend to see everyone as being equal; they do not flaunt their wealth or financial achievements and frown on those who do. Travellers should note that whale meat is available legally in Norway, but that it is illegal to bring it into most other countries.

Doing business

Business in Norway is conducted formally, with an emphasis on punctuality and direct communication. Business attire is usually smart and fashionable, though not ostentatious. Titles and surnames are predominantly used on introduction, but may be dropped later, and greetings are usually made with a handshake.

Business cards are commonly exchanged. Expect business to be conducted in a direct and forthright manner, with little small talk or socialising. It is worth bearing in mind that Norway is an expensive country and that any services from lawyers, consultants etc. are subject to hefty VAT charges.

Business hours take place between 6am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Norwegians highly value family and believe in a healthy balance between work and leisure. They are hardworking but overtime is frowned upon and workers in Norway are entitled to more leave than foreigners may be used to.

Duty free

Norwegian residents over 18 years who have been abroad for 24 hours or more don't have to pay duty on goods worth up to NOK 6,000. This includes up to 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco products.

The amount of alcohol depends on the purchase of tobacco. In addition to tobacco, one can declare 5 litres of beer or 2 litres of beer with 3 litres of wine or 1 litre of spirits, 1.5 litres of wine, and 2 litres of beer.

Without tobacco, one may include 1 litre of spirits, 3 litres of wine, and 2 litres of beer, or 4.5 litres of wine and 2 litres of beer. The last option is having 6.5 litres of beer only. Travellers arriving from outside of the EU should confirm their duty free allowance prior to arrival in Norway.

Communications

The international access code for Norway is +47. Hotels, cafes and restaurants offering free wifi are widely available. As international roaming costs can be high, purchasing a local prepaid SIM card can be a cheaper option.

Passport & Visa

All visitors to Norway must have sufficient funds, return or onward tickets and all documents needed for further travel. Passports should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of intended stay. Some European countries require only their National Identity Card if coming as a tourist to Norway. The borderless region known as the Schengen area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. All these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option that allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months' validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Entry requirements

United States citizens require a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay, but no visa is needed for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

British Citizens, British Overseas Territories Citizens, and British Subjects must have valid passports, but require no visa to enter Norway. For British passports with any other endorsement no visa is required for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

Canadians must have a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay, but no visa is required for a stay of up 90 in any 180 day period.

Australians must have a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay, but no visa is required for a stay of up to 90 in any 180 day period.

South Africans require a passport valid for at least three months beyond period of intended stay. Holders of temporary passports are not allowed. A visa is required for travel to Norway.

Irish nationals must have a valid passport but no visa is required.

New Zealand citizens must have a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay, but no visa is required for a stay of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

Useful contacts

Oslo Visitor Centre: +47 23 10 62 00 or www.visitnorway.com

112 (Police); 113 (Ambulance); 110 (Fire).

Embassies / consulates in other countries

Royal Norwegian Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 333 6000.

Royal Norwegian Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7591 5500.

Royal Norwegian Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 238 6571.

Royal Norwegian Embassy, Canberra, Australia (also responsible for New Zealand): +61 (0)2 6270 5700.

Royal Norwegian Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 364 3700.

Royal Norwegian Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 662 1800.

Embassies / consulates in Norway

United States Embassy, Oslo: +47 21 30 85 40.

British Embassy, Oslo: +47 2313 2700.

Canadian Embassy, Oslo: +47 2299 5300.

Australian Consulate, Oslo: +45 7026 3676.

South African Embassy, Oslo: +47 2327 3220.

Irish Embassy, Oslo: +47 2201 7200.

New Zealand Honorary Consulate General, Oslo: +47 923 01 701.

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