IT Contracting in Norway: Living & Working

Profile written by Matt Walters of Capital Consulting
(updated January 2016).


While the official language of Norway is Norwegian (Bokmal and Nynorsk), there is a small minority speaking Sami and Finnish and English is very widely spoken.

For the English-speaking contractor, the employment opportunities in Norway are interesting and the language barrier is of little importance.

For purposes of local administration, it can be helpful to have a grasp of Norwegian, and a foreigner making an effort is always welcome!


Most people in Norway own the apartment or house in which they live. Finding rented accommodation is therefore not that easy and also, especially in Oslo, quite expensive. A small apartment can cost from GBP 1'000 to GBP 2'000 per month.


The easiest way to travel to Norway is obviously by air. The main Norwegian cities are well-connected by air travel to the UK and other European countries.

i. Air

The key airport of Oslo Gardermoen provides speedy links to all main UK airports by British Airways, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, and Ryanair among many others.

ii. Rail

You can travel to Norway by train from the European continent via Copenhagen. There are also very good train connections from Sweden to Norway.

iii. Road

If you want to drive your own car to Norway and are not arriving from Sweden, take a ferry from Denmark or Germany.

iv. Ferry

Ferries depart regularly from Kiel (Germany), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Strömstad (Sweden). You could also take the ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg in Denmark and continue by train via Copenhagen to Norway.

Norway is a very popular country for European contractors, especially in the Oil & Gas Industry. Other thriving industry sectors are food-processing, ship-building and pulp and paper products.

Norway has a high value for those who enjoy outdoor activities and sports in their free time.

Public holidays in Norway include New Year's Day, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, Easter Monday, Labour Day (May 1), Constitution Day (May 17), Ascension, Pentecost, Whit Monday, Christmas Day (December 25) and St. Stephen's Day (December 26).

Official Languages: Norwegian (Bokmal and Nynorsk) (official), small Sami- and Finnish- speaking minorities. English widely spoken.
Capital: Oslo
Timezone: GMT +1 (+2 in summer)
Currency: Norwegian Kroner (NOK)
Emergency Numbers: 112 (all), 112 (Police), 113 (Ambulance), 110 (Fire)
Key Airports: Oslo (OSL)
Population: 5,207,689 (July '15 estimate)
Elecricity: 220/240V-50Hz
Tax Year: 1st January – 31st December
National holiday: 17th May (Constitution Day)
International dialing prefix: +47
Internet domain suffix: .no
Cost of living: Oslo is ranked 38th on the Mercer worldwide cost of living survey. London is ranked 12th (2015).
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