Traveling on a Budget in Norway
Whether you’re exploring the big city grandeur of Oslo, walking amongst the cozy alleyways of Bergen, or admiring the impressive beauty of the Geirangerfjord, it’s clear that Norway offers a magnificent travel experience for all sorts of visitors. So if you're looking to mingle in the hipster cafes in the capital city or go wildlife watching in the fjords, Norway has you covered.
But there’s one thing that can often catch the unsuspecting traveler off guard: just how expensive Norway can be.
Perhaps it’s the price to pay for visiting the happiest nation on Earth, but it’s dreadful to return home and have a huge credit card bill waiting for you (especially given the current exchange rate!).
However, with a few handy tips it’s entirely possible to fully experience Norway without breaking the bank.
Getting around on the cheap
Thanks to the nation’s enthusiasm for public transport, Norway can be a lot less expensive to get around than some other European countries.
If you're planning to see more than just the capital city, you can save your money with public transit as much of the country is easily accessible by train. Downloading the NSB rail app to your smartphone makes it easy for you to buy tickets whenever and wherever you are (plus purchasing through the app might get some pretty good discounts as well!).
Cutting down museum and entertainment prices
Norway is blessed with plenty of thought-provoking museums. From the Munch Museet, which showcases some of Edvard Munch's most-loved works, to the fun Norsk Folkemuseum (Norwegian Folk Museum), there’s always something new to see.
If you're a serious museum buff, don't skip out on getting your Oslo Pass, which provides free entry to over 30 museums in this beautiful city. This handy pass can be a real budget-saver in the capital as it also grants you free access to Oslo’s public transport system, free entry to outdoor swimming pools, free walking tours, discounts on sightseeing, concert tickets, climbing, ski rentals, and special offers in restaurants, shops, entertainment and leisure venues.
Keep in mind, many of the museums around Norway also offer their very own free apps to help you understand their exhibits better.
While I'm not much of a gambler myself, I was surprised to learn that gambling for the most part is illegal in Norway. There are actually only two companies who are allowed to offer gambling services such as lotto and Keno to Norwegian citizens, however these are closely monitored.
Eating and drinking
It’s often the basic things like eating out that can cause the biggest financial headaches for foreign visitors. But rather than dining at chic and expensive eateries like Maaemo, some of the little food outlets on Oslo’s main streets Grønlandsleiret, Torggata, or Grønland can provide a delicious alternative and cost-effective way to stay fueled.
And whilst the cost of alcohol in Norway can also be fairly prohibitive, there are plenty of unpretentious and fun bars like Per pa Hjornet that show you don’t need to spend all of your holiday money to have a good time.
So with some simple money saving tips there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy an amazing trip to Norway!