As one of the most expensive destinations in the world – is it really possible to visit this beautiful land of fjords, breathtaking mountains and the awe-inspiring Northern Lights on a limited budget?
While the Norwegians will be the first to admit that living in their country is expensive, there is one big advantage for anyone travelling on a budget – everywhere in Norway is spectacularly beautiful, and they don’t charge a single krone for it! Just being in the country is an experience in itself, before you spend a cent.
How to do it on a budget:
The secret of making travel in Norway affordable is utilizing the country’s excellent public transport system, making sure to prepare your own meals (or even catch your own!) rather than relying on restaurants, and planning your journey around the cheaper forms of accommodation.
Renting a vehicle can also be done affordably with innovative services like Rent-a-wreck. Take advantage of the country’s 25 youth hostels, or 470 cabins dotted all over the countryside which are operated through the Norwegian Trekking Association. Cabin sizes vary from very small with only a few beds, to larger establishments which are staffed and catered – this means that with a bit of planning you can pick the cabins that will offer the comfort you’re seeking at the right price.
Many families also run small bed and breakfast establishments which offer not only cheaper accommodation, but also the advantage of staying with people who know the area well. Make use of Norway’s excellent tourist information centers in each city, or check out Bed & Breakfast Norway.
What to do:
The world’s most spectacular light show, The Northern Lights or aurora borealis are also free to view! Make sure to plan your trip between the months of October through March to take advantage!
Interestingly, Norway is also well known as a gambling destination, (perhaps because they boast the fourth highest per capita income in the world…) although personally we find online casino games a cheaper alternative for the thrifty traveller!
Of course hiking is always an affordable pastime for the traveller on a shoe-string budget, and with the inventive ‘Allemannsretten’ or Freedom to Roam concession, which allows free access to pass through uncultivated land and camp free of charge – you really can choose your own adventure at practically zero cost!
The country’s capital, Oslo, offers cultural experiences in the form of the Oslo Botanical Garden, home to over 8500 plant specimens from all over the world, The City Museum and Norwegian Museum of Defense (a must for fans of History) and free attendance to the impressive National Arts Gallery.
Things to know before you go:
Visas – for stays of up to 90 days, a valid passport from your country of origin is generally sufficient and you won’t require a Visa – but make sure to check with your embassy!
Norway is a fantastic destination for backpackers and campers alike, and with a little bit of planning it really can be done affordably. Our suggestion? Grab a friend, get planning, prepare to rough it a little bit – and set out to have a once in a lifetime adventure!