‘Try to embrace it’: How to survive Norway’s long winter nights

Around half of our readers told us in recent social media polls that they don't mind the long nights and short days throughout the winter in Norway, so we asked for your tips.

'Try to embrace it': How to survive Norway’s long winter nights
Photo: bublik_polina/Depositphotos

In a poll we posted on Facebook, 44 percent of readers said they didn’t mind the darker months of the year after the clocks go back.

The Twitter version of the poll returned a majority of 57 percent not worried by the long nights ahead.

Were were positively surprised by the enthusiasm for the winter, so we asked how the dark nights affect you and how you manage them. Thank you for your responses, to our survey and on social media.

Although some don’t feel much difference when the long nights close in, others made no secret of the fact it can be tough.

“It affects me a lot. Short days, dark nights plus minus temperatures for 3-4 months is always a big challenge,” wrote Sofia Hu, who lives in Oslo.

“I think it’s cozy, might be a little more (tired) than a summer’s day but it doesn’t affect me much,” Daniel Alexander Tuck of Trondheim responded on the other hand.

Whether you find it tough going or look forward to the winter, plenty of readers offered tips on how to manage or even embrace and longer nights and fewer light daytime hours.

“Stay indoors with lights, as much as possible,” Hu wrote, while Tuck advised learning to “appreciate the cozy atmosphere”.

We received some excellent responses on our Facebook post about the poll.

“Stop thinking about winter as of some sort of neverending frozen hell – learn and finally try to understand that it is a seasonal, part of a natural cycle and try to embrace it,” one reader posted.

Embracing the winter and the cold was a strong theme, with the same reader suggesting that getting in touch with Norway’s nature was a way to keep winter fatigue at bay.

“Walk in the snow, listen to the sounds of nature, have a sandwich or a cup of tea while sitting on a stone – during a heavy snowstorm is even better,” she wrote.

Several people recommended vitamin D supplements and warm foods and drinks such as soups, tea and cocoa.

Another reader simply advised “alcohol and good books”.

Others still were more straightforward, saying that Norway’s winter just has to be got used to.

READ ALSO: Why the shocking cold of winter bathing is a Nordic favourite

For members


How much does going to the dentist cost in Norway? 

A trip to the dentist can be painful in more ways than one, especially for your bank account, so how much will it set you back in Norway and how do you get an appointment?

How much does going to the dentist cost in Norway? 
Many dread a trip to the dentist. Photo by Yusuf Belek on Unsplash

Is dental work free in Norway?

Norway’s robust and comprehensive public healthcare system is accessible through the Norwegian National Health Insurance Scheme. Because it is so comprehensive, many make the assumption that all health issues, including dental problems, are covered by the scheme.  

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case as, generally, dental care is not covered by the public healthcare system. Instead, you will have to go to a private practitioner should you have an issue with your teeth or if it’s time for a checkup. 

If you’d like to learn more about what is covered by the National Health Insurance, you can look at our guide on how the scheme works and common problems foreigners run into here.

How much does it cost?

The bad news is that, much like most other things in Norway, a trip to the dentists will set you back a fair amount, and unlike the Norwegian National Health Insurance Scheme, there is no exemption card, or frikort, after you have paid a certain amount. 

READ MORE: Seven things foreigners in Norway should know about the health system

On the bright side, dental treatment is free for children under 18, and if you are aged between 19 and 20, you will only need to stump up 25 percent of the total bill. 

In most cases, everyone over the age of 21 will be expected to pay the whole bill, apart from a few exceptions, which you can read about here

The cost of dentistry can be reimbursed or subsidised if you meet any of the 15 conditions that will entitle you to claim support from The Norwegian Health Economics Administration or Helfo.

Helfo is responsible for making payments from the National Insurance Scheme to healthcare providers and reimbursing individuals for vital healthcare services not covered by the insurance scheme. 

The list of conditions includes essential work, such as having an oral tumour removed, for example. You can take a look at the 15 conditions for which you claim help from Helfo here.

You can also apply to the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) for financial assistance relating to dental work.

How much you are eligible to receive from NAV will depend entirely on your situation. 

Below you can take a look at the rough cost of some common dental work in Norway. 

  • Examination/appointment- 600 kroner 
  • Examination/appointment with tartar removal and x rays- 1,000 kroner 
  • Small filling- 900 kroner 
  • Medium sized filling 1,400- kroner 
  • Large filling- 1,500 kroner 
  • Tooth surgically removed- 2,000 kroner 
  • Root canal filling 3,800 kroner
  • Crown- 7,000 kroner

How to book an appointment

Booking an appointment in Norway is as simple as contacting your nearest dentist. Before you book, you can typically check the price list of the dentist you will be visiting to get a rough idea of how much the visit could cost you too. 

The majority of dentists in Norway will speak good English. You can also visit an entirely English speaking dentist surgery, where all the staff will speak English, in the big cities such as Oslo if you haven’t quite gotten to grips with Norwegian yet. 

You can search for a dentist using this tool which will show you your nearest dentist in the town, city or county you live in.