Norway on a budget…two words not often used in the same sentence. Is it even possible? YES! And I’m here to break down every single expense and show how Norway on a budget is not only achievable, but not that difficult! I’ll talk about transport, accommodation, food, and activities, and include tips I learned along the way, and details on my personal experience.
I came to Norway for this. Back when we were working in the UK, my friend would tell me about her home in Norway, and all the hiking and mountains and fjords. One day she turned around her computer screen at our communal desk and showed me a photo of a sheer cliff, someone standing alone at the end… Miles of blue mountain ridges and a winding teal river. I had to go there.
I arrived to Stavanger via the overnight train from Oslo, at 7:05am, bleary eyed and very bitter at the man who decided to sit next to me (despite the mostly empty train car) and speak on the phone throughout the long cross country night. Once in Stavanger, I dragged myself to the station bathroom and made a feeble attempt at cleaning my teeth and changing into somewhat clean clothes. Luckily, my friend who lives in Stavanger picked up my luggage on her way to work (although there are lockers available at the station). Then commenced my day in Stavanger!
My second full day in Oslo was all about the outskirts. Oslo may be Norway’s biggest city, but comparatively to the rest of the world it is quite small! As our first 24 hours in Oslo were very full with seeing every major sight, I was looking forward to some more unusual and hard to reach attractions on the second day. Luckily I had my lovely friend Kristina, who grew up in Oslo, to show me around, and drive!
I was really nervous about eating gluten free in Norway, especially on a budget. I’d heard horror stories of tourists spending the equivalent of £60-£80 per meal in the notoriously pricy Norwegian restaurants. And it’s true… Norway is very expensive. But it’s possible to eat gluten free in Norway, within a budget! Here’s an overview of what I did… But I will say, Norway is very knowledgeable when it comes to allergies, and most cafés and stores offer gluten free options without much searching!
My first full day in Oslo was…well, a very full day. To put it lightly. I had two days in Oslo, but we covered so much in the first 24 hours that I could’ve been very satisfied if I’d only had 24 hours in Oslo. I guess that’s what happens when you have two Norwegian friends to show you around their city!
Norway wasn’t what I was expecting.
Or was it just that I didn’t have any expectations?
I spent a night at a mountain cabin on the west coast, and was talking with a Norwegian guy who made an offhand comment – it’s better not to plan because then it’s impossible for things to not go according to plan.