Discovering Oslo

Updated 2019-10-09 08:23

Expats arriving in the Norwegian capital city of Oslo might expect different things: a sight of the beautiful fjords touted on travel advertisements for the country, an unaffordable city with shockingly high price tags, or a cold and dreary Scandinavian city in a far-off corner of the world. Whatever your expectations, the city of Oslo will surprise you (in a good way!)

Nature in Oslo

As an expat, it is important to manage your expectations. The city of Oslo does indeed lie at the end of the 100km long Oslofjord, but it is quite different in appearance to the mountainous fjords further north in the country. Don't be disappointed – the Oslofjord inlet has just as much to offer in terms of natural beauty.

Oslo's waterfront location offers impressive views from various locations throughout the city, and in the summertime, the fjord comes alive with activities like island hopping, kayaking, and leisurely cruises.

The city also boasts several green parks and wilderness areas; in winter, many of these are turned into wonderlands with activities like ice-skating, tobogganing, and cross-country skiing.

The climate in Oslo

Like other Scandinavian capitals, Oslo has a mild climate with cold and dark winters. Temperatures from November to March are prone to dropping below 0°C, while summer temperatures generally fall between 10-20°C.

Its location on the Oslofjord and proximity to the North Sea makes for a humid climate with lots of rainfall even in the summertime. Expats hoping to see the midnight sun won't find it in Oslo, but they will come very close: in summer months, the sun sets well after 21:00.

Getting around Oslo

Upon arrival at Oslo's international airport Gardermoen, expats will find that this modern city is well connected and easy to navigate. The city has a sophisticated transportation network that includes buses, trains, trams, and ferries. Oslo is also a bike-friendly city (weather permitting, of course), and it is easy to get around. Tickets for most transportation systems can be bought online or on your mobile phone, as well as at transportation hubs such as bus and train stations. Read more about transportation in Oslo.

Cost of living in Oslo

Expats with the expectation of high price tags are not far off. Oslo is an expensive city, and the cost of living is extremely high, especially when it comes to rental prices and things like eating out, even at informal restaurants and bars.

Rental prices in Oslo

Accommodation options in Oslo centre are sky-high. For newcomers who hope to find affordable short-term accommodation, Airbnb options might be more affordable than staying in a hotel.

Rental options outside of the city centre are more affordable and thanks to Oslo's decently priced transport options and sophisticated system, commute times are short and stress-free. Find out more about the different neighbourhoods in Oslo.

Eating out in Oslo

Oslo's Nordic cuisine scene is enticing, and the food is delicious, but it comes at a cost. However, expats will be pleased to find that the city does offer affordable alternatives. Convenience stores have ready-made meals at reasonable prices while purchasing raw ingredients and putting together easy meals like sandwiches can really cut down on costs.

Entertainment in Oslo

As with everything else, entertainment and activities in Oslo can empty your pockets. Luckily, the city also offers many affordable and free activities throughout all seasons of the year. Strolling along the waterfront, taking in an open-air concert in summer, and enjoying the view from the roof of the Oslo National Ballet and Opera house are just some of the free activities to enjoy in Oslo.

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