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Summary

  • Exercise normal safety precautions in Norway. Use common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local travel conditions.
  • Authorities raised the domestic threat level to 'likely' following the discovery of a 'bomb-like' device in central Oslo in April 2017. Remain vigilant in public places. See Safety and Security
  • There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Europe. Since 2015, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. See Safety and Security
  • Border controls remain in place in Norway until 11 November 2017. Always carry your passport when entering and exiting Norway. See Local travel
  • See Travel smart for general advice for all travellers.

Entry and exit

Visas

In November 2015, Norway introduced border controls at all ferry crossings from Sweden, Denmark and Germany and additional border controls at the Sweden/Norway land border. Norway has extended these border controls until 11 November 2017. Always carry your passport when entering and exiting Norway, even if you are travelling from or to another Schengen area country.

Norway is a party to the Schengen Convention, along with a number of other European countries. This allows you to enter Norway without a visa in some circumstances. The Norwegian territory of Svalbard is not part of the Schengen area. If you are planning to travel to Svalbard, you will need a valid passport to enter and you will need to meet Schengen area entry requirements when returning to Norway's mainland. Read the Smartraveller Schengen Convention bulletin before you leave Australia.

Check the website of the Norwegian Embassy in Australia for information on entry requirements for Australians considering living, working or studying in Norway.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice.  Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Norway for up-to-date information. 

Other formalities

Carry your passport when entering and exiting Norway and other countries that are part of the Schengen area.

Passport

Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you intend to return to Australia.

Get an entry stamp in your passport from border control staff when you first enter the Schengen area.

Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.

By law, you must, as soon as possible:

  • report a lost or stolen passport online or
  • contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.

Money

Norway is not a member of the Euro-zone. The currency is the Norwegian Kroner (NOK). The Euro is not accepted in most circumstances.

Norway allows you to bring up to 25,000 NOK (approximately A$4,000) in cash into Norway. If you arrive in Norway with more than 25,000 NOK, you will need to pay a customs toll and a fine.

More information: Directorate of Norwegian Customs.

Foreign-issued debit/credit cards are accepted by some outlets in Norway but may incur a user surcharge fee. Credit card transactions usually require the use of a PIN for identification purposes, not a signature. Shops in Norway may not accept cards that do not have chip and PIN technology.

Safety and security

Terrorism

On 8 April 2017, a 'bomb-like' device was found in central Oslo. As a result of the incident, the Norwegian Police Security Service has raised the domestic threat level for Norway from 'possible' to 'likely' (level 4 of 5). Remain vigilant in public places.

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. In the past few years, terrorist attacks have occurred in a number of European cities. 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.

  • Be alert to possible threats, especially in public places.
  • Report any suspicious activity or items to police.
  • Monitor the news for any new or emerging threats.
  • If there is an attack, leave the affected area immediately if it is safe to do so.  Follow the instructions of local authorities.

Travellers can access more information on terrorism from the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) website

More information: Terrorist threat worldwide

Civil unrest and political tension

Civil unrest is rare in Norway. 

Monitor the news and plan your movements to avoid any possible or actual protests and demonstrations.  If you are in an area affected by unrest, follow the advice of local authorities.

Crime

Serious crime is rare in Norway, but sexual assaults against foreigners have occurred. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, is increasingly common, especially during the peak tourist season (May to September).

  • Avoid walking alone in isolated locations, such as parks, particularly at night.
  • Take care of your personal belongings, particularly in crowded areas and locations frequented by tourists, such as airports, train stations, hotel lobbies and restaurants.

More information: Sexual assault

Local travel

Since 2015, there have been significant pressures on border controls in Europe due to the movement of asylum seekers. Carry your passport when crossing borders, even within the Schengen area. Monitor border conditions by checking local news sources and asking transport providers directly.

Road travel

Roads can be dangerous in winter due to icy conditions. Rural roads are generally two lanes and can be narrow and winding in mountainous regions. Take particular care when driving outside urban areas.

By law, when driving:

  • headlights must be on at all times;
  • winter tyres must be fitted from 1 November to the first Monday after Easter Monday (generally around mid-April); during this period, carry snow chains in your vehicle if you intend to drive in the mountains;
  • the legal blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.02.

More information: Road travel

Driver's licence

To drive in Norway, you need a Norwegian licence or an International Drivers' Permit. The peak motoring body in each Australian State and Territory can issue an International Driver's Permit.

Air travel

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Norway.

More information: Air travel

 

Adventure travel

There are many adventure activities in Norway, including mountaineering, trekking, skiing and glacier climbing. Ensure that you have everything you need for these activities, including appropriate equipment. Check weather forecasts and always let people know where you are going.
For skiing, follow local advice, stay on piste and only ski in recommended areas.
Ensure your travel insurance covers participation in these activities.

Laws

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Drug laws

Penalties for all drug offences, even for possession of small amounts, include heavy fines and imprisonment.

More information: Carrying or using drugs

Other laws

If you commit an assault, however minor, you could be jailed.

Penalties for driving under the influence and speeding are strict. The blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.02. If you exceed this limit, you could face a heavy fine.  If you have a blood alcohol reading of 0.07 or higher, you could be jailed.  

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. Laws include those relating to:

  • bribery of foreign public officials
  • child pornography
  • child sex tourism
  • female genital mutilation
  • forced marriage
  • money laundering
  • terrorism.

More information: Staying within the law

Dual nationals

Dual Norwegian/Australian nationality is not recognised in Norway. Australian males who are Norwegian citizens may be subject to national service obligations. Travel on your Australian passport at all times.

More information: Dual nationals

Health

Travel insurance

Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.

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. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.

Confirm:

  • what circumstances and activities are and are not covered under your policy
  • that you are covered for the whole time you will be away.

More information: Travel insurance

Physical and mental health

It's important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.

  • At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
  • Get vaccinated before you travel.

If you need counselling services, contact the Australian Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 and ask to speak to a Lifeline telephone counsellor.

More information:

Medication

Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

Take prescription medicine with you so you remain in good health. Always carry on your person a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only.

Before you leave Australia, check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to or transiting through.

More information: Prescription medicines

Medical facilities

The standard of medical facilities and care in 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.

More information:  Medicare Australia

Where to get help

Depending on what you need, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, travel agent, travel insurance provider, employer or airline. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Emergencies

  • Firefighting and rescue services: 112
  • Medical emergencies: 112
  • Criminal issues, contact police: 112 - Always get a police report when reporting a crime.

Tourism services and products

For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly.

Australian Government

Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

The Australian Embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark, provides consular assistance to Australians in Norway. If you need consular assistance, contact:

Australian Embassy, Copenhagen

Dampfaergevej 26
2nd floor
2100 Copenhagen Ø
DENMARK
Telephone +45 70 26 36 76
Facsimile +45 70 26 36 86
Email: genenq.cpgn@dfat.gov.au or consular.copenhagen@dfat.gov.au
Web: denmark.embassy.gov.au

More information on opening hours and temporary closures: denmark.embassy.gov.au.

In a consular emergency, if you are unable to contact the Embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional information

Natural disasters, severe weather and climate

Avalanches and rockslides are a danger in some mountain areas. If you're skiing or mountaineering, monitor advice on weather and safety conditions and advise local authorities of your plans. It's very dangerous to move off marked slopes or trails.

Extreme weather, floods and landslides can occur.

If there is a natural disaster, or one is expected:

Arctic Travel

The northern most parts of Norway are located above the Arctic Circle. If travelling in these areas, be careful. Follow the instructions of local authorities and be ready to adjust your plans if cautions are issued.

The Arctic is a vast region and visitors should consider carefully the potential remoteness of their destination from search and rescue, evacuation and medical facilities. If you are travelling independently, make contingency arrangements and ensure you have adequate travel insurance.

If you are travelling by ship, consider the on-board medical facilities. Talk to cruise operators about medical arrangements, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition.

If search and rescue services are needed, they may take a long time to arrive (as they would be sent from many hundreds of kilometres away). Assistance to stranded vessels may take several days to arrive, particularly in bad weather.

Consular assistance to Australians in remote areas may be limited and/or delayed. Ensure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of search and rescue, any medical treatment and/or potential repatriation.

Additional Resources