4th Nov 2010
Fast facts - Norway
Author: YourLifeChoices

Fast Facts - Norway

Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport is the main entry point for international flights. Norway’s other international airports are at Ålesund, Bergen, Haugesund, Kristiansand, Sandefjord, Stavanger, Tromsø and Trondheim.

The electrical current in Norway is 220V AC. Power sockets require European-style, two-pronged, round-ended plugs. Most hotels have a limited supply of adaptors, so we recommend taking your own adaptor with you.

Getting Around
Public transport is extremely efficient in Norway. Many trains, buses and ferries are timed to link with one another, and pre-purchasing tickets can reduce the cost of public transport. The Hurtigruten coastal ferry plies the west coast of the country, and is the best way to reach the normally inaccessible communities of the north.

Norway’s roads are generally quite well kept, so self-driving is an excellent alternative to catching public transport. Be aware that any driving trip through the fjords will require a large number of ferry crossings.

Handy Hints• Most businesses are open from 9 am to 4 or 5 pm on weekdays, and from 9 am to 1 or 2 pm on Saturdays. Shops and businesses are generally closed on Sundays.
• Smoking is banned in public places. People are still allowed to smoke in private homes and outdoors.
• Norwegians tend to be punctual in both business and social situations. Showing up late is considered bad form.
• If invited to a Norwegian home, it is polite to bring flowers, chocolates, pastries or wine to your hosts.

No special health warnings or vaccinations apply for visitors to Norway. However, we suggest consulting your medical practitioner for the latest health warnings.
Travel insurance is highly recommended, as medical costs in case of emergency can be expensive.

There are two official versions of Norwegian – Bokmail and Nynorsk. However, English is widely spoken throughout the country. The Sami people of Norway’s north have their own language, which is closer to Finnish than Norwegian.

Money Matters
The Norwegian Krone (NOK) is the official currency, and is made up of 100 øre. Notes are issued in 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 kroner denominations, while coins come in 20, 10, 5 and kroner, as well as 50 øre.

ATM’s are prevalent throughout Norway, and businesses accept all major credit cards.

Banks are generally open Monday to Friday from 8.15 am to 3.30 pm (or until 5 pm on Thursday).

Passport Information
Citizens of Australia and New Zealand need a valid passport to enter Norway. You will only need a visa if you intend on staying for more than 3 months. Please check with the Norwegian embassy or consulate for up-to-date entry requirements.

Public Holidays for 2011
New Year’s Day Jan 1
Maundy Thursday Apr 21
Good Friday Apr 22
Easter Monday Apr 25
Labor Day May 1
National Day May 17
Ascension Day Jun 2
Whitmonday Jun 13
Christmas Day Dec 25
Boxing Day Dec 26

About 85% of Norwegians identify with the state Church of Norway, a Lutheran Christian faith.

Safety and Security
Overall, Norway is a very safe country for travellers. Exercise the same caution you would in any large city at home and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Make sure you check local weather conditions before doing any hiking, and always let somebody know of your plans.

A service charge is included in most hotel and restaurant bills (usually between 10% and 15%), and porters and coatroom attendants often charge fixed fees. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped unless they handle heavy luggage.
Useful Links

• Official Norwegian Travel Guide (http://www.visitnorway.com/)
• Australian Government travel advisory for Norway (http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/norway)
• NZ Government travel advisory for Norway (http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/destinations/norway.shtml)

The Gulf Stream means that Norway enjoys a warmer climate than many other countries on the same latitude. Temperatures in July and August can reach 25ºC – 30ºC, although weather can be wet and unpredictable. The famous midnight sun can be seen above the Arctic Circle during summer.

During winter, temperatures can drop below –40ºC in the inner parts of the country. Coastal areas experience relatively mild winters, but strong winds and heavy rain can occur.

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