For many, Norway is synonymous with oil and mountains. Its dramatic, beautiful scenery stretches from the beaches and cliffs in the south through the mountainous areas in the middle to the midnight sun at the North Cape.
Norway’s abundance of mountains, forests and plains mean that only about 3% of the land is arable. The country has approximately 4.7 million inhabitants, of which about a million live in and around the capital city, Oslo.
Norway is a constitutional monarchy. King Harald V has no real political power, and the parliament, Stortinget, is the country’s highest authority. Norway is not a member of the EU, but takes part in European economic co-operation through the EEA Agreement.
Due to the Gulf Stream and warm air currents, Norway has a friendlier climate than the latitude would indicate. From late June to early August the weather is at its warmest and it never seems to get really dark.
Average temperatures for Summer (June–August) are 15,2 to 16,4°C (low: 6,1°C, high: 30,5°C). Water temperatures in the sea can reach 18°C and higher during the summer. Please check Yr for detailed weather forecasts.
Tap water is universally drinkable in Norway.
Electricity in Norway is 220 volts AC (50 Hz). Norway uses the continental European standard socket.
Emergency phone numbers
110 – Fire
112 – Police
113 – Ambulance/Medical emergency
116 117 – Medical assistance (local out of hours medical centre)
Health Services –information in English
You can find information in English about health services here: https://helsenorge.no/other-languages/english
All of Norway uses Central European Time (CET), which is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal time (UTC+1).
Smoking is prohibited in Norwegian offices, public buildings, restaurants and bars.
Tipping is not common in Norway and it is not required anywhere. Service (as well as sales tax) is always included in the bill at restaurants and bars. However, it is usual for Norwegians to leave a tip in restaurants and bars if they are happy about the service or food. There is no fixed rule for how much to tip. You can round to the nearest 10 or 100 NOK, a 10-15% tip is considered generous. For Norwegians it’s uncommon to tip taxi-drivers or cleaning staff at hotels.
Visa requirements and passports
Please check passport and visa requirements in due time before departure. Visitors from the Schengen countries do not need a passport or visa when entering Norway, but must show valid and sufficient ID. European Union ID-card or passport is recommended.
As part of the Schengen Agreement, there are no passport controls when travelling between countries which have signed up to the agreement. Citizens of these countries may therefore enter Norway freely, without having to apply for a visa. The same applies to foreign nationals who have a residence permit for one of the Schengen countries. The 25 member states are Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
It should be noted that European countries such as Ireland, Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom are not parties to the agreement.
Countries exempt from visa requirement
A visa is not required for nationals of countries with which Norway has signed a visa waiver agreement. Nationals of countries with a visa waiver may stay in Norway for up to 90 days. The countries with which Norway has a visa waiver agreement are:
A: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria
B: Belgium, Bermuda (BDTC passport), Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria
C: Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic
E: El Salvador, Estonia
F: Finland, France
G: Germany, Greece, Guatemala
H: Hong Kong (SAR passport), Honduras, Hungary
I: Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy
K: Korean Republic
L: Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg
M: Macau (SAR passport), Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco
N: Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua
P: Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal
S: San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
U: UK, Uruguay, USA
V: Vatican State, Venezuela
Further information about Norway
For further information on visiting Norway, go to Visit Norway.