Safety in Norway


Police in NorwayNorway is an exceptionally safe country for expats. There is robbery and petty theft, and pickpockets can be found in busy public places, but it is rare compared to most other countries. Police patrol the streets in cars, on foot and on horseback, and do not carry weapons. There are also volunteer groups that patrol the streets at night, where heavy drinking can often end in fights.

Walking alone or at night is acceptable, but of course one should exercise caution in some areas of larger cities. In particular, women should avoid walking alone through quiet streets at night, or taking short cuts through deserted areas.

There have been incidents of terrorism in Norway in 2010 and 2011, although the threat to holidaymakers is low.

Crime in Norway


Incidents of petty theft and robbery do occur, and normal precautions - such as locking your house or car, keeping valuables in a safe place, etc – should be taken. Norwegians put a high value on honesty, and are more likely to return your belongings if you lose or forget them somewhere than to take them. This is slowly changing, and is not as true in the big cities, but you may still pleasantly be surprised.

Serious crime is rare, and the occasional murder or rape will get a lot of media coverage, and elicit national shock.

Road safety in Norway


Norwegian traffic laws are strict, particularly for drunk driving, and Norwegians are not known to be overly reckless drivers. Nevertheless, some road deaths do occur. In winter especially, taker care on narrow roads and make sure you have your headlights on at all times. Regulation winter tyres must be fitted in season (November to April).

Health risks in Norway


Living in Norway poses no real health risks. Norway is almost clinically clean and hasn’t suffered from any epidemics in the past century. The tap water is safe to drink and doesn’t taste of chemicals or metals as in many other cities and countries. Even swimming in lakes, rivers and the fjords is safe. In 2009 there was a brief scare when tests showed traces of a certain chemical in the water system in Oslo. All households were immediately told to avoid using tap water for some days, just to be extra safe.

The healthcare system in Norway is among the best in the world and costs almost nothing for citizens and resident expats in Norway. Citizens and residents of the UK can apply for the EHIC (European Healthcare Insurance Card), which entitles them to access Norway’s government-subsidised medical facilities and treatment. Citizens of the US and other countries without comparable state-funded healthcare, and corresponding reciprocal agreements with Norway, should make sure their medical insurance covers holidays in Norway.

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