Oslo, Norway – Expensive And Lots Of Swedish People!

I’ll probably get a lot of people disagreeing with me on this, and maybe I’m totally wrong to say it – but Oslo didn’t leave much of an impression on me.

It was small, cute and nice, but I have a very strong feeling that the country side of Norway, places like Bergen and Stavanger – are completely different and amazing.

I can hardly wait to organize a trip to Bergen, Tromsö and the fjords, but Oslo?

Well, this time it was a bit of a lukewarm experience, which is ok, you don’t have to love every place you visit.

There really was nothing wrong about the city, but for some reason it failed to leave much of an impression on me, although there were a few things which really did stick out:

Experience REALLY Expensive For The First Time

You think Denmark is expensive? Go to Oslo! In Oslo you can experience first hand what expensive really feels like.

I never thought I would say “let’s wait to buy that until we get to Sweden”, as prices were pretty much half there.

Yes, Sweden is cheap compared to Norway.

A local bus ride through town would cost you 40 NOK (7 dollars), and a take away pizza 246 NOK, 44 US dollars!

I don’t know how all the homeless people made it through, it would have to be the worst place to be with no money.

Understandably it’s not that easy finding cheap hotels in Oslo, but there are a few cheap hostels around and we made it through by avoiding eating out every night.

Every Second Person Is Swedish

Every second person you’ll meet working in a supermarket, shop, restaurant or hotel – is Swedish.

According to the Swedish media (I don’t know myself if this is true), many young Norwegians don’t want these types of jobs, and meanwhile tons of Swedish people move to Norway and take any job available to save some money.

It was crazy to see how many Swedish people lived here, and I can’t quite understand why.

Yes, you earn more money, but you also spend a lot more – so in the end, doesn’t it even out?

The Closeness To Nature

Oslo is surrounded by green pine forest, blue ocean and the typical Scandinavian red houses with white corners, it’s easy to get out of the city and experience more of the landscape that Norway is famous for, which was great.

I will definitely return to Norway, hopefully soon, but next time I want to see what Norway is actually famous for, and see if it lives up to its rumors of being the most beautiful country in the world…

Have you been to Oslo? What were your impressions and experiences?

17 Responses to Oslo, Norway – Expensive And Lots Of Swedish People!

  1. Lauriane November 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    I agree with you, Oslo isn’t that awesome and sure is expensive!! I liked Bergen wayyy more, and I think that the West coast of Norway is much more interesting if you only have time for one “side” of Norway. The fjords are so amazing!!

    • Sofia - As We Travel November 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

      I so want to visit the west coast of Norway and travel up north. We’re thinking of taking a trip along the coast next year, maybe in spring when the days are a bit longer again.

      • MPS November 16, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

        I have been to Norway twice in the past 2 years and am already planning a third trip. I absolutely fell in love. But given so many lukewarm comments like yours about Oslo I have not been anywhere apart from the airport there. Regardless of what one thinks of Oslo, the countryside in Norway is amazing. I did a roadtrip with a bunch of friends in the summer in the western fjords: Bergen to Geiranger and back, and then a winter trip Tromso to the Lofotens. I cant recommend it enough. And if you go as a group you can stay in cabins right by the fjords which come out cheaper than the hostels and from which you can cook your own meals thereby sparing a lot of money. If you are traveling alone or as a couple, then you can also couch surf as I did for my Tromso-Lofoten trip. Met so many incredibly nice people. Bottom line is if you like nature, go to Norway and dont be detered by Oslo!!!

        • Sofia - As We Travel November 17, 2011 at 8:11 am #

          Sounds like an amazing experience. Seeing the fjords is on my bucket list, and I would love to check out Trollstigen, pulpit rock, Stavanger, Kjerahbolten.. so many places.

  2. Munajor November 13, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    Oslo is very nice city,i think it deserves visit.Thank you

    • Nathan - As We Travel November 15, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

      I think Olso deserves a visit yes, but also the rest of Norway has so much more to offer and showcase to the world.

  3. Debbie @ European Travelista November 14, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    It is really hard when a destination doesn’t live up to our expectations!  I experienced this in Budapest.  Sounds like the villages away from Oslo would be a better fit.  I didn’t realize it was so expensive there.

    • Sofia - As We Travel November 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

      I have heard many good things from people taking road trips through Norway visiting the small villages and taking hikes, which seems absolutely wonderful.

      Sorry to hear that Budapest didn’t live up to your expectations. I guess sometimes it’s better not to have any expectations, that way you always leave with a better experience 😉

  4. Taj Mahal India November 19, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    Thanks for sharing
    such informative post regarding the
    Norway – Expensive And Lots Of Swedish People!
    , I was searching the same, now it
    will help a lot

  5. Priyank Thatte November 19, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    What? No Vikings or dragon boats??

  6. mike@earthdrifter.com November 24, 2011 at 4:10 am #

    Yes Oslo is ridiculously expensive but so is the rest of Norway, including Bergen.  If you’re on a budget, like most of us, be creative. There are falafal/shwarma joints run by middle easterners in Oslo (near the center) that are affordable.  Eat out of grocery stores (good affordable food), stay in hostels (expensive for hostels but still) and follow MPS’s lodging/cooking advice below.  The water is über drinkable and free, just carry a bottle to fill up.  Buses serve the country and aren’t too bad on your wallet.  Of course trains are way better and you don’t wanna miss the Oslo to Bergen train ride as it’s said to be one of the most picturesque on earth.    

    • Sofia_AsWeTravel November 24, 2011 at 8:59 am #

      Thanks for the good advice Mike! I loved the tap water in Norway and I can live on falafel pretty well for a while, next time we will continue up north to see the rest of the area.

    • Sofia - As We Travel November 24, 2011 at 8:05 am #

      Thanks for the good advice Mike! I loved the tap water in Norway and I can live on falafel pretty well for a while, next time we will continue up north to see the rest of the area.

  7. Vacation in India November 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Good Post

  8. Vicky April 3, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    “In Oslo you can experience first hand what expensive really feels like.” Ah nb!! I booked a flight for £40 return last week, completely forgetting that it’s one of the most expensive places in the world. Now I’m thinking we’re going to be spending that much on a drink at the airport. Oh dear. Have you got any cheapo travel tips for me? 

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog April 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

      Hey Vicky! I hope I didn’t discourage you from visiting Norway, it’s such a beautiful country and is definitely worth the money, but it’s always good to be prepared.

      The cheapest way to eat is naturally to buy from supermarkets. Look for budget ones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_supermarket_chains_in_Norway), and visit the larger ones rather than small corner shops, even if they are of the same branch as the big ones.

      Restaurants serving Norwegian food are most often more expensive than say Thai, Indian and Sushi restaurants – who also tend to have lunch deals. Kebab places and Pizzerias are also cheaper.
      I don’t know how or where you will be traveling, but a good way to save money on accommodation when traveling around Norway is camping and sleeping in your car.
      You’re also allowed to pitch a tent and camp almost anywhere you like in nature (although not in private places like parks or somebody’s lawn, and 150 meters from a nearby house).

      Some people park their cars overnight at one of the rest stops along roads and sleep in the car.I hope this helped you a bit on the way, and that you have a great time in Norway!


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