Planning a trip to Norway?
In Norway, salaries are high and so is the cost of living. This makes it harder for those visiting the country on a tight budget, but there are some smart cost-saving options available!
Prepare your own food and drink tap water
If you are on a tight budget, you always have the option to cook for yourself. Buy food and drinks in the supermarkets, and keep away from kiosks and delis. Even though the kiosks have a wide spectre of grocery goods, prices could be twice the ones you find in the supermarkets. Tap water is always free and safe to drink! If you want to treat yourself to a dinner at a restaurant, check out the local tourist information, or apps like Tripadvisor, for some tips on good value restaurants.
To make ends meet, you should also make the healthy and sensible choice not to buy cigarettes and alcohol at all. If you cannot manage without it, you are allowed to bring 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of other tobacco products into the country. For information on the alcohol quota, you can check the Norwegian customs web site. Beer and cigarettes are available in most shops, whereas you need to go to the off license/liquor store - Vinmonopolet , to buy wine and spirits.
Accomodation could be your worst headache. Hotels are expensive, but you could always opt for a shared room in a youth hostel. Couchsurfing or Airbnb are also good options that might allow you to see real Norwegian homes as well. However, if you bring your tent and want to experience the beauty of the nature, you have all the posibilities in the world. In Norway everyone has the unrestricted right of free access in the countryside - including the national parks, through The Public right to access-law. The right of access allows you to put up a tent, or sleep under the stars, for the night anywhere in the countryside, forests or mountains, except in cultivated fields and lay-bys. However, you must keep at least 150 metres away from the nearest house or cabin. If you want to stay for more than two nights in the same place, you must ask the landowner's permission, except in the mountains or very remote areas. You can read more about this on visitnorway.com.
How to get around
Distances are considerable in Norway, and if you want to see several regions, you need time to get around. There are possibilities to get reasonable prices both with trains and airplanes, but then you need to be either flexible or to plan well in advance. To plan your trip, you can visit Ruteinfo.no , this site gives a quite comprehensive overview of air, rail, bus and boat transport with timetables.
The national railway offers minipris , tickets that cost from as little as NOK 249 (single trip), whatever the length of your journey. Trains run from Stavanger in the south-west, through Kristiansand, Oslo, Trondheim all the way up north to Bodø. The scenic Bergensbanen runs from Oslo to Bargen on the western coast. Student discounts are only given to students in Norwegian institutions or Norwegian citizens studying abroad. However, if you get a ticket at minipris, the discount makes out a better price.
If train is not an option, buses run almost everywhere (see Ruteinfo, further up). Rules for discount vary, but many will provide either a youth discount or acccept an ISIC card. If you have little time on your hand and a bit more money, check out SAS, Norwegian and Widerøe for flights throughout the country.
What does it cost?
Here's a compilation of prices to give you an idea. The local currency is Norwegian kroner (NOK), but prices here are in Euro (1 € = ca. 8 NOK).
Lunch at a restaurant € 15.00
1 loaf of bread € 4.00
1 beer in a shop € 3,5
1 beer in a pub € 10.00
1 coke in a pub € 5
0,5 l coke in a shop € 3
1,5 l coke in a shop € 3,8
1 coffee € 4.00
1 sandwich € 8.00
1l milk € 2
1kg apples € 3
1kg potatoes € 1.50
6 eggs € 3.50
1 grilled chicken in a shop € 6,5
500 gr of cheese (Norvegia) € 6,5
500 gr of minced beef € 5
1l petrol 2.00
Single ticket on the bus € 3,8 (look for discounts like 24h ticket, 7-days ticket)
Cinema ticket € 13.00 (all films are in original version, no worries)