The North Cape on a clear day with a magic golden midnight sun over the horizon above the dark blue sea.

Norway Solo Travel: Discover The Epic North Cape Norway Solo On A Budget (2024)

Ever dreamed of embarking on a Norway solo travel journey to the North Cape, standing at the northernmost cliff of mainland Europe, gazing over the vast Arctic Barents Sea with only the North Pole (and Svalbard) in front of you somewhere?

As a native Norwegian, I love being able to introduce you to the magic of Honningsvåg on Magerøya Island, the Gateway to the North Cape, where I’m spending six budget-friendly months this summer.

I will tell you all about what is magic up here, as well as experience it all as a solo traveler on a solo traveler’s budget. Norway is a pricey destination, but it is possible to travel here without breaking the bank.

You’ll learn why the North Cape is a solo traveler’s paradise, how to get there on a budget, where to stay, and all the things you can do while keeping the cost down!

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Norway Solo Travel: Visiting the North Cape

Flying over the northernmost coastline of Norway in early April, where the rugged mountain cliffs run steep into the dark waters of the Barents sea. The mountain plains covered in white snow in relieff to the dark blue Arctic sea on a clear sunny day. Norway solo travel.
Flying over the northernmost coastline in early April

Norway, with its dramatic landscapes stretching from the gentle south to the wild Arctic North, is perfect for solo travel.

Firstly, because Norway is a really safe country for solo travelers (including for solo female travelers), and also because there are so many epic adventures to be had!

The North Cape plateau, perched at the top of mainland Norway, is the northernmost point of mainland Europe—a bucket list destination for millions of travelers worldwide.

Though technically on an island called Magerøya, connected by an undersea tunnel, it’s considered part of the mainland. This iconic, rugged spot will show you extreme weather, breathtaking views, and incredible wildlife.

📍 TravelToNorway Tip: Get an e-SIM for Norway with unlimited data!

Is Norway Safe To Travel Alone

The road to the North Cape in Norway, a long stretch across mountain plains on the Magerøya island on a spring day with blue skies, and still patchy snow on eaither side of the road
The road to the North Cape in Norway

Yes, Norway is a very safe destination in general, including for solo travelers and solo female travelers. This includes walking alone at night and public transport, also in Northern Norway, and the North Cape.

Crime rates are low, and the culture in Norway is one of the most gender-equal in the world. People will generally be respectful and helpful, including men towards women.

In some places, it is even quite common to leave your things in public areas, and no-one will take them!

You will not experience cat-calling in the streets, and strangers (locals) will not speak to you in public areas – in fact, people will generally keep their distance.

Interestingly, this also leads to some visitors interpreting the “distance” as rudeness and a “cold culture”, which is, in fact, not the case.

In Norway, this behavior is a way of showing respect for you and your personal space, and not meant to be rejection or lack of social skills! But you need to know that to not misinterprete it, so consider this insight a cultural travel hack tip!

How to Travel to the North Cape on a Budget

Honningsvåg Harbor on a clear sunny day with red, blue and white fishing boats docked along the jetties on blank dark blue water, with the mountains in the background and blue skies above.
Honningsvåg Harbor on a clear day

Getting to the North Cape doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive. However, you need to get a flight or three, as Norway is a LONG country, and so a road trip along the entire coast will be a long one (but it is doable, of course).

You first need to get to Norway and then all the way up to the North Cape.

You can actually fly to the local airport, Valan, in Honningsvåg Town, but that is not the most budget-friendly option, as the small airlines flying up north are more expensive than the international airlines.

Here are the most budget-friendly options for solo travelers:

  1. Flying: Book a flight from your origin to Norway; you can do this in two ways.
    • Either Fly to Alta, a town about three hours south of Honningsvåg. From Alta, take the affordable Snelandia long-haul bus to Honningsvåg, which will take 3,5 hours.
    • Or fly the whole way to Valan Airport in Honningsvåg (more expensive and less available in winter as the flights regularly get canceled due to the weather).
  2. Public Transport: A network of public buses runs across Finnmark, Norway’s northernmost county. Check Northern Norway by Bus for long-haul, and Snelandia from Alta Airport.
  3. Driving: Rent a car from your last airport and drive up. From Alta, it is three hours northbound across the mountain planes, and from Tromsø Town, further south, it is between 8 and 9 hours. This can be economical, and you need to be comfortable driving in potentially snowy, icy, and windy conditions from September to May.
  4. Cruise Ships: While not the cheapest, keep an eye out for deals with Hurtigruten and Havila, Norwegian coastal cruise lines that dock almost daily in Honningsvåg. You can choose the port-to-port option with both cruise lines and arrive by boat from Tromsø or Alta in a few hours.

Budget-Friendly Activities in Honningsvåg and the North Cape

From the top of the Sherpa Stairs in Honningsvåg, stunning views from the partly snow covered mountain over the blank fjords and snow covered mountain plains in the distance under blue skies with brilliant sunlight
From the top of the Sherpa Stairs in Honningsvåg

Nature and wildlife experiences abound in Arctic Norway, and at least on Magerøya Island and in Honningsvåg. The area offers a lot more than just the North Cape, and I will list all your adventure options below.

Here’s how to enjoy them without overspending:

  1. North Cape Plateau: Rent a car and rive yourself to the plateau or take the local Snelandia bus from Honningsvåg during the summer (64 Norwegian Kroner). The bus is the cheapest way to reach the plateau, but the one bus that departs daily can get crowded and sometimes completely full in the high season from June through August.
  2. Hiking: Explore the beautiful hiking trails around Honningsvåg. Popular routes include:
    • The Sherpa Stairs to Storfjellet
    • Hike to Kirkeporten (The Church Gate)
    • Hike to Knivskjellodden
  3. Honningsvåg Town: Expore Honningsvåg Town, home to no more than 2500 people! There is more to this tiny town than meets the eye, and I will list some options a few paragraphs below.
  4. Guided North Cape Tours: While more pricey, the most budget-friendly options are around 100 dollars for a guided tour to the North Cape plus other attractions, like meeting the Sami people and seeing reindeer and king crab sites.
  5. Other Adventures: Enjoy boat birdwatching trips, ATV adventures, and RIB safaris in the Arctic waters of the Barents Sea.

Even on a budget, I would still recommend you consider fitting in one adventure tour up here. Some activities are not accessible without a skilled guide.

These are ATV-trips, boat trips, and snowmobile tours. This will superhcarge your adventure, if you can fit it into your budget!

Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Honningsvåg

The cruise ship harbor in Honningsvåg in April, the red, black and white Hurtigruten cruise line ship is docked on the snow covered wharf, on the dark blue sea with snow covered mountains in the background on under blue skies on a sunny but cold April day
The cruise ship harbor in Honningsvåg in April

This small town offers some great activities that won’t strain your wallet:

  1. North Cape Museum: Learn about the region’s history and culture for a modest fee.
  2. Aurora Show: Experience the northern lights in a captivating 15-minute show.
  3. West of the Sun Art Gallery: Admire local artwork for free.
  4. Frozen Summer Jewelry Gallery & Shop: Browse unique, locally made silver jewelry.
  5. Perleporten Culture Center & Fishermans Pub: Catch an occasional show depicting Arctic life.
  6. Have a coffee at the charming Honni Bakes Bakery with a sweet treat on the side.
  7. Hike the stunning Sherpa Stairs to Storfjellet Mountain summit. It is less than an hour on foot from the center of Honningsvåg, about 300 meters above sea level, and you will be rewarded with a spectacular 360-degree view from the top.
  8. Try the famous King Crab in one of the town’s restaurants (most have at least one King Crab dish on the menu)

Tours on Magerøya and the North Cape

Be aware that not all tours are available all year round. The summer season runs from May through August and early September, and in this period, most tours are available.

In the winter, you can also do tours like ATV and snowmobile tours, and Northern Lights tours!

Affordable Accommodation in Honningsvåg

Small green camping cabins outside Honningsvåg in May on a partly cloudy day when there still is a bit of snow, and the grass is yellow, with the waivy mountains in the distance
Camping cabins outside Honningsvåg in May

There is one hotel in town that often offers the lowest prices, called the Arctic Hotel, situated in the main street. Apart from that, you generally need to go a bit out of town for the lower-priced options .

These consist mostly of “hikers’ homes” and small cabins on camping sites with simple standards but also in the middle of nature. Check out:

You can also search for homestays on Airbnb and look for Honningsvåg (you can write Honningsvag in English).

Skarsvåg: A Budget-Friendly Gem Near North Cape

A majestic king crab up close with its face and long claws, held by a guide in an orange jacket
See King Crabs in Skarsvåg 15 miles from Honningsvåg

Skarsvåg, a small fishing village between Honningsvåg and the North Cape, is famous for its king crab shows and tours.

With some affordable Airbnb options, it offers a more authentic vibe. Be prepared, though, as there are no shops here, so stock up on essentials.

Packing for Budget Norway Solo Travel

Me wearing a long insulated jacket and hat in May in Honningsvåg, holding a cute dog while visiting the docks in Honningsvåg on a cloudy but bright day.
Still with an insulated jacket and hat in May in Honningsvåg

Your packing list will depend on the season and your activities. Regardless of time of year, I can tell you that foreigners often underestimate the weather, temperature and elements when traveling to Arctic Norway.

So my general advice is to pack more than you think; you don’t want your holiday adventures ruined by dressing too thin, without wind and rain-proof clothing.

Here are my best tips:

Summer:

  • Swimwear (yes, it is possible, but it will be very refreshing!)
  • Warm sweaters
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Jacket for chilly evenings
  • Light scarf
  • Sunglasses (remember there will be midnight sun!)
  • Rain and windproof clothing
  • SPF

Shoulder Seasons (Fall and Spring):

  • Lightly insulated jacket
  • Warm sweaters
  • Long thermal underwear
  • Mittens or gloves
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable walking shoes with some insulation

Winter:

  • Thick insulated jacket (type Michelin Man!)
  • Thermal underwear
  • Warm sweaters (fleece or wool for layering)
  • Warm, thick mittens, scarf, windproof hat
  • Insulated boots and woolen or thermal socks
  • Coldcream for your face

Traveling to the North Cape on a Budget

The North Cape plateau at night in May, with blue skies and a blue light in the air in front of the famous North Cape globe and the vast Barents sea that is calm and blank on this day
The North Cape plateau at night in May

As mentioned earlier, you can fly to Valan Airport in Honningsvåg (weather permitting), where the domestic Wideroe Airline flies to the small airport.

The more economical option is to fly to Alta and take the budget-priced Snelandia bus or drive from there. This is also the “safest” option, as the smaller airports like Valan regularly close down in the winter due to snow and winds.

Road trips are an option, but be ready for challenging conditions, especially between October and April. Between April and September, it can be a good option to fly to Alta (or Tromsø for a longer road trip), and drive the 3,5 hours (8-9 hours) to Honningsvåg.

Cruises can also be economical if you find the right deal, mainly the port-to-port option (a full cruise normally is not too budgety).

Why Visit Arctic Norway & The North Cape on a Budget

If you thrive on urban nightlife for your holiday, Arctic Norway might not be for you.

However, if you love feeling alive, embracing the fierce elements, experiencing stunning nature, and seeking unique adventures, this region will probably captivate you.

Plus, with some savvy planning, Norway solo travel can be surprisingly affordable.

FAQ: Norway Solo Travel to the North Cape

Is the North Cape worth visiting?

Absolutely! The North Cape offers a unique destination with rugged nature, extreme climate, and the majestic North Cape plateau. It’s an adventure worth taking.

What makes the North Cape special?

The North Cape plateau is the highlight, but the area also features the beautiful island of Magerøya.

Experience things like the world’s northernmost supermarket, reindeer roaming the streets in summer, birdwatching, RIB and ATV adventures, and hiking (the Sherpa Stairs in Honningsvåg was built by South American sherpas in 2023).

When to visit the North Cape?

Summer offers the midnight sun, reindeer encounters, and green plains. Winter provides the polar night, northern lights, and a stark, stunning frozen landscape. Choose based on the experience you seek.

What town is near the North Cape?

Honningsvåg is the nearest town, with Valan Airport for flights (weather permitting). Alta, about a three-hour drive away, is another option for flights and onward travel.

Wrap-Up: Norway Solo Travel to the North Cape

Whether or not the North Cape was on your bucket list, I hope this inspires you to visit and provides the info you need to plan your budget-friendly adventure.

Magerøya promises an unforgettable experience, whether in summer or winter. Just research, plan your activities, and pack appropriately for the season—and you’ll have an adventure of a lifetime!

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Is Oslo Safe For Solo Female Travelers: Advice From A Local!

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