Norway has a price: how to cut down your expenses

For those who are not living in Scandinavian countries, Norway has a price. Their currency is very strong and you are going to find that even buying a cucumber is so expensive and let´s no talk about drinks, outrageous! I just order one beer on my first day there as I knew it was something I was not going to do again during my trip at it cost me 67NOK (about £6.20). If you thought that London was expensive, clearly Norway is yet another level.

A small bottle of water can cost you about 30NOK (NOK=Norwegian Krone) which is about £2.80 so don´t tell me you are not interested in knowing how you could cut down you cost whilst you are in there to travel on a budget.

In my week (saturday to saturday) around the fjords I spent a total amount of 5,349.8NOK (excluding the price of the plane tickets) which is about £500: £62.5 as an average per day. You can find the breakdown below (*prices are displayed using local currency, NOK):

Transport 2.418
Ticket airport-Bergen (return) 185
Bus Bergen-Stryn 550
Bus Stryn-Hellesylt 127
Ferry Hellesylt-Geirander 250
Ferry Geirander-Hellesylt 125
Bus Hellesylt-Stryn 115
Bus Stryn-Sognal 310
Bus Sognal-Solvorn 49
Ferry Solvorn-Urnes (return) 74
Bus Solvorn-Sognal 49
Bus Sognal-Voss 285
Train Voss-Bergen 199
Bergen local bus: city centre to Montana 50
Bergen local bus: Montana to city centre 50
Accommodation 1.797,30
Bergen: YMCA Hostel (1 night) 205
Hellesylt hostel (2 nights, breakfast included) 488
Eplet Bed & Apple Hostel, Solvorn (1 night) 212,30
Voss Hostel (2 nights, breakfast included) 690
Bergen Montana Hostel (1 night, breakfast included) 202
Food 864,50
Ice cream 35
Supermarket – day 1 86,50
Beer (in a bar) 67
Ice cream 40
Supermarket – day 3 224
Supermarket – day 4 30
Supermarket – day 5 123
Supermarket – day 6 73
Supermarket – day 7 160
Supermarket – day 8 26
Attractions/ activities 270
Fløibanen funicular to Mount Fløyen, Bergen (return) 90
Bike rental (Solvorn) 150
Map (hikes around Voss) 30
TOTAL 5.349,80

1. Cook your own food

I didn´t go to any restaurants of bars but I can only tell you that a simple ice cream costs around 35/40NOK. Imagine the price of a meal if an ice cream is that expensive.

Shop on the go and only survival food. Think about it as if you still were in the uni: rice or pasta and tomato sauce, sausages or burgers, fruit, bread and butter. I used to buy just the cheapest stuff, meaning that you are not going to fully enjoy your meals and it´s going to be so boring, but every penny counts.

2. Bring your own bottle

As I said, a bottle of water can cost you 30NOK. In Norway you can drink water directly from the tap and even directly from the little waterfalls when  you are hiking in the woods/ mountains. Don´t be afraid to try but if so, you can always use a filter to purify the water. I didn´t need it and didn´t have any stomach bug.

Norway
Free water from the mountains at Geirander

3. Find the accommodation that better fits with your style and budget:

Accommodation will be an important part of your total expenses.

Sleep in hostels (Hi Hostels monopolise the offer of hostels available but you can have a look at Hostelworld too) and compare rates versus Airbnb if  you are travelling with a group of friend.

If you definitely decide that you don´t want to spend any money on accommodation then check couchsurfing or wild camping if the weather conditions allow you to do it as it is your cup of tea, not everybody likes to sleep rough.

If  you are thinking of wild camping, please take a second to go through the regulations: “You may put up a tent, or sleep under the stars, for the night anywhere in the countryside, forests or mountains, as long as you keep at least 150 metres away from the nearest inhabited house or cabin”

For more information about wild camping, please click here.

Solvorn, Norway. Lustrafjord
Views of Lustrafjord from Eplet Bed & Apple hostel

4. Transport

To be honest, I found quite difficult to save money on transportation. I was travelling solo so I used public transport. Excluding local buses, you can pay by car directly on the bus, so convenient isn´t it? I didn´t book my tickets in advance nor I´m a student anymore but if you book the tickets in advance you can save some money. If you know your itinerary beforehand and you are not going to change it on the go, then book in advance and the earlier the better. On the other hand, if you are a student don´t forget your student card, you will save a lot of money using the public transport in Norway.

If you are travelling with a group of friend, check the costs of hiring a car as it may help you to save money as well. I didn´t have any choice here.

Public transport, Norway, bus stop
Bus stop on my way to Hellesylt

5. Activities

Norway is so beautiful and you can do every single hike on your own. Hiking is free of cost and it is the main activity. The paths are very well-marked, I didn´t feel lost at any time and I´m not an expert hiker. You can find from easy to complex hikes everywhere. Go to the information centre where you can take a picture of the hiking routes (a map would cost about 30NOK and will only include the hikes around this specific area).

Besides, you are in Norway and you want to do some special outdoors activities. My suggestion would be to pick one of your choice based on your budget. Mine was renting a bike in Solvorn whilst I was staying at Eplet Bed and Apple hostel to cycle the Romantic road and end up in the second highest free-falling waterfall in Norway. This was my favourite spot and I will definitely come back one day.

Norway, Solvorn, Lustrafjord
Norway, cycling the romantic road, Solvorn

Yet you need more tips and information about travelling Norway on a budget, then don´t hesitate to have a look at the following website as I can only write about my own experience: http://www.norwayonabudget.com/

If you are looking for some ideas about a 7 day itinerary around the fjords, where to stay and how to get around, check this out:

Norway: one week discovering the fjords – Where to stay and how to get around

Norway is so beautiful, it really deserves a visit to enjoy its breathtaking landscapes. Hope these tips can help you to cut down your costs so you can forget about the money and only enjoy the natural beauty of this country.

Stay tuned and see you around witties!

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Norway

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