After America I had a huge sense of wanderlust, so, settled with a bag of popcorn and a glass of wine one night, I indulged in my favourite hobby – looking for cheap flights on Skyscanner. There are always cheap flights to Scandinavia for some reason, and I travelled to Denmark and Sweden last November this way, but hadn’t yet been to Norway… At £20 return, it was cheaper for me to go to Norway than it was to go to London on a weekday. Bring. It. On!
I left Stansted on an 8.30am flight and arrived in Oslo Rygge at 11am local time (approx). I found some awesome people on the coach to Oslo, one of whom I ended up hanging out with for most of my time in Norway (shout out to Fez! ❤️). I stayed at the Thon Hotel Astoria, a relatively inexpensive hotel just off of Karl Johans Gade which appeared to be one of the main streets in Oslo, and conveniently placed next to the central train station. Thon Hotels seems to be like a Norwegian Holiday Inn Express – budget rooms (with amazingly comfortable beds), en-suite and free breakfast which, given the excruciating cost of Oslo, I obviously took full advantage of. I was only in Oslo for one night but it was a great base at a good price, and I’d definitely recommend. It’s not exactly luxury but it certainly does the job.
The city itself was exceptional. Clean, friendly, easy to navigate, and some truly stunning buildings and sights:
I went shopping with Fez in the afternoon (standard), and then, after a brief disco nap, went out with a friend of mine in the evening, where we drank exceptional chilli cocktails at a tiki bar and ate fried cheese balls until I could barely move.
One of the best things I found about Oslo was the dirt-cheap price of public transport – especially compared to the UK. I managed to get a 24-hour pass for all of Oslo city centre for the equivalent of about £9 – which was exceptional when you consider that these included ferries! So, on Saturday morning, Fez and I obviously took advantage of this and went island hopping…
These pictures don’t show how bloody cold it was, to the extent that it snowed while we were on the ferry… And guess who forgot her coat?
Ultimately Oslo was stunning. Friendly people, clean, efficient, easy to navigate, and felt very safe walking around at night. It was expensive which I knew going, but if you’re savvy you’ll be absolutely grand.
SAFETY OUT OF FIVE – 5/5. I walked a little by myself at night and felt perfectly safe – obviously be sensible and stick to main areas but I really didn’t have any problems.
COST OUT OF FIVE – ££££. Pretty bloody expensive – prepare beforehand if this is an issue, or shop at grocery stores for food. The krone has tanked a little due to oil over the past few months, but it was still expensive compared to the UK. I paid around £9 for a tea and pastry.
RECOMMENDATIONS – a ferry ride out to the islands was beautiful and relatively cheap (just get a 24 hour pass for 90NOK, around £8, from the main station). You can also go to the Viking Ship museum via a ferry ride which is more expensive as its a private boat, but might be worth looking into if that’s your kinda thing. The Oslo opera house is stunning, as are the Houses of Parliament – and the main shopping street has some cute little boutiques if that’s your thing!