Norway is a popular vacation destination for stunning scenery, fun road trips, and amazing outdoor experiences. With so much to see and do, there are some essentials to know before planning a trip to Norway! Check out our travel guide for the best tips we’ve learned through our own adventures in Norway.
10 Tips For Planning a Trip to Norway
1. How Long is Your Norway Trip?
The first thing you need to figure out when planning a trip to Norway is how many days you have. No matter if you have 5 days or 5 weeks, there is more than enough to fill your time. Norway is a massive country that caters to a range of different travelers.
If you are thinking about a road trip or visiting multiple destinations, then one week is the minimum amount of time we would recommend. Once you have the length of your trip you will be able to work out your route and more detailed specifics.
2. Time of Year For Norway Travel
Picking the right time of year is an important step to having the best Norway vacation. The peak months are during summer in June and July. The weather is warm, there is lots of daylight, and a better chance of sun!
However, with that comes larger crowds and higher prices. One of the good things about Norway is that it’s a country where you can really make a route that works for you. That means even in the summer months you can find remote destinations outside of the main tourist towns.
When visiting almost every other European country we try to travel in swing season. Yet, Norway is a bit different. Due to the weather and hours of daylight, you should try to go in June, late July, or early August.
If you go in the spring, winter, or fall, really look into your trip to confirm the roads are drivable. Unfortunately, everywhere you want to see may not be accessible or open.
- Winter: December – February
- Late winter/Spring: March – May
- Summer: June – August
- Fall: September – November
3. Where to Go in Norway
This is hands down the hardest part of planning a trip to Norway! When we started researching we did two things.
First, we made a google map with places that we had read about or interested us. To do this you will open google maps, pick a location (viewpoint, hotel, attraction), and hit save.
You can then make a new list and then save all the places you’d like to visit. When you zoom out on the map all the destinations pop up so you can start to plan your Norway travel.
Second, we looked into all the scenic routes of Norway. These are select roads around the country that are promoted for their unbelievable scenery and unique viewpoints.
By the time it got to actually planning we knew that we wanted to do a one-week road trip through the fjords. We would also be starting and ending our trip in Oslo which had the most affordable flights back to the United States.
4. Trip to Norway Cost
The cost will likely be a huge factor when deciding on your Norway vacation. It is common for basic hotels to cost a couple of hundred dollars, meals to range from $15-25 USD, and gas to be almost $10 a gallon.
Below we share some ideas based on our recent Norway travel to give you an idea of what you’ll be spending. Remember that Scandinavia in general is expensive, but like everywhere you can always find deals!
Hotels & Accommodations
- Ultimate Vacation: Book high-end hotels such as the Amerikalinjen in Oslo, Bergen Børs Hotel in Bergen, and Grande Fjord Hotel in Geiranger. There are also glamping experiences if you want get a taste of luxury out in nature.
- Budget Travel: Consider hostels, Airbnbs, and even cabins in campgrounds to save money. We shared an amazing 2 bedroom house with our group in Undredal Norway which ended up being one of our favorite nights!
Restaurants & Food
- Ultimate Vacation: Norway has many world-class restaurants, especially in the larger cities. Seafood is found in abundance with delicacies such as salmon, mussels, and crab.
- Budget Travel: If you are visiting Norway on a budget you might want to consider packing a small collapsable cooler and hitting the grocery stores. For a cheaper option when out and about you can check out the local bakeries, too.
Getting Around the Country
- Ultimate Vacation: Rent a car for your Norway road trip! Also, be sure to ask about the price of a one-way rental if it works out better with your flights.
- Budget Travel: Book your rental car super far in advance to get the best deal. Look into trains and boats, or rent a campervan for a home on wheels.
Norway Travel Tip: Never go abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years and they are always there when we need them.
5. How to Get Around Norway
Speaking of transportation, this is one of the important things to know about planning a trip to Norway! Below we share the best options as well as some tips for each form of travel.
Renting a Car: A vehicle is the best way to get the most out of your trip to Norway. It will give you complete freedom so you can plan out your dream Norway vacation. Remember that it’s never too soon to book in advance. We always use this company while abroad and it’s how we’ve found some truly insane deals.
Renting a Camper: Another way to experience Norway is by campervan. The country is known for its relaxed freedom camping laws. There really isn’t anything better than pulling up on the side of a Fjord and spending the night.
Train: The most famous train route in Norway is actually Oslo to Bergen Norway. Not comfortable driving in Norway, but still want to see the Fjords and highlights? Then the train could be a great option.
Ferry: One of the main reasons many travelers make the trip to Norway is to see the world-famous Fjords. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is an in-depth network of ferries.
Flights: Don’t overlook domestic flights while exploring the country. For example, Oslo to Bergen is a 7.5 hours drive while it takes less than one hour to fly.
6. Route For Your Trip to Norway
Once you know how long your trip to Norway is, when you are visiting, and how you plan to get around, it’s time to set your route. This part goes hand in hand with our next step which is booking your accommodations.
We reserved everything a month and a half before making our trip to Norway and were surprised that almost all hotels was already sold out. You should know that many of the most desirable towns and attractions have limited places to stay.
Traveling in off-season or exploring with a self-contained campervan? Then you will have much more flexibility. However, if you are doing a one or two-week road trip having everything planned out is key!
7. Booking Your Flight
Although it can be smart to book your flight in advance, you may want to wait until you have your entire itinerary planned out. This is because it can be better to fly into one airport and out of another. The main international airports in Norway are Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Tromsø, Trondheim, Ålesund, Haugesund, and Sandefjord.
You will also want to consider the time you’re arriving in the country as well as leaving. If possible, arrive early in the day Norway time, and depart at night to maximize your time.
When looking for cheap flights we always check Skyscanner. It has been our go-to tool for domestic and international travel for years.
8. Norway Vacation Accommodations
There is a range of different accommodations to fit almost every budget in Norway. This is especially true when searching in the major cities! Still, when looking into the smaller towns there might only be one or two hotels in the area.
During our Norway travel, we stayed at a mix of upscale hotels, Airbnbs, and entire homes that we found on Booking. One of our FAVORITE accommodations was in the small town of Undredal. We had an entire house with a beautiful balcony, sauna, and it overlooked the town and fjord.
Remember to be slightly flexible with where you plan to sleep each night. Sometimes exactly where we were interested in staying at was sold out or didn’t have anything that would work. Typically, we prioritized accommodations with a view, even if that meant not staying directly in the town center.
9. Activities On Your Trip to Norway
One of the last steps to planning the ultimate Norway vacation is to pre-book any activities. There are plenty of things like museums and certain entry passes that you don’t need to book in advance. Yet, for the more popular attractions, you will definitely need to do some planning ahead.
This will apply for overnight guided hikes like the Trolltunga or ride on the famous train from Flam to Myrdal. In other words, don’t wait till the last minute to book anything you’ve been dreaming about!
Below we share some of the best areas, tours, and other fun things to consider booking in advance.
- From Bergen: Osterfjord, Mostraumen and Waterfall Cruise
- Tromsø: All Inclusive Northern Lights Chase Minibus Tour
- From Svolvaer: Trollfjorden Wildlife RIB Cruise
- Lofoten Islands: Silent Trollfjord Cruise
10. Pack Your Bags and Go!
We know firsthand that planning a trip to Norway can be extremely overwhelming. This is especially true if you have limited time as we did. Still, all the planning and preparation will be well worth it once you are driving through the magical fjords.
Before leaving for your trip to Norway it’s time to officially pack. Plan to bring athletic clothing with a mix of warm and cool stuff. Things that layer easily will be best and also clothing that is comfortable for a road trip.
Have any questions about our Norway travel guide or want to share your own experiences in the country? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
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More Norway Tips
- Geiranger Fjord Guide: 10 Helpful Things to Know Before Your Visit
- 13 Fun Things to do in Oslo Norway On Your First Visit
- Geiranger Skywalk: How to See Europe’s Highest Fjord Viewpoint
- Mathallen Oslo: 8 Things to Know About the Popular Food Market
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