The basic monetary unit of Norway is the Norwegian krone (6.45
kroner equal U.S. $1; 1996 average). The krone is divided
into 100 ψre. The central bank is the Bank of Norway (established
1816), which is the sole bank of issue. Norway also has 133
savings banks and 20 commercial banks. There are also ten
publicly financed government banks.
When to Go
Norway is at its best and brightest from May to September.
Late spring is a particularly pleasant time - fruit trees
are in bloom, daylight hours are long, and most hostels and
sights are open but uncrowded. Unless you're heavily into
winter skiing or searching for the Aurora Borealis of the
polar nights, Norway's cold dark winters are not the prime
time to visit. Midnight-sun days, when the sun never drops
below the horizon, extend from 13 May to 29 July and from
28 May to 14 July in the Lofoten islands.
International airlines link Oslo with most major European
cities. Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim also have international
airports. There is no departure tax when leaving Norway. Trains
run daily from Oslo to Copenhagen in Denmark and to Helsingborg
and Stockholm in Sweden. There are also trains to Stockholm
from Trondheim and Narvik. Numerous highways and secondary
roads link Norway with Finland and Sweden. A bus and a catamaran
service link Kirkenes in northern Norway with Murmansk in
Russia. There are also ferries to/from Denmark, Sweden, the
UK, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
Norway's main domestic airlines - SAS, Braathens SAFE and
Widerψe Norsk Air - fly to nearly 50 airports scattered across
the country. Distances are great in Norway, which means air
travel should be considered even by budget travellers. Norway
also has an extensive bus network, with routes connecting
every main city as well as more remote areas.
The national rail system is good, though somewhat limited,
with main lines running from Oslo to Stavanger, Bergen, Εndalsnes
and Bodψ. Major car-rental companies have offices at airports
and city centres but rates are expensive. Given its great
distances, hilly terrain and narrow roads, Norway is not ideally
suited for cycling. The one bonus for cyclists is that traffic
is very light. A far-reaching system of ferries and express
boats link Norway's offshore islands, coastal towns and fjord
For more than a century, the coastal steamer Hurtigruten
has been the lifeline linking the tiny fishing communities
scattered along the northern coast. A ship heads north from
Bergen every night calling at 33 ports on the six-day journey
to Kirkenes. Local transport in the cities and towns is generally
efficient and served mainly by public buses. Oslo also has
an underground rail system, trams and ferries.
All foreign nationals who wish to enter Norway must have a
valid passport or other identification that is officially
recognized as a valid travel document. Only Nordic nationals
are exempt from this passport requirement.
Foreign nationals from a number of countries are not allowed
to enter Norway without a visa stamped in their passport or
equivalent identity document, i.e. the visa is inscribed in
the travel document. Visas are inscribed by authorized Norwegian
Foreign Service missions.
In very special cases, a visa can be issued on arrival.
Entry into Norway shall only take place at approved border
crossings where there is passport control.
Visitors' visas may be granted for tourist visits, family
visits, official assignments, business trips, study visits
or certain other purposes.
A visitor's visa is valid for a maximum of three months.
A foreign national who intends to stay in Norway for more
than three months, or who wants to work in Norway, must apply
for a residence permit or work permit in advance, provided
her or she does not come under the EEA agreement.