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Why is Norway so expensive?

Atlanta, Georgia
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288 posts
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Why is Norway so expensive?

My wife and I have wanted to go to Norway for a long time. Finally we are both retired and have more time, so I have been surfing the web for info on Norway. We would like to spend a few days in Oslo with distant relatives, visit Stavanger, then get to Bergen and spend a week exploring the coast and fjords. But, I am shocked by the prices I have seen. Hotels with bad reviews at US$200+ per night, good review hotels US$250 to US$300+, small car rental at US$400+ per week, taxi from airport to downtown Oslo US$120. Coastal cruises or tours sound wonderful, but very expensive.

Why is Norway so expensive? Am I somehow doing something wrong?

Jim

Oslo
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1. Re: Why is Norway so expensive?

Norway is an expensive country, that is true. The reason is that the country has some of the world's highest living standards in general.

But the beautiful nature and the friendly people will make it worth it :)

However here are some tips for saving money:

1. The Fjord Pass will give you significant discount on accommodation in Norway. www.fjord-pass.com/

2. Take the train from Oslo airport to Oslo. The Airport Express Train is only 20 minute ride to Oslo, has many departures and is very reliable. The price is 160 NOK per person (approx 24 US dollars). A slower train on the NSB trains is approx half of that price.

3. Discount cards: There is the Oslo Pass (visitoslo.com/en/…2) and the Bergen Card (http://www.visitbergen.com/default.asp?sp=GB&layout=4&intro=1542_2&listBK=au$on@pt$1@ek$14) that will give you free admission and/or discount on everything from parking to museums.

4. Save money by shopping in stores offering tax free shopping. visitnorway.com/en/…

5. Watches

Certain brands of expensive Swiss watches are favourably priced in Norway, and are guaranteed to be genuine. Many tourists discover that it is very profitable to purchase watches in Norway.

Oslo
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2. Re: Why is Norway so expensive?

Norway is among the most expencive countries in the world because of high taxes and high salaries (f.x. normal salaries for a preschool teacher in Norway is almost 70000 USD).

But it is possible to do Norway in a cheaper way

- If you're satisfied with 5 year old cars Rent-a-wreck in Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden (4 hrs from Oslo) is the cheapest car rental in the Nordic countries (small cars from 14 USD (38 USD free mileage) a day and 254 USD for a week (free mileage)www.rent-a-wreck.se

- Hotels are cheaper in summertime (but flights aren't) or you could tent everywhere for free

- If you book early, trains could be really cheap (you can travel between every train station you want in Norway for USD 30) www.nsb.no

- Local ferries are cheaper than cruise boats

Atlanta, Georgia
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288 posts
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3. Re: Why is Norway so expensive?

Thanks, Visitnorway, for the interesting and helpful information. If we go, I guess I am going to spend a lot of time working on this to try and make it affordable and fun. I am a bit discouraged at this point regarding Norway. Norway is my first choice, but it looks like Ireland and Scotland, though expensive, are about half the cost of Norway. No fjords or Norwegians though.

Thanks,

Jim

Atlanta, Georgia
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288 posts
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4. Re: Why is Norway so expensive?

Thanks Karsten for the information. The rent a wreck web site indicates that there are several locations for them in Norway, so that might be a real possibility for us. Also, the train tickets that you referred to, that is the Minipres, right? That also seems like a possibility.

Do you know the name of the local ferrys. It seems that all I can find is Hurtigruten and international ferrys.

Thanks so much,

Jim

Oslo
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5. Re: Why is Norway so expensive?

Norway is expensive because it is a rich country and there are small differences in salaries. In addition, Norway has a large range of universal health and welfare services free of charge, paid for by taxes.

This means that some services are relatively expensive.

Renting a car is relatively expensive, and in Norway this option is used mostly by companies or by groups.

Taxis are also expensive, and from airport to downtown Oslo is also a long drive. Most take the shuttle train as it is quicker and cheaper.

Oslo
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6. Re: Why is Norway so expensive?

You don't need name of local ferrys. You simply drive along your chosen route and suddenly you are at the dock, the ferrys are an integral part of the road system.

Simferopol
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7. Re: Why is Norway so expensive?

Is really jaw-dropping to hear that even a preschool teacher can get 70k USD anually. Cant imagine the income of a profession like doctor....

Scotland
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8. Re: Why is Norway so expensive?

Beware of the cheap rental company Rent a wreck. We picked up our car at Oslo Gardermoen airport and were told that we would have to pay kr 150 (don't know how much this is in dollars) to get the car out of the parking garage (the P-Hus). This is apparently standard for all rental companies and adds to the cost of what might seem a cheap deal.

We arrived and tried to get the car out and were hit with a cost of Nkr 244 just to drive out of the parking garage.After several emails and peak rate international calls to the head office this morning I was told that this was because we arrived after the office was closed. Unlike the major rental companies they don't keep 24 /7 office hours ( 8am-4pm, Mon- fri) so any arrivals outside these times you have to pay the extra cost of the car being left in the P-hus. They dropped our car off at midday even though they knew we weren't arriving until 16.15 and agreed the rental would start at 17.00.

Also you have no-one to have face to face contact with to agree final costs of the rental before you leave the country!!!! Not a good way to do business.

The rental agreement is not clear and we still don't know if we have paid 150kr plus 244kr in parking fees. This is a massive addition to a "cheap" rental deal.

Not a happy ending to what was a great trip to Norway.

Howgate, Scotland

Atlanta, Georgia
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288 posts
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9. Re: Why is Norway so expensive?

Thanks everyone,

Interesting that there were "hidden" fees at rent a wreck. Howgate, how much was your cheap car in Oslo. The rates that I have found for rent a wreck there are very high, like US$ 700 per week for the smallest unlimited mileage car. The rates in Goteborg are much cheaper, I guess because that is Sweden.

Good to know that all of the dead end roads that I saw on maps are not actually dead end at the water, you just get on a ferry and continue.

If you don't mind, could someone tell me how much a beer costs in Norway. How much would a pint be in an average restaurant. How much for a pint or litre bottle in a grocery store?

Thanks again,

Jim

Scotland
2 posts
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10. Re: Why is Norway so expensive?

Jim,

In total the rental was kr 2164 for 7 days.That includes a charge for the 78km we drove over the "free" 500km included in the rental. Rates for the extra km start at Kr 1.95 for the smallest car and increase for larger cars. If you are doing lots of travelling the costs will mount.

There is alot to consider so do your sums carefully.

Good luck and have a good trip.

Howgate