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General Info about Oslo, Norway

Visa Requirements
Australian, Canadian, EU, New Zealand or US citizens do not require a visa for stays which will not exceed ninety days but it’s worth noting that this period begins when they arrive in any of the Scandinavian countries – Norway, Iceland, Finland or Sweden. Residents of all other countries, or those of you from the aforementioned who intend staying for longer than three months or working while you are there are advised to contact the Norwegian Embassy in your home country.

Currency
The currency used is the Norwegian Kroner (KR) which is made up of one hundred ore. Notes in use are KR 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and coins are in denominations of 50 ore and KR 1, 5, 10 and 20.

Language
While Norwegian is the official language and is spoken in the capital, English is widely spoken, particularly in the major tourist areas.

Climate
Oslo has a humid continental climate. This tends to lead to warm summers and snowy winters, while spring and autumn tend to see chilly to mild weather. July and August are generally the warmest months in the city, with average temperatures reaching around 18ºC. Minus figures are not unusual in winter temperatures, with January and February usually seeing the lowest temperatures of the year. Thanks to its northern latitude, Oslo experiences a wide variation in daylight hours between the summer and winter months.

Time Zone
Oslo observes Central European Time, which puts it one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Opening Hours
Shops in Oslo are generally open between 9.00am and 5.00pm from Monday to Friday and between 9.00am and 1.00pm on Saturdays but this varies quite regularly. Some shops including larger department stores and supermarkets open later, particularly on Thursdays as well as opening for a full day on Saturday. Office hours are between 8.00am and 4.00pm from Monday to Friday and banks are open between 8.15am and 3.00pm from Monday to Wednesday and on Fridays and from 8.15am until 5.00pm on Thursdays.

Tourist Offices
There is a tourist information centre in Oslo's centrain train station.

Currency Exchange
Travellers' cheques are widely accepted, particularly in the more popular tourist areas of the city. For all currency exchange, banks are generally the most reliable and offer the best rates but the main post office mentioned below also offers competitive rates. There are also exchange offices at all major airports and train stations whose opening hours are usually more convenient but the commission is more expensive.

All major credit cards are also widely accepted and if you have the PIN you can use these to receive cash in compatible bank machines. The same applies to bankcards which are members of any of the international banking networks or Eurocard.

Electricity
Electricity in Oslo operates on 220 volts AC, 50Hz.

Telephones
The country code for Norway is 47 so if you are calling from abroad you need to dial 00, followed by 47, the local area code and the local number. The local area code for Oslo is 022.

Post Offices
The main post office in Oslo is the Hoved Postkontor, located at Dronningens Gate 15.

Tipping
A service charge is already included in the prices of meals, tipping is entirely at your discretion. If the service you receive is particularly good, however, you can leave a small additional amount. Where a service charge is not included a tip of between 10% and 15% is sufficient. Taxi drivers are usually given a couple of Kroner.

Public Holidays
It is worth noting what the public holidays are before you travel to a country as the majority of businesses, banks and shops usually shut for the day. In Norway they take place on January 1st, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, May 1st and 17th, Whit Monday and December 25th and 26th. It is a good idea to check the particular area too as certain towns and cities also shut down during special events.

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