When you travel, it is undoubtedly essential to know about the cities you will visit, the culture and traditions, the attractions in each of them, and its highlights. But we often forget to pay attention to other equally important things, and the currency is precisely one of those. Having the right knowledge helps to avoid common mistakes when buying and spending in a foreign country, and you will be able to administrate your savings in a better way. Let’s get to know a bit more about the Norway Currency, the NOK.
What currency does Norway use?
Norway uses the Norwegian Krone, written officially as NOK. Before I go into further details, allow me to give a brief introduction about the national currency.
The Norwegian Krone has been around since 1875 in replacement of the Norwegian Spesidaler. It has been part of the Scandinavian Monetary Union since then. The union ended almost 40 years later, in 1914 due to the outbreak of World War I.
So you can have an idea of its value back then, 1 krone was worth 403.226 milligrams of gold (1kg of gold = 2,480 kroner). By the way, the kroner is the plural of Krone, and 1 NOK contains 100 øre, just like the USD has cents, where 1 USD is made up of 100 cents.
The Norwegian Krone in circulation:
Just like everywhere else, there are coins and notes currently circulating in Norway:
The coins are 1,5,10 and 20 Kroner. There was a 50 coin, the øre norec, but the last units were made in 2011, and it is now obsolete
And the notes currently available are 50,100,200,500 and 1000 Kroner.
The most recent addition was the new 1,000 Kroner added in November 2019, completing the whole series of Norway’s new banknotes.
Whenever I travel abroad, I always love to look at the banknotes and pay attention to its details and the story behind them, as it talks about the identity of each place. And I do not want to brag about it, but Norway has one of the most beautiful banknotes of all.
The current set of banknotes, which started circulating in 2017, is just so vivid and colorful. All of them featuring images related to the beautiful Norwegian sea.
Every banknote has its denomination, and they all have a unique and beautiful meaning, as you can see below:
50: ‘The sea that binds us together.’
100: ‘The sea that takes us out into the world.’
200: ‘The sea that feeds us.’
500: ‘The sea that gives us prosperity.’
1,000: ‘The sea that carries us forward.’
Can I use Euro in Norway?
No Euros are circulating in the Kingdom of Norway, so the simple and straightforward answer is no. Most shops and restaurants will not accept EUR. However, I know that some souvenir stores can accept Euro, but that is the only exception. I highly doubt that you will have any issues with that since most people do not use cash in Norway. It is almost a cashless nation. Most locals and visitors only use cards and Vipps.
Vipps is a beneficial mobile payment App that pretty much everyone uses in Norway, and it is the most extensive Payment application in the country. It works for customers of every Norwegian bank. It is so simple, friendly, and can be used to pay for products, services, pay bills, and even send and receive money.
It is funny and cool that even in little shops where mostly fish is sold, accept this payment method—showing that Norway is giving giant steps into becoming a cashless country.
The value of the Norwegian currency
Due to the current situation with the Covid, even the strongest currencies have shown signs of higher volatility, and the NOK is no exception. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Krone collapsed due to the tumble of the oil price.
During the last few (2-3) months, the NOK volatility has been lower, yet the recovery has been slow, and it appears that this will be the tendency until the virus is gone.
If you plan to visit Norway soon, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on the exchange rate to see what to expect when you come.
Exchange rate USD to NOK
One of the most traded currencies in Norway is the USD, along with the EUR.
The exchange rate plays a huge role in the market and determines the prices of products and services offered country-wide. So buying NOKs at the right time can be very beneficial to your pockets.
As of today, here are some exchange rates that you might be interested in:
1 USD = 8.654 NOK (1 NOK = 0.115553 USD)
1 EUR = 10.567 NOK (1 NOK = 0.0946346 EUR)
1 CAD = 6.795 NOK (1 NOK = 0.147166 CAD)
1 GBP = 11.7130 NOK (1 NOK = 0.0853749 GBP)
1 AUD = 6.563 NOK (1 NOK = 0.152371 AUD)
I picked the most popular exchange rates, so I apologize in advance if I did not mention your currency. You can easily find it here
Where can I get Norwegian currency?
You could exchange currency at the airport if you just arrived, but you should expect high prices.
One of the most popular places where visitors exchange money is at the Oslo Visitor Centre, near Oslo central station. Fees should be lower compared to the airport.
Lastly, if you are keen to exchange money and go for cash, I highly recommend you visit your own bank and ask if they have any partnerships with any Norwegian bank, so when using their ATMs, you can save some money.
Is it better to exchange currency?
The short answer is no. Most of us use credit cards or debit cards, and for sure most of them can be used abroad. There are excellent cards that offer 0 fees for making purchases abroad, so the best option is to use a debit/credit card.
Norwegian Currency: The NOK
Wrapping things up, I can say that the NOK is still a reliable currency; it is certainly not at its best, but yet still quite valid. Like I just suggested, save yourself some money by using debit/credit cards and see how the currency exchange behaves before your visit. This will allow you to keep track of your budget and make the best decisions for your trip to Norway.