I’m not going to lie. Very.
Before I went I did the usual research to see what other travel bloggers were saying about Norway’s capital city and it irked me that all they could talk about was how expensive it was.
But, wow, it was expensive…
We spent £400 all in all, for four days, each. We really didn’t skimp though and as usual got caught up in the joyous moment of being away from work and having the ‘fuck it, we’re on holiday’ mentality. You could do it for half, maybe, but you’d be eating bread and drinking water.
We arrived around 2pm and we’d left the house at 4:15am and apart from a croissant at Pret a Manger at Stansted Airport we hadn’t eaten. So as soon as we found Muchos Mas round the corner from our Anker Hotel in Grunnerlokka we sat down and quickly ordered a chicken burrito and a beer each. It was a generous portion and absolutely delicious, and we shared another beer to wash it down.
The bill came. It was 526 Norwegian Krone, £56. Yikes. And that was just lunch.
On the last night we wanted something authentic so went to The Albertine Bar on the Akker Brygge front. I had herring and potatoes and Waiels had Norwegian stew. We had a pint each and a cheese platter between us for dessert. This came to around 800kr = £85.
During the 4 days we also had a kebab to share – without a doubt the worst kebab I’ve ever had, but we drunk and trying to be cheap – that was around £10. Another time we ate pizza, which were around £15 each and then another day we had elk burgers which were about the same.
Apart from the kebab and some dodgy pizza wrap Waiel got from Deli de Luca all the food we had in Oslo was incredible and delicious – some of the best I’ve ever had.
My trip to Oslo was the first holiday I’ve ever been on where I didn’t drink wine. At around 90kr (£9) a pop you didn’t get much liquid for your cash so I was on pints at 7okr (£7) each. We went to a bar near the House of Literature on the first night where we paid 150kr (£15) for a pint. We didn’t have another one and from the on in, we stuck to Grunerlokka where it was more like £7.
We had a 72-hour Oslo pass, which was brilliant for travelling around the city as all trams were included in the price. Otherwise you’re looking at around £5 a go although day passes are available. You don’t have to get the tram in Oslo though. Most of the sites are in the centre of the city and are definitely walkable, but if like me you want to see how the real Oslobergers lived in the city suburbs you might enjoy taking a tram ride out.
We stayed at the amazing Anker Hotel where a double room starts from 890kr (£95) per night. Bearing in mind the top location it’s great value for the area and if you stayed here you wouldn’t have to fork out for any transport. There was a huge breakfast included the price too and it was really clean and modern. They were kind enough to give me a discount so bare that in mind when you think of the £800 we spent on the holiday – only a fraction of this was the hotel. Oops.
I booked about three months in advance with Ryanair and got the flight (no baggage) for £35 each. Bargain, especially as we went on May Day Bank Holiday.
Oslo is an incredible city for free entertainment. The Vigeland Sculpture Park, The Film Museum, City Hall, The Armed Forces Museum and a look in and on top of the Oslo Opera House were all free.
Within the 72-hour Oslo pass we got free entry to the Nobel Peace Centre, a brilliant hop-on, hop-off tour around the marina and the opportunity to visit tens more things if we’d had the time.
We paid around 35kr each for the incredible Mini Bottle Gallery – although it was only that cheap because the till was down – usually it’s about 85kr (£9) each.
Even though we had the hop on hop off tour included in the Oslo pass we also paid 250kr for a trip around the fjords, although I actually enjoyed the hop on hop off more.
There are plenty of cool junk shops around Grunnerlokka and they were fairly priced. I couldn’t help but wonder around the high street shops asking Waiel to ‘guess how much this is?!’ I definitely couldn’t afford to buy anything.
I love Oslo. I’d love to go back and I will do, but only when I have a truck load of money and I don’t cry a little inside at paying £7 for a pint.