Best known for its expansive natural landscapes, storied history and fascinating fjords, Norway is a travel destination that suits all different tastes. It’s undoubtedly one of Europe’s most beautiful countries, with its diverse wilderness offering visitors special vistas that’re scarcely replicated elsewhere in the world. 

Norway view fjords

Tourists and locals alike are used to paying a pretty penny to enjoy such beautiful surroundings. In fact, the cost of living here is up there with the most expensive countries in Europe. If you are travelling on a tight budget, you shouldn’t let that deter you; it is possible to still savour this Scandinavian jewel without breaking the bank. In this guide, we provide three top tips to keep your spending down in Norway without compromising on your itinerary.

Savour the national parks

Free activities are a staple of any budget holiday itinerary. And with so much of Norway’s beauty and allure lying in the great outdoors, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy free or very cheap days out while exploring the country. The national parks are a wonderful place to start, giving you a closer look at the flora and fauna that accentuate Norway’s beauty.

red cottages coastline

There are 47 national parks in total across the country, with each offering something slightly different. If you’re looking for the best hiking routes, head to the imposing Jotunheimen National Park. Or, for a real outdoor adventure, visit Femundsmarka, where you can canoe and fish on the expansive waters. Whenever you visit a national park, make sure you follow local guidelines and adopt the ‘leave no trace’ principles to protect the natural environment.

Don’t rule out the cities 

Generally, cities like Oslo and Tromsø attract the highest number of international visitors. This means that often you’ll be paying a premium for goods and services in these areas. When travelling on a budget, it’s common to try and avoid the tourist hotspots in fear of inflated prices. However, you shouldn’t ignore these beautiful cities; it’s possible to enjoy what they have to offer without spending all your kroner.

In the capital city, you’ll find plenty of free museums that detail different aspects of Norwegian culture and history. It’s also a beautiful place to hire bikes and head on a self-led cycling tour of the city; the surrounding countryside is also easily accessible from the centre.

Tromsø is one of the prime places to spot the northern lights – one of the most spectacular light shows on Earth (completely free of charge). While there’s no guarantee that you’ll see the display in all its beauty, you can check the long-term Aurora forecast to give yourself the best chance. Plus, much of the charm of this experience lies in the anticipation, so find a comfortable spot, fill up a flask with something warm and wait for the magic to unfold.

fjord valley with cruise ships

Adopt good travel habits

Regardless of where you go in the world, there are some things you can do to always keep your holiday spending in check. Make sure you time your trip well to capitalise on lower prices outside of the peak tourist seasons, and book early to make the most of any available discounts.

In addition, it’s generally cheaper to hire a car if you want to explore lots of different regions, rather than rely on public transport. In Norway, driving along some of the beautiful rural roads can be a magical experience in itself, so it’s well worth researching your options in advance of your trip.