9 Things you need to know before your Norway roadtrip 🇳🇴
Are you road-tripping in Norway this summer? Well, then you have come to the right place! Here are some tips and tricks you should know before your dream destination vacation. Happy reading!
1. Order an Autopass right now
In Norway, everyone who uses the road has to pay road taxes. That includes tourists. Throughout the whole country, there are toll stations («BOM STATION» in Norwegian). The stations scan your license plate and send you a bill in the mail at the end of the month. You can’t avoid them, however, if you get an Autopass in your car you will save about 20% every time you drive past those little cameras. Ordering and having the Autopass is completely free, and you only get charged if you drive through a toll station. In most places, it's 19NOK(€1,90) with an Autopass and 24NOK(€2,40) without, so I recommend you just order one right now.
A little practical info about the toll:
- Every time you drive through one, the payment is valid for an hour and you won’t be charged for any other toll stations you drive through for the next 60 minutes. So if you are planning a long road trip don’t worry, they will only charge you once every hour. There are little blue, square signs on the roads signaling when you are about to drive through toll, so you have a little heads up.
- As someone who has lived and worked full time in Norway, and drives a lot here, I spend about 1000NOK(€100) a month on toll. Which is a little above average.
- In some tunnels, they charge you a little more than usual to drive through. Don't ask, I don’t know why.
- If you are driving up the west coast, you are bound to run into some ferries to get across the fjords. They also charge toll, and will just scan your Autopass as payment. If you don’t have an Autopass they will charge you extra, so just get one.
- They take pretty long to arrive in the mail so I’ll say it again, order it now. It's literally free, just do it.
Website to order your Autopass:
2. Getting from A-B takes longer than you think
I don’t know if you have ever looked closely at a map from Norway, but if you do you will see that the roads are a little more complicated than your average European highway. There is a lot of left, right, up and down. Road-tripping in Norway is a very beautiful and unique experience, but all beauty comes with a prize. In this case the prize is time. Especially if you are driving in the mountains and along the fjords, you will meet a lot of smaller roads with a lot of sharp corners where driving fast just isn’t an option. Also the speed limits in Norway are on average a lot lower than the rest of Europe. In most of Europe 100km = 50min, in Norway 100km=1,5h, depending on where you are driving of course. On the Highway the speed limit is 90km/h, unless there is a sign stating otherwise. I know, its slow, but you are on vacation! So if you think about it, this just gives you the opportunity to soak in the views and enjoy the ride. That being said you are gonna want to keep your camera charged before you hit the road, there is a ton of hidden gems along the roads of Norway. Your welcome!
3. Electric or Petrol?
Not gonna lie, fuel in Norway can be very pricy. Especially in the mountains. Considering how the roads are, your fuel consumption will most likely be higher than usual. In Norway +30% of all cars are actually electric. Norway has done a great job making electric cars an easy choice for everyone. There is plenty of charging stations everywhere, and you will save even more money on toll. Not only that, electric cars also get to drive in the bus/taxi lane, and you are doing the environment a favor! That’s a lot of wins for electric, what about petrol? Well, you have a longer reach, and it's faster to refuel a car than recharge it, but the environment thing is cooler.
Map of charging stations: https://no.mer.eco/ladekart/
4. Norway is expensive.
I'm sure it's not your first time hearing this, so I will keep it short. Norway is one of the most expensive countries to travel to. Here are some tips on how to save money on your Norway road trip:
- Make sure you get a place with a kitchen, so you can cook your own food. Eating out is of course a part of the vacation, but also one of the most expensive things you could do here. Enjoy a dinner out, but maybe not every day.
- Avoid buying alcohol. Again, I know it's vacation, but there is a reason Norwegians visit their neighbors to buy alcohol.
- Travel with a group of friends so you can split some of the costs.
- Get an Airbnb, don't stay in a hotel.
- Don't stay in the city center. If you have a car, it’s better to stay a little outside the city and just drive in for the day to explore.
- Public transport in Norway is really good and easy, give it a try!
- A Norwegian city trip could get really expensive really fast. Nature, on the other hand, is free! You are in Norway after all, get out of the city and go on a hike!
5. The right to roam free!
This is a fun one. In Norway, as long as you are 150 meters away from an inhabited building, you can camp or park there. Thats right, you have the right to roam free. So if you are coming to Norway in a camper or van, you can just decide what kind of view you would like for the day, find a good spot, and stay the night. By the beach, on a mountain, in the fjords, you name it! Of course you have to be mindful of others and most importantly nature and wildlife. Leave your spot the way you found it! Unless there was trash, then you can do us all a favor and pick it up. Thank you!
6. Good road assistance
Important one! I have said it before, and I will say it again, the roads here are not like the others. Your vehicle will be challenged in ways it might not have been before. You do not want to be stuck on a mountaintop with no one to call for help. Have you ever seen Ice road truckers? Well, don’t learn the hard way, just get good road assistance. Make sure your insurance is valid in Norway, and remember that it is not a part of the European Union. Car problems happen even for the best of us, trust me, I know. Of course, there is always help to get even if you don't have road assistance, but you will save a whole lot of money if you get one.
7. The best things in life are free
Circling a little back to saving money. Norway can be a very expensive country to vacation in, but it does not have to be! Norway is most known for its spectacular nature and hike opportunities, and luckily enough, that's also one of the few things here that are completely free. Of course, if you go to the most touristy spots, there will be some costs. But if you love to explore and go on real adventures you can make some of the best memories of your life here, for free! There are literally endless places to explore and views to be seen. The best things in life really are free, and that is one of the reasons why we love this country so much.
8. We are not rude, just shy
You might have heard a rumor that Norwegians are known to be cold people, and I can’t promise you won’t meet a grump while you are here, but I would say chances are low. Norwegians are not rude, we are just a little shy! By nature, we keep a little to ourselves, and always have respect for each others personal space, especially on public transport! It’s just who we are. But every foreigner I have ever met here in Norway have always been surprised with how friendly we are. So dont be scared to ask for directions or recommendations. 98% of the time you will be met with a smile. We Norwegians love to brag about our amazing country, so we will be more than happy to help you out. Pretty much everyone here also speaks English, so that's never a problem.
9. Bring your Nordvik
Not to brag, but all our watches are 100% adventure-proof. You can take it swimming, fishing, hiking, skiing, skydiving and to the expensive restaurant! They are pretty much made for a road trip through Norway. Not to mention how much it will elevate your adventure-style outfits and pictures. Nordvik is your trusty travel companion, and it will always keep you on time.
Anyways, that's it for now! Hope we were able to prepare you a little more for your Norway road trip. Have an absolutely wonderful trip! And don't forget to post your pictures with #NordvikWatches so we can see all your amazing pictures and for a chance to be featured on our social media. Norway is a beautiful and spectacular country to travel in, so we have no doubt you will have a great vacation filled with unforgettable memories. Till next time! And as the teachers always say, don't forget to bring your smile and a good mood!