Norway is a highly developed stable democracy with a modern economy. The cost of living in Norway is high, and tourist facilities are well developed and widely available. Tourism to Norway is increasing, and outdoor activities (especially hiking, cycling, skiing, skating, boating, and fishing) are popular. English is a popular second language in Norway. Additional information about Norway is available at http://www.usa.no.
A valid passport is required. U.S. citizens may enter Norway for tourist or general business purposes without a visa for up to 90 days. However, in accord with provisions of the Scandinavian Passport Union, the 90-day period begins with an entry into, and includes any time spent in, the following countries: Iceland, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faeroe Islands), Sweden, Finland, and Norway. Tourists who have stayed in Norway for more than 90 days without a visa are usually not permitted to re-enter the country until six months have passed. Tourists who enter without a visa cannot usually change status in Norway in order to reside or work. Travelers planning a long-term stay, marriage or employment in Norway should seek the appropriate visa before departing the United States.
For information concerning entry requirements, travelers can contact the Royal Norwegian Embassy at 2720 34th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008-2714, tel. 1-202- 333-6000, or the nearest Norwegian consulate; and on the Internet at http://www.norway.org. Norwegian consulates are located in Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, and San Francisco.
Norway has a relatively low crime rate. Most crimes involve the theft of personal property. Residential burglaries, auto theft, and vandalism to parked cars can also occur on occasion. Most high-end value vehicles, especially in Oslo, have visible alarm system indicators to discourage joy-riders or thieves. Persons who appear affluent or disoriented may become targets of pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Thieves frequently target tourists in hotels, particularly lobby/reception and restaurant areas, as the would-be victim is registering or enjoying a meal, typically buffets. The thieves tend to work in pairs, and use distraction as a method to steal purses or briefcases. While passports are frequently stolen in the course of these thefts, money, credit cards and jewelry are the actual objects of interest. In many cases, passports stolen in such a manner are subsequently found in the vicinity of the theft. Violent crime, though it can exist, remains the exception; weapons are almost never used by thieves or burglars.
Medical facilities are widely available and of high quality, but may be limited outside the larger urban areas. The remote and sparse populations in northern Norway, and the dependency on ferries to cross fjords of western Norway, may affect transportation and ready access to medical facilities. The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of emergency clinics in major cities.
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Norway is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Availability of roadside assistance: Good
Public transportation in Norway is generally safe, the maintenance and condition of urban and rural roads are generally good to excellent, and the availability of roadside assistance is also generally good. However, the roadway system beyond Oslo's limits and other major cities tends to be simple two-lane roads. In mountainous areas of Norway, the roads also tend to be narrow and winding, and there are many tunnels. The northerly latitude can also cause road conditions to vary greatly depending on weather and time of year. Many mountain roads are closed due to snow from late fall to late spring.
Automatic cameras placed by the police along roadways help to maintain speed limits, which are often lower than in other European countries. Frequent road checks with mandatory breathalyzer tests and the promise of stiff jail sentences encourage alcohol-free driving.
For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, please see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning Norwegian driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Norwegian Tourist Board office located at P.O. Box 4649, Grand Central Station, New York, New York 10163-4649 (tel. 212-885-9700; fax - 212/885-9710) or visit their web site on the Internet at http://www.norway.org/travel.
Norway's customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Norway such as firearms, antiques, etc. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Norway in Washington or one of Norway's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Norway's customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and trade fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters located at the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information, please call (212) 354-4480, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.uscib.org for details.
Americans living in or visiting Norway are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Norway. The U.S. Embassy is located in Oslo near the Royal Palace at Drammensveien 18; tel. (47) 22-44-85-50, consular fax (47) 22-56-27-51. Information about consular services can be found in the Consular Section of the Embassy's home page at http://www.usa.no.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Norway's Civil Aviation Authority as Category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation safety standards for oversight of Norway's air carrier operations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/iasa.pdf. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may contact DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.