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Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway

Retire in Norway

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: What is it like to retire in Norway? Retirees share their experiences living in Norway.

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How do I meet people in Norway?

If you live in Norway, newcomers to Norway would love to hear your answer to this question.

If your answer relates to a specific city or town in Norway, please include the name of the city/town below:


When we asked people living in Norway about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"I haven't been able to find an organization, club, etc.There are no expat clubs to welcome you or anything of that sort. My child goes to an International school so I have met parents (from other countries) who have become good friends. Norwegians are not easy to befriend if you don't know them through someone else. and from what I have heard northern Norwegians are not as welcoming as southern, so we have that up hill battle as well. Its been really hard to find anything if you don't speak Norwegian," added another person in Tromso.

"Orienteering is big here and I had never heard of it before. There are groups that go out twice a week. There are many, many sports clubs you can join to meet people. I met many people through an adult education course on the Norwegian language which also helped assimilate me into the culture. Swimming at the pool Pirbadet is popular for families and those in the 20-30's at the last hour it is open when the rates drop. Hiking in the mountains and skiing (both alpine and cross country) of course are also popular," remarked another retiree in Trondheim.

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What is life like in Norway?

When we asked people living in Norway what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"In general, it seems to me everyone for his own. Family is important because no one steps out of the box they live in. Socializing is for who you know. And work ethic is just different from what I am used to. When clock hits 4:00pm the desk is empty if you are Norwegian. All projects take forever to get done due to this mentality. Sports events are rare and again hard to find if you don't speak or read Norwegian, so you really have to be an extrovert to find out what is happening on the island for the weekend. Tourist center helps if you go by once a week," explained a retiree in Tromso.

"Lives revolve around the outdoors and family. People work from 8-4 and after 4pm, the office is cleared out. There is a great emphasis to do something fun every day and it seems like they spend most of their time outdoors, at least in the spring, summer and fall. They hang out by the fjord and bbq and play volleyball and sun tan on the weekends. There is a saying here that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing, which seems to sum up their attitude towards the outdoors! Family is definitely a priority with the one year maternity leave and love of children here," explained one retiree living in Trondheim.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What do I need to know before retiring in Norway?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Norway, they said:

"I would tell them that they should have to like a closed off culture of people. When you walk down the street people do NOT smile or say hello. A man will push you out of the way to get through the door first. If you are lazy and don't have a good work ethic, then this place will be perfect for you. There are plenty of expats that love this place, however its not for us," commented one retiree living in Tromso, Norway.

"Norway is really an expensive country overall, but at the same time, all of the beauty is outdoors which is free to enjoy! If you enjoy hiking, skiing, fishing, biking, etc. then you will really like Trondheim," explained one retiree living in Trondheim.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway

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