Living in Oslo, Norway: A Kroner Life on a Dollar Budget

by Whitney Delaney

As one of the most expensive cities in the world, US dollars only go so far in Oslo, Norway. Luckily, there are tons of ways to stretch your dollar in this beautiful city. The price of most goods in Norway is higher than in the United States; however, these tips can help manage and lessen the cost of living and studying in Oslo.

The Oslo Opera House in Norway
The Oslo Opera House. Photo by Troy Peden

Tip 1: Shop at Kiwi. There are many grocery store chains in Norway, but Kiwi will be your wisest choice. Kiwi’s store brand “First Price” is a low cost line of most basic products such as: cereal, eggs, lunch meat, snack foods, jam, pasta, and cheese. 

Tip 2: Take the T-bane (metro line) to Grønland. This neighborhood has a market with reasonably priced fresh produce and a variety of imported goods. There is also a wide variety of tea, Asian sauces, canned goods, and other random products such as pesto or hummus.

Tip 3: Explore different coffee shops. Going for coffee and a roll is a nice way to get out and experience the local flavor without spending a ton of money. There are coffee shops everywhere in Oslo, both national chains like Deli Deluca and unique places. Go for a walk in your neighborhood or ride the tram around to see the city and scope coffee shops that look good.

Tip 4: Throw a casual dinner party. Going out for a sit down meal in Oslo is very expensive, so getting together with friends for a dinner party is a great substitute for dining out. Everyone can bring a dish unique to his or her home country for a potluck, or you all can get together to cook something new, either way dining out won’t be missed.

Viking Ship Museum

Viking Ship Museum

Tip 5: Learn to love Wasa. Wasa crackers are very cheap (We’re talking roughly $2 for a package of 50). Eat them with peanut butter, First Price chocolate hazelnut spread, lunch meat, cheese, or anything that sounds good. Substitute them for bread or just eat them for a snack.

Tip 6: Carry a reusable water bottle. A bottle of water will cost roughly $5, so carrying a refillable water bottle will ensure you are always hydrated without draining your bank account.

Tip 7: Fly with Ryanair. Ryanair is a discount airline that flies out of the airport in Rygge (50 miles from Oslo). A bus will bring you to and from the airport and tickets are 250NOK for students. Plane tickets with Ryanair can be as cheap as $15, so traveling around Europe is easy and affordable.

Tip 8: Read up on museums before you go. Check museum web sites for prices because often here are student days or discount days. For example; The Nationalmuseet (National Gallery) is free on Sunday.

Tip 9: Pay attention to flyers. You will see flyers for events all around on light posts and at metro stops. Read them while waiting for the bus/tram/train because they are often advertising free events, flea markets, etc.

Tip 10: Take advantage of free nights at clubs. If you feel like going dancing there are many places with free entry. If you are a BI student you can get free entry at Lawo on Thursday. Horgans is also free on Thursday for anyone. Justisen has free entry and is especially fun when the weather is nice because they have a courtyard set up for dancing.

Tip 11: Know the night bus schedule. Going out in Oslo is a blast, but getting home can be difficult if you don’t understand the transit system. Taxi cabs are very costly (they start the meter at $6) and regular transportation stops running between midnight and 1 a.m. Sunday thru Thursday. Check the Ruter web site to figure out which bus you should take. You might have to walk a short distance if one doesn’t go to your typical stop, but it will save you a lot of money.

Studying abroad in Norway can be intimidating, but by following these tips you won’t have to worry so much about the cost. Studying and living in a foreign country is an amazing experience no matter where you go, but if you find yourself in Oslo you now know how to make the most of the beauty and many opportunities in this great city.

Christian Krohg Statue

Christian Krohg Statue