Norway on a budget
12 TIPS TO AFFORDABLE TRAVEL
Norway is actually cheaper than before for most travellers right now. There are also several ways to save money and cut costs. Many of our top attractions and most popular activities are free. Check our 12 tips for experiencing Norway on a budget!
Prices in Norway
Here are some prices travellers often wonder about when visiting Norway. The list shows average prices in July 2023 and is subject to change.
The average price per room per night: NOK 1350 (August 2022), ca 115 euro, big breakfast included, but prices vary greatly according to location, comfort level, and facilities available.
Basic cabins at campsites are available from around NOK 550 per night.
One litre of petrol: NOK 19 to 25
One litre of milk: NOK 19 to 25
Cappuccino at a coffee bar: NOK 35 to 65
Pack of cigarettes: NOK 120 to 159
Cinema ticket: NOK 130 to 185
Meal in a budget restaurant: NOK 170 to 350
Three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant: NOK 650 to 1500
0.5l bottle of beer in a grocery shop: NOK 30 to 50
Bottle of beer in a bar: NOK 90 to 130
Less expensive to travel to Norway
Norway has been quietly becoming cheaper and cheaper for many travellers for years, especially if you are travelling with dollars, euros, pounds, or Danish kroner in your pocket. In 2023, the Norwegian krone (NOK) is historically weak, which means that travelling in Norway has become more affordable for most visitors!
Especially for Americans – who get 36 percent more value for every dollar they spend than just five years ago. In just the last year, the euro and the dollar have gained about 15 per cent and 18 per cent respectively on the Norwegian krone (NOK).
How to travel more affordably in Norway:
1. Book as early as possible
That way you have a far better chance of securing discounts and the most affordable tickets for public transportation such as flights, trains and buses – and the cheapest accommodation. You can also rent an electrical car.
If you want to travel with public transport, a good idea is to check out the Entur app or website. Here you can plan your whole trip from A to Z by plotting in the places you travel to and from, and getting the best travel suggestions for trains, buses and boats.
There are also many beautiful train rides in Norway, going through parts of the most scenic places in the mountains or by the fjords.
Travelling by long distance buses is also a great way to discover Norway, especially if you want to travel to destinations in Fjord-Norway and Southern Norway.
2. Travel in the off-season
This is a clever way to get cheaper accommodation and transportation, and you won’t have to share the popular attractions with quite as many others. You can also save money if you travel like a local, with public transport. The peak season in Norway is during school holidays, especially from mid June to mid August. May, early June, late August and September are excellent months to explore Norway in a less expensive and less crowded way.
Travelling in the spring or fall can also be unique experiences. The winter in Norway, with landscapes covered in snow, skiing and indoor kos is also an adventure in itself. If you want to go skiing in a less expensive way, choose January or early April (except Easter), and seek out bargains between Sundays and Thursdays.
This is also a good time for a workation!
3. Cheap accommodation
Norway has around 1,000 camping sites with space for motorhomes, tents, and caravans. It is a good idea to book a slot in advance if you are travelling in the high season. Most camping sites have cabins for rent, from the very basic to the highly luxurious. In hostels, boarding houses, guest houses, apartments and inns you can often get lodging at an even more reasonable price. Or how about spending the night at a farm or in a cosy cabin?
If you want to stay in a hotel, you might actually get better offers during weekends in the big cities, especially if you stay from Sunday to Monday. Hotel accommodation in Norway is actually quite reasonably priced, on an average of 1350 NOK (2022), around 120 euros or 126 dollars for a double room with a good breakfast included.
Another tip is to travel together with your extended family or a group of good friends. That way, you can rent a large cabin, flat, or house and use this a base. This is a solution that can cut costs significantly.
4. Nature for free
It doesn't have to cost you anything but some calories to explore our world-famous mountains, lakes, fjords and waterfalls. Our beautiful nature is open 24/7 and is totally free, including our famous scenic routes.
It might be a good investment to join one of the many guided activities offered all over the country, however. A guide can often add an extra dimension to the experience. Many places rent out equipment such as bikes, skis, canoes, kayaks, climbing harnesses, and more.
5. Enjoy Friluftsliv
Some of the best things in life are both free and good for you. “Friluftsliv” is the Norwegian term for “outdoor life”, and it is an integrated part of our DNA. Just remember that we are all guardians of this natural treasure. Don’t leave any trash behind, and show respect for people, animals, and nature.
Thanks to the Norwegian rule “right of access”, you may put up a tent or sleep under the stars in the countryside, forests, or mountains, as long as you keep at least 150 metres away from the nearest inhabited house or cabin. Places with many travellers might have stricter camping restrictions, though, so make sure to check with the local tourist office.
6. Explore the national parks
The many Norwegian national parks are our most beautiful and important natural areas. You’re more than welcome to explore them, as long as you do so respectfully. That means don’t leave anything but footprints and stick to the marked footpaths. Always take your rubbish with you and use the toilets where you can.
Be aware that the nature can be merciless too, so make sure to bring the right equipment for any trips and pay respect for the weather forecast. Another thing you should check out, before heading for new wilderness adventures, is the “laws of nature” list.
7. Go on a cycling holiday
A cheap way to experience Norway up close is cycling. The period between April and October is the best time to go, but in very popular areas, like the Lofoten Islands, it is better to avoid the high season from mid-June to mid-August. If you go in the off-season, there will also be less traffic, and you will find affordable accommodation more easily.
Check out Norway’s cycling-friendly destinations, where you can rent road bikes, mountain bikes, and electric bikes, and even find bike-friendly housing. You can also buy pre-planned cycling trips, and some even offer to transport your luggage for you.
8. Buy food locally
Having the opportunity to cook for yourself, at least for parts of your trip, will work wonders on your budget. You can make yourself an unforgettable picnic or dinner from local delicacies without breaking the bank.
Drop by a farm sale or delicatessen, or simply a regular grocery shop. Especially in the districts, they tend to have specific shelves with local food. Buy cheeses from the area – several of them are amongst the best in the world – rich butter, meat toppings, sausages, and freshly baked bread. In Oslo, you can get trendy street food at an affordable price at Vippa or Oslo Street Food in Torggata.
9. Affordable restaurants
Most Norwegian towns and cities have eateries in all price ranges. You can often get today’s special, based on fresh ingredients, for a smallish amount of money. Make sure you try local dishes like bacalao, fish soup, or maybe a moose burger – lovely food within your spending limit. And why not try Norwegian treats such as waffles, cinnamon buns, and "lefser"? They’re cheap but rich in energy and flavour.
10. Fresh drinks
A proper water bottle that keeps its contents cold is a good investment, and you can fill it with crystal clear, free water straight from the tap.
Consider treating yourself to an amazingly fresh Eplemost (Norwegian apple juice) for breakfast, though. And yes, we do love a pint in the sun, but not necessarily in the most expensive bar in town. Most places in Norway sell beer, like local manufacturers and microbreweries at farmers’ markets or grocery shops.
The trendy and fruity Norwegian cider is also a delicacy that is sold at Vinmonopolet or by local producers.
11. Free things to do in the cities
There are also many ways to cut costs while visiting our cities. They are small and easily explorable by foot. Check out our recommended city walks in Oslo, Bergen, Tromsø, Stavanger and Trondheim. You can also do some really nice real hikes close to all our cities, especially in Bergen and Tromsø.
During summer, there are also many public open air markets and festivals that are for free, including both music-, food- and even some of the Medieval- or Viking festivals. Additionally, there are many free things to do in Oslo, including a stroll along the beautiful the harbour promenade, Havnepromenaden.
Many of our most beautiful (sculpture) parks and gardens are also for free.
12. Stay longer, save money
A way to cut expenses is to stay in one place for a longer period of time and rather spend your money on local adventures. You save both time, and money, on transportation. Many travellers bite off more than they can chew when they plan a holiday in Norway, where the distances can be surprisingly long, which means that they miss out on many local gems.
To go somewhere where not everybody else goes to, is also a good tip!
Check out 25 wonderful offbeat places in Norway.
Affordable travel tips
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