Norway : Safety by City
Norway is a country located at the northernmost part of Europe, and is actually the northernmost of the three Scandinavian countries. Norway is best known for the complex network of fjords spreading along its west coast which stretches from the North Sea near Denmark and Scotland into the Arctic Ocean and shares borders with Finland, Sweden and Russia. This country boasts a gorgeous landscape shaped by the Ice Age, filled with mountains, waterfalls, forests on hills and valleys, and a long coastline with fjords, islands, and mountains growing directly from out of the water.
Norway is well known for its landscapes, mainly its fjords in the western part of the country that are long inlets, flanked on either side by tall mountains. Apart from the fjords, the major part of the land consists of rocky wilderness, which leads to another interesting fact about Norway: due to this rocky wilderness that takes up such a large part of the country, there are many, many huge, completely unpopulated areas (in time, converted to national parks) which makes Norway one of Europe’s most sparsely populated countries.
Warnings & Dangers in Norway
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Norway is very safe, generally. Crime rates are low and the most common form of crime is bicycle theft and break-ins. The biggest threat for tourists lies in the nature of Norway.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Transport is, overall, very safe and reliable in Norway, but be careful on public transportation as it's the place where pickpockets operate.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
There is some risk of encountering a pickpocket, especially in larger cities such as Oslo or Bergen. Apply the basic laws of precaution to avoid such a situation, and follow your common sense.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
The biggest threats for tourists lie in nature. Always follow what the signs say, and the advice of authorities. Never approach glacier fronts, big waves or waterfalls unless you know what you're doing, and do not go to Svalbard without a professional accompanying you.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Norway is mostly safe when it comes to mugging and kidnapping, but it is recommended that you avoid poorly lit and deserted streets and dangerous areas known for street crime.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Even though there haven't been any terrorist attacks in Norway's recent history, they shouldn't be ruled out, especially since other European countries in its vicinity have been targeted, so it is best to remain vigilant and alert.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
As in any tourist destination, there is risk of getting scammed. Check your change twice, negotiate everything in advance, never pay upfront, and be wary of people trying to distract your offering you unsolicited help with your luggage or anything else, as it might be a trick to steal from you.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Single women shouldn't have any problems, although special vigilance is advised after dark. Avoid the inner east side of Oslo at night because it has become more dangerous during night hours in the past couple of years.
So... How Safe Is Norway Really?
Norway is a very safe country to travel to. Its crime rates are low, and the most likely crimes that you’ll encounter are petty theft and car break-ins. Still, you should be wary of pickpockets, since they are an increasing issue in larger cities and towns, especially during summer. However, the problem with pickpockets is nowhere near other European top destinations so only a few precaution rules should minimize your chances of anything going wrong. Always take care of your belongings and keep them closely by your side or safely in your accommodation, and never leave them in a visible place of your car. Also, make sure to lock your bike safely even for short periods of time.
The greatest threats to tourists in Norway are actually nature threats. Every year, a number of tourists get hurt or even killed in the mountains or on the seas, usually due to not following given advice or signs with warnings along the way. For example, avoid approaching a glacier front, big waves on the coast, or a big waterfall unless you know what you’re doing, and never walk on glaciers without proper training, equipment or a professional to accompany you.
Special precaution is needed in Svalbard, where you should never go without someone with weapon accompanying you. There are polar bears on Svalbard that are a real and extremely dangerous threat for unprepared visitors, especially during summer when there are more polar bears in Svalbard than humans. They are strong, quick, curious, and aren’t afraid of people, but will shy away at the sound of a gunshot.
- Visas - Most countries do not need a visa for any stays shorter than 90 days. Any longer than that, you might have to acquire a visa. Make sure your passport is valid at least six months past your planned date of return. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Nordic Kroner is the official currency in Norway. Norway is very expensive so plan on spending between 150 and 250 dollars, including accommodation. ATMs are widely available and credit cards are accepted in most establishments, such as hotels and restaurants.
- Weather - Norway is located along the same latitude as Siberia, Greenland and Alaska, so the continual cold weather might be expected. However, the warming influences of the northern Gulf Stream allow this country to enjoy a fairly mild climate. The best time to visit, though, is during summer that lasts from June till August, since the winters are actually pretty cold.
- Airports - Oslo Airport is the main international airport serving Oslo, and is located 35 km northeast of Oslo. Oslo Airport is the main international airport in Norway, and is the second-busiest airport in all Nordic countries.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Norway, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.