The Best 9 Places To Live Or Retire In Norway

norway flag

When retiring to Norway these are the must-know places and I will tell you why. We will discuss the weather, how many people there are, how to get around, health and safety, and all the basics you will want to know to remove there comfortably. 

The Best 9 Places To Live Or Retire In Norway Are:

  • Oslo
  • Bergen
  • Stavanger / Sandnes
  • Trondheim
  • Drammen
  • Kristiansand
  • Ålesund
  • Tønsberg
  • Svolvaer 

Now that you know what the best places are, let’s dig in deeper and I will tell you why I like each place.

Is Norway good for retirement?

Norway is a famous country for having very beautiful natural landscapes, in addition to good health and being very safe, which are key to somewhere you may want to retire.  While it can be a very cold country there is central heating everywhere and plenty of older properties with log fires if that is your preference.

What is the Language in Norway?

The official language is Norwegian, although the vast majority of the Norwegian population speaks English fluently. This means you will have no problem communicating while learning the local language and can easily fall back to English in a pinch.

To practice and learn the language you can download the DuoLingo App on your phone or you can use it on your computer with the web browser. Use this for a few months and get a couple of levels up doing at least 2 to 3 lessons a day or more.  This will help you with basic manners, buying food, shopping and buying transport tickets when you get there.

Why to live or retire in Oslo?

Temperature: -5 to 22 deg C / 23 to 73 F 

Population: 674 K

Tourist Information –

Oslo is the capital and most populous city of Norway, in addition to being the political, economic, and cultural center of the country. This city has a humid climate. Summers are mostly cool, with maximum temperatures between 19 and 22 ° C. The winter can be quite cold with the low temperature averaging around  -5 ° C and with snowy days.

Oslo’s transport system is really good and covers most of the city. If you buy a single ticket it can be a bit expensive, so buying a monthly one is worth around $100 USD and you have unlimited travel on the subway, local trains, and buses. Another thing to mention is that the city is bike-friendly with heaps of bike paths. It is the most expensive city in Norway but you can find some cheaper accommodation a little further out from the center of town.

What To Do

Why to live or retire in Bergen?

Temperature: -2 to 18 deg C / 28 to 64 F

Population: 278 K

Tourist Information –

Bergen is the second-largest city in Norway. The city is situated on the southwestern coast of Norway, in a valley formed by a group of mountains near the North Sea. It is also recognized as one of the most beautiful cities in Norway. Bergen in recent years has attracted a large number of expats thanks to its health, education, and security services, as well as its extensive transport services.

Bergen’s climate is considered temperate and famous for its abundant rainfall. Summers are cool and mostly cloudy, and winters tend to be very long, cold, and windy. Throughout the year the average temperature varies between -2 C and 18 C. 

What To Do

Why to live or retire in Stavanger / Sandnes?

Temperature: -2 to 19 deg C / 31 to 66 F 

Population: 135 K

Tourist Information –

Stavanger is one of the port cities of Norway, being this also the fourth most populated city in the country. The main economic mechanism of the city is maritime transport and shipbuilding. Stavanger is quite a quiet and beautiful city, full of a lot of nature around it. Although it may seem like an expensive city, it is still a very good option to consider. Safety is a factor not to worry about here.

The average annual temperature in Stavanger ranges from about -2 C to 19 C. As in the rest of the country, the summers are short but very cool, and the winters are long and very cold. Stavanger is also known for being a city of water, due to the fact that it has high rainfall throughout the year.

What To Do

Why to live or retire in Trondheim?

Temperature: -5 to 19 deg C / 23 to 66 F 

Population: 205 K

Tourist Information –

Trondheim is the third-most populous city in Norway, behind Oslo and Bergen, and one of the safest cities. Much of the population speaks English so you will have no problem integrating while learning the local language. Trondheim is an ideal city for cycling or walking. The bus system is excellent and it also has an airport and a train terminal, as well as a port, so fishing activities are common here.

With cool and mostly cloudy summers and long and humid winters, the average temperature ranges between -5 C and 19 C. The best time is the summer between the months of July and mid-August.

What To Do

Why to live or retire in Drammen?

Temperature: -5 to 19 deg C / 22 to 66 F 

Population: 68 K

Tourist Information –

Drammen is the ninth most populous city in Norway. With a seaport which is the main importer of cars and fruit in the country, the city center is located at the end of a valley on the sides of the Drammenselva River. The climate here is very similar to the rest of the country. Short and cool summers, and very long and icy winters, having an average annual temperature between -5 C and 19 C.

In recent years, this city has had great growth with a pleasant urban atmosphere but at the same time, it remains a very quiet and safe city. One of the most attractive activities in the city is visiting the museums and some tours in the craft breweries and exploring the river.

What To Do

Why to live or retire in Kristiansand?

Temperature: -3 to 21 deg C / 26 to 70 F

Population: 88 K

Tourist Information –

Kristiansand is the fifth largest city in Norway. Located in the southern part of the country, this city is very famous during the summer months because the best beach in the country is located here. Tourism is the biggest income earner for this town and the population grows during the summer months and is quiet during the winter.  Like with the rest of Norway the security is great, as well as health care and lifestyle.

The annual temperature varies between -3 C to 21 C. Summers are really pleasant and partially cloudy, whereas winters tend to be long, cold, wet, and very windy like most of Norway. 

What To Do

Why to live or retire in Ålesund?

Temperature: -5 to 21 deg C / 33 to 61 F 

Population: 55 K

Tourist Information –

Ålesund is a city made up of several islands. The city center is located on the islands of Heissa and Aspøya. Known as one of the safest cities in Norway, it also has one of the best hospital services and high-quality education. Most of the people in this city speak basic English and it is an LGTB-friendly city.

Although the nightlife is not very good in the city, it offers a very good quality of life with a very quiet lifestyle. The annual average temperature of the city is -5 C to 21 C. Summers are short and cool while winter is long and very cold, like the rest of the country. The best time to visit the city is during the summer, from the beginning of July to the middle or end of August.

What To Do

Why to live or retire in Tønsberg?

Temperature: -2 to 17 deg C / 23 to 72 F 

Population: 56 K

Tønsberg is one of the most desirable places to live in Norway. Considered the oldest city in Norway it offers many things to do. Some places you can visit are ancient ruins, Viking burial mounds, and museums. The cultural life of the city is influenced by its history. It has excellent attractions in the summer months when different festivals are celebrated and the nightlife increases.

Although it is a tourist town, Tønsberg is not without a pleasant and peaceful environment to live in. Security is not an issue to worry about and it has good hospitals. During the course of the year, the temperature can vary from -2 C to 17 C.

What To Do

Why to live or retire in Svolvaer?

Temperature: -3 to 17 deg C / 28 to 63 F

Population – 9.6 K

Svolvaer (Svolvær) is a province located in the Lofoten Islands. Svolvaer, also known as a regional center, is full of high-end restaurants, hotels, and art galleries. Fishing and tourism are the main economic sources of this region.

Like the rest of the cities of Norway, in Svolvaer the summers are also short, cool, and mostly cloudy. Winters are long, very cold, wet, and windy. During most of the year, the temperature ranges between -3 C and 17 C.

What To Do

Health Care

The public health system in Norway is one of the best in the world so that every citizen, resident, and legal tourist has the right to receive medical attention equally. All of this leaves Norway far ahead of the United States in their rankings globally as per the World Health Organization rankings. You can see this list below. 

LINK: World Health Care Rankings

How much do you need to retire in Norway?

Living or retiring comfortably in Norway requires around $ 1800 USD per month. Much of this budget is used for rent and grocery expenses. Bearing in mind that the cost may vary depending on the city you choose and if you decide to reside outside or within the city.

Monthly ExpenseUSD Cost
Rent – 1 bedroom unit$ 1100
Rent – 3 bedroom$ 1700
Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Rates)$ 153
Internet$ 50
Transportation$ 95
Food and Groceries$ 400

Check this article if you want to know more about prices and how much do you need to live or retire in Norway Cost Of Living In Norway: All You Have To Know. Also, you can consult the Reference Budget for Consumer Expenditures which is updated every year to provide an estimate of the budget that each person could spend.

Can US citizens own property in Norway?

Americans can buy and own property regardless of whether they have a residence permit. Although the process can be a bit longer if you do not have a residence permit, this should not prevent any American from owning any property.

These are the top real estates to look at In Norway:

TIP: Whether you are buying or renting, if you are looking for some cheaper options you can go to the facebook marketplace. Change your filter to the city you want in Norway and then click on Property Rentals or House Sales.

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