norweigian airlines flies to a ton of european locations out of oakland and they do it for freakishly great prices [our flight was just around $300/per ticket one way]. we knew that oslo was one of the most expensive cities in the world, which wasn't great for our first stop of budget travel. but the flight was cheap and it got us to europe which we saw as a win, and it is the best way to easily get into the nature in norway we were so dying to see.
that being said, i'm so happy we randomly ended up in oslo. is it insanely expensive? yes. would we have lasted more than 2 days? probably not. but we'll 100% be back to this city one day when we're more equipped to spend some $$$. the good news? traveling here on a budget is still really fun and very possible, it's just a different approach.
- the airport is one of the coolest, cleanest, most efficient airports i've ever seen
- leverage the duty free! [i've never been a big fan, but wine at the airport was way cheaper than the city.]
- do not take taxis. the public transit system is very clean, reliable & easy to figure out
- the city is GREEN in all senses of the word: beautiful landscape, the tap water is drinkable, recycling is everywhere, there is little to no trash on the streets, etc.
- use the shared room option on airbnb: we stayed here and here
- walk everywhere [especially the grünerløkka area and along the wharf]
- the opera house: walking on the roof is encouraged, and a beautiful place to explore or just relax seaside
- museums: a full list of the museums can be found here (check out The Scream painting!)
- frogner park: their version of central park or golden gate park, a bit more crowded but fun to walk around and see oslo's landscape
FOOD & DRINKS:
eating and drinking out in this city is almost impossible on a budget. which is unfortunate, because most of the bars and restaurants are really really cool. a few spots we found are:
- mathallen food market: an indoor/outdoor market with 30+ local/specialty food and drink vendors
- eckers cafe: delicious smoothies and coffee with a nice patio, right next to frogner park
- curry and ketchup: a cozy indian spot with delicious food and a fun atmosphere. portions here are large which makes sharing for 2 pretty easy, which also makes the cost for dinner fairly low.
- BLÅ bar: a fun outdoor bar on the water with festive cocktails and good vibes
- crowbar: great local brewery that also has kebabs
- gaasa: cobblestone beer garden between downtown and grünerløkka
- godt brød: bakery & pit stop for coffee in the mornings/early afternoon, cute patio too
- schwarma + pizza: it's certainly not luxurious, but these are all over the city and actually pretty tasty