Tips and tricks I learned while doing a road trip across Norway! If youre nervous about your first time driving, then this blog is for you!
In general, driving in Norway is usually very easy; loaded with easy to read road signs and clean well maintained streets. I 100% recommend renting a car in Norway in order to see the majority of the landscapes. Renting a car allows you to stop wherever you want on your road trip for photo ops and to take in the beauty of this amazing country. I put together a list of things you should expect when driving in Norway especially if you’re nervous about it and it’s your first time.
Taken with the Sony A7S3
Mentioned in this article
Tolls and Autopass
All the roads are well maintained and well looked after with little to no potholes or road blocks. Honestly, Norway was filled with the smoothest roads I’ve been on in awhile and I felt pretty safe driving on them. The only thing I would have to look out for is the roads that are very windy; mainly built on mountains. Roads here turn a lot and also have a lot of sharp turns. They have road signs for you to look out for the sharp turns coming up; but since you are driving in the mountains all the roads are very windy and thin. A lot of roads tend to be closed during winter since the roads could get icy. When you are driving up North or driving in the mountains in Norway, you should be aware that the roads can get very icy depending on the time of year you are going. We went on our trip in October, which is off-season, and on our drive to Oslo the roads were still a little icy which was kind of scary since the roads can be windy so make sure to go slow and check if your rental car has the right tires for this. One thing to make note of about Oslo is that the one ways are not always marked... at night it's hard to know if you're driving down the wrong road; so make sure you're hotel is easy to get too or to make sure they're not one way roads. This was only a problem in Oslo.
In the beginning of our trip, we were surprised that we took so many car ferries! We later found out that there are more than 100 car ferry connections. It was so unique because we got it ride the fairies through the fjords and got a free ride across the waters. Car ferries are vital here in Norway and connect fjords to islands. The ferries count as tolls here and so renting a car allows you to hop on these ferries without a hassle.
Toward the beginning of our drive, the first few Road tunnels were so cool for us to go through since they were different than we were use too... but then the next hundred
weren’t as fun hahaha. There are more than 1000 Road tunnels in Norway and Norway is actually home to the largest road tunnel in the world called the Lærdal tunnel; which is 24.5 km. There was a tunnel we drove through that had really cool changing colored lights that made us look like we are going through a space tunnel lol. I'm not sure if it was the Laerdal Tunnel but it seemed just as long. In conclusion, just get ready for many many tunnels through mountains. When it gets dark, be careful, even though they do light up they can be pretty dark sometimes and it could be hard to tell where you’re going. I wouldn't worry since all the tunnels are very safe to drive through.
Parking in Norway is very clear and I found it way easier to park there than in many places in the US or in Europe in general. We usually found parking very quickly especially in the more rural areas which have a ton of parking lots / spaces. We went off-season so I’m not really sure how many cars there are during peak season but even in Bergen it was pretty easy to park. The only place that we found it difficult to park was Oslo. We were actually finding it very difficult to drive there in general. We got to Oslo at night and so parking was harder to find; we ended up driving in circles to get to one garage. Eventually we found out that there are many parking meters that you could find as well as parking garages here in Oslo. I recommend trying to find a meter since the parking garages can be very expensive. Most things and places to see in Oslo are walkable so even if you parked at your hotel or Airbnb, you can walk anywhere.
Tolls and Autopass
You will pass through many tolls in Norway when taking your road trip. Our rental car had an Autopass on it and so we were able to pass through all the tolls without stopping. This will be included in an after fee when you bring back your rental car. Tolls are on roads, ferries, etc. The after fee from these would be around 200-3o0USD depending how long you have your car and how much you drive. That was our price for seven day road trip and we did not have to get out of the car once.
In general forested areas, please be aware for wildlife such as elk, deer, or even reindeer. They might suddenly run out into traffic when you least expect it and so you should drive slow. There are usually road signs to tell you which roads this is more likely to happen on.
Always make sure to buckle up when you drive, always drive safe and never get behind the wheel intoxicated:) I hope this article helped you and I’m excited for your road trip through Norway!