Hi guys 😉 As I promised in Travelling to Norway, I´m bringing my approximate budget for Norway and as ways of travelling are various I made it in 2 styles! The first one is mostly backpacking and the second is kind of “comfy” backpacking. Both consist of recommendations for transport, accommodation, food and some extra tips.
I would like to give some useful tips for your traveling so I hope you find it useful and joyful.
1€ = 9,16 Nok ish
A. Go Wild! (low cost travel)
If you are open for an adventure, have a time and a courage, you can actually safe a lot of money during your travels through Norway.
People are nice and willing to support travelers and further from big cities you are, the more true it become 😉. I´m sure you´ve heard that Norway is peaceful country. And it is (mostly) true.
Transport – Hitchhike maan!
I highly recommend hitchhiking in Norway. I´ve heard many times that it is impossible to get a lift, but I wouldn´t say so. I have always achieved my destination and I have had a lot of fun on road.
You can find highways just around Oslo (I really don´t like hitchhiking on highways, so this is a big plus for me). It is not always easy to get a car, but it is part of it, right? 😉 What kind of hitchhiking would it be without dancing near by road with finger up for couple of hours 😀 (I have to mention, that I was never standing at one place in Norway for more than a hour, and I´ve been hitchhiking here on super strange roads, guys!)
Just to be clear – hitchhiking is not about saving money at first place. It is a way of travelling and if you are willing to try it, please try it from higher purpose.
Many Norwegians in their earlier age hitchhiked through their country. They will tell you that now it is not so common but I would prefer to think that it´s coming slowly back. However, most of people who have gave me lift were hitchhiking in youth and they remembered it as some glory to their drivers that time. Also mostly they traveled or still travelling 🙂
If you are interested in hitchhiking in some special area you can write me a comment below or contact me on my facebook account and I will do my best to give you the most useful answer 😉
BlaBlaCar is extremely seldom here, but you can always try 😉 but more luck you may have in facebook groups.
And then on the end, you have your own feet to get you where you want to go 😉 if you will be lucky and get a bike somehow, you will enjoy hills conquered just by your own powers. During winter time, cross-country skiing is really popular, so don´t hesitate to try it. Norway is outdoor country in all weather conditions. Norwegians will tell you: “There is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” Ranulph Fiennes
Pack your tent to your backpack for sure. (Or if you are like me, just sleeping bag and pad are mostly enough 😛 ) I prefer it even more without tent if it is possible, as then you can enjoy night sky before falling asleep. But I recommend to pack a tent for sure, as you can´t count on weather here. Nights are cold also during summer and it is raining a lot, so if you want to stay comfy, take it 😉
In article Traveling to Norway I mentioned how and where you can camp in Norway.
In July I worked a lot so I dind´t have so much time to enjoy nature as I wanted to. With first free day I wanted to, let say – celebrate :D, friend showed me a cabin (or hytte) in a forest and I enjoyed peaceful atmosphere there. I have heard that there are many cabins in forests which are opened for random travelers through Norway. In the one where I was, hanged on the wall map with many many marks, and I suppose that are other cabins in Telemark.
Don´t expect luxury cabins. It is usually just wooden shelter with fireplace and bed. But this is highly enough, right?
On this webpage you can find all information about what DNT is and how to become a member, but simply for small membership payment you can borrow a key to more than 500 cabins in forests and use them for your outdoor life. Few Norwegian told me, that before were those cabins all open for travelers but now, to most of them you need a DNT key, some of them stayed still open as I mentioned above.
My friends, spent last Christmas wandering in Norway (Tyssedal, Mosdalsb, Kvanntjørnsb, ski-alping) with staying almost for each night in different DNT cabin. I´m saying almost, as you have to consider weather to your plans. Most of the treks in area I mentioned is not appropriate for winter and for ski-alps Yes it is possible to enjoy an adventure trip, if you are willing to try 😉.
I suppose that you´ve heard about couchsurfing but I will mention it in any case. I was in need of couch one time in Norway and it worked well. It was far away on the North and there were just 2 guys offering couch in that city, and guess what, we spent 2 lovely nights in a big house with own floor (where also own bathroom was located!) – so conclusion is .. don´t give up 😉
In big cities (as Oslo for example) you have a nice chance to get couch, or in the worst case – there are many events going on, where you can meet up with locals and discover Norwegian culture.
Hospitality and luck
To be sure that we understand each other – this is not recommendation to go and expect such a hospitality on the road. This is more about revelation of Norwegian generosity. I´ve been offered many times by staying over night, delicious dish or even “just” a shower during travels here (and of course – not just in Norway 😉 ). During almost 2 weeks travelling through Lofoten, me and my friend had to use our tent 2 times and for second night we decided that we want to use it and we will not accept another host´s offer. (And I will repeat myself again but.. further on the North you are, more true it becomes.)
We all need to eat, right? It depends on you, how wild you want to go but in Norway, even if it is so ridiculously expensive, you can safe money on food also. Here is how.
Do you know what does it mean?
-Simply said, you go to bins of big supermarkets after closing hours, and take what they throw.
I explored it in Norway when I was on Erasmus here, and I can tell you that it doesn´t matter what nationality you are, students do it (not just students, not everywhere and not all of them 😉 ). Mostly you will find fresh vegetables and fruits, but you can find anything (it has happend few times that we found beers there). Supermarkets throw away still eatable food and it is very (extremely!) sad, that our society is wasting so much sources by producing and than throwing so big amounts of good food. You don´t have to do it, there are also different (cleaner) ways, but I´m sure that it is worthy to mention. It is kind of illegal so if you will try, please, try to stay invisible.
I recommend to shop in supermarkets as Rema, Kiwi, Coop and so on. You will find them on way. In each one you will always find the cheapest kind of products (usually marked as first price – in Kiwi at least). Quality of those products is usually higher than I´m used from Slovakia, so don´t be afraid to buy them, even if package doesn´t look so attractive. As Norway is located so close to sea, fish are really cheap (for example tuna or mackerel in can) and really tasteful. (under 10 NoK)
If you don´t eat fish, I love Norwegian brand GoGreen and their products because they are kind of cheap and great for travelling as well. (beans, corn, chickpeas, and so on around 15 NoK)
Fishing and gathering
Another way how to safe money on food is also gathering or fishing. Forests are full of mushrooms and berries all kind, and sea (if you travel on the coast) is full of fish. Also you can fish in lakes, which are everywhere. (For fishing in most of lakes you need a permition to fish, you can buy it for an example in Sport shops as well as cheap equipment for fishing)
*You can safely drink water from streams and rivers in nature (seldom even from lakes) but don´t do it in Oslo.
*On most of fuel stations you can buy hot-dog for 10 NoK and coffe for around 20 NoK.
*You can pay everywhere with your card. It happens very seldom that you have to use a cash.
*If you travel during autumn you can enjoy more privacy on travels and still enough traffic for hitchhiking.
*Hitchhiking during summer is really fun, as you have sun at night. It can be kind of confusing for those who prefer to not hitchhike during nights.
*Car-number plate of green color means that it is working car and has seats just in front. Those cars are even safer for solo hitchhiking but usually can´t help you when you are more people together.
*Even if you hitchhike, you have to count extra budget for Ferries. Most of destination are reached faster by crossing a fjord or lake and most probably, driver of a car will use them.
*Buy a chocolate for your trip. (It costs around 40Nok but it is great motivation on the road.) Chocolate power! 🙂
*You can find free maps on various places, for example in Bødo we found one in Peppes pizza restaurant, and it was an awesome map of North Norway.
B. Comfy backpacking 😉
Trains and buses
As I mentioned in article Travelling to Norway, trains and buses are highly comfortable but also highly prices. On webpage https://nsb.no/ you can plan and buy train tickets for travelling within whole Norway.
MiniPris ticket is cheaper and you can buy it at least one day before your actual journey but you can´t change the time or return ticket if something will go wrong. I recommend to buy tickets sooner, especially for longer distance, as it is cheaper.
I used buss in Norway just one time, on the first way from airport. Webpage for buss transportation is http://www.nettbuss.no but you can buy ticket also in bus driver, and don´t be worry about cash, you can pay everywhere by your bankcard. (Yes also in bus.)
Renting a car
Another way how to travel through Norway is to rent a car. Car rentals are spreaded through whole country and prices are not as expensive as you can suppose. (Amazing thing is that you can return car at different place as you picked it up.) You can easily rent a car around 60€ per day (+fuel) so if you travel 4 people together, after splitting costs it´s becoming really a cheap way of travelling.
https://www.holidayautos.com is one of possible webpages to book a rent.
My recommendation is to be careful with bank card which you are willing to use. The best is to have a Maestro or Master card, since Visa is not always working. (I used other rental company and we had troubles with final payment even if deposit was payed without troubles, so if you want to prevent any negative circumstances, I recommend to read pay instruction carefully before actual booking.)
Be aware that renting car on Lofoten or other highly touristic places can be more expensive.
Lofoten for example: 4 days cost around 500€ + fuel. Price is higher also when driver is younger than 26 years.
If camping outside is too much for you or weather condition requires a shelter and shower, here are some tips which price is not so overrated.
Hostels are not so common in Norway as in other countries but there are few. Depends on location, but you can find nice hostels around 20-30 € per night. (Not in Oslo, you have to count little extra budget for hostels in Oslo). Here are some useful webpages where you can book your hostel anywhere in Norway:
I suppose that you are familiar with Airbnb as it has became so well-known in few last years, but in any case I´m mentioning. If you are planning to stay at one place for longer time (it works the best for one month) and just travel around Airbnb is made for you as you can get a monthly discount (around 10%).
(when I used Airbnb for the first time I made a common mistakes, I didn´t read terms and policies and I paid deposit in cash – just for a record – no you don´t do this, everything is online and it works well. My unfamiliarity cost me 150€ so don´t be fool as I was 😉 )
Camps (summer time)
Camps are usually open between May and September and there are everywhere. I would say, that if you want to experience Norway as Norwegian do, you should not miss staying at camp at least for one night during your travels.
You can rent a cabin, come with your van (caravan, or just car) or stay in your tent. In most of camps you have to pay extra for hot water in showers (it is usually around 20 NOK for 5 minutes) but otherwise everything is included in rent. Here are some useful webpages for checking out camps within Norway:
Many of Norwegian has their “living van” parked for whole year in camp and how “cold” they are during winter, you will be amazed how sociable they become with summer sun. Staying at camp is great opportunity to get to know them or meet up with other travelers so far.
As it was mentioned in A. Go wild! supermarkets offer more pricing options of products. What is really expensive in Norway are sweetmeats, alcohol and tobacco. So I recommend to bring it from your country. If you are a smoker I don´t think, you will like Norwegian tobacco (package of the cheapest cigarettes costs 100 NoK and rolling tobacco costs around 200NoK +-).
Probably you´ve heard about *Norwegian prohibition. What left it here, is that you can´t buy alcohol in Norwegian supermarkets. In supermarkets you can buy a beer, but wines and liqueurs you can find in special stores – Vinmonopolet. They have special opening hours so think about it if you want to buy some alcohol, for example on Sundays it is closed.
In Norwegian restaurant you will find lot of burgers, pizzas, Chinese food and so on. Big cities are full of fast foods where you can eat cheaper but you know, fast food. Smaller cities have usually some pub which offer restaurant service and during weekends even parties, or karaoke, concerts, and so on.
We ended up at Blues concert once in Svolvær in pub with my friend. People on the north love travelers and love to go crazy as well. I´ve learnt to dance as Norwegian there.
Deli De Luca
It is something like Norwegian fast food, with many sweets, sandwiches, baguettes or simply place where you can buy coffee. It is usually cheaper than at other places and products are great for fast refreshment. Usually you won´t find bathroom there, so think about it 😉
If you want to eat in restaurant I would recommend Pizza Peppes or Fridays where you can eat for around 200+ Nok per person (or even cheaper, depends on location).
*Norwegian love coffee. Most probably you will find places where they offer free coffee, as some libraries, touristic info offices, Ferries or public events.
*Look for touristic office for more information about area. Usually they can give you useful tips.
*If you travel with rented car you have to count extra budget for road taxes. Most of roads and tunnels are charged and when you return car they will ask you to pay it.
*Generally – count extra budget for extra events. It is highly possible that you will have to change your plans because of weather. (For example, once, instead of hiking to Preikestolen we took a cruise under it. It was a beautiful experience but it wasn´t for free 🙂 )