If you’re visiting Norway for the very first time then I bet you’re wondering, is Norway expensive to visit?
I know that was my very first question when I booked my flight to this next-level beautiful country.
And the short answer is yes and no. Yes, some things are super expensive (like NYC expensive), like food/drinks at the gas station. But, other things were a lot more affordable than I expected.
I mean, I went to Bergen in the off-season and only paid around $70.00 per night for a nice hotel room in the city center.
So, a lot of it too depends on how you travel when you travel, and what type of activities you’ll be doing.
The good news is that this guide to the cost of life in Norway is filled with tons of expert tips that will help you save money.
It will also give you a general idea of how much you can expect to spend in Norway so that you can plan accordingly.
Now, let’s dive in and figure out, “Is Norway Expensive to travel to?”
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What is the Currency in Norway?
If you want to understand if Norway is expensive, then the first thing you need to know is what type of currency they use.
Unlike many countries in the EU, they do not use the Euro but the Norwegian Krone (NOK). Now, at the time of writing, 1 NOK is equal to 0.093 USD and 0.087 Euros.
However, what I did when I was in Norway was just divide everything by ten.
So, if something cost 100 NOK, then I divided that number by ten and figured out that I was paying around $10.00 USD.
This helped me a lot when I was traveling in Norway for the first time I hope it helps you.
So, Is Norway Expensive to Travel to?
It’s pretty common knowledge that Scandinavia is an expensive part of the world to travel to.
And with Norwegians earning high wages, the country’s cost/standard of living can surpass that of many other nations.
However, the good news is that despite its notoriety for being a pricey destination, Norway can still be experienced on a budget.
Many of the top attractions, particularly those showcasing Norway’s breathtaking natural landscapes, are free and open to the public.
Travelers flock here to witness the country’s exquisite natural beauty and can enjoy many of the best trials in Norway free of charge.
How Much is a Trip to Norway?
Again, the answer to this question is, it depends. I mean, if you are dining at high-end restaurants every night and staying at 5-star hotels then obviously your trip will cost more than if you are camping, making your own food, and staying in hostels.
However, on the whole, if you’re traveling in Norway on a budget then you can expect to spend between $75 and $100 per day.
With this budget, you’ll have to stay in a hostel, prepare your meals, and visit free attractions.
Now, if you bump it up to $150 per day then you can stay in an Airbnb, go out to eat a little, and enjoy several attractions that cost money. But, just booking a private hotel room can easily cost around $120.
And if you enjoy luxury travel then you’ll be spending around $250 per day, but can do anything and everything you like.
Pro Tip: To help you plan, expect to spend around $1000 for one person for a week in Norway or $1800 for a trip for two people if you are conservative with your spending and plan a more budget-friendly itinerary.
This price does not include airfare but does include hotels, food, transportation, and sightseeing.
Is It Expensive to Fly to Norway?
Truth be told it isn’t all that expensive to fly to Norway. When I first flew to Norway I departed from Stewart International Airport in New York and arrived in Bergan via a direct flight for around $250 round trip.
A lot of it just depends on when you are flying, the airline you are using, and your departure/arrival airports.
But, if you fly to Norway from North America then you can expect to pay $300 – $400 each way. My flight was with a budget airline and they were offering a special deal, so I got lucky.
In contrast, if you fly to Norway from within Europe then flights are even cheaper, especially if you use Ryan Air or Easy Jet. Expect to spend between $100 and $250 on a flight.
Remember, with most budget airlines, this price is just the base fare. So, if you get food, check luggage, or select a seat, this price will go up.
Just do your research and see what flights work best for you. In general, it’s probably the cheapest to fly into Oslo.
But, if just you want to head to Bergen to see the fjords Norway is known for then it can take you 6+ hours to get to Bergen from Oslo via train. The tickets can also be expensive so keep this in mind.
Just look at a variety of different airlines and airports to fly into and pick the best option for you.
Also, keep in mind that flying within Norway can vary depending on the airline you use. Some budget airlines offer flights for as little as $50, while others have flights for between $200 and $300
Pro Tip: If you arrive super late or early, public transportation might not be running and then you’ll have to take a taxi to/from your hotel. Otherwise, you could just spend the night in an airport hotel.
But, both will increase the cost of your trip. Also, factor in the price of luggage when choosing your flights.
Is It Best To Fly, Drive, Or Cruise Through Norway?
So, it really depends on what type of traveler. Cost-wise, a cruise is probably best since Norway is a HUGE country.
Therefore, if you do a cruise you can quickly and easily see a lot of the country, and at a reasonable price since food/lodging are included in the price of your trip.
A cruise is also a lot less stressful since you don’t have to worry about how to get from one place to the next. Additionally, the boat travels at night so you’ll save time on transportation.
However, the downside is that you won’t get a lot of time in each spot and the experience won’t be as personal since you’ll be, literally, traveling with a boatload of other people.
But, if you’re short on time and money then a cruise is a great option. It can cost anywhere between $940 and $2300 per person. It just depends on the length of the cruise, the company, and the time of year.
Honestly, I am not a huge fan of cruises and more of a DIYer. I prefer to do a road trip through Norway and to rent a car in Norway. This way i can go at my own pace and have a more personal experience.
But, it’s not super cheap. You’ll have to pay for the car and fuel. Plus, it takes a lot of time since Norway is huge and driving times are not short.
However, I loved driving through Norway and would do it again even if it wasn’t the cheapest way to travel.
Is It Expensive to Rent a Car in Norway?
If you want to road trip through Norway then first you need to understand how expensive it is to rent a car.
Generally, the longer you wait, the more expensive car rentals are in Norway. I made this mistake and ended up paying $150.00 per day for my car rental.
However, I learned my lesson and rented my next car a few months in advance. I also used Discover Cars to compare prices and only ended up paying $80.00 per day with full liability insurance.
But, the real way to save money in Norway is to only rent a car if you absolutely need it and there is no other way to get to your destination.
Trust me, tolls, gas, ferries, parking fees are insanely expensive in Norway. Generally, taking public transportation ends up being MUCH cheaper.
So, only use a car if you are going to a remote place with limited access via public transportation.
Pro Tip: Gas is NOT cheap in Norway. You’ll probably pay $2.20 per liter which is more expensive than in other parts of western Europe.
How Much are Tolls in Norway?
Tolls are not cheap in Norway. But, there aren’t a ton of them if you are driving through more rural parts of the country, like the north.
I mean, one of my Norway road trips covered like 1000 miles and I think I only paid $32.00 in tolls.
I also love that the car keeps track of the tolls and then the car rental agency just bills you for any tolls after your trip. Yeah, it makes things a lot easier.
Anyway, the cost of tolls just depends on where you drive. So, it’s probably more expensive if you plan to drive through busier parts of the country.
How Expensive is Parking Your Car in Norway?
Parking your car in a city in Norway is way cheaper than in NYC. But, that isn’t saying much since New York City is super expensive.
Anyway, expect to spend around $25.00 per day parking your car in any major city in Norway. Parking is also notoriously difficult to find, which is why I would until I leave the city to pick up my rental car.
Is Norway Expensive to Visit – Public Transportation Prices
If you’re wondering, “Is Norway expensive to visit?” then you’ll want to learn about the cost of buses, taxis, ferries, and trains throughout the country.
Below is a breakdown is how expensive it is to use public transportation in Norway.
- Buses – I took the bus from Oslo Airport to Olso city center. The trip cost around $21.00 and took around 50 minutes. In contrast, the bus from Oslo to Bergen took around 13 hours and cost around $100. I would opt for the train over the bus and just book my tickets in advance to save money,
- Taxis – I didn’t take a taxi and wouldn’t recommend it since I heard it can cost you like $30.00 to go 1.2 miles. So I would avoid taxis at all costs if you’re trying to save money in Norway.
- Ferries/Car Ferries – Generally, ferries and car ferries get more expensive as the length of the ride increases. So, a quick one-hour ferry can cost $20 while a longer, 1+ hour ferry can cost $40 without a car. They are not cheap but very worth it since the trips through the fjords are stunning.
- Trains – I like traveling by train since it is fast and beautiful. I paid around $120 for my train ticket from Oslo to Bergen (my second trip) and preferred it to the bus. Just book your tickets well in advance to save money.
Is It Expensive to Travel to Norway – Food Prices
Food prices can vary based on where you eat and what you eat. I mean, if you had to the grocery and prepare your meals then you could save a ton of money on food.
However, on the whole, food in Norwegian grocery stores is probably more expensive than what you are used to. So, a loaf of bread can cost $3.00 while a bottle of water (1.5 liters) can cost $2.00.
In contrast, if you dine out at a budget restaurant, expect to spend $20.00 per person, and $85 per person at a fancy restaurant with a 3-course meal.
Additionally, expect to pay $9.00 for a sandwich, $4.00 for an ice cream, $15.00 at McDonald’s, $25.00 for a pasta entree, and $30+ for a meat-based entree at a restaurant.
A soda will also cost around $5.00 while a latte with cost between $5.00 and $7.00.
How Much is Alcohol in Norway?
If you want to order a drink in Norway, expect to spend at least $10.00 on a glass of wine.
A beer will also cost you anywhere between $9.00 and $14.00 due to government taxes.
But, if you want a cocktail then expect to pay around $17.00.
Pro Tip: These prices can vary greatly based on where you are in the country, what you order, and the type of establishment you are in.
But, this should give if you a rough idea of how expensive Norway is when it comes to drinking.
Do You Tip in Norway?
Tipping in Norway is not like tipping in the United States. Generally, people don’t expect a tip in Norway, especially taxi drivers and hotel staff.
However, if you dine out then you can round up the bill and pay a little more as a tip. Although, the last time I was here there was a place on the restaurant check where you could leave a tip.
So, tipping seems to be more common in restaurants as of late and I have heard of people leaving anywhere between 5% and 15%.
How Much is a Hotel in Norway?
Hotel prices vary based on the region, with the cheapest hotels being in Oslo, Stavanger, Trondheim, Alesund, and Bergen.
In contrast, hotels in some of the cutest towns in Norway – like Flam, Geiranger, Lofoten, Svalbard, and Tromso – tend to be very expensive.
In general though, expect to pay $50.00 per night for a hostel room, around $115.00 per night for a mid-range hotel, and $200.00+ per night for a luxury hotel room.
This will vary greatly based on when you book your trip.
So, if you’re visiting some of the most beautiful cities in Norway in peak season, then you can save some money by booking your hotel room well in advance.
Pro Tip: The only time I would do a VRBO/Airbnb rental in Norway is if I was staying in one place for over a month.
Otherwise, hotels work out to be cheaper since there aren’t as many hidden fees. Plus, you get all the added perks of staying in a hotel.
How Much are Top Attractions in Norway?
I honestly have no idea how much you will spend on attractions in Norway since this all depends on where you go and what you are interested in.
I mean, if you plan on hiking through Norway, you could spend little to no money on attractions since many Norwegian hikes are free.
However, below is a list of popular attractions in Norway and how much they will cost you to visit.
- Oslo’s Fram Museum – $13.50
- Viking Planet Museum in Oslo – $24.00
- Fjord Excursion – $42.00
- Bergen Funicular Railway – $11.00
- Guided Visit to Pulpit Rock – $85.00
- Norway in a Nutshell from Bergen – $160.00+ (varies by season)
Pro Tip: Some free things to do in Norway include Vigeland Sculpture Park, visiting the fjords, Trolltunga, Oslo City Hall, Oslo Botanical Gardens, Kjerag Mountain, and Sognsvann Lake.
Should You Carry Cash in Norway?
No, I would not carry cash in Norway. Most places only accept cards and refuse to accept cash. So, if you’re buying lots of things things from Norway then stick with the card.
The only time you might need cash is at a farmer’s market. You will need a credit card with a pin as opposed to one with a signature since those aren’t as widely accepted in Europe anymore.
Is Norway Expensive to Travel to – Money Saving Tips
Here are some expert tips that will help you save money the next time you are in Norway.
- Book Well In Advance – Hotels, car rentals, flights, and train tickets are all a lot cheaper when booked in advance. Do this and you can easily save tons of money.
- Book Tickets to Attractions Online – Book tickets for popular attractions online since you can sometimes save as much as 15% on admission.
- Use Travel Passes and City Cards – City passes in places like Bergen are a great way to save money. Just do your research and see what’s included and what you’ll have time to visit to make sure it’s cost-effective for you.
- Avoid Airbnb – They are not cheaper than hotels since there are a ton of hidden fees. They really only make sense if you stay in one spot for over a month.
- Try a Cruise – A cruise can be a very cost-effective way to quickly and easily visit Norway. Food/accommodations are both included and you don’t have to worry about transportation. Plus, you can travel at night and explore a lot of the country in a short time.
- Don’t Buy Food/Snacks at Gas Stations and Convenience Stores – The price of food and drinks at these places is insane. Save money by buying things at the grocery store before you head out for the day.
- Travel During Low Season – I saved a ton of money by traveling in April. So, avoid visiting Norway from June through August if you can.
- Opt for Self-Guided Tours – Most activities in Norway don’t require a guide. However, the exceptions to this rule are some challenging hikes that you should hire an expert to help you with.
Is Norway Expensive to Visit FAQs
How Much is a Meal In Norway?
An average meal at a standard Norwegian restaurant will cost anywhere between $25 and $45. You should also add another $4.00 or $10.00 to the bill if you plan to get a non-alcoholic drink too.
How Much Cash Do You Need for Norway?
I wouldn’t withdraw more than $100 once you arrive in the country. It’s good to have in case of an emergency but you won’t really need it and can just use a credit card everywhere you go.
Is Norway Expensive for an American?
It is expensive to travel to Norway as an American. But, if you plan ahead and take advantage of the current strength of the dollar compared to the Kroner then you definitely won’t go broke traveling to Norway.
How much does a trip to Norway cost from the USA?
From the USA a trip to Norway can cost between $400 and $800 for round-trip flights. Then, expect to spend anywhere between $50 and $200 per night on accommodations.
You’ll also need money for food, activities, and local transportation, which can cost $100 per day or more.
So, as an American, I would plan to spend at least $1800.00 per person on a week-long trip to Norway.
How Much Does a Cup of Coffee Cost in Norway?
A cup of coffee in Norway costs around $4.00, while a latte will cost you anywhere between $5.00 and $7.00.