Alcohol and tobacco
Wine and spirits are not sold in local supermarkets but only in special shops called “VINMONOPOL” set up by the state for this purpose. The “VINMONOPOL” shops are found in the larger cities and towns. Beer can be purchased in supermarkets except in smaller towns, where they have special outlets for the sale of beer. You will find that nearly all restaurants are licensed to sell alcohol.
The age limit for purchasing beer and wine is 18 years and for liquor it is 20 years. Due to these restrictions bars and nightclubs tend to have age limits somewhere between 18 and 23 years of age.
The age limit for purchasing tobacco is 18 years. Tobacco is sold in supermarkets and kiosks.
You must pay duty on liquor, wine, beer and tobacco products in your household goods shipment. When entering Norway you can bring a quota – see also Customs for import regulations or consult your moving company.
Norwegian currency consists of “kroner” (kr) and “øre”; 100 øre make up 1 krone. Travellers may bring currency into Norway up to the equivalent of NOK 25.000,- in Norwegian and/or foreign bills and coins.
Tap water is safe to drink in Norway and may even taste better than many bottled ones. Bottled, sparkling water is available at any supermarket and in convenience stores. Bottles with still water are also sold in all supermarkets and stores under brands called Imsdal, Olden and Bonaqua (naturell, uten kullsyre).
Driving in Norway
It is compulsory to drive with your headlights on, even on bright summer days. Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers. Children should be seated in a carrier or portable child restraint seat approved to the European ECER44-03 standard. Baby/child seats may be hired from local insurance companies. More information here.
220-240 V AC with 50 Hertz cycles. Adapters must be of the two-pin, round-ended European type.
Norwegians speak Norwegian; there are 2 forms of the language – Bokmål and Nynorsk. There are also many dialects that are spoken, these differ from area to area.
Norwegians are the 4th best non-native English speakers in the world, according to the English Proficiency Index.
Foreign movies are usually not dubbed in Norwegian, except for children’s films and cartoons.
Only 56 % of children between 1-3 years have a place in a kindergarten/barnehage. Between 3-5 years 88% have a place.
Broadcasting in Norway is licensed and households with a broadcasting device (TV, decoder) pay a license fee to NRK (Norwegian Governmental Broadcasting Company). The only way to receive international TV channels in addition to the local ones, are through a cable for Cable-TV or through a Satellite antenna. Satellite dishes may be prohibited in building complexes. Properties in such areas usually will connect to cable.
The Norwegian State church is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. However the country is also home to a wide variety of other Christian denominations, such as the Roman Catholic Church, Baptists, and Methodists. Other major religions such as Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism are represented as well.
Children living in Norway for more than 3 months, have the right and obligation to go to school. School is mandatory for all children aged 6 – 16. Children start school in mid August of the year in which they turn six.
In general, shops in Norway are open between 10 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday, and from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday. Most towns centres have late shopping on Thursday when the shops stay open until 7 pm. Opening hours at larger shopping centres are from 10 am and 8 pm weekdays and 10 am to 6 pm Saturdays. Supermarkets are usually open between 7 am to 11 pm weekdays and from 9 am to 8 pm Saturdays. Shops and supermarkets are closed on Sunday, but small convenience shops and gas stations will be open.
Smoking is prohibited inside all shops, restaurants, hotels, aboard all public transport. It is also not permitted to smoke neither in public buildings or other public places nor in offices or other workplaces. Designated rooms for smokers are available at hotels.
Because of these strict regulations it is very common not to smoke indoors in private homes as well.
Taxi stops are usually found outside train and bus stations, shopping malls, town halls, municipality centres, theatres, cinemas, popular meeting points. The stops are marked with a blue Taxi sign.
Otherwise it is easiest to call for a taxi or order one through the mobile apps available from the various taxi companies.
If you are travelling with children and need car seats for the journey, be sure to inform the taxi company of your children’s ages and weights when ordering a taxi.
Taxis use an advanced taximeter technology with electronic validation of your credit card in the cab. The satellite can only register signals while the car is moving. When you take a taxi, let your driver know if you intend to use a credit card before the trip begins.
Telecom and Internet
Mobile phone systems in use: GSM, UMTS, LTE and NMT. The network owners are Telia and Telenor. All other mobile operators rent the networks. Mobile phones sold with a subscription requires a Norwegian Personal Number (Personnummer). You should opt for a type with a pre-paid card till you have a personal number. Mobile phones are sold in electrical stores or communication centres.
Call charges are subject to fierce competition between many companies, so is the Internet access, distributed through high speed transmission like ISDN (digital), broadband and DSL services.
All mobile or telephone numbers have eight digits. The national prefix for Norway is 47 when you call from abroad. From Norway the prefix to access an international number is 00 + the country code.
Norway is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Daylight-savings time (summer time) means that part of the year the clock is set forward 1 hour in relation to the time during the rest of the year.
Daylight-savings time begins: Last Sunday in March at 02:00 o’clock. The clocks are set forward 1 hour. Daylight-savings time ends: Last Sunday in October at 03:00. The clocks are set back 1 hour.
Value-Added-Tax – MVA (Moms)
Prices in public shops are included Norway’s Value-Added Tax. The Norwegian word is “Merverdiavgift” – in short “Moms” or MVA. The tax is 25%, except for certain food articles that are lower. Medical and dental care, property transactions, books and house rentals are exempted from MVA. MVA is collected on all imports. International agreements prevent double taxation, MVA is not collected on exports.