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

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
How tourists in Oslo can save money and live like a local
Here are our tips for making sure you can live like a local in Oslo, on a budget. Pictured is Norway's capital. Photo by Gunnar Ridderström on Unsplash

It’s no secret that Oslo is an expensive city, but visitors can both save some cash and step off the tourist trail at the same time. Here’s how.

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When visiting a new country or city, the thing at the top of most people’s list is to live and do as the locals do for a more authentic experience. 

Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can do this in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. Furthermore, ‘doing as the Romans (or, in this case, Oslovians) do’ can often help you save money and make you feel like one of the locals. 

Enjoy an engangsgrill 

Norway didn’t invent the disposable BBQ (engangsgrill), but it’s undoubtedly a summertime institution in the country. 

There are several perks to the portable and widely available BBQs. Firstly, they will typically only cost between 25 and 30 kroner. Secondly, you can have an engangsgrill in almost every one of the capital’s parks. And finally, you’ll get to sample some typical Norwegian foods for very little money. 

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This can be combined with seeing some of the city’s most iconic sights too. So, for example, you could take an engangsgrill to Vigeland Park and grill some pølser or fish burgers with a decent view of the monolith, which takes centre stage at the park. 

You’ll be in good company, too, as many of Oslo’s parks will be filled with locals grilling almost every day of the week. 

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

You don’t need to pay for an expensive tour of the Oslo fjord, take public transport instead

If the weather is clear, then many will be tempted by the proposition of a trip out the Oslo fjord. However, you can get a decent view of the fjord for a lower price by using public transport. 

You can take a trip out of the harbour for as little as 35 kroner if you take the B1 Ruter boat and don’t get off at any of the islands, although this route won’t take you out into the fjord proper. However, many locals like to get off at these islands to go swimming and walking in the summer, 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. 

If you really want to see the fjord proper, you can take a trip to Drøbak, a charming summer town outside Oslo, and see a good chunk of the inner Oslo Fjord. This will cost around 228 kroner for two single tickets

Adopt the local eating habits 

The cost of eating out in Norway can leave you feeling queasy if you aren’t used to it, and that’s before the lutefisk is brought out. 

Norwegians don’t eat Norwegian food 100 percent of the time, so you shouldn’t either. If you don’t know much about Norway, you’d be surprised how much of the typical diet in Norway consists of tacos and frozen pizzas. 

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Instead, there are plenty of ways to save cash and have an authentic Oslo experience. Oslo Street Food on Torggata is a favourite among residents. The food is great, there are plenty of choices, and the bars have some of the cheapest beer in Oslo on tap. 

For lighter meals, you won’t need more than a hotdog from a Narvessenn or a cinnamon bun and coffee for lunch to eat like a resident. For an extra budget-friendly hack, consider downloading Too Good to Go. Bakeries will often offer goods at discount prices on the app later in the afternoon. 

Skip the airport train 

Flytoget, the airport train, is fast and efficient. However, there isn’t really much need to take it unless you are in a rush. 

Instead, by downloading the Ruter app used by locals to get around Oslo, you can save a decent bit of cash. 

This is because the Ruter app will allow you to take regional trains between the capital and the airport. This will typically be around 100 kroner or so cheaper than the airport train and only takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes longer, depending on which train you get on.

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