Just How Expensive is Oslo?

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.


Grunerlokka burrito
Tasty, but expensive…

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.

how much is a bottle of water in Oslo
£3.60 for a bottle of water!


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.



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.

Just how expensive is Oslo?
Beautiful Oslo from the hop on hop off tour boat

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.


More on travelling in Oslo




    1. I think we got a bit carried away and swept up in the four days. On the first day we were shocked and horrified at how much everything was, by day four as soon as we found a place selling a beer for ‘just’ £7 we decided it was a bargain. Definitely not a place for budget backpackers!

      1. 1. Yes, it’s VERY expensive. Food, in pcatiaulrr, will shock you if you’re coming from the US. A meal at a TGI Friday’s type place will run about $50 per person, if that gives you an idea.Outside of Japan, Norway is one of the most expensive places in the world.2. Is Oslo, there are a few shopping malls, but you want to focus more on simply exploring the city. It’s not a large city, so start at Radhusplassen (sp?) and work you way from there. Bryggen is an obvious shopping location.3. Akershus, Radhuss, Royal Palace are commonly seen landmarks. Plan on spending time at Bogdoy island, seeing the various museums there. I recommend getting an Olso Card, which lets you get into most places for free (once you buy the card) and gives you free transportation.If you can, you should leave Oslo, perhaps for a day. Take a fjord cruise or travel inland or north. I went to Bergen, on the other coast, and the trip there was well worth it.Olso, in the end, is a small European city. It’s nice, but the real beauty of Norway is elsewhere.

  1. Definitely think I’ll be skipping Oslo…..until I win the lottery! Even WITH friends in the city – You’d still spend 50$ a day on snacks and the like. Those costs really help encourage a national no drinking policy eh? haha

    1. Yeah definitely! We thought we’d save money by buying a few drinks in a shop, but couldn’t find it anywhere. Ah well, plenty more to do in Oslo than drink 🙂 It definitely felt weird though compared to the ease of drinking in London.

    1. Yeah, same. Such a beautiful place and so much to do! I hope I get to back one day 🙂

  2. Are there are any types of accommodations closer to the traditional budget level? 7 euros for a beer is just scandalous.

    1. Next to the Anker Hotel where we stayed there was an Anker Hostel – I’ve just had a look and it starts at around £22pppn for a shared room. Or you could camp – that was something we looked at, but it was too cold in May.

  3. A dear friend lived in Northern Europe for a few years and thought the travel and tourism slogan for both Sweden and Norway should be: “It’s beautiful! but don’t forget your wallet!” /funny but sad

    1. That should definitely be the slogan Laura! It was just so expensive – I’m surprised this week at all the news about London being more expensive, definitely don’t believe that!

    1. Yes, think I need to invest in a ticket there. Probably could’ve spent two weeks there for how much I spent in Oslo. Oops.

  4. I remember the £60 burrito story when you came back from Oslo… Really nice to read the whole story and OH MY GOD, I wanted to go to Oslo but I’ll have to save up first !

    1. Haha, it did upset me quite a bit :). I definitely want to go back to Oslo, but yeah, we need a 100% raise first…

  5. Great article, but as a local I see that it would absolutely be possible to eat and drink cheaper –
    but I know its not easy to find the good and cheap places when you stay for a short time….
    Will get some good and cheap(er) suggestions up on the blog once I get back to Oslo in october!

    1. I’d love to read them Elin! I definitely want to come back to Oslo one day and any tips on how to make it cheaper will be gratefully received!

  6. Yikes. After the Grunnerloka post I read I was thinking I fancied a little trip there, but, err, maybe not right now. Need to save up my pennies first, obvioulsy.

    1. Ha, yeah, it is pretty expensive there! Worth it, and I definitely want to go back, but yeah, I’ll be saving my pennies too.

  7. I am a Swedish national who is living in Oslo. Oslo is a nice place, but I would recommend people to go to other places in Norway. The west coast in Norway is really amazing. Just try to Google Flåm, Flekke or any other place on the west coast. They are fantastic if you are traveling to Norway in June, July or August. One great thing about Norway is that it is legal to put up a tent more or less anywhere in the nature http://www.visitnorway.com/en/about-norway/travel-facts/when-you-arrive/right-of-access/

    I would however have to say that if you would like to experience city life in Scandinavia, you should go to Copenhagen, Cheap beer compared to their neighbor countries up north, pretty good food as well as a nice atmosphere and they are the happiest head capitol in Europe. http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/jan/24/copenhagen-denmark-happy-capital-holiday

    1. Thank you for your trips Erik. I’d love to see more of Norway, and Copenhagen, so it’s good to get a few tips in the bank. Let me know if you have any more!

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  9. Hi Vicky, I should have read your blog earlier.I went to Oslo and emptied my wallet…At the end I was eating only apples and banana’s ( each Apple and banana costed 10Nor ( 1 pound each)……..

    1. Yesssh, it’s expensive isn’t it?! Probably one of the most expensive places I’ve been. Interesting though. Hope you felt like it was worth the money :).

  10. How many people did you go with? like if the burritos and beer came to £56 for two people that is insanely expensive and I wouldn’t go there till I saved up much more money. Great read though 🙂

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