When most people think of Norway, the word “expensive” comes to mind. Despite heeding other travelers’ advice, I booked a spontaneous trip to Oslo after spotting an irresistible flight deal. I’ll be the first to admit that having a tight budget in Oslo was challenging but it’s a trip that I’m happy I got the opportunity to take. Nevertheless in order to keep my expenses low, I took drastic measures like reducing my coffee and beer consumption. I even skipped lunch regularly (more on that later) since I loaded up on free breakfast at my hotel. The good news is that I had a fantastic time exploring Oslo and I spent no money on activities or entertainment. So as you plan your trip to Oslo, use this Oslo budget breakdown as a guide, but I recommend estimating between 25-50% more than I did on food to be on the safe side. But before we dive into trip costs, here’s what you need to know about Norway as you plan your trip.
Things to Know When Planning a Trip to Norway
Table of Contents
- Things to Know When Planning a Trip to Norway
- 4 Day Norway Trip Cost
- How Expensive is Oslo?
- Total Airfare from NYC to Oslo: 2,318 NOK or $275.01 USD
- Total Checked Baggage Costs: $116.60 USD
- Total Lodging: $233.29 USD
- Oslo Transportation Cost: $26.12 USD
- Oslo Total Food and Drink Costs: $102.45 USD
- Activities Cost: Free
- Other Miscellaneous Costs: $15.55 USD
- Final Thoughts
Norwegian is the official language of Norway but English is also widely spoken. Nearly 95% of the population in Norway speak Norwegian and there are about five million Norwegian speakers in the world.
Here are some common Norwegian phrases:
- Hello – Hallo, Hei, Goddag
- Yes – Ja
- No – Nei
- Thank you – Takk
- Goodbye – Ha det bra
- Good morning – God morgen
- Good night – God natt
Norwegian Krone (NOK) is the official currency of Norway.
U.S. Dollars and Euros are not accepted in Norway. Almost all establishments accept debit or credit cards. Foreign credit cards are also widely accepted, I never had a problem using my credit card at hotels, hostels and restaurants.
Tipping isn’t common in Norway because it’s already included in the bill. However, if you decide to leave a tip, 5-15% is considered generous.
How much does it cost to go to Oslo?
4 Day Norway Trip Cost
How Expensive is Oslo?
Total Airfare from NYC to Oslo: 2,318 NOK or $275.01 USD
I booked my round-trip flights to Oslo from New York City on Norwegian Air Shuttle nine months before departure. Norwegian periodically has fare sales so if you’re flexible, wait to get a good flight deal to Norway.
Norwegian Air Shuttle Booking Tip: When booking your flights with Norwegian Air Shuttle, always look to see if it’s cheaper booking in Norwegian Krone (NOK) instead of your home currency. If you need help, follow this step-by-guide guide to this Norwegian Air Shuttle booking hack.
How was flying with Norwegian?
This wasn’t the first time that I flew with Norwegian Air Shuttle, however, this was the first time that I experienced flight delays and even a cancellation.
On the return trip, I received two meal vouchers for 180 NOK as well as accommodation for the night at Comfort Hotel Runway.
Since I was so tired and passed out immediately after fastening my seat belt, I can’t comment any further on the in-flight experience.
Total Checked Baggage Costs: $116.60 USD
When flying with Norwegian Air Shuttle, don’t get caught paying extra for checking in your luggage. Remember, with Norwegian LowFare seats (the cheapest seats), you are allowed only one carry-on item that weighs less than 10 kg.
Since I had two items (both less than 10 kg), I had to pay to check in my small tote bag. By the way, baggage fees are 50% higher at the airport so make sure if you have to pay for checking in a bag you make your purchase online 12 hours before departure.
- Checked bag at JFK Airport: $65 USD
- Checked bag at Oslo Airport: 400 NOK or $51.60 USD
Ugh, this hurts my heart!
Case in point, Norwegian Air Shuttle’s baggage fees are excessive – I’ve learned my lesson!
Overall, navigating to/from the airport is a breeze.
Throughout the airport, signs are in Norwegian as well as English. While you wait for your flight take advantage of the complimentary Wi-Fi.
Total Lodging: $233.29 USD
I booked three nights at Anker Hotel.
How much does a hotel cost in Oslo? For a single room, I paid $77.76 USD per night.
My room was simple. It had a comfortable twin bed, writing desk, flat-screen TV and a large closet. The bathroom floor was heated (you can adjust the temperature) and I had a gorgeous view of Oslo from my window.
The complimentary breakfast buffet at Anker saved me a lot of money on food because most days I skipped lunch and only had to grab dinner. The breakfast buffet included chocolate pastry, hard boiled eggs, cheese, a variety of meats, bread, yogurt, cereal, juice, and coffee.
During the weekends, breakfast is served from 7:00-11:00 a.m. and on weekdays from 6:00-10:00 a.m. If you decide to stay here, be aware that if you arrive a few minutes late to breakfast, you’ll be turned away so be punctual and eat enough to hold you through lunch.
Wi-Fi is free (no code).
Oslo Transportation Cost: $26.12 USD
Since I wasn’t in a rush, I decided to take the local Norwegian State Railways (NSB) train to the Oslo Central Train Station but you can also take the bus, the FlytoGet Airport Express train or taxi.
Heading to the airport, I took the L12 Eidsvoll bound NSB train to Oslo Lufthavn a.k.a. Oslo Airport. The train came two minutes early and left right on time. There was only one other stop (Lillestrom) and the ride took 27 minutes.
- One-way NSB train from Oslo Airport to city center: 101 NOK or $13.09 USD
- One-way NSB train from city center to Oslo Airport: 101 NOK or $13.03 USD
Oslo Total Food and Drink Costs: $102.45 USD
Day 1: $32.58 USD
- Dinner at JFK Airport: $19.23 USD
- Meal at Burger King: $13.35 USD
Day 2: $11.02 USD
Dinner at Punjab Tandoori: $11.02 USD
Day 3: $38.34 USD
Latte at Creperie De Mar: $5.05 USD
Dinner at Mela Kafe: 129,00 NOK or $16.72 USD
Paprika Chips: $4.13 USD
Bulmers at Anker Hotel: $12.44 USD
Day 4: $20.51 USD
Lunch at Oslo Airport: 159 NOK or $20.51 USD
Activities Cost: Free
My goal for this trip was to spend as little money as possible on fun so I opted for free things to do in Oslo including:
- Changing of the Guards at the Royal Palace: Free
- Rooftop views at the Oslo Opera House: Free
- Oslo Cathedral: Free
- Vigeland Sculpture Park: Free
For more fun things to do in Oslo, watch this video which features what to see in Oslo in 2 days.
What should you see if you only have 24 hours in town? Here’s how to spend one day in Oslo.
Other Miscellaneous Costs: $15.55 USD
Travel adapter: $15.55 USD
So how much did my trip to Oslo cost?
I spent $770 USD during my 4 day trip to Oslo. And despite booking a cheap flight, avoiding spending money on breakfast and staying at a 3-star hotel, I still spent a lot of money.
Is Oslo expensive?
In my opinion, without a doubt, Norway is an expensive country. Even if you’re a financially savvy traveler, there’s no escaping this fact. To compare, I spent almost the same amount of money during a week-long trip to Rome!
Nevertheless, Norwegian’s checked baggage fees significantly depleted my Oslo budget so, in the future, I’ll make sure to avoid these by traveling with only a carry-on bag. I also have to remember to bring travel adapters to avoid unnecessary spending. Here are some other items that I recommend packing for every trip. Besides that, I think that I was disciplined in my approach to spending in Norway and I’m pretty proud of that.
Is Oslo expensive? Yay or Nay?
Danielle Desir Corbett paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27, and has traveled to 27 countries, including her favorites, Iceland, China, and Bermuda. Go here to learn Danielle’s incredible story, from struggling financially and in debt to finding creative ways to earn more and live on her terms. Listen to The Thought Card Podcast, where Danielle shares how you can creatively travel more and build wealth regardless of your current financial situation. Reach out to Danielle by contacting: thethoughtcard (at) gmail (dot) com.