The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Norway. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Irish Citizens should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Irish citizens should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) free of charge. EHIC card holders are entitled to emergency medical treatment. This card is NOT a substitute for travel insurance. See http://www.ehic.ie/.
A valid Irish passport is required to enter Norway. Irish passport holders do not require a visa.
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
As in other parts of Europe, the Norwegian government is fully aware of the threat of international terrorism and is taking measures to combat this threat. Norway has generally a high level of security, especially in government buildings.
Norway has a moderate level of crime. You should take normal, sensible precautions to avoid mugging, bag-snatching and pick-pocketing in particular in the airports and railway stations around Oslo. You should take extra care of your passport, money and credit cards. While crime rates in Oslo are relatively,assaults against women have been on the increase. Female travellers should take sensible precautions; avoid walking alone through Oslo parks at night, avoid shortcuts and stick to well lit areas.
There is a need for special care when driving in Norway, especially in winter, when narrow roads in rural or suburban areas may be hazardous and impassable. Distances between towns are very long in some parts of the country and driving often takes longer than anticipated.
Winter tyres are mandatory from approximately 1 November to 15 April. Throughout the year, headlights should be kept on at all times when driving. Drink driving limits and speed limits are stricter than Ireland and rigorously enforced. Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are severe. Roadside checks for alcohol are frequent, and submission to a breathalyser test is mandatory. The drink driving limit is 0.20 pro ml.
Visiting in Summer
Insect repellent is recommended in summer months for visits to forests, lakes or mountainous regions. Local advice on weather conditions and suitable specialist equipment should be sought before going off the beaten track.
Visiting in Winter
The winter is long in Norway (it can last well into April) and temperatures can drop to well below freezing point. Travellers in winter should bring warm clothes and practical footwear to cope with icy roads and pavements. Special clamp-on shoe grips to give extra security in icy conditions can be bought locally. Local advice on weather conditions and specialised equipment should be sought before undertaking any outdoor activities.
Travellers to Norway are advised of the need to avoid drugs of any kind. A number of foreign tourists have been arrested in recent months in possession of khat, a substance illegal in Norway and Ireland but legal in some other European countries. Possession of even small quantities of any drug is strictly prohibited and laws are strictly enforced.
Norway is very expensive. Travellers should ensure they have access to adequate funds especially if intending to eat and drink in restaurants and bars. Cash points are widely available. Travellers should be aware that foreign credit cards are generally not accepted as a means of payment in Norwegian supermarkets and petrol stations. The currency is the Norwegian krone (NOK).