Travel Tour Booking recommendations, guides and articles to have an amazing holiday tour in Europe. Discover interesting places to visit, learn from our experience.
Oslo, the capital of Norway, is a city with an eclectic architectural mix of old and new, bordered by a fjord and miles of woodlands. The city has the perfect size to be explored by foot or by bicycle, and offers plenty of museums to visit, a booming nightlife and outdoor activities if you’re looking for adventure.
Even if the city is not very popular among travel destinations due to high costs, it is possible to plan a city break on the budget (Oslo is the most expensive city in Europe, and probably the second most expensive in the world after Tokyo). In this article I will tell you how I planned and spent a city break in Oslo, and what opportunities lies out there for you to take advantage of them.
Oslo City Break
You can plan a city break in Oslo for 3 or 4 days because it’s enough time to explore the city. While most people are planning a city break during the week-end, I would recommend you to do it on week-days. This way you can take the pulse of the city, observe normal people going to work and so on. I always avoid Sundays and Mondays, because these days you can find closed stores or museums.
First thing when you start planning is to set a budget. Will you travel alone or with a friend? Do you have flexible dates or not? When I plan my trips, I always try to be flexible with the dates, and plan in advance with at least 3 months, because you can find cheap flights this way.
Cheap Flights to Oslo
Depending on your location, travel dates and airline company you choose, the price for a ticket may differ very much, but you should be able to find the lowest prices in the 60-90 Euro range. I booked a round-trip flight to Oslo from London with only 36,90 Euro for one person, but this is thanks to tips and tricks learned from Fly 4 Free book. I recommend you this book if you want to start saving money and make cheap vacation all the time.
On a side note I recommend you also the book Escape Plan, it is quite a bible for someone like me, who wants to keep the costs as low as possible during a trip, no matter if it’s about flights, accommodation or phone credit to call back home. The tricks learned from these books helped me to save a lot of money in the past 2 years, and I was able to travel more and to destinations that otherwise I would have never thought of.
Once you find the cheapest flight, you also have set the date when your trip will take place. Starting from this point, it’s getting easier to plan your holiday or city break.
Usually, no one speaks about transfer from the airport to your hotel or city center, and in Oslo it can cost you more than the flight ticket if you don’t know how to manage it. The transfer may be done by train (you will pay around 11 Euro for the ticket), or by bus, in which case I recommend you a subscription valid for one day that costs around 10 Euro.
Cheap Hotels in Oslo
Accommodation often takes up a big part of your holiday budget, but you can find cheap places to stay in Oslo. The more basic the accommodation, the lower the price. Would you like a more comfortable standard, without spending your entire budget? Then we suggest you go for a pension or guest house – these are often located near the city center.
Accommodation in Oslo is in general expensive, but if you are on a budget and you have plenty of time to search the internet, you can find a lot of low-cost options, starting with the hostels where you can share the rooms with others and ending with 2-star and 3-star hotels that have discounted prices for your travel dates.
On Hostel Bookers you can find a lot of hostels and guest-houses with prices in the range 20 – 35 Eur/night for one private room, if you intend to travel as a couple.
If you travel alone, then a shared room in a hostel is cheaper, and another option where you can find accommodation is on Booking.com.
How about FREE ACCOMMODATION? You can get a room free of charges if you are a member of Micasa Club. Joining the club allow you to get in contact with other members that share free rooms in their own homes. And guess what? There are a couple of members that are located near Oslo where you could get a room to stay for a few nights. To be honest, that was also my choice when I traveled to Norway. Furthermore, I spoke with the owner and he took me from the airport by car, thus I saved some money. Instead I made him a small gift, a bottle of French wine. Just remember, if your host will pick you up from the airport, it would be nice if you could bring a gift from your country instead to pay for the gas.
Things To Do & To See in Oslo
Oslo’s city centre offers Expressionist paintings at the Munch Museum, enormous stone statues at the Vigeland Sculpture Park and Old Masters at the National Gallery. Explore the lively Aker Brygge waterfront or hop on a boat to see Viking ships on the Bygdøy Peninsula. You can gain a new perspective on the city on a boat trip out into the fjord. Museums generally open daily from 10am, often later on Sundays.
Museums and Galleries: The Artists’ House, Norwegian Folk Museum, The Viking Ship Museum, Fram Museum, Norwegian Resistance Museum, Munch Museum, Kon-Tiki Museum, National Gallery.
Attractions: The Royal Palace, Akershus Fortress, Nobel Peace Center, Spikersuppa Ice Rink, Botanical Garden, Vigeland Park.
Shopping: Glasmagasinet, Oslo City, Bærums Verk, Blomqvist Kunsthandel.
Where to eat & drink
Fresh seafood abounds in Oslo, while traditional Norwegian meats like reindeer are also found on specialist menus. The city has a few Michelin-starred restaurants like the renowned Bagatelle, but there are less pricey options available – mostly in the city centre and Aker Brygge. For a snack, try bright red pølser hot dogs, a local favourite. Norwegians normally eat dinner at around 5pm, but all restaurants open until late evening. Tips of 5-10% are normal.
Restaurants: Dolly Dimple’s Majorstua, Dovrehallen Bar and Restaurant, Brasserie 45, De Fem Stuer, Stortorvets Gjæstgiveri, New Orleans Restaurant and Cajun Café, D/S Louise Restaurant & Bar.
Bars & Clubs: Oslo Mekaniske Verksted, Oslo Mikrobryggeri, Sikamikanico, Blå, Cosmopolite.
Oslo was fun, with many things to see. I recommend it in summer time, when it’s nice to have wine in the park. Prices are high, but it’s worth the treat.