Is Norway Expensive? A Norway Trip Cost Guide


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The costs associated with travelling to a country are often one of the main factors that we take into consideration when planning a trip. If you’re looking into visiting Norway but don’t know much about it, you might be asking yourself ‘is Norway expensive to visit?’

Well, the short answer is yes, and more so than most destinations; however, there’s plenty you can do to keep your Norway trip cost as manageable as possible. 

In general, travel in Norway can be expensive with an average trip costing around €115-305 (1,315-3,488 NOK or $125-333 USD) per person per day. However, when planning a trip to Norway, there are definitely ways that you can save money, or spend more, should you wish.

So, if you’re trying to figure out a budget for your trip there, then keep reading! We’ll be breaking down how much it costs to travel to Norway, as well as giving you a number of tips if you’ll be on a tight budget. 

Norway Trip Cost Guide

In this section, we’ll be covering the average travel costs in Norway across a number of goods and services in the country as well as discussing some ways you can bring your overall trip to Norway cost down. 

Tromso, Norway
Tromso, Norway

Accommodation Prices

The cost of accommodation in Norway is more or less consistent across the entire country. However, Oslo, being considerably larger than the other major Norwegian cities, has a larger market for rentals and hostels in particular; as such, you’ll find a wider range of options to choose from there, especially as far as budget accommodation is concerned. 

On average, you can expect to pay somewhere around €40 for a single bed in a standard, mixed-gender dormitory in a hostel.

For a double room in a decent hotel, rates typically fall somewhere between €120-150 per night. Rooms in luxury hotels in Norway will often cost around €150-250 per night depending on the season. 

If you’ll be needing to stick to an especially tight travel budget during your stay in and around Norway and you love spending time in the great outdoors, then you may want to consider spending part or all of your trip camping, which is certainly going to be the cheapest option.

The country is home to an astonishing number of campsites, which, on average, charge around €25 for an overnight stay (if they charge at all; some are free to use). 

And, if you’re the adventurous type, then you’ll likely be pretty pleased to hear that Norway has a law known as allemansretten, often translated as the ‘right to roam.’ The legislation that the law was passed under guarantees that everyone has the right to hike and camp unimpeded in ‘open country,’ which is any land that is unfenced and uncultivated. 

Naturally, there are some provisos you need to follow here, but, in short, you can just about camp anywhere you like in Norway, for free! According to the Norwegian government, most of the bogs, forests, mountains, and shoreline in the country are covered by the right to roam. 

If you do plan on wild camping during your trip, then we’d strongly recommend that you read up on the policy to make sure you follow it properly. And, make sure to be mindful of weather conditions in particular, especially if you’re travelling to Norway in the winter. 

Bryggen
Bryggen in Bergen

Transportation Prices

In most Norwegian cities like Oslo or Bergen, prices for a 24-hour adult public transport ticket will start from around €8.

Taxis, on the other hand, cost quite the pretty penny. A single trip from downtown Oslo to Gardemoen Airport, which takes roughly 35 minutes, will typically be charged at a flat rate of €90! 

With all of this being said, Norway’s cities and towns are definitely on the smaller side, and many of them are fairly compact and walkable; the country isn’t home to any supercities, after all. And, for the most part, public transport will usually easily cover any trips you can’t make on foot.

So, on days that you’ve set aside for exploring more central parts of metropolitan areas of Norway, you may find that you can get away without renting a car or needing to take taxis at all. 

Meanwhile, the costs associated with travelling across the country vary drastically, depending on the mode of transport you use and how far in advance you book your tickets. For instance, a ticket for the Bergensbanen train from Oslo to Bergen costs around €120 if booked a few months before departure, but, if purchased at the last minute, might be twice as much.

In many instances, domestic flights with carriers like Norwegian can be cheaper than intercity travel via bus or train networks. 

If you want to get further off the beaten path and have a lot of flexibility, it can also be a good idea to consider renting a car in Norway and going on a bit of a road trip.

Expect the cost of a car hire to land at around €80 for the base price – not including the cost of petrol or any additional insurance. You can browse Rentalcars.com to compare prices across many major companies.

Keep in mind that Norway does have high fuel prices so this is something that needs to be factored into your transportation in Norway costs.

Oslo harbour
Oslo harbour

Food Prices

The cost of food in Norway is often what visitors to the country find the hardest to adjust to. One kilogram of apples costs around €2.50 for instance, with your average loaf of bread coming at a similar price. 

With that being said, if you’re on an especially tight budget when visiting Norway, then you’ll likely want to self-cater where and whenever possible. While groceries at the supermarket there are definitely on the pricier side, they absolutely pale in comparison to the cost of paying for a meal out. 

However, one thing that’s worth noting is that, while eating out in general in Norway is expensive, there’s actually not much of a difference between the prices you’d pay for an average meal at lower-end and higher-end establishments. 

For instance, the cost of a Big Mac Meal or an equivalent meal deal in Norway is typically somewhere around €12-13. Meanwhile, the price of a burger, fries, and drink at an upmarket restaurant would typically fall somewhere between €16-18. So, while it might be tempting to stick to fast food chains if you’re visiting the country on a budget, you’ll likely find that any savings from doing so will be minimal at best. 

More broadly speaking, average prices for lunch and dinner in Norway generally range from €15-30 per person for a main. Expect soft drinks to be priced at somewhere between €3-8 per person, with alcoholic beverages costing considerably more. Lunch and dinner deals with set menus aren’t commonplace in Norway like they are in other parts of Europe. 

You might also notice while in Norway that the prices of confectionary or soft drinks at shops seem especially steep. This is because products containing refined sugar are actually subject to a number of hefty taxes in the country, and have been since way back in 1922.

So, if you want to sample the local chocolate or confectionary without paying an arm and a leg to do so, your best bet is actually purchasing goods like these at one of the duty-free outlets you’ll find at a number of Norwegian international airports.

And, on the off chance that you’ll be A. spending a decent amount of time in Norway, B. have access to a rental car, and C. are somewhere in the south-east of the country, then you may want to head across the border into Sweden to do a big grocery shop, like many of the locals do. When in Rome!

While Sweden is definitely an expensive country in its own right, the average price of groceries there is still considerably cheaper than they are in Norway – this is especially true of alcohol. 

Lofoten Islands
Lofoten Islands

Activities Prices

Norway is a country with plenty to offer visitors in terms of attractions and activities. Your average guided walking tour will usually cost around €20-30, depending on how long it lasts, as well as how much ground it covers. Note that some companies do offer free guided tours! 

Indeed, one of the great things about visiting Norway is how many options for free activities and attractions are available. Perhaps one of the country’s absolute greatest draws is its natural beauty, for example, and you can generally visit even its best-known sites and landmarks without paying a single cent. 

For instance, many of the country’s historic festninger or fortresses, like Akershus Festning in Oslo and Bergenshus Festning in Bergen, are free to enter. This is also true of many of the country’s churches, too – the iconic stave churches are especially worth checking out, though some of them do charge a small fee if you want to enter them. 

Some of the larger museums in Norway are free, too. This is perhaps especially true of Oslo, though note that most of the more ‘niche’ museums do charge for admission. The price of admission for adults to Norway’s bigger museums usually ranges from €13-18. An Oslo Pass can save you money if you visit a lot of attractions in Norway’s capital.

However, keep in mind that if you head north to places like Tromso or Lofoten Islands then you’ll need to budget higher for activities like northern lights tours.

Inside the Bergenhus fortress
Inside the Bergenhus fortress

Entertainment Prices

Grabbing a drink or a coffee while out and about in Norway can end up being far costlier than you might expect. Typically, a cup of coffee at a cafe in one of the larger cities will cost somewhere around €4.50, while prices for a half-litre of beer at a restaurant or bar will usually start at €8 or so. 

Note that the high cost of alcoholic beverages in Norway, like in the other Nordic states, is due to heavy government taxes imposed on the sale of products with a concentration of alcohol higher than 0.7% ABV; this is true of both locally-produced and imported goods.

The same is true for a surprisingly wide range of consumables, and hefty taxes are also levied on products containing sugar, as previously discussed. 

So, if you’re planning on drinking while you visit Norway on a budget, you might want to consider purchasing your alcohol at the airport, either before departure or upon arrival in Norway.

Even in Norway, alcohol is much more affordable when purchased at the airport (especially spirits) as it is duty-free and not subject to the same level of taxation that it is in shops and restaurants around the country. 

Otherwise, concert tickets for events held at small, local venues in the bigger Norwegian cities will usually cost anywhere from €13-18 and up. Cinema tickets, on average, cost €10.50 for adults. 

Oslo Opera House
Oslo Opera House

Is Norway Expensive? Average Prices in Norway 

Below, we’ve listed loose prices for a range of goods and services in Norway to help you come up with a daily budget for your trip. These are an average and assuming that some costs, such as the cost of accommodation or a car hire, are split between two people.

Accommodation: €40-125 / night

Transportation: €10-50 / day

Food: €20-40 / day

Activities: €30-50 / day

Entertainment: €15-40 / day

So, if you’re planning on travelling to Norway, staying in a decent hotel, and will be eating out for most of your meals, then you can probably expect to be spending a total of something like €305 per day. If you’ll be using budget-friendly options where possible, then you’ll want to have a budget of around €115 per day. 

Sailing in Bergen Fjord
Bergen Fjord

Is Norway expensive for tourists? I think it’s safe to say that, compared to just about anywhere else in the world, it definitely is. However, there are plenty of tips and tricks that you can use to reduce your trip to Norway’s cost and leave without having burnt a giant hole in your bank account. 

Are you planning a trip to Norway? Have any questions about expenses? Let us know in the comments!

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Emily Marty

Emily is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, she is currently based in the UK. She enjoys exploring Northern & Western Europe and Southeast Asia and has a bit of a thing for islands in particular.

Comments

  1. Very informative guide to Norway. Will be going there mid August. Expecting lots of things to be expensive as you have mentioned in your blog. I might have a heart attack when I’m there after seeing the prices for food and other things. Will be traveling around Norway by car, sleeping in some cabins and budget hostels mostly. About 13 of us, my family members and myself will definitely enjoy the spectacular views around Norway. Traveling to Lillehammer, Alesund, Geiranger, Flam, Loen and Oslo of course. Lots of driving and stopping to take some pictures of fjords and the sceneries. Just to ask, do tourists need to bring plenty of cash, since Norway is mostly cashless, or having debit/credit cards will do just fine. I’m sure a bit of cash will come in handy when we touch down in Norway. Thanks for the information on your blog.

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