Seeing the Aurora Borealis in Norway on a Budget

*Today’s blog post is contributed by a team of Trip and Travel Blog. Let’s see how they managed to explore the Aurora Borealis on a budget like real tramps!*

Is it possible to make a trip to Norway and manage to spend a week there with a very tight budget? To be honest, it’s difficult, but it is certainly possible. The purpose of the trip this time was to see the aurora borealis. Something that had always been dismissed due to the price of the trip but once I started to calculate how much it would actually cost I saw that it was more affordable than I initially thought.

The most expensive part of the trip was the flight tickets. With the airline Norwegian we could fly to Oslo for €50 per person. The return was also €50. This was the price to travel there from most European cities. The cost of living is high in Norway, and everything is much more expensive than what we spent, but with small sacrifices, after reading many reviews on a travel blog and the desire to fulfill a dream, we did it.

Oslo at sunset, panoramic view from the external area of the castle fortress next to the harbour. Picture credit: Moyan Brenn.
Oslo at sunset, panoramic view from the external area of the castle fortress next to the harbour. Picture credit: Moyan Brenn.

The accommodation is the second biggest cost of this trip so we skipped it altogether. Yes, it wasn’t as elegant or comfortable as sleeping in a hotels bed, but it was certainly more adventurous not knowing where we’d sleep each night. Some of the nights we camped in open areas we were allowed to. It was a little cold but very beautiful to sleep under the stars. Thankfully we brought a lot of food with us, so the first days we didn’t need to cook anything. The rest, we went to the supermarket and got few things we needed, such as bread for sandwiches and something to drink. It was pleasant to find that water and toilets were free.

However, we did spend a few of the coldest nights of the week in hostels. Some of the cheapest ones we considered were Anker Hostel in Storgata 55, Grunerlokka, 0182, Oslo which was €23 per night to sleep in a 4 bed dormitory, Oslo Vandrerhjem Haraldsheim in Haraldsheimveien 4, 0587 which was €30 per night in a 6 bed dormitory and finally Saga Poshtel Oslo Central in Kongens Gate 7, 0153 which was €36 per night in a 8 bed dormitory. We used the first option for two nights.

As for the best places to dine, we’d definitely recommend the Dovrehallen Bar & Restaurant which is located in Storgata 22, close to our hostel, a very good place for people who want to try traditional food but also don’t want to spend much. Each dish cost approximately €12. Another top dining spot is Rorbua in Stranden 71, where you can dine for €14 per person.

Transportation can be expensive too. Taking the bus can cost up to €5. We ended up hitching a ride the few times we needed a car to move. We walked a lot but that allowed us to see some very beautiful Norwegian landscapes.

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Stunning Lofoten Islands by Roman Popelar.

Lofoten Islands

This was one of the best parts of the trip. There are many things to see in Norway but this was the best for me. Here is where I spent one of the happiest nights of my life, having seen the aurora borealis for the first time. It was extremely beautiful. Having eaten ready food the previous days, we decided to spoil ourselves and eat at a restaurant. Nothing fancy mind you, but it seemed very delicious considering the circumstances. The place was called Krambua Restaurant located in Hamnøy 8390. We spent €20 which was very good and we had a nice view while eating.

After that we walked around exploring the natural beauty of the area until we settled and camped to prepare for the destined night of the Aurora.

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Aurora by Trond Kristiansen.

Oslo

We booked the cheapest hostel in Oslo for our final days in Norway as mentioned earlier. It costed us €23 per night and we shared a dormitory with 2 other people. We tried to eat well in the morning so that we could explore the magical capital of Norway during the rest of the day. It was amazing and there were so many attractions to see. The tickets for some of them were very expensive, unless you are an EU citizen or a student in which case it was for free. Luckily we could take up that offer and check some of the local museums filled with century’s worth of history.

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Stunning Oslo by Jorn Eriksson.

One thing we loved about Oslo was the architecture. In the future we hope to visit again in order to explore it more extensively. It was definitely worth the time!

What do you think? How much would you need to make a trip to Norway?

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33 Comments

  • “I started to calculate how much it would actually cost I saw that it was more affordable than I initially thought,” I find that this is so true so much of the time! Can’t wait to go to Norway (and Sweden) someday. :)

  • I hear Norwegian Air have some amazing deals going. How far north did you need to go to see the Aurora? Where did you fly into Oslo from? Stunning stuff – have only seen Norway in the late summer. Such a beautiful country!

    • Yup, Norwegian Air had the best deals at the time and that’s why we picked that one. We saw the Aurora at the Lofoten Islands, more specifically Hamnøy. It was great there and as cold as one would expect! We flew to Oslo from Madrid. I hope the tickets are as cheap traveling from your country as they were for us! :)

      • Norwegian Air airlines are great, indeed. There are many good deals there. Great to hear that you got so affordable tickets. Many people complain about high prices.

  • I’d love to see the Aurora, it’s one of my big dreams that I’ve always put off due to the cost involved. It’s great to hear that it can be done reasonably and on a budget, it’s time for me to seriously think about it. Thanks for the tips :)

  • Oh, I’m dying to see the Northern Lights! I heard on the news yesterday that we might be able to see them in Denmark during the night. But they didn’t show. Next year I have to make it a priority to go further north and see them for sure :)

    • Thanks a lot, Manu! :) Greetings from Amsterdam x and feel free to check out my cooking blog –> runagnessrun :-). Muah!

  • I didn’t realize that tickets to the museums in Oslo were free for EU citizens, I do remember that the city was pretty expensive when I visited a few years ago but I was impressed with the opera house building and nature

  • I’ve loved Norway every time I’ve visited, it really is just a beautiful country in so many ways. In my experience, it’s been incredibly expensive there (and I’m from London!), I’m sure if you tried though, you could do it on a low budget.

  • I would love to visit Norway and haven’t done this because of the budget which would already be expensive coming from the US and I travel with just a hand carry so camping would be almost impossible. Will enjoy it from the many visitors that share it on their travel exploits meanwhile.

    • Yes, Norway can be expensive indeed, but there are many different ways to make your trip as affordable as possible. Let us know and we’ll be more than happy to share some :).

  • This is such a great post as I’m very eager to see Norway for myself, and your tips really come in handy! I’ll be going to both Sweden and Denmark this summer and whether I’ll be able to squeeze in Norway, is anyone’s guess. But I’ll try!
    Thanks for sharing with us. :)

    • Victoria, that is the country you will really enjoy exploring, for sure. I know you well from your blog and you would definitely become one of the biggest fans of their cuisine! :)

  • Great post, Agnes! I have only seen Northern lights a few times in Finland when I was studying there. It was such a magical experience every time and I am dying to see it again! Norway has been on my bucket list for a while now and I am trying to figure it how to make it happen with the limited number of free days I have from work. This post is certainly helpful and makes me hopeful that I will visit beautiful Norway one day soon without emptying my bank balance!

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