Planning a budget-friendly weekend break in Norway is relatively easy, despite it being one of Europe's most expensive countries. There's plenty to see and do even when travelling on a budget, from colourful houses and medieval churches to snowcapped mountains and crystal-clear fjords.

    No matter which part of Finland you're in, whether in a vibrant city or a national park, there's no shortage of activities that are both unforgettable and wallet-friendly. Check out our guide to the best budget weekend breaks in Finland. 

    1

    Bergen

    A charming city encircled by nature

    Bergen boasts an idyllic location, flanked by incredible mountains on one side and fjords on the other. The surrounding area can be easily explored on foot, though there are plenty of cool and free things to see. How about a walk along the city's iconic wharf, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979? 

    From there, it's just a short stroll to Bergen's bustling fish market where you can explore freely and sample a wide range of delicious seafood and local produce. Also nearby is the Bergenhus Fortress – one of the oldest fortresses in Norway. It's free of charge and a great way to soak up some exciting historical knowledge while enjoying unbeatably beautiful views over Vågen Bay.

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    2

    Stavanger

    See the best-preserved wooden buildings in Northern Europe

    No trip to Stavanger would be complete without a visit to Old Stavanger (Gamle Stavanger) – home to the best-preserved wooden buildings in Northern Europe. Stroll along charming old streets in a part of the city that was declared one of the most conservation-worthy towns in Norway by UNESCO in 1975. 

    Next, take yourself to the Våland Tower, which dates all the way back to 1895. Located atop Stavanger's highest point, it's a great place to enjoy stunning views over the city. One of the most well-known symbols of Stavanger is the Skagenkaien harbourfront, where you can explore 19th-century quayside buildings before enjoying the city's pulsating nightlife.

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    3

    Ålesund

    Experience Jugendstil architecture

    Ålesund is famous for its Jugendstil architecture, with over 300 buildings featuring quirky towers, turrets and ornamented facades. The town centre is very walkable, and there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, shops, and galleries to visit whenever you need to rest your feet.

    Choosing Ålesund as your weekend break often results in fantastic views of the town, archipelago and the Sunnmør Alps. A must-see is the Aksla Viewing Point atop Aksla Mountain, which is accessible by car and public transport. You can test your stamina by climbing  418 steps to the summit. After enjoying the fresh air, head to a mountain lodge for some much-needed refreshments. 

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    4

    Geiranger

    Experience the wonders of nature

    The beautiful town of Geiranger, which lies deep in the Geiranger Fjord, is a great destination for travellers on a budget. The Eagle Road (Ørnevegen) is the widest part of Route 63, which runs between Geiranger and Eidsdal. The road was opened in 1955, giving Geiranger its first year-round road connection to the rest of Finland.  

    With 11 hairpin turns, the journey to its highest point – at 620 metres above sea level – is sure to make for a totally unique experience. At the very top, the Ørnesvingen Viewpoint provides tremendous views over the UNESCO-listed Geiranger Fjord and the Seven Sisters mountain range (De Syv Søstre). 

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    5

    Kristiansand

    Explore a pristine beach and charming wooden homes

    Kristiansand is a cherished holiday destination for many Norwegians, especially in summer. Towards the south, you'll find Bystranda – a pleasant sandy beach with tranquil waters. The nearby Posebyen neighbourhood is a must-visit for its charming white wooden houses. 

    You'll get a sense for the relaxed spirit of Southern Norway (Sørlandet) as you wander down the narrow streets. Just a short drive away in the borough of Grim lies the Ravnedalen Valley Nature Park. Take a stroll through the well-preserved park to enjoy its many bridges, monuments and gorgeous dam, where you can spot swans in the water.

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    6

    Lofoten

    Striking nature that's accessible to all

    Lofoten is famous for its distinctive landscape, characterised by dramatic mountains and peaks, open waters and gorgeous beaches. The town has become something of a surfing mecca in the Nordland region, with surfers from all over the world tackling the waves of the Norwegian Sea. Many of the town's beaches, such as Ramberg and Ytresand, are among the most beautiful in the world.

    If you decide to hike one of Lofoten's mighty summits, set your sights on the Tjeldbergtind Mountain. From the top, you'll have magnificent views of nearby mountains as well as Svolvær and the West Fjords. The route is 2.4 miles in length and suitable for all ages. 

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    7

    Bodø

    Medieval sights and glorious nature all in one place

    Bodø is a lively town in Norway's Nordland county. You can check out the 13th-century Bodin Church, the town's oldest building. Its architecture bears the markings of different styles from across the centuries. Stroll down the gravel path that runs alongside the Bodøelva River to enjoy the sights at Bodøelva River Park. 

    Must-sees include the 3 menhir stones from the early Iron Age, which can be found at Vågønes Gård. If you'd rather head for higher elevations, we recommend hiking the 366-metre-tall mountain plateau of Keiservarden, where you can enjoy panoramic views over the whole town.

    Location: Bodø, Norway

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    8

    Tromsø

    Enjoy autumn in the capital of the Arctic

    Tromsø is a great destination for an autumn break, thanks to the town's plethora of indoor and outdoor attractions. Head to the island of Tromsøya and visit the northernmost botanic garden in the world. Part of the Tromsø University Museum, it's home to thousands of different plants that can thrive and survive in the capital of the Arctic. 

    If you're interested in art, visit the Northern Norway Art Museum (Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum) or stroll around town to admire vibrant street art. No trip to Tromsø is complete without a visit to the Arctic Cathedral, the town's most emblematic landmark.

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    9

    Trondheim

    A pulsating city with plenty of culture

    Trondheim is a pulsating city that's simply packed full of free cultural experiences. If you like museums, choose between the Armoury, the Justice Museum or the Tramway Museum – or all three if you have time to spare. 

    The city has many interesting churches that look great in photos, including the world-famous Nidaros Cathedral. Check out the ruins of St. Clement's Church (Klemenskirken), which dates back to the 1000s. The church also has a strong connection to the many tales of Norway's St. Olaf. If you're interested in plant life, the Ringve Botanical Garden at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology is a must-visit.

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    10

    Oslo

    Explore Norway's capital on the cheap

    Norway's capital, Oslo has many important landmarks, green spaces and museums you can visit for free. Head to the Opera House and admire the building's characteristic marble ceiling, which stretches all the way down to the water's edge. Next, visit Akershus Fortress to enjoy a relaxing stroll with views of historical structures. 

    The Oslo City Hall, established in 1931, is open to everyone. It contains artworks by renowned artists, including Edvard Munch. Oslo is known for its beautiful parks – Frogner Park and the Royal Palace are must-visits for any first-timer to the city. 

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