Trip budget: Bergen and the Norwegian fjords

Trip budget for Bergen, Norway

Think of Norway and you probably picture sailing through the deep blue waters of the fjords, hiking through the mountains or watching the Northern Lights from a husky sled in the Arctic. Or maybe visiting the cosmopolitan cities, with their sleek architecture and great nightlife, is more your thing. Either way Norway is overflowing with riches – but there’s one big problem, and that’s that you need your own riches to pay for it. Yes you can’t mention visiting Norway without the issue of price coming up. The country has a reputation for being one of the most expensive in the world, and those horror stories of £12 beers are enough to scare people off from visiting. But how expensive is it really to visit Norway? Here I share my trip costs for five nights spent exploring Bergen and the Norwegian fjords.

Park in Bergen, Norway

Colourful flowers in a Bergen park


I cashed in a stash of British Airways Avios points to pay for our London–Bergen flights, so just paid a £50 redemption fee for a Business Class return ticket (yes we were back on the free Champagne and lounge access again – I’m definitely getting a taste for the Business Class life!). Flights from the UK are pretty reasonable though, starting from £78 for a return with BA or Norwegian. We took the Flybussen shuttle bus to and from the airport, which cost 170 NOK/£15 return. To get to the fjords we travelled by train from Bergen to Mydral for 286 NOK each way (£50 return). If you plan to use the Norwegian trains, it’s worth booking online in advance as they have a limited number of reduced price ‘Minipris’ tickets available. The Flåmsbana scenic train between Mydral and Flåm cost 340 NOK/£30 each way – this is run privately so the only discount available is 30% off if you have a Interail/Eurail rail pass.

Total transport cost: 1422 NOK/£125 per person (about £25 a day), plus flights, so £175 each in total.

Views from the Bergen-Myrdal train

Gorgeous views from the window of the Bergen-Myrdal train


Hotels and food are two of the biggest expenses in Norway, but one way to save on both is by renting an apartment. As we were spending three nights in Bergen at the start of the trip we rented a place via AirBnB for £291 (£97 a night or £48.50 per person per night). We ended up getting moved to a bigger two-bed house with open-plan kitchen/living room, an easy ten-minute walk to the harbour. Out in the fjords, Flåm’s a small place so there wasn’t much choice of accommodation, so we chose the historic Fretheim Hotel at £105 (£52.50 per person). Back in Bergen for our last night we had an early start for the flight home so stayed at the Radisson Blu, right next to the Flybussen stop, for £132 (£66 per person).

Total accommodation cost: £528 or £264 per person – an average of £53 a night each.

Boat through the Norwegian fjords

Boat cruising along the Nærøyfjord from Flåm


So many of the things to do and see in Norway revolve around the outdoors, so you can easily get away with not spending much on activities. In Bergen we wandered around the harbour and historic Bryggen district for free. We spent 45 NOK/£4 on a ticket for the funicular railway up to the top of Mount Fløyen, but then walked back down. You need to get out on the water to see the fjords properly, so we spent 360 NOK/£31 on a boat trip through the Nærøyfjord to Gudvangen, which also included a transfer back to Flåm by bus. The scenic train between Bergen and Flåm is covered under transport, but would also count as an activity too – and even the regular Bergen–Myrdal train passed by some amazing scenery.

Total activities cost: 405 NOK/£35 per person – an average of £7 a day each.

Viking food, Aegir Brewery in Flam

Eating like a (fancy) Viking at Flåm’s Ægir Brewery restaurant

Food and drink

Our apartment in Bergen had a fully equipped kitchen so we did a big grocery shop on the first day, spending 329 NOK (£14 each), which covered three days’ worth of breakfasts and two dinners. We also spent around 116 NOK/£10 each on various drinks and snacks while we were out and about. The last two nights we had breakfast included at our hotels and ate out for dinner. In Flåm there were only a couple of options, so we ate at a brewery where two mains, a dessert and two glasses of wine set us back 860 NOK/£74. In Bergen there was more choice so we only paid 525 NOK/£45. Alcohol is pricey in Norway, with a small glass of wine costing around £9. We had a couple of drinks out, and bought some wine for when we were self-catering. You can only buy alcohol from the state-run Vinmonopolet shops which have limited opening hours, where a couple of bottles of (practically their cheapest) wine cost 225 NOK/£19.

Total food and drink cost: 2233 NOK/£192 or £96 per person – an average of £19.50 a day each.

Timber houses in Bergen, Norway

Wooden houses in Bergen

The grand total

So the overall cost for our five days in the Norwegian fjords came in at £570 per person, including flights. This works out at about £114 a night each. So it’s not exactly a budget destination but it’s also not scarily expensive, and to me it was totally worth it – it’s a fascinating and beautiful place to visit.

Lower budget? The easiest way to save would be to steer clear of wine! There are also hostels in Bergen and Flåm where you could save a bit by staying in a dorm (but private rooms are as much as hotels).

Higher budget? With more money to spend you could stay in hotels the whole time and eat out more – Bergen has some great high-end restaurants. There are also other boat trips and tours you can take to see more of the fjords, or could hire a car and explore independently.

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How much does it cost to visit the Norwegian fjords? Trip budget details for a trip to Bergen and Flam, including transport, accommodation, activities and food –

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  1. says

    Great post – it’s good to see the price break-down. Oslo is the most expensive place I’ve been to, but prices seem fairly similar to Bergen. The cost wasn’t earth-shattering, but it was just so restricting – it left very little margin for error or spontaneity.

    Still, the pics look great and I wouldn’t mind seeing the fjords!

  2. says

    Norway sounds amazing. Not too stoked on the price, but maybe one day when Im actually making money! Btw, Im in the process of posting about my trip to Israel right now, feel free to check it out!

  3. says

    This is fantastic! It’s so helpful to see the full cost breakdown- Norway is high on my to-go list but I was wary of the cost. This makes it seem very much doable but makes me realise it shouldn’t be on the list for this year (especially after being in Iceland earlier in the year – also not a budget destination!) Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. says

    That doesn’t seem too scary. I desperately want to do the cruise up the coastline to Russia. This would be a good time when the sun hardly sets. And with a few bottles of duty free wine 🙂

  5. says

    This is great! I’ve dreamt of Norway since childhood and it’s eluded me somewhat because of the costs. But your final tally really doesn’t seem so bad. I completely agree with renting an apartment to save a few bucks. It’s become my family’s travel accommodation of choice.

    • says

      It is just beautiful – I have a few posts to come with more photos about the city too. It’s such a shame that Scandinavia is so pricey as it’s an amazing part of the world and it does put people off visiting.

  6. says

    Reading your post, I realize that maybe I was expecting a lot worse from Norway. I’m mostly concerned about the food prices, but we have decided to self-cater as much as possible on our upcoming trip. 🙂

    • says

      Self catering is a really good plan to save money – I didn’t find the grocery stores to be too expensive and you can save so much compared with eating out every night.

  7. says

    Great tips and photos Lucy. Staying at the Radisson close to the bus stop was a good move and maybe some duty-free from the airport would help swallow the cost of meals out! Such a useful post which I’ll definitely refer back to.

  8. says

    I would LOVE to go to Norway but being Canadian I need to double you budget in pounds. About 1200 is a lotttt of money for 5 days! One day though- it looks gorgeous!

    • says

      It’s definitely no budget destination but it is an amazing place, glad I did it – though I do have to not think what else I could’ve got for the same cost in places like SE Asia!

  9. says

    Thanks for sharing the details! It really doesn’t seem horrible for the most part, but those wine prices are still ridiculous! Good tips on ways to save!

    • says

      I’m really good at cooking when I can now as I’m on a diary/gluten free diet at the moment so eating out is tough, but even if you can just get breakfasts sorted it can save a lot.

  10. says

    You certainly know how to live well on a budget. Thanks for the Norway tips. I haven’t used AirBnB yet, but getting the idea they’re worth a try. Easy to get used to Business Class life, isn’t it?

    • says

      Business class is fantastic – I’ve never been the biggest fan of flying but being up the front of the plan definitely helps. AirBnB is well worth a try too, I’m staying in a couple more of their properties in an upcoming European trip and with a few people especially it can be a really good deal.

    • says

      It really is diverse – the fjord areas where we were are so green and lush, then you have the snowy arctic, and the city life in Oslo – plenty to see for a few more trips (after I’ve done a bit more saving!).

  11. says

    This post is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’m considering going to Norway over New Year and was wondering about budget and whether its as bad as people have said. The standard of accommodation seems great and I’m sure it would be worth it for the experience! Photos are stunning. Thanks for sharing

  12. says

    Norway is definitely one of those countries that you have to visit, but not without making a bit of hole on the pocket! We’ve been to Norway twice, but never so far to Bergen. This year we had our most expensive trip so far to Tromso, and we are yet to recover from the financial shock it gave us. Might take us some time before we venture to the country again 🙂

    • says

      Yes it’s a shame about the high prices as I’d be spending a lot more time in Scandinavia if it was a bit cheaper! Til then it’ll have to be mixed in with some cheaper places to balance it out I think.

  13. marghenick says

    Great post with lots of budget tips. I’m bad at budgeting so it really helps to read posts like this. I’ve wanted to go to Norway for a while and I was convinced it was much more expensive. I might go then!

    • says

      Thanks, I’m not the best at budgeting in advance but it’s always really interesting to see the end result and how the prices stack up. I expected the prices to be really scary for this trip, but in the end it wasn’t as bad as I expected!

  14. Lauren says

    This post was really helpful – I’m heading to Norway this summer and was wondering about the prices in Bergen!

    • says

      You can definitely spend a lot on food and drink in Norway! That’s why I like self-catering places so much as you do have the option to make some of your own food and that can really help the budget.

  15. says

    Just found your blog and I’m very happy I did – so many great posts and photos!

    I live a few hours away from Bergen, and it’s such a charming city. 🙂 We also have a cottage in Hardanger, an hour from Bergen to be exact, and the nature there is so beautiful it’s almost therapeutic!

    Anyway – just wanted to let you know that there are actually a few wines around the £10 mark here in Norway as well. And yes – dining out is expensive! We don’t have a big “dining-out culture” here, probably because it’s so expensive (we save it for special occasions and vacations) he he:-P

  16. says

    This was so useful post, thank you!

    I just booked my trip to Sognefjord (for hiking) for next july and though i love to see all the gorgeous pictures, i’m in some serious need of prize informations etc. So thank you!

    • says

      Hey! If you’re going to the Sognefjord you should definitely stay at Eplet Bed & Apple ( for a few days. It’s an amazing friendly hostel with the best view in Norway! And as cheap as it gets, especially if you stay in the dorm 🙂 You can do loads of different hikes from there, plus bike rides, and you can visit the biggest glacier in Europe. Enjoy Your trip!

  17. Kayleigh says

    We only have one day to see as much of the fjords as possible from Bergen, what would you recommend would be the best way of doing this? I’ve seen tours, but the advice seems to be to avoid them.

    Thanks in Advance!

    • says

      Hi Kayleigh, the Norway in a Nutshell tour is definitely the easiest option and seems to have fairly positive reviews, though it can get busy in summer. Or if you’re able to hire a car you can get out into some of the less developed fjords and travel around independently (you could drive to Flam or Gudvangen then take a round trip fjord cruise). Have a great trip.

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