Monday, March 24, 2014

5 Days in Oslo: What I Spent

I figured before I'm off to Amsterdam next weekend I should write more about Norway. Other than, of course, what I've written about our ridiculous CouchSurfing experience. So on a lighter note, onto breaking down what I spent!

View from the Opera House

Flight: 36 EUR (Ryanair)

Bus to & from Dublin airport: 14 EUR

Bus to & from Rygge airport: 36 EUR
Thinking back, it would've made more sense to just book with Aer Lingus to save us the one hour bus ride each way. In all honesty booking with Ryanair saved us maybe 10 or 20 euro tops.

Overlooking Karl Johans Gate

Accommodation (Hostel): 30 EUR
Fortunately after being stranded my Norwegian friends pulled through for us, except for the last night which we just decided to book a hostel. Booking last minute of course upped this price, but for reference hostels in Oslo do tend to be on the expensive side. We stayed at Anker Hostel.

Transportation: 35 EUR
Basically just metro tickets. I made the rookie mistake of buying single tickets until the 4th day where I finally caved & bought the 48 hour pass, though I was reluctant to, for no valid reason.

Food: 78 EUR
Food was my biggest cost, unsurprisingly being that I'm a hardcore foodie. I only ate in an actual restaurant once though & the meal cost me about 23 euro for a pasta dish that would've cost 8 euro in Dublin. Other than that we did groceries, but since we didn't have a homebase for the trip we did end up making a few fast food runs which weren't really necessary. A Big Mac meal costs about 13 euro in Oslo, which actually makes it the most expensive Big Mac meal in the world!

Oslo Harbour

Museums & Attractions: 0 EUR
Every museum I visited I saved for Sunday, which happens to be free entry for most museums in Oslo. This saved me a ridiculous amount, though an Oslo Pass is a possible option as well & a smart one at that. You have the option of choosing 24, 48 or 72 hours. Transportation is also included in the pass.

Alcohol: 25 EUR
We bought our Jameson duty-free at the Dublin airport & I actually only bought one beer out. Cheers for duty-free is all I have to say about that.

Total: 256 EUR, or 397 CAD... Which equals roughly 79 CAD a day, including flight.

Basically our trip... Ha

Now in reality I could've spent an insane amount more. But I also could've spent an insane amount less. Considering all of the mistakes I knew I was making, I'm pretty happy with what I spent & have no complaints. Saying that...

My backpacker budget tips for one of the most expensive cities in the world:
  • Seriously consider which airline you choose, you may end up saving money by NOT flying Ryanair & flying directly into Oslo airport, saving the bus trip from Rygge.
  • Stay with friends &/or family. I would say CouchSurf but I'm not the biggest advocate of it after our fiasco. Otherwise, book your hostel WELL in advance & go during off-peak dates, during the week & from January-March are most affordable.
  • Buy either an Oslo Pass (price depends on length of pass), the 24 hour metro ticket for 9 euro, or the 7-day metro ticket for 23 euro. You can walk most places in Oslo, but it is a pretty large city & some of the cooler destinations you will need to use the metro. The Oslo metro system is one of my favourite in Europe though, being extremely efficient. Also, no matter how many zones you cross your ticket remains the same price & is usable for one hour after you buy it!
  • Grocery shop! Noodles on noodles. Or live off the hot dog stands scattered around the city... I must say they're pretty amazing when you're a starved backpacker. Also, Grønland is one of the areas in Oslo with the best prices for fresh fruits & veg. Meat too of course. If you're into markets be sure to visit here! 
  • If you don't want to spend the money on the Oslo Pass (like me), visit whichever museums you'd like to see on Sunday! Most are free. A lot of the attractions in Oslo though are honestly outdoors & free anyway.
  • Don't drink or buy your alcohol duty-free & pre-game, hard. Enough said.
I'd love to know, do you guys skip the more expensive cities or try to work them into your travels anyway? & if you do work them in, which cities?!

Frognerseteren, last stop on the metro line 1


  1. This is a great post! I'm Norwegian and I know how ridiculously expensive this country is. It is actually so bad that I think a lot of people/tourist don't come just because of this. However, here you show everybody that it is possible to not spend a crazy amount of money as long as you take a few precautions and plan ahead. You are so right about the duty free and in Norway it is also normal with in-house drinking before you go out. You gather a few friends (or a lot) and you have a pre party before you hit the town. Food is generally expensive, however you can find stuff in the food shop that are not too bad priced. look online for restaurants that are in the cheaper price range, they do exist :) City center is more expensive than the outskirts. Hope a lot of people read your post because this was good!

  2. Really great tip about RyanAir - I have made that mistake a few times now and still, I always seem to go for the cheaper airport and then spending a small fortune to get there and back from the city I'm visiting.

    The most expensive place I've ever visited is Stockholm, and it was just INSANE! Though I suspect not as bad as Oslo. A beer cost about 10-12 euros, a one-day travel pass cost 24 euros ... Crazy.

    We struck out and found this place called Kungsholmen (Norr Malarstrand 9) downtown where all the hip teenagers were going and which turned out to be a big food court with lots of relatively affordable food options from a wide variety of cuisines. Definitely recommended if you're in Stockholm and can't look at another hotdog stand!

  3. Yes why do we do that to ourselves?!
    Stockholm is definitely on my list, though I've heard how expensive it is! Just insane, I've stopped mentally converting prices back to Canadian dollars to save myself the misery.
    Thank you for the tip I'll definitely remember that! Hip teenagers do tend to know what's up haha. Thank you for the comment! x

  4. Thank you! :) I appreciate your comment ridiculous amounts, especially since you're Norwegian.
    I don't think that Oslo should be somewhere to skip for budget travellers, it's well worth the visit! & great tips of course. x

  5. I completely agree with you about time & efficiency over cost on short trips! Sometimes spending extra on a meal in a restaurant can mean you have the time to see extra sights, always worth it.
    Thank you for the comment! :) x