Norway Travel Tips: Insider’s Guide To Planning Your Trip
Are you planning a trip to Norway? Read this comprehensive guide packed with travel tips on where to eat, sleep, and things to do in Norway — from our interview with Megan Starr, an American currently based in Oslo, Norway!
Norway Travel Tips
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 coming to Norway to go on a drinking extravaganza, but rather to enjoy the free sights.
Read more: How to Travel 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.
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Norway’s Fjord Region
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 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.
Read more: Why The Lofoten Islands Should Be On Your Bucket List
Any dos and don’ts regarding customs in Norway?
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.
Read more: The Best Photo Locations in Norway’s Lofoten Islands
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.
Read more: Lofoten Islands Travel Tips: Everything You Need To Know
Must-do activities or must-see sites in Norway?
I started my time in Norway by living in Bergen. While Bergen was too small and rainy for me to live in, I highly suggest travelers to check it out. It is a stunning and charming city. And the best gateway for the beautiful Norwegian fjords. From this area, you have many opportunities to see the incredible nature that surrounds the city.
Safety tips for Norway?
Dress warm (even in summer), be in good shape if you prepare to hike, and be sure you have adequate funds for your trip. Nothing is cheap here. For the most part, traveling here is extremely safe. But beware of pickpockets in Oslo.
Read more: Where To Stay In Norway (The Best Hotels & Locations)
Best and cheapest times to visit Norway?
There are no cheap times of course. I suggest travelers to come in the summer where the endless hours of daylight will give you a lot of time to explore the country. The weather is milder and the locals are in a much happier state of mind. The winters here are dreary, cold, and long. But the winter is the best time to see the northern lights…and ski.
Read more: The Best Time to Visit Norway (Depending On What You Want To See)
Packing tips for Norway?
This depends on where you’re traveling, but I would suggest a nice pair of hiking boots (waterproof as it is super muddy and rainy in western Norway), an umbrella or rain jacket, and max out your duty-free alcohol quota at the airport. That will be the cheapest alcohol you’ll see in the great country of Norway!
Read more: What to Pack for a Trip to Norway
Plan Your Trip to Norway
After traveling consistently for over 10 years, we’ve come to trust and rely on a few websites to help us find the best deals on flights and accommodation.
- Going is the first place we check when searching for cheap flights. If you sign up for their email alerts, you’ll receive flight deals at up to 90% off. I have traveled all over the world using their flight deals.
- Booking.com offers savings on hotels, apartments, and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide. You can browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on hotels for all budgets.
Bio: Megan Starr is an American currently based in Oslo, Norway, but always traveling the world. Some of her passions aside from traveling include good beers, American football, and playing with her dog, Jax. You can check out her blog at meganstarr.com or follow her on Twitter or Instagram.
Thanks for these tips of Norway. Curious though, if you had 10-15 days what other places would you have visited? I’m looking at different spots and looking at flight info. Threw out some love on a review I saw, that might be helpful.
I’m located in the Philippines so it might be some time before I get to Norway but am saving this article.
You could always take a trip to the Lofoten Islands. That’s next on my list!
Could you adviseon what to do in Bergen for one day?
I will visiting Bergen on cruise, Tuesday, May 16th. We dock from 8 AM – 6 PM .So all I have got is less than a day to see the city.
I wanted to see both Ulriken and Floyen so I thought the best way is to hike Vidden trail. But since we have little time this means we’ll miss on seeing the other interested sites of Bergen.
I was wondering if it at all possible to hike the Vidden trail given our short visit? I read that the trail is not very well marked and I’m afraid if we get lost, the hike might run too long and we miss our ship. I’m thinking of such trip plan
Exit the ship as soon as possible, take public transportation to Ulriken Cable Cart –> take the cart up to the mountain → Hike Vidden trail →stop Brushytten for rest → contiune untill end then ride Fløyen funicular back to Burgen.
Please advice me if this is a good idea or not. As I’m torn between enjoying nature’s wonders or city’s sightseeing.
These tips really help me, thanks a lot!
thank you very much for your very useful information for me
and I was amazed by the article that you create is ..
Thank you very much ..
Lovely photos, but of course everyone expects that of Norway. Great info and details of what to expect and “do” or “don’t”. Always a must-do to learn a few basic words and phrases in the native language, people everywhere appreciate it.
i couldnt agree more 🙂
The Northern Lights are so beautiful, I bet one would just sit down and stare them for long.. By the way I never knew that Renting the car is much expensive over here. The Train is perfect to explore Norwegian Places! Thanks
we looked to rent a car when my family comes here in may and we just cant even come close to affording it on our budget. (we have a car, but have too many people for that one car). we looked to do it in sweden, which is loads cheaper, but they wouldn’t allow us to take it into norway. pshh. but yes, the trains and buses offer great scenery at a much lower price 🙂
Great advice – and I love the structure of your writing! We’ve been scouting tickets to Europe and I was on the fence about Norway though I want to visit Sweden. This may have just convinced me. Amazing pictures!
sweden is beautiful too, but i really think you’d marvel at norway’s beautiful. it truly is unmatched! best of luck on planning your trip and thanks so much for the sweet comments!
Some great tips on Norway! And as Megan says – the best part of Norway is its unmatchable beauty that comes for free! I’ve been to Norway a few times, and although expensive, I’m surprised at how reasonably priced train tickets are; and they’re not like usual trains because they have special areas for children to play and watch TV so the rest of us can sit back and enjoy the scenery!
That sounds awesome. You are making me want to go even more!
the trains are absolutely incredible here! im in the middle of writing a post about the benefits of taking the train here. as if free wifi wasn’t enough! 🙂 thanks for your comment!
Yay. I’m excited to read it. I’ll make sure to link to it from this post too.
thanks so much for having me! hope you’re able to use some of these tips when you come out this way 😉
No problem! Thanks so much for all the great info!
Sounds like great advice and the photos alone make me want to go!
Megans tips actually helped me decide to take a trip to Norway this year. Hopefully I can come back with a few tips of my own. 🙂
which im very excited about 🙂