The history of Norway has been influenced to an extraordinary degree by the terrain and the climate of the region. About 10,000 BC, following the retreat of the great inland ice sheets, the earliest inhabitants migrated north into the territory which is now Norway. They traveled steadily northwards along the coastal areas, warmed by the Gulf Stream, where life was more bearable. In order to survive they fished and hunted reindeer (and other prey).
The Viking Age saw the unification of the country. The population expanded quickly until 1349 when it was halved by the Black Death and successive plagues. Bergen became the main trading port, controlled by the Hanseatic League. Norway entered the Kalmar Union with Denmark and Sweden in 1397.
After Sweden left the union in 1523, Norway became the junior partner in Denmark–Norway. The Reformation was introduced in 1537 and absolute monarchy imposed in 1661. In 1814, after being on the losing side of the Napoleanic Wars with Denmark, Norway was ceded to the king of Sweden by the Treaty of Kiel. Norway declared its independence and adopted a constitution. However, no foreign powers recognized the Norwegian independence but supported the Swedish demand for Norway to comply with the treaty of Kiel. After a short war with Sweden, the countries concluded the Convention of Moss, in which Norway accepted a personal union with Sweden, keeping its Constitution, Storting and separate institutions, except for the foreign service.
Industrialization started in the 1840s and from the 1860s large-scale emigration to North America took place. In 1884 the king appointed Johan Sverdrup as prime minister, thus establishing parliamentarism. The union with Sweden was dissolved in 1905. From the 1880s to the 1920s, Norwegians such as Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen carried out a series of important polar expeditions.
Shipping and hydroelectricity were important sources of income for the country. The following decades saw a fluctuating economy and the rise of the labor movement. Germany occupied Norway between 1940 and 1945 during the Second World War, after which Norway joined NATO and underwent a period of reconstruction under public planning. Oil was discovered in 1969 and by 1995 Norway was the world's second-largest exporter. This resulted in a large increase of wealth. From the 1980s Norway started deregulation in many sectors and experienced a banking crisis.
Today Norway is one of the world's most prosperous countries; oil and gas production account for 20 percent of its economy. It has reinvested its oil revenues and currently has the world's largest sovereign wealth fund.
Oslo, the capital of Norway, sits on the country's southern coast at the head of the Oslofjord. Oslo, with its approximately 453 square kilometers, is one of the largest capitals in the world by area. Most of this is forest, making Oslo a city in close contact with the nature surrounding it.
Oslo has a population of about 650,000 people, and nearly a million including its extra-municipal suburbs (such as Bærum and Lørenskog). It has the highest population growth of any European capital. About a quarter of the population are of non-Norwegian origin, the majority hailing from Sweden, Poland and Pakistan. This has made Oslo an ethnically and culturally diverse city. Accompanied by a large influx of people from all around Norway, Oslo is thus often referred to as the "melting pot" of Norway.
Bergen is a city on Norway's southwestern coast. It's surrounded by mountains and fjords, including Sognefjord, the country's longest and deepest. Bergen is the second-most-populous urban area in Norway by population (254,235). 1
The Media City Bergen Cluster in Norway is renowned as a major international center for media and technology innovation, fostering companies such as Vizrt. In the last year alone industry disruption has prompted over 80% of the companies in the Cluster, including Sixty, to launch new innovations. 2
Trondheim is a city on the Trondheim Fjord, in central Norway. Dating back to the 11th century, Gothic Nidaros Cathedral features an ornate rose window and a detailed west facade. Trondheim is the fourth-most-populous urban area in Norway by population (180,557) 3
In the city, startups such as EduTech company SoundsGood, e-health solution CheckWare, steaming aggregation company ParrotPlay and the quietly awesome music app Oiid are all making early waves and enjoying the city's co-working spaces of Digs and Work-Work.4
The work and exploring of Thor Heyerdahl is world famous. One of his greatest achievements was sailing from Peru to the Polynesian Islands in a handmade balsa wood raft, to prove his theory that the islands could have been populated from the Americas, rather than Asia as was commonly believed.1
Finding a nice place to live in Norway can be difficult. Getting good accommodation at the right price can be hard, especially in large cities. The housing market can be quite competitive, making it relatively difficult to find housing. The best is to start searching in advance.
You should also be prepared to stay in temporary accommodation, such as a hostel, hotel or guesthouse (depending on your budget) for a short period upon arrival. If you are coming with your family, it may be more comfortable for them to arrive after you have found suitable accommodation.
Useful accommodation links:
There are also plenty of Facebook groups where you can post your needs and wait to be contacted or where you can check posts from landlords and then PM (private message) them.
The biggest English speaking groups in Oslo are:
The public transport in Oslo is amazing in terms of speed and frequency and the area that is considered the "city" is surprisingly small. It is recommended not to be too obsessed with living in the "city" as this will increase dramatically your chances of finding a nice and affordable apartment.
From time to time, you may find some scammers during your search for a rental in Norway. It's quite easy to spot them and avoid troubles, just following these tips:
The monetary unit in Norway is the krone (plural “kroner”) and equals 100 öre. Bank notes are printed in values of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 kroner, coins 1, 5, 10 and 20 kroner. It’s still quite common to see price labels that include öre (for example, 7,95 NOK) but because the öre part is worth so little, it’s always ignored when it actually comes to paying the bill.
Vipps enables private individuals to quickly, simply and securely send money to other users in real time by connecting mobile phone numbers to bank accounts. A transfer is instant and free of charge. To use the service, one needs a smartphone, a Norwegian bank account, a norwegian debit card and the Vipps app. Only works in NOK. A user only needs someone else phone number to transfer money. It is widely used.
Debit cards are the most common means of payment, but credit cards are also widely used. Many shops, museums and restaurants now only accept card or mobile payments.
Major credit cards (some restriction may apply to American Express) are widely accepted throughout Norway at banks, hotels, stores, restaurants, taxis, car rental companies, and for air, ship and rail tickets.
Norwegians uses their public transportation frequently.
Oslo has an extensive network of underground trains (T-bana), trams, boats, commuter trains and buses. All tickets and travelling cards can be purchased at any of the public transport office, machines at the stops and at 7Eleven and Narvessen Find out more here https://ruter.no/
In Bergen, trams, and buses are widely used. All tickets and travelling cards can be purchased at any of the public transport office, machines at the stops and at 7Eleven and Narvessen More information here: https://www.skyss.no/en/
In Trondheim, the public transport is by bus and train.
More information here:https://www.atb.no/en/
Cycling and walking are some of the favourite ways of commuting in Norway. People are cycling and walking every day and everywhere, even if the weather is not helping at all you will see people on the streets walking or riding their bicycles.
If you live outside the city in Norway you will need a car.
The UDI is responsible for processing applications from foreign nationals who wish to visit or live in Norway.
If you are moving from outside the Nordics to Norway for work you will need to have the following papers in order before applying for your residency:
You can find out how to apply and other useful information here: https://www.udi.no/en/
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 170 NOK Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 700 NOK McMeal at McDonalds 102 NOK Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 60-70 NOK Cappuccino (regular) 44 NOK
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 35 NOK Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 736 NOK Taxi Start (Normal Tariff, Oslo) 90 NOK Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff, Oslo) 14.60 NOK Gasoline (1 liter) 16.87 NOK
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 1458 NOK Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 448 NOK
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 407 NOK Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 283 NOK Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 125 NOK
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 10 000 NOK Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 7 000 NOK Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 17 000 NOK Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 13 500 NOK
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 55 400 NOK Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 38 000 NOK
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 28 000 NOK Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 2.64 NOK
Norwegian is the official language of Norway and is held in high regard in the country. Nearly the entire population of Norway speak Norwegian with most speaking it as a first language and the rest as a second language. The Norwegian language is a North Germanic language that closely resembles Swedish and Danish.
There are two official forms of written Norwegian, Bokmål (literally "book tongue") and Nynorsk ("new Norwegian"), each with its own variants. Norwegian is one of the two official languages in Norway. The other is Sami, spoken by some members of the Sami people, mostly in the Northern part of Norway. Norwegian and Sami are not mutually intelligible, as Sami belongs to the Finno-Ugric group of languages. Sami is spoken by less than one percent of people in Norway.1
Language Norwegian English
Fact: English is widely spoken in Norway, and virtually every Norwegian can speak fluent (or understand a minimum of, this is mostly the elder people) English.
→ Have some basic sentences
Hi / hello ! = Hei!
How are you? = Hvordan har du det?
I’m fine, thank you. = Jeg har det bra, takk.
How are you? = Hvordan går det? Good, thank you. = Bare bra, takk! What’s your name? = Hva heter du? I am name = Jeg heter name.
Nice to meet you. = Hyggelig å treffes. Please. = Vär så snill. Thank you. = Tusen takk. You're welcome. = Ver så god. Yes. = Ja. No. = Nei. Goodbye (informal) = Ha det bra.
Norwegian policy provides support for parents of children of all ages. Generous paid parental leave, reduced working hours for parents with young children are followed-up with the access to regulated, subsidized day care facilities that stay open from 6:30 in the morning until 6:30 at night.
The population of Norway is 5 million (2013 census). This works out at 14 people per square kilometer which means plenty of space for everybody. Compare that with Macau with 20,500 and Hong Kong with 6,480 per square kilometer to put things into perspective.1
In Norway, parents are entitled to 322-392 days of paid parental leave when a child is born or adopted.
Norway is home both to latte moms and latte dads.Fathers are more or less obliged to take a minimum of two months of parental leave. Due to the system companies accept that the father won’t be at work for some time and everybody finds that normal.
Aside from paid leave, the government provides an additional monthly child allowance (barnebidrag) until a child reaches the age of 18. If you have more than one child, you also get an extra family supplement (flerbarnstillegg).How much the allowance is depends on your salary level.
As a citizen in Norway, you have the fundamental right to daycare. If the town doesn’t have enough places, they have to build more daycares. In this way, you are sure that there will always be a spot for your child. The maximum price is €300, but it can be less according to your private situation. This amount is generally lower than in any other country.
School for children aged 6 to 19 (preschool class through upper secondary school) is free of charge. The free education continues into university for students from the EU.
Healthcare (including dental care) is free in Norway until the age of 18.
Parents traveling with upto 4 children can bring the children along on the metro, tram, bus, boat etc free of charge using the family discount.
Norway has a strong literary culture geared towards children. There are child-specific sections in all libraries around the country.
Norwegian cities are well equipped with parks and playgrounds. There are a lot of activities for families in the cities and nearby. Sports activities are the most popular; families can go skiing or play all kinds of sports during the weekends.
Most Norwegian companies are flexible regarding parental duties, and employees get the right to care benefit when they have to stay home with sick children or dependents. 2
Football (soccer) and Handball, Running, cycling and swimming are popular forms of exercise. Nevertheless, it is cross-country skiing that deserves to be called our national sport, and one in which Norway boasts world-class results.
Norwegians like being outdoors, and often go for short or long walks in the fields, forests and mountains. The typical Norwegian cabin is therefore found in a rural location – if not in the wilderness. It is easy for anyone to experience this tradition. The Norwegian Trekking Association operates 500 cabins all over the country that are available for everybody. Traveling is also a popular leisure activity. City vacations are popular and common, usually to major European cities, but transatlantic journeys and trips to Asia are also on the rise. The young tend to travel more than their parents and grandparents, and spend more time and money at restaurants and bars. The number of restaurants in Norway is rising, and offer almost every kind of national food culture – from Japanese and Vietnamese to Mexican and Somali. Norwegian cuisine has also regained its status – from Maeemo in Oslo to Lysverket in Bergen. The new Norwegian cuisine is often described as ‘Neo-Nordic’ or even ‘Neo-fjordic’ due to the focus on taking a fresh approach to local ingredients – especially seafood delicacies.1
The Norwegian startup scene has long been lagging behind its Nordic neighbors, but it's now the fastest growing in the region. The Nordic Web's analysis of the development of Norway's tech scene during the first half of 2018 strongly indicates that the country is on track for a new record year.1
The Norwegian government has been proactive in supporting a new age of innovation and entrepreneurship, throwing its weight behind initiatives like Innovation Norway, and Investinor, an evergreen investment company backed by the Norwegian government. 2
In the first two quarters, $185.8 million have been invested and only $7 million more are required to beat the current record set in 2016. In terms of number of investments, there have been 67 so far in 2018 – which can be compared with the standing record of 87 investments for the whole year of 2017. 1
Norway has produced some exciting companies, including world-leading game-based edtech brand Kahoot. Founded in 2011 by Johan Brand, Alf Inge Wang, Morten Versvik, and Jamie Brooker, Kahoot has raised a total of $43.5 million in funding over four rounds, the most recent a Series B round in March this year.
Norway's startup ecosystem is strengthening all the time, with the launch of numerous incubators and accelerators emerge, including the likes of Angel Challenge, TheFactory, Katapult Accelerator, StartupLab, Siva, Kjeller Innovasjon and Venture Factory. Leading groups such as Startup Norway, founded and led by passionate entrepreneurs, give the rapidly developing ecosystem a real sense of community and cohesion.