All capital cities like to blend the old and the new but few do it with quite as much style… or “stil”… as Norway’s Oslo. This tight-knit and compact city, which is lined by mountains to the north and sea to the south, has a fascinating past (proudly displayed in any one of its many, many, many museums). But these days, Oslo is very much a city that’s looking towards the future.
Oslo’s skyline is now one of the most modern in Europe thanks to an explosion of innovative architecture. The city is fast earning a reputation as the newest jewel in the Scandinavian culinary crown as well as the home to some of the best nights out in Europe. Think Berlin before Berlin knew how cool it was.
However, Oslo has a deserved reputation for being pretty pricey… it’s been voted the most expensive city in the world on three occasions
But fear not.
Using real data from real travellers just like you we’ve put together this handy guide to help you budget properly while roaming the city.
|Currency in Norway||Norwegian Krone|
|Average Daily Spend||£114|
|GBP to NOK||£1 = 11.50kr|
|Local Beer Price||82kr|
|Can of Coke||29kr|
This reflects what everyday travellers tend to spend in Oslo. Think mid-range – most of the major attractions, a few cab rides, maybe a big night out, and a bit of shopping on the side. It doesn’t include the cost of hotels or car hire as these are often booked in advance.
|Eating Out 644kr per day||Entertainment 322kr per day||Transport 323kr per day|
Like most European capitals, banks with ATMs are found throughout the city centre. Norway is leading the way in trying to be a cash-free economy and most shops, restaurants, bars and cafes prefer debit or credit cards over cash, even for small purchases. This does mean you will likely use your card for a lot more transactions which can result in a lot more fees. Compare your travel money options before you go and choose a card with no spending fees.
WeSwap Traveller Average Daily Spend: £30 (322kr)
|The Fram Museum||120kr|
|The Viking Ship Museum||100kr|
|Oslo Opera House||Free|
|The Villa Oslo Dancing AS||Varies|
Lotta museums on that list, we admit that, but this is a city that is proud of its past. Most of them cost about the same, with adult tickets coming in at around 100kr to 120kr. Children and senior citizen entrance tend to be quite a bit cheaper. We’ve also offered up something for those of you looking for a cheaper day trip, a wild night out or a not-so-traditional Norwegian pastime.
Very popular with WeSwap users is the Fram Museum. Fram, (direct translation: forward), is a famous exploring ship that still holds the records for sailing farthest north and farthest south. The ship itself is on display here along with a polar simulator that recreates the harsh conditions experienced by the explorers.
Hard to think about Scandinavia without thinking about saunas, isn’t it? Well, luckily we’ve included one on our list. This one’s a little different though. SALT is a pop-up art project that has bands, poets, performances, food, drink and, vitally, one of the world’s largest saunas with space for 100 people.
Equally hard is thinking about Scandinavia without thinking about Vikings. Oslo’s Museum of Cultural History’s Viking Ship Museum isn’t a bad place to start exploring as it is home to the completely whole Oseberg Ship, excavated from the largest known ship burial in the world.
The Oslo Opera House is the perfect way to experience the city’s stunning architecture, in more ways than one. The building itself, only built in 2008, is incredible and gives you a chance to walk on the building’s roof and see that stunning Oslo skyline up close. Plus, it’s free. So there’s that.
For those looking to explore Oslo’s nightlife, you’d be hard-pressed to find somewhere better than The Villa Oslo Dancing AS. This club plays host to some of the world’s top techno DJs (a list can be found, in Norwegian, on their website). Prices vary for entrance depending on who is on the decks, but our tip would be to do what the locals do to save money and begin the night with a “vorspiel” or “pre-party” at your accommodation before heading out.
WeSwap Traveller Average Daily Spend: £56 (644kr)
|Restaraunt/Bar||Average Meal Cost|
|Fuglen||120kr for a cocktail|
Oslo’s culinary scene is on the rise. The city now has a three-Michelin-star restaurant, a burgeoning sushi and pizza scene and a thriving hipster-foodie scene, and say what you like about their monocles and moustaches, they know how to throw a meal together.
The Scotsman has everything. It’s a pub that serves gastropub food (think gourmet scotch eggs and bacon cheeseburgers), it has live music and DJs and, most importantly, it has shuffleboard, the official pub sport of Norway.
A true symbol of Oslo’s trendy reinvention, Fuglen is one of Oslo’s most famous cocktail bars. Using mostly local spirits and Nordic ingredients (seaweed, moss, flowers), their cocktails are known around the world. Plus, it’s open until 3.30am. If you wake up afterwards feeling like you need a coffee, it’s a café in the daytime too.
Tacos are not often associated with Scandinavia, but El Camino is eager to change that. Tortillas are made fresh on site and you can pick up three tacos for around 150kr, which is quite the bargain… in Oslo.
One of the last of its kind, Syverkiosken is a hole-in-the-wall hot dog (or “polse”) kiosk that it is the last standing defence against fast food chains and convenience store hot dogs. With prices from just 20kr, these Viennese sausages are topped with all sorts of local produce and their famous thick potato pancakes. An absolute must for all travellers, no matter your budget.
There are three Kaffebrenneriet in Oslo, with a number of other restaurants across Norway. This café chain, however, has managed to avoid losing its quality as it’s expanded. Serving a huge range of high-quality coffees, you can also pick up a sandwich here for around 70kr.
WeSwap Traveller Average Daily Spend: £20
|Taxi from the airport to city centre||610kr|
|Shuttle train from the airport to city centre||160kr|
|24-hour public pass||395kr|
|24-hr public pass – Zone one||150kr|
|3 Day City Bike||99kr|
Although relatively compact, Oslo is Norway’s biggest city, so to really get a feel for it you might have to jump on a bus or a train at some point. The Oslo Pass includes access to all public-transport options within the city, with the exception of late-night buses and trams, and most ferries around Oslofjord and is worth the investment.
Oslo is a famously green city and if you’d like to do your bit, the Oslo City Bike gives you unlimited rides of 45-minute duration over 24 hours, three days or the whole season (45/99/299kr) from bicycle stands around the city. You can buy a pass via the website and your smartphone, via its app or by getting a pin from the website.
Last checked and updated: 03.07.2018. All travel, accommodation and entertainment costs are taken from the provider’s official website – but don’t forget to double check yourself first before you head off!