Planning a trip to Norway? Concerned that Norway is expensive to visit? Here's a breakdown of our Norway road trip, including food and travel costs, plus our route, map, toll costs, ferry costs, expenses, how much to spend on food and average daily budget for Norway.
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Is Norway expensive to visit?
As soon as we announced our plans to visit Norway, we were swamped by people sucking in their breath and looking pityingly at us while saying “Norway huh? Isn't Norway expensive to visit? You're going to need a second mortgage…”
I'll be honest- it made us a little concerned. Just how much was this trip going to cost?!
But now that we've done our motorhome tour of Norway, what's the verdict? Is that true? Is Norway expensive to visit?
How much does it cost to go to Norway?
Well, the results are in! We have now received and reviewed all the bank accounts, credit card statements and toll fees. Basically, I've spent the last two weeks buried in paperwork, trying to figure out how much our little Norway road trip itinerary cost us.
This has literally been me… and people wonder what I do all day! Ha!
Before we dive in, here are some things to know about our trip to Norway, so you can balance it against how you plan to travel:
- We visited Norway in a motorhome. We drove from the UK to Norway
- We spent just over 2 weeks actually in Norway, the rest was spent motorhoming in Germany, Holland and Denmark, These costs only cover our time in Norway, not the costs to travel there and back from the UK. I've included the car ferry to Norway from Denmark and the costs of getting back into Denmark through Sweden and crossing the famous bridges.
- Our Motorhome was 7.8m long and OVER 3.5 tonnes. If you can avoid this, do- it makes the tolls sooooo much cheaper! (Read more about the Pros and Cons of having a motorhome over 3.5 tonnes)
- We also towed a trailer with two big motorbikes on it. As all the ferries in Norway are based on length (no sniggering, thank you!) this made our costs much more expensive than a smaller van or a car.
- We deliberately stocked up and brought food with us from the UK- only buying necessities as we needed them. Having said that, we considered the trip a holiday, so if we wanted a little treat or a meal out, we bought it.
- We drove a lot during those two weeks- honestly more than we should have– we were exhausted when we got home. But there are just so many beautiful places to see in Southern Norway.
- I added up the expenses in NOK (Norwegian currency) and exchanged them into GBP at today's exchange rate (Oct 2018). I've included the NOK costs below, but obviously, the exchange rate will fluctuate with time.
Our Norway Road Trip Route Map
Here's a map of the route we took in Norway. This route took us just over 2 weeks. If you want to see where we stopped in more detail, check out our Norway guides.
As a guide, it took us 2 days to drive back from near Kristiansund to the Swedish border (route ‘I')
Which route is cheapest in Norway?
The route through the centre of Norway is MUCH quicker- there are no ferries… but there are more tolls, so it probably costs about the same. Guess it depends whether you want to take the scenic route or the quick route.
Car Ferry from Denmark to Norway
We chose to take the car ferry from Denmark to Norway with a company called Colorline and crossed from Hirtshals- Kristiansand. This cost us £409.56 (yep, that's one way!)
You can read more about that (and watch the video) HERE
How much does it cost to tour Norway – Internal Ferry costs
There are small car ferries all over Norway- just think of them as part of the road network. You don't have to book these small ferries in advance, just turn up and use them.
Here's a list of all the ferries we used and how much they cost us. Remember we are a 7.5m motorhome with a 2m trailer, and I believe the price break is 6-8m, then 8-10m, so we were in the most expensive category.
- Ferry from Luavika to Oanes 358NOK
- Ferry from Puntnes (hjelmeland) – Nesvik on 13 – 430NOK
- Ferry Skanevik- Utaker (48) – 438nok
- Ferry Arsnes- Gjermundshamn (DONT PANIC- it goes to the island Varoldsoyna first!!) – 534NOK
- Ferry Fornes -Mannheller (route 5) – 384NOK
- Ferry Stranda – Liabygda – 412NOK
- Ferry E39 Vestnes- Molde – 602NOK
- Ferry E39 Halsa- Kanestraum – 438 NOK
TOTAL = 3596 NOK = £333.44
Is Norway Expensive to visit- Tolls
Before we left for our Norway road trip, we ordered a Brobizz toll pass for our motorhome.
We debated which one to get, but in the end, we went for a business tariff, as our vehicle was over 3.5t and we didn't want to risk getting caught saying we were less.
As it happens, we were never checked at all- but we would rather play it safe and not have to worry about it. The Brobizz also works in Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland, which makes our life easier for future travels and allows us to pass through toll booths without having to stop or find change. They take the payments from your card automatically and send you a bill a few weeks later.
Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?
Norway Tolls costs
In total, we went through 23 tolls during our Norway road trip- and over half of those were on the E6, which is the main road running North-South through central Norway (‘I' on the map). Having said that, those tolls only amounted to £84.88. The other tolls in Norway (around the western edge) came to a whopping £20.06- not bad for 12 days driving! But these are the roads with all the ferries on.
So the total for our Norway road trip itinerary for tolls was £104.94
Word of warning, the Oresund Bridge and the A/S Storebaelt, which are the big bridges from Sweden to Denmark, cost us £275 one way. I've included this in the figure for the final tolls.
How expensive is fuel in Norway?
Our fuel came to £307.72 and we roughly used 277 litres.
I know we filled up before we entered Norway, but I have no way of knowing how much fuel was in the tank when we left. Our mileage was (very roughly) 1,490 miles, which works out at us doing around 24.4 miles to the gallon.
Honestly, on those windy roads and in that appalling weather, plus towing nearly a tonne of motorbikes and trailer, we're quite pleased with that figure for our fuel costs!
How expensive are campsites in Norway?
Seriously, these places are out of this world- here's one of our favourite wild camping spots in Norway!
Motorhome wild camping guides for the UK & Europe
For information on how to find good wild camping places, WHAT to do when you're there and how to stay safe, check out our step-by-step guide for motorhome wild camping in the UK and Europe, complete with database of 250+ overnight spots we've stayed with our motorhome.
Don't forget to grab your free wild camping checklist here
We only stayed in a campsite once- and it was well worth the £23 fee. Just being able to wake up by the fjord and look out at that view was breathtaking- you can read more about our favourite campsite in Norway HERE. We didn't use the electric, but we did pay £4 to use the laundry facilities.
If we passed a campsite, we had a quick look at the prices and found them to be similar in price to UK campsites out of season- £20-£25/ night for a motorhome or campervan. We went to Norway in July, so it was already ‘high season' and I wouldn't expect the prices to be more expensive further North- although don't quote me on that!!
If you're able to travel out of peak season, you might be able to save some money using an ACSI CampingCard.
Average cost of a trip to Norway – How much to budget for food?
Food and alcohol are one of the most expensive things on any trip to Norway. One huge tip is to stock up in advance in Germany, Denmark or even Sweden. Remember there are rules for taking alcohol across the border.
This is one of the biggest advantages to touring Norway with a motorhome or campervan- you can save a lot of money by taking and preparing your own food.
As I mentioned above, we didn't buy much food in Norway at all over the 2 weeks. We bought the odd hot dog or bag of sweets at a fuel station and a lot of bottles of water.
Our shopping bill for food, water and road trip snacks was £152.21. And surprisingly, we didn't eat anywhere near as many times as I thought we would!
I packed our motorhome up with over 90 tins of various meats and sauces, and we didn't even eat a third of them.
We also drank 3 bottles of wine we had on board, so I'll be conservative and say we ate about £60 worth of food we already had with us. Which gives us a bill for two weeks food of £212.21.
For the best prices in Norway, try and shop in the Spar or Co-op’s. Most supermarkets and grocery shops do not open on Sundays. Garages will sell basic groceries (and hot dogs!) but at inflated prices!
All drinks (cans and plastic bottles) have a deposit (pant) on them- in addition to the price on the label. You can put them back into the machine inside the supermarkets and get the option of a voucher to spend or giving the money to charity.
How much is Alcohol in Norway?
Tax is charged on all alcohol with more than 0.7% volume of alcohol, making all alcohol expensive.
Beer can be found in most supermarkets, but is only sold before 8 pm on weekdays or 6 pm on Saturdays. For wine, spirits or strong beer, you must visit one of the Vinmonopolet outlets, found in most large cities and towns.
In a Vinmonopolet you will pay around NKR150 for a bottle of wine and NKR50 for beer and cider. Spirits cost considerably more.
Eating out in Norway- how expensive is it?
Oh, it's expensive! The prices of restaurant and takeaway meals is crazy- even a McDonalds can cost upwards of £10 for a meal. Burger and chips can be £25 per meal and a beer, cider or glass of wine in a restaurant will cost between NKR60-90.
Our meals out involved two Norwegian takeaway pizzas and one “traditional” Norwegian fish and chips- and man they were so good!!
We had a coffee and cake out twice, once at the top of Trollstigen Road – the crazy road up the mountain with 11 hairpin bends!!
We also treated ourselves to a Swedish Burger King on the way home (which was exactly the same as a UK Burger King, if you're interested!)
In total, we spent £106.10 on meals out. (WAY better than what we spent on our trip to Germany earlier in the year!!)
How expensive is Norway compared to the UK?
If you are doing a Norwegian road trip by car and need to pay for accommodation, that could be expensive- especially if you need to buy meals and drinks each day.
But if you are bringing your own vehicle and cooking most of your own food, then I don't think it's scarily expensive. You can definitely buy food fairly reasonably (it's probably equivalent to shopping in Marks and Spencer or Waitrose for my UK readers!)
Expect to pay at least double the amount you are used to in the UK for everything in a supermarket- even the local brands. Many stores have an ‘own brand' which is slightly more reasonable- think Waitrose or M & S prices.
Other things we paid for in Norway
- £88 on gifts and keepsakes.
- £102 on entrance to the Flamsbana railway, voted the most beautiful train journey in the world (click the link to see if we thought it was worth the money!)
- £29 – fuel for motorbikes and the motorhome generator.
- £16.7 on LPG refillable gas.
- £3.71 on motorhome parking for the day at Alesund
How expensive is Norway to visit? Our total and costs of a trip to Norway…
So, here's a summary of our total costs:
- Ferry from Denmark to Norway: £409.56
- Internal Ferries in Norway: £333.44
- Tolls in Norway: £104.94
- Bridges back via Sweden: £275
- Campsite: £23
- Food/ drink/ snacks: £212.21
- Eating out: £106.10
- Other costs: £239.41
Average daily total (over 16 days): £106.48 per day
So, can you travel to Norway on a budget?
I am actually pleasantly surprised by how little the trip cost us- we were worried it was going to completely break the bank after hearing all the rumours about how expensive Norway is for tourists.
Don't get me wrong, as someone who is used to motorhoming in France and Italy, Norway is expensive to visit, but it wasn't as bad as we expected- maybe we just had really really low expectations!
Like with any trip, the biggest expenses are going to be your accommodation and then your food and travel costs. If you're staying in hotels/ BnBs, try and get something with a kitchen so you don't have to buy every meal.
If you're renting a car or motorhome, try to do the trip outside of peak season so you can get a deal on best prices.
Want to rent a vehicle for your road trip?
These might help
And if you're driving to Norway from the UK or anywhere else, book your ferry in advance as soon as possible, try to wild camp and avoid campsites, bring food with you (but remember the new rules about driving in Europe after BREXIT about meat and milk products from the UK) and find other ways to save money on your road trip.
The way we look at it, it was still cheaper to drive our motorhome up to Norway than it would have been to hire one for two weeks. Also, if we went again, we wouldn't take the trailer (and our new motorhome is under 7m, so we would pay a LOT less on the ferries, which makes a big difference.
All in all, nothing about the costs of this trip put us off going back!