Postcards and letters weighing up to 20g cost 13kr within Norway, 17kr to elsewhere in Europe and 21kr to the rest of the world. For parcels beyond Europe there's an additional kr handling fee. Note that the cost threshold relates to the total you spend in a single shop, rather than the amount per item. At the point of sale, you fill out the cheque with your name, address and passport number, and then, at your departure point from the country, you present your sealed goods, passport and Refund Cheque to collect the refund; ferry passengers normally collect their refund from the ferry's purser during limited hours once the boat has sailed.
For more information, pick up the How to Shop Tax Free brochure from most tourist offices and some tourist shops, which explains the procedure and lists border crossings at which refunds can be collected; or visit www. Telephone kiosks are still fairly widespread in Norway, but some don't accept cash. Instead you have to use either a credit card or a phonecard, which you can buy at 7-Elevens and convenience stores. Local SIM cards are widely available and can be used in most international mobile phones.
There's mobile coverage in all but wilderness areas. If you want to use your home-country mobile phone in Norway, always check with your carrier about the cost of roaming charges to avoid a nasty surprise when your next bill arrives. EU phones should have no roaming charges when using them within Norway. Outside of the EU, an increasing number of providers offer packages that allow you to take your minutes, texts and data allowances overseas for a small charge.
If you wish to use your mobile, but with a Norwegian SIM card, check that your phone is unlocked.
If your phone accepts a foreign SIM card, these can be purchased from any 7-Eleven store and some Narvesen kiosks. However, as the connection instructions are entirely in Norwegian, you're better off purchasing the card from any Telehuset outlet, where they'll help you connect on the spot.
All Norwegian phone numbers have eight digits. Numbers starting with '' usually indicate a toll-free number, while those beginning with '4', '9', '58' and '59' are mobile cell phone numbers. There are no extra local area codes these are incorporated into listed numbers.
In the unlikely event that you're travelling without an internet-enabled phone, tablet or laptop, you can buy international-call phonecards. Those issued by Telekort Telenor phonecards offer poor value, and are hard to find anyway. The best idea is to buy a third-party phonecard, sold at some 7-Elevens and convenience stores. Prices vary, but they let you make calls using a scratch PIN number and a local access number. Note that when telling the time, Norwegians use 'half' as signifying 'half before ' rather than 'half past' eg 'halv to' is 'half before two', not 'half past one'.
Always double-check unless you want to be an hour late! Although the hour clock is used in some official situations, you'll find people generally use the hour clock in everyday conversation. Daylight saving starts on the last Sunday in March and finishes on the last Sunday in October. Most towns and many roadside stops have public facilities, the vast majority of which are kept in good order. However, at some shopping malls, train stations, bus terminals and even some but not many restaurants, you may have to pay up to 10kr, and some are only accessible using a contactless credit or debit card.
It's impossible to speak highly enough of tourist offices in Norway. Most serve as multilingual, one-stop clearing houses for general information and bookings for accommodation and activities. Nearly every city and town has its own tourist office, and most tourist offices in reasonably sized towns or major tourist areas publish comprehensive booklets giving the complete, up-to-date low-down on their town and the surrounding area.
Offices in smaller towns may be open only during peak summer months, while in cities they're open year-round, but with shorter hours in the low season. Tourist offices operate under a variety of names — turistkontor and reiseliv are among the most common — but all have the information symbol i prominently displayed outside and are easy to identify and find. Visit Norway , the official tourist information service, has a wealth of info on travelling in Norway. Norway is a terrific destination in which to travel as a family.
This is a country that has become world famous for creating family-friendly living conditions, and most hotels, restaurants and many sights are accordingly child-friendly. Remember, however, that distances are vast and careful planning is required.
Green parklands in abundance and a large array of museums, many with an interactive component, mean there's plenty to keep children happy, but be warned that not all sights and restaurants are that welcoming to younger travellers. Bergen and Stavanger have numerous child-oriented attractions, while elsewhere there are boat trips on the fjords, interactive museums, water-based activities and the occasional Viking landmark.
Winter-based activities such as dog-sledding thrill travellers of any age, while the Northern Lights are something the kids will never forget. Domestic tourism is often organised around the assumption that many Norwegians will be travelling as a family, with everything from hotels to museums more than willing to not only accommodate children, but make sure they have a good time.
And in summer especially July , numerous museums with a historical focus organise programs for children, with games, activities, and staff dressed up in period costumes. On a practical level, most attractions allow free admission for children up to six years of age and half-price or substantially discounted admission for those aged up to Family tickets are available at many of Norway's sights.
Unfortunately some museums in Oslo insist that you use their baby strollers and not your own. Dotted around the country are some terrific theme parks that allow you to pass a day on rides and in themed pavilions; the focus is usually local in character, with trolls and other mythical Norwegian creatures the recurring themes.
Larger towns and some coastal regions also have excellent aquariums. Adventure tourism is one of Norway's major attractions, and there are a whole range of activities that kids can enjoy, although obviously the older your children, the wider the range of possibilities. For young travellers, wildlife safaris in search of whales, elk and musk ox are a terrific option. For older children, you may be surprised at what can be accomplished, from short hikes to kayaking and family white-water-rafting trips, and even some of the higher-octane thrills around Voss may be possible for travellers as young as 10 or As you'd expect, children's products such as baby food, infant formula, soy and cow's milk, and disposable nappies diapers are widely available in Norway in supermarkets, pharmacies and more expensive convenience stores , but they're much more expensive than back home.
You may want to bring a reasonable supply in order to keep costs down. Easily the best time to travel in Norway with children is the main tourist season, which runs from mid-June to mid-August — this is when hotels offer the best deals for families, all sights and attractions are open and the weather is more conducive to a happy family holiday. If you've come to Norway for the Northern Lights or winter activities such as dog-sledding, don't be put off by the bitterly cold weather.
It's all about coming prepared with the appropriate clothes Norwegian families don't hide in their homes for 10 months of the year! Hotels, hostels, campsites and other accommodation options often have 'family rooms' or cabins that accommodate up to two adults and two children. One hotel chain that makes a special effort to cater for families from mid-June to mid-August is Thon Hotels www.
Most Thon Hotels also have a small children's play area and nice touches such as children's check-in steps. Even in some upmarket restaurants, children will be made to feel welcome and, as a result, Norwegians are often seen eating out as a family group. Many restaurants offer children's menus with smaller portions and prices to match. And most of those that don't are willing to serve a smaller portion if you ask. The high cost of meals can mean it's a challenge in Norway to ensure that your children eat well, but the general availability of hot dogs, hamburgers and pizzas do provide a fall-back option.
Supermarkets are also good if you're stocking up for a family picnic and many have pre-made meals.
Most restaurants have baby-change areas and a limited number of high chairs. Norway's impressive public transport system is at once a comfortable means of getting from A to B and — given the variety, which spans trains, buses, tourist boats and ferries — may also carry considerable appeal for children. Some long-distance trains have a special family carriage complete with a children's play area!
Car-rental firms hire out children's safety seats at a nominal cost, but it's essential that you book them in advance, especially in summer and on weekends when demand is high. Norway is generally well set up for travellers with disabilities and all newly constructed public buildings are required by law to have wheelchair access. That said, like in most countries, the situation remains a work-in-progress. As a result, anyone with special needs should plan ahead. Most Norwegian tourist offices carry lists of wheelchair-accessible hotels and hostels, but your best bet is to contact the Norwegian Association for the Disabled.
Nearly all street crossings are equipped with either a ramp or a very low kerb curb , and crossing signals produce an audible signal — longer beeps when it's safe to cross and shorter beeps when the signal is about to change. Most but not all trains have carriages with space for wheelchair users and many public buildings have wheelchair-accessible toilets.
Mobility International USA www. Norwegian Association for the Disabled For information on travel and sites of special interest to travellers with disabilities in Norway. While a limited number of volunteering opportunities may be possible with local NGOs working with homeless people and recently arrived immigrants, the overwhelming number of these positions are filled by locals. Otherwise, there are very few volunteering opportunities in Norway. Women travellers will have few worries in Norway, and sober Norwegian men are normally the very picture of decorum. While alcohol-impaired men may become tiresome or obnoxious, they're probably no different from the same breed you'll encounter in your home country.
Some of the oil towns such as Stavanger, Haugesund and Kristiansund can be male-dominated and may feel slightly intimidating for first-time female travellers in some areas, particularly late at night. Journeywoman www. Krisesenter Women who have been attacked or abused can contact the Krisesenter in Oslo or dial nationwide. In order to work in Norway, knowledge of basic Norwegian is required at the very least. As a member of the European Economic Area EEA , Norway grants citizens of other EEA countries the right to look for work for a three-month period without obtaining a permit; those who find work have the right to remain in Norway for the duration of their employment.
For other foreigners, it's very difficult and an application for a work permit must be made through the Norwegian embassy or consulate in your home country before entering Norway. Europe Norway Directory Norway in detail.