15 Top Travel Tips to Visit Norway on a Budget

Norway on a Budge

blog authorBy Johanna Hansen shield verificationVerified Expert

    With its breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage, Norway is a dream destination for many travelers. However, its reputation for being an expensive country often deters budget-conscious explorers. 

    Although Norway is famously expensive, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are definitely ways to enjoy a trip to this dream Nordic destination on a budget. With careful planning and some insider tips, it’s possible to experience the wonders of Norway without breaking the bank.

    In this guide, we’ll provide you with valuable advice and practical tips to help you plan a budget-friendly trip to Norway and make the most of your visit to this incredible country!

    Time Your Visit During Off-Season

    One of the key factors in planning a budget-friendly trip to Norway is choosing the right time to visit. If you choose to visit Norway in summer, the peak tourist season, then you’ll find that prices are more expensive for travel, accommodation and even activities.

    If you’re wondering when the cheapest time to visit Norway is, winter usually sees the lowest prices and the smallest number of tourists. You can also consider traveling during the shoulder seasons of spring or autumn when prices for accommodation and attractions are certainly lower than summer.

    Additionally, keep an eye out for off-peak travel deals and promotions that can help you save even more. Another advantage of visiting in the off-peak season is the opportunity to witness the stunning landscapes of Norway in a more serene and uncrowded setting.

    Take a Scenic Norwegian Train Ride

    For those travelers wondering how to explore Norway on a budget, using public transport is a brilliant way to minimize your expenses and see the country. Norway’s scenic train rides and bus journeys will not only save you money, but can also be a delightful way to experience the stunning landscapes of this amazing Nordic country.

    The world-famous train journey from Oslo to Bergen is one such example of the country’s breathtakingly beautiful rail routes. You can book your tickets for these journeys in advance to save money and don’t forget to check if discounted tickets are available, such as for children and seniors.

    Reduce Airfare By Choosing a Cheaper Airport and/or Airline

    If you’re looking to take a cheap trip to Norway, one of the main expenses you can look to reduce is your air travel. First of all, you can check out budget airline routes and times to find cheaper tickets. We also recommend considering flying into a less popular airport if it fits with your plans, as this can significantly reduce the cost of your airfare.

    You might find cheap tickets to major Norwegian airports, such as those in the biggest cities, including Oslo and Bergen. However, if the tickets are expensive to these airports for the time of your trip, you could consider flying to a smaller or less popular airport and using the chance to explore more of Norway. With 48 airports across the country that operate public flights, you won’t be short on options!

    Check Out Norwegian Cabins and Hostels

    Accommodation costs can quickly add up, but there are options in Norway to suit every budget. You can look for budget-friendly accommodations, such as hostels, Airbnb rooms and guesthouses. If you prefer more comfort, consider booking a self-catering accommodation or staying in a budget hotel.

    Another option gaining popularity in Norway is ‘hytte’, which are traditional cabins that can be rented at reasonable prices, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature without breaking the bank. Consider booking accommodation well in advance to secure the best deals and availability.

    Norwegian Cabins

    Book As Early As Possible

    As well as choosing the cheapest time to go to Norway, when you actually make your reservations matters, too. The answer to the question ‘is Norway cheap to visit?’ can vary greatly depending on how far in advance you book your holiday. If you book well in advance, you’re much more likely to enjoy cheaper prices for accommodation, attractions and travel.

    For Norway trips that are cheap and affordable, we highly recommend planning in advance, reserving your accommodation and booking your flights as early as you can. You might want to look into flexible bookings or options with free cancellation if you think you may change the dates of your plans.

    Research Affordable Restaurants For Dining Out

    Visiting Norway on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t sample some of the delicious local cuisine; you’ll just need to be a bit more specific about which restaurants you visit. Researching restaurants ahead of time can make a big difference to your culinary experience of Norway, as you can find inexpensive, high-quality, local restaurants to dine at.

    Local food markets and street food vendors often offer tasty and affordable options to sample traditional Norwegian cuisine. Another tip is to opt for lunch menus or daily specials at restaurants, as they tend to be more affordable than dinner options.

    Cook Delicious Local Produce For Yourself

    Food is one of the main expenses you’ll have during your vacation, so a key factor in experiencing cheap travel to Norway is making your own meals some of the time. If you have a self-catering accommodation or you choose to go camping, you can use the facilities to your advantage by buying local produce and cooking your own delicious meals.

    Buying local produce is cheaper as there are no import taxes to pay and you’ll also support the people of Norway with your purchase. You can even try your hand at some traditional Norwegian recipes if you fancy, including farikal: Norway’s national dish.

    Take Advantage of Norway’s Free and Low-Cost Activities

    If you’re wondering ‘how do I explore Norway on a lower budget and where do I go?’, you’ll be happy to learn that there are a whole range of fantastic destinations you can explore for a cheap price. Norway offers a wealth of natural and cultural attractions that can be enjoyed without spending a fortune.

    Many of Norway’s National Parks and nature reserves in Norway have well-marked trails that cater to different levels of fitness and hiking experience – all for free! You can visit museums and attractions on days when they offer discounted or free admission.

    Norway also hosts many local festivals and events throughout the year, which are often free and provide unique insights into Norway's culture and traditions. We recommend planning your itinerary in advance to make the most of these free and low-cost activities.

    Enjoy Outdoor Adventures

    Nature is free! Norway is renowned for its outdoor adventures and, while some activities can be expensive, there are many opportunities for budget-friendly experiences. You can research and compare prices for activities like kayaking, hiking tours and wildlife spotting to find the most affordable options.

    Many outdoor activities can be enjoyed independently, allowing you to explore the natural wonders of Norway at your own pace without the added cost of guided tours. For example, instead of booking a pricey whale watching tour, head to coastal towns like Andenes or Tromso, where you can often spot these majestic creatures from the shore or join a more affordable group boat tour.

    Enjoy Outdoor Adventures

    Learn From the Locals

    One of the best ways to truly experience Norway on a budget is to tap into the knowledge of the locals. The Norwegian people can help give you recommendations for affordable restaurants, hidden gems and lesser-known attractions that offer a unique and budget-friendly experience. 

    Don’t be afraid to engage with the friendly locals, who are often happy to share their insights and tips for exploring Norway on budget. You might be able to ask for local tips and recommendations from your hotel staff, restaurant servers or shop owners.

    We recommend visiting local markets and shops to talk to the locals and support the community. Here, you’ll often discover local products and souvenirs at more reasonable prices compared to touristy areas.

    Purchase City Passes to Save Money

    Another fantastic way to visit Norway on a budget is to take advantage of the money-saving passes and discounts available across the country. For example, the Oslo Pass provides free entry to many attractions and public transportation within the city, making it a great value investment for exploring the Norwegian capital.

    A fab tip for travelers is to look for discount cards or packages that bundle attractions and activities together, offering savings compared to individual tickets. Additionally, some attractions and museums may offer discounted rates for students, seniors or families, so be sure to inquire about any available discounts.

    Consider a Camping Holiday

    One of the most fun and adventurous cheap trips to Norway you can take is a good old-fashioned camping holiday with a tent and pegs! Camping is a favorite tradition of Norway’s people, with locals enjoying their country’s magnificent landscapes by getting up close to nature and spending the night among the lush greenery and shining stars.

    Camping in Norway is possible almost anywhere in the country thanks to the Right to Roam principle that enshrines in law the right that everyone has to enjoy Norway’s beautiful natural areas. You’re allowed to camp almost anywhere in Norway, such as by the lakes, forests and mountains, provided it’s at least 150 meters from any private property.

    Travel Independently in a Campervan

    Another fantastic option that’ll save you money during your vacation is renting a campervan in Norway. Both your means of transportation and accommodation in one, campervans provide the freedom to explore at your own pace while combining your travel and lodging costs into one.

    There’s no better way to see Norway than by hitting the road and exploring the majestic mountains, flowing fjords and lush forests and valleys for yourself. What better way to do this than by taking your home with you on the road and traveling wherever your heart desires?

    Norway is known for its well-maintained roads and scenic campsites, making it an ideal destination for campervan travel. With a campervan, you have the flexibility to choose where you want to stay overnight, cook your own meals and enjoy the beauty of Norway's landscapes without the need for expensive hotels or restaurants. It's a cost-effective option that allows you to immerse yourself in nature while keeping your travel expenses in check.

    Campervan in Norway

    Cycle the Country If You’re a Keen Cyclist

    With a range of dedicated cycle routes, Norway is one of the best destinations in the world for those who love to ride a bike. Whether you’d like to cycle along the coast, in the mountains or even across the Atlantic Road Bridge, you’re sure to find a cycle route that suits you in Norway.

    Another of the best cheap holidays to Norway that you can enjoy, a cycling adventure lets you explore the country up close, breathe in the fresh air and keep fit while doing so. Cycling will save you plenty of money on travel throughout your vacation, making a cycling vacation a great way to visit Norway on a budget.

    Drink the Crystal Clear Tap Water

    A great way of saving money on everyday living costs during your Norway vacation is by drinking tap water. Norway’s tap water is free, naturally high quality and requires hardly any treatment compared to other countries, meaning it's good for you and has a crisp, fresh taste. One of the best quality tap waters in the world, drinking Norway’s natural water will save you lots of money on drinks during your vacation.

    For those travelers who like to enjoy an alcoholic drink every now and again, you can always mix a cocktail or beer in among the water from time to time without breaking the bank. If you’re wondering about Norway’s legal age, you need to be 18 to buy most alcohol (although you need to be 20 to buy spirits).

    Overall, the cost to visit Norway will vary depending on the activities you want to do, where you want to visit, how long you want to stay and your choice of accommodation. Before embarking on your trip, we recommend creating a budget, then researching and planning your itinerary to ensure you make the most of your time and money. 

    You can prioritize the activities and attractions that are most important to you and allocate a realistic amount for each category, such as accommodation, transportation, meals and activities. Budgeting apps can help you track expenses during your vacation to stay on track.

    By timing your visit strategically, utilizing affordable transportation options, choosing budget-friendly accommodation, exploring local dining options and taking advantage of free and low-cost activities, you can create an unforgettable budget-friendly adventure in Norway!

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