The water quality in Norway is mostly adequate and tap water is always drinkable except on boats, trains etc.

The hygiene in public kitchens is very good, and food poisoning rarely happens to tourists.

Norway can get relatively warm in the summer, but be prepared to bring warm clothes sweater, windbreaking/waterproof jacket, as they might come in handy. It's hard to predict the weather, and in summer, you may experience severe weather changes during your stay.

Tourists hiking in the high mountains above the forest should bring sports wear for temperatures down to freezing zero degree C.

Norway has a high density of pharmacies. Nose sprays and standard pain killers paracetamol, aspirin can also be purchased in grocery stores and gas stations.

The sun is generally not as strong as in southern Europe. Keep in mind that in cool conditions low temperatures or wind you don't feel that the sun burns your skin. The air is often very clear and clean in the North and UV-levels can be high despite the low sun. Also keep in mind: the sun is stronger in the high mountains, radiation is multiplied on or near snow fields as well as water surfaces. Even when it's cloudy the light can be strong on snow fields. Do not underestimate the power of the Nordic sun! Bring sunglasses when you go to the high mountains, when you go skiing in spring and when you go to the beach.

In southern Norway there are ticks flått that appear in summertime. They can transmit Lyme's disease borreliosis and more serious TBE tick-borne encephalitis through a bite. The risk areas for TBE are mainly along the coast from Oslo to Trondheim. Although incidents are relatively rare and not all ticks carry diseases, it's advisable to wear long trousers rather than shorts if you plan to walk through dense or tall grass areas the usual habitat for ticks. You can buy special tick tweezers from the pharmacy that can be used to remove a tick safely if you happen to get bitten. You should remove the tick from your skin as quickly as possible and preferably with the tick tweezers to reduce the risks of getting an infection. If the tick bite starts to form red rings on the skin around it or if you experience other symptoms relating to the bite, you should go visit a doctor as soon as possible. Since ticks are black, they are more easily found if you wear bright clothes.

There's only one type of venomous snake in Norway: the European adder hoggorm, which has a distinct zig-zag pattern on its back. The snake is not very common, but lives all over Norway up to the arctic circle except for the highest mountains and areas with little sunshine. Although its bite hardly ever is life-threatening except to small children and allergic people, be careful in the summertime especially when walking in the forests or on open fields. If you are bitten by a snake, seek medical assistance. The probability of being bitten is however very small, as the adder is very shy of humans.

ContactFor minor injuries and illness, go to the local "Legevakt" emergency room/physician seeing patients without appointment. In cities this is typically a municipal service centrally located, be prepared to wait for several hours. In rural districts you typically have to contact the "district physician" on duty. For inquiries about toxins from mushrooms, plants, medicin or other chemicals call the national Toxin Information Office at 22 59 13 00


Numbers, time and dates Note that Norwegians use comma as the decimal sign, for instance 12,000 means 12 specified with three decimal places not 12 thousand, whereas 12 000 or 12.000 means 12 thousand. Norwegians use both 24 and 12 hour system, spoken often 12 hour system and 24 hour system in writing. Norwegians don't use PM/AM to indicate morning or afternoon. In Norwegian "half ten" "halv ti" means half past nine, when speaking to a person not fluent in English better not use this form to avoid misunderstanding. Dates can be seen abbreviated in a number of ways, but the order is always DATE-MONTH-YEAR, for instance 12.7.08 or 120708, 12/7-08 or 12.07.08; the first and latter being the only correct forms is July 12, 2008. Monday is considered the first day of the week, while Sunday is the last. In timetables, week days are thus often indiciated by numbers 1 Mon through 7 Sun. Norwegian calendars will also indicate the number of the week 1 through 53. Timetables for public transport often use the abbreviation Dx67, meaning "all days except Saturday and Sunday".

Norway uses the metric system only. A Norwegian mile, 'mil', is equal to 10 km. There is virtually no knowledge of Imperial or US measures. Few Norwegians will be able to convert from Centigrade Celsius to Fahrenheit, and weather forecasts use metric units. However, many modern cell-phones have conversion programmes which can be used to understand the metric system.

In Norwegian there is usually no concept of ground floor as in the UK or "Erdgeschoss" in German, instead the entrance level of a building is called the first floor "første etasje" like in the US. Levels are then counted 1, 2, 3 etc.

First time visitors not familiar with the country tend plan a trip in Norway from city to city. Although Norway has many nice cities the country's main attraction is the land itself, the nature, the landscapes, the wilderness, as well as a number of man-made sights in rural districts, notably road constructions and cultural treasures such as the stave churches. Unlike many other countries in Europe, a trip to Norway should ideally be planned according to types of landscapes to visit as well as a selection of cities. Norway is wide country with long distances and complex topography, and travelers should not underestimate distances.

If purchasing a house and business in Norway do check all legal documents kjøpekontrakt/takstand maps grensekart are correct. Ask for information in the native language you are used to. Make sure the Estate Agent is registered with NEF.


Smoking is strictly forbidden inside of restaurants, bars or other public places indoors, and violations might force the establishment to deny you service, or else they'll risk large fines by the county or the police. Smoking is also forbidden in buses, trains, airplanes, domestic ferries, stations and terminals.Cigarettes are very expensive ranging from 6 to 9 Euro, so bring your own Cigarettes if you can. All smokers are expected to carry their own cigarettes. Because they are expensive, it is unusual to offer cigarettes to others or ask others for cigarettes.

classical travel journals from norway

W. Matthiue Williams: Through Norway With a Knapsack 1859

Mary Wollstonecraft: Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark 1796

Thomas Malthus: Travel journal from Norway 1799

Samuel Beckett: The fjords and folk of Norway 1915

W.C. Slingsby: Norway: the Northern Playground 1904

Dhiravat na Pombejra: A Month in Norway: King Chulalongkorn's travels July-August 1907.

Robert Everest: A journey through Norway, Lapland, and part of Sweden : with some remarks on the geology of the country, its climate and scenery. 1829

Lees, James A. and Clutterbuck, Walter J: Three in Norway by two of them 1912