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9 Tips to Save Money in Norway

If you love outdoor activities and beautiful scenery, you simply must visit Norway. With it’s lush mountains and stunning fjords, Norway is one of the most naturally beautiful places we’ve ever seen.

Norway travel cost is very expensive, but worth it

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What is the Cost to Travel to Norway?

If you are planning a trip to Norway on a budget, there’s one small problem… according to a recent study by the World Economic Forum, Norway is the 5th most expensive place in the world for tourists to visit!

After spending 3 weeks there, we can confirm the cost to travel to Norway is indeed expensive. Luckily there are some easy ways to save money in Norway:

9 Tips to Save Money in Norway

1. Walk Everywhere

Walking instead of taking a taxi or subway in Norway makes sense for so many reasons:

Oslo is such a beautiful city and it’s a joy to walk its streets and discover its many treasures. Oslo is a reasonably compact city and most attractions can be easily walked to.

Norway travel is expensive - save money in Norway by walking

Many of the tops things to do in Oslo are in a cluster and can all be reached on foot within 30 minutes or less. Even the further afield attractions such as Vigeland Park can be reached by walking from Central Oslo in under an hour.

Secondly, walking will save you money on transportation. An Oslo taxi from Vigeland Park to the Oslo Opera House will cost approximately $20-35 USD (170-300 NOK) each way, depending on traffic. 

Even the Oslo subway is expensive, with each adult ticket costing approx. $6.75 (55 NOK) nd child tickets costing $3.50 (28 NOK). The simple act of walking could could save a family of three traveling in Norway between $34 – 70 USD per day. 

And finally, walking is always a great idea early in your trip as it helps you get the lay of the land and find good restaurants, grocery stores etc.

2. Buy a Discount Attraction Pass

Another easy way to save money traveling in Norway is to buy one of the discount attraction passes. These discount cards entitle you to free or discounted entry to major attractions and sometimes even public transportation. The key is to look at your plans and compare the cost of buying the pass vs. paying for the things you want to do individually.

The Oslo Pass offers free admission to over 30 museums and attractions, free public transportation and discounts at top restaurants.

Advertisement for Oslo Pass

We used a 24-hour Oslo Pass and saved $42 USD in admission and transportation costs. For full details on how we saved money in Oslo, see our review of the Oslo Pass. 

The Bergen Card is a great way to save money in Bergen, Norway’s second biggest city.

Using a discount card like the Oslo Pass helps reduce your Norway travel cost

3. Cook Your Own Meals

When you travel to Italy, you really have to eat out at restaurants a lot. Eating Italian food is an integral part of travel to Italy, so to get the full Italian experience you need to dine at restaurants.

That is not true when you travel to Norway… no offense to Norwegian cuisine, but you won’t be missing a cultural event if you cook most of your meals at home.

Despite Norway being one of the most expensive countries in the world to visit, we actually spent less per day on food in Norway (~$40USD/day) than we did in Italy (~45USD/day).

Buying groceries and cooking our own meals in our Airbnb rentals really helped us travel to Norway on a budget.

4. Rent an Airbnb

Airbnb rentals are an excellent accommodation option for traveling families. We love to rent Airbnbs as:

  • Kids can have their own bedrooms – giving you some privacy at night and the kids a better sleep than they’d get at a hotel.

  • Laundry facilities mean you can pack less clothes for your trip to Norway

  • You can avoid expensive Norwegian restaurants and save money on food by cooking your own meals.

  • As a bonus, apartment rentals in Norway are often cheaper than an equivalent hotel. 

We used Airbnb to book five different apartments during our stay in Norway. If you haven’t used Airbnb before, you can get a nice travel credit towards your first stay if you sign up here.

Vacation rentals help you travel to Norway on a budget

5. Stay Outside the City Center

Oslo and Bergen both have really good public transportation. You can save money in Norway by renting a place outside of the city center. Just make sure you are within walking distance to a Metro or Light Rail station.

For example of how we reduced our Norway travel cost, here are the Airbnb’s we rented in Oslo, Bergen and Alesund. We saved money on Norway accommodations by renting in each city just slightly outside the city center and walked or took public transportation.

6. Find Free Things To Do

Norway is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Chances are good you want to travel to Norway to enjoy the outdoors, which is great news as Norway is bursting at the seams with amazing, free things to do.

You can save tons of money in Norway by going for a hike, a walk along the ocean, go to a park or a playground, walk on the roof of the Oslo Opera House, etc.

the cost to travel to norway is among the highest in the world - save money by finding fun things to do for free in Norway

The vast majority of the things we did traveling in Norway were free. Many of these free things to do were our favorite experiences as we came to Norway to relish in its natural beauty.

If you’re curious about the free stuff we did in Oslo, check out our 5 days in Oslo with kids.

Oslo is expensive - save money by enjoying the many free things to do in Oslo like hiking

7. Skip the Floibanen Funicular

The Fløibanen Funicular is a fun 8-minute funicular ride in Bergen to a viewpoint 320 meters above sea level. The views from above are the main reason it’s one of the top things to do in Bergen.

Save money in Bergen by skipping the funicular ride and hike to the top instead. Not only will hiking up Mt. Floyen save money, but the 1 hour hike to the top will give you a decent workout, great forest and ocean views, and a well-earned sense of satisfaction at the top.

See more about why we loved Bergen with kids.

If you are traveling to Norway on a budget, try hiking to the top instead of taking the funicular

8. Cluster Your Attractions

In each Norwegian city you will find clusters of attractions. Save money on transportation by visiting all the things to do in each area in a single visit.

9. Rent Cars Only When Necessary

It’s easy to get around Norway without a rental car, so rent one only if you are going somewhere not easily serviced by rail or plane. Traveling by train in Norway was one of our favorite experiences on our trip, and they sometimes have special family friendly cars.

Did you know the train from Oslo to Bergen is considered one of the world’s most scenic train rides?

Avoiding an expensive car rental and taking the train is a good idea for discount travel in Norway

We were also surprised to find it’s reasonably affordable to fly domestically within Norway, so don’t rule it out as an option until you actually look into the cost. 

SAS Airline - domestic air travel in Norway is more affordable than you'd think

Lastly, it’s not exactly cheap, but if you want to choose one splurge in Norway, a trip on a Hurtigruten ferry through the fjords is a solid choice. You don’t need to book an entire expedition – you can book a shorter port-to-port trip as we did.

The scenery you get on the Hurtigruten is worth the price!

Norway is Worth It

In closing, don’t let the high cost to travel to Norway’s scare you off. With these easy tips you can easy save money in Norway and make it a lot more affordable. In the end, you will Norway is more expensive than most destinations, but it is worth every single Krone!

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