INTRODUCTION: the Kingdom of Norway (Kongeriket Norge) is situated in the west part of the Scandinavian peninsula. If you imagine Norway just as an endless flat territory covered with ice, then you are wrong, as the country boasts an amazing variety of landscapes.
Capital: Oslo (551.832 in 2007)
Surface: 385.1993 km²
Population: 4.623.000 in 2009
Currency : Norwegian crown
1 Euro = 8.23 Norwegian Crown
1 Norwegian Crown = 0.13 Euro
Time zone: UTC +1
Language: Norwegian. English is widely spoken
Religion: the state religion is Protestant Lutheran with some catholic and Muslim minorities
Entry requirements: neither passport nor visa is required for European citizens of the Member States. A valid identity card is sufficient. Most of the European driving licenses are accepted
Travelling with pets: small sized pets like cats, dogs and ferrets must travel with animal passport (in force since 2004, which contains the name of the proprietor and a description of the animal) and have an identification microchip or tattoo. More info are available on the website of the Norwegian Inspectorate for Food Safety: www.mattilsynet.no/english/import_export/.
Health and safety: both private and public health structures are excellent. Check the list of medicaments subject to medical prescription to see if they are available in pharmacies.
No vaccination is required, but be careful to tick bites if you plan to visit the countryside in late spring or summer. It is advisable to bring the magnetic card for health assistance.
General safety is good.
Climate: though Norway is situated on the same latitude as Alaska, Greenland and Siberia, its climate is not so cold. Especially on the shoreline, temperatures are made milder by the influence of the Gulf Stream coming from Mexico. Winters are generally very cold and snowy, especially in the inner areas. Spring is a windy season. The highest values are reached in July and August (25°-30°C).
Form of Government: Norway has obtained the independence from Sweden in 1905, becoming a parliamentary republic.
King: Harald V of Norway
Prime Minister: Jens Stoltenberg
Economy: Norway has a modern and extremely advanced economy, boasting the second highest per capita income of the world. The country is the main west European producer of oil, and it also owns iron, coal, zinc, pyrites, titan and copper fields. As a consequence of that, the key sectors are steel and metal industry.
As for the tertiary, Norway can count on an advanced bank system, insurances, finance and tourism. Sea transport represents a sector aside: in fact the Norwegian fleet is one of the biggest worldwide. As opposed to that, agriculture is not as good developed, due to the particular territorial asset of the Country. The main cultivations are barley and oats. Fishing is very important: Norwegian salmons and codfish are exported all over the world.
Electricity: voltage: 220 V, frequency 50 Hz . Sockets are of German type. It is advisable to bring an adapter.
Post offices, banks and telephone: post offices are generally open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 16 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 13 pm. Banks are generally open from 8.15 am to 15.00 am, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and from 8.15 am to 17.00 pm on Thursday. Closed on Saturday.
Mobile phone coverage is very good.
Country code: 0047
Police : 112