Known as one of the most expensive countries in the world, I was pleasantly surprised that, although many prices were higher than I was used to, Norway wasn’t that bad. You should definitely budget a little more than you normally do for a trip to Norway, or the other Scandinavian countries, but there are ways to save some money.
Stay in a Hostel
The easiest way to save money anywhere, including Norway, is to choose less expensive lodging. Typically the cheapest option, besides camping, is a hostel. You can pay for a bunk in a shared room, which is the cheapest, or get a private room. My philosophy when traveling is that I only really sleep where I choose to stay the night, so, as long as it’s clean and safe, I choose to get a bunk bed in a shared room in a hostel. I’d rather spend my money on experiences rather than fancy lodging. If you are with other people, sometimes Airbnb or VRBO can be an affordable option.
If you have never stayed in a hostel, check out my post What to Expect When Staying in a Hostel.
Cook for Yourself
Food is the next biggest way to save money while traveling. Eating out almost anywhere gets expensive, and Norway is no exception. Even though many groceries are more expensive in Norway than many other places, it is still much cheaper than eating out. If you stay in a hostel, Airbnb, or VRBO lodging, cooking for yourself is a great option for saving money, even if you only do it some days.
In Norway, it is less expensive to get takeaway (or takeout) than to eat in. You can easily get your food and have a picnic or bring it back to your lodging for the night to eat. If it is coffee you want, getting it to go and drinking it while you walk around will save you money. Being from America, I equate it to having to give a tip when you eat in a restaurant vs. not if you do takeout. Only the tip amount is decided for you.
Organize Your Own Transportation
For some things, like Norway in a Nutshell, you can pay a company to book your transportation for you, or you can do it for yourself. There are blog posts out there that describe how to do it for almost half the price of using the Norway in a Nutshell website!
Use Public Transportation
This one depends on a lot of things like whether you are traveling solo or with others, where you are going, if you will start and end your trip in the same place, etc. For me, I was traveling solo and did not start and end my time in the same place in Norway, so taking public transportation vs. renting a car saved me a lot of money. If your situation is different, you will want to do your research to figure out which option is cheapest for you.
In most places in Norway, taxis are quite expensive. Do your research ahead of time to see if there is a bus or, of course, you can walk. Many places have local buses, but they are not always easy to find when you arrive and take a look around.
Have you been to Norway? How did you save money? Comment below.