26 Things That Are Cheaper In Norway (Compared To Most Places)

Norway is known to be an expensive country, but did you know that there are some things that are cheaper in Norway compared to most places in the world?

As a matter of fact, we’ve found a total of 26 different goods and things that are generally cheaper in Norway than in most countries. So, let’s take a look at all the different things that are cheaper in Norway!

Norske sedler
Norwegian bank notes. Photo by Nils S. Aasheim/Norges Bank / CC BY-ND 2.0.

1) Diapers

Baby diapers are well-known to be insanely cheap in Norway, and the reason is fierce market competition. The big grocery store chains have all lowered the prices on diapers to try to get families to use them for shopping, and most are in fact selling diapers at a loss.

This might not seem like a logical thing to do, but most families who come for the diapers end up buying everything else at that store as well, so they make a nice long-term profit on this deal.

The “diaper market competition” has led to foreigners coming to Norway to buy have amount of diapers and bring back to their own countries.

There have even been examples of big trucks filled with diapers headed for the Baltic states or even Russia to sell there for a profit.

It’s very rare to see goods exported out of Norway like this, but diapers are one of these.

Most diaper brands are very cheap in Norway, including the well-known ones like Pampers and Libero. But you can get them ever cheaper if you opt for store-brand diapers.

2) Drinking water

Norway has amazing tap water that is perfectly suitable for drinking, and hence drinking water is much cheaper in Norway than most countries. While the property owner need to pay money to get water, it’s so cheap that it’s virtually free.

If you need drinking water in Norway, buy a refillable bottle and fill it from any tap. That will be free, and no one is going to charge you for it.

The water is nature is often also great for drinking, giving you yet another source of free drinking water.

While tap drinking water is generally cheaper in Norway than many other places, bottle water is generally not. So don’t go around and buy 0.5 liters of bottled water if you want to make your visit to Norway cheaper.

Tap water is one of the things that are cheaper in Norway than in many other countries.
Norway has tap water that is safe for drinking. Photo published with permission.

3) Hiking in nature

Norway has a freedom to roam principle that allows anyone to access any part of nature completely for free. So hiking in nature is certainly one of the things that are cheaper in Norway than in most other countries.

National parks or any place like that will also be completely free, and there are no admission fees to go hiking anywhere in Norway.

The exception is that you might need to pay for parking at popular hiking areas like the parking lot at Trolltunga, or pay for toll booths to use mountain roads. That said, the hiking itself is always completely free. I’ve met many tourists who have been surprised that it’s completely free to use the hiking trial to Trolltunga, Pulpit Rock or Kjeragbolten!

Summer hike in Jotunheimen
Summer hike in Jotunheimen. Photo published with permission.

4) Some electronic goods

Even though most electronics are taxed a lot in Norway, a lot of different electronic products are still cheaper in Norway than in many other countries. It depends a bit on which country you compare it to, but I have met many different foreigners from all parts of the world who have found some great deals on electronics here in Norway.

High-end brands like iPhone and things like that often seem to be on the cheaper side in Norway, even though we’re not talking about big savings. But you might actually save a little bit of money when buying electronics in Norway.

Elkøp Kristiansand
Elkøp electronic store in Kristiansand. Photo by: Helt / CC BY-SA 3.0.

5) High-end wine

All wine is sold at the government owned place called Vinmonopolet in Norway, so you either have to pay what they charge, or go to another country to buy your wine.

Wine in general is very expensive in Norway due to the high taxation on it, but there are some exceptions. Since Vinmonopolet buy all wines in huge quantities (since they are the only vendor that sells wine in all of Norway), they do get very good deals on the wines.

This has lead to certain high-end wines being much cheaper in Norway than in any other country in the world. Vinmonopolet is fine with a small 50 NOK profit margin on a 100,000 NOK bottle of wine, while most other stores would have increased the price further to make a bigger profit.

In addition, Vinmonopolet does not raise its prices if a certain bottle of wine appreciate in value, but will stick to its original price point as long as its for sale.

There are many people who buy wine in Norway to export to other countries to sell, so you might actually make a good deal on expensive wine in Norway.

That said, you need to know what to look for if you want to make a good deal, since most wines are the same price or more expensive than in other countries.

6) Camera equipment

I don’t really know why, but camera equipment seem to be cheaper in Norway than most places. Again, we’re talking mainly about high-end stuff here.

Foreigners who buy camera equipment in Norway can get it free from VAT, and save a lot of money compared to buying it in their home countries.

I have spoken to several Chinese tourists who are amazed by the cheap camera equipment here, but I’m not sure if it’s really a China-only thing or if it’s a Norway thing to be honest.

That said, if you’re a photographer, make sure to stop by a camera shop to see if you can find a good deal!

Cameras can often be cheaper in Norway than in most countries
Cameras can often be cheaper in Norway than in most countries.

7) Salmon

Norway is one of the leading countries when it comes to salmon farming, and even though it’s considered to be low-grade salmon, it’s generally very cheap here in Norway compared to most countries.

The low salmon prices also affect sushi prices, and you can find pretty cheap sushi in Norway, especially if you compare the prices to in LA in the US.

Salmon is sold in all supermarkets, and are often cheaper than meat.

A small salmon fishery
A small salmon fishery outside of Trondheim. Photo by Trondheim Havn / CC BY-SA 2.0.

8) Electric vehicles

Electric vehicles are generally cheaper in Norway than most other countries due to the fact that there is no tax on it. Or at least they used to be tax and VAT free until 2022, and this has now changed to only apply to cheaper EVs.

However, most EVs are still much cheaper in Norway than in most other countries, since all other countries tend to have VAT and tax on all vehicles.

Norway is one of the countries with most EVs on the roads, and there are electric chargers all over the place. It’s very easy to drive an electric vehicle in Norway, and they are considered to be very cheap both to buy and to use compared to regular fuel-based cars.

Tesla EV charger station
A Tesla EV charger. Photo published with permission.

9) Healthcare

In contrast to what many people believe, healthcare is not really free in Norway. But it’s very cheap, and certainly much cheaper in Norway than in most places!

If you are a Norwegian citizen, a member of a EU state, or a member of a EEA state, healthcare is next to free, and you only pay a small co-pay. This is typically around 300 NOK per doctor’s visit.

Hospital stays are completely free though, so if you get seriously ill and need surgery or to stay at the hospital, you don’t need to pay anything at all.

Even ambulance rides are free of charge if you need them, so there’s not need to worry about calling the emergency service.

Again, this only applies for certain nationalities, so most tourists still need travel insurance when visiting Norway.

Hospital stays are free in Norway
Hospital stays are free in Norway. Photo published with permission.

10) Rent in rural places

Places like Oslo is known to have insanely high rental prices for apartments, but that’s not really the case in more rural places. You can find certain towns and villages where you can rent entire houses for 7,000 NOK or apartments for as little as 4,000 NOK per month.

There are even some towns that are known to be super cheap for international students due to very low rent prices. If you compare the rent to the standard of the apartment, it’s actually cheaper in Norway than in many countries, especially if you take into account the high average salary in the country.

A Norwegian house by the fjords
A Norwegian house by the fjords. Photo published with permission.

11) Mutton and lamb meat

Norway has around 2,000,000 free ranging sheep in the mountains, and these are used to produce wool and meat. That means that there’s about one sheep per three people living in Norway, so it’s no wonder that lamb meat and mutton is considered to be cheaper in Norway than in most places.

There are long traditions of using lamb meat for cooking in Norway, especially for autumn dinners and at Christmas.

You can often find cheap mutton in the freezer at any supermarket all year long, but the fresh meat will be for sale from late September until the start of the new year.

Free ranging sheep in Norway
Free ranging sheep in Norway. Photo published with permission.

12) Education

Education is much cheaper in Norway than in pretty much any other country, and you only need to pay a small semester fee to study at a Norwegian university. So universities are not completely free, but you get by with paying around 600 – 900 NOK per semester, so it’s very, very cheap.

Education prior to university is completely free though, and considered to be of a general high quality. So education overall is very cheap in Norway, at any level.

And it’s even better if you decide to pursue a PhD. These positions are paid in Norway, and you can expect to get paid around 500,000 NOK per year as a PhD student!

So come to Norway if you want free university education!

The main building of NTNU
The main building of NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) in Trondheim. Photo by Eirik Refsdal / CC BY 2.0.

13) Brown cheese

Brown cheese is one of Norway’s specialty produce, so of course it’s going to be cheaper in Norway than in other countries (since these typically have to import it from Norway). We Norwegians love our brown cheese, and it’s absolutely something you need to try when you visit Norway.

You can buy brown cheese at any grocery store, and they typically cost around 100 NOK per kg of cheese. In other words, it’s pretty cheap!

Brown cheese
Brown cheese. Photo: Nicklas Iversen / The Norway Guide.

14) Gym memberships

Norwegians love to go to the gym, and even smaller towns and villages will have at least one or two gyms around. For some reason, gym memberships are generally cheaper in Norway than in most places, and you can expect to pay as low as 300 NOK per month.

I think one of the reasons why gym memberships are fairly cheap in Norway is because everyone has one, including most regular moms and dads. So it’s not like you have to be a body builder to have a membership, so the gyms get a lot of clients that pay monthly (many of them not even really using it too often).

This leads to gym memberships lowering prices to get a bigger slice of the market, and an overall cheap gym industry in Norway.

Read more: How to get a gym membership in Norway.

In addition, if you want to play soccer or go to a running track, you typically don’t need to pay anything, since these tend to be open to the public for free.

Gyms are popular in Norway. Photo published with permission.

15) Electricity (kind of)

We used to have super cheap electricity in Norway until the 2021/2022 winter, and it has since changed a lot.

During the year, Norwegian electricity prices rose 10X, but despite this it’s actually cheaper in Norway than in many countries around the world.

So we still consider electricity to be somewhat cheap in Norway. The big problem is that Norwegians are used to use a whole lot of electricity, so many people get insanely big electricity bills even though it’s still cheaper than in most of Europe.

So our electricity is no longer dirt cheap, but it’s much cheaper in Norway than in southern Europe.

16) Mooring a boat in the big cities

Mooring boats close to bigger cities is traditionally very expensive in many parts of the world, especially in bigger towns in Europe. But the cost is actually pretty low in Norway, and it’s definitely cheaper in Norway than in many places.

If you want to moor your boat just outside Oslo, you can get away with paying around 3,000 to 4,000 Norwegian kroner per year, which is actually pretty cheap. The same mooring option a short distance outside of London, Amsterdam, Stockholm or Copenhagen would be much more expensive.

A small fishing boat outside Oslo
A small fishing vessel in Oslofjorden. Photo published with permission.

17) Cabins

We Norwegians love our cabins, and there are over 450,000 cabins in the country. This big number of cabins means that it’s more available to most regular people compared to in other countries with fewer cabins, and they are surprisingly affordable.

A cabin in the forest or in the mountains can cost as little as 500,000 NOK, while a cabin closer to the sea will be a bit more expensive. However, you will easily be able to find a nice cabin for sale for under 1 million NOK in most municipalities.

So it’s not exactly free, but if you compare it to the cost of cabins of the same standard in other countries, you will find that it can actually be pretty cheap to buy a cabin in Norway.

The same goes for renting a cabin. There are websites where you can book a stay in a cabin, and this can cost as little as 400 NOK per night! Quite the affordable accommodation, and definitely much cheaper in Norway compared to most countries.

A cabin in Saltstraumen with a Norwegian flag
A cabin in Saltstraumen with a Norwegian flag. Photo published with permission.

18) Wild camping

Love pitching a tent in the forest, close to a beautiful beach or high in the mountains? Don’t worry about the cost of wild camping if you are coming to Norway, because it’s completely free.

Tenting in nature is part of the freedom to roam principle, so you can pitch your tent anywhere in nature without paying for it.

You do need to make sure you are actually in nature, or more precisely what we call utmark in Norwegian. Most places in nature allows for wild camping, with a few rare exceptions such at Lofoten.

Wild camping tent
Photo published with permission.

19) Luxury watches

If you’re visiting Norway, then luxury watches in the high-end side of the scale can be quite cheap.

Most luxury watches tend to have a highly competitive price in Norway, so if you are visiting and are able to get a VAT refund, then you can be able to buy a luxury watch much cheaper in Norway than in other countries.

Again, the watches are not going to be dirt cheap or anything like that, but you can often save 10 to 15 % on them, which is a lot of money for the more expensive watches.

20) Train rides (if you plan ahead of time)

Train tickets in Norway are generally very affordable, but you need to book your train tickets ahead of time to get the best price.

But if you do, you can get very far for very little money. With a bit of luck, you might even be able to cross the entire country for as little as 500 NOK!

On the other hand, train tickets are pretty expensive if you end up buying them last-minute, or if you’re going on shorter rides.

So this is one of the things that are cheaper in Norway in many cases, but not always.

Nordlandsbanen, the train railroad between Trondheim and Bodø. Photo is somewhere close to Dalselv. Photo by: David Gubler / CC BY-SA 4.0.

21) Wool and yarn

We have already covered the fact that there are several million free-ranging wild sheep in Norway, and the fact that mutton and lamb meat is very cheap.

So it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that wool and yarn are also cheap in Norway.

You can buy cheap wool yarn or wool products in many stores in Norway, and we still use a lot of wool to keep warm in the winters.

I’m not saying that wool is super cheap, because it takes a lot of effort to produce a wool sweater or anything like that, but it’s much cheaper with wool in Norway than in a lot of other countries where there are fewer sheep.

Wool yarn
Wool yarn is common in Norway. Photo published with permission.

22) Kindergarten

Kindergarten and daycare can be extremely expensive in many parts of the world, but the Norwegian government helps out big a big proportion of the cost here in Norway.

The way cost for kindergarten works in Norway is that you only pay a co-pay, and this cost around 3,000 NOK (around $300 USD) per month for a full-time spot in a kindergarten. Low-income families pay even less!

This makes daycare much cheaper in Norway than in most other parts of the world, and it’s definitely affordable for anyone who wants their child to attend kindergarten.

Sogstieika kindergarten
Sogstieika kindergarten. Photo: Frogn kommune / CC BY-SA 2.0.

23) Cheap clothes (but not brand clothes)

Non-branded or cheap-brand clothing is for some reason very cheap in Norway, so you can pick up clothes from stores like H&M at a decent price if you ever visit Norway.

There is a highly competitive market for the low-end clothing market in Norway, with many brands competing to win the customers.

This has lead to certain stores like Lager 157 selling t-shirts for 30 NOK (around $3 USD), or jeans for 100 NOK ($10).

As a matter of fact, clothes from H&M is considered a thing cheaper in Norway than in most other European countries, and it’s actually pretty common for European tourists to buy clothes in Norway.

So don’t worry if you need to buy some new clothing during your stay in Norway; they will be pretty cheap if you chose a non-branded version.

H&M at Karl Johan in Oslo
H&M at Karl Johan in Oslo. Photo by Jorge Láscar / CC BY 2.0.

24) Hunting

Norway has one of the highest concentration of active hunters per capita in the world, and hunting is seen as an activity open to the public in Norway.

This contrasts many other countries where hunting is seen as a high-class sport, and the cost of hunting obviously reflects this.

Getting your hunting license is pretty cheap (a few thousand Norwegian kroner), and so is regular hunting in Norway.

You might not pay more than a few hundred Norwegian kroner to get a hunting card that allows you to hunt small game, but it’s obviously going to cost some money to buy hunting cards for big game like reindeer or moose. These can cost several thousand Norwegian kroner, but the good thing is that you do get a lot of meat from it.

That said, if you just want to do some hunting, Norway is among the cheaper countries to go hunting it, and it’s at a price point where it’s available to everyone. It’s definitely cheaper in Norway then in most places.

A reindeer in Jotunheimen national park
A reindeer in Jotunheimen national park. Photo published with permission.

25) Digital video games (but only slightly)

It’s not like digital video games are super cheap in Norway, but we often see that games on Steam, the Nintendo eStore or on PlayStation Store are about 10 % cheaper than in the United States.

The reason is usually because the price is standardized to be 399 NOK, 499 NOK or 599 NOK, and since the Norwegian krone is very low-valued these days, digital games end up being cheaper since the storefronts do not increase the price.

So you might save a small amount if you pay games digitally with a Norwegian banking card, but it’s not going to be a very big difference. However, it’s absolutely one of the things that are cheaper in Norway then in the US or UK these days.

26) Used sport equipment

It’s very common for Norwegian children to attend either one or two organized sport groups, as well as participating in winter sports like skiing or snowboarding in the winter. But this obviously cost a lot of money, right?

It’s actually very easy to find used sporting equipment for sale very cheap in Norway, and there’s a long tradition for selling old equipment that the children (and adults) no longer need, fit into or use.

There are marketplaces like Finn.no or Facebook Marketplace, but there are also many garage sales (loppemarked) where you can pick up used sport equipment for a very decent price.

Slalom is a popular type of downhill skiing in Norway. Photo published with permission.

Did we miss anything that is cheaper in Norway?

We’ve covered 26 different things already, but I’m sure we also must have missed some things on our list of things that are cheaper in Norway than in most places. So feel free to let us know in the comment section below if you can think of other things that are cheaper in Norway!

I’d love to learn about it if I missed anything.

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