Have you always dreamed of seeing the fjords? But don’t you have any desire to take part in a cruise that forces you on board for days? You can organize the trip, it’s quite simple, you can book everything you need online.
The first thing to say about Norway is that is very big. You certainly can’t visit it all in a week. Having to make a selection, we recommend that you opt for a classic itinerary that is affordable for everyone, even for families with children. You will have to evaluate your budget because Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world.
If you are considering a trip to Norway, the following Norway travel tips should come in handy and form as part of things to consider when planning a trip to Norway. Norway is an amazing country for nature and adventure lovers. If you love a city break there are plenty of amazing cities to visit in Norway too. From the beautiful city of Bergen, surrounding by 7 stunning mountains, many of which have cool viewpoints like Mount Ulriken.
- 1 Book As Early As Possible
- 2 Buy local foods
- 3 Natural attractions
- 4 Take a cycling holiday
- 5 Is it convenient to travel to Norway in winter?
- 6 Sample Itineraries – Norway Travel Itinerary Options
Book As Early As Possible
This way you will have much more possibilities to secure the most convenient tickets for public transport such as airplanes, trains and buses – and also the least expensive overnight stays.
Norway as we said is a really expensive country, so it is good to book everything including air and overnight stays as soon as possible. If you are looking to hike the Trolltunga trail, I cannot stress enough how important it is to book hotels near Trolltunga is because there aren’t many and once they are sold out you will have no option but camping in Odda or nearby towns. This is not that pleasant when the weather is bad. Another thing to mention is that with Norway being a popular destination for nature holidays majority of which require a road trip so you will have to make sure you book your rental car in advance otherwise you will be left with even more expensive options.
Travel out of season
When it comes to things to know before travelling to Norway booking out of season is up there among top things to know when planning a trip to Norway. It’s a smart way to find cheaper overnight stays and transportation, plus, you won’t have to see the most popular attractions with so many other people. You can save even if you travel like the locals, with public transport. Cities like Oslo is a lot calmer and a little cheaper to during and towards the end of busy seasons.
Norway has around 1000 campsites with pitches for tents, caravans and campers. It is a good idea to book your seat in advance if you travel in the high season. Most of the campsites offer bungalows for rent, from very simple to more luxurious ones. In hostels, pensions, guest houses and bed & breakfasts you can often find accommodation at even more advantageous prices. Or could you stay overnight on a farm? You can also rent a holiday home or chalet through specific sites.
Travel with others
Plan your trip to Norway with your family or a group of friends. This way you can rent a larger chalet, apartment or house and use it as a base. It is a solution that can significantly reduce costs. Check out Booking.com for the latest deals on hotels and accommodation in Norway.
Buy local foods
Having the ability to cook, at least for some parts of the trip, works wonders for your budget. You can prepare yourself an unforgettable picnic or a dinner with local delicacies without emptying your wallet. Stop at the direct sale of a farm or a deli, or simply a normal grocery store. Especially in rural areas there are shelves reserved for local foods. Buy local cheeses – many of which are among the best in the world – creamy butter, meat toppings, cold cuts and fresh bread.
In Oslo you can find trendy and affordable street food in Vippa or from Oslo Street Food in Torggata. We found this invaluable during our road trip in Norway. We could so by local shops and buy groceries to cut costs from restaurants around towns. Also if you are planning on renting an apartment of using Airbnb this works great too as you have access to a kitchen and can make breakfast and lunches too.
A nice water bottle, which keeps its contents cold, is a good investment, so you can fill it with pure and free water directly from the tap. But choose to treat yourself well at breakfast with an incredibly fresh Eplemost (Norwegian apple juice). And yes, we like to have a beer outside in the sun, but not necessarily in the most expensive bar in the city.
In most places in Norway, you can buy beer from local producers and microbreweries at the farmer’s market or in grocery stores. You can also drop by Vinmonopolet, to get some fresh and trendy Norwegian cider. Check out my guide on Norweigen beers not to miss out on when visiting Norway.
Most Norwegian cities have restaurants for all price ranges. You can often take the dish of the day, based on fresh ingredients, in modest numbers. Try to taste local dishes such as cod, fish soup, or maybe a moose burger – delicious foods and within your spending limit. And why not try Norwegian delicacies such as waffles, cinnamon rolls and svele? They are cheap but full of energy and taste.
One way to cut expenses is to stay in one place for a longer period of time and rather spend your money on on-site adventures. Many travellers want to be able to do everything when planning a vacation to Norway, where distances can be incredibly long, which means you miss out on many beautiful local attractions. If you are staying longer or planning to explore Norway for a longer period it helps to also learn a couple of Norwegian phrases too.
Norway is like a large natural park where you can go hiking, cycling, skiing, kayaking and climbing, or simply enjoy the spectacular landscapes and the enchanting villages and towns. However, it can be a good investment to participate in one of the many guided activities offered across the country.
A guide often adds something more to the experience. In many locations we rent equipment such as bicycles, skis, canoes, kayaks, climbing equipment and more. I shared additional tips on the best-guided hiking tours in Norway taking you out on some of Norway’s famous hike trails.
Explore the national parks
The numerous Norwegian national parks are our most beautiful and important natural areas. You are more than welcome to explore them, if you do it respectfully. This means leaving nothing but your footprints and staying on the marked paths. Always bring your waste back and use the toilets where possible. If nature calls along the way, move away from the path and cover well when you’re done.
Enjoy the outdoors
Some of the best things in life are free and do you good. “Friluftsliv” is the Norwegian term for “outdoor life” and is an integral part of our DNA. Remember though that we are all custodians of this natural treasure. Don’t leave garbage lying around and show respect for people, animals and nature.
You can pitch a tent or sleep under the stars in the countryside, in the forests or in the mountains, if you are at least 150 meters away from the nearest inhabited house or chalet. However, locations with many travellers may have more stringent camping restrictions, so check with your local tourist office before deciding to spend a night in the outdoors.
Take a cycling holiday
An inexpensive way to experience Norway up close is by bicycle. The period between April and October is the best, but in very popular places, such as the Lofoten Islands, it is better to avoid the high season from mid-June to mid-August. If you come in the low season there will also be less traffic and you will find budget nights more easily.
See which are the ideal destinations for cycling, where you can rent road bikes, mountain bikes, electric bikes and even find accommodation for cyclists. You can also purchase pre-arranged bicycle tours, some of which offer luggage transportation.
Is it convenient to travel to Norway in winter?
Preparing an itinerary for Norway in January is not difficult, but there can be some challenges to consider:
There are many things to see but you have to deal with different difficulties:
- The few hours of light (the sun remains above the horizon for one hour in early January !!!)
- The cold, but if you stay on the west coast it is tolerable
- Oversized prices
- The distances that seem enormous
- Means of transport that undergo significant seasonal changes!
But in winter there is also the Northern Lights. To answer to this question, we asked ourselves before: no, it is not convenient to go to Norway in winter. It really depends on your budget and what you expect. Certainly, if you want to see the Northern Lights it is the right time but be careful of the price.
Sample Itineraries – Norway Travel Itinerary Options
In addition to the above travel trips for Norway, below samples of ready-made itineraries. They are short itineraries, which make the most of the time and the means and which you can fit as you wish. Below are 8 possible travel itineraries perfect for those in need of Norway holiday ideas.
- Day 1: Train from Oslo to Bergen. Boarding in the evening on Hurtigruten.
- Day 2: On board Hurtigruten
- Day 3: On board Hurtigruten
- Day 4: Arrival in Bodo: possibility to continue to the Lofoten islands by ferry or to return to Oslo by train or plane.
- Day 1: Day in Oslo, night train to Trondheim.
- Day 2: Arrival in Trondheim, Train to Bodo, night in Bodo.
- Day 3: Ship from Bodo to Moskenes, in the Lofoten islands.
- Day 4: … stay in Lofoten
- Return via Bodo (reachable by ferry) or Evenes (reachable by car) at the end of your stay
- Day 1: Flight Oslo / Evenes (Narvic), from here a rental car to visit Vesteralen and Lofoten.
- Day n: Evening Hurtigruten from Svolvær (Lofoten islands) to Tromsø
- Day n + 1: Arrival in Tromsø in the middle of the day.
- Day n + 2: Stay in Tromsø
- Day n + n: Return by plane from Tromsø to Oslo
- Day 1: Train from Oslo to Bergen. Night in Bergen.
- Day 2: Flight Bergen / Tromsø and stay in Tromsø
- Day 4: Return by flight Tromsø / Oslo or Hurtigruten to the Lofoten islands … and start again!
- Day 1: Flight Oslo / Tromsø
- Day 2: Stay in Tromsø
- Day 3: Stay in Tromsø
- Day 4: Flight Tromsø / Bergen
- Day 5: Stay in Bergen
- Day 6: Return to Oslo by train from Bergen
- Day 1: Flight Oslo / Evenes, from here a rental car to visit Vesteralen and Lofoten.
- … .. Stay in Lofoten
- Day n: Evenes / Bergen flight
- Day 5: Stay in Bergen
- Day 6: Return to Oslo by train from Bergen
Overall, Norway is absolutely STUNNING!! When it comes to when the best time to visit Norway I would say that any time other than winter unless you are coming for a short stay for Northern lights. You will explore more and further during summer and springtime in Norway. You will have better weather, you will explore on foot for longer, you will have far more nature trails you can explore without a guide when the weather is better than during the winter.
However, planning a trip to Norway one cannot ignore the costs to as I have said about booking early means you have wider access to hostel, hotels, and other forms of accommodation. Traveling in Norway is not easy, as you will have seen, there are really many variables to consider. You may travel alone, with family, with friends. You have to consider how much money you have and how many days of holiday you can take. I hope our little travel tricks shade some light on what to expect when traveling to Norway. For more specific Norway tips for traveling around the country check out my posts my Norway blog posts.
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