Costs of Travel in Scandinavia: What I Spent in 3 Weeks

Scandinavia is known for being one of the most expensive regions in the world. The three weeks I spent in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark did not do much to dispel this notion for me, personally. To give you an idea of the costs of travel in Scandinavia, I wanted to share my personal expenses over the 22 days I spent there. I’ve broken down my expenses by individual countries, and also given a total for all of Scandinavia. I hope this helps you plan your travel budget with a little more accuracy!

Note: All prices are reflected in US Dollars. The prices listed are AFTER any split charges have been divided. (For example, if I bought a $20 bottle of wine and split it between 4 friends, I would list the price as $5 split 4 ways).

Costs of Travel in Norway (13 Days)

Accommodations: $324.12

Airbnb in Oslo for 1 night (split 5 ways) – $26.55

Airbnb in Fredrikstad for 6 nights (covered by work) – $0

Airbnb in Oslo for 1 night (split 3 ways) – $49.97

Airbnb in Bergen for 2 nights (split 2 ways) – $89.60

Trolltunga Hotel in Odda for 2 nights (split 2 ways) – $158.00

Food and Drinks: $394.54

Oslo: $40.63

Tacos at Los Tacos – $10.49

Brunch (smoked salmon & coffee) – $30.14

smoked salmon with spinach and cream sauce, with black coffee - costs of travel in Scandinavia

Fredrikstad: $50.98

Lunch downtown (Salmon kebab lunch) – $21.75

House groceries – $24

Smoked Haddock Pudding in Fredrikstad- $2.83

More groceries – $2.40

Oslo: $61.67

Panini at train station – $7.25

Dinner in Oslo (gnocchi appetizer & a beer) – $23.00

Panini & OJ – $11.44

Coffee & croissant at train station – $3.07

Chips on train – $4.80

Pizza Dinner – $12.11


Bergen: $114.30

Glass of wine on the plaza – $12.17

Dinner (mussels appetizer & seafood plate, split 2 ways) – $37.00

Coffee – $5.90

Seafood Baguette – $12.30

Reindeer Sausage – $8.00

Sushi dinner (split 2 ways)- $28.5

Double espresso – $2.95

Snacks/groceries – $7.48

a reindeer sausage with onions, mustard, and lingonberry sauce - costs of travel in Scandinavia

Odda: $126.96

Burger & fries $18.81

Haddock dinner – $35.17

Groceries/food for Trolltunga hike – $20.72

Deer stew dinner and glass of wine – $52.26


Travel: $239.83

Train from airport into Oslo – $23.45

Train from Oslo to Bergen – $0 (covered with Eurail pass purchase)

Boat from Bergen to Rosendal – $48

Bus from Rosendal to Odda – $7.25

Taxi to Trolltunga Hotel – $6.58 (split 2 ways)

Taxi to/from Trolltunga hike – $73.78 (split 2 ways)

Bus from Odda to Oslo – $80.77


Attractions: $6.14

Floibanen tram ticket – $6.14

the floibanen funicular coming up the tracks - costs of travel in Scandinavia


Miscellaneous: $25.04

Airbnb Cleaning Fees – $12.34

Public Bathroom Use – $1.23

Foreign Transaction Fees – $7.53

Postcard purchase – $1.23

Mailing postcard – $2.71

Views from the top of the Floibanen Funicular in Bergen - costs of travel in Scandinavia




Special notes

The first six days in Norway I was with a group of 7 others from my work organization. We stayed in an AirBNB in Fredrikstad all together and shared a rental van for the week. These two costs were covered through work. We also did some group shopping for groceries and cooked most dinners together. Costs during this time were much lower than they would have been if I’d had to pay for accommodations and/or travel, or we’d been staying in Oslo and had the opportunity to eat out more frequently. My “per day” average in Norway without this week would have been closer to $121.

Costs of Travel in Sweden (6 Days)

A statue of a man riding a horse into battle - costs of travel in Scandinavia

Accommodations: $122.65

Airbnb in Karlstad for 1 night (split 2 ways) – $26.65

Interhostel in Sweden for 5 nights (paid per bunk) – $96.00

Food and Drinks: $181.18

Stockholm: $165.01

Breakfast fruit/yogurt bowl – $9.50

Espresso and croissant – $6.49

Groceries – $9.59 (split 3 ways – covered 2 breakfasts & 2 dinners)

Coffee & croissant – $9.57

Dinner at Den Gyldene Freden (Herring app split 2ways, Seafood soup & glass of wine) – $59.42

Drinks at the Limerick – $45 (split three ways -oops!)

Tacos at La Neta – $11.13

Hot dog & Ice Cream – $10.22

Espresso house coffee – $4.09

Karlstad: $16.17

Ice cream cone – $3.78

Caprese salad lunch special – $12.39


Travel: $42.83

Bus from Oslo to Karlstad – $10

Croissant sandwich – $4.42

Burger and fries at Phils Burgers – $11.12

Reservations on train to Karlstad and back – $17.29


Attractions: $14.76

Vasa Museum entrance – $14.76

The Vasa Ship in the museum in Stockholm - costs of travel in Scandinavia


Miscellaneous: $20.28

Linens at hostel – $5.70

Laundry – $3.76

Postcards (purchase & mail) – $9.68

Bathroom – $1.14



Special notes

As you probably noticed, food and drinks were the most expensive part of this leg of the trip. Den Gyldene Freden is the world’s oldest tavern still in its original location, dating back to 1722, so we splurged on a nice dinner there. (Worth it, and highly recommended). We also spent a lot on drinks that night, and my regular coffee purchases didn’t do me any favors either. However, we didn’t hit up very many museums in spite of Stockholm being one of the most museum-dense cities in the world so we could have done worse on attraction costs.

Costs of Travel in Denmark (3 Days)

the Copenhagen Botanical Gardens greenhouse - costs of travel in Scandinavia

Accommodations: $118.20

Globalhagen Hostel in Denmark for 3 nights (paid per bunk) – $118.20

Food and Drinks: $410.47

Wine – $5.52

Chips – $2.85

Sandwich – $5.35

Coffee $3.31

Wine bar & Drinks – $120

Drinks – $34.94

Dalle Valle Buffet – $36

Brunch – $24.97

Coffee – $3.15

Groceries – $10

Host Dinner – $141

Brunch – $12.20

Coffee – $3.94

McDonalds – $4.09

Coffee – $3.15

a scallop with greens sits on a half shell with garnish on fire - costs of travel in Scandinavia


Travel: $8.30

Reservations on train to Copenhagen – $8.30


Attractions: $0



Miscellaneous: $3.94

$3.94 razors

the canals of Denmark are crowded with people at dusk - costs of travel in Scandinavia



Special notes

Again, food costs were my biggest expense here. I bought coffee everyday if not twice a day, and we splurged on a night out spending a lot on drinks. We dined at Host, a Michellin star restaurant in Copenhagen which was expensive but one of the most beautiful meals I’ve ever eaten. I highly recommend trying it out if you like fine dining and seafood! Again, we did really well hitting up free attractions and spending the bulk of our time exploring on foot and taking in the sights of the city. If you do a better job than I did keeping food costs down, you could spend a lot more on attractions and come out about the same.

a closeup of mango-chia seed pudding, waffles, and silverware resting on a platter - costs of travel in Scandinavia

Total Costs of Travel in Scandinavia (22 Days)

Accommodations: $564.97 (An average of $25.68 – not sure I could have beat this easily.)

Food & Drinks: $986.19 (One Michellin star restaurant, one historic diner, and way too much booze and coffee.)

Travel: $290.96 (Our taxi to and from Trolltunga skewed this for us.)

Attractions: $20.90 (Food was our main attraction, plus other free places.)

Miscellaneous: $49.26 (only souvenirs purchased were postcards!)

GRAND TOTAL: $1900.04 ($86.37 per day)

Note: These costs do not include any pre-travel purchases (gear, travel insurance, snacks brought on the plane, etc.) and I’ve left out my flight since I’m only traveling one way. (It cost about $350 one way from Chicago to Oslo). They also exclude any expenses incurred for work purposes that I would not have made otherwise (train rides on the way back from dropping off our rental car, for example).

I also purchased a Eurail pass which allowed me to use the Eurail approved trains on any 15 days over a 2-month period. That covered my train ride from Oslo to Bergen which I would have otherwise purchased separately. It cost me $610 for the pass (which I purchased during a promotional sale). I also purchased travel insurance, which cost me around $350 as well, though this covers six months of travel rather than just the 3 weeks figured here.

All told, I spent about $400 more than I was hoping on this leg of the trip, though I can trace that back to the Trolltunga Taxi and two fancy dinners we enjoyed in Stockholm and Copenhagen. All experiences that I don’t regret in the slightest. Hopefully this gives you a better idea of what to expect in terms of costs. Dining out is quite expensive and traveling to and from cities isn’t particularly cheap, but there are definitely lots of ways to make this a more affordable journey.

Let me know how this compares to your experience and your favorite tips for saving money!

Sarah kneeling between a patch of Tulips in Norway


Looking for more posts about budgeting or Scandinavian travel? Try these next:

Oslo to Bergen: A Train Ride To Remember

6 Ways to Save in Amsterdam and Belgium

Norway Photos Gallery: 26 of my Favorite Photos from Norway

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Scandinavia is known for being one of the most expensive regions in the world. I spent 3 weeks in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark and have to agree. Curious just how expensive it really is in Scandinavia? To give you an idea of the costs of travel, I share my personal expenses over 22 days. I’ve break down my expenses by individual country and give a grand total. I also share some tips on how to travel Scandinavia on a budget. Plan your travel budget with a little more accuracy!
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  1. This is so useful!! Thank you 🙂 I’ve always wanted to travel around Scandinavia, now I have just a liiiittle more courage, hehe 🙂 I definitely thought it would be more expensive for 3 weeks!

  2. I’m so glad you found it helpful! Definitely much more expensive than some other parts of the world, but not as terrible as you might think if you’re prepared 😊

  3. For someone who mostly earns Indonesian Rupiah, Scandinavia is pretty much like a fairy tale for me. It looks so beautiful from afar, but then again I always wonder whether I can actually afford to get around there without actually breaking my bank account. And from your notes here… If I rely on my current income, I could barely manage to survive for a week but it sounds like a challenge to me. Hahaha. Thanks for sharing! 😀

  4. Ah yes that makes it all the more difficult! I’m lucky the USD goes pretty far, but I’d spent a couple years living at home rent free and saving as much as I could to be able to afford it. If you could find a volunteer gig somewhere with a kitchen or you’re into camping, that could cut costs a lot! But it’s not cheap at all. If you ever make the trip I’d love to hear how you saved for it!

  5. This is such a great idea! Thanks for sharing! We went to Norway a few years ago (Bergen) and quickly realized that we did not have the budget to eat out all of the time. Of course, the reason we went was because the flights were the cheapest….lesson learned!!

  6. Thanks so much for reading! I loved Bergen so much, but definitely had a similar experience. So much tempting food, but so little budget 😂

  7. I think its great that you were able to entertain yourself without spending a lot on attractions. I don’t blame you for the food and drink splurges, sounds like those were worth it

  8. Didn’t anyone tell you that the secret to not dying from sticker shock in Norway (and I suppose the rest of Scandinavia) is not to look at prices. 😉 Not good for the pocketbook, but key to maintaining your sanity, at least for those of us who live here.

    P.S. Thanks for the restaurant recommendations! I hope to be back in Copenhagen and Stockholm within the next year.

  9. It definitely helped the budget! I feel like I generally pick one or the other. If I’m spending a ton on tours and attractions, less fancy dinners. But it was nice that there was so much to enjoy for free where we were. Definitely would repeat all the food experiences!

  10. 😂 I missed that lesson but it would have helped my budget fears! I’d be cooking at home a lot more if I was a resident, that’s for sure. You’ll have to let me know how you find them if you get a chance to try them out!

  11. Wow I had no idea Scandinavia can be this cheap 😀 Love your effective utilization of money. I’d prefer Airbnb too, though I had no idea if Airbnb also ask for cleaning fee! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. I’m not sure that all Airbnb’s charge a cleaning fee, and I know when they do it can vary, so something to look out for when booking. Thanks for reading, hope you found it helpful! 🙂

  13. I spent a lot less staying in AirBnBs for $40ish/night and doing my own cooking (except for one meal). If you’re short on cash in the nordics, the ramen noodle is your friend. You can get the noodle cups that just require hot water from the electric kettle, which almost every hotel or guest house has! Add in some nuts, bread, and cheese (and a jar of nutella, and some cheap jam, and some pre-made pancakes and lots of smoked fish…) … Food at the grocery store is affordable, and in some cases cheaper than you would find in the US. Look for store brand jam… 1KG strawberry jam for … less than $2?

    I made up for it with two $200+ dog sledding trips… but that was totally worth it. =P

  14. Such a useful guide and so helpful for planning my future travels through Scandinavia. I’ve only been to Bergen/Trolltunga and my God, did I find it expensive too. Luckily we were camping but the food really added up! This has got me excited to one day go to Sweden or Norway though, thanks so much! 🙂

  15. I admire your resolve!! I have such good intentions of cooking like that everywhere I go but get so side-tracked by all the restaurants I see walking around. Noodle cups are a great idea though. When I do cook, pasta is my go to. Dog sledding definitely sounds worth it though haha. Gotta pick your battles!!

  16. Yeah Trolltunga was the worst for us because there were so few options for grocery shopping/cooking where we were, and transit was necessary for Trolltunga but so expensive! So glad you found it helpful. 😊

  17. Fantastic post! I loved how you showed that Scandinavia doesn’t necessarily have to be as expensive as everyone (myself included!) think it is. And it’s always important to splurge on those experiences that are worth the most to you! 🙂

  18. Thank you, Maja! I appreciate it! I totally agree as well, experiences are just as worthy of your money as material purchase if they’re important to you. Happy travels! 😊

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