Australian Government advice for Norway
When travelling to Norway, you should always get travel insurance in case the worst happens. To help you ensure you travel safely, we have included the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Norway.
This Advice was last issued on Wednesday, 18 December 2013. It has been reviewed and reissued with editorial amendments. We continue to advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Norway.
- We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Norway.
- Exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia.
- There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities, such as Glasgow, London, Madrid and Moscow. Targets have included public transport and transport hubs, and public places frequented by foreigners. In addition, a number of planned attacks have been disrupted by European security services in recent years, underscoring the continuing interest of terrorists in attacking European locations.
- Australia has a Consulate in Norway, headed by an Honorary Consul, which can provide limited consular assistance but cannot issue passports. The Australian Embassy in Denmark provides full consular assistance to Australians in Norway.
- Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
Entry and exit
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Norway for the most up to date information.
Norway is a party to the Schengen Convention, along with 25 other European countries, which allows Australians to enter Norway without a visa in some circumstances. See our travel bulletin on the Schengen Convention for further information.
Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
Safety and security
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General advice to Australian travellers .
There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Europe. In the past, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities, such as Glasgow, London, Madrid and Moscow. Targets have included public transport and transport hubs, and public places frequented by foreigners. In addition, a number of planned attacks have been disrupted by European security services in recent years, underscoring the continuing interest of terrorists in attacking European locations.
Norway has a low incidence of serious crime. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, is increasingly common, especially during the peak tourist season (May to September). Care should be taken with personal belongings, particularly in crowded areas and locations frequented by tourists, including airports, train stations, hotel lobbies and restaurants.
Sexual assaults against foreigners have occurred in Norway. Australians should exercise normal safety precautions and avoid walking alone in isolated locations, such as parks.
Money and valuables
Norway is not a member of the European Union. Its unit of currency is the Norwegian Kroner (NOK) and the Euro is not accepted. Foreign-issued debit/credit cards may not be accepted by some outlets in Norway, or may incur a user surcharge fee. Credit card transactions may require the use of a PIN for identification purposes, not a signature. Some stores in Norway may not accept credit cards that do not have chip and PIN technology.
Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Australian currency and travellers' cheques are not accepted in many countries. Consult with your bank to find out which is the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work in Norway.
Make two photocopies of valuable documents such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, electronic equipment, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.
As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority .
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.
Norway's roads are of a high standard but can be dangerous in winter due to icy conditions. Headlights must be on at all times. Winter tyres are mandatory from 1 November to the first Monday after Easter Monday (generally around mid-April). During this period, it is also advisable to carry snow chains in your vehicle if you intend to drive in the mountains. You should take particular care when driving outside urban areas. Rural roads are generally two lanes and can be narrow and winding in mountainous regions. To drive in Norway, you must have an International Drivers Permit, which can be issued by associated members of the Australian Automobile Association.
For further advice, see our road travel page.
Please refer to our air travel page for information about aviation safety and security.
When you are in Norway, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter .
Assaults, however minor, may attract jail sentences.
Penalties for drink driving and speeding are strict. The blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.02. A reading between 0.02 and 0.07 attracts a heavy fine, and above 0.07 risks a prison sentence.
Drug possession, even in small amounts, is illegal and will lead to heavy fines and/or imprisonment.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years; imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.
Information for dual nationals
Dual Norwegian/Australian nationality is not recognised in Norway. Australian males who also possess Norwegian citizenship may be subject to national service. We recommend that you travel on your Australian passport at all times.
Our Dual nationals page provides further information for dual nationals.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.
The standard of medical facilities and care throughout Norway is high and English is widely spoken. Medical treatment is very expensive.
Australia has a reciprocal health care agreement with Norway. The agreement provides Australians with access to immediate emergency medical services but does not provide for ongoing treatment of existing health conditions. The Reciprocal Health Care Agreement does not replace the need for private travel health insurance. See Medicare Australia's website for more information.
Where to get help
Australia has a Consulate in Norway, headed by an Honorary Consul, which can provide limited consular assistance but cannot issue passports. Contact details for the Consulate are:
Australian Consulate, Oslo
Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA
Strandvn 20 / P.O. Box 33
Tel: +47 67 58 48 48
Fax: +47 67 58 43 80
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 12 noon to 3 pm or by appointment.
You can also obtain full consular assistance from the Australian Embassy in Denmark. Contact details are:
Australian Embassy, Copenhagen
If you are travelling to Norway, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate . The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
In a consular emergency, if you are unable to contact the above Consulate or Embassy, you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
Avalanches and rockslides are a danger in some mountain areas. If you are skiing or mountaineering you should monitor advice on weather and safety conditions and advise local authorities of your plans. It is very dangerous to move off marked slopes or trails.
For general information and tips on travelling with children see our Travelling with children page.