If you’re planning a Norway road trip, then let me first tell you that you’re about to be amazed by this beautiful country. Every corner of it is simply stunning, and even if you get lost or choose a different route than what I suggest in this 10-day itinerary for Norway, you will get your money’s worth.
What to know about your Norwegian road trip
What do you need to know about your road trip in Norway? Norway is not CHEAP!
That’s probably why you’ll not find a lot of recommendations when you search for “Norway road trip on a budget” – because you simply can’t go to Norway on a budget. At least, not in 2022.
And this is an important aspect of your road trip in Norway, as this is a big country and everything you’ll want to visit is as least at a 5-hour drive away from any other point on your road trip.
What will be your biggest costs during your road trip in Norway?
- Car rental
Needless to say that a road trip in Norway implies driving to Norway (this is what I did) or renting a car. As with everything you will lay your hand on in this beautiful country, renting will no be cheap, but it will be your only option if you’re coming from outside Europe. And even if you want to drive to Norway, it will take you a few days to get there – which might be an issue if you have a limited holiday.
Accommodation in Norway
Considering you’ve sorted out the transportation, you need now to start thinking about accommodation. There are three ways to do this – hotels, camping, and hybrid.
Camping in Norway
You might already know that Norway has embraced camping as part of its culture, and you’ll find plenty of camping places everywhere you go.
Moreover, Norwegian law allows you to wild camp as long as you are 150 meters away from any other building, away from agricultural fields, or interfering in any way with others or disturbing them. In a nutshell, you may wild camp in Norway as long as you don’t bother anyone or leave any traces behind you.
When in Norway, you’ll notice a lot of campers and trailers everywhere, and most are from Norway, the Netherlands, and Germany – the only sane people that do afford to spend a holiday in Norway. However, if you don’t have a camper, then you can simply pitch your tent.
Nature is beautiful, and if you’ve slept in a tent before, you know what to expect. Yes, this means you need to take all your trash with you, including the used toilet paper, and throw it in a proper trash bin. Luckily, most places suited for camping (even wild camping sites) might have toilets.
But if you choose a place that has no toilet or anything like that, you will need a shovel. You understand what to do – hopefully.
Hotels in Norway
The other option is to stay at hotels and hostels. Trust me, even hostels in Norway are expensive, but some will feel like a three-star hotel. Most of them offer great breakfast (which you should take advantage of, considering the prices of food). However, there is an issue with accommodation in Norway.
There are not that many hotels, and if you want to book your stay last minute (like I always do), then you might have surprised when the cheapest option you’ll find starts at $250.
You see, not a lot of things happen in Norway, and during those two months of summer (July and August), they try to cramp in every possible concert, festival, and tradition.
And that’s when literary everyone is on holiday. So if you want to stay in a specific place, and one of these events are going on (there’s always something happening in Bergen), then you should book your accommodation well in advance. It’s not that you’ll get a better price, but at least you get a hotel room.
TIP: When booking a hotel, I find that the cheapest option is to use the Booking.com app on your mobile. It may offer better prices on mobile. Also, some hotels offer a last-minute discount if you’re booking for the same day. However, this is not necessarily true for Norway.
And of course, the third option is to go hybrid and occasionally stay in campings and pitch your tent for a moderate cost (around 30 Euros) and then stay in hotels when the weather turns bad (which will happen more than you think, but more on that later).
Norway itinerary 10 days
There are many cities and places that deserve a visit in Norway. But as you will soon find out, you’ll have to decide on an itinerary and stick to it, because there’s no chance that you’ll see it all during a 10-day itinerary in Norway.
I will give you what I believe to be an achievable itinerary suitable for anyone.
Day 1 – Oslo
Arriving in Olso and exploring the capital of Norway on foot. Oslo is not a vast place, and you can easily explore it on foot, even if you only have one day to visit it.
What’s not to miss in Oslo?
- Oslo Cathedral
- The Opera house
- Deichman Bjørvika (public library – interesting interior)
- Munch museum (if you’re interested in expressionism)
- Viking Ship Museum (unfortunately closed until 2026, but still worth mentioning, in case you plan to visit after 2026)
- Fram Museum (Houses the ship Fram, which was used by Nansen and later by Amundsen for their polar expeditions. This boat has made it both to the North and South Pole.)
Day 2 – Pulpit rock hike
Norway is all about hikes and beautiful trails. You’ve probably heard about the famous cliff hanging over a stunning fjord. Well, the good news is that there are multiple such hikes you may want to try, and some are more accessible than the Trolltunga, which takes a minimum of 8 hours and a medium level of fitness.
I recommend the Pulpit Rock hike, which is only 4-5 hours (round trip) and is accessible to anyone. The trail will take you to a rock that is 604 m above the Lysefjord and offers stunning views.
But there’s a catch – you need to go there early, as this is a really popular hike, and the parking space is limited at the start of the trail. If you get there too late, you’ll not be able to park, and you will have to come back later or on a different day.
I recommend staying at Preikestolen BaseCamp, which is right at the start of the trail. Wake up early to start the hike without having to hassle about parking. If there is no room there, you can try to stay at the Preikestolen camping AS, but that’s only for campers and tents.
After the hike, you’ll have time to drive to your next stop, Stavanger city.
Day 3 – Stavanger
Stavanger is a lovely port city, and the old town will fascinate you. If you are lucky to be there on a sunny day, make sure to wander around the streets of the old town, where all the white wooden houses are. What not to miss in Stavanger:
- Old town (Gamle Stavanger)
- Fargegaten (the colorful street)
- Valberget Utsiktspunkt (the old watchtower)
I recommend staying at Radisson Blu Atlantic Hotel, and you can park in the St Olav underground parking, which is right behind the hotel.
Day 4 – Bergen
Bergan is the home of black metal, and this is where Norway will feel truly touristic. However, the city is charming, and it’s worth a stop, if only for a few hours.
Sure, everything will be more expensive (is that even possible? – yes), but a walk about the 10-century-old harbor and its charming wooden houses.
Please don’t be disappointed when you’ll see huge crowds of people, which will leave you wondering where are the lovely wooden houses. But you might want to steer off the famous Bryggen (port area) to find narrow streets with lesser crowds. Parking is available only in parking garages, and they are not cheap.
I recommend staying at Magic Hotel Korskirken.
Day 5 – Naeroyfjord
Out of its thousands of fjords, Norway has only two fjords on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and this is one of them. The Naeroyfjord is the most beautiful and wildest arm of the Sognefjord. Here you can go on a 2-hour cruise from Flam to Gudvangen (or the other way around). You can see the schedule and book it here: https://www.norwaysbest.com/things-to-do/fjords/fjord-cruise-naeroyfjord/
Don’t worry. Parking is free in each of these places.
However, note that after you get from one place to the other, you can either book the scheduled bus to take you back to the starting point (which I do recommend because it will be fully booked once you get there).
If you miss the electric boat, there’s a traditional boat that will take you on the same cruise, which is cheaper and operates in between those hours (no need to book in advance). If you don’t have a prebooked ticket to get on the shuttle bus to get you back to your starting point, don’t worry. Just walk to the main road (E16), and there is a bus stop.
There’re a few buses per day that stop there. While these are long-distance buses and some people pre-booked their tickets, I paid on the bus by card, and there was plenty of room, although we were 30 people waiting for that 450 bus.
I did the cruise from Flam to Gudvangen and took the 10-euro bus back to Flam, which dropped me off right in front of the parking lot from the harbor, where I parked the car for free.
Where to stay in Flam?
Before during this cruise, I recommend staying the night before somewhere close to it, such as Aurland fjord view. This is in Aurland, the closest town to Flam. Book this in advance, as the Flam area is expensive and is one of the most touristic places in Norway. Of course, you can stay in Flam at Flåm Marina, if you have a bigger budget for this trip.
Day 6 – Jostedalsbreen National Park
Are you ready to see with your own eyes the largest glacier in continental Europe? Here it is, and it’s completely free to go and see it – but of course, parking is not free.
Even this valley to get there is absolutely stunning, and I am so glad a local told me about it. I would not recommend missing this, as this was one of the highlights of my Norway road trip.
Please book your accommodation in advance at Briksdalsbre Mountain Lodge. There is also parking right next to it, where you can leave your car during the hike (it’s around 8 euros for the entire day). This is the start of the hike, too, for the Briksdalsbre glacier, part of the Jostedalsbreen glacier. As you will drive in this valley, you will see different parts of the glacier, and each has a different name.
Since we didn’t book in advance, we were lucky to find a free house nearby. Check out Airbnbs, but also look out for signs on the road toward free rooms.
There are more places to stay than you find on Google, and we found our place by simply asking at one of the hotels (the owners know each other). We stayed here (can’t find this place listed anywhere now), and followed the road where it says Free rooms. The nicest house is where the owner lives, and yes, you may pay by card. Don’t worry if you arrive late.
We got there at around 9 pm, and the host was very nice. Norwegians are friendly and welcoming.
The next morning, wake up early and dress up for the hike to Briksdalbre glacier. It’s a 30-45 minute easy trail, but bring rain protection.
Day 7 – Geirangerfjord
This is the second fjord of Norway that is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list of natural monuments. It was also one of my personal favorite fjords.
I recommend driving to Hellesylt (on the way there, you’ll also see a 19th-century stone bridge – Hornindal Bridge).
From Hellesylt, take the ferry to Geiranger (this takes around 1 hour, it’s a cruise ferry and it’s the most expensive ferry I took in Norway. It was around 110 euros for a car and two adults). But it’s a must-see!! Please don’t miss it.
There is a ferry going every 1.5 hours.
After you reach Geiranger, you can go around the town, but don’t waste too much time and start driving up the mountain and stop at the Ørnesvingen Viewpoint. There’s some parking, but be careful as accidents happen all the time, given the narrow road and the many busses that drive by.
If you have more days, you can add Alesund to your itinerary. If not, continue to Molde, where you can stay for the night at Scandic Seilet to enjoy those views.
Day 8 – Atlantic road
This is another highlight of this Norway 10-day itinerary, as you will drive on the ocean.
There are many stops along the way of this road, and you can plan your stops according to your schedule. But you should definitely stop at Eldhusøya and take some time to enjoy the views from the walkway. There’s even a cafe in the parking lot. Norwegians have all figured out, even parking lots and viewpoints. Trust me. You’ll love it.
The most impressive part of this drive is between Vevang and Grisen, but some recommend you drive all the way to Askevågen, Viewpoint, which is a little before reaching Vevang. Considering you’ll make plenty of stops on this road, I recommend staying at Valsøya
Camping (they also have private rooms). Go on the rocks at the end of the tiny harbor to admire the sunset.
Day 10 – Trondheim
The next day, you have plenty of time to drive to Trondheim and walk around this beautiful city. This is the third largest city in Norway and one that I loved the most.
What not to miss in Trondheim?
- Nidaros Cathedral (go up to the tower)
- Bryggen (the bridge towards the old town)
- Bakklandet street in the old town
- Kristiansten Fortress (the views are not to be missed)
- Trøndelag Folk Museum (open-air museum)
- Rockheim (a must-see for music fans and black metal fans)
I recommend staying at Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel. There’s parking in front of the hotel (paid) and street parking (also paid, but free Saturday afternoon and Sunday).
From Trondheim, you can drive back to Oslo, which is only 500 km away and can be done in half a day, if there are no other stops on the way.
Tips for your Norway road trip
There’s a lot to say about this beautiful country, but I’ll try to focus on some of the things I wish I knew before visiting Norway. Here are my top 10 tips for your Norway road trip:
- Bring a raincoat! Nobody tells you this, but trust me when I say that most of the time spent in Norway will be in the rain.
- Pack smart! Even if you have huge stuff that you want to carry with you all across the country, back a smaller bag with all the essentials that you can easily take out of the car and bring into your hotel room. You’ll only want to have a shower and sleep.
- Bring rain shoes. You can survive without them, but at least two different pairs of daily sneakers to wear in turns when one pair gets wet.
- Driving in Norway is easy, but remember to have the ePASS24 app all set up before going to Norway.
- You’ll take plenty of ferries in Norway, and they offer the best views, so make sure to get on the top platform and get some pics.
- Have a credit or debit card dedicated to this trip in Norway. You’ll use it a lot, and you’ll want to make sure you have enough funds for it. For instance, before filling your tank at the gas stop, you’ll have to put in your card, and they will take around 150 euros as a guarantee before even putting a drop of gasoline in your tank. After you finish filling the gas, the right amount will be charged to your card. I recommend using Revolut.
- Norwegians are friendly and eager to help you. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when needed.
- Driving an electric car is the best way to go on a road trip in Norway. Electric cars enjoy certain benefits such as free refueling and parking and reduced.
- Most foods are imported in Norway, especially fruits and veggies. But if you like to eat fish, then you’ll be in heaven.
- There’s a lot to see in Norway, and you can’t possibly see it all in only 10 days. Most places are natural places, such as fjords, valleys, and scenic roads. Don’t stop randomly in the middle of the street because there are plenty of small stops for viewpoints everywhere you go.
Norway in a nutshell itinerary
This 10-day itinerary for a Norway road trip is my personal recommendation, and it includes my best tips to make your trip go as smoothly as possible. I also want to point out that parking in cities is a hassle and oftentimes really expensive.
I would avoid cities as much as possible, or at least not spend that much time in bigger cities such as Oslo and Bergen. If you want to visit the city and explore all the streets, history and museums, I would definitely recommend going there by plane, for a weekend or so. Then you wouldn’t need to worry about parking and can stay in a hotel in the center (which never offers a parking space).
Although you will probably plan your trip for the summer, be prepared for 10-15 degrees Celcius and pack a raincoat. Shopping in Norway will not be cheap, and I do recommend bringing everything you need with you. I did my shopping in an outlet in Sweden, and I have to say that was the best thing I did preparing for this Norway road trip.
If you’re looking for similar itineraries but on a budget side, I recommend checking out this Baltic countries road trip itinerary I did in 2019.
Tell me what you think!