Yes, Oslo and student budget normally don’t work in the same sentence, as Norway’s capital is considered as one of the most expensive cities in the world BUT fear not, there are some tips and tricks how to survive without spending a fortune! Let’s start with the basics:
// How to get there
Who thought that’s actually the easy part? Ryanair offers great deals for flying out to Oslo with about €50 for return flights. This, of course, depends on the season but it often helps if you fly on a Friday and return on a Monday, instead of the overbooked Sunday.
Don’t leave it to the last minute! I know, we all love a spontaneous trip but if you know you’re travelling to Oslo, book as far ahead as you can!
There are some affordable rooms on Airbnb, that are close to the city centre and they get even cheaper if you bring along one or two friends. Plus, you don’t have to share the room with a bunch of (potentially snoring) strangers in a cheap hostel.
//Food and Drinks
Another upside to booking a room on Airbnb, most of the hosts allow you to use their kitchen, which is a lifesaver in a city, where you easily pay twenty euros for a pizza (drinks not included).
If you intend to explore the Norwegian nightlife, I suggest you buy your favourite bottle of wine/beer/vodka at the duty free shop before you hop on the plane.
Price of a beer in a club? Around 10 Euros or more. Why? Talking to some locals, they explained that the Norwegian government slaps on punitive taxes to stop people from drinking, which makes alcoholic goods about three to four times as expensive as in Ireland. So buying a bottle of wine can quickly feel like investing in a bar of gold, that unfortunately only lasts for one night.
Student discount only applies to 30-day tickets, so basically only useful if you intend to stay longer. If you do stay more than two days, I recommend buying a 7-day ticket as a normal 24h ticket is already 90 Norwegian Kroner (~ 9.50 Euros) and a 7-day ticket is around 240 NK, which allows you to use every bus/tram/train within Zone 1 (which is basically all you need).
//Culture for free
The Opera House
There is no way of visiting Oslo without experiencing some of that famous Norwegian architecture! Directly located next to the pier, this design masterpiece is perfect for snapping pictures, making your friends and family back home jealous. The Opera House contains more than 1.100 rooms and you can even take a stroll up on the roof, to catch a great view over the pier area. If you want to engage in the full cultural experience, a ballet or opera performance, there are student discounts available, with tickets starting around 313 NK ( ~33 Euros) depending on time/day of the performance.
Vigeland Sculpture Park
With over one million visitors every year, the Vigeland Sculpture Park is a must-see for travellers interested in arts and design. There are over 200 sculptures displayed, including the famous “angry boy” created by Gustav Vigeland. Plus, the park is open all year round, at all times.
Just within five minute walking distance from the sculpture park is this little flea market, where locals sell their used or hand crafted goods. Perfect spot for bargain hunters and vintage lovers! The market is only open on Saturdays from 9AM to 5PM. Oh, and don’t forget to try some of the delicious waffles (you can thank me later).
Generally, museums in Norway cost around 85 NK (~ 10 Euros) per entry but there are a plenty of museums that open up their gates for free. For example, the Armed Forces Museum, the Botanic Garden and the Oslo City Museum, are accessible for the public all year long.