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I recently went to Oslo Norway for a few days. Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but I wanted to visit it while I was based in Dublin. For the past few trips I’ve taken I’ve kept a budget listing the cost of my trip. I want to share this budget with you to give you an idea of how I travel and to show what a trip to Oslo can cost (on a budget, it can be a lot more than this). While for most of the trip I paid in Norwegian Kroner I converted to Euros for this post. You can check the exchange rate for your local currency here.
I booked my flight on Norwegian Airlines to leave after work on Friday, May 11 and arrive back in Dublin on Monday, May 14 in the afternoon. I did this so I would only need to book Monday off from work. As it turned out shortly after I booked my flight my boss let me know they weren’t going to continue my work contract (I was hired through a temp agency). May 11th was my last day. If I’d known that beforehand I would have flown out a bit earlier in the day. Oh well.
Since my flight to Oslo arrived late (due to the hour time difference between Ireland and Norway), I paid for a seat in the front row on my flight to Oslo. Public transit from Oslo Airport stops running just before 1 am. In case my flight was delayed I wanted to be the first off the plane to go through Customs and get on the last express train of the night. A taxi was not in my budget. Turns out my flight was delayed (by about 30 minutes), and this was worth the extra money (about €12). I didn’t pay for a seat on the way back to Dublin.
I booked a room in an 8-bed mixed dorm room at Anker Hostel. The room had an ensuite bathroom and kitchenette (mini-fridge and hot plate). I stayed there for 3 nights.
Return flights (with an assigned seat on the way to Oslo): €68.16
3 Nights at Anker Hostel in an 8-bed dorm: €76.82
Total Pretrip Cost: €144.98
I took the 747 Dublin Bus to the airport from work. At the airport, I had a fantastic supper at Burger King (not really…the other place to eat was all out of food at 7 pm). I also bought hair conditioner as I forgot to pack some in my bag. I figured buying this at Dublin Airport would be cheaper than getting it in Oslo. I was right.
My flight was delayed, and I got into Oslo at 12 am. Getting through customs didn’t take too long (I don’t have an EU passport so sometimes that’s not the case). I got a ticket on the Flytoget Train, which is the express train from the airport to Oslo. It’s more expensive than the National Trains, but they had stopped running by the time my flight landed.
747 Bus to Dublin Airport: €7
Supper at Burger King at Dublin Airport: €7.80
Flytoget Train from Oslo Airport to Oslo: €19.98
Total Cost Day 1: €36.28
I woke up, got ready and went to a grocery store and got some granola bars to snack on breakfast. I went on a free 90-minute walking tour (tips not included) that went to several places in Oslo like the Opera House, City Hall, Askerhus Fortress, and the Norwegian Parliament. I stopped at a store and bought some chocolate called Smash and cough drops. Dying for real food and caffeine, I got a salmon burger and a coffee for lunch.
Afterwards, I walked around the city a lot, going inside Oslo Cathedral, and checking out a couple of markets. I also went back to the Opera House to walk on the roof (yes you can walk on the roof) and to Askerhus Fortress to wander around that a bit more. Feeling hungry I grabbed a pizza bread, pop, and more chocolate from a grocery store (I don’t make the best decisions when I’m hungry). I also had to use the toilet at the Oslo Central train station. Oh, that’s just a 20kr? Oh, that doesn’t seem to bad….holy shit that’s over €2. I just paid €2 to use the toilet. Son of a bitch.
Being an old lady (apparently), I was exhausted. I walked back to my hostel to have a nap. Since Oslo is far north, the sun doesn’t set (at least when I was there) until about 9:40 pm. I got a banh mi sandwich for supper at 8 pm. There was a bunch of walking trails and a creek with some ducks around where I was staying. I proceeded to take some photos, and my camera (my real one) stopped working. I went on Instagram and did a live story to rant out my frustration, and I also gave a tour of Oslo. I think all 8 people who watched my stories were quite impressed lol.
Walking tour tip: €5.23
Granola bars €2.93
Cough drops and chocolate: €3.56
Salmon burgers and a black coffee: €14.65
Coke, pizza bread and a chocolate bar from the grocery store: €7.21
Banh mi €9.31
Use of Toilet at the train station: €2.09
Total Cost Day 2: €44.98
I went to McDonald’s for a coffee and breakfast sandwich because sometimes you just need to eat something and McDonald’s will do. My feet were killing me from the day before, so I bought a 24-hour transit pass. I took the streetcar to the harbour and got on the ferry to the island of Hovedøya and hiked around for a couple of hours. There is a cafe on the island, and I got a Popsicle because it was hotter than I expected. I took the ferry back to the harbour and got a chicken gyro and pop from a food truck.
After lunch, I took the bus to Frogner Park to see the Vigeland Sculptures. I had forgotten my water bottle at the hostel, so I bought a bottle of water at the cafe. I also had to use the toilet at the cafe (with a charge though only 15kr or €1.57, so that’s better I guess?). I wandered around the city. 7-11’s in Norway have self-serve frozen yogurt and sorbet so I had to get that. I had a burger and pop from a kebab shop for supper. Then I took the bus to the harbour and visited the park around the Royal Palace. I picked up two chocolate bars from a convenience store.
24-hour transit pass for the streetcar, buses, and ferry: €11
McDonald’s Breakfast sandwich and coffee: €5.86
Chicken gyro and coke for lunch: €14.13
Bottle of water: €3.77
Use of toilet at the Frogner Park cafe: €1.57
7-11 frozen yogurt: €4.08
Cheeseburger and pop: €10.36
2 chocolate bars: €6.59
Day 3 Total: €59.45
My flight was leaving at 1 pm, so I woke up and got ready and packed my bag for the airport. I still had an hour left on my transit pass, and I decided to take the streetcar to the central train station to save me from walking. I went to a cafe and had a coffee and sat outside. I walked around a little bit and then went to the train station to buy my ticket to the airport. At the train station, I got a waffle with brunost or brown cheese (which is technically not cheese, but the whey mixed with milk or cream that is then caramelized). It was something I wanted to try in Norway, and I quite liked it. I also used my last 15kr (in change) to buy a raisin bun. The train to the airport only made one stop and was just as quick as the Flytoget train I’d taken to get into Oslo. If you can take the NSB train to/from the airport, I’d recommend it because it saves quite a bit of money.
At Olso Airport I got through security and passport control with no issue. I got a pulled chicken sandwich with coleslaw for lunch. My flight was delayed by about 20 minutes, but I still got into Dublin at about 3 pm. When I got to Dublin, I took two local buses (there isn’t a direct bus from the airport to where I live) to get home.
NSB train to Oslo Airport: €10.62
DUB to Home: €4.3
Waffle with brown cheese: €3.05
Raisin bun: €1.57
Braised chicken bun: €15.67
Charge for using my debit card twice: €0.92
Day 4 Total: €39.38
Takeaways on My Oslo Budget
Overall I spent €325.09 on my trip to Oslo. Transportation was the most significant expense at €121.08, followed by food and drinks at €115.88 and accommodation at €76.82. I only spent €11.31 on attractions (the walking tour) and miscellaneous charges (like when I had to pay to use the toilet).
If I could go back, I would bring my refillable water bottle with me and forgo getting pop with my lunches/dinners. It would have saved me money and been healthier too. The attractions (aside from the tip for the walking tour) were free, and I’m quite happy with what I got to see. I know I missed out on some of the museums, but I wanted to check out Hovedøya and the Vigeland Sculptures a bit more than seeing the Fram Museum and The Nobel Peace Centre. They would have been next on my list, but I ran out of time.
One thing I didn’t know until I got to Oslo was that the grocery stores seem to be closed on Sunday. If you’re visiting Oslo and want to buy groceries, you might want to pick up things on Saturday. Some grocery stores might be open on a Sunday, but not any that I could see. Convenience stores like 7-11’s were open, but they’re more expensive to shop at than a grocery store.
Paying for toilets is a pain in the ass so I’d recommend keeping a few ten and five kroner coins on you just in case. The bathrooms at the train station cost 20 kroner and the ones at the cafe at Frogner Park were 15. One place that was free was the Opera House. The lobby is open to the general public (except if a show is on and you need a ticket). The lobby is quite beautiful to see inside, and as a bonus, there is no cost for the toilets. If you’re around the Olso Opera House, it’s worth going in to check out.
I also inadvertently saved money at my hostel. They charge you for bedding and don’t allow sleeping bags. When I checked in I asked how much it would be for the bedding and the receptionist smiled and said, “oh I think I already charged you.” Right, so thanks for that. I’m assuming that would be a few extra Euros if I was charged.
Generally, while I could have saved a little bit of money (cooking at my hostel, just drinking tap water, not using paid toilets, and not buying any chocolate bars), I think I did pretty well for few days in Oslo. It was expensive, but having been to other Nordic cities like Copenhagen, Denmark last year and Helsinki, Finland in 2015, it wasn’t as shocking to me as it could have been. That said I look forward to coming back to Norway to see more of the country when I am super-rich.
Things You Should Know
This really was everything I spent on and for my Oslo trip. It’s a pricey city, but I really loved visiting. While in Oslo I stayed at the Anker Hostel. I stayed in a 6-bed dorm that had a small ensuite kitchenette. The hostel is close to the tram line, which goes to the central train station. You can book your stay at the Anker Hostel here.
Of course, there are plenty of hotel options in Oslo if you got a few more kroner to spend. Book your hotel in Oslo here.
What’s the most expensive city you’ve visited? Were you surprised at the costs in Oslo? Let me know in the comments below.