Oslo is very versatile. You can feel the pulse and energy of a big city with many cafes, markets, and art centers, and at the same time, relaxation is spread in the air, and travelers display the same peaceful state that rolls over only in nature. This is because the city is surrounded by wild forests and the fjord is just a stone’s throw away. You can go to a high-tech opera in the very center, and after 20 minutes listening to birds in the forest or barbecue in the park – no one will be surprised. Oslo is big enough for each neighborhood to have its own vibe: you will never confuse the urban vibe of Grünerløkka with the tension of Frogner, even if you are visiting for the first time. A Complete Guide to Oslo.
Of course, go to Vigeland Park, climb the Opera building and watch the ships in museums. But Oslo is not about pop tourist spots. Oslo is nature, vibrant nightlife, and people: stylish, open, humble, and very intimate. Plan your budget clearly – Oslo has been recognized as the most expensive European capital several times in a row, but this is a weak excuse not to visit this cool northern city. Camping sites, barbecue places, the weirdest statues, funny parties, and, of course, cheap eateries where only locals go – all this awaits you in the guide.
The road to Oslo is the only relatively cheap part of your trip. There are many options. For example, you can get from Vilnius on Wizz Air for € 40 in two directions (€ 20 with a discount club or if you choose the dates). Direct flights from Riga will be in the same price range. Tickets Vilnius – Oslo with Ryanair will cost you at least € 13 one way.
If you want to fly from Minsk, then the most budget options in two directions will be in the region of € 150-170, and there is plenty to choose from: Norwegian (via Vilnius), AirBaltic, and Aeroflot (via Riga). If the connection is convenient, you can get there in 6 hours.
On the Moscow – Oslo route, AirBaltic will make you faster and cheaper with a transfer in Riga. Round-trip tickets cost around € 160.
You can get from Kyiv to Oslo by MAU (you will have to change trains in Riga or Amsterdam) or Ryanair via Vilnius. In any case, tickets start at € 120 in both directions.
All urban transport (metro, buses, trams, and ferries) costs € 5.3. Aeroexpress from the airport will cost € 19, a regional train ticket will cost less – € 9.5. Everywhere there is a 50% discount for students, which significantly saves the budget in Oslo.
A good option for Oslo is Airbnb. The cost of rooms and apartments differs at times, but with a certain degree of luck, you can rent something for € 25, although prices of € 45-65 are much more common. But, compared to hotels, this is still quite significant savings.
There are not many hostels in Oslo. Pay attention, in almost all hostels, bed linen is paid – from € 5 per day. Breakfast will cost the same – a good alternative to going to a cafe.
Anker Hostel (Storgata 55) . Clean hostel near the center. There is a shower in every dormitory, but a toilet is in the corridor. Nothing fancy, but good for a couple of nights. A bed in an 8-bed room will cost € 25.
Oslo Vandrehjem – Holtekilen (Micheletsv. 55) . This hostel is located in nature, 8 km from the city. You can get to the center in 15 minutes by train. Breakfast is included in the price. The cheapest bed in a 5-bed room will cost you € 26.
Oslo Vandrehjem-Haraldsheim (Haraldsheimv. 4) . Nice large hostel with a fresh renovation, sunny kitchen, and great terrace. The city center is 10 minutes by tram. Breakfast is included in the price, but you will have to pay for linen separately (sleeping bags are not allowed). Bed from € 27.
Cochs Pensjonat (Parkveien 25) is a guesthouse five minutes from the center. You can rent single, double, and triple rooms of varying degrees of comfort. A great alternative to a hotel if you are already too old for dorms.
We will understand if you grab a tent and want to camp in the most expensive city in Europe. Especially considering that the campsites here are equipped with everything you need. Moreover, we already have several options in mind.
Oslo Fjordcamp. 40 minutes from Oslo Central Station and you’re camping by the fjord. When you get to the city, you will see many steep beaches – it might be worth getting out and resting by the water. Pay attention, it works only in summer! Set up a tent – € 17.
Ekeberg Camping (Ekebergveien 65) . The view from this campsite is excellent! And if you get bored, go to the mini-golf course, play football, or just take a walk in the surrounding area. You can get to the center by bus 34 or 46. Put up a tent – € 19.5.
Royal Palace (Slottsplassen 1) . The royal family in Norway are not snobs, but rather advanced and democratic guys. King Harald generally looks like a kind grandfather. But their palace is powerful. If the flag is hung on it, then the king in the country. There is a magnificent park around the palace, where you can hang out too. At 13:30 – changing of the guard. Do not miss it!
Town Hall (Fridtjof Nansens plass) . The town hall is worth a visit for a cool collection of socialist realism panels and carved wooden paintings with stories of Scandinavian mythology. Free tours are offered three times a day in summer (from 1 July). Outside, you can find the entire skate crowd of the city.
Parliament of Stortinget (Karl Johans Gate 22). On Saturdays at 10 and 11:30 am, you can go to Parliament for a free English-language tour, and the rest of the time – hang out and admire the architecture.
National Gallery (Universitetsgaten 13) . The main “feature” of the museum is, of course, Munch’s “Scream”. In addition, you can get a complete picture of Norwegian painting and art. Entrance € 5.3.
Munch Museum (Toeyengt 53). Edvard Munch, the beloved Norwegian Expressionist, never threw away anything, and before his death, he bequeathed all his works to the city. Therefore, in 1963, a museum of the painter appeared, which exhibits a huge collection of his works: sketches, photographs, and notes. More precisely, more than a thousand paintings, almost 4500 drawings and watercolors, more than 15 thousand engravings, 6 sculptures – in a word, there is something to see.
Astrup Fearnley (Strandpromenaden 2) . A large museum of modern art with an impressive collection, housed in a high-tech building that is a work of art in itself. There’s even an artificial beach inside, so bring your swim trunks! Entrance € 10.5.
Opera (Kirsten Flagstad’s pl. 1). Even if you are not a big fan of classical music, you should go to the opera just for the sake of the building. Try to climb it in the evening – then the view of the city is simply magical!
Litteraturhuset (Wergelandsveien 29) . House of Literature, where Oslo’s cultural elite constantly hang out. Take a newspaper, sit in their cafe on the ground floor and try to read the section on culture. Events are usually in Norwegian, but admission is free.
Blitz (Pilestredet 30 E). The most famous squat in Oslo, where anarchists gather. Here you can go to an event or concert or eat vegan cuisine on a pay-what-you-can-or-help-cook basis.
Birkelunden (Grunerlokka) . Be sure to drop by on Sunday: from 12 to midnight, there is a market that sells everything from food to jewelry. Locals come for the whole day to stroll slowly along the rows, roll on the grass, and chat.
Some of the most interesting museums in Oslo are located on the Bygdøy Peninsula. You can get there by boat 91 (May-September) from Rådhus pier no. 3 or by bus 30 from Nationaltheatret.
Norsk Folkemuseum (Museumsveien 10) . Norway’s largest and oldest local history (folk) museum is an open-air collection of 150 houses from all over the country. You can visit the medieval Norwegian wooden church, of which there are only a few in the country, or dress up in national costumes. It is worth going if you are not planning to ride around the country to get an idea of the culture of different regions. Entrance € 10.5.
Viking Ship Museum (Huk Aveny 35). Viking ships at their best and other 900-year-old artifacts await you in this unique museum. Unfortunately, there are so many tourists here that it completely spoils the impression of the cultural trip.
Kon-Tiki Museum (Bygdøynesveien 36) . Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl riveted a papyrus raft called Kon-Tiki to sail from Peru to Polynesia in 1947. Actually, the museum is dedicated to this trip. For example, here you will find statues from Easter Island, the skeleton of a 10-meter shark, documentaries about the journey, and, of course, the battered raft itself.
Continuing the theme of travel, look into the museum “Fram” (Bygdøynes) – is a glass pavilion, which houses the ship “Fram” Nansen, Sverdrup, and Amundsen, where fearless kids and drove to the North and to the South Pole.
A visit to Oslo will be incomplete if you do not check out the weirdest sculptures that the Norwegians have put in their city. For example, a monument to tits in the Tjuvholmen area (in fact, these are eyes), a fist with a rose bursting out of the ground (Lilletorget), 50 thousand minions on Teatergata, regjeringsbygg R6 (Grass Roots Square by Do Ho Suh), a languid pissing woman in the Ekeberg park, the sleeping naked man (Pilestredet 32), Kate Moss in the Folketeaterpassasjen and of course all the sculptures in the largest sculpture park Vigelandsparken.
Snack / Fast food
Cheap food is tricky in Oslo. The easiest option is to go to the store, buy groceries and cook yourself in the hostel or apartment (see the Shopping section). If this is not your leisure time, then various Burger King and kebab restaurants are at your service. Or a few more expensive options, but with healthier and more varied food.
Bari Pizza (Torggatta 23). If Torggata is the best place for a quick bite, then the best pizza here in Bari. Cheap, tasty, and sold piece by piece! By the way, the kebabs are also quite good here.
Pancetta. A network of pizzerias with excellent prices, a large flow of people, and, accordingly, hot pizzas. All the classic versions are good – especially “Margarita” and “Peperoni”. Prices start at € 9.
Illegal burger (Møllergata 23) . Without a doubt, the best burgers in town. The atmosphere is very democratic, people are always crowded, and you can buy a branded Cheese Royale for € 8.3. Works from 16:00.
Curry & Ketchup (Kirkeveien 51) . Atmospheric Indian restaurant near Vigelandspark, made in the style of an Indian shop with bags of rice, tins, and spices. Delicious complexes for € 12. Not crowded during the day.
Dehli Tandoori (Maridalsveien 4) . Small Indian restaurant 10 minutes from the center. Try the oven dishes (tandoori). You will pay € 12 for the main course.
Rice bowl (Youngsgate 4). Budget-friendly restaurant with main dishes from € 9.5. The interior is such that you forget that you are in Oslo: live bamboo, photographs, artifacts, and maps – in short, full immersion is guaranteed!
Ma’Raja (Torggata 8). Another Indian food spot worthy of your attention. Nothing special, except for a super-cheap offer by Norwegian standards. Buffet (but never speak Swedish in front of Norwegians!) Until 15:00 every day – for only € 8.3.
Cafes / Restaurants
The Kasbah (Kingos gate 1B) . A find for vegetarians and vegans with a normal price tag. Even meat-eaters will enjoy tapas. Take hummus with beer, you won’t go wrong!
Cafe Sør (Torggata 11). Nice cafe with soups, salads, and an international audience. Local DJs and jam sessions are held here on Saturday nights.
Arakataka (Mariboes gate 7) . International cuisine, creative presentation, beautiful plates, and waiters. I want to photograph the entire interior for Instagram. Get ready to pay at least € 15 for a small dish.
Nam Fah (Prinsens gate 18) . Probably the best place in town for Thai food. Made with the freshest ingredients, this powerful coconut noodle, and curry soup will impress you. Attention, the place is very popular, and therefore it is better to plan a table in advance. You can take away food and settle in a nearby park if you make a mistake with the booking. Dishes from € 10.5.
Schrøder (Waldemar Thranes gate 8) . One of the few restaurants in the city where you can get acquainted with Norwegian cuisine and not go broke. The portions are huge!
Kampen Bistro (Bøgata 21). Elvis and 50s style restaurant with really delicious food and a good selection of beers. By Norwegian standards, it is a low-cost gourmet.
Dovrehallen (Storgata 22). A place where you can experience how the Oslo working-class lives – both in terms of food and from the point of view of the public. Grab the dish of the day for € 14, sit back, and watch the patrons.
Fiskeriet Youngstorget (Youngstorget 2b) . Fish shop and restaurant 2-in-1 five minutes from the center. You can take away something (any dish up to € 13) or get a piece of fish pie on the spot (€ 2.6).
Lokk (Torggata 18b). Soup establishment – you can even eat fish soup, which is poured into a huge seashell. You can drink wine to the accompaniment of soup – there are plenty to choose from.
Bare Jazz (Grensen 8). Music store, which also has a nice cafe where you can have a coffee or have a glass of something stronger. On a warm day, you can spend a pleasant time in the courtyard, basking in the sun. Pay attention, it works until 18:00.
Fuglen (Universitetsgaten 2 | entrance Pilestredet) . The stylish cafe where the hippiest youth of Oslo is going to drink coffee. The classy Art Nouveau interior will add to the pleasant memories of the place. In the evenings, the tranquil coffee house turns into a cocktail bar, serving unforgettable alcoholic masterpieces and generously poured local craft beer.
Villa paradiso (Sommerrogata 17) . For cheap and delicious Italian chicken, it’s best to go here.
Noah’s ark (Thorvald Meyersgt. 23) . Go to this restaurant for delicious food and large portions.
Tommis burger (Skippergata 32) . Burger lovers, this is the place for you. Icelandic-style burgers, whatever that means. The trendy burger has branches in London and Berlin.
Java Espressobar (Ullevålsveien 47) . One of the best coffee shops in town. The menu is standard, but the attitude of the baristas is very special. A small selection of pastries and snacks at reasonable prices. Latte from € 4.5.
Tim Wendelboe (Grünersgate 1) . Tim Wendelboe and his charges pay a lot of attention to the quality of coffee and service, and therefore the price tag in this trendy and award-winning place is slightly higher than usual, but it is fully justified!
Cocoa (Toftesgate 48). A paradise for the sweet tooth! Here you can enjoy hot chocolate or coffee and cookies – especially if the weather is lousy.
Kaffebrenneriet (Storgaten 2) . A popular Oslo coffee chain that is not crowded in the morning – office workers line up in nervous lines for a morning dose of Americano with milk.
Café Sara (Hausmanns gate 29) . Excellent coffee shop with hours of operation. 3:30 is really long.
Bars / Clubs
Mikrobryggeri (Bogstadveien 6) . The oldest beer pub in the city will delight you with a real journey into the world of draft beer brewed here. However, in order to taste your fill, you have to spend a lot – remember that in Norway there is a special relationship with alcohol.
Bohemen (Arbeidergata 2). Bohemen is the place where you will meet football fans of all stripes. This is a classic sports bar – local and international matches are watched here every day. Where are the guys hugging the tightest? Or at the football stand, or in Bohemen.
Bar Robinet (Mariboes gate 7) . Baby is a retro bar that gathers musicians, media people, and other liberal hedonists every evening. Do not forget to grab the cash, cards are not in honor here.
Perla (Helgesensgate 66). Cozy cocktail bar, located close to the very epicenter of Grünerløkka parties, but hidden in a quiet street, which allows it to maintain a calm atmosphere of relaxation. The bar specializes in Latin American cocktails. If you don’t know what to choose, rely on our taste and order the Peruvian hit Pisco Sour.
Ryes (Thorvald Meyers gate 59) . Very stylish American pub with great alcohol and cheap beer until 21:00.
Angst Bar (Torggata 11). A small and very cozy club, where you definitely need to get on the weekend to look at the most advanced audience, dance to your heart’s content to the music, selected with taste, and just relax in a relaxed atmosphere. During the day you can stop by for coffee or tea.
Jaeger (Grensen 9). Great little club, I can listen to quality electronic music and nice sets from local DJs. Get ready to pay to enter!
Revolver (Møllergata 32). Revolver is a rock club with crazy dancing and live performances, a small restaurant, and a bar. Recently, it has been very popular with trendy guys and therefore put half an hour in waiting in line on weekends.
Qadis (Thorvald Meyers Gate 81) . An important place for parties and fun, especially if you want to meet Swedes.
Mono (Ploens gate 4). Barchik, where there are good free concerts on Saturdays.
Gudruns (Karl Johans Gate 10) . The most inconspicuous club on our list. In fact – just a door without a sign near an erotic store, then a couple of flights up – and two floors of funky and fun, the best choice for a Saturday night!
MIR (Toftes gate 69). A pub with dancing on Fridays and Saturdays, made in aerospace style. The best parties here are around Gagarin’s birthday.
SHOPPING life hacks
Given the magnitude of prices in Oslo, the most important shopping experience is in the grocery store. Here are some spots that will save you from hunger: Rema 1000 (Torggata 2-6), Rimi (Central Station), Kiwi (Byporten). All shops are closed on Sundays. Buy cigarettes at the airport or limit yourself to a pack of yours, otherwise, you’ll spend a fortune!
Bodens. Farmers’ markets where you can buy organic products directly from producers. The market is migrating, so check the time and place on the website.
Designtorget (Grensen 8). Scandinavian design is cool. You can take away stylish home decorations or small furniture after visiting this store. Beware, you might want to sell your soul in order to buy everything there.
Big Dipper (Mollergata 1). Mecca for vinyl lovers. The guys can offer you new and used records for every taste and budget.
Outland. If you are a child, nerd, or geek, then you will not be pulled by the ears from this store: board games, manga, graphic novels, comics, Lego. The rest will be able to buy a cool souvenir!
UFF. A small chain of second-hand shops, where you can always buy the same sweater with deer. The best gift from Scandinavia could not be imagined!
We have already written about the brands of branded clothing and their stores in Oslo, so do not be too lazy to check the list before your trip.
If you want to buy a bottle of wine or beer stronger than 4.7%, you will have to look at the state store (Vinmonopolet), which is open until 18:00 on weekdays and until 15:00 on weekends. There are 30 such shops in Oslo.
In Oslo, it is customary to pay for everything with a card, but we still advise you to take the cash. Usually, the fees you pay can hurt your pocket.
Buy a disposable bra from the store and head to any park for a barbecue or grilled fish. Profit! There are public barbecues in Sofienberg park, which cost NOK 1 per minute, which means that if you grill for less than half an hour, it is more profitable than buying a disposable barbecue.
Thank God the tap water is potable.
Norwegians will never go to a stranger with questions, will not bother in the store, and stare at the bus. But a smile will always be answered with a smile, and if you manage to melt their Nordic hearts, you will understand that Oslo residents are open and cheerful guys. The best topic of conversation with Norwegians is the weather. Or a discussion of the Swedes – how they lost to the Norwegians in any sport.