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Moving to Norway: How much money do I need to live in Oslo?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Moving to Norway: How much money do I need to live in Oslo?
Here's how much life in Oslo will set you back. Pictured is Oslo. Photo by Marleen Mulder-Wieske on Unsplash

Norway's largest city comes with a reputation for its high cost of living. Depending on who you ask, you'll either get by fine on an average Norwegian wage, or need to be a millionaire. Here's how much you'd need to earn to live in Oslo.


Oslo doesn't always get the same spotlight as its Scandinavian cousins Copenhagen and Stockholm, but it's a great place to live. 

Whether it's the city's proximity to nature, the capital being a great place to raise kids or the ample job opportunities, many gravitate towards Oslo when moving to Norway. 

Even before the cost of living began increasing across the board, the city had a reputation as a pricey place to call home. One of the most common horror stories among visitors is the cost of a pint or a bite to eat out. 

So, how much does it cost to call Oslo home?


Rent: 7,200 - 16,000 kroner

The capital is the most expensive city in Norway to rent in. Depending on your needs, you can expect to pay between 7,200 kroner per month to 16,000 kroner.

The average cost of renting a room in the capital is around 7,200 kroner per month, according to figures from the rental agency Hybel

Meanwhile, the average monthly cost of renting a home in the capital is 16,000 kroner per month, according to figures from rental agency Utleiemegleren.

Those looking for just a one-room studio paid an average of 12,000 kroner per month, according to the same figures. 

Prices vary a bit in the city. More central locations and those on the city's west side tend to be more expensive. This may make the suburbs more appealing, although they can feel quite detached from the city centre. 

READ ALSO: How much does it cost to rent in Oslo's commuter towns?

One thing to note that average rental figures don't tell you is that the cost of securing an apartment is very expensive. It isn't uncommon for landlords to ask for the equivalent of three months' rent as a deposit. 

This high deposit fee can be quite a tricky hurdle for those without savings to overcome. However, many landlords are willing to negotiate about lowering the deposit. 

Food: 4,270 kroner 

Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) estimates that the average cost of food for someone aged between 31- 50 was up to 4,270 kroner per month

Eurostat, which monitors price levels across the EU, EEA and EU candidate countries, has ranked Norway with the second highest price level index for food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Only Switzerland had a higher price level index than the countries monitored by the stats agency. A price level index measures the price levels of a given nation relative to other countries. This means that compared to the rest of the other countries measured, food and non-alcoholic beverages in Norway are the second most expensive overall. 


Transport: 853 kroner 

Norway has a pretty well-connected public transport network covering busses, ferries, subways and trams.

Another perk of the transport network in the city is that you can use it to get out into nature too. 

Although, the biggest drawback is the price of a monthly ticket, which gives you unlimited travel across the city's various modes of public transport and will set you back around 853kroner for a monthly ticket. 

There is also the option of a much more costly 8,531-kroner annual ticket. 

For those who won't be commuting everyday, single and 24-hour tickets can also be purchased. 


Childcare: 3,082 kroner

More than 90 percent of children living in Oslo attend a kindergarten. The maximum price for a kindergarten spot in Norway is 3,050 kroner per month. This applies to both municipal and private kindergartens. However, other fees and costs are typically involved too. 

According to national data agency Statistics Norway (SSB) the average cost of childcare in Oslo is 3,082 kroner. This average includes other costs as well as the price of a pre-school place. 

But, if the cost is higher than 6 percent of total household income, you can pay a reduced price. This price applies to both municipal and private kindergartens. There are also discounts for those with more than one child. 

You can shop around to find cheaper kindergartens or one that more suits your need. 

READ MORE: Everything parents in Norway need to know about preschool

Utilities: 900- 2,000 kroner 

This is a tough one to pin down a set figure for. This is because many may have water and sewage fees included in their rent, in addition to wifi and cable. 

According to Internations, a social networking site for expats, basic utilities cost an average of including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and waste services for an 85 squared meters apartment in Norway is 1,571 kroner. 

The average energy price in the second quarter of 2023 was 143.5 øre per kilowatt hour including taxes and minus energy subsidies. Furthermore, as it's the average for the whole country, it also includes prices from north and central Norway, where electricity is far cheaper. 

But for a small apartment of around 45 square metres, one can expect to pay between 500-800 kroner per month in energy.

What about leisure and social time? 

It's unlikely that you'll want to be sat indoors all week after moving to a new city, so you'll obviously want to know about how much you can expect to shell out for one of the country's infamously expansive beers while out:

Beer: 99-125 kroner 

Glass of wine: 105-115 kroner

Cocktail: 120-160 kroner

Coffee: 48 kroner 

Cinema: 140- 180 kroner 

Meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: 700-1,000 kroner

A cinnamon bun or hot dog: 50-65 kroner

Gym membership: 450-750 kroner


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