Shoestring Tips

It’s smart to try to keep the cost down on everything, so you can spend more on petrol to go further, right? Here are a few tips on how to save a few krone while in Norway.

Why drain your wallet by staying the nights in hotels when you can wild camp for free in Norway?

Why drain your wallet by staying the nights in hotels when you can wild camp for free practically everywhere in Norway?

Bring your tent! The Freedom of Public Access Act allows you to pitch your tent wherever you want (not in people’s gardens, please) to stay the night. It’s completely free. Just bring a properly warm sleeping bag, as the nights in May and early June might be a bit chilly. Camp site cabins and hostel rates are otherwise pretty good in the cases where you need solid roof over your head. Check out the Norway FAQ page for more details.

Bring your stove and prepare your own food.

Bring your stove and prepare your own food.

Bring your stove and prepare the food yourself. Bring canned food from your cheaper home country. Stock up from supermarkets in Norway. The cheaper ones, but still with an OK selection of goods, are branded e.g. Rema 1000, Rimi, Coop and Kiwi. There are more well-assorted groceries as well, but the mentioned ones carries what you’ll need while on your trip. If you need a break from your home-made cuisine, immigrant cafes and restaurants (e.g. lebanese, chinese, thai, vietnamese etc) tend to have better prices. They may still be more expensive that you’ll be used to from your home country, but still good value for the money.

Bring your fishing rod! Sea fishing requires no license, and the catch is good. Guaranteed a proper free meal,

Fish for free in the sea!

Fish for free in the sea!

compliments from the cold Arctic ocean!

Inland fishing requires a local fishing license, which may be bought at kiosks and petrol stations near the lake. River fishing for salmon is another story, with a lot of regulations, so keep away from that unless you know for sure what you’re doing.

When at the Circle K (formerly know as Statoil) or Shell Seven Eleven petrol stations, buy the coffee mug, priced at ca 30 euro. It gives you free hot drinks at any of those service stations, and even a nice thermo mug to keep. Really good value, as a regular cup of coffee usually starts at some 3 euro pr cup.
Beer (max 4.7 vol %) is purchased at any grocery store until 20:00 (18:00 on Sat, no sales on Sun). Prices range typically from ca 4 euro pr bottle and upwards.
Wine and spirits are sold only at the State Wine Monopoly, which is not a board game with a twist, but a state regulated monopoly outlet for alcoholic beverages above 4.7 vol %. There are stores spread all over the country, but the outlets tends to be located in the center of a town, or at a mall, if there is one. Here’s a map of all Vinmonopolet outlets. The good thing about the Vinmonopolet is its extraordinarily good selection of wine and spirits. The downside is a higher price, especially on spirits. You can find bottles of drinkable red wine down to, say, 8-10 euros, but spirits may start as high as 30 euro for a small bottle.
You may bring your own spirit, wine and beer from your home country, but there are limits to how much you can import per adult:

1 liter spirit AND 1.5 liter wine AND 2 liters of beer AND 200 cigarettes/250 g tobacco

OR 3 liters of wine AND 2 liters of beer AND 200 cigarettes/250 g tobacco

OR 4.5 liters of wine AND 2 liters of beer (NO cigarettes/tobacco)

Going to motorcycle rallies is a good idea, as you get cheap food and even cheaper drinks – plus a whole bunch of new friends – during a day or two. This page displays rallies that are accessible for all bikers, in good bikers’ spirit. It’s in Norwegian only, but drop me a line and I’ll translate those which you might be interested in. It may be that no rallies are displayed, especially during the winter, but start looking around end of February each year.

Fuel prices are about the same as in the rest of Northern Europe. All accept credit cards, so you should be able to refuel even if the station is closed. However, check if your card is accepted BEFORE you actually have no other choice – just in case it isn’t accepted for some reason. Some petrol stations offer loyalty programs where you can save an euro or two pr fuel tank, so check for offers.

There are not so many dedicated motorcycle only repair shops in the more rural Norway, but NMCU (see Norway FAQ) will guide you to the nearest one should you have any problems en route. Roadside recovery is expensive if you have no insurance, so make sure you’re covered by your own insurance company. NMCU also carries an overview over fellow bikers in the area who might be able to help you with emergency recovery, accommodation and/or repair. This is a from-rider-to-fellow-rider system that has been working pretty well for many years. It’s free, but not to misuse, of course. Contact NMCU, should you be in need.

Getting online
3G and 4G mobile broadband – and soon even 5G – is spread practically all over Norway. Check your local operator for rates while in Norway. Free wifi may be found at many petrol stations, in or near public buildings, at campsites and in hotels/hostels. Norway is pretty well equipped with wifi and mobile networks, so you should be fine with regard to that no matter where in the country you are.


5 thoughts on “Shoestring Tips

  1. Ben

    Could you translate the August rallys for me? Thanks!


  2. Ben

    We’ll be in Norway from the 5th to about the 15th or 16th so any of those. Thanks!


    • Hi – sorry for the delay! Here are the August happenings:

      4 – 6 BMW Rally at , Hornsjø in Oppland County (South-East)
      Istind Rally, Bardufoss in Troms County (North)
      The Oil Rally, Kilgrend in Fyresdal in Telemark County (South East)
      10 – 13 The Polar Rally, Kvenvikmoen, Alta in Finnmark County (WAY north!)
      11 – 13 Aust-Agder Rally, Justøy in Aust-Agder County (South)
      Classic Jap Bike Rally, Bakkaåno Rally, Bakkaåno Camping, Sokndal in Rogaland County (South-West)
      The Saltdal Rally, Rognan Airport(ish) in Nordland County (North)
      18 – 20 Dammen Rally, Tretten in Oppland County (South-East)
      Garden Rock Rally No. 20, Fremstedal in Vestnes in Møre & Romsdal County (North-West – close to the Atlantic Road)
      North-Salten Rally, Sommersel, Hamarøy in Nordland County (North)
      South East Rally, Torpomoen in Buskerud (South East)
      Pekaill Rally, Søbstad, Averøy in Møre & Romsdal (North West. GREAT rally! Close to the Atlantic Road!)
      The Sandefjord Rally, Jåberggrenda in Vestfold County (South East)
      Venture Club Norway Autumn Rally (a bit early for that?), Alta River Camping in Finnmark County (WAY up north)
      25 – 27 Powerplant Late Summer Party, Holter in Akershus (South East)
      28 – 30 53. Troll Rally, Fyresdal in Telemark County (South East)
      31 – 3 8th Arctic Ride, Tana Bru in Finnmark (WAY up north!)


  3. Pingback: Right then – spring is (nearly) here! | Ride Norway

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