Cheapest Place To Live in Norway

Are you planning to relocate to Norway? According to several reports, Norway consistently ranks as one of the best countries to live in. In addition to education, income levels, and life expectancy, this ranking also considers cultural freedom and human rights. But, Norway’s cost of living is among the highest in Europe. So, before relocating, you should consider if you can afford to live there.

The cheapest place to live in Norway is Alesund, with an average cost of living of only $1,505. This amount is lower by almost 30% compared to Oslo – the city with the highest cost of living in Norway. Aside from the low living expenses, Alesund also features magnificently preserved Nouveau architecture. 

According to the United Nations Human Development Report, Norway is one of the world’s best countries for a living. If you want to relocate to Norway and don’t break the bank, there are plenty of inexpensive places to choose from. In this article, we compared the average cost of living in the 31 cities in Norway and picked the top 8 cheapest places to live in.

1. Alesund

  • Population: 42,670 (Source: All-Population)
  • Average Salary: $52,915 per year (Source: Payscale)
  • Average Cost of Living: $1,505 per month for a single person (Source: Living Cost)
  • Best Job Opportunity: Marketing Manager (Source: Payscale)
  • Rent: $1,176 (Source: Numbeo)
  • House Prices: $4,311 per sqm (Source: Numbeo)

You can find Alesund in Møre og Romsdal County, Norway. It’s the central shipping town of the Sunnmore District.

Aside from having the lowest average cost of living, relocating to Alesund is an excellent idea for various reasons. Alesund is one of Norway’s most popular tourist destinations because of its magnificently preserved Art Nouveau architecture.

The city is blessed with a picture-perfect Norwegian setting, surrounded by fjords and the Sunnmore Alps. Moreover, it also has numerous cultural and entertainment attractions.

Watching the boats come and go in the Alesund Harbor is also exciting and relaxing. The Skansen peninsula shelters Lesund’s harbor between the islands of Nervey and Aspey.

As lovely as it’s to wander around and admire the architecture–the picturesque harbor includes some old fishermen’s buildings–you’ll be tempted to sit and watch the boat traffic come and go.

Aside from housing one of Europe’s largest fishing fleets, the harbor is also a stop on Hurtigruten, the fast coastal service connecting all of Norway. Furthermore, it’s also a popular cruise ship destination.

2. Sarpsborg

  • Population: 51,942 (Source: All-Population)
  • Average Salary: $58,944 per year (Source: BDEX)
  • Average Cost of Living: $1,514 per month for a single person (Source: Living Cost)
  • Best Job Opportunity: IT (Source: Glassdoor)
  • Rent: $1,262 (Source: Living Cost)
  • House Prices: $4,035 per sqm (Source: Numbeo)

Sarpsborg locates in Viken County, Norway. Together with Fredrikstad, it forms the fifth largest urban area in Norway.

Besides having the second-lowest average cost of living in Norway, the city also features the most incredible science centers for children in the country. Moreover, it has the highest number of sunny days compared to any other place in Norway. 

Moreover, Sarpsborg also houses the most powerful waterfall – Sarps Fall. The waterfall is located on the Glomma River, not far from the city center. 

Iceland’s Dettifoss and Switzerland’s Rhine Falls are both larger. Despite that, Sarp Falls has 577 cubic meters per second, compared to 200 and 500 of Dettifoss and Rhine Falls, respectively. Viewpoints are scattered along the east side of the falls.

Moreover, a road and railway cross the waterfall from above. As well as being a natural wonder, Sarp Falls is an industrial wonder since the water feeds three power stations, two on the east and one on the west.

3. Halden

  • Population: 29,544 (Source: All-Population)
  • Average Salary: $52,392 per year (Source: BDEX)
  • Average Cost of Living: $1,531 per month for a single person (Source: Living Cost)
  • Best Job Opportunity: Senior Product Manager (Source: Glassdoor)
  • Rent: $1,523 (Source: Living Cost)
  • House Prices: $2,449.79 per sqm (Source: Numbeo)

Halden lies on the border of Sweden, nestled up by the Iddefjord. There is a mighty fortress above the town, known as Fredriksten Fortress.

The town of Halden features one of the most peaceful and historic parks- the Busterud Park. The park was established about a century ago on land previously occupied by the Nordsiden churchyard and Christian Church. 

In 1879, the famous bandstand in the park was completed. In the summer, the military band often uses the bandstand. Sculptor Dyre Vaa created a monument in the park. This monument was erected in 1939 as to tribute to composers Friedrich Reissiger and Oscar Borg for their contributions to Halden’s musical life.

4. Arendal

  • Population: 41,655 (Source: All-Population)
  • Average Salary: $48,995 per year (Source: Pay Scale)
  • Average Cost of Living: $1,567 per month for a single person (Source: Living Cost)
  • Best Job Opportunity: Administrative Coordinator (Source: Pay Scale)
  • Rent: $1,386 (Source: Living Cost)
  • House Prices: $9,249 per sqm (Source: Numbeo)

The wonderful coastal town of Arendal consists of skerries, woods, and hills. It is a popular summer vacation spot for Norwegians. Arendal is the county seat of Aust-Agder and part of the county region of Sørlandet. 

You will find skerries, saltwater, and idyllic small towns and villages in this coastal area. Inland areas, just a short distance from the sea, offer woods, hills, and moors and are sparsely populated.

When you live in Arendal, you will never go short of wonderful attractions to visit. One of those is Pollen- the harbor of Arendal. 

The bustling quayside of Pollen is the heart of Arendal. The area is home to fishermen selling crabs, the fish market, pubs, restaurants, as well as benches for relaxing and feeding the ducks. There’s nothing better than a sunny day down at Pollen.

5. Porsgrunn

  • Population: 34,186 (Source: All-Population)
  • Average Salary: $52,392 per year (Source: BDEX)
  • Average Cost of Living: $1,598 per month for a single person (Source: Living Cost)
  • Best Job Opportunity: Sales (Source: Grab Job)
  • Rent: $1,100 (Source: Living Cost)
  • House Prices: $3,103 per sqm (Source: Numbeo)

The town of Porsgrunn is located in the county of Vestfold of Telemark in Norway. It belongs to the traditional region of Grenland and is the municipality’s administrative center. 

There are several attractions in Porsgunn, including the Kunsthall Grenland. It is a regionally incorporated art gallery in Porsgrunn that works to promote contemporary art and engage a broad audience.

Aside from the gallery, there is also the Gea Norvegica Unesco Global Geopark. It is the first Geopark in Scandinavia. Its mission is to spread knowledge about Norway’s unique geological heritage and demonstrate how natural geological processes are interconnected with human existence.

6. Kongsberg

Kongsberg is a historic mining town and municipality located in Buskerud, Viken county. It has been a center of silver mining, arms production, and forestry for centuries and the hub of Norway’s largest defense contractor, Kongsberg Gruppen.

You can explore Kongsberg’s Mining Museum, which is actually five museums (all under one roof).  With the price of just one ticket, you can explore the Silver Mines, see the Mining Museum, and learn about one of the world’s largest raw silver collections.

Moreover, there are many “badeplasser” (“bathing places”) in Kongsberg, mostly lakes, and the community is very happy to use them. It includes ribbon-cuttings every spring and, sometimes, a friendly prank that involves throwing the Mayor of Kongsberg into the waters.

You can also come to river Lagen during your free time. Kongsberg is divided in half by the river Lågen. Since timber production began in the town, the river has played numerous important roles, from power production to timber production. 

The Labro museum provides a well-documented account of all this and other interesting exhibits as well. Just don’t tell the river they built a whole museum for it. It’s bursting enough as it is.

8. Harstad

In Northern Norway, Harstad serves as a gateway to Vesterlen and Lofoten thanks to its strategic placement on Norway’s largest island Hinnya. Other northern cities, such as Narvik, Troms, and Bod, are easily accessible from the city.

Getting to outdoor areas where you can go hiking, skiing, cycling, kayaking, and canoeing is accessible from the city center. Regardless of the season, the light will make your stay totally unforgettable! The midnight sun in the summer and the northern lights in the winter will captivate you both.

The city has a vibrant cultural life with ongoing events and festivals, as well as a variety of charming cafes and restaurants. As if that wasn’t enough, the city’s coolest water park is built into a mountain.


Anna is an experienced expat and writer. She has been living abroad for over 6 years.

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