Fire and rescue services
We haven't changed our level of advice:
Exercise normal safety precautions in Norway.
Terrorists have attacked some European cities. Targets have included public places that foreigners visit. Monitor the news and follow advice from local authorities.
Serious crime is rare. However, there have been sexual assaults against foreigners and violent, gang-related crimes. Avoid walking alone in isolated places or at night.
Petty crime is common. The risk rises during the peak tourist season from May to September. Thieves often work together and use tricks to distract travellers. Be careful in airports, train stations, hotel lobbies and restaurants.
Avalanches and rockslides can happen in some mountain areas. Extreme weather, floods and landslides can also occur. Check advice on weather and safety conditions before skiing or mountaineering.
The northernmost parts of Norway are in the Arctic Circle. Be careful in these areas. Follow instructions from local authorities. If you're travelling by ship, check the onboard medical care.
Full travel advice: Safety
Hospitals in cities offer a high standard of care. Many medical staff speak English. However, services are limited in rural and remote areas.
If you need treatment in remote areas, you may need to be evacuated. Make sure you have appropriate travel insurance.
Australia has a healthcare agreement with Norway. You can access immediate emergency medical services. You still need private travel health insurance.
Full travel advice: Health
Penalties for drug offences include heavy fines and imprisonment.
If you assault someone, however minor, you may face jail.
The blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.02%. There are frequent roadside checks for drink driving.
Norway doesn't recognise dual nationality. If you're male and also a Norwegian citizen, you may have to do national service. Travel on your Australian passport at all times.
Full travel advice: Local laws
Norway is part of the Schengen area. You can enter Norway without a visa in some situations. In other situations, you'll need a visa.
The Norwegian territory of Svalbard is not part of the Schengen area. If you're travelling to Svalbard, you need a valid passport to enter.
By law, when driving, headlights must be on at all times and it's illegal to use your mobile phone. Winter tyres must be fitted from 1 November to the first Monday after Easter Monday.
In Svalbard, polar bears have killed travellers. Avalanches and accidents on glaciers and boats have also killed travellers. Follow local safety advice.
Full travel advice: Travel
Terrorists have attacked some European cities in recent years. Targets have included public transport and transport hubs, and public places foreigners frequent.
European security services have stopped several planned attacks.
In August 2019, a gunman attempted an attack on the Al-Noor Islamic Centre in Baerum, outside Oslo. One person was injured.
In April 2017, Norwegian authorities found and detonated a bomb in Central Oslo.
To protect yourself from terrorism:
report suspect actions or items to police
check the media for possible threats
follow advice from local authorities
If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Civil unrest is rare.
Check the media and avoid possible unrest.
If there's a protest near you, follow the advice of local authorities.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Serious crime is rare.
There have been some sexual assaults against foreigners.
Violent crime with weapons has occurred in areas where criminal gangs operate, such as parts of eastern Oslo.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and bag snatching, is increasingly common. The risk rises during the peak tourist season from May to September.
Thieves often work together and use various tricks to distract travellers.
To stay safe:
avoid walking alone in isolated places, like parks
avoid walking alone at night
pay attention to your belongings in airports, train stations, hotel lobbies and restaurants
There are many adventure activities in Norway. These include mountaineering, trekking, skiing and glacier climbing.
Check you have everything you need for these activities, including the right equipment.
Ensure you're fit enough to do these activities.
follow local advice
stay on marked runs and paths
only ski in recommended areas
check weather forecasts
always let people know where you're going
The weather can be unpredictable even during summer months.
Check your travel insurance covers these activities. Include coverage for helicopter rescue and medical evacuation.
If you're travelling to Svalbard, follow local safety advice.
Polar bears have killed and injured travellers in Svalbard. Avalanches and accidents on glaciers and boats have also killed travellers.
avalanches and rockslides in some mountain areas
Check advice on weather and safety conditions before skiing or mountaineering.
If there's a natural disaster:
follow the advice of local authorities
get updates from the Norwegian Government
Register with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System to receive alerts on major disasters.
The northernmost parts of Norway are above the Arctic Circle. Take care in these areas. Follow the advice from local authorities. Be ready to change your plans if you need to.
The Arctic is a vast region.
If you're planning to visit:
work out how far you'll be from search and rescue, evacuation and medical facilities
make contingency plans
If you're travelling by ship:
check the onboard medical care
ask cruise operators about medical arrangements
discuss any pre-existing medical conditions
Search and rescue services may take a long time to arrive. They would be many 100s of kilometres away. Stranded vessels may wait several days for help, particularly in bad weather.
We may not be able to give you full or prompt consular assistance in remote areas.
To reduce your risks, have travel insurance or funds to cover:
the cost of search and rescue
any medical treatment
your return home or to another city or country
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
what activities and care your policy covers
that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
have a basic health check-up
ask if your travel plans may affect your health
plan any vaccinations you need
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Norway. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
what the medicine is
how much you'll take
that it's for your own use
Health risks are broadly similar to those in Australia.
Hospitals in cities offer a high standard of care. Many medical staff speak English.
Services are limited in rural and remote areas.
If you need treatment in the remote area of northern Norway or Svalbard, medical teams may evacuate you for medical care. This will take time. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
Australia has a healthcare agreement with Norway. You can access immediate emergency medical services.
The agreement won't cover ongoing treatment of existing health conditions. You still need private travel health insurance.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
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.
If you break the law in Norway, you may be banned from the Schengen area for either a limited time (up to 10 years) or permanently.
Penalties for drug offences, even for possession of small amounts, include:
being removed from the Schengen area
If you assault someone in any way, you may be jailed.
The blood alcohol limit for drivers is 0.02%. There are frequent roadside checks for drink driving.
If you speed or drive under the influence:
penalties are severe
you may face jail or deportation
you may be banned from the Schengen area
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Norway doesn't recognise dual Norwegian-Australian nationality.
If you're a dual citizen, this limits the consular services we can give if you're arrested or detained.
Always travel on your Australian passport.
If you're male and also a Norwegian citizen, you may have to do national service.
Norway recently passed a law to allow dual citizenship. This is likely to come into effect in early 2020.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
Norway is part of the Schengen area, along with many other European countries. You may be able to enter Norway without a tourist visa. In other situations, you'll need a visa.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Norway for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
The Norwegian territory of Svalbard is not part of the Schengen area.
If you're travelling to Svalbard, you'll need a valid passport to enter.
You also need to meet Schengen area entry requirements when returning to Norway's mainland.
Norway has border controls at:
ferry crossings from Sweden, Denmark and Germany
at the land border between Sweden and Norway
Always carry your passport to enter and exit, even if you're travelling within the Schengen area.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Always carry your passport when crossing borders, including within the Schengen area.
Get an entry stamp in your passport from border control staff when you first enter the Schengen area.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
Norway's official currency is the Norwegian Kroner (NOK). Norway won't accept the Euro in most situations.
You can bring up to 25,000 NOK in cash into Norway.
You need to pay a customs toll and a fine if you arrive with more than 25,000 NOK.
Norway accepts some foreign debit and credit cards in some outlets. These may incur a surcharge fee.
Credit card transactions usually need a credit card with a microchip and PIN, not a signature.
To drive in Norway, you will need either:
a Norwegian licence or
an International Drivers' Permit (IDP)
Get your IDP before you leave Australia.
Roads can be dangerous in winter due to ice.
Rural roads are usually 2 lanes. They can be narrow and winding in mountainous regions.
Take particular care when driving outside urban areas. Check signs for animal crossings, such as moose or deer crossings.
By law, when driving, headlights must be on at all times and it's illegal to use your mobile phone.
Winter tyres must be fitted from 1 November to the first Monday after Easter Monday. Carry snow chains in your vehicle if you intend to drive in the mountains during this period.
Check that your travel insurance policy covers you when riding a motorcycle.
Always wear a helmet.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Norway's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
family and friends
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
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 help to Australians in Norway. If you need consular help, contact:
2100 Copenhagen Ø
Phone: +45 7026 3676
Fax: +45 7026 3686
Facebook: Australia in Denmark, Norway and Iceland
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an Embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
+61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
1300 555 135 in Australia
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.