Some parts of the city are safe, clean, and delightful, but you can easily walk from beautiful parts of Oslo to riskier areas which are not quite representative. Thus, it is good to speak with locals or to read travel forums and experiences before you decide to explore Oslo on your own. In Norway, nature is respected in so many ways, but still there are many streets all over Oslo without trees. On the other hand there are many parks and gardens tucked between the blocks of buildings. Also – which everyone finds staggering – some dormitory rooms are situated in buildings which look like ex-silos. The tourist-friendly part of Oslo offers amazing boat tours from Oslo to the nearby islands, where many Norwegians spend their time during holidays and weekends. People in Oslo couldn’t care less about the weather, they appear and behave like every day is warm, no matter the actual circumstances. So even on rainy days you can find bikes and bikers in the thousands passing through the streets of Oslo like it is the sunniest day of the year. Joggers find places to run everywhere, and they will always politely say “Hi, hi!” when they run close to you. In the past few years Oslo has been rebuilt in a modern style, and there are tunnels which take highways under the city with traffic roundabouts; but, on the other hand, Norwegians are careful with the natural environment, so there is a prohibition against expanding the city into green areas.
Accommodations in Oslo
Hotel prices in Oslo cover a broad spectrum. For example, you can stay in famous hotels in Karl Johan’s gate (street) or near the Opera House where prices for rooms go from 100-200 up to a staggering 500 Euros for one night. On the other hand, in other areas near the city center of Oslo, hostels in dormitory rooms are about 45 Euros per night, but if you want a single room then the price can go up to 100 Euros. In some parts of Oslo which are still close enough to the center, you can find a bed for 25 Euros in a hostel. The great thing is that you can also try finding accommodations on couchsurfing.com and maybe Airbnb.com, and there is a variety of rooms, apartments, and beds to suit everyone’s wallet.
Food and drink prices
As we wrote in the first article about Norway, coffee is in some ways considered a national drink here. The price of black filter coffee is often 30-40 kroners (around 4 Euros) in the center of Oslo, but if you prefer to drink coffee on Karl Johan’s gate, then you have to be prepared to spend around 100 kroners (around 11 Euros). This street is always full of people who are drinking and eating in the pubs. In most coffee shops you will get free refills of coffee – and you may drink as much as you wish. Hot chocolate costs around 45 kroners (5 Euros); and if you are fond of pizza, in the city center there are places where you can eat at a pizza buffet (the same as with coffee, you can eat as much as you wish) for 100 or 130 kroners (around 11 to 14 Euros). Of course, there are also fast food restaurant chains such as McDonalds or Burger King. In Oslo you can also find restaurants featuring foreign cuisine – Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Turkish, but rarely is there something genuinely Norwegian. It is good to know that if you decide to go to a restaurant you will seldom find a main dish for less than 250 kroners (28 Euros) and you can easily find main dishes for 600 kroners (around 67 Euros). Normally, as you get closer to the main street, the prices can get higher.
What will also make you fascinating is weekends in Oslo
Weekends and nights out in Oslo are special, sometimes because of the events on offer, sometimes for the people and fun moments, and sometimes because of the money spent for one night out. There are many urban legends about Saturday nights in Oslo. Scandinavian people are known as a drinking people, and this stereotype is fully applicable to Norwegians. They are real alcohol lovers, many of them start to drink on Friday after work and continue doing it for the whole weekend. Weekends in Oslo are fun, streets are full of mostly drunk people who are enjoying their nights at events, concerts, clubs etc. It is not rare to see Norwegians in Oslo sitting in their suits and shirts after work on Friday afternoon and having fun with friends and colleagues until they fall drunk under the table. Afterwards husbands come to pick up their women and vice versa. It has been brought to my attention that Norwegians have some kind of public service which carries drunk people safely home on the weekends because there are so many people who must be taken home after a night out. One journalist, Franzika Knupper, has written about drinking habits in Norway and has concluded that since alcohol prices are high, many Norwegians get wasted on cheap alcohol and “eventually end up turning into jumping jolly bouncing balls on Oslo’s dance floors on the weekends”. The Norwegians love beer, cider, vodka, and tequila, but they also drink akevitt, which is made from herbs and spices, or glogg, which is made from red wine and some mulling spices. You can find a beer from about 80 kroners (9 Euros) or more, but in Main Street, Karl Johan’s gate, the price of a beer starts at 110 kroners (12 Euros).