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12 tips for a budget holiday

TRAVEL THROUGH NORWAY ON A SHOESTRING

Hiking in Beitostølen .
Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic Life AS / Visitnorway.com
Hiking in Beitostølen .
Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic Life AS / Visitnorway.com
  1. 1. Book as early as possible

    That way you have a far better chance of securing the most affordable tickets for public transportation such as flights, trains and busses – 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. This travel option is also a bit more sustainable than using a car.

  2. 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.

    Travelling in the spring or fall can also be unique experiences. Watching life in the cities and the nature preparing for-, or waking up from, a long winter is both fascinating and beautiful. The winter in Norway, with landscapes covered in snow and long evenings in front of the fireplace, is also an adventure in itself.

  3. 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? You can also rent your very own private holiday home through specific websites.

  4. 4. Travel together

    Plan your trip to Norway 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.

  5. 5. 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.

    If you want to learn how to prepare real Norwegian meals, check out our Norwegian cookbook!

  6. 6. 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.

  7. 7. 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.

  8. 8. Stay longer

    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. 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.

  9. 9. Natural playground

    Norway is a natural playground where you can go hiking, cycling, skiing, kayaking, and climbing, or just enjoy scenic nature and lovely towns and cities. 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.

  10. 10. 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 in a respectful manner. 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. If nature calls along the way, go far from the path and cover up your business properly when you’re done.

    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. 

  11. 11. Enjoy outdoor life

    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 before you decide to spend a night in the wild.

  12. 12. 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.

  13. Prices in Norway

    Here are some prices travellers often wonder about when visiting Norway. The list shows average prices in August 2022 and is subject to change.

    The average price per room per night: NOK 1270, but prices vary greatly according to location, comfort level and facilities available.

    Hiking cabins run by the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) are available from NOK 100–750 per night per person.

    Cabins at campsites are available from around NOK 450 per night.

    One litre of petrol: NOK 21 to 27
    One litre of milk: NOK 18 to 23
    Cappuccino at a coffee bar: NOK 35 to 50
    Pack of cigarettes: NOK 120 to 159
    Cinema ticket: NOK 130 to 150
    Meal in a budget restaurant: NOK 150 to 250
    Meal in a mid-range restaurant, three-course: NOK 600 to 1000
    Bottle of beer in a grocery shop: NOK 30 to 50
    Bottle of beer in a bar: NOK 95 to 130

    Read more about currency and prices

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