Norway is a land of incredible nature. Think of northern lights, fjords, the midnight sun, waterfalls, mountains and more. Scattered along such beautiful country you will find incredible cities like Oslo and tiny charming villages as the Lofoten Islands. The list of experiences and places to visit in Norway is huge and no doubt the best way to see it all is by driving thought the country. A road trip in Norway is a magical experience and also an expensive one.
Norway has a reputation for being a really expensive country to visit, and in many ways it is well deserved. Norway enjoys one of the best standards of living in the European Economic Area and as such, Norwegians command much higher salaries on average than most of the rest of the world.
In turn, this drives up the cost of living and the cost of traveling in Norway, from alcohol to fuel are more expensive. However, Norway has a generosity of spirit and freedom of land which makes these higher costs easier to accept. Along with breathtaking landscapes riven with fjords and waterfalls, and the opportunity to experience the great outdoors in all its raw and wild glory, Norway is worth saving up for! So yes, Norway is expensive to visit but that shouldn’t stop you from going there.
Are you planning a trip to Norway? Then keep reading, this blog post is about Norway prices, how much money you can expect to spend on your holiday there, and how to save. Some of the tips are very specific for planning the costs of a road trip in Norway, others are general and will help you spend your money wisely in any type of travel, from luxury to budget.
I bet there are many questions popping up in your mind right now. Things like: how expensive is Norway? How much does a trip to Norway cost? What are the costs you should consider when driving in Norway? And if a road trip in Norway is too expensive for you?
Don’t panic, you will find the answer to all these questions and more below. So let’s get started with our Norway trip cost guide!
Norway travel costs – getting there
Flying to Norway is pretty straightforward, with Oslo being the most accessible and cheapest option. Search the internet and you’ll find cheap flights to Oslo as common as they are to the rest of Europe. Stavanger and Bergen are also popular start points for a trip, but the smaller the airport, the more expensive the flight.
Your Norway flight cost will vary according to your departure point, airline and dates. If you are flexible, better the chances to find a good deal. We recommend using Skyscanner and Kiwi.com to search for the best/cheapest flights to Norway.
Once in Norway, you’ll find the daily car hire rate around the same as the UK, but four times more expensive than Spain, although the latter is the cheapest country in which to hire a car in Europe! Be prepared to pay something around €50 to €100 per day for car rental in Norway.
You can easily drive to Norway from Europe, a great option if you’re planning on touring Norway in a campervan or taking a road trip in your own car. At some point, you have to cross the water from mainland Europe to Norway, either on a boat or over a bridge.
There are daily boats to Norway from Germany and Denmark, but we think crossing the bridges is far more exciting and makes getting to Norway an intrinsic part of your trip. When driving to Norway you will cross the huge span of the Storebaelt (Great Belt) Bridge in Denmark then stop in fabulous Copenhagen before taking the famous Oresund Bridge to Malmo in Sweden.
Both bridges require a toll to be paid – if you’re intending on making the return journey this way, buy a BroPass online to get around 50% off the price. This is our first tip on how to save on a road trip in Norway.
Head north from Malmo and within five hours you’ll be crossing the border, and in Oslo within six. From here, Norway is literally your oyster. Don’t underestimate how vast this country is though, and how difficult it can be to navigate and drive in Norway. Roads become boats in the Western Fjords and tunnels abound – from Oslo it will take you at least 25 hours of driving to get to the party city of Tromso, deep in the Arctic Circle and prime Northern Lights viewing territory.
Road trip in Norway – costs to consider
The Norwegian road system is well maintained and extensive, with some of the most stunning roads in Europe. Such beauty comes with a price, there is an exhaustive toll system in place; toll roads are demarcated by signs of cameras and wifi symbols. Almost all major routes are toll roads. So when planning your Norway travel budget don’t forget to add the toll prices, you can check the toll fee for each road on this road map.
Register your car on the Autopass website (unless you’re hiring and they will manage it for you). If you fail to register your vehicle, you’ll receive a fine in the post and still have to pay the toll costs, not the best way to end your Norway driving holiday. Once registered, you can opt to receive your bill by email and pay on receipt with a debit or credit card.
Depending on your driving route, you may need to cross a fjord on a car ferry. This is a usually quick crossing and replaces the road where it meets the fjord. When you reach the fjord, park in front of the boarding ramp and wait until the ticket seller comes to your car with a mobile card payment machine for you to buy a ticket.
Norway ferry prices will vary according to the company or trip, so when planning your driving vacation check which ferry you’ll want to use and the prices of it. You can use Rome2Rio website or a local platform called Entur to plan your Norway itinerary.
Norway fuel prices fluctuate with diesel costing €1.40 for a liter and €1.47 for unleaded. Norway is usually in the top three countries for the highest fuel costs in Europe. Use FuelFlash to find the cheapest fuel wherever you are driving in Norway.
Accommodation costs – Norway hotel prices
Hotels in Norway cost around one third more than most of Europe. If money is not a problem, you can spend your nights at incredible 5-star hotels or in a fairytale igloo hotel admiring the stared sky or waiting for the northern lights to appear. There are plenty of options for hotels in Norway, from luxury to more affordable ones.
We recommend booking your accommodation in Norway via Booking.com or Agoda, they have a great selection of hotels and the reviews are trustworthy. You can compare the prices of hotels in Norway in both of them and choose the best price or deal.
Hostels are a good alternative for those who are backpacking in Norway. You can find them almost everywhere in the country and the Norway hostel prices will vary according to the locations, season, and if you choose a dorm or private room. Find the best hostels in Norway here, check out the prices and choose your fave one.
Campsites in Norway almost always offer basic camping huts with access to shared catering and sanitary facilities. If you don’t own a tent and are flying in and hiring a car, this is a fantastic way to see Norway on a budget. Click here for the best camping sites in Norway, prices and locations.
If you enjoy staying under canvas, then you can camp in Norway for free. This is known as allemannsrett (or ‘all men’s rights’) and the law means that you are allowed to wild camp anywhere in Norway as long as the land is not cultivated, owned or where you see a sign forbidding it. It’s possible here to head off the main highway with a tent and camp pretty much anywhere, enjoying the solitude and spectacular views of the rugged scenery. As always, make sure you’re properly equipped and leave no trace of your camping activities. Camping is a good option for those planning to travel to Norway on a budget.
The key to keeping your Norway budget under control is to research and book your accommodation in advance. You can find more info and tips about searching and book the perfect room on our Accommodation Guide (click here to read).
Cost of Living in Norway – daily travel expenses
Whether you are on a self-drive road trip in Norway, visiting it as part of an organized tour, or discovering the country by train or bus, you’ll find the average cost of spending a week there around one third more than the cost of traveling in the UK and way way more than the cost of traveling in Spain.
Below it’s a round-up of Norway food prices, costs of drinks, ideas on how to save on activities, and general travel costs. The Norwegian Kroner or NKR is the official currency, but for ease I’ll use Euros to share the travel prices in Norway.
Norway cost of food and drinks
Eating out in Norway is expensive. We noticed a huge difference to the rest of Europe. A simple pizza and three beers and a coke cost €60! If you’re taking a tour, try and get an all-inclusive deal or go self-catering, where you can shop and cook for yourselves.
Prepare your wallets, alcohol is expensive (don’t try bringing alcohol into Norway – although part of the EEA, Norway maintains its borders and regularly checks vehicle boots and luggage for contraband).
Norway alcohol prices can ruin your budget. The price of beer in Norway is between €5-8, the same for cider or a glass of wine in a bar or restaurant. In a vinmonopolet (a state run off-license) you will pay around €15-20 for a very mediocre bottle of wine and €4-5 for a bottle of beer or cider. You may occasionally see alcohol for sale in supermarkets, but this is by no means the norm and prices are even more expensive than in the state run shops. Spirits are eye-wateringly expensive – we decided Norway wasn’t really a G&T sort of place!
If you’re planning on self-catering, food and drink prices vary. Try to shop in the Spar or Coop supermarkets, which you will find in most larger towns. There is no Lidl or Aldi (European budget supermarkets) or their equivalent in Norway. Food prices, like canned and dried goods are similar to UK prices, but fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, cheese, and US products such as Coca Cola are expensive in comparison.
Local produce like salmon and goats cheese are expensive in tourist areas, with a single wild salmon fillet costing around €9. For sure you will want to eat them, so prefer to buy them at a local market or supermarket.
Cost of attraction and activities in Norway
Activities and attractions in Norway can take a good chunk of your travel budget and the prices will vary according to what type of experience you choose.
If you are visiting cities like Oslo or Bergen and want to enjoy the most of it then buying the city card is a good option. The city cards include free entrance to most of the tourist attractions and free access to public transportation. Even if you are on a road trip in Norway, you might want to take advantage of the free public transportation to get out and about without worrying about parking.
The Oslo Pass includes entrance to 30 attractions and museums, free public transportation and discounts on some tours. The Oslo Pass prices are €41.65 for 24h, €61.20 for 48h, and €76.74 for 72h. Get your Oslo Pass in advance by clicking here.
The Bergen Card also offers free entrance to attractions and public transportation. You can check the options here.
For fjord tours or nordic safaris, the prices usually start at €100 for group activities and go up for day trips and private experiences. There are a couple of activities that you can’t miss when traveling in Norway, like the northern light experiences in Tromso, husky sled, guided hike to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), and a fjord cruise on the Lofoten Islands. Click on the name of the activities to check the prices.
If you are visiting Tromso don’t forget to read our post about Tromso trip costs and how to plan your budget.
When you search carefully and plan ahead, it’s easier to find attractions and things to do in Norway for friendly prices. It’s a matter of prioritizing what you want to do and planning your Norway budget wisely.
And of course, there are lots and lots of free hiking routes and fjord swimming opportunities wherever you go to help you save money. If you can avoid the high season in mid-June to mid-August, some activities, tours, and campsites will be cheaper.
Don’t forget to buy your Travel Insurance before traveling to Norway!
The average cost of travel in Norway – daily budget
It’s almost impossible to put an exactly average cost on any holiday. But let’s assume you’re in Norway and the costs of getting there and any car hire are already covered. If you stay in self-catering accommodation every night and travel 50km a day, then your average daily spend in Norway will be around €150 per person.
If you’re planning on camping, or you’re traveling in a campervan and don’t need accommodation, then your average daily cost in Norway will be more like €70 per person.
Again, the costs of a road trip in Norway will vary depending on your planning, flexibility, choice of accommodation, food purchases and especially if you join tours and paid activities. So before panicking and thinking that Norway is expensive for you, keep reading because now we’re going to share some money-saving tips.
Our top ten money saving tips for Norway travel
- Travel in the shoulder seasons – late spring is a wonderful time in Norway as the country bursts into life.
- Fly with a budget airline or explore SAS Youth Tickets for under 25’s.
- Get a BroPass for money off the bridges and some motorway tolls.
- Travel independently and opt for self-catering accommodation or use campsite huts.
- If you’re using trains or buses, book tickets online in advance for the best rates. Also read this great article about traveling by train in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland with Eurail Pass).
- Bring an extra bag packed with energy bars, chocolate, cereals and food pouches – if you’re flying you may have to pay extra for the bag but you’ll save a lot once in Norway.
- Shop daily and avoid high-end supermarket chains and local tourist shops.
- Go teetotal for your Norway vacation.
- Tap water is safe in Norway, bring a refillable bottle and top up at every opportunity.
- Plan to hike, swim and spend time in nature – even though it’s free, it’s by far the best way to explore and enjoy this stunning country.
Hope our Norway travel advice was helpful. If you have any doubts about the costs of driving in Norway or the general costs of traveling there, feel free to drop us a message below. For more tips about planning an unforgettable holiday (from luxury to backpack) read our Travel Planning Page here.
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Author: Philip Kelly
We are Phil and Izzy. We’ve been adventuring and road-tripping all our lives, covering over 30,000 miles in 28 countries. Three years ago, we quit work, sold our home and have been traveling and living on the road in our motorhome full-time ever since. Follow our travels at The Gap Decaders blog or on Facebook and Instagram.