Insider tips for your (first) journey - The journey to Norway

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In this article we give you many tips and hints for the optimal and also inexpensive arrival from the many years of experience of our Scandinavia trips.

Which is the best way to get to Norway?

If you want to travel to the northern European kingdom for the first time, you often have to ask yourself the question: what is the best way to travel to Norway? The possibilities seem very diverse - but what is better and how can I save on this?

From our experience of nearly thirty trips with almost all means of transport to Norway, the decision has to be made dependent on the following points:

  • Which region would you like to visit in Norway?
  • How long will / want to stay in Norway?
  • In which season should the trip take place?
  • What budget do you have available?
  • Where does the journey to Norway (Southern Germany, Switzerland, Austria, East Germany etc.) start?
  • What do you plan on activities in Norway (hut vacation, road trip or round trip etc.)?

For us there was a clear dividing line at the height of the city of Trondheim: Traveling north of it we usually plan with the plane and south of Trondheim we are mostly by car (including ferry crossing) on ​​the way. Exceptions, such as a road trip on the Kystriksveien (Helgelandskysten / Nordland) by car, of course, confirm every rule ...

Of course, when traveling with a motorhome, the distance and then the way is usually the destination. Thus, tours to the North Cape or the Lofoten are no problem - at least if you have enough time for it. From our experience, this usually provides a quick return trip through Sweden, while the other route then runs in peace and enjoyment through Norway. In any case, you should plan for at least three weeks, because after all, you want to see much of the country and has "by the way" something to cover the 4000 kilometers on normal roads and not on highways.

Well planned, the journey is already a nice part of your trip

Read here from our experiences, recommendations and saves with our insider tips something of your own travel budget. Let's start with the most used transport-the ferry.

1. Traveling by car AND the ferry (Germany or Denmark-Norway)

Minigalerie "Fahrverbindung über den Ostsee"

(Click on the picture to enlarge the view)

Fast and often relatively cheap (plus more in our Spartips) one travels to Norway with most of the major ferry lines. The following ferries are recommended for a fast and inexpensive crossing:

State-of-the-art Color Line ferry that shuttles from Hirtshals (DK) to Larvik (NO)

Often the short ferry crossings are associated with intermediate overnight stays on the entire route. In this respect, one should perhaps consciously plan a longer ferry passage, book a cabin on board and arrive at the destination in such a relaxed way.

If you want to enjoy the ferry at the same time as a sleeping possibility (in the cabin or in a chair) and therefore much more comfort, you should therefore better choose one of the following connections (travel time 12 hours and more):

In this further contribution we report in detail and with many tips as well as information of our ferry crossing with the ColorLine from Kiel to Oslo
In the meantime, we have spent countless hours in the cabins of the various ferries

When traveling with dogs, different rules and regulations apply to ferry companies. These are summarized below for the major companies / shipping companies with these links:

Before the first crossing with a ferry, it is unimaginable how many cars fit in there
  • The ferry should be booked long term (about six months before the scheduled crossing). From experience, the prices rise until the departure and there is very rarely a last minute offer.
  • Due to different price levels, different demand and exchange rate fluctuations, it is often much cheaper to book directly on the Norwegian pages of the ferry operator. To do this, simply enter ".no" manually in the Internet addresses (see the links in our table above) instead of a ".de". If you have previously gone through the booking process on the German-speaking side once, you can also easily on the foreign->
  • If you plan a ferry crossing long term, you should sign up for the newsletter on the relevant ferry lines. For example, Stenaline offers its newsletter subscribers certain specials and exclusive promotions in which you can save drastically.
  • Anyone planning to travel to the North more often should consider one of the club memberships at one or more shipping companies. Whatever the program with each provider means: It can be saved in any case similar to the airlines a lot or accumulate a credit. This can partly redeem on board in the restaurants or in the duty-free shop.
  • In any case, try to avoid the peak holiday season and the classic travel days. A crossing on a Wednesday in the preseason is almost always much cheaper than a ferry crossing on the popular changeover day for most cabins, Saturday in the main season.
  • Many companies / shipping companies offer a small advantage when booking directly online ("Cancellation of service charge"). Our price comparisons have shown that the booking platforms and the well-known portals offer extremely rare and only in exceptional cases a cheaper price than the shipping companies themselves.

2. Arriving by car AND the ferry (over / through Sweden)

Another and often cheaper alternative than the direct ferry crossing from Denmark or Germany to Norway offers a journey via Sweden. One can among other things use the so-called bird flight line (in Danish: Fugleflugtslinjen ) for this variant of the journey.

This route passes through the islands of Fehmarn, Lolland, Falster and Zealand and you drive between Puttgarden and Rødby almost twenty kilometers by ferry (travel time is about one hour / does not have to be booked in advance) over the Fehmarnbelt. Alternatively, for this section, if you are traveling from the east of Germany, the ferry passage from Rostock to Gedser (Denmark).

In any case you can either use the Helsingør (Denmark) ferry - Helsingborg (Sweden) (travel time about 20 minutes / does not have to be booked in advance) or the Öresund Bridge (more on this in the next section) to Sweden for the rest of the trip to Sweden drive.

Ferry connections on the Vogelfluglinie Germany-Denmark-Sweden (Image © Scandlines Reederei Homepage )

With the big companies ( Scandlines / Stenaline * / TT-Line ) you can also translate directly from Rostock to Trelleborg (Sweden). From Saßnitz (island of Rügen) the Stenaline * also offers a connection to Trelleborg (Sweden). The onward journey for all the connections mentioned here then takes place in / on Sweden on well-developed roads to Norway and takes on average six hours to Oslo.

For those who prefer a bit more comfortable, we recommend the ferry connection from Kiel to Gothenburg with the Stenaline * . For one, this connection is not quite as price intensive as the variant Kiel-Oslo with the Color-Line. On top of that, you do not have to drive quite that far through Sweden, especially since the congestion in front of Gothenburg is usually quite high. From Gothenburg to Oslo you only need about 3 hours.

A rather unusual ferry connection to travel to Norway, the route from Frederikshavn to Gothenburg is also with Stenaline * , but for the sake of completeness we would also like to mention these. It may be suitable for stays in southeastern Norway.

(* Affiliate Link / more about this in the imprint )


3. Only by car (via Sweden)

The car trips to and in Scandinavia often have their own special charm

If you do not want to use a ferry, you can alternatively use the land route through Denmark and Sweden and drive over the Øresund Bridge and the Storebelt Bridge . The Øresund Bridge is the world's longest cable-stayed bridge for combined road and rail transport and definitely an experience in itself. Among other things, this impressive structure is known for the Scandinavian TV crime drama "The Bridge". Unfortunately, this crossing is often worthwhile in terms of time and finances, but not more.

The route between Germany and Sweden is 160 km longer than the so-called Jutland line, and over the bird flight line with the partial ferry passages (see previous paragraph). Both large bridges mentioned above require a not inconsiderable toll for the passage - whereby clever saving options exist here. The regular passage for a car under 6 meters in length (one way) costs on the Storebeltbrücke (Stand 2019) 35, - Euro and on the Öresundbrücke (Stand 2019) 48, - Euro with an online ticket (pay in advance and buy) or 53, - Euro when paying locally at the tollbooth. Is not cheaper? But it works ...

Driving a car in Scandinavia has a whole new dimension and is often fun in the face of the environment
  • If you have a key / chip of the well-known Scandinavian providers, there is a discount of 5% on the Storebeltbrücke. All chips / keys / transponders of the Northern European consortium " EASY GO " are accepted. These include BROBIZZ (DENMARK) / AUTOPASS (NORWAY) / BROPAS (ÖRESUNDBRÜCKEN KONSORTIUM)
  • It is recommended for the route over the Öresundbrücke the purchase of a key and thus a subscription from BROPAS ( LINK to the order / minimum term 1 year / regular annual fee 42.- Euro). This gives you a small discount on the Storebelt bridge and can use the Öresundbrücke barely for half price. It is obvious that this already counts for the return trip .... You then have to decide if you want to cancel at the end of the year and return the key or keep using it .... Like all other BROPAS chips, you can also use them for different ferries, tolls in Scandinavia and the like, as BROPAS is a member of the EASYGO consortium. But if you enter in the order via our link in the action code "LalandiaSE" (as of January 2018), the first year of membership and thus the key is free !! UPDATE January 2019: Unfortunately, this discount code is no longer valid and currently no new code is known to save the annual fee for the BROPAS. We keep that in mind and publish here the new discount code as soon as it's known.
  • If you would like to combine the Öresund Bridge with a Vogelfluglinie ferry service, you should order a discounted combination ticket for the ferry and bridge passage in advance via this link . That also helps to save ..
A trip across the imposing Öresund Bridge from Denmark to Sweden is an experience in itself

If you are looking for more information on the Öresund Bridge, including the hotspots for the best photo opportunities and much more, then do not hesitate to visit the professionally and lovingly designed website of Sweden-vacationers .


4. With the plane

The view from the airplane window often shows the beauty of Norway already during the journey

There are a lot of good air connections to Norway from many German cities. Directly from some destinations in Germany you can reach the Norwegian cities of Bergen, Oslo and Stavanger. The connection Berlin-Trondheim was currently (2017) set.

Due to the great demand for the "Northern Lights season" in winter, there are currently constantly new direct connections in the winter season. In the meantime Lufthansa is flying from selected German airports in the winter directly to Tromsø.

For the arrival by plane, the well-known and renowned Scandinavian airlines offer themselves mainly:

Within Norway, most airlines are served by Widerøe . With its propeller machines, the Norwegian airline serves connections in almost 50 cities in Norway.

Interesting is the "Norwegian Explorer Ticket", with which you can fly within 14 days in 42 Norwegian cities-criss-cross and as much and as often as you want ...

In the approach to Oslo from the plane of Norwegian Air was added
  • From our point of view, Norwegian Air offers the best value for money. However, one should compare all prices and consider. Possibly also offers a combination of both airlines (SAS and Norwegian). Once we flew with the Norwegian from Berlin-Schönefeld to Tromsø (change in Oslo) and used the SAS for the return flight, with which we had to land in Berlin-Tegel (SAS only heads for this airport in Berlin). Despite the planned 50.- Euro for the taxi ride to our car, which was still at the airfield Berlin-Schoenefeld, we have thereby saved a considerable amount.
  • Flights in any case book long term. The low-price calendar on the websites of airlines often helps to find the cheapest days and constellations.
  • Always park near the airport at one of the many service providers that offer this parking and shuttle service. In Berlin-Schönefeld we always use BER airport parking .
  • In Norway, rental cars are slightly more expensive than in Germany. However, it becomes outrageously expensive to plan a one-way rental (renting and dropping off the vehicle at different locations). Unfortunately, we had to make this experience because we had to book the rental car for a tour from Bodo to Trondheim, after we had already planned and booked our flights so ... .Also avoids this variant and then tries in the country rather to plan tours.
  • The bonus and reward system is very attractive and provides an easy way to build up appropriate credit that you can already use on the next flight. So if you want to go to the North more often in the future, just sign up for the bonus program of Norwegian Air.

5. By train

The locomotive of the Flåm Railway (as the real Norwegian name) in the station of Myrdal

This variant of the journey is only recommended if you have a lot of time (and / or railway fan is). In Norway, the rail network is not so widespread in relation to the neighboring countries. Mainly in the metropolitan areas and partly in the traffic in between one puts on the railway traffic. Of course, there are touristic railways in the country, such as the Flåm Railway or the Raumabanen .
From Germany to Copenhagen and then via Sweden to Oslo you need at least 16 hours by train. Information can be found at:
www.nsb.no
www.bahn.de


6. By bus

By bus you also need about 16 hours and you pay in the meantime (unfortunately) often more than for a plane ticket or a ferry passage. Information about how to get there you will find:
www.eurolines.de


Each aircraft of Norwegian Air has another known Norwegian personality on the tail

In any case, we wish you GOD TUR and a good journey to Norway !!

If you have any questions about it, feel free to use the comment function under this post.

54 comments

  • Hi,

    Thank you for the many great and useful information in this article.
    We also always wanted to go to Norway, but we have never really made that concrete. Where should it go exactly and what do we want to do.

    With this great article you can get a guide.
    In any case, I will favor your page once and then, when it comes to the planning, look over again 🙂

    Many thanks.

    • Hei Willem,

      Thank you for the nice and motivating feedback. We are very pleased to be able to use our information to support your plans and preparations for the journey to beautiful Norway. If you have special questions then feel free to contact us anytime.

      Greetings from Finland,
      Conny and Sirko

  • Hello and a compliment to the great blog, finally I find the information I need!
    We are planning our first trip to Norway in a few weeks. Unfortunately, we only have a maximum of three weeks and was planning to travel by car through southern Norway. However, an acquaintance is firmly convinced that the train is much cheaper and more relaxed. I have been trying for days to somehow find a comparison, so we can find a suitable means of travel for us and hope for a few tips from travelers who were already in Norway or have had experience with it.
    I would be happy if I got an answer!
    Thanks in advance in advance and greetings from South Baden.

    • Hey Laura,
      Thank you for your great feedback and the question from you. As far as the price comparison is concerned, one has to be careful. But we can tell you that, in our view, it will never be easier and more relaxed to travel by train in Norway. The Norwegians have due to their landscape and the development of their infrastructure no comparable rail network like us and more of a collection of regional trains, which meet with a bit of luck (Bergen Railway, Oslobahn, Raumabahn etc.). A look at the network in Norway shows that already ( LINK to the map with rail network). Many great places you would achieve so only in a combination of train, bus and boat ...
      If you only have three weeks, you spend too much of it to organize your transport.
      As far as the costs are concerned, driving a car in Norway is not particularly expensive or more expensive than with us. From the aspect, there is hardly anything against traveling by car. We hope that this information will help you in your reflections and once again: From us a clear "NO" to the train in Norway.
      Best regards,
      Conny and Sirko

  • Where can you get better tips than from those who know the dream destination best?
    We are planning a 4-5 week car tour to Norway in 2021. Outward journey: by ferry from Hirtshals to Bergen (or Larvik), then on to the north, maybe to the Nordkapp and back to Bergen with the well-known shipping company, then back to Hirtshals (maybe also from Larvik). How would people with Norway experience do that? Or would that be too much anyway?
    We would like to stay in (good) hotels, because of age. In no case should any stress arise. Then rather shorter. Absolute condition is the return trip with Hurtigruten ship, so about 5 days.
    In Norway, considering the sights, how far should the daily stages be and what should not be missed?
    The answer to this request is sure to be equivalent to an extensive "housework". That's why I offer my apologies now and thank you in advance for your reply. Mfg, bernhold

    • Hello Günther,
      As usual in Scandinavia and on our blog, we go straight to the casual "you" over .... We gladly accept the apology for the "housework" - even if we rather start with a bachelor thesis 😉
      But we are also happy to accept this challenge and believe we understand what it is about. So that we can not miss the topic in the detailed answer and really good + can advise correctly, we would like to ask some questions in advance or clarify: Do you also want to hike or are you also active in nature? Is it more about seeing many of the well-known and popular sights, or rather a varied and scenic route? Is it generally okay for you to make the trip to Tromso and then drive back with the Hurtigrute? (Much further up in the north we would not recommend the tour). In which month do you want to travel? If we know something more about it, then in the next step we can put some ideas in the room and then make it more precise in the next step. Thank you in advance for the further exchange and best regards,
      Conny and Sirko

  • Hello and a big compliment to you for creating this homepage. We will spend the next 1 ½ weeks holiday in Frederikshavn and would like to take a look at Sweden (Gothenburg) and Norway (Oslo). Does not all happen in one day;).
    Could you give us some tips on how we could budget for our holiday at short notice? Would be willing to 1-2 days on the way to book a place not everything in a hurry to drive and ultimately broken!
    I would be very happy about a timely answer

    • Hello Marco,
      Thank you for your comment and the nice feedback about our blog 🙂
      The idea with Gothenburg and Oslo is sensational and can be embedded in an exciting round trip. This will turn your holiday into a small mini cruise. The following possibility / idea: You take a ferry of the line / shipping company Stena Line from Frederikshavn to Gothenburg (leaves about every 3 - 4 hours with you and needs for the crossing about 3 hours). There you have a nice day and ride in the evening high in the light of the sun to Oslo (about 3 - 4 hours by car). There you spend the night, look at the really beautiful city the next day (we like Gothenburg 😉 better) and drive there in the evening with the Stena Line ferry (leaves around 8 pm) with a cabin on board. Here you can spend the night after a delicious dinner on board and will be well rested and rested in Frederikshavn the next morning. The connections and the reservation possibilities can be found here on the Stena Line via this LINK.
      What do you think of the idea or the proposal ...?
      We wish you a nice holiday and send you greetings,
      Conny and Sirko

  • A possibility to buy the Bropas with the Bizz on site does not seem to exist?

    • Hei Peter,
      in the form unfortunately not ... But, if the time is short of you, there is another possibility: You register as usual at or for BroPas and then do not wait for the delivery of the Bizz (ie the chip), but pay the toll booth with your smartphone and iTicket - another BroPas service (more on their page). So you can use the discounts quickly and without any problems and you do not have to wait for a Bizz first 😉 🙂
      Best regards,
      Conny and Sirko

  • Hi,
    You should probably mention that there is a discount of 50% for the land route over the two bridges on presentation of a severely handicapped ID card. But only goes on payment on the spot. This makes it more affordable than any ferry connection.

    • Hello Dieter,

      Thank you very much for your comments with this important and valuable note for our readers. First of all we leave it here in the comments and with the next update of the article (around August) we will gladly include this important information.
      Thanks again and best regards,
      Conny and Sirko

  • Hi,

    Thanks for your tips.
    I am going on my second trip to my sister and her family this year because she emigrated.
    On the eternal search I remembered a tip for the book:

    If you put a .se at the end of the Fährseitem (eg CO), you probably save again on the crossing. Have tried it in part, wanted to book tomorrow for the route Hirtshals - Larvik.

    • Hey Mark,

      Thank you for your great tip and the valuable addition to our article. We are always very happy about these tips and recommendations, especially as they often help many other readers. We will test it in any case at the next booking and then report here.

      Greetings, Conny and Sirko

  • Thank you for the useful tips! For us it will soon be time again, because we plan to see the whole world and finally live and enjoy the world in all its diversity. Such articles bring us a lot further in the preparation and we appreciate the effort. A big thank you and all the best!

    • Hei Janko,

      Thanks a lot for your nice comment and the great feedback. We are very happy about it and would like to wish you a great and unforgettable trip to the North today.

      Greetings from (currently) Denmark,
      Conny and Sirko

  • Hello everybody,
    we have now planned our route - also with the great help of your blog - and this should end in Kristiansund. Now to my question ... does anyone have any experience with the Fjord Cat from Kristansand to Hirtshals for the dog ride? I have read in some forums that the dogs have to take a seat in the RV or in a booked box on the ferry. On the side of the Fjordline, I have now read that passengers without vehicles can stay with their dogs somewhere on the deck, which I would prefer. Our bitch is relatively relaxed, but rather close to her sweetheart ...

    Many thanks and greetings from Saxony-Anhalt

    • Hei Maurice,

      Thank you for your nice comment and the related question. Da wir selbst ohne Hund reisen (müssen), können wir diese nicht seriös beantworten und hoffen darauf, dass ein anderer Leser eventuell seine Erfahrungen dazu hier teilen kann. Alternativ könntest du auch noch bei der deutschen Niederlassung von Fjordline anrufen, und dir eine verlässliche Aussage dazu geben lassen…? Alternativ bliebe noch die Fragestellung in unserer großen Facebook-Gruppe „Norwegen – Bilder, Urlaub, Infos“ mit über 15.000 Mitgliedern, von denen eigentlich immer einer eine Antwort auf solche Fragen hat 😉 🙂
      Wir drücken dir die Daumen, dass sich das Ganze klärt und wünschen bereits heute eine gute Reise.
      Liebe Grüße aus Dänemark,
      Conny and Sirko