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10 Mistakes You Must Avoid in Norway

The viewpoint at Stegastien in Aurland. Photo: Unsplash


10 Common Mistakes You Must Avoid in Norway

If you can understand the cultural differences, then it will be much easier for you to know what to avoid when visiting Norway. Norwegians are known for being reserved and shy, and they have quite a reputation for appearing “cool” to strangers. However, if you meet them in person, you’ll know how chatty and approachable they can be. Just go in with a friendly attitude, and you’ll be fine.

Having said that, below are ten common mistakes that you should avoid in Norway.

#1: Try Not to Leave a 20% Tip

Tipping isn’t quite necessary in Norway since the service charge will be added in your bills. It’s a common courtesy, but rounding up a 36.68 bill to 40 NOK is considered generous. However, go above 20%, and you’re basically just flexing.

#2: Try Not to Haggle

All items have fixed price tags. So, unless you’re not buying a damaged product, bargaining over the price will leave a bad impression on the vendor.

Consider this: Buy your clothes, groceries, and other stuff from the nearby marketplaces, but if you need to hire someone for a particular job, consider searching on the internet.

According to EssayShark Review, students in Norway who have a hard time finding the right academic writing partner can easily get what they want from such companies. They provide proofreading and editing services for polishing up your endpaper.

If you’re a student, then you must know how troublesome it is to find a suitable tutor who can help you with your assignments. And if you’re in Norway, chances are you’d rather want to spend your precious time doing more productive things. As it turns out, 72% of students use custom essay writing services like Brill Assignment to get their job done. So, forget about your haggling skills and focus on things that actually matter.

#3: No Touching

Yes. Maybe try not to get too friendly. Kissing or hugging in public is not a very common thing in Norway.

The most clearly you can see it in business ethics. Before the interview with someone from HR software very rarely you can shake hands.

Well, unless you’re friends with the person, then it’s cool. However, even then, personal touching is usually kept to a minimum. You can greet someone with a hearty handshake, but a kiss isn’t expected.

#4: Pulling Your Suitcase Is A No-No

The majority of the sidewalks in Norway are by the sea. Thus, pulling any wheeled suitcase can be an obstacle course due to the sidewalks being covered in coarse sand.

Also, keep in mind that almost every Norway sidewalk has rain gutters cut into them. So, pulling a suitcase behind you would result in a broken one. Get a backpack instead, or perhaps a suitcase that offers off-road capabilities.

#5: Do Not Drink While Driving

This may seem like we’re overstating the most obvious thing, but there’s more to it.

Drunk driving might be illegal in most countries, but Norway enforces some strict laws when it comes to drunk drivers. A few shots can make you cross the limit, and if you don’t get hurt in an accident, odds are you’ll either pay a high price or end up in prison.

#6: Do Not Criticize

Keep your negative energy in control. Try not to criticize the people and their actions. Criticizing the heavy sales tax may come across as ignorant (there are specific reasons for it).

Similarly, try not to discuss the practice of hunting whales as it is a serious topic and can get many environmentalists angry. Consuming whale meat is a common practice among Norwegians, and they find it completely natural.


#7: Avoid Wearing Shoes Indoors

So you’ve made some friends during those long travels. Odds are they’ll invite you over for frequent visits. Norwegians usually take their shoes off before entering someone’s house (even their own). Therefore, consider wearing clean socks. However, you can keep the shoes on if your host insists.

#8: Avoid Unnecessary Assumptions

Try not to make assumptions on someone’s lifestyle or marital status. Marriage isn’t required to start a family in Norway.

Couples are living together with zero legal arrangements, so it wouldn’t be wise to assume they’re married. Similarly, homophobia is not welcomed in Norway. Two friends of the same gender aren’t always “just friends.” It’s an open-minded region. So, do not criticize anyone’s lifestyle choice.

#9: Do Not Be a Hooligan

If you’re invited to a dinner party, always be on time. Norwegians don’t usually eat with their hands (they even use utensils to eat sandwiches).

Also, dinners are typically long and cheerful, so try not to leave right after your meal. It’s good to stay behind and help your host to clean up.

#10: Never Compare the Norwegians to the Rest of Scandinavia

And last but not least, Norway is its entity. Even if the country shares proximity to the neighbors, the locals tend to keep things to themselves. Be kind to them, and they’ll be kinder to you.

Wrapping Up

Norway is a beautiful country. If you’re planning to move there, the tips mentioned above will surely come in handy. Even if it’s for a small visit, your trip will be much easier and memorable if you know the things to avoid while in Norway beforehand.

If you found this article helpful, feel free to share it with your friends.

Ever been in Norway?

Share your thoughts and suggestions with us in the comments below.

About the Writer

This article is writen for Norway Today by Kurt Walker.

Kurt Walker

Kurt Walker

Kurt Walker has been working as an editor and copywriter at assignment writing services like AustralianWrtings. He is also a professional content writer and journalist at Essayninja which provides students with the best essay help. He specializes in topics as inspiration, productivity, education, and technologies. You can visit MyAssignmentWriting to find examples of his work and seek assistance from the best essay-writing service ever.

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2 Comments on "10 Mistakes You Must Avoid in Norway"

  1. I disagree about the tips. It’s a huge complaint from workers from the hotels, pubs and restaurants sector because they barely get tips at the end of the month. I’ve worked in bartenfing, tourism and hotels before and it’s a shame to get a 2 krones tip in an envelope at the end of the month because of a roundup and plus you have to share it with the whole staff. Better nothing instead!
    Tips are always welcome but not mandatory as in the States for example.

  2. As a Norwegian, I’m sorry to say that a lot of the points in this article is not accurate. Not at all.
    Politicians give public hugs. The royal family give public hugs. A kiss is all ok in public, at the chin, at the mouth, as long as you don’t start to make out. Don’t get me started at Norwegian talk shows, where everyone hugs everyone. If sic persons is to hug each other, there are a lot of hugs involved. I have started to think that all this hugging are taking as much time from the program that the commercials are. A bit irony there. Hugging is the new handshake in Norway.

    About a 20% tip? I think most serving staff will love that.

    Pulling suitcases is a no-no? In fact, I don’t understand where the message in that point is coming from at all. Backpacks is mostly used when we are going out into the nature, and for schoolchildren. Some business people also use a kind of a more businesslike back pack. In Oslo all the rolling weels from suitcases make a lot of noise, especially at the main street Karl Johan.

    And to stay behind to clean up after dinners? Between very good friends, that happens. But we will never have a guest who have never been to us before help with cleaning up the mess in the kitchen.

    As in all countries, culture may vary a bit dependent on your age, where in the country you live and so on. I am past 60, but I can’t see that huge difference in the generation of my children. If any, they are more open and less prone to judge people living different lives from them.

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