Just Wanderlust Blog » A discerning, food-loving, & culturally curious road warrior seeks the world's beautiful and bizarre destinations.

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Oh Oslo, Why You Gotta Be So Expensive?

(Oslo, Norway)

Of course when I was in Oslo, a report came out that Oslo is the most expensive European city to visit (since I can’t find the original USA Today article, you can see a similar article here).  I’ve known for a long time that Oslo was friggin’ expensive to visit as it’s commonly on the tops of lists of most expensive places to live.  When I studied abroad in Sweden, a group of friends went to Oslo and told me that an extra value meal cost $10 there!  After I heard that, I decided I wasn’t in a rush to see Norway.  But here I am, over 10 years later, and since Norway was the last Scandinavian country I’ve yet to set foot on, I decided to include it in my mega summer trip.

So how expensive is “expensive”?  Here are some typical prices I saw (all approximate and converted to USD) in Oslo:

  • McD’s Extra Value Meal: $15
  • Coffee: $4-$5
  • Bottled water: $5-$10
  • Soft drink: $5
  • Newspaper: $5
  • Train from the airport to city center: $18 (fyi, this was the cheapest option)
  • Bus ticket: $4-$8 (depending on where you bought it)
  • Yogurt from a convenience store: $7
  • Museum entrance ticket: $8-$20
  • Brownie bite cut to the size of a quarter: $2
  • Hot dog: $8

Visiting Oslo reminds me of paying for overpriced food at movie theaters.

I tried to go “cheap” in Oslo.  My cheapest meal there was $6:  Two ramen packets ($2) and a chicken leg from a convenience store ($4).  I felt like I was living in the dorms again.  My most expensive meal was meatballs with mashed pumpkins and potatoes from a cafeteria for $28.

(Would you pay $28 for food that looks like it’s from Ikea?)

Obviously, you can eat for way more than that but I didn’t bother because I’d be broke before my trip was over.  If I had gone to a “normal” restaurant in Oslo, I’d probably fork over at least $50 (right before keeling over).  And here I was thinking Bora Bora was the most expensive place I’ve ever been but Oslo gives Bora Bora a run for its money…although if I really think about it, Bora Bora is still more expensive for tourists.

Needless to say, Kimmy and I felt like paupers in Norway.

On the bright side, when we left Norway, we found two liter bottles of water in Budapest for only 25 cents!  OMG, for that price, we could buy up all the bottled water in the store and take one sip from each one!  Holla!

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Mags - June 10, 2014 - 9:06 pm

Ugh! I’ve heard so many horror stories. I found AMAZING airfare to Oslo, and I’ve never been before. I have a feeling I’m going to more than make up for the money I saved once I’m there… oops.

JustWanderlust - June 10, 2014 - 9:17 pm

There are lots of airfare sales to Norway now but the country is expensive once you’re there… But if you’re planning on going ever, I doubt the prices are coming down so you mind as well go while you can save on the flight at least!

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