Norway - Country Commercial Guide
Business Travel
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Business Customs 

Business customs are largely like those in the United States and practically all businesspeople speak excellent English.  Under normal circumstances, Norwegian businesspeople tend to travel extensively, so meetings should be scheduled well in advance.  It is recommended to use the 24-hour clock.  This will avoid confusion over any references to a.m. and p.m.  Punctuality is valued for both business and social occasions.  If you are late for a business meeting, call or message your counterpart and explain the delay.  

The typical greeting in Norway is a firm handshake with everyone in the room when you arrive and before you leave.  Maintain moderate eye contact.  Business cards are still used, but many also invite to connect directly through professional networking platforms like LinkedIn.  Although many Norwegians tend to dress more casually, you should dress conservatively (at least business casual) until the host opens for a more casual dress code.  

Norwegians are often direct and do not focus on rituals and social environments for negotiations.  In the initial meeting, Norwegians are ready to talk business after only a few minutes of small talk.  Norwegians are straightforward in business meetings.  Presentations should be precise and concrete, and you should not make any promises that you cannot keep - your honesty will be respected.  There is no need to be uncomfortable talking about price and payment.   

Business lunches and dinners are common.  The one inviting is the one who pays.  If you are the host, arrange for reservations in advance.  Smoking is banned in all places of business.  Do not smoke in someone’s home without asking for permission. 

Norway, with 5.5 million people settled over an area larger than the United Kingdom or Germany, has a very low population density.  This gives the opportunity for a large variety of outdoor sports, hikes in the mountains, skiing, sailing, hunting, golfing, etc.  Many Norwegians own their own cabins or vacation homes in the mountains, on the coast, or both, where they spend many of their weekends and vacations.  If invited to a local Norwegian home or to an “offsite” meeting, you are experiencing an honor and sign of genuine interest, and you should consider accepting.  

Travel Advisory 

Norway travel advisory and additional travel information for U.S. citizens traveling to Norway can be found on the Norway International Travel Information website from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

The U.S. Embassy in Oslo is located at Morgedalsvegen 36, 0378 Oslo.  Assistance for U.S. citizens: Tel: 011 (47) 21 30 85 40, E-mail:, Website: 

The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington is located at 2720 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008-2714, Tel. (202) 333-6000.  Norway also has Consulates General in New York and San Francisco.  The Consulate General in Houston closed in July 2023.  Information is available on the Norway in the United States website.

Visa Requirements

For the latest information on visa requirements for U.S. citizens entering Norway, please see the Norway International Travel Information website from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

For U.S. companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons to the United States, please see Travel.State.Gov - U.S. Visas and U.S. Embassy, Oslo for information on visa requirements for entering the United States.


The currency used in Norway is the Krone (NOK) and Ore (1 Krone = 100 Ore) and one USD is, as of October 2023, valued at around NOK 11.00.  Generally speaking, all major credit cards are accepted, but there have been some reports of limitations using cards like American Express with some vendors.  Traveler’s checks are not often used.  E-payment has seen rapid growth and is increasingly popular, both at grocery stores and public transportation. 


Norway has one of the most modern and advanced telecommunications networks in Europe.  High-speed network connections are widely available.  Commercial 5G networks have been rolled out in more populous areas in 2021-2022 and will soon be more widely available in more remote regions.  Full national coverage of 5G is expected in 2024.

There are still a few public telephones where payment can be made with credit cards.  For an operator, you can dial 1881 for numbers in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, and 1882 for numbers in all other countries.  When calling another country from Norway, dial 00 first. 

In Norway, in the event of an emergency, call:  

  • 110 - Fire Department  
  • 112 - Police  
  • 113 - Ambulance 

Electricity in Norway is 220 V AC with 50-Hertz cycles.  Plugs used are round-ended, two-pronged, continental plugs. 


Norway has an excellent transportation system.  Car rentals are expensive but easily available.  Those choosing to drive themselves should exercise caution.  Because of the mountainous terrain, most roads are narrow and winding.  The northerly latitude can cause road conditions to vary greatly depending on weather and time of year.  Speed limits vary from 40-110 km per hour (25-70 miles per hour).  Fines for traffic violations are extremely high and can easily exceed USD 1,000 for speeding.  Roadblocks for checks of drivers under the influence of alcohol are frequent, and submission to a breathalyzer test is mandatory.  Norway has adopted a zero-tolerance policy regarding drinking and driving.  One drink may put a person over the legal limit and could result in a fine.  More than two drinks could result in a jail sentence. 


The three Scandinavian countries – Norway, Denmark, and Sweden - are closely related in terms of language, ethnic roots, religion, history, and a host of other ways.  The languages are to a lesser degree related to English, Dutch and German.   

Americans with business interests in Norway benefit from the ease of communication as most Norwegians speak English.  American culture, including movies and TV series, is pervasive.  Unfortunately, news about Norway in English is sparse, limited to a few Internet services that provide only brief summaries of major events.   

There are two official languages, bokmål and nynorsk, with equal status both in official use and in schools.  The Norwegian alphabet contains 29 letters, including three letters not found in the English alphabet – æ (ae), ø (oe), and å (aa). 


Medical care is widely available.  U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States.  Travelers have found that supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage has proved useful in some cases.  Information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad.  Further information on health matters can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at Tel: (877) 394-8747, or via their Internet site at 

Local Time, Business Hours, and Holidays

Local time in Norway is Central European Time (CET) and Central European Summer Time (CEST).  Business hours are generally between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  

Businesspeople should note the following local holidays during 2023 and 2024:  

New Year’s Day January 1January 1
Holy Thursday April 6March 28
Good Friday  April 7March 29
Easter Monday Apil 10April 1
Labor Day May 1May 1
Norwegian Constitution DayMay 17May 17
Ascension Day May 18May 9
Whit Monday May 29May 20
1st Day of Christmas December 25December 25
2nd Day of Christmas December 26December 26


Some Norwegian manufacturing plants and major businesses are closed for 3-4 weeks during the summer holidays from mid-July to mid-August.  Easter (10-day holiday season for many Norwegians) and the week between December 23 and New Year also are periods of low business activity. 

Note that the U.S. Embassy in Oslo is closed for regular business on U.S. Federal Holidays.  For contact details in case of emergencies and additional information, visit the Embassy’s website.

U.S. Federal Holidays during 2023 and 2024: 

New Year’s Day January 1January 1
Martin Luther King Day January 16January 15
President’s Day February 20February 19
Memorial DayMay 29May 27
JuneteenthJune 19June 19
Independence DayJuly 4July 4
Labor Day September 4September 2
Columbus Day October 9October 14
Veterans Day November 10November 11
Thanksgiving DayNovember 23November 28
1st Day of Christmas December 25December 25

Temporary Entry of Materials or Personal Belongings 

For updated customs regulations when traveling to and from Norway, please click on the link to the Norwegian Customs and Excise.