Norwegian is the official language of Norway. It is part of a Scandinavian group of tongues that sound and are written similar to those in Denmark, Sweden and Iceland, which are grouped together and known as the Nordic languages. Norwegian is further broken down into two types: Bokmal, spoken by about 85 percent of the population and Nynorsk. Nynorsk translates to "new Norwegian," which has been adopted by about 12 percent of the population. Around a quarter of the municipalities of Norway have adopted Nynorsk as their chosen official language, mainly in the western portion of the country. There are also recognized regional languages such as Sami. Most people in Norway can also speak English, with 91 percent of the population fluent as a second language. You should have no difficulty communicating, particularly in tourist areas.


The official currency of Norway is the krone (NOK). Norway is not part of the EU so it did not adopt the euro. The krone comes in 1, 5, 10, and 20 coins; and 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 bills. ATMs in Norway are widespread and easily found, usually located next to banks. Look for a sign that says "mini-bank" which is what they are fondly called. Credit cards are widely accepted, as well, and you should have no trouble using MasterCard, Visa, Amex, or even Diners.


The time zone in Norway is GMT+1, which is the same as the rest of continental Europe. Daylight savings is observed for around seven months between the end of March and the end of October. If traveling around this time you will need to check on the exact date as it does change, but is always a Sunday morning.


Electricity in Norway runs at 220-240V/50Hz variable. You may need a transformer if your electrical appliances differ (most North American appliances run at 110-120 volts). They use a round, two-hole European style plug with no grounding pin. It is always a good idea to bring a travel adaptor with you just in case.


The international calling code for Norway is +47. The country has extremely good telecommunications, with wide coverage for cell phones on the GSM network. There are few areas with little coverage, mainly in the remote central wilderness, but all of the coast and larger cities have excellent signal reception. High-speed broadband internet is available all over Norway, in line with the rest of Western Europe and many hotels provide free Wi-Fi.


Duty-free goods can be purchased at Gardermoen and Flesland Airports. If you are traveling to the US you are allowed to import one liter of alcohol and 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or four pounds of tobacco. You are also able to buy duty-free goods if heading to the EU, but always check customs allowances before purchasing.

Tourist Office

Norwegian Tourist Board:

Consulates in Norway

American Embassy, Oslo: +11-47-2244-8550
Canadian Embassy, Oslo: +11-47-2299-5300
British Embassy, Oslo: +11-47-2313-2700
Australian Embassy, Oslo: +11-47-6758-4848
New Zealand Consulate, Oslo: +11-47-6677-5330


Emergency Services: 112