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How tourists in Norway can take advantage of the weak krone to save money

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
How tourists in Norway can take advantage of the weak krone to save money
There are a number of ways tourists in Norway can take advantage of the weak kroner and get the best value for money in Norway. Pictured is the Aurlandsfjord in Norway. Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

A weak Norwegian krone offers visitors to Norway a unique opportunity to enjoy better value for money than usual when travelling to the famously expensive country. 

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Compared to over a year ago, Norway’s krone is down 17 percent against the Euro and 18 percent against the dollar

Several factors are behind the weaker krone, such as lower interest rates in Norway compared to the US or Eurozone, investors taking less risk, the central bank Norges Bank selling kroner, and the krone falling with the stock market and oil prices.

Furthermore, the krone will likely remain weak heading into the summer, the peak time for tourism to Norway. 

So, while the weak krone is bad news for those who are paid in krone or live in Norway and are planning a trip abroad, it is good news for those visiting as they get better value for their money (provided their currency is outperforming the krone).

This can help make a trip to Norway more affordable than when the krone is high, even if prices in the country remain high. 

As a tourist, you can maximise this in several ways to save cash and make the most of Norway’s weak krone. 

Book activities and hotel stays when/while the exchange rate is good 

Paying for activities in advance while the krone is still weak will help you get the best price when paying in kroner. 

Kari Kvikne, a booking manager from the Kviknes Hotell, told public broadcaster NRK that more people were opting to pay for their stays later this year upfront rather than at check-in to take advantage of the weak krone.

Booking in advance usually equates to better prices too. The krone is expected to remain weak until the summer, meaning there is no rush to book hotels and excursions if you are currently strapped for cash. 

Begin exchanging your currency for kroner – Be aware that cash isn’t accepted everywhere though

If you can afford to, you can begin exchanging your currency for kroner when the rate is most favourable to ensure you get even better value for money. 

Buying kroner at different times can also help you budget for your trip by building up a spending money fund, so the money you spend on vacation doesn’t all come out at once. 

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Furthermore, it helps you establish an average, meaning that even if the krone strengthens against your currency, you will have secured some at a good rate, or if the krone weakens against your money, you will not have missed the best rate by exchanging all at once. 

One thing to be acutely aware of is that cash is less widely accepted in Norway than in other countries. If all your kroner is in cash – you may have difficulty spending it. 

This means you lose out when you exchange it back to your native currency. Thankfully, most villages and small towns will have an ATM, and there are plenty in the cities if you need cash for whatever reason.

READ ALSO: Is it better for tourists to use cash or card in Norway?

To avoid being stuck with cash, consider different banking options 

While you may have a hard time spending all your holiday money if you convert it to kroner, there are other options available. 

For starters, you could open a bank account which doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. You can then move money to this account and use that for your holiday funds instead. 

The exchange rate from the card issuer will be better or comparable with retail currency exchanges. This ensures that any benefit you get from your currency being stronger doesn’t get eaten into by foreign exchange charges from your bank. 

Other bank accounts will let you exchange into kroner and have that money in the account. The main benefit to this over cash is that more places accept cards than cash. However, the downside, like cash, is that you will lose out when you need to exchange it back for your native currency. 

If you have an account that lets you exchange for kroner, you can also try establishing an average like with cash. 

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For an overview of where you can set up a bank account with zero transaction fees in the UK, click here. For other countries, click here. If you can’t find an option for your own country with the links provided, you will need to search for accounts with the option for zero transaction fees online instead.  

Don’t bring dollars, euros or pounds in cash 

Many who have travelled to areas with a particularly weak currency will have seen that some stores are more than willing to accept payments in other currencies. 

This won’t be the case in Norway, so it’s not worth bringing any stronger currencies in cash as it won’t be accepted anywhere. 

You’ll have an even harder time shifting this money than you would if you brought kroner.

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