Moving to Norway From UK – The Complete Guide

Moving to Norway From UK – The Complete Guide
Moving to Norway From UK – The Complete Guide

Everything you need to know about moving to Norway

For many UK residents, the allure of Norway’s stunning scenery, vibrant culture, and strong economy has been steadily growing in recent years. Whether you’re seeking a new career path, pursuing academic opportunities, or returning to home after working abroad, Norway offers a unique and compelling destination. This comprehensive guide aims to give you with the essential information and resources necessary if you’re moving to Norway from the UK.


Why Consider Norway?

  • Thriving Economy and Job Opportunities. Norway has one of the world’s strongest economies, offering a high standard of living and plenty of job opportunities across various sectors.
  • Exceptional Quality of Life. Norway consistently ranks among the happiest countries globally, thanks to its robust social safety nets, high levels of trust and equality within its society, and the priority it places on work-life balance.
  • Unparalleled Natural Beauty. Immerse yourself in Norway’s breathtaking landscapes, from towering mountains and serene fjords to rugged coastlines and charming villages nestled amidst picturesque scenery.
  • Cultural Richness and Diversity. Experience the unique blend of tradition and modernity that characterises Norwegian culture. Enjoy the cultural diversity of its contemporary cities, explore ancient historical sites, and discover its rich artistic heritage.

Norway is also one of our closest neighbours. It’s a long, thin country wrapped around western Sweden and bordering Finland and Russia on its eastern extremities. Its landmass is 25% bigger than the UK, but it has a population of just 5.5 million people – in comparison with the 60 million we pack in to our shores.

Schepens Removals – Your Relocation Partner

Schepens Removals has over a century’s experience helping UK residents moving to Scandinavia, which means we’re well positioned to guide you through every step of your relocation journey. We understand the challenges and opportunities associated with such a significant life change and this comprehensive guide, “Moving to Norway From the UK,” specifically designed for your needs. It’s informed by feedback from previous movers, addressing the top 10 areas that tend to invite the most questions:

moving to norway
  1. Visa Applications and Immigration Requirements
  2. Understanding Costs of Living and Budgeting
  3. Logistics of Moving Your Belongings
  4. Finding Your Ideal Neighbourhood and Home
  5. Settling into Daily Life and Building a Network of Friends
  6. Navigating the Healthcare System
  7. Understanding the Work Culture and Job Opportunities
  8. Familiarising Yourself with Local Laws and Regulations
  9. Using Public Transportation and Exploring Regional Connections
  10. Adapting to Cultural Norms

A Guide for Every Stage:

Whether you’re in the early planning stages or already on Norwegian soil, our guide offers relevant support at every step. We provide pre-departure guidance on crucial tasks like visa applications and packing, and post-arrival assistance with settling in, finding your bearings, and integrating with the people who live and work nearby. Threading all through is the idea that moving abroad is an adventure. It will change you, and change how you see the world around you. We hope this Guide helps you to enjoy every moment.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

Calculating the Cost of Living in Norway

While the general impression of Norway’s cost of living may be high, a closer look reveals a nuanced picture. Understanding specific comparisons between Norway and your current UK budget can be crucial in planning your finances for your new home.

Researching Price Comparisons:

Numbeo offers a valuable resource for comparing everyday expenses across cities. By exploring Oslo’s data for restaurants, utilities, rent, and groceries alongside London’s, you gain valuable insights. Interestingly, you discover that while groceries in Oslo are more expensive (25.5% higher than London), most other costs are actually lower.

Cost of Living Comparison Between London and Oslo

  • Consumer Prices in Oslo are 0.2% lower than in London (without rent)
  • Consumer Prices Including Rent in Oslo are 23.2% lower than in London
  • Rent Prices in Oslo are 52.5% lower than in London
  • Restaurant Prices in Oslo are 3.3% lower than in London
  • Groceries Prices in Oslo are 25.5% higher than in London
  • Local Purchasing Power in Oslo is 24.6% higher than in London

To complement the data-driven approach, tale a look at online communities like Quora and Reddit. Browsing threads on household budgeting in Norway offers a more personal perspective. Don’t hesitate to post your specific questions if you can’t find what you’re looking for. These communities often connect you with experienced individuals who have already made the move to Norway and can share valuable tips and insights.

Understanding Rent Costs

Housing often represents a significant expense. In Oslo, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre currently stands at £1,162.77, significantly lower than the £2,226.41 you might expect for a similar apartment in London.

norway Cost of living

Budgeting for Your New Life

With a clearer understanding of average monthly expenses in Norway, compare them to your anticipated income. This allows you to gauge the potential standard of living you can enjoy in your new home. Remember to factor in additional costs like transportation, clothing, and entertainment when building your budget.


Documents You’ll Need

Living in any European city requires huge amounts of documentation, especially if you have a family to organise.

norway visa application
  • Passport (must have 6 months left on it)
  • Residence Permit for Work
  • Birth Certificate
  • Medical Records
  • Insurance documents
  • School Records (for children of school age)
  • National Insurance Number
  • Marriage Certificate (if appropriate)
  • Driver’s License
  • Tax Records
  • Divorce/Child Custody Papers (if appropriate)
  • Adoption Papers (if appropriate)
  • Pet Vaccination Records (if appropriate)

With all documentations it’s a good idea to have everything in hard and soft copies. Don’t rely on just one hard copy; take 2-5 copies of each document.


Driving in Norway

Planning a drive through Norway’s majestic landscapes? Whether you’re a temporary resident or embarking on a road trip, understanding the country’s driving regulations and unique road conditions is crucial for a safe and enjoyable journey.

Driving Licenses

  • Temporary Stay (up to 6 months). If you hold a valid UK driving license and have a temporary residence permit, you’re good to go! No international driving permit is required for short stays.
  • Permanent Residency. Planning to make Norway your more long-term home? You’ll need to exchange your UK license for a Norwegian one within two years of establishing residency.

Exploring Norway by car is highly recommended! There are some classic scenic drives just waiting for you. Just take a look at these mouth-watering possibilities:

  • Geiranger-Trollstigen. Definitely for the risk-takers and advanced drivers. There are no less that 11 hairpin bends to navigate on this 104km road through the mountains. This follows an old packhorse track and offers some of the most spectacular scenic experiences.
  • Oslo-Bergen. This spectacular road takes you from the east of the country to the west via the Aurland mountain. The route goes via Norway’s ‘King of Fjords’ the Sognefjord through mountain passes and past stunning waterfalls.
  • The Atlantic Road. Named as one of the most beautiful drives in the world, this route was opened in 1989. It allows you to explore some of the islands that make up this rugged coastline. There are also 7 spectacular bridges to experience.
driving in norway

Preparing for the Road

Norway’s driving environment presents distinct differences compared to the UK, requiring special preparation. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Winter Driving. Be prepared for snowy and icy roads, prevalent in many areas for several months. Winter tires are mandatory from November 1st to March 31st (dates may vary slightly depending on region). Driving slowly and adapting to winter conditions is essential. Be aware of potential road closures due to weather or accidents.
  • Road Network. Norway’s road network, while well-maintained, features many narrow, winding roads with sharp bends, especially in scenic areas. Patience and an attentive attitude are important to staying safe.
  • Speed Limits. Pay close attention to posted speed limits, which can differ significantly from those in the UK. Fines for exceeding them are typically high.
  • Headlights. Use dipped headlights throughout the day, regardless of weather conditions.
  • Pedestrians and Cyclists. Be particularly vigilant for pedestrians and cyclists, especially in remote areas and small towns.
  • Parking. Familiarise yourself with parking regulations, as restrictions and designated zones vary widely.
  • Tunnel Tolls. Some tunnels and mountain passes require toll payments. Ensure you have the necessary payment methods readily available.

Additional Resources


Emergency Funds

Embarking on a new life in Norway is packed with excitement, but it’s natural to have concerns about settling in and adjusting to its unique environment. One key factor contributing to peace of mind is a robust emergency fund. This financial cushion offers invaluable support during unforeseen situations, preventing stress and allowing you to focus on embracing your new adventure.

Why an Emergency Fund is Crucial

Moving to a new country often involves unexpected expenses, from navigating unfamiliar healthcare systems to adapting to potential delays in securing employment. Your emergency fund helps bridge these gaps and provides security in the following scenarios:

  • Income Delays. Starting a new job may involve initial probation periods before receiving your first paycheck. Having an emergency fund ensures you can cover essential expenses during this interim.
  • Medical Costs. While Norway enjoys a robust healthcare system, unforeseen medical needs can arise before your insurance coverage kicks in. An emergency fund helps you manage these costs without financial stress.
  • Unexpected Travel. Urgent trips back home to the UK due to family emergencies or unforeseen circumstances can be financially demanding. Your emergency fund can provide essential support in such situations.
  • Adjustment Costs. Adapting to a new culture and way of life often involves additional expenses, from furniture purchase to unexpected appliance repairs. Having a financial buffer protects you from unnecessary strain.

Calculating Your Fund

Determining the ideal size of your emergency fund depends on your individual circumstances. As a general guideline, aim for around 3 months’ worth of your projected monthly expenses in Norway. Consider factors like your income, family size, and risk tolerance when setting your target amount.

Building Your Fund

Start allocating a portion of your income towards your emergency fund well in advance of your move. Explore savings accounts with competitive interest rates and consider automatic transfers to ensure consistent and disciplined saving.


Finding a Place to Live

Securing a comfortable and affordable home is a crucial step in any relocation, and Norway, with its high demand and unique housing market, presents its own set of challenges. While some employers may offer assistance in finding accommodation, particularly for initial temporary stays, most UK professionals will need to navigate the housing market independently.

Understanding the Landscape

  • Demand and Competition. Be aware that housing demand in major cities like Oslo and Bergen can be high, especially for apartments. Early and proactive searching is key.
  • Types of Accommodation. Explore various options, including apartments, houses, and shared housing. Consider your budget, lifestyle preferences, and desired location.
  • Rental Market. Familiarise yourself with rental contracts, typically signed for one year with the option to extend. Be prepared for upfront deposits and potential agency fees.

Your Search Toolkit

  • Finn.no. Your one-stop shop for housing listings in Norway. Filter by location, type, price, and even view virtual tours.
  • Hybel.no. Focuses on shared housing options, ideal for budget-conscious individuals or those seeking a social living environment.
  • Local Newspapers and Websites. Check local newspapers and community websites for off-market listings or recommendations.
  • Networking. Reach out to colleagues, friends, or online communities for local insights and potential leads.

Beyond the Listings:

  • Viewings. Schedule viewings as soon as possible, be prepared to ask questions, and express your interest promptly.
  • Documentation. Gather necessary documents like payslips, references, and proof of identity to expedite the application process.
  • Budgeting. Factor in additional costs like utilities, internet, and potential transportation expenses when calculating your monthly housing budget.

Additional Resources:


Language – Do You Need to Speak Norwegian?

Could you move to Norway without knowing a word of Norwegian? Yes. You’ll find that the vast majority of people you meet speak English fluently and enjoy having someone to practice it with. English is pretty much a second language in Norway. You can even fill your tax form in using English!

Given that most people speak English, is there any reason to learn Norwegian? Here’s 3 reasons why doing will make your stay in Norway more fulfilling:

  1. Making Emotional Connections. Learning a new language means blundering every now and again. Which can be the perfect way to start a conversation, laugh together, or simply accept help. Learning the language helps you to make friends in your new country.
  2. Improve Your Status at Work. Many businesses are happy to work with non-Norwegian speakers, but not knowing the language limits your potential. There will always be emails you can’t read or phone calls you’ll need to hand over.
  3. Understand the Culture. As a visitor to Norway it’s easy to skate over the surface of the culture, enjoying it as a tourist. Learning Norwegian allows you to dive deeper, understand the jokes, discover what people’s home lives are like, and spend time with Norwegians.
learn norwegian language

Norwegian Visas and Permits for UK Professionals

Working in Norway is a great opportunity, but it requires careful planning and understanding of visa and residence permit regulations. For UK professionals, several options exist, each with its own requirements and benefits. We’ll explore the most relevant paths to securing your stay in Norway:

1. Family Immigration Residence Permit

  • This permit allows UK citizens to join family members already residing in Norway.
  • Spouses of Norwegian citizens and residents holding indefinite leave to remain or a permanent residence permit in the UK are eligible.
  • Proof of a stable relationship and sufficient financial means to support your family in Norway is required.

2. Work Immigration Residence Permit

  • This permit caters to UK professionals with job offers or established businesses in Norway.
  • Skilled workers demonstrating relevant qualifications and experience can apply.
  • Entrepreneurs with viable business plans or individuals with secured job offers qualify as well.
  • Seasonal workers in specific sectors can also obtain this permit for temporary employment.

These are just the two most commonly used options. Other permit types cater to specific situations like study, self-employment, or humanitarian reasons. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) provides a comprehensive overview of all available residence permits, their requirements, and application procedures. Seeking professional guidance from immigration lawyers or consultants familiar with UK-Norway visa regulations can simplify the process and ensure a smooth transition.

Additional Considerations:

  • Processing times for visa and permit applications can vary, so plan well in advance, especially if your desired start date in Norway is approaching.
  • Documentation requirements are extensive, so gather all necessary documents meticulously to avoid delays.
  • Familiarity with Norwegian language and culture can enhance your integration and job prospects, so consider language courses or cultural immersion programs.

Prescription Top Up Before You Leave the UK

While Norway has an excellent and efficient healthcare system, securing a regular doctor can take some time after your arrival. To ensure uninterrupted access to crucial medication, taking some proactive steps before your move can prove immensely valuable.

Top Up on Prescriptions

  • Discuss with your GP. Inform your doctor about your upcoming relocation and request enough medication to bridge the gap until you see a doctor in Norway. Most GPs are familiar with this scenario and can advise you on the appropriate quantity.
  • Consider long-term prescriptions. Depending on your medication and doctor’s discretion, ask about the possibility of a repeat prescription covering a longer period, potentially reducing the number of visits needed in the interim.

Securing Medical Records

  • Request a digital copy. Having a digital copy of your medical records, including medication history and diagnoses, can significantly expedite your initial consultations in Norway. Most GP practices can now provide this electronically.
  • Physical copies as backup. Consider carrying a physical copy of your records as a backup, translated into Norwegian if possible.

Removals to Norway

Working with the right removals company will make moving from the UK to Norway seem effortless. Select the wrong company and you’ll find it a tough slog from start to finish. Schepens has been helping people relocate to Norway for a good many decades, so we have created a checklist to help you find the right removals to Norway for your needs.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Removals Company for Moving to Norway

Removals to Norway is a specialist service so it’s important that the company you choose is experienced in European Removals. Small moving companies tend to come and go – you need a team you can rely on.

Ideally you want a moving company that has built a reputation for removals to Norway. That way you know that they can give you accurate information on customs procedures and have experienced drivers who know Norway’s roads.

A removals company that makes weekly runs to Norway will be able to offer more affordable prices than one that is scheduling in a run just for you. Established movers to the Nordic countries will also be able to offer flexible scheduling to fit in with your moving dates, and full or part load.

Most removals companies will offer you a free no obligation quotation. Make sure though, that this applies to a detailed quote and not just a ‘ball park figure’. A removals quote that accurately reflects the cost of your removals is important when planning your budget.

Be wary of any removals company that doesn’t have reviews. Take a look on their FB page, Twitter account, website or Google My Business page for current feedback. Look out for feedback from people who’ve used their removals to Norway service.

Look for professional accreditations such as: British Association of Removers, ISO 9001, or FIDI FAIM

Check that companies offer their movers peace of mind by offering insurance for their goods in transit.

If you’re moving to Norway for a short period of work, you may want to put some of your good in storage whilst you’re away. A removals company that also offers local self storage can save you a good deal of time and effort. Once you arrive in Norway, you may want to put furniture and household items in storage whilst you find somewhere to live.

If your removals company has a fleet of vehicles, and they make regular runs to Scandinavia, they should be able to schedule in a move to Norway with just a month’s notice.

You may want to use a professional packing service rather than packing up your house yourself. Check that this is offered, and that professional packing materials are used.

A move co-ordinator who knows Norway and has experience of managing moves to all the major cities is a real asset. They be able to guide you step-by-step through the process, and offer detailed advice on logistics and customs procedures.


Pets

If you’re planning on taking your pet to Norway with you, you should check out the requirements. You may decide to use pet relocation professionals to sort this out for you. They will manage the microchipping and jabs, as well as scheduling flights and managing customs on your behalf.

Moving to a new country is a big upheaval for your pet. Based on their age health and temperament, you’ll need to weigh up whether a move to Norway is in their best interests.


Local Knowledge – Which Restaurants Tempt You?

You’ll spend a few days with you head buried in admin as you plan your move to Norway. So a fun distraction is planning all the nice things you’ll do when you arrive. One of the most thrilling things about moving to a new country is the chance to try a whole new way of eating. Take a look at the local restaurants and decide which ones you’ll try first. TripAdvisor is a great starting point for this kind of research.


Norway Weather/Climate

norway weather and climate

The weather varies greatly between northern and southern, or inland and coastal Norway. The coldest areas are – no surprises here – in the north. The coast tends to be more temperate than inland because of the waters of the Gulf Stream.

In Tromsø, to the north of Norway, the snow arrives in October and by December there’s only 1 hour of weak daylight as the sun doesn’t rise. Temperatures range from -25°C (-13°F) up to 8°C (46°F). In Oslo the story is different. There is usually snow from November onwards but temperatures rarely plummet below 3°C (26°F). The big difference is that even in December there are still 6 hours of daylight to enjoy.


WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN NORWAY

bank in norway

Bank Account

One of the first tasks once you get to Norway is to set up your local bank account. It costs nothing to do so but there is a monthly cost for maintaining your account so you may want to do a bit of research before you travel.

There are 4 high profile banks in Norway:

  • DNB Bank
  • Nordea
  • Handelsbanken
  • SpareBank 1 SR-Bank

In Norway a bank account is called a bankkonto. It automatically includes an International Bank Account Number (IBAN), which allows you to transfer money for free between other accounts in the Single Euro Payment Area. To open an account you’ll need your passport, proof of your address in Norway, proof of employment and your National Identity Number, or D Number if you’re staying less than 6 months.


Coffee

We know about Norway’s fjords, mountains and reindeer but did you realise that it’s also the world’s second biggest consumer of coffee? There’s even a ‘Nordic roasting style’ which delivers a lighter, fruitier taste than commercial coffee.

There’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy Norway’s award winning coffee; independent coffee shops are booming. What you may find surprising is just how much coffee is drunk on an average day. Consumption starts first thing in the morning, continues through many coffee breaks, and carries on into the evening.

The purest form of Norwegian coffee is turkaffe, or ‘hiking coffee’. First locally sourced water is brought to the boil over an open fire. The ground coffee is poured in and allowed to steep for a few moments before serving – preferably through a filter!


Culture Shock

Culture shock hits everyone moving abroad to some degree. It describes the process of feeling yourself to be an outsider in a new culture, and having to adapt how you live and behave in order to fit in. Some people thrive on the challenge of adapting. For others it’s uncomfortable and troubling. Truth is, you won’t know exactly how you’ll be affected until you’re living in your new home.

The feeling of culture shock is one of disorientation as you come up against ways of life that are unfamiliar. We all know how frustrating it can be to realise you don’t know how to buy a stamp, or pay a bill in a foreign country. It can feel like you’re a child again, having to learn the basics that were completely natural to you in the UK.

culture shock stages

Everyone experiences culture shock differently. It may be helpful to understand it as a journey with distinct staging posts:

This is the bit where it still feels like being on holiday. Everything seems amazing, fascinating and wonderful. You’re enjoying the food, the hiking and your job. There’s no doubt in your mind that this was the right decision and every day feels new and exciting.

The high energy of the honeymoon period settles down after a bit and you realise it’s a bit exhausting to keep doing everything differently. There are symptoms of a growing frustration. You lose your temper when trying to order a takeaway. You find yourself weeping when you’re not included in a social event at work. Everything feels SO hard all of a sudden, and you wonder if you shouldn’t go home.

Human beings adapt – we’re hard wired for it. As time passes you’ll find that you’re coping with more things every day and feeling less lost. Shopping will cease to be stressful, the city will become navigable and you’ll start to get to know people at work. Gradually you’ll begin to find ways in which you belong in your new life.

Accepting things are different from the UK is a great place to be. It shows that you’ve stopped fighting things because they’re different, and accepted them instead. Once you get to this stage you’ll find yourself relaxing and letting your guard down. Yes there are things you’ll never like or accept – that’s the same everywhere. But there will also be a growing list (hopefully) of things you really like about your new home.


education in norway

Education

Schooling starts at a much younger age in Norway than it does in the UK. From the age of one children are able to attend a barnehage or pre-school, and 70% do. By the age of three 96% of children are attending.

Primary and lower secondary schooling covers ages 6-15. Upper secondary schooling comprises 3 years’ general education or 4 years’ vocational training. There is a choice of public schools which are free, private schools and international schools. Whilst an international school is the most expensive option, children who’ll be attending school in Norway for a limited period will be able to stay up to date with their home curriculum.


Healthcare

Norway’s world-class healthcare system offers comprehensive and accessible services to its residents. This guide will equip you with the necessary knowledge to confidently access the care you need.

Eligibility and Fees

  • Public Healthcare. Residents registered in Norway are eligible for public healthcare services. Children under 16 enjoy free healthcare, while adults pay reasonable fees for most medical, dental, and optician treatments until a specific annual threshold is reached.
  • Reaching the Threshold. Once this threshold is met, public insurance kicks in, significantly reducing or even eliminating out-of-pocket costs for your healthcare needs.
  • Private Options. Private healthcare is also available, but relies on pre-paid insurance or direct payment for services.

Finding Your GP

  • The Gateway to Care. Registering with a general practitioner (GP) is crucial. Acting as your key entry point to the healthcare system, your GP can diagnose ailments, prescribe medication, refer you to specialists, and guide you through the healthcare maze.
  • Finding a GP. Most municipalities offer various GPs to choose from. Local authorities, websites, and online review platforms can help you find a GP that speaks your language and suits your needs.
  • Scheduling Appointments. Appointments are typically required, so schedule one soon after registering to establish your relationship with your GP.

Registration Process:

  • Once your residency is registered, you will be issued with a ‘personnummer’. This number enables you to access public healthcare services.
  • You’ll  choose your health region based on your residence. This determines your local hospital and healthcare providers.
  • Register with a GP using your personnummer.

Explore the website of the Norwegian Directorate of Health for detailed information on healthcare services, fees, and regulations. The Norwegian emergency number is 113.


Making Friends and Creating a Support Network

One of the things that really helps in the first few months is a support network you can go to for nights out, practical advice, and emotional meltdowns. It can feel a bit daunting knowing where to start with building a new friendship group, so we’ve come up with 5 ways to meet people in Norway:

  1. Find an Expat Group Nearby. Maybe start with this one. Is a simple starting point and you’ll find a group of people who have gone through what you’re experiencing now. You’ll be sure to find expat groups on Facebook. Look in Groups for your city or area.
  2. Look for a Language Exchange. Learning Norwegian? Then find a conversation partner and meet new people at the same. The larger Norwegian cities have Language Exchange meet-ups. Don’t worry about what stage you’re at, you can choose your proficiency level.
  3. Get Crafting, or Cooking. There’s loads of Norwegian meet ups dedicated to baking, crafting or the arts. Find one that appeals to you and take the plunge. It’s low pressure socially because you’ll be focused on ‘doing’ so you’ll get to know people over time.
  4. Volunteer. If you’ve got volunteering experience you’ll know what a great way it is to meet local people from a variety of backgrounds. Find out what’s going on local to you and get involved. It will give you a richer understanding of your city and a group of new contacts.
  5. Get Involved in a Sport. Whether you love football, hiking, biathlon, ski-ing, or ice hockey there’s loads of ways to get involved in Norway. More than likely, you’ll find that most sporting events involve social drinking and eating.
making friends in norway

northern lights norway

Northern Lights

Experiencing the aurora borealis is big business in Norway, with visitors coming from around the globe to catch a glimpse. If you’re living in the north of Norway you should have plenty of sightings from late September through to March. The ‘Northern Lights Belt’ is located just inside the Arctic Circle and the Norwegian city of Tromsø is considered one of the best places in the world to see the northern light show in its full glory.


Places to Live in Norway

Four of the most popular Norwegian locations for UK movers are Oslo, Bergen, Tromsø and Stavanger. We asked some of our movers who are now permanent residents of Norway, for a snapshot of day-to-day life in each location.

move to bergenBergen has a reputation for rain, and it does rain quite a bit. Having said that, there’s a charm to this busy port unlike anywhere else in Norway. First it’s a spectacular setting; 7 mountains crowning the city. Then there’s the Bryggen, where the old docks were originally located. You can spend hours getting lost in the rickety backstreets and enjoying coffee in independent cafes. It’s also the starting point for the Hurtigruten ferry which travels the western coastline every day.

move to osloLiving in the capital city of Norway is far less stressful than living in London. That’s partly because it’s home to less than a million people, and it has a waterfront which gives the city a chilled vibe summer and winter. Oslo is a young city, and it’s pretty diverse with people coming from all over the globe to work here. It’s also the very best starting point to explore this amazing country by bus, train or plane.

move to stavangerPeople who live here, natives and expats, believe it’s the best place to live in the whole of Norway. It’s hard to disagree. Stavanger is on the wild west coast, with easy access to some of the country’s most beautiful fjords. It’s home to 3 universities, so the town is always alive, it has a nice urban feel to it, and the nightlife is superb.

move to tromsoTromsø lies in the Arctic Circle and it’s the most northern city in Norway. Although, to be honest, it feels more like a town than a city. The population is under 100,000 so it’s smallish, easily navigable and a really great place to live. Right in the heart of the winter, when there’s very little daylight, Tromsø hosts an international film festival! It’s really special because people come in from all over the world to be together in the darkest month, watching films.


Public Transport and Commuting

Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant energy of Oslo or the breathtaking landscapes beyond, navigating Norway’s diverse transport options is key to unlocking this endlessly surprising country. This guide offers an overview of the various ways to get around, catering to different travel styles and budgets.

Oslo: A Pedestrian Paradise

Oslo’s compact city center is best explored on foot, with pedestrian-friendly streets, charming squares, and historical landmarks easily accessible. Bikes are also a popular option, with dedicated lanes and rental stations readily available.

Comprehensive Public Transport.

Beyond Oslo’s core, a well-developed network awaits. The city has a clean and reliable metro system, trams, and buses, efficiently connecting you to every corner. Hopping on a ferry across the Oslofjord opens up charming islands and coastal adventures.

Connecting the Nation.

Travelling further afield? Norway’s national transport system offers convenient options for exploring every region. Regular and comfortable trains traverse the length of the country, while ferries provide a scenic and essential service for reaching fjord regions and island communities.

Beyond Trains and Buses

Norway’s extensive network of 50 airports, connects major cities and towns with domestic and international flights. This makes reaching remote areas easy, especially if you’re short on time.

Road Tripping in Norway

Driving in Norway offers a unique perspective on the country’s stunning landscapes. The main roads, known as “E” roads, are generally well-maintained and offer a stress-free driving experience. However, be aware of toll roads, which require payment. The quality of the roads makes driving less stressful than in virtually every other European country. The downside is that these have to be paid for, so many of them exact a toll when you use them. It’s a good idea to get your car registered to ensure you’re charged the correct amount.


Registering Your Residency in Norway

The priority once you’ve arrived in Norway is registering your residency. This vital process gives you access to crucial services like healthcare, education, and even banking. We’ve created user-friendly guide to walk you through the steps to successful completion.

Why Register?

Registering your residency is more than just a formality. It’s your official declaration of becoming a resident of Norway, granting you access to essential benefits and services. Your personal ID number, issued after successful registration, serves as your key to unlocking healthcare, education, banking, and much more.

Ready to Register? Here’s How:

1. Stay Duration. The first step is determining if you need to register at all. If you plan to stay in Norway for more than six months, registering is mandatory. For shorter stays, you may not require official registration but might need to make temporary arrangements for healthcare or education.

2. Make an Appointment. Once you’ve confirmed your need to register, it’s time to schedule an appointment at your local tax office. This can be done online or by phone. Don’t delay, as appointment slots can fill up quickly.

3. Identity Check. During your meeting, be prepared for a thorough identity verification. Bring your passport or other valid identification documents to confirm your identity and nationality.

4. Family Matters. If you’re bringing your family with you, they should also be present at the meeting. This ensures their residency registration is processed simultaneously.

5. Document Essentials. Gather all necessary documents beforehand. This typically includes your passport, employment contract (if applicable), student certificate (if applicable), and any other proof of your planned stay in Norway.

6. D Number. Upon successful registration, you’ll receive a temporary “D number” (D-nummer). This acts as your identification number until you receive your official Norwegian identity number (personnummer). This precious number opens doors to all the benefits of being a Norwegian resident, from accessing healthcare to opening a bank account.

Additional Tips

  • Check the Norwegian Tax Administration website for the latest information and specific document requirements.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask your local tax office for assistance if you have any questions or need clarification.
  • Familiarise yourself with the Norwegian healthcare and education systems to understand how your new ID number will be used to access these services.

Sports

Norway’s culture is deeply intertwined with sports, where the pursuit of physical activity goes beyond leisure and into the realm of national identity. Here’s a glimpse into some of the sports that captivate Norwegians:

Skiing – A National Obsession

It’s no exaggeration to say skiing runs through the veins of Norwegians. From childhood lessons on gentle slopes to professional athletes carving down Olympic tracks, it’s a sport deeply ingrained in the national psyche. Whether cross-country, alpine, or even freestyle, skiing forms a cornerstone of Norwegian life, with stunning mountainous landscapes providing the perfect playground.

norway skiing
Norway Biathlon

Biathlon – Precision on the Snow

Combining the thrill of cross-country skiing with the focus of target shooting, biathlon is another sport fiercely embraced by Norwegians. The national team, particularly the women’s squad, has consistently achieved international success, further igniting the passion for this demanding yet captivating sport.

Football – Passion for the Beautiful Game

Just like many other countries, football holds a special place in Norwegian hearts. While the national team hasn’t matched the global dominance of some European giants, Norwegians remain unwavering in their support. Whether cheering from the stands or engaging in heated post-match debates, football unites the nation in a shared passion for the beautiful game.

Norway football
Norway Hockey

Ice Hockey – A Legacy of Excellence

Norway has a rich ice hockey history, having produced multiple NHL players and Olympic medalists. The intense national league continues to draw dedicated fans, who relish the high-speed action and dramatic clashes between rival teams.

Beyond the Big Four

While these four sports represent the pinnacle of Norwegian athletic passions, the nation offers a vast array of other sporting pursuits. Handball, handball, cycling, and outdoor activities like hiking and climbing all capture the imagination of Norwegians, solidifying the country’s reputation as a sports-loving nation.


5 Things About Working in Norway

Workplaces may look the same from one country to another, but the way people behave is likely to differ significantly. Not knowing what to watch out for in Norwegian work culture could leave you feeling like you’ve landed from another planet, rather than the UK. Here’s 5 key cultural difference to prepare for:

  1. Flextime or Fleksitid. The standard working week in Norway is 37.5 hours. So long as you honour the total, employees have plenty of flexibility over when they start and finish their day. You may wish to leave the office early to collect your children from school, which is fine so long as the hours are made up elsewhere.
  2. Flat Office Hierarchies. The despotic line manager isn’t a thing in Norway. Teams are far less hierarchical than in the UK, and even the CEO considers themselves a part of the workforce. The levelling up isn’t total; there is an innate recognition of seniority and experience, but it’s not formalised in employees’ behaviour towards each other.
  3. Look Forward to Waffles. Norwegian waffles normally turn up in workplaces on Friday afternoon as an end-of-week treat. They bear no comparison to Belgian waffles and are eaten with jam or sour cream. Each section is in the shape of a heart, and they’re as beloved by Norwegians as muffins or toast is in the UK.
  4. Workplace Culture is Everyone’s Responsibility. In most British workplaces whether or not you ‘click’ with your team is down to luck. In Norway it’s quite different. A good workplace culture is seen as something everyone actively contributes to. In some businesses the employees eat together a couple of times a week, or make a feature of stopping for coffee.
  5. Norwegians Work to Live. It would be extremely rare for a Norwegian employee to be expected to pull an all-nighter at short notice, or work through the weekend. A good work/life balance is considered extremely important in Norway. Weekends and evenings are family times and work isn’t allowed to encroach upon them.
WORKING IN NORWAY

Are You Moving to Norway From the UK?

Schepens is a 4th generation family-run business and we’ve been providing removals to Norway for over 100 years now. With all that experience under our belts it’s little wonder that we’re now considered the UK’s leading provider for of stress-free moving to Norway from the UK.

Over the years we’ve moved families, students and solo professionals to Oslo, Bergen and locations across the country. We make weekly runs to Norway so our European removals team is familiar with custom clearance procedures and use the road system throughout the year. It also means that we’re able to offer our movers flexible scheduling, full or part load shipping and affordable prices.

‘Stress-free removals’ means paying careful attention to the experience of moving, from first contact through to delivery of your goods in your new home. Schepens assigns a move co-ordinator to each of our clients. They’ll create a tailored removals plan for you, and manage the logistics of your relocation to Norway.

“Our move from Oxford to Oslo was very smooth and the team at Schepens dealt with all of our questions and queries efficiently and professionally. The team walked us through the whole process and ensured we completed the required customs documentation. We packed ourselves but Schepens provide the materials at a good cost and in a timely manner. The collection from Oxford was excellent – the team was on time, work efficiently and safely. For delivery to Oslo, Norway, there was great communication between us and the team to secure a delivery date, even when we potentially need to move onto a different shipment. Then, there was excellent communication between myself and the delivery drivers. Who completed the delivery exceptionally well and quickly. Even removing the packing material we had already unpacked from. Most importantly, we had no breakages or damages. The overall price was very competitive and reasonable. I would thoroughly recommend using them in the future and if we leave Norway back to the UK, I will be contacting them to explore a return journey.” Mark


Want to know more about how Schepens can help with moving to Norway from the UK? Call us today on 01794 323558, or contact us online for a quick quote and a prompt response.