Norway is one of the safest countries in the world to visit, so if you are thinking
about visiting and are worried about your safety, you should not have any concerns.
In this article, we explain some of the higher safety risks in Norway and provide
information on how you can ensure your safety while travelling.
1. Is Norway Safe? Crime Rates in Norway
Norway is one of the safest countries to visit, with a low crime rate even in the
major cities. Crime rates in Norway have been decreasing, going from 70 per 1,000
inhabitants to 52 per 1,000 inhabitants over the last decade.
The crime levels were as follows in 2021:
Theft, burglary and robbery - 279,512
Traffic - 85,944
Violent - 29,327
Economic - 25,120
Drugs - 23,034
Vandalism - 19,762
Sexual crimes - 7,882
While crime levels are relevantly low in Norway, there are petty theft risks at
airports and train stations, particularly in Oslo, so you should be vigilant and
do not leave expensive belongings on view.
Crime rates tend to increase during the tourist season between May and September.
2. Political Tension and Civil Unrest
The Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism in Norway was ranked at 94.34%
percentile in 2020. Public protests happen quite regularly but are mostly restricted to
Oslo. Norway is a member of NATO and has strong allies in Europe.
3. Norway Safety and Terrorism Threat
The national terrorism threat in Norway was increased from Level 3 to Level 4 following
a terrorist shooting incident that happened in Oslo on 25 June 2022. The terrorist
threat was temporarily raised to Level 5 after the shooting.
Prior to this incident, there were a few other terrorist attacks but the risk was deemed
fairly low. Terrorism security in Norway has increased since the latest terror attack.
4. Road Safety, Driving and Norway Customs
There is no requirement for tourists to have an International Driving Permit in Noway but
it is important to have the correct insurance to cover driving a vehicle in Norway. In
Norway, you drive on the right-hand side of the road and overtake on the left. You should
use dipped headlights when driving during the daytime.
There are AutoPASS toll stations across Norway, so it is easier to register with AutoPASS
so you can drive through the stations rather than paying at each station you pass through.
Most of Norway is covered by bus or train services, with the Bergen Railway that runs
between Oslo and Bergen being one of the best ways to travel. Public transport is usually
efficient in Norway and buses are the cheapest way to travel.
There are taxi ranks at all major train stations and airports and you can use the Uber
app in places such as Oslo. Remote areas are more difficult to travel from but public
transportation covers most areas of the country.
5. Local Laws in Norway That Tourists Should Be Familiar With
Drug penalties and drunk driving laws are stricter in Norway than in most other European
countries such as the UK. Possession of even small amounts of illegal drugs can lead to
imprisonment. The drink drive limit in Norway is 0.02% and there are frequent roadside
checks for drunk driving.
Smoking is banned from public spaces, and Norway has a strict approach to things such
as an assault or slapping a child. Drinking in public is illegal in Norway and is
subject to fines.
You should check your country's government travel advice before you visit Norway to
check for any guidance.
Laws on Illegal Substances
Norway has one of the highest heroin addiction and overdose rates in Europe, which is why
the police take such a hard approach with anyone caught carrying drugs. However, Norway
announced that they are planning to decriminalise personal drug use in the near future.
6. Climate and Natural Disasters in Norway
Natural disasters and severe weather are common in Norway, with avalanches, floods and
landslides being the biggest risks to public safety. 7% of Norway is at risk from avalanches,
so you should avoid mountainous areas in winter for safety and read local advice.
Due to the mountainous landscape, Norway is also prone to flooding when snow and ice melt.
Southern Norway is usually worse for flooding but recently there has been flooding in western
parts too. You should stay aware of any flood warnings
Visiting in Summer
The average temperature in summer in Norway is around 13°-18°C but in July and August it
can reach 30°C. The south coast tends to be the warmest part of Norway. It is rare for it
to get dangerously hot but there can be very hot days, so you should take suncream and
stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.
Visiting in Winter
Norway is a very popular winter sports destination with some great ski resorts, where you
can ski from November to May.
The average temperature in Norway in winter is -6.8°C, so if you are travelling at this time
of year you should bring adequate clothing and footwear to protect you from the extreme
temperatures. Insulated clothing and lined boots, gloves and hats are all recommended if
you are planning on spending time outdoors in Norway during winter.
In mountainous regions, local authorities may advise against non-essential travel due to
the risk of avalanches. It is important that you plan ahead to try and avoid any areas that
could be at risk of an avalanche.
7. Adventure Traveling and Arctic Tourism
There are some amazing attractions in Norway and many people come from around the world to
see the Northern Lights. Stunning waterfalls and Fjords are some of the top tourist
attractions in Norway. Adventure travelling is popular in Norway, with a large choice
of adventure activities from hiking and cross-country skiing to mountain glacier climbing.
You should check that your travel insurance policy covers any sports and other outdoor
activities that you want to take part in as you could end up paying overseas medical costs
should you need medical treatment.
Many people visit Norway for Artic tourism, with the Arctic Circle tours in Northern Norway
being particularly popular. You may need to take out extra travel coverage for participating
in winter sports in Norway or any other high-risk activities.
8. Stay Safe on Cruise Ship Travel
Many travellers book Nordic cruises to explore Norway by sea, with day trips to Fjords and
a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights from one of the best areas of the world to see them.
Cruise ship travellers should be careful in case the ship decks get icy and cruise operators
are taking precautions to ensure passenger health to protect from COVID-19 infections. You
should take normal precautions against infection, such as regular handwashing and avoiding
close contact with strangers.
When you are visiting different parts of Norway on your cruise, you should keep your
belongings safe if you go into busy shopping areas and cities, as cruise ship passengers
can be targeted by pickpockets. Your cruise ship staff and guides should warn you of any
areas where you might stop that are known for crime.
Norway COVID-19 Restrictions and Preventative Measures
Norway, like other countries around the world continually review COVID-19 rules to monitor
risk and protect Norwegian citizens. Currently, there is no testing or quarantine when
entering Norway. You simply require a valid tourist visa (if you are not a citizen of
the Schengen area) and a valid passport.
There are no current COVID-19 requirements to wear a facemask but it is recommended that you
check the latest travel advice from Norwegian authorities.
If you are experiencing symptoms you are advised to take a test and if you are positive,
isolate for four days. These rules are subject to change, so you should check the latest
government advice before travelling to Norway.
Reaching Norway: Visa and Entry Requirements
Norway is a member of the Schengen area, so visitors will require either a
Schengen area or an
ETIAS visa for Norway. This is a way to ensure a safe
and secure migration process. Keep in mind the ETIAS will be implemented starting from 2023.
The applications will be available online and the application process is simple. Eligible
travellers can receive a response in less than 10 minutes, so gaining approval to enter
Norway will be much less burdensome.
To Conclude: Is Norway a Safe Country?
Norway is a relatively safe place to visit and has similar risks to other European countries.
The beautiful mountains are a top destination for winter sports fanatics but you must also
exercise caution due to the weather conditions in winter.
The Artic Circle is another great reason for visiting Norway but it is important that you
only explore the Arctic area of Northern Norway with a professional tour. An expedition will
take you up close with polar bears, exploring glaciers and seeing icebergs but you need to
listen to safety advice to stay out of danger.
Avoid walking in the cities late at night and visit in the summer months for the safest way
to enjoy all of Norway's amazing attractions such as the Fjords and the Northern Lights.
Overall, you should not worry too much about your safety in Norway as crime is low and
dangerous incidents do not happen often.
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience
in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves
to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.
How Safe Is Norway: Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to travel to Norway while pregnant?
You should consult your doctor to check whether it is advisable to travel but
visiting Norway is no more dangerous for pregnant women than most other countries.
In winter, the ground will often be icy, so it is not advised for pregnant women to
be walking in icy conditions.
In the colder times of the year, it is also not advised for pregnant women to
spend much time outdoors as the temperatures can drop to -10 degrees and once was
recorded as low as -51.4°C.
How close is Norway to Ukraine?
Norway is not near Ukraine, it’s located around 2,750 km from Ukraine.
Is Oslo safe?
In Oslo, crime rates are low but there is a risk of petty crime such as
theft at airports and railway stations. You should try not to carry a lot
of money and take measures to protect your belongings from bag snatching,
the same way you would in most other European cities.
Is it safe for Americans to travel to Norway?
Yes, American tourists are very welcome in Norway, with the large majority of
travellers enjoying a safe and comfortable trip.