1690251445 This European country was once surprisingly expensive to visit but | phillipspacc

This European country was once surprisingly expensive to visit, but now it’s getting cheaper


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There may be exceptions to this rule, but Europe is not a cheap destination for American travelers in general.

Whether it’s the strength of the euro, which has outpaced the dollar in the recovery in recent months, or the high cost of flights and accommodation, it’s now a general requirement to put aside some extra cash before that long-awaited ‘Eurotrip’, regardless of destination.

Aerial view of a cruise ship entering Geirangerfjord in Norway, Northern Europe, Scandinavia

However, there has always been a country with a bad reputation for being frightfully expensive, more than average, and almost impossible to visit for those on a stricter budget, although it may ultimately be cheaper and therefore more accessible to everyone.

Prices drop across Norway for foreigners

Situated in Scandinavia, a historic region of Northern Europe, Norway has historically been considered a « big box » destination.

Interestingly, it has been receiving progressively cheaper in recent months, as reported by the country’s leading tourism organization, Visit Norway. Due to lower inflation rates and a weaker currency, prices in Norway have dropped considerably.

Colorful houses lining the harbor in Trondheim, a city in Norway, Scandinavia, Northern Europe

As Visit Norway notes, it has become « much more affordable » for most visitors, particularly those traveling with dollars, euros or sterling, as the Norwegian krone has lost value significantly in 2023.

At the time of writing, in July 24, 2023, the exchange rate was USD 1.00 to NOK 10.10. For comparison, at the beginning of 2022, one dollar was equivalent to approximately NOK 8, showing that the US currency has continued to gain ground against the Norwegian national krona.

For every 100 USD you now receive around 1009 NOK. Visit Norway notes that an ‘average’ hotel room for two with a ‘good’ breakfast included will typically cost NOK 1350, or around US$133.72, a more reasonable price that appeals to Norway in line with their European counterparts.

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Aerial view of Alesund, a historic city in Norway, Scandinavia, Northern Europe

Norway is now cheaper than Iceland or Switzerland

Tourists are still expected to pay « a bit more » in big cities and/or popular places during peak seasons, but there’s no denying that prices in Norway are beginning to mirror those in the rest of Europe. After all, it was once one of the most expensive destinations on the continent.

For comparison, tourists should expect to pay upwards of US$241 and sometimes as much as US$315 for a mid-range hotel in Iceland this summer, as seen on booking.com. Iceland is still Europe’s more expensive destination, next to Switzerland.

Aerial view of Oslo, the capital of Norway, Scandinavia, Northern Europe

While by no means an economic destination (you won’t find the compelling deals of Albania or Bulgaria here), its absence from the Eurozone, which does not link Norway to Brussels’ monetary policies, and the global economic downturn have contributed to Norway’s new ‘affordability’ and popularity among travelers.

How much does it cost to visit Norway today?

A liter of gasoline can cost as little as $1.88 at certain stations. The same applies to a liter of milk bought in the markets, while a cappuccino in a cafeteria will cost you between US$3.47 and US$6.44. As for cheap restaurant meals, US$16.83 or up to US$34.64 on average.

colorful buildings sit on the shore in Bergen Norway

If you want to enjoy three courses in a mid-range restaurant, be prepared to spend a minimum of US$64.34, or up to US$148.47 in local currency. Norway also has some amazing locally brewed beer, and it will run you between $1.88 and $2.47 depending on the brand.

As you can see, it is without Western Balkansbut the prices are fairly decent. In fact, Americans are now commuting 36 percent more value for every dollar spent in Norway than it was five years ago, and ‘almost double’ compared to the rates of the last ten years.

Just last year, the dollar gained 18% more value than the Norwegian krone. Americans aren’t the only ones benefiting from Norway’s falling prices, as their Swedish neighbors are now making cross-border trips to buy cheaper groceries when it was the another way around previously.

Young tourist couple overlooking a fjord in Norway, Scandinavia, Northern Europe

According to The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) annual survey, Oslo is nowhere on the list of the 20 most expensive cities in the world, and as long as you don’t drink a lot in bars and restaurants and you’re not a smoker, prices aren’t drastically different from many Western European countries.

How to save money on a trip to Norway

Buying tickets in advance and traveling outside of the main tourist season can also contribute to a cheaper experience in Norway, as well as traveling slowly and staying in one area for longer to benefit from long stay discounts.

Panoramic tram route in Bergen, Norway

Traveling in a large group can also reduce costs, since the price of accommodation can be shared and you can cook at home most days, or even catch your own food, like fishing, yes, you are allowed to fish in Norway: you will save on restaurant expenses.

Norway is a beautiful country with invaluable cultural wealth and abundant nature. Famous for its picturesque fjords, stave churches, and Viking heritage, it’s a bucket-list destination for millions of American travelers.

Luckily, it is it is no longer an unattainable dreamespecially now that more affordable flights have been launched, bridging the transatlantic gap between both continents.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com