Norway has a reputation as an unusually expensive country for a holiday but we think
you will find the reality is somewhat different. It’s true that alcohol, cigarettes,
confectionery and eating out are expensive and this results in journalists making
some rather exaggerated claims about the cost of living generally. Unfortunately
such myths tend to be repeated by armchair experts who have never been to Norway.
By far the most important elements of the cost of a holiday in Norway are travelling
there and accommodation. Flights to Norway are much the same price, and often significantly
cheaper in summer, than to many other countries within two hours flying time. Hotels
in Norway compare favourably in price with places of similar standard in the UK or
elsewhere in northern Europe. Self-catering rentals in Norway are considerably cheaper,
typically about 30% less than in the UK and there are far fewer seasonal variations,
so some weeks that you might expect to be expensive such as late August and Whitsun
week are available at low season rates.
Car rental is undeniably expensive, though rates have come down recently. We can
give you advice on how to minimise the cost and provide you with a quote.
Restaurant and cafe prices generally are certainly higher than in the UK but you
should find the quality is nearly always good and portions generous. The best restaurants
in Norway offer world class cuisine without a huge price tag. You can avoid paying
extra for meals out by booking hotels with an evening meal included in the rate.
The extra cost for this is quite modest if you stay for 3 nights or more, particularly
when you bear in mind that breakfast and often the evening meal are buffets which
you can return to as often as you like.
For groceries you can expect to pay about 20-30% more than in the UK but there are
big variations to this rule on different items, so choosing carefully and shopping
around will always pay dividends. We will provide a set of Travel Notes before your
departure with some specific advice and information, including notes about a few
things you might want to take with you.
Diesel is about the same as in the UK and most hire cars now have diesel engines.
Petrol is a little more expensive, but low speed limits on main roads result in
very low fuel consumption. Other products such as clothing may seem rather expensive
at first but bear in mind that you are often paying for the higher standards and
quality which all Scandinavians demand. You will always find some goods at special
'sale' prices, and then you can expect to find some real bargains.
It makes sense to use a credit or debit card wherever possible for purchases in Norway.
Nearly all suppliers of goods and services accept at least Visa and Mastercard and
they normally expect to be paid this way. Although money can be obtained easily from
cash machines it will be cheaper and more convenient to pay directly with a card.
You should check with your card issuer for details of charges which will be applied
for use abroad, and you might want to consider changing your card to one that does
not make charges, such as Nationwide.
One big advantage of shopping in Norway is that it is not a member of the EU, and
therefore one of the few countries in Europe where visitors from EU countries can
reclaim VAT on purchases above about £30. Look out for 'Tax-Free Shopping' signs
in many shops, where they will issue 'Tax-Free' cheques to be refunded at the airport
or on the ferry on your way home.
The currency is Norwegian Kroner (NOK) and the exchange rate is usually around NOK9=GBP1
Amounts in NOK on our invoices will be calculated at the current exchange rate when
the invoice is issued so the total amount on your final invoice may differ from that
shown when booking. Amounts shown in GBP (£) on the invoice will not change. The
exchange rate we use will be the tourist rate for buying Norwegian Kroner. If you
are looking at rates quoted online or elsewhere please check the details of what
is being quoted - money market rates can be very different from the tourist ‘buy’
Shopping in Norway is often a quiet pleasure, especially in in idyllic small towns
like Mandal on the south coast.
Half board rates in hotels in Norway are often very reasonable if you stay 3 nights
Hotel prices in Norway always include a buffet breakfast so you can start the day
with a substantial meal if you wish. Buffet lunches and evening meals are often served