Life in Norway

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Norway at most shops, restaurants, attractions, and hotels. Businesses are still required to accept cash, but the use of cash is becoming increasingly uncommon in everyday life.

Holders of Visa, Eurocard, and MasterCard should be able to pay in the vast majority of places. Some smaller venues may not accept credit cards, but this is becoming much less common.

We've had some fellows from the US telling us that they've had some issues with having their cards accepted at smaller venues as well.

Digital payment solutions that connect to credit cards are also becoming popular in Norway. This includes systems such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet.

Despite Norway´s move towards a cashless society, a ‘minibank’ (the Norwegian term for ATMs) can be found adjacent to many banks and busy public places, such as shopping centres.

You can withdraw money from most ATMs using an international credit card, such as MasterCard or Visa. It’s recommended that you check with your bank before travelling to see if there are any fees or charges associated with using or withdrawing cash in the local currency in Norway.

The process of opening a bank account in Norway can be quite demanding, so it is recommended that you avoid doing so unless you plan to stay in the country for a whole year. Even then, fellows might not qualify for opening an account.

While processing times differ between banks, most estimate that it will take 4-6 weeks to open an account.

Some examples of banks in Norway are DNB Bank, Sparebank 1, Storebrand Bank, and Skandiabanken (internet-based bank).

To open an account, fellows need to verify their identity at the bank with a valid passport. Opening an account from abroad may not be possible.

Additionally, fellows will need a residence permit or a ‘card for asylum seeker’ and a Norwegian National Identity Number or D-number (temporary identification number).

For more information regarding this process, please contact the bank of your preference.

In Norway, tipping is not compulsory.

However, it is common for Norwegians to leave a tip of 5-10 % in restaurant or bars if they are satisfied with the food and service.

Please note that CAS is not permitted to cover tips. If the expenses for an outing are to be refunded by CAS, tips should not be included in the refundable amount.

It is not customary to tip taxi drivers, cleaning staff, or other service providers.

The easiest way to get from Oslo Airport Gardermoen (Oslo lufthavn) to downtown Oslo is by train.

CAS will not cover expenses for taxi or the pick-up service offered by Frogner House Apaertments (FHA). Acceptions can be made for fellows who have special needs that make it difficult to travel by train. This must be approved by CAS and the PI in advance.

After passing through baggage claim and customs, follow the signs to the train station. You can choose between the more frequent (but more expensive) Airport Express (Flytoget), or the less frequent (and less expensive) Vy train (lines R10, R11, L12).

The stop closest to the pickup point for the keys to the flat is the National Theatre (Nationalteateret). All fellows should have received information from FHA regarding their accommodation and check-in about four weeks before to their arrival.

From the National Theatre, you can travel to the pickup point by tram by heading towards the exit marked ‘Nationalteateret’. By heading towards the opposite exit, marked ‘Henrik Ibsens gate’, you can walk about 10 minutes to the pickup point. If you choose the tram, take tram no. 13 towards Bekkestua or Lilleaker, and get off at the next stop, called 'Solli'.

The route from the pickup point to the flat will depend on the address of your building. Please refer to the email you have received regarding your accommodation for more information.

There are several different options for public transportation in Oslo and the surrounding areas, but tickets for all can be purchased through the same company, Ruter.

Ruter offers a smartphone app, also named Ruter, from which tickets can be purchased and journeys can be planned.

Travel cards with tickets or pay-as-you-go credit can be purchased in most kiosks, service points and at Ruter’s customer service centre at Oslo Central Station (Oslo S). You should buy your ticket in advance before boarding all public transport, as tickets are usually not sold on board buses, trams and metro trains.

Tickets are bought based on a zone system. All of the city of Oslo is within Zone 1, but you need to buy an additional zone or two for longer travels. By using the app, the zones will be calculated automatically by entering the journey into the app.

Public transportation in Oslo runs on the honour system, but there are frequent ticket inspections. Passengers who fail to produce a valid ticket during an inspection will receive a substantial fine.

Our address is Drammensveien 78, 0271 Oslo.

The easiest way to get to CAS from your flat is probably by walking.

The secondary option is travelling by tram. Take tram line 13 in the direction of Bekkestua or Lilleaker and get off at the stop called 'Skarpsno'. The building is located about 100 meters in the direction back towards the city centre, on the right side of the road.

The four seasons in Norway are very distinct from each other, and fellows should bear this in mind when packing for their stay. Temperatures in Oslo average around 20 °C during the summer and around -3°C during the winter. Oslo’s climate is generally mild, but there have been both recent heat and cold waves. You are therefore encouraged to prepare accordingly.

You can follow the weather forecast provided by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute on Yr.no >


Based on feedback from our fellows, Norwegians do a lot of walking, and we have little patience with impractical shoes. Trainers are nearly universal, and a nice-looking pair can in most cases be worn instead of formal shoes.

In general, clothing is very informal on an everyday bases. The most formal event CAS will put on will ask fellow to follow the dress code for "business casual".

Norway usually get cold winters and mild summers, and so we ask fellows to have this in mind when packing for the season they arrive for. For more information, see the section 'What to expect from the weather in Oslo?'.



If fellows are bringing their home electronics, they should invest in some good converters.

Please note that Norway uses standard European type C two prong plugs, and that the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. Make sure the converter can handle the voltage before plugging it in.

The tip from former fellows it to make sure to bring plenty of converters.

Norwegian grocery stores are known for being expensive with lack of variety, but fellows can get what they need on an everyday basis in most stores. Grocery stores are readily accessible all around the city.

The main ones are Rema 1000, Kiwi, Coop (Extra, Prix, and Mega), Bunnpris, and Meny. These stores are listed from the generally less expensive to the most, but their prices may vary between different products.

You can also buy groceries online through Oda (Norwegian site only) and get them delivered to your doorstep.

There are fresh produce marketplaces scattered throughout the city that you can explore if you are looking for something different from what you can find in local stores. You can ask the administrative staff at the Centre for recommendations.

Some convenience stores also sell groceries, but they tend to be much more expensive.

You should note that the sale of alcohol is subject to strict regulations in Norway. Alcohol with an ABV above 4.7% can only be bought at the state-run alcohol shop, Vinmonopolet. Regular grocery stores have a selection of beers, ciders, and similar products, but sales hours are limited. After 20.00 on weekdays, 18.00 on Saturdays, and all-day on Sundays, only licensed bars and clubs are allowed to sell alcohol.