Norway is full of different kinds of gas stations, and these are so much more than just a place to fill your fuel tank. Did you know that most gas stations have a pretty decent range of regular groceries and commonly needed items? Or that you can get a coffee subscription at most gas stations in Norway?
Let’s take a closer look at what gas stations in Norway are like, what their price point and opening times are like, and what type of food you can buy from them.
Norwegian gas stations operates as a mix between a fast food restaurant, a fuel vendor, a very expensive convenience store and a place that sells items for your car. It’s common to stop at gas stations to buy a cup of coffee or a hot meal while driving, but only buying regular groceries if everything else is closed.
Typical gas station food in Norway
Gas stations are known for their OK fast food service, making them a nice stop after some hours of driving. Pretty much all gas stations sell a variety of hos dogs (pølse) and hamburgers, but some gas stations even sell things like kebabs, pizzas or other fast food like this.
You are pretty much guaranteed to be able to buy hamburgers and hot dogs though, so this is a safe bet at any gas station. The prices are pretty OK compared to buying at other fast food places, and expect to pay around 150 – 200 NOK for a hamburger with a soft drink, or around 70 – 100 NOK for a good hot dog with a soft drink.
Don’t expect gourmet food even though the gas stations will try to make it look like that. These are most often generic hamburgers dripping with grease, and have a somewhat bland taste. It’s OK for when you really need some food while driving, but it’s not somewhere people ever seek out for a meal.
Things you can buy at a premium price in gas stations
The gas stations act as more than just a place to fill your fuel tank and your stomach, because they also sell a lot of useful stuff. This means that you will be able to buy frozen pizzas, butter, diapers, milk, flour, toothpaste, phone chargers and pretty much everything you need in a gas station.
The big downside is that the prices are insanely high, even for Norway. Expect to pay about double what you would at a regular Norwegian grocery store like Rema 1000!
Most people only use gas stations for these regular items if they absolutely have to. Perhaps you are short of milk for the Sunday dinner, and everything else is closed? Better to pay a bit extra than ruining the food. Or maybe you ran out of diapers for your kid (I’ve been there!) and the gas station is the only option?
Gas stations are allowed to keep open on Sundays, and they are not limited by regular closing hours. This has lead to certain gas stations being open 24/7, even though most keep closed during the night. You can expect the gas stations to be open from 05.00 to 22.00 in most places, and open all night long in bigger cities.
How common are gas stations in Norway?
Gas stations are pretty common in Norway, especially along the major roads like the E roads. You can often find either 1 or 2 gas station at every exit on these highways, meaning that you come across one every 10 – 15 minutes or so.
The more rural you are, the lesser the chance of finding a gas station. Most towns and even smaller villages will have a gas station, but keep in mind that they will be very rare on mountain passes like when you are passing over Dovrefjell or Hardangervidda.
So make sure to top up your tank before crossing a mountain pass, because it’s no fun being stuck without fuel and food in the middle of nowhere.
The same goes for when you are travelling between long distances in the northern part of Norway. There are way less gas stations there compared to when driving between cities in the southern part of Norway, so do some planning ahead, and don’t drive your car with 1/4 of the fuel tank.
Most gas stations have EV chargers
Norway is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to electric cars, and this is obviously a big threat to the gas stations that have fuel tanking as their main income.
This has lead to more and more gas stations also having EV chargers just outside of the gas station, so you can pretty much always charge your EV when finding a gas station these days.
Read more: Where to find EV chargers in Norway.
The gas station coffee cups
It’s very popular to buy a gas station branded coffee cup in Norway. These function as a type of coffee subscription.
You pay around 300 NOK for a gas station coffee cup, and you are then able to refill as much coffee you want for an entire year. Most gas stations also have special coffees, tea and cacao in the subscription as well.
This is great for when you want to drink a lot of coffee while driving around in Norway, and you tend to make even very quickly if you are planning on buying a lot of coffee anyway, seeing a single cup often costs around 30 – 40 NOK.
Some gas station chains have a physical cup you buy and get the subscription tied to the cup, while others operate with an app where you scan the app when filling your coffee cup.
You can get these gas station coffee cup deals at any major gas station in Norway. Keep in mind that they are tied to the chain you buy them from. So a Circle K coffee cup can only be used at Circle K stations, while an Esso coffee cup can only be used at Esso, and so on.
Below is a table that shows the gas station chains and their type of coffee cup deal.
|Gas station chain||Type of coffee deal||Price|
|Circle K||Physical coffee cup||349 NOK|
|Shell & ST1||Physical or app (you choose)||299 NOK|
|XY & 7-Eleven||Physical coffee cup||299 NOK|
I tend to choose the one from Circle K myself, simply because there’s mostly Circle K stations close to where I live and usually drive.
Unmanned gas stations
There are a lot of unmanned gas stations in Norway as well. These are just fuel pumps with a connected payment central that allows you to fill your fuel tank, without a physical store that sell food or other items. You won’t even be able to get a cup of coffee at these places.
The positive side to these unmanned gas stations is that they are often a little bit cheaper, so you can save some money by choosing to go to an unmanned gas station instead of a full-blown gas station with food service, a car wash and a range of household items.