Backpacking Norway alone as a woman is the best way to explore the country for several reasons. Probably the most important reason is that Norway is one of the safest countries for solo travel in the world. The second is its unique, one-of-a-kind nature that offers magnificent vistas and clean environment.
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Travelling Norway Solo: Travel Gear, Safety, and More
Norway is one of the best solo travel destinations, because of its peaceful and slow lifestyle and the calm and respectful nature of the Norwegian people. This allows you to feel safe but also gives you an opportunity to hear your inner voice, to discover new possibilities and to find peace within yourself. It is like a pilgrimage during which you are rejoining your true self.
1 – Solo Backpacking Norway – Travel Gear
Your backpack will be the most important thing during your trip. Invest in a good quality backpack and if you don’t know what the best one for you is, ask the shop’s staff. They have experience and will guide you toward more “ladies” appropriate models backpacks. My backpack is from the Bulgarian brand Tashev. They manufacture products on an international quality level while the prices are more affordable than the ones of the better-known brands.
Also, bring a good pair of hiking shoes because in Norway you will certainly need them. Norway is all about nature and the best way to enjoy it is to go hiking.
In Norway, you will need a waterproof and windproof jacket. Buy one of acceptable quality and bring some layers along – long sleeve tees and polar suit shirt.
2 – Norway Solo Travel Itineraries
If you wonder where to go in Norway, first choose what type of places you want to see. Cities, mountains, small villages snuggled in the furthermost parts of the fjords? South, North, the coastline?
According to Marco Polo Guides, (the guide I used to plan and organise my trip), there are four popular tour itineraries in Norway. My solo trip was based on the itinerary no.3 listed in the guide. For your solo trip to Norway trip, you can choose the area you want to visit and then narrow it down to fit your availability of time and money.
NORWAY – ITINERARY OPTION 1
This itinerary is relatively short and is focused on the area around Oslo. It is one of the cheapest options to see Norway and includes:
Oslo – Asgardstrand – Sandefjord – Larvik – Kragero – Kristiansand – Evje – Hovden – Dalen – Morgedal – Heddal – Kongsberg
The duration is 6 days.
NORWAY ITINERARY OPTION 2
This round tour around Norway is focusing on the wild heartland and takes from 9 to 10 days:
Oslo – Fagernes – Gjendesheim – Vagamo – Dombas – Andalsnes – Geiranger – Stryn – Briksdalsbreen glacier – Fjaerland – Balestrand – Voss – Bergen – Geilo – Granvin – Gol
NORWAY ITINERARY OPTION 3
This itinerary focuses on coastal Norway and includes:
Kristiansand – Mandal – Lindesnes – Stavanger – Skudenesshavn – Haugesund – Bergen – Sognefjord – Alesund – Molde – Kristiansund – Trondheim
For this tour, you need at least 10 days.
I used this itinerary to plan my solo backpacking trip to Norway with some changes. Included Fjaerland and Voss but skipped other places.
NORWAY ITINERARY OPTION 4
This tour will bring you to the northern part of Norway. It includes:
Narvik – Tromso – Alta – Hammerfest – Honningsvag – Nordkapp
3 – Best Way to Travel Norway Alone
Once you have decided on the places to visit in Norway, the best way (and most affordable too) to travel is railway transport. The rail network in Norway is well developed and although the asphalt roads are also good, they are a much slower way of travel. That’s why bus travel is better for shorter distances.
You can save money by buying a Eurail Pass for Norway and have a choice of several options. Ferries are also a common means of transport but not very cheap as an option.
4 – Safety in Norway
Norway is one of the safest countries in the world. Same goes for health and sanitation. If you use your common sense, i.e. staying vigilant and observant, you will not have any problems during your trip. Not even one. The good thing is that in summer the nights are long (not to say endless) and these White nights really give you an opportunity to explore the country as long as you want even at night.
However, it is always better to be prepared and get travel insurance before your trip.
5 – How to Save on Food While Travelling Norway
Food in Norway is expensive just like everything else in the country. However, you can save money by shopping your groceries from these two store chains. Kiwi and Rema 1000 offer lower product prices especially if you buy their own brands. And even if it may seem that these stores sell low-quality foods, it is not the case. I was surprised by the quality of the food in Norway. Even the imported fruits and vegetables were tasty and obviously good nutrition option.
7 – Accommodation Options while Backpacking Norway Alone
You have a large choice of accommodations in Norway. But no one of them is a really a “budget” option. Norway and Scandinavia, in general, is the most expensive destination in Europe. So, no matter what accommodation type you chose, you will never feel as you made a ‘good’ deal.
Cheaper accommodation options are the popular Scandinavian hotel chains Nordic Choice Hotels and First Hotels. In Oslo, I stayed at Comfort Hotel Xpress Central Station that offered clean rooms in a convenient location and a very reasonable price.
8 – Norwegian Culture and Mentality
Norwegians are reserved people. But it is typical for them to be very helpful and polite. They are always there to help you if you need assistance. Don’t be shy to ask for it if you find yourself in an uncertain situation. However, don’t expect to make life-lasting friendships. They don’t open up and they don’t like small talk. Respect their mentality and mirror their behaviour.
As a woman, you should know that in this country the feminist idea is not a concept but a reality. Norwegian men treat women as totally equal to them. And thus, don’t hope a Norwegian man to offer help with your luggage. Apparently, women are not perceived as the weaker sex here.
9 – Tours in Norway
Tours are expensive in Norway. For example, a one-day trip from Bergen to Flam costs 1540 NOK. A guided tour adds additional expenses.
The good aspect of this country is that its gold is its nature. And nature is open and accessible to everyone. If you don’t want or can’t spend money on tours, just hang out and hike in nature, walk on the streets (most cities have old town centres with beautiful wooden architecture), enjoy the numerous parks and do some people watching.
I paid for a one-day trip from Bergen to Flam. Don’t recall how much it cost me but it that tour was one of the highlights of my trip.
10 – Budget Tips for Travelling in
Everything in Norway is cheaper if paid online. From bus tickets to sightseeing tours, the system in Norway is organized to prompt the client to pay online.
In addition to the budget tips for food, you can also minimise your expenditures if you camp. It is allowed to camp wherever you want but better stay far from the farmhouses. It is not that people will push you away. Just they like to keep their privacy.
However, if you travel solo you probably wouldn’t camp in nature.
Backpacking Norway alone is easy and safe! There are so many things to do in Norway! Do your research, make your decisions (because you will not be able to see everything you would like) and organise the logistics well in advance so you can enjoy your trip once you hit the road.
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