Top Ten Ways to Save Money in Norway

by Izabel Antle /
Izabel Antle's picture
May 30, 2016 / 0 comments

Norway - the home of frankfurters and fiords, aurora borealis, and enough scenic views to last a lifetime. It is the dream destination for many, but it seems that only the very wealthy are able to experience its glory. 

Top Ten Ways to Save Money in Norway

Norway has the third highest GDP per capita in the world. Then there are the extravagant 28% taxes and an extremely high cost of living. Combined, these factors make Norway one of the most expensive countries to visit in the world. How could a backpacker, solo traveler, or family *gasp* survive on a tight budget?

My family ended up in Norway, for the most part, accidentally as the cheapest flight to SE Asia from Europe was via Oslo. At the time of booking the flight, we were unaware of how expensive it is in Norway. Later, when looking for places to stay and things to see, we figured out that our destination wouldn’t be saving us much money after all. To our surprise, we ended up actaully discovering a multitude of ways to live cheaply. 

Top Ten Ways to Save Money in Norway

The top ten ways to save money in Norway

Top Ten Ways to Save Money in Norway

1.    Accommodations

Avoid hotels and hostels. Hotel prices are beyond expensive and hostels, while cheaper, still cost from 25-100 euros a night. Instead, opt for couch surfing or airbnb homestays. Staying in a Norwegian home will make your experience so much more authentic - and you will get the chance to meet some interesting people. 

Top Ten Ways to Save Money in Norway

2.    Cooking

The best tip for saving money would definitely be to make sure that wherever you are staying has a kitchen - at least equipped with a fridge and microwave. Otherwise, you will have to eat out, which is a no go for budgeting in Norway. 

3.    Go to grocery stores

Grocery stores in Norway could easily be a traveler's worst nightmare, but there are definitely ways to eat very cheap from the grocery store. Avoid a lot of fresh fruits and veggies (sorry, vegans). Peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes are especially expensive. Lettuce, cucumbers, apples, bananas, and oranges are the cheapest produce. Always visit the clearance section first. There is usually some fish or sausages in the clearance, which can make a good meal for only a few dollars. Pasta costs only a dollar, and bread rolls are very cheap for another meal option. Major grocery stores also have lots of samples, which make for a good lunch - and they sometimes give out day old bakery bread for free. 

Top Ten Ways to Save Money in Norway

4.    Don’t stay in Oslo

In my opinion, the capitol city is not worth the hype it gets. There are museums and parks, but other than that, there really isn’t much else to see. It is also the most expensive city in Norway. It is dramatically cheaper to stay outside the city in a neighboring city, like Horten or Tønsberg, and visit Oslo on a day trip using the train system.

Top Ten Ways to Save Money in Norway

5.    Don’t rent a car

The train and bus lines in Norway are awesome. Family travel by train is is pretty affordable, as kids under 16 ride free. Trains have wonderful accommodations including free wifi, nice bathrooms, quiet rooms, and coffee. 

6.    Don’t go on tours

A tour can cost anywhere from 25 to 500 euros. Skip the tour and opt for a wikipedia page while you give yourself a self-guided tour. 

7.    Travel with other people

Easy! You can stay in smaller accommodations, and split the cost. 

8.    Don’t eat in restaurants

This one is pretty obvious but really… don’t… We found out that even the cheapest food, like pizza, can cost up to thirty dollars a person. Beer, up to twenty dollars a glass.

9.    Cans are gold…

As are 2 liter bottles. Recycling is very important in Norway. Grocery stores have a recycling center where you can bring cans and bottles and get money/ store credit back. Bring any cans or bottle that you find or finish here. 

10.    Camping

In Norway, you are allowed to camp anywhere that isn’t private property. We did not camp, but saw many places where it would be easy and safe for a solo traveler or backpacker to camp. 

Top Ten Ways to Save Money in Norway


Do you have tips to add, on how you've saved money traveling in Norway?


Izabel Antle is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program. She's traveling the world with her family - follow her adventures at


Photo courtesy and copyright Izabel Antle