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Cheap beer in Norway?

Hi, everyone, our family is going on a two-week trip to Norway in a couple of weeks. This will sound like a superficial question, but I love to have a beer or glass of wine with dinner, and I've been hearing horror stories about $11 glasses of beer. (I live in Prague, where a pint is about $2 by comparison.) Does anyone have a good source for beer in Norway that's a bit more reasonable? Or should I just buy some at the duty free and hide it in my hotel room? Thanks.

Posted by
5828 posts

Cheapest source of øl is to buy your supply at the airport duty free shop before you exit the nothing to declare gate.

When you arrive at Oslo Airport (Gardermoen) you go through
immigration (not a big deal) and pick up your luggage - in this hall
is also a duty free shop, and in case you want to stock up on wine,
beer, or spirits you might want to do it here: as you might have
heard, alcoholic beverages are heavily taxed in Norway, and moreover
it is not easy to purchase them (they are sold only in special shops
called Vinmonopolet, and the opening times of these shops are very
short). I think one person is entitled to three litres of wine (4
bottles). But there are signs all over, and the staff working in the
duty fee shop are very friendly and helpful.

Second cheapest source is to buy øl at the Vinmonopolet. There use to be a "polet" in the Oslo Central S terminal building but it may have moved to a nearby shopping center.

Good advice on purchasing beer and wine at duty free and grocery stores. Open-bottle laws are very liberal in Norway, and the locals nurse beers from the grocery stores in parks and along the water ways. And, good luck finding an $11 draught beer in Norway. We saw (and paid for occasionally) $18 a glass, but we found we certainly drank less. When we got to Iceland and beer was only $11 a glass, we felt like it was almost free and could indulge in two beers with dinner. We live in Budapest (often $1.50 a pint even for Czech beer), and the Norwegian sticker shock is horrible. Good luck -- and enjoy the fish.

Posted by
7898 posts

I'm sorry but the words "cheap" and "Norway" are not allowed in the same sentence. Eating and drinking in Scandinavia is deadly expensive. You'll pay 3+ Euros for a cup of coffee in a 7-11, too.
The only affordable beer I found throughout the region was in Tallin, Estonia.

Posted by
5828 posts

If your need is alcohol rather than øl, buy a bottle of Linie Aquavit at the duty free shop. Its over 80 proof and Norwegian. Other brands of Aquavit are probably just as good but the Linie brand has a good story line. The aquavit is matured by shipping it from Norway to south of the equator and back to Norway. Each bottle has a date marking its crossing.

Norwegian restaurants, at least the better ones, don't push their guest out the door after their meal. Guest can stretch out one or two drinks the entire evening by having pre-dinner drinks at their homes. That said, by the sound of happy Norwegians at closing time, the cost of alcohol doesn't seem to stop them from consuming.

PS The Norwegians who came out of the duty free shop with large paper sacks all seemed to use the green door.

Posted by
15477 posts

Wait till you see the prices for the dinner! or a coke.

Posted by
5828 posts

Norway is a first world country with an economic system that takes care of its people. Norwegian average incomes are better than North American average incomes and worker benefits are pretty good from what I'm told.
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (Net After Tax) 26,710.73 kr [About $3200 USD @ 8.33nok/usd]
Restaurant - Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 80.00 kr [ About $10 USD]
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (Net After Tax) 2,831.51 $

Resturant - Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 4.00 $
{Here in Oregon a pint of craft brew runs more in the $4 to $6 usd range even if its a "lawnmower" summer craft brew]
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (Net After Tax) 2,907.46 C$ [About $2250 usd @ 0.775 USD/CAD]
Restaurant - Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 5.50 C$ [About $4.25 usd]
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (Net After Tax) 1,697.08 £ [$2260usd @ 1.33 gbp/usd]
Restaurant - Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 3.50 £ [Under $5 usd]
PS to Keith of the UK: My English friend tells me that the cross country skiing in Norway is a lot better than the cross country skiing in England.

But then there is more to a good life that Dollars or Kroner and the reasons for visiting Norway are more than the beer. (It's harder to get brown "cheese" in the States and the "freed to roam" is a foreign concept.)

Posted by
3387 posts

Any alcohol in Norway is just shockingly expensive and there is really no way around it. Just up your budget and forget about it!
We went the opposite way in Europe last summer...we spend the first month in Norway and the second month in Prague. After Norway we thought we had died and gone to bargain heaven when we got to Prague!