How expensive is Norway and how much everything costs- food, drinks, car, petrol, ferries, hotels and more..

How Expensive is Norway (+ Price Examples & Useful Tips)

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What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of Norway? It seems that for many people it’s ‘expensive’.

We all heard that Norway is expensive to visit. The question I had before our first trip was HOW expensive is Norway? I mean, what’s expensive to someone coming from Southern Asia or Eastern Europe, might seem very reasonable to someone coming from Belgium or the UK…

Hence this post with real-life examples of how much everything costs in Norway. This should help you to get a better idea of how expensive Norway actually is, so that you can estimate how much money you need to visit Norway. Find out!

Disclaimer: Prices provided here and the exchange rates used are correct at the time of writing and are only meant to give you an idea of how much everything costs in Norway.

Good to know: Norway currency is Norwegian Krone (NOK). At the moment of the last update, 1 NOK equals 0,09 EUR or 0,11 USD. If you just want to get a rough idea of the prices in Norway, simply divide the amount by 10. So, for example, 100 NOK is 10 EUR or 10 USD.

READ ALSO: Norway Travel Guide – an overview of all our guides to various destinations in Norway

How expensive are the flights to and within Norway

Unless you come from the other side of the globe, flying to Norway might actually be rather cheap compared to the rest of the trip.

There are several budget carriers flying to Norway, including Norwegian that sometimes offers transatlantic tickets for 200-300 EUR each way.

Flights from European destinations to Norway usually cost around 100-250 EUR round-trip.

If you fly to Oslo, you might find cheaper tickets than if you would fly to the smaller, regional airports. However, take everything into account, not just the flight price. You might save 50 EUR on a flight, but then spend two days to get where you need to get, and it will cost you hundreds more…

There are many search engines online where you can check flight availability and find the best deals for your trip to Norway. Take a look at Kayak or Momondo and don’t forget to search for alternative airports as it sometimes makes a big difference.

Prices for flights within Norway vary significantly depending on the airline and the airports you fly. If there’re budget carriers operating the route, you might find flights under 50 EUR round-trip, whereas on other routes it might cost you 200 – 300 EUR.

Traveling to Norway from Europe – fly, drive, or cruise

If you are traveling to Norway from Western or Central Europe, you might be wondering if it’s not easier to simply drive to Norway by car instead of flying or taking a cruise. It really depends.

We live in Belgium and our first idea was that going by car to Norway would be cheaper than flying. But – in our case – it wasn’t. So you really have to make calculations for yourself and see what works best.

We flew to Norway with KLM from Amsterdam and paid 260 EUR per person for a return flight to smaller regional airports (luggage and other extras included). It’s not cheap, and on top of that, we still needed to rent a car.

It’s actually quite easy to drive to Norway from Belgium by car, and we met many people who did that. But when we calculated how many days extra that would add to our trip, added the fuel costs, the ferry, extra nights hotel, and the food we would need, it turned out that it was still cheaper to fly and rent a car in Norway. Even with a family of five people.

In some cases, booking a cruise might be even cheaper than flying or driving (check here for some great deals). If you consider this, take a look at our guide with the main reasons to visit Norway by cruise.

How expensive is it to rent a car in Norway

Norway is probably the most expensive country for car rental from all our trips. For our Norway road trip, we rented a comfortable car for 5 people, an estate, VW Passat. It cost us about 155 EUR per day (130 EUR car rental + 25 EUR zero liability insurance).

TIP: The way to save some money is not to rent a car for the days when you don’t absolutely need it. Parking is very expensive in Norway, just as car ferries and toll roads. So only rent a car when you really need it, and use public transport for the rest of the trip.

Here you can check car rental prices and find the best car rental deals for your trip to Norway.

How expensive is fuel in Norway

At the moment this article has last been updated, fuel prices in Norway are around 14 – 17 NOK (1.3 – 1.7 EUR) per liter, depending on the area and on the fuel. It’s comparable to Switzerland, and about 10-15% more expensive than in most Western European countries.

How expensive are toll roads in Norway

Luckily, there weren’t that many toll roads on our route in Norway. After the trip, we received the bill from our car rental company and we had to pay just 32 EUR for toll roads in total. Not too bad for 8 days and 1600 km. We paid a lot more for toll roads in Portugal or France.

However, it really depends on where you drive. For example, the newly opened under-sea tunnel Ryfylke near Stavanger has a toll of about 140 NOK (13 EUR). You pay significantly less if you’re driving a zero-emission car.

Good to know: Most rental cars are equipped with a special system that keeps track of all the tolls you have to pay. When the car rental company gets the bill, they charge it on your credit card. If you are not sure how it works, make sure to inquire when renting a car.

How expensive is car parking in Norway

If you have to park your car in a city in Norway, it will cost you around 15-25 EUR per 24 hours. Furthermore, it’s not always easy to find a parking spot in the cities.

So if you are planning a road trip around Norway, keep this in mind when researching where to stay. Once again, only rent a car for the days when you really need it.

How expensive is public transport and car ferry in Norway

We used public transport a couple of times in Norway. While not cheap, the prices were reasonable. Here are some examples:

Bus prices in Norway

Here are some examples of what it costs to take a bus in Norway.

Airport transfer by bus from Stavanger airport to Stavanger city center costs 160 NOK/ 15 EUR one way or 240 NOK/ 23 EUR round-trip. Tickets are about 15% cheaper if bought online in advance. Up to 4 kids per adult travel free of charge if you choose a family ticket. We researched the prices of the bus and the taxi and found out that taking a taxi would cost more than three times that amount.

Bus from Stavanger to Bergen costs 650 NOK/ 66 EUR per adult. But if you book a family ticket, you pay this same price for one adult and one child. For the five of us, we bought two family tickets and one extra child ticket which was half the price. You can find more information and book tickets for this route here.

Airport transfer in Trondheim with an express bus costs 149 NOK/ 14 EUR for adults. Kids travel free with adults (but require a ticket). There are also city buses that are somewhat cheaper (but also take longer).

How expensive is taxi in Norway

Taking a taxi is really expensive in Norway. We only took a taxi once during our trip, when we had to get to our car rental with our suitcases and three kids on a rainy morning in Bergen. For a distance of just 2 km, we paid 150 NOK/ 15 EUR. So if you can avoid taking a taxi in Norway, do that!

Ferry and car ferry prices

Here are some examples of what ferry costs in Norway:

Car ferry prices in Norway vary on different routes. Most 20-40min ferry crossings cost around 150-200 NOK/ 14-20 EUR for a car including a driver, and around 40-70 NOK/ 4-7 EUR per adult and 20-35 NOK/ 2-4 EUR per child.

Some ferries are a bit cheaper, some – more expensive. If I recall well, the cheapest car ferry we took was 160 NOK/ 15 EUR for a car and our family of five.

The longer car ferry route, e.g. Geirangerfjord from Geiranger to Hellesylt has a special ticket for a family including the car. This trip now costs 1,235 NOK/ 115 EUR. The same trip costs 640 NOK (60 EUR) for a car including a driver, plus 310 NOK (29 EUR) for each additional adult.

How expensive is dining out in Norway: food, drinks, alcohol

Food prices in Norway vary a lot depending on the place (big town, remote hotel), the shop, café, or restaurant.

Below, you can find an overview of food and drink prices in Norway. Note that these are café and restaurant prices, based on how much everything cost during our recent trips in Norway. Even when we went to a supermarket, most supermarkets were in rather touristy areas, so prices might be a bit lower in less touristy places and supermarkets where locals shops.

Here are some examples to give you an idea of how much food and drinks cost in Norway:

Food prices in Norway

  • Sandwiches cost around 60-100 NOK/ 6-11 EUR. Similar prices everywhere: on a ferry, at a petrol station, in 7-11 shops, etc.
  • Hot dog costs 40-50 NOK/ 4-6 EUR.
  • A pack of grapes (0,5kg – 1 pound) costs around 30 NOK/ 3 EUR in a shop and 50 NOK/ 5 EUR at a petrol station.
  • 1kg (2 pounds) of bananas cost around 19-25 NOK/ 2-3 EUR at a supermarket.
  • A loaf of bread costs about 25-40 NOK/ 2,5-5 EUR.
  • Ice cream costs 25-30 NOK/ 3-4 EUR. Or you can get a pack of 6 for the same price at a supermarket. Soft ice is very popular and even more expensive.
  • Hamburger menu at the McDonald’s or Burger King costs around 70-110 NOK/ 7-12 EUR.
  • A hamburger, a pizza, or a sandwich meal at a café costs around 150-220 NOK/ 15-25 EUR.
  • Pasta dish costs from 170 to 250 NOK/ 18-28 EUR.
  • The main fish or meat course at a restaurant will quickly cost 300 NOK/ 30 EUR.
  • Dessert prices at a restaurant start at around 110 NOK/ 12 EUR, often up to 180 NOK/ 18 EUR.

Here are some real-life examples of how much we paid for food in Norway. In Florli, we had a salmon dish for just 190 NOK/ 19 EUR, while at Preikestolen Base Camp at the trailhead of the Pulpit Rock hike, the cheapest bowl of soup cost 98 NOK/ 10 EUR.

Probably the cheapest meal we had (apart from McDonald’s) was the pizza buffet for lunch in Bergen; it cost 110 NOK/11 EUR for adults and 60 NOK/ 6 EUR for kids.

Drink prices in Norway

  • Tap water is delicious in Norway and all restaurants serve water for free.
  • Soft drinks cost around 35-50 NOK/ 4-5 EUR.
  • Coffee or tea costs 25-30 NOK/ 3-4 EUR.
  • Cappuccino or late costs 40-50 NOK / 5-6 EUR.
  • Beer prices at a café usually start around 70-80 NOK/ 8-9 EUR.
  • Non-alcoholic beer costs around 60 NOK/ 7 EUR.
  • The cheapest bottle of wine at a restaurant costs from around 400 NOK/ 45 EUR.

Here is an example of a minibar price list from the Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel in Trondheim. These prices are from a few years ago, so probably a bit higher now. But because the exchange rate is now more favorable, the prices I indicated in EUR are approximately correct.

Minibar price list at a Radisson Blu hotel in Norway
Minibar price list – 6 EUR for a small Coke, 9 EUR for a small beer, or 22 EUR for a mini bottle of wine…
 

Tipping in Norway

From what I understand, it’s not expected that you tip in Norway, but people tend to round up the bill. Hotel staff and taxi drivers don’t expect a tip. However, almost every restaurant bill we received in Norway had some space foreseen for tips.

I read on some internet forums that while not obligatory, it’s becoming more common to leave a tip of 5-15% if you are satisfied with the service. So honestly, I am not sure.

With such high prices and salary levels, I would think it’s not necessary to tip in Norway. But if you feel like it and leave a small tip for an exceptional service, it will certainly be appreciated.

How expensive are museums and other activities in Norway

Here are several examples of how much we paid for various activities in Norway:

We visited several museums in Norway (Norwegian Canning Museum in Stavanger was one of our favorites). Most museums cost around 90-100 NOK/ 10 EUR for adults, half price for kids, and free for children under 6.

There are cheaper tickets for families, students, or seniors. On top of that, many museums offer combination tickets with other activities or museums in town, so it’s worth looking into that.

A 3hr-fjord cruise in Lysefjord or Naeroyfjord costs around 400-450 NOK/ 45-50 EUR for adults, usually about half price for the kids. Sometimes you can get family tickets that give a really good discount.

Bergen Floyen funicular costs 90 NOK/ 10 EUR for adults, half the price for kids.

A half-day kayak trip can easily cost 700-900 NOK/ 80-100 EUR per adult, a day trip around 1000-1200 NOK/ 110-125 EUR.

Here you can find all the best tours in Norway and check the prices. The most expensive tours are winter tours in Northern Norway – e.g. dog sledding in Tromso or snowmobile tours in Svalbard.

How expensive are hotels in Norway

The price of hotels in Norway highly depends on the place and on the period when you are visiting. Just to give you some idea, most hotels we stayed at cost us anywhere from 1100 to 2500 NOK/ 110 – 280 EUR per night for a family of 5.

Sometimes we had a big family room or two connecting rooms, sometimes a suite, sometimes an apartment. In most cases, it was not the size of the room that determined the price the most, but the location of the hotel.

The most expensive hotels were in Flam, Sogndal, and Geiranger. Also Tromso hotels and Longyearbyen hotels in Svalbard are very pricey.

The cheapest accommodation can be found in bigger towns like Oslo, Stavanger, Trondheim, Alesund, Kristiansund, etc. For us, Bergen was an expensive exception to this rule.

Is it cheaper to rent a cabin or stay at a private apartment or Airbnb instead of a hotel?

If you are staying at one location for a longer time, then it might be worth considering renting a cabin or an apartment. However, if you are just staying somewhere for one or two nights, don’t get fooled by the seemingly lower price of private accommodations. Usually, there are lots of extra fees, like bed linen, towels, cleaning, etc.

In most cases, it is not worth the hassle for a short stay, as it costs just as much as a hotel. On top of that, hotel prices usually include breakfast, and it’s another big cost to consider if staying in self-catering accommodation in Norway.

TIP: The best way to save on accommodation costs in Norway is to book well in advance, especially if traveling in high season. You can find best deals for Norway accommodation here.

Do you need cash in Norway?

I received so many questions about paying by credit cards vs. cash in Norway, that I decided to update the article to include this information.

In principle, you don’t need any cash in Norway and should be able to pay by credit card pretty much everywhere. Ideally, you should have a card with a chip and a PIN code. Credit cars that require a signature and have no PIN aren’t widely accepted in Europe anymore.

TIP: If you are traveling from the US and have no card with a pin yet, here you can find the best credit cards for travel.

The first time we visited Norway, took some cash from an ATM upon arrival in Norway, but the only time it was really necessary was when we decided to buy some fruit and raspberries from a farmer next to the road. For the rest, we kept it till the last few days of the trip and used it for our last dinner, paying the difference by card.

On our subsequent trips, we didn’t even take cash at all and only used credit cards.

In short, no, you don’t really need cash in Norway. Credit cards are accepted everywhere.

So, this is our money guide for traveling to Norway. I hope it will help you have a better idea of what to expect and how much to budget for your trip to Norway.

Planning a trip to Norway and not sure where to start? Take a look at our detailed 2 week Norway road trip itinerary for some inspiration.

** Traveling soon? Don’t forget good travel insurance!**

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How expensive is Norway. Prices of food, drinks, hotels, car rental, petrol, parking, also museums and activities and much more.
 

Comments

  1. I would say that it all depends how money you earn and where you live. If you are from Eastern Europe like myself you will be struggling to spend that much money on a hotel, one meal. But, there are many things you can do to reduce your spendings and visiting Norway if you don’t have much money isn’t problem thanks to other recommendations where to eat on cheap, where to spend night. For example I was in city Skien and managed to be there 5 nights, eat, sleep, visit two museums and other attractions that are free under 400 Euros. And I must say I was happy with trip very much. If not for this situation I would go again this summer.

    1. Author

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Milan. It just shows that everyone is traveling differently and that your budget depends so much on your choices.
      And yes, fingers crossed we can all travel again soon.

  2. Prices in Norway are very Ok !

    1. Author

      For us coming from Western Europe, prices in Norway are on the high side, but indeed, quite ok. Apart from organized activities, which are really expensive… But I can imagine that for people coming from countries where prices are a fraction of what things cost in Norway, everything is very expensive… It’s all about what you compare it to.

  3. Jurga,

    Thank you so much for your great travel trips!

    Ken

  4. Hi Jurga.Very much need your advice.I’m going to Trumse in December and only for a couple days, so it is very difficult to choose activity.Can you tell me what to choose?.What is more fun-a dog sled or a deer sled?

    1. Author

      Hi Virginija, if you do just one, I think that dog sledding is definitely worth the time and the money more. You can read more about it here: dog sledding in Tromso.
      Enjoy your trip!

  5. Hi Jurga, I will be flying from Cape Town, South Africa, to Bergen and then doing a trip with the Boat “ Lofoten” right up to Kirkenes to see the lights, from 24 November to 15th December.
    Could I ask you, our domination is Rand, for 1 krone how much Rand do I need.

  6. My partner and I are planning a trip and were considering using a tour company that book hotels and tour options but you pay and plan your own flights and stay overnight Norway and Northern Lights tour works out with no flights to £2250. Trying to investigate doing this on our own and want to see how to pack and food prices so found this blog very useful.

    1. Author

      Glad you found this useful, Karen. The best way to figure out the rough costs of the same trip is to check the same hotel and the same tour prices online. Often, you’ll find that booking everything yourself is much cheaper, but there are also exceptions. It really depends on the trip and the travel agent that you use… We stopped using agents after some eye-opening comparisons like that, but there was one trip where it was about the same price, so it was worth it. Hope, it’s the case for you as well 🙂
      Have a great time in Norway!

  7. Found this page through a Google search and it’s answered all of my queries before I head there in 2 weeks for a cruise with my wife. Will bookmark this page for future reference. Thanks for compiling so much useful info in one place

    1. Author

      Glad to hear that, David. Enjoy your trip!

  8. Thanks for all this information, it is very helpful (plus a pleasure to read!) Will certainly keep in mind some of the tips given here for our cruise to the Norwegian fjords! You’re helping me plan our days on shore 😊

  9. Hi Jurga, thanks for all your Norway travel tips! When in Norway, can we use credit cards in most places, or is better to bring cash? We need to convert our money ahead of time and are wondering how much is best. We prefer using cards whenever possible.
    Thanks!

    1. Author

      Hi Roxanne, I think I have answered this question several times – please check the other comments as well. In principle, you don’t need cash and can pay with a card everywhere. One time we used cash was to buy some fruit next to the road, but if you get an equivalent of 50-100 USD from an ATM, it will be more than sufficient, probably even too much.

  10. This is a great post, one of the better and more realistic posts for costs in Norway, and that’s coming from a Norwegian haha 😊
    Tipping really isn’t necessary in Norway unless something drastically changed since I moved abroad. Salaries are so high it’s not expected. But I’m sure as you said that if someone is very happy about their service it would be a nice surprise.

    1. Author

      Thanks for this and thanks for the tips on tipping in Norway. It’s always great to have an opinion from a local!

  11. Hi I’m going to Norway for 4 nights over Xmas. I’m on the British pound. Around how much money would I need for food , travel, skiing one day?

    1. Author

      Hi Sherryn, sorry, but I really can’t answer this. Everyone travels so differently. You can have a 20 pound meal or you can spend 60… And it’s the same for everything – hotels, activities…
      That’s why I share information in this post to help you get an idea of how much everything costs in Norway. But the final budget will completely depend on your choices.

  12. Thank you for sharing this post.
    I am travelling to Oslo in December 2018 and ask only one question.
    Would a $1000-$1500 australian dollars be enough for me to take whilst visiting my Son for the first time?
    9 day stay and I’m only looking at expenses such as public transport , visiting museums, a couple of visits to a cafe/ restaurant and contributing towards groceries while I’m there.
    Thank you and look forward to hearing from anyone.

    1. Author

      Hi Gail, if your accommodation and most meals are covered, then I think you should be ok. It’s hard for me to tell as I don’t know your travel style. For example, a few times dining out in a really nice restaurant can eat up your budget very quickly, but I think 100EUR per day should be sufficient.
      One thing, you don’t really need cash in Norway and can pay pretty much everything by credit card.

  13. Thankyou,very useful information.Leaving for the trip of a lifetime in November.Cannot wait!!

    1. Author

      Have a great trip! Norway is amazing, any time of the year.

  14. Going to Greece in June. I’m looking for a side trip before going to Athens. Portugal was my choice having my 3 and 6 year old grandchildren with me. after reading this post I think I will like to follow your footsteps to Norway. Any place to avoid with my three year old?

    1. Author

      Hi Connie, I think that Portugal is probably a better choice in terms of it being closer to Greece and having similar climate. Norway is very different. We love both destinations actually and are going back to Portugal in a few weeks ourselves (and I just returned from Norway winter trip).
      If you decide to go to Norway, any region is great with kids. I really can’t think of any place to avoid 🙂 Whatever you decide, enjoy it!

  15. Thank you! I am planning a trip to Norway in July, and your breakdown helps so much with my budget planning!

    1. Author

      Good to hear that, Di. Enjoy your trip!

  16. Public transportation in Bergen is only expensive if you pay cash. It’s double the cost then. The whole point is that the bus company want you to pay using the app or the ticket machine. It’s always best to buy a period ticket which last 24 hours (95kr)/7 days(245kr) /30 days(780kr). That way you can take the bus as much as you want. If you pay for one ticket on your app, it costs 37kr. If you pay cash to the bus driver it costs 60. If you arrive at the airport in Bergen which is in the southern borough, and are headed to the city center – taking the airport bus costs 108kr. Taking a cab the same direction will cost you about 500kr. If you take the metro it costs the same as a bus ticket – and if you know that you will be staying a couple of days, then the period ticket will be most affordable. It’s the same company that runs the buses and metro, so the same ticket system.

    1. Author

      Wow, thanks a lot for this comprehensive guide to Bergen’s public transport, Siri. I am sure it will be very useful to the other readers.

  17. Oh wow, those notes are so beautiful! Am I the only one who absolutely loves looking at and collecting foreign currency? Thanks for sharing!

    1. Author

      I like foreign money too, it’s a part of traveling. That’s why we took some cash at the ATM in Norway, otherwise it was not really necessary as you can use credit cards everywhere.

  18. I agree it is the easiest way to save and travel on a budget. In the summertime, we have been staying mostly in tents, and couch surfing. I have been in Norway so far 3 times (close to 2 months in total) and barely spent on accommodation ( paid nights) 🙂

    1. Author

      Oh wow, you did it really well then, Katalin. Accommodation cost was for us the biggest cost of the trip, but it’s all about choices you make. And with three kids it’s just easier 🙂

  19. What an incredibly helpful post! The breakdown of everything you did and spent is really great.

    1. Thanks for all this info! Very helpful! I’ll be next week in Tromsø, chasing the Aurora! ♥️

      1. Author

        Enjoy your trip, Fatima and fingers crossed for some clear skies!

        1. Thanks beautiful! ♥️

  20. Thanks so much for sharing this post! So helpful as I am considering visiting Norway next year!

  21. Love this comprehensive post! Certainly will help for travellers going to Norway soon. I was in Norway for a short trip and found the public transport (namely: public buses in Bergen) pretty shocking 0.0 Would love to do a road-trip in Norway though, that would be ultimate bliss with Norway’s amazinggggg sights!

    1. Author

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Kristine Li. We didn’t take a bus in Bergen, but I read that public transport is free of charge with Bergen City Card, so that’s a good option to consider, especially if visiting more museums and other attractions. It can save quite some money!

  22. Thanks for writing all this! Norway is on my bucket list 🙂

  23. Thank you so much for writing and sharing such a detailed and informative cost breakdown about travelling to Norway. I’ll be visiting the country next week, and your post has given me a good idea about what to expect.

    1. Author

      Glad to hear that, Ania! Enjoy Norway, it’s worth every cent.

  24. Thankyou for sharing, really great read with a lot of helpful information! I’ve always wanted to visit Norway!

    1. Author

      Thanks for stopping by, Danielle. Hope you can fulfil your dream and visit Norway one day as well!

  25. Useful tips. The nordic countries are usually on the pricier side. Thanks for the breakdown. This gives me an idea of what to expect.

    1. Author

      Good to hear you found this useful, Kareemah.

  26. Thank you Jurga, once again great information. You managed to hit the spot and tell us just what we were thinking about and wanting to know.

    1. Author

      Thanks, June. Great to hear that you found this info useful!

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