Drammen or Asker, where to live?

Hello,

My family is going to move to big Oslo area soon, due to my new job in the renewable energy near Lysaker station.

It seems that to live near the train line and commute can be a practical solution, therefore the towns Drammen and Asker are two potential towns with reasonable property price. I am not so sensitive to difference of commuting time, because it is possible to work on the train. However, I'd never been to either of the towns.

Therefore my question is: if you are new comer, have kids and are focusing on the family life, which town would you like to live in, Drammen or Asker? And why?

Your comments are appreciated.

Hi Bing!

Welcome to Expat.com ;)

Armand

Drammen is marginally bigger than Asker, though Asker is somewhat closer. I've never liked Drammen, to me it is just Norways biggest intersection. There's a massive highway bridge that goes straight through the city. But that aside, it does have a nice canal/river running through it. As with most places in Norway, nature is right on your doorstep and life is very quiet. Well, depending on what you are used to. Most Norwegians think Oslo is chaotic and mad, but having lived in much larger cities, I find Oslo to be a remarkably quiet and relaxed place.

There are also opportunities in Bærum kommune, though typically it's known to be home of the rich..so not sure on house prices, but there are places which make you feel as if you live in some remote and rural area, but the matter of fact is you could with a bus/train connection or just bus get to Lysaker in or around half an hour.

But don't be fooled, just a few winters ago, the whole train system in the great Oslo region was collapsing..signal failure of a grand scale. But both stations are served with relatively frequent trains.

Use trafikanten.no if you haven't already. It gives you bus/train schedules for pretty much the entire country.

Knut, Thanks for the tips. You have been to so many countries.

we would like to live near the train station. Unfortunately most of houses in Bærum kommune are too expensive for us. And it is hard for us to find even a three rooms apartment within our budget in Asker, therefore we consider Drammen.

Best

Hi achipmunk,

Do forgive Norway for its insane prices..I just moved back last October and struggeling with justifying living in Oslo and renting. ;) But Drammen is a good commuting distance in anycase. I come from Tønsberg originally, and my father used to commute to Oslo everyday in the early 80's. That was before the double rail lines existed and the main motoroway E18 was still just a simple two way road most of the way and used at least 3 hours a day ++ to get to and from work. I see you're currently in Molde and originally from China, so I guess distance is a relative matter. :)

Drammen does stretch up into the surrounding hills and valleys, my remark on the motorway running through it was mainly sarcastic. There has been alot of regeneration of the inner city areas, converting some of the old industrial areas in more pleasant public areas and apartments and offices. There might even be somewhat of an expat community there, Kongsberg is quite close where at least there used to be a small contingent of foreigners working. And incidentally, the people who rented my flat previously bought a house in Drammen as well actually, they are Brazilian I think.

Do you have any kids ripe for schooling age?

Hello Knut,

I can see that the E18 runs through the Drammen eastern part which might be embarrassing. Beside this there is nothing wrong with this city, however, we need to stroll around to get more feeling to those cities, before making any decision.

My daughter is 8 years old, and she would like to live near a swimming poor and culture school, which is one of the reasons that we focus on Asker and Drammen.

yes, we are originally from Shanghai, therefore, we get used of high population density and long distance committing.

Thanks a lot for tips. / Best

Hi achipmunk,

I have been living in Drammen now for three years and have to say that it's a very beautiful up and coming town.  Over the recent years, a lot has been done to make Drammen a more attractive place to live - and they have succeeded.  During the summer there is nothing better than sitting down by the river, or visiting some of the amazing restaurants and cafe's around the center.

As your daughter love swimming, Drammenbadet is also a great place to take a dip - although a little on the pricey side, you can get great deals if you get an annual ticket.

Hope you enjoy living here,

Jamie

Hello Jamie,

Thanks for your comments on the Drammen and Drammenbadet, we are finding a place to live in åssiden.

Best

I think rents are the main issue in Norway, in Kongsberg where I am renting prices are way beyond what my research showed me... This seems to be as there is little to rent (especially in terms of 3+ bedroom places).

Personally after enduring 4months now in Norway I would say go for Asker, closer to Oslo transport would be easier and cheaper into Oslo with bus, tram and train I believe. But its also expensive too. And the big but is there should be more to do closer to the big cities.

Drammen has really come up in recent years. Mostly from investment as prices push more people away from Asker and Baerum where prices are bonkers. It really is a sliding scale related to the distance from the National Theatre station!!

Hence you get more for your buck in Drammen compared to anywhere closer to Oslo. Personally we bought in Asker (at a stretch) but my wife works in Drammen and we think its nice with the big river and all.

Commute time on the train is only a few minutes difference so barely an issue.

Drammen

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