10 budget holiday tips
- Camping or caravanning
- Stay in a hostel or bed & breakfast
- Stay in a non-service mountain cabin
- Hiking holiday
- Fishing in the sea from shore
- Biking holiday
- Buy your food in a supermarket
- Eat at a small Asian restaurant
- Travel by bus or train, and order tickets in advance
- Get an "Explore Norway" round-trip air ticket
Camping and caravanning
The cheapest way to spend your nights is to bring a tent. You may pitch your tent almost anywhere on unfenced land for free, as a result of the right of access. In addition, there are camping sites for tents and caravans throughout the country, where you pay a small fee and get access to showers and kitchens. In these places, there are often simple cabins for rent as well.
Another new and interewsting option is renting a mini-camper car from Nordic Campers. Essentially a car rebuilt to become a small B&B equipped for cooking, one of these will give you all the freedom you need to get around and stay wherever you want.
If travelling through Norway by car, look for the "room for rent" signs. Sometimes they appear in Norwegian, which will read "Rom til leie".
With some advance planning you can easily find a bed suited to a low budget. There are many different kinds of offers of affordable accommodation in Norway, such as B&B Norway which can offer bed & breakfast throuhgout the country.
A member of Hostelling International, Norske Vandrerhjem offers 75 different kinds of hostels from north to south in Norway. They offer cheap beds and the chance to meet people not only from Norway but from all over the world. You can book your single, double or family rooms online.
Norway is one of the least densely populated countries of the world and there are vast areas with extensive networks of marked trails waiting for you. Hiking is free of charge, and when enjoying the mountains and wilderness, there is a big selection of cabins available. A total of 460 cabins of different standard can be booked through The Norwegian Trekking Organisation. The cheapest are the non-service ones, where you bring your own food.
What to do
With or without your own tent, mountain hiking is free of charge. Alternatively, book rooms in The Norwegian Trekking Association's non-service or self-service cabins. The full-service cabins are less spartan and hence more expensive.
A bicycling holiday with your own tent is a cheap way to explore Norway. If you don't like tents, order affordable cabins at the many camping sites before you start your trip. If you don't want to go on your own, you can book an organised bicycling trip. Read more about popular cycling routes in Norway.
Bring your fishing rod when bicycling or driving around Norway. A good way of getting free dinner, fishing in the sea from shore is always free of charge.
Driving in Norway
Bring your own car or rent one when you arrive. Either way you will find plenty of opportunities for affordable accommodation and there is a good selection of scenic roads through Norway.
Eating and drinking
Buying your food in a supermarket is the cheapest way of filling your stomach. Of the many supermarket chains you will find in Norway, Rema 1000, Kiwi and Rimi are regarded as the cheapest.
Most grocery shops and supermarkets will carry ordinary beer, but to buy strong beer, wine or spirits, you need to find your nearest Vinmonopolet outlet. As this is a governmentally run business, there are no aim for profits, so the really expensive wines and spirits are actually relatively cheap in Norway, compared with other countries. Norwegian laws on alcohol can be complicated, however, so be prepared and plan ahead.
In the cities, look up smaller Asian restaurants. Many of them are cheap and offer quality food. In Oslo there are many of these restaurants in the Grønland area as well as Torggata, the street which connects the city center and lower parts of Grünerløkka.
Tap water is drinkable and ordering a bottle of mineral water with your meal is unnecessary. Most restaurants will bring a jug and some glasses to your table. If they don't, it is perfectly alright to ask for tap water.
"Minipris" train tickets, from NOK 249, can be booked through The Norwegian State Railway. The price is the same whatever the length of your journey, but order in advance - the cheapest tickets are sold first.
Also check out the Norway in a Nutshell Ticket for a reasonably priced round trip.
Travelling by bus can be cheap and NOR-WAY Bussekspress covers most of the country and sometimes have good deals. Book your tickets online in advance, and get the best prices.
Widerøe offers many good deals of round trips by plane in Norway. Go for their Explore Norway Ticket, which gives you unlimited flights for 2 weeks during the period 21 June to 27 August.
Many places offer youth, student, senior and family discounts. If you qualify for any of them, be sure to ask. Students should travel with an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) as most places will not offer a student discount without documentation.
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