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

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected] • 25 Sep, 2022 Updated Sun 25 Sep 2022 08:57 CEST
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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 a kid 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 go home. One of visitors' most common horror stories is the cost of a pint or a bite to eat out. 

So, how much does it cost to call Oslo home? Below we'll break down all the essential costs you can expect to encounter. 

Rent: 6,600-14,029 kroner

The capital is the most expensive city to rent in Norway. Depending on your needs, you can expect to pay between 6,600 and 14,000 kroner, according to rental platform Hybel. 

These are the average prices of renting a room in a house, flatshare, or two-room apartment. 

If you want a one room dwelling that will cost 10,274 kroner, those in need of a bigger place to call home can expect to pay around 17,447 kroner per month. 

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

Figures from Finn.no, Norway’s most popular website for property listings, show that in July 2022, the average monthly cost of an apartment was around 17,000 kroner in Oslo . This number is based on an average of all listings in Oslo on the site, so it is also influenced by the most expensive, largest and centrally located properties.

You can compare the average cost of different-sized rental properties in Oslo and how prices have developed over time here.

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: 3,690 kroner 

Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) estimates that the average cost of food for someone aged between 31- 50 was up to 3,690 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. 

According to Eurostat's data and price level index, prices in Norway were 49 percent higher than the EU average in 2021

However, Norwegians actually spend less money on food than other European households. Food and non-alcoholic beverages accounted for 11.3 percent of households' total spending in 2022, according to Statistics Norway. The average across the EU was 13 percent. 

Transport: 814 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 814 kroner for a monthly ticket. 

There is also the option of a much more costly 8,140-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. 

However, this can vary greatly due to high energy prices in Norway currently. During the second quarter, households, on average, paid around 137 øre per kilowatt hour for energy, including taxes and energy subsidy deductions. Since those figures by Statistics Norway were released, prices have become even more expensive. 

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 700-900 kroner a month for energy at current prices. 

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: 120-140 kroner

Coffee: 48 kroner 

Cinema: 140- 180 kroner 

Meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: 700-900 kroner

A cinnamon bun or hot dog: 50-65 kroner

Gym membership: 450-750 kroner

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Frazer Norwell 2022/09/25 08:57

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