Budget tips for Norway?
Given that I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world (Oslo), I think I now have a very skewed perception of the word ‘budget’. But, for travelers, I would most certainly suggest not be coming to Norway to go on a drinking extravaganza, but rather to enjoy the free sights.
For more budget tips, visit our guide about how to travel to Norway on a budget.
The best free sight?
The incredible nature of course! Hiking does not cost travelers and you will get some of the wildest and rawest views in the world. I also suggest cooking. Restaurants here can easily burn up your money and in all actuality, the food is pretty subpar. You can still enjoy the Norwegian way of life and cuisine by cooking or eating at your hostel or hotel. Just grab some fresh salmon, hard boil some eggs, and buy some bread… and you have yourself a delicious Norwegian breakfast.
Favorite place or experience in Norway?
It sounds so cliche, but driving around the fjords takes my breath away every time I do it. Nothing beats the peacefulness of the sea water while seeing the reflection of a glacier on it. Renting a car is expensive in this country, so if one is traveling here…taking the train is a totally viable and affordable option. And, it is known to be one of the most picturesque train rides in the world.
What is the food like in Norway?
Meh. It’s really not that good. With the exception of the seafood of course. The food is very traditional and full of potatoes and fatty meats. This is a very rich country that, in my opinion, eats like it is still poor. But it is slowly making progress. Norway has recently received a huge influx of immigration (and continues to), and the proof is starting to show in its food. This is an unbelievably good thing. Friday nights are ‘taco night’ and kebab is some of the most flavorful food you can get in this country. I’m fine with that. As for me, I just carry around a bottle of hot sauce and life is good.
My favorite Norwegian foods are pinnekjøtt (lamb/sheep ribs that is usually served around Christmas), the amazingly good bread, and mackerel on the grill. Contrary to what people may tell you, this is not a country for vegetarians.
Any dos and don’ts regarding customs?
A big ‘do’ in my opinion is to learn a few Norwegian words. At least your usual manners. Every Norwegian speaks impeccable English, but they will be quite impressed if you can thank them in Norwegian (takk) or order a beer in Norwegian (kan jeg få en øl?). I had a lady once thank me for learning her language despite everyone knowing English. She said it meant a lot that an American would put the energy and effort into learning her language and adapting to her culture. I just assumed this is what one should do when moving or traveling to a new land.
Don’t be offended when no one says ‘thank you’, ‘you’re welcome’, ‘please’, or ‘excuse me’ back to you. I took offense to this at first and after living here for over a year and a half, I have to just chalk it up to cultural differences.
Don’t complain about prices while you’re there. At least not publicly. Norwegians know their country is expensive and don’t need you whining about it and reminding them.
Favorite place to stay in Norway?
A hostel here can run a person upwards of $75/night. I strongly suggest Couchsurfing if meeting new folks is your cup of tea. But you are also able to pitch a tent or hike anywhere you’d like (as long as you don’t make your base in someone’s yard!) Pretty awesome if you ask me.