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Cost of living

With a GDP per capita of $ 99,316  in 2012, Norway is the country in the world with the third highest standard of living, which also makes it one of the most expensive countries in the world! (GDP per capita in France in 2012: $ 41,151  - 20th in the world). The lowest salaries here are around € 2,500/month so it is pointless to hope to find a bargain. For Europeans (or other foreigners from the "Rich North"), Norway is therefore one of the few countries in the world where we do not have strong purchasing power… The price of services when you arrive (accommodation, transport, activities, catering, etc.) are expensive any cannot under any circumstances be compared to those in other countries, particularly poor countries.

GDP source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Average price of services when you arrive

In order to give you a good idea of the cost of living when you arrive, here are a few examples of prices of services commonly used by travellers (for further details see “Practical Information”)
The prices given here are the averages in 2013. Prices for accommodation other than hotels may be cheaper out of season. These prices are for the high season (from 15 May to 15 August).

Accommodation (price/night): Average price Nok  Average price in *
Hotel double room 1500 NOK 200 €
Rorbu 2 places (small hut)  800 NOK  107 €
Rorbu 4 places (small hut)  1200 NOK  160 €
2 places Homestays  600 NOK  80 €
2 person (tent Camping) 140 NOK 17,50€

* price rounded off, based on the exchange rate on 05/04/13 (€1 = 7.43NOK)

Read more …Average price of services when you arrive

How to travel in the Lofoten Islands without breaking the bank

Looking at the prices given in the previous section you may well ask yourself whether it’s at all possible, but provided you follow certain guidelines it’s perfectly feasible.

1) Travel in a group if possible and you will therefore share the travel expenses once you get there. Even though this rule may apply to most destinations, it applies particularly to the Lofoten Islands for the following reasons: the type of accommodation, which consists of cabins for a minimum of two people for which you will be charged the same price if you were on your own. The local transport, which is relatively expensive, not very frequent and not always very practical, will probably encourage you to hire a vehicle which will work out cheaper if there are four of you. Lastly, if you choose a type of accommodation that enables you to do your own cooking you will make considerable savings on the cost of food.
> If you are looking for cheap accommodation in the south of the Lofoten Islands we recommend "Sorvagen sjohus og rorbuer".

Travel out of season (before 15 May and after 15 August) and you will get better prices for tourist accommodation. This is not the case, however, in many places and you will have to ask at your accommodation (if possible before you leave). Even though it is unusual to negotiate prices in Norway, the worst that can happen is that you are told “No”. The price of accommodation may, however, be up to 30% cheaper out of season.

Go on an organised tour. Provided you are have nothing against this type of travel, Norway is one of the few countries where going on an organised tour (through a specialist hiking agency) is usually cheaper, offering identical services, than travelling alone.

Become hunter-gatherers. If you can stand the changeable climate and are properly equipped (see “equipment” section), bear in mind that in the Lofoten Islands, like elsewhere in Norway, wild camping is permitted (see “wild camping” section).

Read more …How to travel in the Lofoten Islands without breaking the bank