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How much does it cost to live in Norway’s biggest cities?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected] • 20 Dec, 2022 Updated Tue 20 Dec 2022 12:59 CEST
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Here's what it costs to live in Norway's biggest cities. Pictured is Bryggen in Bergen.Photo by Andrei Ionov on Unsplash

Norway is expensive, but the cost of being a resident can vary depending on where you choose to live. Here’s how much it’ll cost to call any of Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger or Trondheim home.

Norway’s four largest cities possess unique qualities that make them attractive to international residents. 

Whether it’s the stunning architecture in Trondheim, the hustle and bustle of Oslo, the high wages and laid-back lifestyle on offer in Stavanger or the stunning scenery surrounding Bergen, there is something for everyone. 

Despite Norway’s reputation (that it fully lives up to) for being one of the most expensive places in Europe to live, the cost of living can vary significantly between the big cities. 

Below we’ll look at the key differences between the main cities in Norway when it comes to the cost of living. 

Rent

Perhaps the most important, and probably the biggest, of all living costs is keeping a roof over your head. 

Unfortunately, Norway’s biggest cities also translates to Norway’s highest rent prices. However, it isn’t all bad as there are differences between the cities, with some being considerably cheaper than others.

It will come as no surprise that the capital, Oslo, is the most expensive place to rent in Norway. On average, a one-room apartment in Oslo costs 11,401 kroner a month, according to figures from the Utleiemegleren rental agency. A two-room apartment costs an average of 14,419 kroner, while a three-room apartment costs around 18,434 kroner. 

Bergen, in this regard, is considerably cheaper than Oslo and has the lowest renting costs overall. There, the average price of a one-room place was 9,050 kroner. A two-room property set back tenants 11,842 kroner, while those looking for more space paid 13,818 kroner for a three-room place. 

The agency didn’t have any recent figures for one-room apartments in Trondheim or Stavanger. But, in Trondheim, the average rent on a two-room place was 12,740 kroner, while you’d have to pay 16,859 kroner for three rooms. 

Stavanger is cheaper than Trondheim in that regard. A two-room apartment costs a similar amount (12,646 kroner), but a three-room was significantly more affordable at 14,570 kroner per month. 

Utilities 

Like rent, energy prices can differ significantly in Norway on a regional level. The country is split into five different energy zones. Oslo, which is located in zone one, saw an average energy price of 140 øre per kilowatt hour. Prices in Stavanger and Bergen were identical, as zone five saw an average price of 140 ore per kilowatt hour in November. 

Meanwhile, in November, Trondheim had the cheapest energy prices in Norway at 79.72 øre per kilowatt hour. However, since November, prices have risen sharply in central Norway and have been more in line with the rest of Norway. 

When using a comparison site for quotes, Trondheim is still significantly cheaper, though. Quotes for an energy deal range between 1,500 kroner a month for a large house with an annual consumption of 16,000 kilowatt hours and 373 kroner a month for a small apartment with a yearly consumption of 4,000 kilowatt hours. 

Quotes in Stavanger ranged from between 669 kroner a month for a small apartment to 2,675 kroner for a big home. Keeping a large home warm with the lights on in Bergen or Oslo costs as near as makes no difference to Stavanger. 

However, over time this may change, and the other three cities may see more significant price differences. 

Transport

Depending on whether you have a car or not or how close you live to work will depend on how often you will need to use the public transport networks in Norway’s biggest cities to get around. 

This will, of course, impact how much you fork out on transport to get around. The good thing is that when you do need public transportation to get around, all four cities have reliable networks. 

Public transportation in Trondheim is the most expensive at 890 kroner for a monthly ticket. Single tickets are also more expensive than in Oslo, Bergen and Stavanger. Oslo is the second most expensive. Here, the cost of a monthly ticket is 814 kroner. Stavanger’s monthly ticket is considerably cheaper at 600 kroner per month, while a monthly ticket in Bergen costs 755 kroner. 

Childcare

About 90 percent of kids in Norway attend a kindergarten or preschool. The maximum price for a place in Norway is capped at 3,050 kroner a month, 

But due to additional fees and costs, the actual monthly cost can vary across the country. In Bergen, the average cost of childcare is 3,170 kroner per child, according to the national data agency Statistics Norway. Prices in Trondheim were incredibly similar, coming in at around 3,167 kroner. 

Kindergarten in Stavanger was cheaper than Bergen and Trondheim coming in at 3,042 kroner a month. In Oslo, the average cost of childcare is 3,082 

Food: 3,690 kroner 

Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) estimates that the average cost of food for someone aged between 31- 50 is 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. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a city that stands out as the cheapest to buy food in. Instead, a lot will depend on your own shopping habits. 

Quick breakdown

Using the costs above, we’ve prepared a quick breakdown of what it will cost to live in each city when renting a small two-room apartment, paying for a kindergarten place and using the provided figures as a food budget. 

Oslo: 22,944 kroner per month 

Bergen: 20,426 kroner per month 

Trondheim: 20,860 kroner per month 

Stavanger: 20,919 kroner per month 

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Frazer Norwell 2022/12/20 12:59

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