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American Express -- American Express Reisebyrå, Maribores Gate 13 (tel. 22-98-35-00), is open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Area Code -- The country code for Norway is 47. If you're calling from outside the country, the city code for Oslo is 2. Inside Norway, no area or city codes are needed. Telephone numbers have eight digits.

Babysitters -- Hotels can often enlist the help of a housekeeper for "child-minding." Give at least a day's notice, or two if you can. You can also contact the tourist office, which keeps a list of available sitters on file.

Bookstores -- Oslo has many bookstores. The most central and one of the best stocked is Tanum Karl Johan, Karl Johans Gate 43 (tel. 22-41-11-00).

Currency Exchange -- Banks will exchange most foreign currencies or cash traveler's checks. Bring your passport for identification. If banks are closed, try automated machines at the Oslo Sentralstasjon to exchange currency. For foreign currency exchange go to Forex, at Oslo Sentralstasjon, Jernbanetorget 1 (tel. 22-17-64-00).

Dentists -- If you're having a dental emergency, you can contact either of these organizations at extended hours, usually 24 hours a day, for the address of a dentist who can take a new client on short notice: Volvat Medisinske Senter (Volvat Medical Center), Borgenveien 2A (tel. 22-95-75-00); and Oslo Legevakt (Oslo Emergency Hospital), Storgten 40 (tel. 22-11-80-80; ask for emergency services).

Doctors -- Some larger hotels have arrangements with doctors in case a guest becomes ill, or try the 24-hour Oslo Akuttetaten (Emergencies), Storgata 40 (tel. 22-93-22-93). A privately funded alternative is Oslo Akutten, Nedre Vollgate 8 (tel. 22-00-81-60). For more routine medical assistance, you can contact the biggest hospital in Oslo, Ullaval, Kirkeveien 166 (tel. 22-11-80-80). To consult a private doctor (nearly all of whom speak English), check the telephone directory or ask at your hotel for a recommendation.

Drugstores -- A 24-hour pharmacy is Jernbanetorvets Apotek, Jernbanetorget 4A (tel. 22-41-24-82).

Emergencies -- Dial the Oslo police at tel. 112; to report a fire, call tel. 110; call an ambulance at tel. 113.

Eyeglass Repair -- Synsam Karl Johan, Karl Johans Gate 20 (tel. 22-00-83-10), is a big eyeglass supplier. Most contact lenses are in stock, too. Unusual prescriptions take about 2 days. Hours are Monday and Wednesday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Tuesday 9am to 6pm, and Saturday 10am to 3pm.

Internet Access -- You can tap in free at the Rådhuset, the City Hall on Rådhusplassen (tel. 23-46-16-00).

Laundry & Dry Cleaning -- Washing and drying can usually be completed in an hour. You must have your coins ready to put in the machines. Dry cleaning is extremely expensive in Oslo, and many establishments take more than a week to return clothing. Try American Lincoln Norge, Østmarkv 25 (tel. 22-27-24-50), which promises 24-hour service.

Lost Property -- It's uncertain -- even in law-abiding Norway -- whether someone will actually return a valuable object that you've lost, but the two most obvious places to begin your search are the Lost Property office at Gardermoen Airport (tel. 64-81-34-77), which is open daily 7am to 6pm, and the Lost Property office at the Central Railway Station (tel. 81-56-83-40), open Monday to Friday midnight to 5pm.

Luggage Storage & Lockers -- Facilities for luggage storage are available at the Oslo Sentralstasjon, Jernbanetorget 1 (tel. 81-50-08-88). It's open daily 4:30am to 1am. Lockers cost NOK40 to NOK70 ($8-$14/£4-£7) per day, depending on size.

Newspapers & Magazines -- English-language newspapers and magazines are sold -- at least, in the summer months -- at newsstands (kiosks) throughout Oslo. International editions, including the International Herald Tribune and USA Today, are always available, as are the European editions of Time and Newsweek.

Photographic Needs -- Try Preus Photo, Stovner Senter 3 (tel. 22-42-98-04), for supplies, including black-and-white and color film. Film can be developed in 1 hour. It's open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, and Saturday 10am to 3pm.

Police -- Dial tel. 112.

Post Office -- The Oslo General Post Office is at Dronningensgatan 15 (tel. 23-14-90-00 for information). Enter at the corner of Prinsensgate. It's open Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to 2pm; it's closed Sunday and public holidays. You can arrange for mail to be sent to the main post office c/o General Delivery. The address is Poste Restante, P.O. Box 1181-Sentrum, Dronningensgatan 15, N-0101 Oslo, Norway. You must show your passport to collect it.

Safety -- Of the four Scandinavian capitals, Oslo is widely considered the safest. However, it is still a major city, so don't be lulled into a false sense of security. Be careful, and don't carry your wallet visibly exposed or sling your purse over your shoulder.

Taxes -- Oslo has no special city taxes. You'll pay the same value-added tax throughout the country.

Toilets -- Clean public toilets can be found throughout the city center, in parks, and at all bus, rail, and air terminals. For a detailed list, contact the Tourist Information Office.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.