Motorcycling in Norway- everything you need to know

Motorcycling in Norway- everything you need to know

Planning to go touring in Norway with a motorbike? There are some essential things you need to know before your trip, including important paperwork and what kit to bring with you. Here’s everything you need to know about motorcycling in Norway.

Don’t forget to grab your FREE motorcycle maintenance checklist below to help you get ready for your trip.

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Motorcycling in Norway – why you should go!

If you want to take your motorbike to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world (not just Europe), you have to find time to get to Norway.

Seriously, we’ve been touring Europe by motorcycle for years- and Norway still blew our minds.

The fjords, the mountains, the glaciers- it’s just all… I run out of superlatives. And even better, they LOVE motorbikes and campervans- which is good coz we tour using a motorcycle camper van for much of the time. Wild camping is allowed pretty much anywhere and there are so many incredible places to stay- choosing is often the hardest part. Add in how friendly and welcoming the people are, and it’s pretty much the perfect motorcycling destination.

In this post, we’re going to share with you everything you need to know to go motorcycling in Norway, including getting to Norway and planning your route, where to stay, some road trip itineraries and places to visit, driving tips and other practical advice to help you have an amazing Norwegian road trip.

Motorcycle Touring in Norway – Where to go

When planning a motorbike trip to Norway, the first thing you need to do is decide where you’re going (and how long you have for your adventure!)

How long to go for?

If you’re driving from the UK to Norway (we’ll cover that shortly), you need to allow at least 3 days to get from arriving in France (by either ferry or Eurotunnel) to the Norwegian border. And that’s 3 days of pretty much solid riding.

We don’t recommend visiting Norway if you only have a week or even 10 days for your road trip. It’s too far and all you’ll do is drive there and back. Of course, if you’re going to rent a motorcycle and fly in, that’s perfectly doable in a week (more on that shortly).

If you have a couple of weeks, you can certainly explore at least a large chunk of Southern Norway, but again it will be a lot of riding. We went for 3 weeks, and we still didn’t get as far as we wanted to.

Map of our Norway Tour

motorhoming in Norway route

Don’t forget, the best roads are the coastal roads, but they are also the slowest roads. So ideally save your motorcycle trip to Norway until you have a block of 3 or more weeks so you can really enjoy it.

Norway is the longest country in Europe (unlike motorcycling in Portugal or Croatia!), and it takes about 30 hours to drive from Kristiansand to Hammerfest in the north; if you take the direct roads down the middle (which is also the most expensive toll road!) It took us 2 days to drive back from near Kristiansund to the Swedish border (route ‘I’)

Don’t overestimate how far you can travel in one day. The roads are much slower than you might be expecting- not helped by all the ferries between places. There are also a lot of single track roads which will slow you down.

TOP TIP: If you’re trying to get to the north of Norway, go up through Sweden- the roads are faster and also toll-free.

Some of our favourite places in Norway

Here are some of the highlights from our time motorcycling in Norway (so far!)

  • Trollstigen Road– one of the best driving roads in Europe
  • Route 13- Stavanger- Bergen is AMAZING! Definitely one of the best motorcycling roads in Europe
  • Driving the longest road tunnel in the world
  • Steinsdalsfossen Waterfall– the one you can walk behind
  • Sverd i fjell– the swords in the rock
  • Flamsbana Railway– voted one of the best train rides in the world

The Visit Norway website is a wonderful resource for finding places to visit, plus also finding petrol stations and other useful tips.

Make sure you bring a motorcycle camera or helmet cam– the scenery is breathtaking!

When to go motorcycle touring in Norway

We have been to Norway several times- once with a motorhome/ bikes and twice by air. We planned our motorcycle trip in mid-July… and it rained solidly for 3 weeks (and yes, it was STILL one of the best motorbike trips we’ve done!)

We’ve also been in late November and early March, both times to see the Northern Lights (Norway is one of the best places in Europe to see the Northern Lights)

So, the answer on when is the best time depends on what you want to do. Norway only really has two seasons- summer and winter. Spring and Autumn do happen, but they are quick and unpredictable.

Norway in Winter

I wouldn’t recommend visiting Norway on a motorcycle during their winter. It gets COLD. Very very very cold and there’s likely to be lots of snow. Anytime after October until early April is considered winter there and many of the roads, although Norway is NOT like motorcycling in the UK during winter and the roads are perfectly drivable with a car or van, are likely dangerous on a motorcycle, especially if the conditions are right for black ice.

Also, don’t forget that Norway doesn’t get much sunlight in winter, and what it does get is pretty weak. So you don’t have as long during the ‘day’ to explore, even if you are happy to ride in the snow and ice. The main roads are kept pretty clear, but more remote areas might be impossible to access, even with winter tyres fitted on your van.

Visiting Norway in Summer

Summer is by far the best time for a road trip to Norway. The days are long, the weather is surprisingly warm and even though it rained a lot during our tour, it was still pleasant to explore. (It doesn’t ALWAYS rain in summer- I’m just a rain magnet!) The roads are usually fully open from May until October.

Mid-summer is a HUGE deal in Norway (and most of Scandanavia). There are parties to celebrate the midnight sun- especially north of the Arctic Circle, but the long hours and light evenings can make it hard to sleep- make sure you find a way to get your rest if you’re doing a lot of driving.

It is possible to see the Northern Lights as early as September, especially if you’re to the far North of Norway, but don’t be concerned about visiting in August or peak season- the cities might be busy (especially those with cruise ship ports), but otherwise, the country is blissfully uncrowded and there are plenty of places to stay.

motorcycle touring Europe
Motorcycling in Norway

Planning a driving route from the UK to Norway

There is no longer a direct ferry from the UK to Norway, so the only way you can drive/ ride to Norway is via Denmark.

Once you’re in Denmark, you have a couple of options- Ferry from Hirtshals to Kristiansand or driving through Sweden, over the bridge.

Ferry to Norway from Denmark

The fastest route to Norway from the UK is using the Colorline Hirtshals- Kristiansand ferry. Hirtshals is a town right at the top of Denmark and driving to Hirtshals from Calais takes 12 and a half hours (1264km)

NOTE: Don’t confuse KristiansAnd with KristiansUnd- I set the wrong course on our motorcycle sat-nav and it went very wrong!! You can see both places on the map above to understand why.

The Hirtshals ferry takes about 2 hours (which isn’t too long in case the dreaded North sea is having a bad day!) There is also a ferry from Hirtshals to Bergen in Norway, but it meant missing out on a lot of the stuff we wanted to see further south.

Ferry from Eemshaven (Netherlands) to Kristiansand, Norway.

The Holland Norway Lines ferry has a 18hr 30min sailing time from the Netherlands to Norway.

Øresund toll bridge- driving via Sweden

If you don’t want to take the ferry, the only other way to get into Norway with your motorbike/ vehicle is to drive via Sweden. This route is about 1580km from Calais to the Norwegian border and Google maps thinks it will take just under 18 hours (that’s probably very optimistic!)

The upside to this route is you don’t have to pay for a ferry. The downside is you have to pay for tolls on both the Øresund toll bridge and the smaller Storebælt toll bridge in Denmark.

Currently (2023), crossing the bridge with a motorcycle costs 255DKK (one way.) A Motorhome (up to 10m) costs 880DKK – it can be cheaper if you pay in advance here.

Storebælt toll bridge- 2023 prices for a motorcycle is 140DKK (about £15 at today’s exchange rate)

Other motorcycling routes into Norway

Of course, if you have a couple of months of motorcycle touring to enjoy, you can get into Norway from another direction. Perhaps you choose to travel up through Sweden, then enter up at the North and drive south through Norway.

You could even go via Poland, Latvia and Finland and make it a proper Scandanavia motorcycling adventure!

Norway Border Control/ Customs

Norway is not in the EU and therefore there IS a hard border between it and its neighbouring countries (unlike much of Europe.)

With this in mind, you are only allowed to carry over a certain amount of alcohol and tobacco, even if it’s for personal use- see the current allowances here.

You’re not allowed to bring the following into Norway:

  • meat or products containing meat
  • milk or dairy products
  • fruits, plants & vegetables are restricted too

You also need to complete a customs declaration form before you enter the country (which we only discovered at the ferry port and had to hastily complete. One of the funniest things was watching people who didn’t realise there was an alcohol allowance- they decided to make a party of it and were either giving away their alcohol or drinking as much of it as they could!

Norway Customs app

By far the easiest way to declare and pay any customs charges is via the Norwegian Customs app. You can download it onto your phone/ iPad, fill it in, pay anything owed and then you can use the green channel when you arrive in Norway.

Motorcycle Hire in Norway

If you don’t have your own bike, or don’t want to take it, you can easily fly into Norway and hire one. Just make sure to ask how to get from the airport to the rental agency- not all of them are at the airport itself and you might need to book a taxi.

To rent a motorcycle in Norway most places will expect you to be:

  • 21 years or over, depending on the company’s rental policy;
  • Have a valid driving licence with at least 2 years experience
  • show identification (identity card for EU citizens or a valid passport for other nationalities) 

Make sure you have proof that you can take the vehicle across a border if that’s what you’re planning to do.

Don’t forget, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure the vehicle has the required safety equipment. The on-the-spot fines apply to you as the rider, not the company. Check in advance with the company what kit they will provide with the vehicle and what you will need to bring. If you are solo motorcycle touring, remember you’ll need to carry everything yourself, including any motorcycle camping kit.

Take a list of what is legally required with you and check it off one by one as you are given the handover. Do not drive until you are happy you comply with the local laws.

You can expect to pay anywhere from 1000NOK-2000NOK/ day- based on model. Make sure you ask the right questions to know what’s included in your rental, such as:

  • Mileage limits/ surcharge
  • Kit included
  • Luggage included
  • Helmet rental available
  • Pillion allowed
  • Breakdown/ insurance cover
  • Times & location of pick up/ drop off
  • Documents needed

Motorcycling in Norway- what gear do you need to carry?

Just like most of Europe , there are certain things you MUST carry with you whilst motorbike touring in Norway.

Don’t forget, if you are motorcycling through France, Germany and Denmark to get to Norway, you’ll need to carry all the kit those countries require as well

Things you need to ride in Norway- safety gear

These are the things you MUST have with you when you’re motorcycle touring in Norway.

  • CE certified gloves are also mandatory for rider and pillion
  • Warning triangle – compulsory
  • Hi-vis reflective jackets – you must wear them on the side of the road or hard shoulder or risk being fined. You do NOT have to ride with one on if you don’t wish to.
  • You do not need headlight beam converters on a motorcycle in Europe unless your headlight points dramatically to the left.
  • Country (UK) sticker attached to the back of bike on reg plates. (NOT the EU or GB sticker anymore!)
  • You will need a daytime sticker for your headlight and spare bulbs.
  • If you wear glasses you should carry a spare pair
  • Wearing a helmet is mandatory for riders and pillions.

NOTE – If buying a helmet, check for an ECE 22 E-Mark label to be road-legal on European roads. Read more.

TOP TIP: Buy these essentials for riding in Norway in advance. If you wait until you’re at the ferry/ tunnel, you could spend THREE times as much!

Recommended bike accessories you MIGHT need when motorcycling in Norway

The following kit are things you might want to carry in your kit.

Don’t forget to do your motorcycle maintenance checks before you leave- grab your FREE motorcycle maintenance checklist here

What documents do you need to road trip in Norway?

If you’re riding in Norway, you need to carry the following documents:

  • Passport (or identity card)
  • Driving licence (check it is in date!)
  • Motorcycle Insurance documents- check you are covered for riding in Europe
  • MOT
  • Vehicle V5 logbook (which must show your correct address)

We advise to also have the following documents to hand:

  • Vehicle tax
  • Breakdown cover
  • International Driving Permit if required
  • Trailer certification (if towing)
  • Personal travel insurance

Do I need an international driving permit to drive in Norway?

Most UK citizens do not need an IDP to drive in Norway, as long as you have a card driving licence issued in the UK (in date, of course!)

You do not need an IDP to drive in Norway for periods up to 90 days. If you hold a paper driving licence you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Norwegian Embassy.

Us in Norway- one of the BEST motorcycling destinations we've been (so far!) We don't often ride 2-up anymore, but the views required extra hands for videoing!!
Us in Norway- one of the BEST motorcycling destinations we’ve been (so far!)

Motorcycling in Norway- where to stay overnight

In Norway, there are several types of stopovers you can use.

  • Campsites
  • B & Bs
  • Hotels
  • Hostels

Campsites in Norway

It’s easy to find campsites in Norway and they’re much like campsites anywhere else in Europe. Some are rustic and have very basic facilities, while others are designed for long-term visitors and have entertainment, clubs, pools and bars! If you’re motorhoming or campervanning in Norway and taking your bikes on a trailer, you’ll have no problem.

Many campsites have large pitches, excellent (and clean) facilities and stunning views. And most have staff who speak excellent English.

They work much like in the UK- you arrive, check in (and will usually need to show a passport), are given or can select a pitch with or without electric (depending on what you booked) and that’s it.

Expect some campsites to keep your passport for the duration of your stay with them. This is often at the places where you haven’t paid in advance- I always try to pay in advance and keep my passport where I know it’s safe!

Dogs are normally always welcome on campsites, but there isn’t always a dog walk/ run where they are allowed off lead.

Wild camping in Norway

Ok, this is one of the best parts about travel in Norway- the FREEDOM and the right of access.

If you enjoy staying off-grid and wild camping, Norway is going to be your heaven. It has a freedom to roam law, allemannsrett (all man’s rights) meaning you can wild camp anywhere where the land is not owned, cultivated or where there is a sign forbidding it.

You need to follow these rules:

  • Stay at least 150m from dwellings
  • Stay no longer than 48 hours in one place
  • Don’t stay if there is a sign stating no overnight parking
  • Don’t put out awnings, chairs and so on- that’s ‘camping’
  • Be vigilant about campfires in summer

Driving tips for Norway

We enjoyed driving in Norway. The roads are much less congested than the rest of Europe, and there’s so much space to spread out and explore. The tolls, tunnels and ferries take a little while to get used to- we’ll go into those in more detail shortly.

Norwegian drivers are pretty calm and happy to wait or give way as necessary. Roads are generally well maintained and roadworks are few, but there are some very narrow roads, especially along the edges of the fjords.

Be aware of the weather conditions- the mountains can turn hostile very quickly in bad weather. Some mountain passes could close with no warning in inclement weather.

Also, don’t overestimate how far you can travel in one day. The roads are much slower than you might be expecting- not helped by all the ferries between places. It takes around 30 driving hours to go from Oslo up to Lofoten, so plan accordingly.

Here’s an overview for Norway driving & motorcycling rules:

  • Helmets are mandatory for riders and pillions
  • Headlights must be on during the day- even on sunny days
  • Norway drives on the right (like most of Europe), so stay right and let them overtake on the left.
  • Speeds are in kms- you might want to adjust your motorcycle sat-nav settings
  • Seatbelts and child safety seats are compulsory
  • Using a mobile phone while the engine is on is illegal
  • Traffic joining from the right has priority on junctions with no ‘give way’ signs or painted lines across the junction
  • Passing places on single-tracked roads are marked by a white M on a blue background
  • Don’t ride off-road with a motorcycle. Penalties for getting caught on your bike off-road are steep.
  • There are no restricted emissions zones in Norway, although central Oslo does close to diesel traffic when monitored emissions are considered high.
  • Norway has a “human-oriented” culture which puts pedestrians and cyclist first. Pedestrians will expect you to slow down or stop so they can cross the street, and cyclists may not always follow traffic regulations!
  • You may use spiked tyres between 1 November until the first Sunday after Easter. If you use them in Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, you’ll be charged a fee.

What is Motorcycling like in Norway?

In a world, magical. Norway has the lowest accident rate for motorcyclists in the whole of Europe, traffic is usually non-existent and the roads are spectacular.

Motorbikes are allowed to ride in bus lanes (as long as there’s no sidecar), there are very few road or tunnel tolls and bikes don’t pay parking fees.

How to use the ferries in Norway with a motorcycle

In addition, motorcycles are instructed to move to the front of the queue at all the ferries (meaning you’re always first on, first off) AND it’s cheaper to use them. It’s by far the best way to travel around Norway!

Is Filtering legal in Norway?

Yes- motorcycles are allowed to filter when traffic is stopped.

Speed limits in Norway

The speed limits are low- another reason you won’t get anywhere as fast as you want to.

Speed Limits are as follows (unless otherwise signed!)

  • Motorways/ major dual carriageways- 110km/h (70mph)
  • Built up areas- 50 km/h (31 mph)
  • Residential areas can be as low as 30 km/h

Speed Cameras in Norway

Yep, they have them. Frequently. HOWEVER, most of them are from the front, so don’t affect motorcycles. However, police also do manual checks which can lead to instant fines.

Ride with caution: on-the-spot fines for committing a driving offence can be up to 10,000 NOK (around £800!)

Drink Drive law in Norway

Alcohol laws are very strict in Norway, and penalties from driving under the influence are severe. The legal limit is 0.02% blood alcohol (the UK is 0.08%) and applies to the driver of any motorised vehicle. Medications to avoid if you intend to drive are marked with a red triangle.

Tolls in Norway

Bikes don’t pay tolls in Norway with some exceptions, for example, the toll to access Nordkapp and a other passes.

There are about 200 toll stations in Norway. All of which are automated, and marked with “AutoPASS” and the symbol to the right. Avoiding a toll often means driving hours out of your way AND taking 2 or even 3 extra ferries, so it defeats the point. On the plus side, if you do need to pay for a toll, then the price for motorcycles aren’t usually that high.

How much are the tolls in Norway?

In total, we went through 23 tolls during our Norway road trip- and over half of those were on the E6, which is the main road running North-South through central Norway (‘I’ on the map). The cost of that 2-day trip was £84.88 in toll charges.

The other tolls in Norway (around the western edge) came to a whopping £20.06- not bad for 12 days driving! But these are the roads with all the ferries on, so we also paid ferry costs on top of those toll charges.

So the total toll charges for our 2 week Norway road trip was £104.94

How to pay tolls in Norway

There are two options to pay- either get a toll tag or be charged on the EuroPayment Collection (EPC) scheme. On the Atlantic Road, it may be possible to pay manually, but everywhere else is payment card online after you’ve received your bill.

EPC Scheme

Registration is optional, but if you register for an EPC account this will normally reduce the time elapsed from the journey until you receive an invoice AND will make sure you pay the correct tariff- failure to register could result in you paying higher charges.

  1. Register your foreign owned / rented / leased vehicle here
  2. Drive through the AutoPASS toll lanes without stopping.
  3. The invoice will be sent to you, based on the information that you have registered (by email if registered, by post if not)
  4. Pay the invoice online by payment card

Autopass Toll tag

However, this scheme only lasts for 2 months. If you are planning to stay for longer than 2 months in Norway, they recommend getting a tag here. Tags can often give discounts on the toll prices too and may be worth it for you.

When we visited, we had a motorhome over 3.5 tonnes, so got a toll tag with BroBizz. It worked well enough, but the charges were high- looking forward to going back and just using the EPC scheme.

Ferries in Norway

Norway is full of water. There are fjords and islands everywhere. If you’ve ever been motorhoming in Holland, you might not appreciate the problem… until you realise that these fjords are surrounded by mountains and it’s not easy to build roads over them. So they use ferries. It’s no different from using a tunnel or toll road- just part of the road network in Norway.

The ferries in Norway are not like the ferries between the UK and France. You don’t have to book in advance and they don’t just go a couple of times a day. They’re like shuttles, going back and forth continuously all day (although many do shut for a few hours late at night/ early morning.

There are no ‘cabins’ or requirement to book seats- you stay in your vehicle or can walk around the deck enjoying the view of the fjords. Some ferries take only 20 minutes, others can take nearly an hour. You can see them on your map/ sat-nav.

How to use the ferries in Norway

They are really easy to use, even if they are expensive. You pull up, wait in the queue, a ferry employee either will walk down the line, ask you your length and charge you the fee (one-way) or you pay when you are onboard. You can pay by card or cash (NOK).

CAUTION: Some places have ferries going to 2 or more destinations. Make sure you line up in the correct queue or you’ll find yourself on a ferry in the wrong direction. Also, some ferries have a stop-off service, so they go to one place, and then another. Make sure you get off at the correct stop!

How much do the ferries in Norway cost

The cost of the ferry depends entirely on your length… as we discovered when we turned up in a 7.8m motorhome towing a 3m trailer. Ouch. Did I mention touring Norway by camper was expensive…

If you are under 6m, you’ll pay the same price as a car, which is pretty reasonable. You can expect to pay around NKR100 for every ten minutes of ferry time in a sub-6m campervan or motorhome. The cost advertised includes the driver, then you have to pay for additional passengers.

For us, we paid (as a 7.8m motorhome with a trailer):

  • Ferry from Luavika to Oanes 358NOK
  • Ferry from Puntnes (hjelmeland) – Nesvik on 13 – 430NOK
  • Ferry Skanevik- Utaker (48) – 438nok
  • Ferry Arsnes- Gjermundshamn (DONT PANIC- it goes to the island Varoldsoyna first!!) – 534NOK
  • Ferry Fornes -Mannheller (route 5) – 384NOK
  • Ferry Stranda – Liabygda – 412NOK
  • Ferry E39 Vestnes- Molde – 602NOK
  • Ferry E39 Halsa- Kanestraum – 438 NOK

TOTAL = 3596 NOK = £333.44

How to pay for the ferries in Norway

The ferries are not the same as Tolls. You need to pay as you go, using card or cash. We used our UK bank cards (Visa debit) without issue. They prefer card as they don’t always have change for cash.

Tunnels in Norway

Did I mention Norway is full of mountains and fjords? Often, instead of going over or round, they built the roads THROUGH- so expect to spend more time than you might expect in tunnels.

You’ll find some with roundabouts, slip roads, extreme inclines or declines and even rest stops- in the Laerdal Tunnel (the longest road tunnel in the world at over 15 miles long), those rest stops are blue! (If you don’t want to go through the tunnel, you can take the Aurlandsfjellet Tourist Route which runs over the mountain above it.)

We went through with our motorhome but you can go through on a motorcycle; just remember it’s a LONG time underground- it took about 30 minutes to go through it. But it’s well lit and perfectly safe to ride.

We drove the world's longest road tunnel during our Motorhome Tour of Norway. This is the longest tunnel for cars and other road vehicles anywhere in the world! #tunnel #norway #road #longest #motorhome #roadtrip #adventure #laerdal #laerdalstunnelen

Getting Fuel in Norway

Fuel prices in Norway are relatively high due to environmental politics. Fuel stations are fewer in the mountains and other remote areas, especially in Northern Norway.
Fuel also gets more expensive the further north you go.

Unleaded is called Blyfri It’s often super (95) or Super plus (98) – Green handles on pump

Diesel is… Diesel Black or yellow handles on pump

Some places are 24h pay at the pump, but may require you to go into the shop and pay the cashier either in advance or after you’ve filled up- there will be a sign to tell you what to do. (Leave your car in front of the pump and make a note of the pump number.)

You can pay using cash or a credit card. Many places do NOT take American Express. You can usually use your UK cards without a problem.

Driving in Norway- what to do in the event of a road traffic accident

You should have a European Claim Form provided by your insurer before you leave. In the event of an accident, all parties complete and sign the form at the scene and then send a copy to your insurer for assessment.

What to do at the scene:

  • Stop your vehicle immediately but safely- out of the flow of traffic if possible.
  • If a vehicle is blocking the road, use hazard lights and put the red warning triangle 30 metres from the scene to warn approaching traffic
  • Exchange your details with the other involved parties. Be sure to get:
    • Name and address of all the people involved in the accident
    • Vehicle registration numbers of all parties
    • Insurance company details of all parties
    • Take photos of damage using a camera, GoPro or phone

For more details, read our step-by-step guide on dealing with a road traffic accident in Europe

Motorcycling in Norway- How expensive is it?

Norway is consistently rated as one of the top 3 most expensive countries in the world. Norwegians are well-paid, and also pay high taxes, but the general cost of living is crazy high.

If you’re motorcycling in Norway, the ferries, fuel and vehicle costs are offset by the lack of campsite costs (if you’re wild camping), but the biggest expense, apart from getting there, is likely to be food and drink.

Food and Drink in Norway

Food and alcohol are one of the most expensive things on any trip to Norway. One huge tip is to stock up in advance in Germany, Denmark or even Sweden, but obviously if you’re motorcycle touring that’s almost impossible.

Norwegians love their food and have many local specialities. Seafood is always good, but you could find reindeer (reinsdyrstek), torsketunger (cod’s tongues), rakfisk (fermented trout) or a huge number of dried and cured meats and fish. Brown goats cheese (Brunost) is very common at meals.

Supermarkets/ shops in Norway

For the best prices in Norway, try and shop in the Spar or Co-op’s. There is no Lidl or Aldi in Norway (apparently, Lidl tried… and then gave up!)

Expect to pay at least double the amount you are used to in the UK for everything in a supermarket- even the local produce. Many stores have an ‘own brand’ which is slightly more reasonable- think Waitrose or M & S prices.

Most supermarkets and grocery shops do not open on Sundays. Garages will sell basic groceries (and hot dogs!) but at inflated prices!

All drinks (cans and plastic bottles) have a deposit (pant) on them- in addition to the price on the label. You can put them back into the machine inside the supermarkets and get the option of a voucher to spend or giving the money to charity.

Alcohol in Norway

Tax is charged on all alcohol with more than 0.7% volume of alcohol, making all alcohol expensive.

Beer can be found in most supermarkets, but is only sold before 8 pm on weekdays or 6 pm on Saturdays. For wine, spirits or strong beer, you must visit one of the Vinmonopolet outlets, found in most large cities and towns. To buy wine or beer in Norway, the minimum age is 18 years. For spirits, it is 20 years.

In a Vinmonopolet you will pay around NKR150 for a bottle of wine and NKR50 for beer and cider. Spirits cost considerably more.

Eating Out in Norway

I’ll be honest, the only eating out we did was pizza- and it was so good we had it twice! The prices of restaurant and takeaway meals is crazy- even a McDonalds can cost upwards of £10 for a meal. Burger and chips can be £25 per meal and a beer, cider or glass of wine in a restaurant will cost between NKR60-90.

More useful things to know when motorcycling in Norway

Emergency Numbers:
 112 will get you everything you need.

Language: Norwegian. English is widely understood and spoken flawlessly.

Currency: Norway uses the Norwegian Krone (NOK), NOT the Euro. Obviously, the exchange rate fluctuates, but as a very rough guide, 10 NOK is about £1.

Cards: most major credit and debit cards are accepted. American Express is only taken in large stores (not often at fuel stations)

Timezone: GMT+1 (or one hour ahead in BST) Norway is always one hour ahead of the UK, no matter what. Their clocks go forward and back whenever ours does.

Tipping– Tipping is not customary but always appreciated. It’s common to round the bill to the nearest 10NOK.

Touring Norway with a dog

Yes, you can take your dog into Norway. You will need to get a tapeworm tablet administered by a vet 1-5 days before arrival (just like when you return to the UK). And yes, you will need ANOTHER one to go into the UK after driving back through Europe.

Norway is pretty dog friendly. You must keep your dog on a lead when walking between 1 April and 20 August to protect wildlife. Apart from that, they are allowed almost everywhere, including on the beaches.

Using a drone in Norway

We love using our drone when we travel and Norway was wonderful for drone shots. Here are the regulations.

READ MORE: What’s the best travel drone (and how to choose)

Drones and similar remote-controlled flying devices must be kept at least a minimum 150m from people, vehicles and buildings that are not connected with the drone operator. Flying must happen in daylight only and up to a maximum height of 120m. Never fly closer than 5km to airports. The drone must always remain within the sight of the operator.

Please check for local regulations and military or other special restricted areas where all the aforementioned activities are forbidden by law. Read more about using drones in Norway on the Norwegian CAA website.

DISCLAIMER: This post was last updated in October 2021. We try to keep it as up to date as possible, but cannot be held responsible for any changes made to the law since the last update. If you do find any discrepancies, please do let us know. Thanks.

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13 thoughts on “Motorcycling in Norway- everything you need to know”

  1. Hi,
    Great advice and good tips…a few comments below :-
    I don’t think warning triangles are necessary for motorbikes ? Hi Viz necessary of course .
    EHIC or E111 still applies…personal insurance advisable but not mandatory ?
    Road Tolls don’t apply to motorbikes as far as I can see?
    New ferry service to Kristiansand from Holland starts April 2022.
    Thanks for all the good stuff !
    We go in May !

  2. This is very helpful.

    i am planning to go for a month n September. i will be coming back to this page to help prepare.

      • Thanks for a very informative blog. I am planning a motorcycle trip during 2nd half of September as well and will surely come back again to note down finer details! I am a bit concerned that mid-late September might be a bit too cold/rainy but since you say its an epic time, I am a bit relieved 🙂

        Regarding tolls, I read here that its free for motorcycles but you do mention that motorcycles need to pay tolls, so did the rules change recently?

  3. hello Kat,

    first i want to applaud you for the very informative page. me and my brother are considering on visiting family in Denmark coming August and we try to decide if to rent a motorcycle in Denmark so at the end of the road trip we will finish back with the family. or to rent the motorcycles in Norway.
    also would appreciate if you know of any good rental places in Denmark to check.

  4. Very informative with practical advice! Look forward to my upcoming motorbike journey but understand that a word with my bank manager would not go amiss!

  5. Thank you so much for all the information needed I’m planning to go to norway from the UK as soon as I get my first bike I will be doing it on a 125cc and the information about norway taking the uk visa bank card without problems was extremely helpful I’m 20 years old and can’t wait to do this trip hopefully soon thank you so much again for making this post very much appreciated


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