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Norway

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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.
  • 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
  • Additional border controls are in place. Always carry your passport when entering and exiting Norway, including for travel within the Schengen area. See Local travel
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.

Entry and exit

Visas

Norway is part of the Schengen area, along with a number of other European countries. This allows you to enter Norway without a visa in some circumstances. In other circumstances you'll need a visa.

More information: Schengen Convention

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.

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

Norway has border controls at ferry crossings from Sweden, Denmark and Germany and additional border controls at the Sweden/Norway land border. Always carry your passport when entering and exiting Norway, even if you are travelling within the Schengen area.

Passport

Ensure 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.

Always carry your passport when crossing borders, including within 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.

Be aware of attempts to obtain access to your passport by deception. If you are forced to hand over your passport, contact the Embassy for advice.

If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.

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 chip and PIN for identification purposes, not a signature.

Safety and security

Terrorism

The Norwegian Police Security Service has assessed the domestic terror threat level as 'possible' (level 3 of 5).

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. A number of planned attacks have been disrupted by European security services.

In April 2017, an explosive device was found and detonated by Norwegian authorities in Central Oslo.

  • 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

More information:

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. Violent and weapons-related crimes can occur in areas where criminal gangs operate, such as parts of eastern Oslo. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, is increasingly common, especially during the peak tourist season (May to September). Thieves often work together and use various ploys to distract the attention of tourists.

  • Avoid walking alone in isolated locations, such as parks, particularly at night.
  • Don't leave bags containing money or valuables unattended.
  • Be particularly careful with your valuables in crowded areas and locations frequented by tourists, such as airports, train stations, hotel lobbies and restaurants.

More information: Sexual assault

Local travel

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. Look out for signs for animal crossings, such as moose and deer crossings.

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;
  • mobile phone use is prohibited;
  • the legal blood alcohol limit 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 you have everything you need for these activities, including appropriate equipment. Ensure you are physically-able to undertake these activities. If you plan on skiing, follow local advice, stay on marked runs and paths and only ski in recommended areas. Check weather forecasts and always let people know where you are going. The weather can be unpredictable including during summer months.

Ensure your travel insurance covers participation in these activities, including coverage for helicopter rescue and medical evacuation.

If you are travelling to Svalbard, follow local advice on safety. Tourists have been killed or injured due to polar bear attacks, avalanches, and accidents on glaciers and boats.

More information: Governor of Svalbard

Laws

You're subject to 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 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 severe. You may be jailed, deported, and banned from the Schengen area. The blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.02. There are frequent roadside checks for drink driving.  

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. If you are male and also a Norwegian citizen, you 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 your 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
  • you are covered for the whole time you will be away.

More information: Travel insurance

Physical and mental health

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 urban areas is generally high and English is widely spoken. Facilities are more limited in rural and remote areas. If you need medical treatment in the remote area of northern Norway or Svalbard, you will likely need to be evacuated, which may involve significant travel time and expense.

Australia has a reciprocal health care agreement with Norway. The agreement provides you 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

Natural disasters

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. Do not 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. If you are planning to visit, consider carefully the remoteness of your 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.

We may not be able to provide you with full or prompt consular assistance in remote areas. Ensure you have adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of search and rescue, any medical treatment and/or potential repatriation.

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.

Emergency phone numbers

  • 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
Phone: +45 70 26 36 76
Fax: +45 70 26 36 86
Email: genenq.cpgn@dfat.gov.au or consular.copenhagen@dfat.gov.au
Website: denmark.embassy.gov.au
Facebook: Australia in Denmark, Norway and Iceland
Twitter: @AusEmbDK

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

Additional resources