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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Norway Travel Requirements

Travellers Essentials

Money Matters
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.

Getting There
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.

Getting Around
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 districts.

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.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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