Norway

Latest update

This Advice was last issued on Monday, 11 August 2014.   This advice has been updated following the announcement by Norwegian authorities on 31 July that the threat of imminent terrorist attack (as advised on 24 July) had reduced and that security measures had been scaled down. We continue to advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Norway.

Norway overall

Summary

  • 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.
  • See also our advice for Business travellers.
  • Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
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Entry and exit

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change. 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 a number of 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

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.

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. See our Terrorist Threat Overseas bulletin for more information on terrorism and our General advice to Australian travellers for tips on staying safe overseas.

Crime

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.

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.

Review the general advice to Australian travellers for further information on being safe abroad.

Local travel

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.

Airline safety

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

Please also refer to our general air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.

Laws

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. Research local laws before travelling.

Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.

Committing an assault, 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.

Health

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

Depending on the nature of your enquiry, your best option may be to contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurance provider in the first instance.

If the matter relates to criminal issues such as theft and pickpocketing while in Norway, contact the nearest local police station. For emergencies, the national emergency number in Norway is 112.

If the matter relates to complaints about tourism services or products, contact the service provider directly. If you are not satisfied with their response, you may also contact The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Norway to lodge a complaint.

The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and can’t do to assist Australians overseas. The Australian Consulate in Oslo, headed by an Honorary Consul, can provide limited consular assistance in Norway. The Consulate does not issue Australian passports, but can conduct passport interviews and provide Provisional Travel Documents for emergency travel to the nearest Australian Embassy. Contact details are:

Australian Consulate, Oslo

Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA
Strandvn 20 / P.O. Box 33
N-1324 Lysaker
Oslo, Norway
Tel: +47 67 58 48 48
Fax: +47 67 58 43 80
Email: WW.AU.CONSULATE@wilhelmsen.com
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 12 noon to 3 pm or by appointment.

The Australian Embassy located in Copenhagen, Denmark, provides full consular assistance to Australians in Norway. Contact details are:

Australian Embassy, Copenhagen

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

See the Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

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.

Additional information

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.

Additional Resources

For additional general and economic information to assist travelling in this country, see the following links:



While every care has been taken in preparing this information, neither the Australian Government nor its agents or employees, including any member of Australia's diplomatic and consular staff abroad, can accept liability for any injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained herein.

Maps are presented for information only. The department accepts no responsibility for errors or omission of any geographic feature. Nomenclature and territorial boundaries may not necessarily reflect Australian Government policy.