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Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway


10 Tips for Living in Norway

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: If you've recently arrived in Norway, here are 10 tips for digital nomads living in Norway.

Welcome to the land of the midnight sun, majestic fjords, and vibrant city life! Norway is a top destination for digital nomads seeking a balance between work and nature's tranquility. As you embark on your Scandinavian adventure, it's essential to understand how to navigate the nuances of Norwegian life. Here are 10 tips to help you settle in and make the most of your time in this beautiful country.

1. Embrace the Outdoor Lifestyle

Norwegians have a deep-rooted love for the outdoors, known as 'friluftsliv.' To truly integrate into Norwegian society, it's important to participate in activities like hiking, skiing, or simply enjoying a picnic by the fjords. Not only is this a fantastic way to stay fit and healthy, but it's also an opportunity to connect with locals and fellow nomads who share a passion for nature. For instance, joining a weekend ski trip to Trysil can be a great way to make new friends and experience the country's stunning landscapes.

2. Learn the Language Basics

While most Norwegians speak impeccable English, learning some basic Norwegian phrases can go a long way in showing respect for the local culture. It can also be beneficial in understanding signs, menus, and public announcements. Consider using language apps or attending a 'norskkurs' (Norwegian course) to get started. An anecdote often shared by digital nomads and expats is the warm smile they receive from locals when attempting to order their coffee in Norwegian, even if it's just a simple 'En kaffe, takk' (One coffee, please).

3. Get to Grips with the Weather

Norway's weather can be unpredictable, with quick changes from sunshine to rain or snow. Dressing in layers and investing in good quality, waterproof clothing will ensure you're prepared for any weather. Remember, there's a Norwegian saying: 'Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær,' which means 'There is no bad weather, only bad clothes.' This mindset will help you stay comfortable and enjoy outdoor activities year-round.

4. Understand the Cost of Living

Norway is known for its high standard of living, which comes with a price tag to match. Budgeting is crucial for digital nomads to ensure a sustainable lifestyle. Look for ways to save, such as shopping at budget supermarkets like Rema 1000 or Kiwi, and take advantage of 'tilbud' (sales). Cooking at home rather than dining out can also help stretch your budget further. Additionally, using public transportation over taxis can save you a significant amount of money.

5. Navigate the Tax System

As a digital nomad, it's important to understand your tax obligations in Norway. The country has a bilateral tax agreement with many countries to avoid double taxation. It's advisable to consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance with Norwegian tax laws and to understand how your income from abroad is taxed. Keeping meticulous records of your income and expenses will also simplify the process when tax season arrives.

6. Explore Co-Working Spaces

Co-working spaces are a hub for creativity and networking. Cities like Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim offer a variety of co-working options, from trendy urban spaces to more relaxed, café-style environments. Mesh in Oslo, for example, is a popular spot where you can find a mix of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and international professionals. These spaces provide not only a place to work but also a chance to meet like-minded individuals and potential collaborators.

7. Respect Local Customs and Etiquette

Norwegians value personal space and privacy, so it's important to respect these cultural norms. For instance, it's common to greet someone with a firm handshake rather than a hug. Also, punctuality is taken very seriously, so always strive to be on time for meetings and social gatherings. Understanding and adhering to these customs will help you build strong relationships with locals and integrate more smoothly into the community.

8. Take Advantage of Public Services

Norway boasts an excellent array of public services, from healthcare to libraries. Make sure to register with the local authorities to gain access to these benefits. For example, the Norwegian healthcare system is known for its high quality, and as a resident, you're entitled to the same healthcare services as Norwegians. Additionally, public libraries often offer not only books but also workspaces and cultural events that can enrich your stay.

9. Celebrate Norwegian Holidays and Festivals

Participating in local festivals and holidays can provide a deeper understanding of Norwegian culture. Celebrations like the National Day on May 17th, with its parades and traditional costumes, offer a unique experience. Additionally, attending festivals such as the Bergen International Festival or the Northern Lights Festival in Tromsø can be both entertaining and enlightening, showcasing the country's rich cultural heritage and contemporary arts scene.

10. Stay Connected with the Expat Community

While immersing yourself in Norwegian culture is important, staying connected with the expat community can provide a sense of belonging and support. Social media groups, international clubs, and expat meetups are great ways to meet others who are also navigating life as a foreigner in Norway. These connections can be invaluable for sharing tips, experiences, and sometimes even job opportunities that are well-suited for digital nomads.

Living in Norway as a digital nomad offers a unique blend of professional freedom, natural beauty, and high-quality life. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to a successful and enjoyable stay in this remarkable Nordic country. Velkommen til Norge!

Digital Nomads and Expats talk about Living in Norway

"I would tell them that they should have to like a closed off culture of people. When you walk down the street people do NOT smile or say hello. A man will push you out of the way to get through the door first. If you are lazy and don't have a good work ethic, then this place will be perfect for you. There are plenty of digital nomads and expats that love this place, however its not for us," said one member living in Tromso.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is one of the founders of Digital Nomad Exchange and the Founder and President of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange and Digital Nomad Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
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Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
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Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
Get Quote

Allianz CareAllianz Care

Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
Get Quote

Digital-Nomad-Visa-for-NorwayDigital Nomad Visa for Norway

Find essential information about the digital nomad visa for working in Norway.

Contribute to Norway Network Contribute
Help others in Norway by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Norway.

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

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