Two things that spring to mind when visiting Norway:

  1. According to the United Nations Standard of Living survey, Norway is the world’s best country to live in (as has been for the last 7 years or so)
  2. Norway’s famous saying is “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!” so be warned a bit of rain or snow will not stop anything here

Stavanger is a city situated around a beautiful harbor “Skagen”, located in the West of Norway with a population of approx.  127,000 inhabitants. A city that often hits lists of expensive cities in the world, Stavanger has even been ranked as the world’s most expensive city by certain indexes; however you cannot fail to be impressed but its natural beauty and delightful charm.  Whilst Norwegians are often referred to as laid back and generally quite modest Stavanger is aka “The Oil Capital of Europe” boasting great wealth and an ever increasing vibrant city filled with new bars, restaurants and entertainment.

local business etiquette and customs

Family and home/work life balance is very important to Norwegians, the working day usually starts at 08.00 and ends at 16.00 (prompt!) and weekends are for family and friends.

Norway boasts a “40% women on the board or dissolve” sanction and both parents share the child care for the first year; with fathers taking up to three months off work (paid) to look after their child.

The dress is very comfortable and casual (office workers even wear jeans to work) so most people venture out in waterproof/windproof clothes and as the centre is full of cobbled street, high shoes or “taxi shoes” are not recommended, plus “Luxury” items such as hairdressers and beauty treatments are very costly.


The local airport is Stavanger Airport, Sola.  In terms of taxis you can pay in cash (kroner only) or by credit card. If you wish to pay by card, inform the driver at the start of the trip, the majority accepts the most common cards.

NB – Upon arrival to the airport, there is always a long line of taxi’s waiting outside arrivals (taxis won’t accept bookings to pick up from the airport) and expect to pay approx. NOK400-500 from Sola Airport to the City Centre.

You can take a taxi from the many taxi ranks throughout the city plus you are free to use which taxi company/driver you wish and do not have to choose the first in line at the rank. You can also hail a taxi in the street or simply phone for one, however some companies charge for call out fee and start the meter the moment they arrive at your location, plus they are very expensive!

NB – Safety Tip – swipe (not pay) your credit card upon entering the taxi into the pay machine so you are registered in the system.

I suggest using to book either online or call 0047 5190 9090.

The most common method of transport within the city is walking so don’t be shocked when you get a “strange look” from the hotel reception if asking for a taxi to the local restaurant.

A cheaper option is to take the, this costs NOK100 one way or NOK150 return and takes approx. 20 mins, plus we have a very good train and bus network.

SAFETY and emergency services

  • In the event of an emergency, please call: 110 – Fire, 112 – Police, 113 – Ambulance.
  • Seat belts are compulsory, plus there is the “Right Hand Rule” where all drivers must give way to traffic from the right (on small roads).
  • Drivers must always yield to pedestrians at zebra crossings (without traffic light). This rule is strictly enforced.
  • Smoking restrictions It is not permitted to smoke in public buildings and other places open to the public.
  • Within the limit of NOK 6,000 you are allowed to bring with you the following articles free of customs and excise duty;
    • Alcohol – 1 litre of beverages as  well as 1½ litre and 2 litres of beer
    • Tobacco – 200 cigarettes or 250 g of other tobacco products and 200 leaves of cigarette paper.
    • Currency – you are allowed to bring Norwegian and foreign bank notes and coins at a total value of NOK 25,000.

Whilst crime is very low here, it pays to be observant at all times plus like any other bustling, affluent city midnight around the bar areas is not a place I would suggest you visit, not in terms of danger just due to your typical youngsters enjoying life!


leesa-sikveland-stavangerOriginally from Manchester, I moved to Stavanger in 2009 with my Norwegian husband and live here as a “local foreigner”.  I have two small children and work full time as an Assistant to two VP’s within the Oil Industry.

I have over 20 years of PA/Event Management experience within various industries and love trying out new places and sharing the information (however more importantly I hate not knowing about new places!).  I am delighted that Norway is slowly but surely tapping into the networking bug.

I run a Facebook group called “Moving to and Living in Stavanger” with nearly 1000 members, plus a network group for PA/EA’s of the main Oil Industry Leaders within the Stavanger region.

Please feel free to contact me personally with any questions you may have or you can find out more about the beautiful region  on and/or

Networking: See who is networking in Stavanger now

Read the doing business in Norway guide.