Making the Most of Your Pennies in Oslo
Oslo is notoriously known by people for being one of the most expensive cities in the world. There are so many stories out there about how much this costs and how much that costs, but is it really so expensive that you need to avoid visiting if you're trying to budget? The answer is no. I was really surprised when I visited to find that there were a lot of attractions that were completely free. Yes, FREE! Oslo is great for museums (not free), so do your research beforehand and check out which ones interest you. Chances are, it'll be worth it for you to purchase the Oslo Pass as it also includes public transportation, meaning the ferry over to Bygdoy, where many of the top museums are located, is completely free! The metro up to the Holmenkollen Ski Museum? Free. The tram up to Ekebergparken for amazing views of the city and fjords? Free. I find city passes are great ways of saving money, but only if you're actually going to visit the attractions on it in the first place, not just for the sake of it. The best way of finding out if it's worth it, is to go on each attraction's website and add up the cost of all the entry fees and compare it to the price of the pass.
Staying: Citybox Oslo (hotel review here) is in a great location, less than 10 minutes from the train station, and offers very affordable and modern rooms. Cochs Pensjonat (hotel review here) is located just behind the Royal Palace, and is surrounded by lovely shops and restaurants. It's perfect if you're on a budget but still want somewhere centrally located!
Eating: Food is probably going to be your biggest expense after accommodation. I had a look at a lot of prices at restaurants, and can see why visitors complain about the cost! Instead, I made my way to the numerous food trucks that are dotted around the city. There are also a few indoor food markets that are great spots to grab something to eat. The food trucks are perfect for lunch and dinner. I hopped between 3 along Aker Brygge, trying out different cuisines, and paid less than I would have at a restaurant for one course. If you're looking for the supermarket, REMA 1000 is the main one, but they're incredibly hard to find, often located underground, so make sure you have your map at the ready!
Flying: This is a big one. When I was researching flights, I came across a really cheap one with Ryanair, but it went into Oslo Torp not the main airport, Gardermoen. To get from Torp to the city centre is about a 2hr journey via shuttle and train. The flight I was looking at got in at midnight, so that really didn't appeal to me. I added the cost of a return train journey to the flight, and believe it or not it came out to the same as it would to fly into the main airport. Which is what I did. Same price, but more convenient with Norwegian Air. From the airport, you can get to the city centre in 20min! There is an express airport train, or a normal one which costs half the price and takes 2min longer. So don't be fooled at the airport with all the signs for the express train ticket machines, get yourself a normal ticket!
I spent 4 days in Oslo, and loved every minute of it. Even the rain couldn't spoil it for me! The saying is true, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing"!
Norsk Folkemuseum & Bygdoy
Bygdoy Museum Hopping
Grab a Bite to Eat at Mathallen Food Hall
Holmenkollen Ski Museum
Snap a Photo on Damstredet
Walk On Top of the Oslo Opera House
Locate the Engebret Cafe
Take a Walk Through Ekebergparken
Visit, erm, Santa?
Akerselva River Walk
Hop on a Boat
Nobel Peace Centre
Oslo City Hall
Karl Johans Gate
Scream at The National Museum
Oslo is a great city to visit, even if you're on a budget. You just need to plan ahead! Like I said, a lot of things are free to do, and you can save a lot by purchasing the Oslo Pass. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have! Happy travelling!