Norway Do’s and Dont’s

If you are flying to Norway soon, whether it’s for a vacation or employment purposes, you should know the dos and don’ts as early as now. Knowing the basic dos and don’ts will help you manage your expectations. There will be big changes to the environment, which might cause homesickness. If you can manage your expectations early, you can prepare yourself well. Also, being aware of the dos and don’ts will allow you to make strategies on how you can make friends with the locals.

Also Read: A Filipino Nurse in Norway: Salary and Tips

To help you out, including your friends and relatives who are going to Norway, we compiled the basic dos and don’ts in Norway in this blog. You might need this list when you are in Norway. You can use this as much as you want. You can also share it with your family or friends.

dos and don'ts norway

Table of Contents

How to Behave in Norway

To behave in Norway, you only need to do one thing—to be aware of the gestures and behaviors the locals are accustomed to. If you are knowledgeable of the usual things they do in the country, you can be more comfortable and confident to move around. Plus, you can get more local friends if you know how to respect them. You can start with the dos and don’ts and slowly adapt to your new environment.

Also Read: Philippine Embassy in Oslo, Norway

Do’s in Norway

Here are dos in Norway. Use this list to identify the gestures that are acceptable to the locals. These things are based on different aspects such as the country’s culture, norms, and traditions.

  • Do be comfortable to see motorcyclists greet each other by waving their left hand when they pass each other on the road. In case you become a motorcyclist in Norway, you may want to practice this one with other motorcyclists as well.
  • Do be polite in general. However, don’t expect Norwegians to say “you’re welcome” or “thank you.” It’s not a sign of politeness but rather just the way how Norwegians are. Don’t get offended if you don’t receive a response from your Norwegian counterpart.
  • Do be used to cleanliness when you are in Norway. Locals take littering seriously. You should not litter or leave any annoying traces of trash when you are exploring Norway’s natural tourist spots. Also, you will be perceived as a nice person if you will pick up litter after a person.
  • Do enjoy the table by yourself when you are at a coffee shop. In Norway, you will not be escorted out until you finish your drinks or your meal. This is why the waiting staff is mostly paid by tips.
  • Do bargain if you feel like asking for discounts in stores in Norway. Although haggling is not common in the country, you should still try it in some places like hotels.
  • Do buy the berries you see on top of some tables you see in the West. Although no sellers are there to watch out for the berries, you should still leave some cash after you consume them.
  • Do leave tips if you will like the service is outstanding.

Don’ts in Norway

After the dos, make sure you also study the don’ts so you can avoid what Norwegians avoid as well. Here’s the list of the don’ts in Norway:

  • Don’t greet strangers if you are walking on the street. Norwegians don’t greet strangers because it’s a bit off. It’s not rudeness but it’s just how Norwegians are.
  • Don’t jump the line. If there’s a queue, you should fall in line and wait for time. Remember that locals are sensitive to this.
  • Don’t loudly complain about the prices. Locals know that prices are a bit high for ex-pats. If you have complaints regarding the prices, keep it to yourself. You might also want to negotiate if you want to get discounts. Haggling is welcome although uncommon in Norway.
  • Don’t occupy a bench, table, or a camping site especially if you are not yet ready to use those. You can’t use these things just for your own considering that they are public amenities. It’s rude for Norwegians to act like you own a public amenity.
  • Don’t expect a response from Norwegians such as “you’re welcome” or “my pleasure.” They are not used to saying these things although not considered impolite.
  • Don’t litter if you want to make a good impression on a local.
  • Don’t force yourself to leave tips. Leaving tips is not customary in Norway but you can definitely give some if you think the services are outstanding.
  • Don’t venture into private properties in Norway. Because of the beautiful sceneries in the country, you might not be able to identify which is public or private property. If you see a sign that the property is privately owned, don’t force yourself to enter the premises even if it’s open or can be easily accessed.
  • Don’t forget to leave some cash if you are consuming unattended berries in the Western part of the country.

Tips when going to Norway

The number one tip we have is to prepare yourself for the possible risk and changes. Remember that Norway might be different from where you came from. Food will be different, culture will be different, norms will be different, people will be different. You need to manage your expectation as much as you can. You have to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically since transferring to a new country is tough.

Also, don’t forget the list of dos and don’ts we have here. This can help you survive the challenges especially if you are going to live by yourself once you are in Norway. After you have studied the dos and don’ts, you can then read about the laws of the country. There are laws that are popular with expats, such as employment laws, contract laws, and transportation laws. You don’t need to be aware of everything as you will slowly learn them as you explore the country. Just be ready in case you need more information to help you socialize.

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