Norway is one of the most expensive places on earth – in fact, it is consistently ranked in the top 10 for the cost of living. This puts many people off travelling here, but it shouldn’t.
A few friends and I visited this beautiful country and proved that travelling to Norway on a budget can be done, so long as you know the tips and tricks to keep costs down, which I’ll reveal in this post.
1. Snap up the deals promoted by low-cost airlines
A few times a year, budget airlines such as Ryanair, Easyjet and Norwegian, will have huge discounts on their flights. We managed to pick up a flight to Oslo from London for a crazy low price of £29 return for November 2017.
You have to be on the ball when these offers are released as they can sell out quickly. One thing you could do is set up Google Alerts for keywords such as “Ryanair Sale”. Once this is done, Google will email you as soon as any new content containing those words hits the web, so you can stay ahead of the game.
One thing to bear in mind is there may be an extra charge for luggage and seat allocation. Also, be wary that your carry on bag is in the specified dimensions. My mum got burned by this once on an EasyJet flight as her bag was only half an inch too large and the fee ended up costing more than the flight (a whopping £40)!
2. Stay in budget accommodation
If you’re visiting Norway in the warmer months, the cheapest option for accommodation is good
If you’d like a little more luxury than camping, or just enjoy the warmth, then Airbnb is another great option for saving money. If there is a large group of you going like we were, then you can usually rent a whole house and split the cost.
3. Cook your own food
The benefits of having an Airbnb is that you usually have a kitchen to prepare your own food, saving you the cost of eating out at a restaurant. There are low-cost supermarkets in Norway where you can buy all the ingredients you need for a cheap meal.
When you leave to explore the sights of Norway, I recommend you take a packed lunch with you so you don’t have to purchase a snack while you are out and about.
4. Drink the tap water
A reusable water bottle is not only good for the environment but also good for your pocket. Water from the tap in Norway is completely safe to drink, so remember to fill up before you leave the accommodation!
5. Buy alcohol in the Duty-Free at the airport
Alcohol in Norway is so expensive, that the locals usually cross the border to Sweden to buy their drink. Crazy right?!
So, if you like to enjoy a glass of red in the evening, then I highly advise you purchase enough to last you your trip at the Duty-Free in the airport; there is one on arrival at Oslo which we used.
We also naughtily snuck some spirits into our Coca-Cola at the pub, but shh… don’t tell anyone.
6. Recycle your bottles and tins
When you buy bottles and tins in Norway, an additional tax is added to the price which is reimbursed to you on the return of the empty bottle or tin.
I love this incentive – called “panteordning” in Norwegian. It’s great for the environment and studies show it’s working, with over 95% of bottles and cans returned each year.
All tins and bottles can be returned, but it only the ones with the label “pant” that you will get money back for. The prices range from 1NOK to 3NOK, which isn’t substantial, but it can add up.
To recycle, simply take the empty bottle or tin to a self-service machine that you can find at most supermarkets. Once you have disposed of the bottle or tin, you will be given a voucher that you can use in-store, or take to the till to exchange for cash.
7. Take in the Free Sights
Land of the Vikings, fjords and waterfalls. Norway has some of the most magnificent landscapes in the world, and the best thing? Nature is free!! There are many UNESCO sites for you to explore
If you are in a city like Oslo, there are other ways you can cut costs, check out my post on free things to do in Oslo here!
8. Only take a limited amount of money out with you
Create a daily budget and only take that amount of money out with you. This will help prevent spontaneous purchases which, if you’re like me, can happen quite often. You do not need that cute Norway keyring, do you?
9. Look out for Minipris train tickets
You can save up to 50% off the standard price of a train ticket in Norway when purchasing a Minipris (mini price) ticket.
Minipris tickets are determined by the demand and availability of certain routes, and they must be bought at least one day prior to departure from either the NSB website or ticket machines. The only catch is that they are neither exchangeable or refundable, so be certain you select the right route.
10. Purchase city passes
If there are a few different tourist attractions you want to visit in a city, then you could save cost by purchasing a city pass. A city pass, such as the Oslo Pass, enables you free entry to many museums and attractions, free travel on public transport, and discounts on many other attractions and restaurants.
Certain museums alone can cost ⅓ of the price of the city-pass, so it’s definitely worth investing if you are planning to do a lot of sightseeing in the city and are on a budget.
Norway – Land of the Vikings where the landscape is cut up by fjords and the sky is lit up by the colourful aurora borealis. It is one of the most naturally beautiful countries on Earth!
I hope this article has helped you realise that travelling to Norway on a budget can be done, so long as you follow these tips and be wise with your spending.
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Over to You
- Have you visited Norway? Where was your favourite place?
- If you’re planning to visit Norway, where are you thinking of travelling to?
If you can think of any other ways to save money in Norway, comment below!