Norway on a Budget: Fjords, Fish, and Friluftsliv for the Savvy Traveler

Norway is a land of fjords, fish, and friluftsliv—the idea of outdoor life—and it’s a bit too expensive for the taste of many travelers. However, you can experience this Scandinavian country without spending a fortune if you plan wisely and make smart choices. Here’s how to enjoy Norway’s natural beauty, culture, and outdoors on a budget.

Fjords on a Shoestring

Norway’s fjords are simply one of the most wonderfully beautiful sights in the world, but the pleasures of exploring them do not have to cost a lot of money. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to view the fjords is to use public transportation. Norway’s railways have picturesque routes on their own, just like the Bergensbanen, which serves the line from Oslo to Bergen and passes through fantastic landscapes.

A more budget-friendly option would be to take a Norway in a Nutshell tour, where you get to have train, bus, and ferry rides through the best of the fjords. Remember, when you board a fjord cruise, make an early booking for financial deals, and do remember that the shoulder seasons—spring or autumn—are mostly rich in low prices and smaller crowds.

Enjoying Norway’s Fish and Seafood

Norway is easily known for its seafood, and although eating out may prove very costly, there are a few methods through which one can very well enjoy fresh fish without blowing the expense out of the water. Another tip will be to check the seafood markets, like the Bergen Fish Market, and buy the fresh catch of the day to cook by yourself. Many of these hostels or budget accommodations have communal kitchens where you can cook meals for yourself.

If you are staying in a coastal town, you could go fishing. Norway’s right to roam law means that everyone can use nature freely, which includes sea fishing. You can catch your dinner without needing a fishing license. 

Living for Friluftsliv

Friluftsliv, translated to mean “open-air living,” is a deeply integrated aspect of Norwegian culture. Concerned with getting outside and having a connection with nature, budget travelers should partake in it. Norway offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities that are free or low-cost.

Camping remains the most popular way to experience Friluftsliv. With the help of the right to roam law, one can pitch camp without charge, almost anywhere in the countryside, if one respects nature and keeps a reasonable distance from the houses. Thus, wild camping in Norway’s national parks offers you the chance to immerse yourself in colossal natural surroundings without blowing the bank, especially in the Jotunheimenmen and Rondane areas.

Budget Accommodations

Although affordable accommodation in Norway might pose problems, travelers can select budget-friendly options. Especially good are the hostels, which are clean and comfortable, social—a great atmosphere—and a bit cheaper than hotels. Many have kitchen facilities that guests can use to cut costs on food.

One can also go for cabin or hut accommodation. The Norwegian Trekking Association runs a network of cabins across the country, from simple huts without staff to staffed mountain lodges. 

Pro Tips for Smart Travel

Get as much as you can with your budget by using Norway’s comprehensive public transportation system that it has to offer. Buses, trains, and ferries get even the remotest areas connected, while travel passes can save one a lot of hassle. For example, Fjord Pass offers discounts on accommodation, activities, and transport.


You can have a gander at Norway on a shoestring budget if you have a little bit of planning and an eye on more affordable activities. That can be done without overspending on fjords if you travel around them using public transport and trekking, relish seafood, embrace friluftsliv, pick purse-friendly places to stay, and use some snazzy travel tips that help you get the most out of Norway. Take in the stunning landscapes, rich culture, and outdoor adventures that Norway is uniquely known for, and, with care, truly unvisited by the savvy traveler.

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