Oslo is beautiful and charming, the air is crisp, the water is clean. Everything is surprisingly clean and well-kept, actually. Oslo is also outrageously expensive. I knew it was expensive, but it still caught me off guard when I saw bags of crisps for 7 euros. Don’t let it catch you off guard as well and read on!
Save on food
Dining out in Oslo can be expensive. If you don’t want to break the bank on food, consider renting an Airbnb apartment with a kitchen. We managed to get a very comfortable apartment in the city centre for €57,- a night, which saved us quite a bit of money on food because we could cook instead of dining out every day. And it’s fun to browse Norwegian supermarkets – I loved trying their snacks (they really like salmiak). And don’t forget to eat lots of salmon! Fair warning: even grocery shopping in Oslo can be a pricey affair. If you really want to save money… Bring your own snacks.
If you want to do and see everything Oslo has to offer, consider buying an Oslo Pass. It’s not cheap, but it’ll give you free public transport, free access to over 30 museums and a discount at a lot of restaurants. We didn’t get this since there were enough other things to keep us busy, but for an activity-packed day or two it might be worth it.
The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace is on top of a hill in the city, visible from far away with a long, wide road leading up to it. You can see the changing of the guards every day at 1.30 PM and have a leisurely stroll in the park surrounding the palace.
Vigeland Park (Frogner Park)
Vigeland Park is filled with sculptures by a single artist: Gustav Vigeland, who also designed the layout of the park. You should go even just for the baby-kicking statue. According to Gustav, the babies are attacking the man. It’s self defense, alright?
Seriously, the water is so crystal clear, it looks fake. It’s mesmerising. I could’ve watched the strange ripples all day. And while you’re there, see if you can spot the high walls of Akershus Fortress. The castle was completed in the 1300’s and it’s free to visit. There’s a great waterfront view from the top of the walls.
Walk along Akerselva river
There’s a river flowing right through Oslo. Even if you don’t look for it, you’ll inevitably run into it at some point. It’s a great, relaxing walk (go upstream) with quite a few waterfalls along the way. I never knew how noisy waterfalls were until I heard them here.
Just walk everywhere
I love walking, and Oslo is perfect for that. The streets are wide and quiet and everything is within walking distance. Oslo isn’t the most exciting place on earth, it’s a place to slow down and relax. Take your time and watch the water. See the quaint houses and the birds. It’s great.