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The downsides of Oslo you should be aware of before moving there 

Oslo is a fantastic place to call home. However, there are some downsides to life in Norway's capital city that you should be aware of before making the move. 

Pictured is Oslo.
There are several downsides to life in Oslo that you should know about. Pictured is the capital city. Photo by Marleen Mulder-Wieske on Unsplash

Dotted on the fjord from which it draws its name, Oslo is a fantastic city with a little bit of everything for everyone. 

There are plenty of great areas for raising a family, a few trendy districts for the hip crowd, lots of green space for the more outdoorsy types, and plenty of modern architecture to marvel at. Add to all of this a fairly well-connected public transport system, and the city seems like the complete package. 

However, the city is certainly not without its faults, and Oslo can sometimes live in the shadow of other Scandi cities such as Copenhagen and Stockholm. Here are a few of the downsides you should know about when moving to Oslo.

Expensive to find a place to live

It doesn’t matter whether you intend to rent or buy. A place in Oslo will probably cost you more than anywhere else in Norway. This is because the city has the country’s highest property and rental prices. 

According to Statistics Norway, a 50 square-metre 2-room dwelling in Oslo costs 12,310 kroner per month in rent. This is 29 percent higher than the national average for a similar home. 

Last year the average house price in Norway was around 4 million kroner, or around 400,000 thousand euros, according to Real Estate Norway. Meanwhile, the average price of a home in Oslo was approximately 6 million kroner this February

If you are renting in Oslo, you’ll need deep pockets to secure a place to live as landlords typically ask for the equivalent of three months’ rent as the deposit. 

READ MORE: Eight things to know when renting an apartment in Norway

Difficult to keep up with the property market

Being Norway’s largest city, there is ample choice when it comes to the property market. However, you still might find it challenging to find a place to live. 

The rental market moves fairly quickly, and you won’t be guaranteed to hear from a landlord if there is plenty of interest in their apartment. 

Additionally, several readers of The Local have said that they often don’t hear back from landlords when contacting them in English. 

READ MORE: What is it like to rent in Norway as a foreign resident? 

Suburbs are a lot more remote than you’d think 

Many move to the outskirts of Oslo for a number of reasons, be it wanting to be closer to nature, work, or simply wanting more value for money. 

However, Oslo’s suburbs can feel a lot more remote, and less like a city than people often think. 

This may be an issue for those who like to be at the heart of everything. Although for many who value peace, privacy and nature then, this is probably more of an upside. 

Not everyone is impressed with the city life

Oslo is a relatively small city of around 700,000 residents or so. If you are coming from a bigger city, or are familiar with, lived in, or visited Copenhagen or Stockholm, you may find it a bit underwhelming. 

On first inspection, some may find the food, culture and nightlife scenes a bit more subdued compared to other major European cities. 

Not to despair, though, as there will still be plenty to see and do in Oslo, especially as the culinary and cultural scenes are ever-expanding.  

Part of why it may also feel like there’s less hustle and bustle is due to the city’s unique, slower pace. 

Once you get used to the more relaxed pace of the city compared to elsewhere, you’ll soon learn to appreciate its uniqueness. 

The locals aren’t known for their friendliness 

Different countries have their norms and social values, and in this regard, Norway is no different from anywhere else on Earth. 

Norwegians could be considered more reserved and not as outgoing when around strangers. Generally, this is done out of politeness and respect for one’s privacy than due to rudeness, which Oslo’s inhabitants are sometimes unfairly accused of. 

With that being said, it may be more challenging than other places to fit in and feel at home with the locals. 

Although once accepted, especially when living in apartment blocks with communal areas, you’ll start feeling welcomed as a member of the community. 

Expensive public transport         

Oslo has a fairly well-connected transport system. No matter which part of the city you’ll be living in, you can expect to be near a bus, tram, or T-bane stop. 

However, this convenience does come at a cost. According to Business Insider, Oslo is the 15th most expensive city for commuters. The average price of commuting in Oslo was around 90 dollars or 790 kroner per month. 

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Best things to do in Oslo in summer 2022 

Whether it's new attractions, the best nature spots, or budget-friendly travel hacks, these are some of the best things that tourists and locals can do in the Norwegian capital of Oslo this summer.

Best things to do in Oslo in summer 2022 

Oslo has something for everyone, and, arguably, summer is the best time to experience the city. 

We’ve put together a list of the best activities, attractions and things to do this year, regardless of whether you are a local, just visiting, outdoorsy or prefer the walls of a museum. 

The list includes plenty of budget-friendly hacks, meaning they won’t break the bank either. 

New national museum opens  

In June, the doors to Norway’s new national museum will open to the public for the first time. Norway’s new national museum will be the combination of four other museums, including the old National Gallery. 

The museum, which hosts some of Norway’s most iconic artworks, including Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”, will become the largest museum in the Nordics when it opens. 

The museum is located in Aker Brygge, west Oslo, just a small trot from the palace and town hall. The museum will open on June 11th. You can read more about the museum here

Island hopping 

Staying in Aker Brygge for our next pick, a popular activity among the locals in the summer is to go island hopping in the island fjord. 

Once on the islands, there are plenty of opportunities for walking, swimming and picnics. This won’t break the bank either, as you can use the public transport Ruter app to the islands. While on the ferry, you’ll have a pretty good view too. So for around 70 kroner (two 1 hour singles), you can have an afternoon spent in the sun amongst the residents of Oslo rather than being crammed onto a tour boat. 

READ MORE: How tourists in Oslo can save money and live like a local

Go on a hammock trip 

Given Norway’s abundance of nature, its only fair camping would pop up. But there’s no need for all the faff of messing about with tents. 

Oslo’s residents agree, and hammocks are more common in the capital. There are plenty of great spots for a hammock trip in the capital. 

Most of them you can take public transport too, and even more, you can combine with other activities such as swimming, hiking and biking. 

READ MORE: Five great places to go on a hammock trip in Oslo this summer

Palace reopens

The Royal Palace will open its door to the public from June 25th. The castle will be open until mid-August. The castle is open for guided tours only. The tours will travel through iconic rooms such as the Council Chamber, where King meets the government, and the Great Dining Room. 

This summer marks the first time the palace will have been open to the public for two years, after closing due to the pandemic.

Tours this year will focus on the White Lounge, which has been freshly restored. Tickets start from 175 kroner. You can click here for more information

Take a dip

From central locations, a stone’s throw from the city centre to secluded lakes, or in the river that runs through the city’s centre, there are plenty of locations to take a dip in Oslo. 

Summers in Norway can be pretty warm, and with the long days going for a swim makes perfect sense. 

The overwhelming majority of spots are open to the public, and there are even a few small sandy beaches, such as Katten badenstrand. 

READ MORE: The six best places to swim outdoors in Oslo this summer 

Picnic and engagnsgrill in the park

There are plenty of fantastic parks in Oslo, and a lot of them are major attractions too. 

Vigeland Park is one of the Norwegian capital’s most famous attractions. Home to over 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland, designer of the Nobel Peace Prize medal and the famous Angry Boy statue, Vigelandsparken is an essential destination.

However, it isn’t the only park where you can take a stroll while admiring some sculptures. 

Ekeberg Sculpture Park, close to downtown Oslo, is another park with international-renowned works, such as Venus Milo aux Tiroirs by Salvadore Dali. 

Add to that the fact that you can have a disposable grill, engangsgrill, or picnic in the park, too, and that’s an added bonus. 

READ MORE: What are the rules and culture of park life in Norway?

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