Norway Krone - NOK
If you travel to Norway you will use their official currency which is the krone. The plural for this is kroner and it means crown. There are other variations of the krone used in other European countries as well, such as the Czech krona and the Icelandic krona. It is a decimal currency and can be divided into 100 ore.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
Even though the krone can technically be split into 100 ore, the last remaining ore coin was discontinued in 2012. This was the 50 ore coin. It does however still have one use – banks in the country will accept the coins and give people the higher valued coins in return for several years to come, until 2022.
This means there are merely four coins circulating that are valued in kroner. These are the 1, 5, 10 and 20 kroner coins. The word kroner typically appears as kr when written to indicate an amount of money.
There are also five banknotes in use at present. They are all different colours so they are easy to distinguish from one another. The smallest is the 50 kroner note, and from there they go up as follows – 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 kroner notes. In practice the largest valued note is not often used.
From past to present – the history of the Norwegian krone
The krone has been used in Norway since 1875. From 1873 Norway was part of the so-called Scandinavian Monetary Union along with Denmark and Sweden. Even though the union ended in 1914 and each country effectively adopted their own currency, the name stuck. This is why there are other countries with similarly named currencies today.
How to get hold of Norwegian kroner
If you want to have some with you when you arrive in Norway the best bet is to order some kroner from a bureau de change before you leave. While many bureaux de change will stock a fair number of currencies, make sure they will be able to supply you with what you need in advance, in case you have to order it.
Some smaller establishments in the country only take cash and reject card payments, so bear this in mind when it comes to paying for things. It’s always good to have some cash on you for this purpose. The good news is that cash machines are quite widespread in the country, particularly in the larger cities and towns.
Make sure you notify your card providers that you are travelling to Norway prior to using your cards there. The last thing you need is for your bank or provider to stop your card just when you need it most. You can get local currency from a cash machine but you will be charged a conversion rate. Check with your bank prior to leaving home to see how much this might be.
Credit and debit cards can also be used to make payment in various outlets, shops and restaurants. Just check first to make sure the card you have will be accepted.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Norwegian krone
Any good currency converter should be able to provide you with the information you need. They generally have ‘from’ and ‘to’ options so you just need to select your own currency as the ‘from’ option and the Norwegian krone as the ‘to’ option. You can then convert one unit to the other, either as a single amount or a larger sum depending on what you want to know.
There is much to look forward to when you want to travel to Norway. However you might benefit from finding out a little more official information before you go. The official website for Norway in the UK is at http://www.norway.org.uk/Embassy/ and it has more information on the UK embassy in London as well.
Travelling safely with Norwegian kroner
Norway is a wonderful place to visit and crime here is pretty low. Most of the people who visit on holiday have no problems at all. Petty theft and pickpocketing tends to be a little more prevalent in high traffic tourist areas and in airports, bus stations and railway stations. Always make sure you keep all your belongings with you and don’t leave anything unattended. Make sure no one is hanging around when you use cash machines and keep your cash split into different pockets if you can.
It is also wise to avoid travelling alone at night and to stay in areas that are busy and well used by others.
Where to spend your kroner in Norway – and what to spend them on
Norway is in northern Europe and is a very long thin country compared to many others. Much of its border along the western edge towards the north of the country borders onto the Norwegian Sea. The southernmost reaches of the country border onto the North Sea, while it shares land borders with Sweden, Finland and a small part of north western Russia.
Norway is an interesting country geographically because it has an incredibly long border with Sweden that runs for more than 1,000 miles. The country is skinny as we have mentioned, and it actually only has a little over 5 million people living there. Compare that with the 8 million people living in London, England alone!
Perhaps the most famous destination to visit in Norway is Oslo, its capital. This is well worth a long weekend away even if you decide not to visit Norway in greater depth. You’ll find it towards the southern end of the country, towards the Norway-Sweden border. The city has been established for nearly 1,000 years and today it consists of a lovely mix of green spaces alongside an impressive skyline. Frogner Park is one of the most popular parks and is worth a look as you explore the city. It provides somewhere to go if you are interested in sculptures as there are plenty of them to discover there. Oslo itself is resplendent with a few skyscrapers and many modern office buildings. While there is undoubtedly a very modern side to the city there are many older buildings here as well that hark back to an older time.
But let’s not forget the rest of Norway. What else is there to discover there? Well, there are many towns that are worth visiting too, not least the town called Roros. This is quite charming and you will think you have gone back in time owing to the buildings here. Many of them date from the 1600s and 1700s, so it should not come as a surprise to learn that UNESCO made Roros a World Heritage Site back in the Eighties. This is why you will get the feeling you have time travelled back into an era where life was perhaps simpler than it was today. Some of the streets are quite narrow as well, so you can wander down them as you look up at the wooden buildings on either side.
Elsewhere Lillehammer is a place you will no doubt be familiar with, thanks to its standing as a former host of the Winter Olympics. One of the highlights here is Maihaugen, which is one of the most popular destinations for many people visiting the city. This is an open air museum and covers quite a large site. You can view houses that date back as far as the 15th century, which is quite an experience in itself, as well as seeing how life has changed living in Norway over the years.
Of course you can also visit nearby Olympic sites that have played host to various skiing events. If you love sport and you want to indulge in some skiing while you are in Norway, this is a good place to choose as a base for your holiday.
Norway also has plentiful areas of countryside – some of it quite dramatic – to offer. For example it would surely be foolhardy to pay a visit without taking the time to see the North Cape. This is very popular and when you see it for yourself you will see why. The name refers to a cliff which is over 300 metres in height. This is the northernmost end not just of Norway but of Europe, and the view is quite amazing.
Another must-see sight is Geirangerfjord. This is a popular destination for cruise ships but you can visit it in other ways as well. This too is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it isn’t hard to see why. The area is famous for its waterfalls, perhaps particularly the Seven Sisters waterfall. As the name would suggest there are seven individual streams that make up the waterfall as a whole. Another of the more familiar waterfalls is the Bridal Veil.
Norway has so much to offer the average tourist it can be difficult to get your priorities right. With amazing cities such as Oslo on offer, Olympic sites such as Lillehammer and stunning natural sights including the North Cape, it is easy to see why so many people flock to the country every year.
The downside is that Norway is a lot more expensive than other countries in Europe. However if you can afford it and you have the time to go, your efforts will be well rewarded.