Now I’m sick and tired of hearing people complaining about how expensive Norway is! Lots of things are cheap and free, you just have to look out for them! And do not be a snob! Do not tell me Subway, Kiwi and Nille are not good enough for you.

Here are surviving tips on low budget:

Norwegian version here.

1. You will get a great Narvesen Cinnamon Bun or croissant with a big cup of  coffee for 25 Nkr. Download the Narvesen-app, and you get the fifth deal for free. Is it expensive? Even in Spain, I think it will mot be much cheaper.

2. You can fish your own fish – free of charge.

3. Drinking tap-water is free and harmless – and it tastes good too.

4. You can find cheap international restaurants and beer in Oslo East – go to GRØNLAND (Greenland). Many foreigners want to boast about eating in Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen,  but there you get ruined!

5. In Grønland you will find cheap fruit and vegetables, cheap beer, clothing and whatever else and an international atmosphere. 

 6. Lunch at McDonalds or Subway. Today’s Sub with coffee and cake, you get for 50-60 Nkr. Is it expensive?

7. Check out free events in Oslo and surroundings. Language cafes etc… Some days museums are free and with Oslo Travel Pass you get other free offers too.

8. Try AirbnB, hostels or stay in the cheapest hotel in  Oslo, Anker hotel. Anker hostel is right next to it. If you want to stay here permanent, it might be a comfort that we – like you – cannot afford large apartments in Frogner in Oslo either. Most of us live outside the city centre because it is cheaper!

9. You have to quit your expensive habits! Many  people find it embarrassing to buy used  clothes in the charity shop Fretex or get free furniture at But, dear friend, then you deserve to be poor! Even Norwegians use the services here and many of us stick to Rema 1000, Kiwi, HM, Nille and Cubus and eat cheap  frozen pizza, hot dogs and taco at home. By the way, I have also had periods with little money and been a single mom – so do not complain to me that Frogner is expensive!

10. Places like the Frogner Park, and the Ekeberg park you can visit for free. Bring a lunch packet or buy yourself a börek in a foreigner shop instead of being ruined in the tourist traps. Take healthy outdoor walks and enjoy fresh air. Try Akerselva for nice promenades and nature. You can camp in the forest for free.

And do not say that we are not friendly. If you smile and ask politely for help, we will help you. Otherwise, we will think that you don´t want us to bother you –  and that is why we do not talk to you!

Welcome to Oslo, Norway.

PS: the scarf is from HM and it was really cheap. Dritbillig!!!

Greetings from Helse-Tine

I’m a journalist, blogger and Norwegian-teacher.

Contact me at

OMG, OMG, OMG! I posted this blog in the Facebook group called New in Oslo and so many people got engaged that I spent one whole evening answering questions and comments – not all positive! 100 pushed like, but some people said  my advices were naive and stupid and that I write for 5 year olds. They said they could not believe I had been a journalist for many years. Haha! Well, some shit you always get in net debates. Below I will give 10 more tips based on your comments in the New in Oslo group.

That is a group you should join if you are new in this country.

Thanks for tons of responses!

I know I left out some important things, like you said. I will list them here:

11.  Education is free here, mostly.
12. We have a good health care system and you do not need a health insurance. If you get ill, you will be taken good care of. 
13. NAV will help out if you are out of work. So the welfare system is good.
14. You get better payment, and then it is normal that the food is more expensive and the taxes higher. You have to look at how much you spend on food compared to your salary, and then Norway is not that bad compared to other countries. One person pointed out the Big Mac index.
15. Buy liquor and wine in Gardermoen or Sweden if you have the chance. Have parties and drink at home and before you go out. The cheapest beer in bars you get in Grønland.

16. Accommodation is a huge problem. I know. Share flats, live in guesthouses for short time or move to the suburbs of Oslo like me for long time stay. Like I told you I rented first floor in a house in Vinderen when my kids were small, then later was able to buy a rekkehus in Kolbotn, all on one salary.

17. Norwegian traditional food IS dull, you are right! Eat in asian, turkish, lebanese and other international restaurants, f.ex in Trondheimsveien and in Grønland. Good food and good prices. Try Lille Saigon, Tandori Grønland and Tuktukthai. In Evita, Teater-plassen, Grønland you get good oatmeal porridge with berries for 25 kroner. Perfect for coffee if you’re just a little hungry. In Oslo Mekaniske right on the other side of the square you can bring the food you want (they do not have dinner) as long as you buy a drink there. Buy food in one of the cheap Indian places at Grønland Torg and bring the food with you to the super-gorgeous Oslo Mek. You get the meal of the day: Type Chicken curry with salad and nan bread for around 70-80 bucks. Istanbul a few meters beyond the cheapest Indian restaurants at Grønland Square serves very large and tasty portions of food for around 130 kr.

18. To eat pølse, pancakes, frozen pizza and hamburgers every day is not healthy. I totally agree with you! Always have a salad with your pizza or burger. Eat less meat and more fish and vegetables. The food you make from scratch at home will almost always be more healthy than fast food. I told you I used to eat maxboller with rice and broccoli, and broccoli protects against cancer. In McDonalds I go with chicken wrap or chicken salad and leave out the fries. Also there is a good bread in Rema 1000 called dansk rugbrød med solsikke og gresskarkjerner and  a nice vegetarian økologisk pizza med grillede grønnsaker from Pizzabakeriet, although I know you told me all food in Rema 1000 and Kiwi is «shit» and «crap.» 😉 

19. You told me children’s diapers and tran is cheap here and that we can pick berries and mushrooms and rent books in the library for free. You also reminded me you can get cheap flights with Ryanair – and I will include Norwegian.

20. And ho ho… soon Christmas here! I know some of you are insanely mad at me and my stupid blog, but we need some good humour in this cold country, and I did not mean to provoke you. At least a lot of people got engaged and had a good discussion on FB.

Watch the videos I recommended. They are funny and a bit helpful also.

Have a super day out in the snow.

A smile and positive thinking always helps.


Read also: Free events in Oslo.

Watch: Surviving Oslo on a budget (YouTube)

Watch: 10 ways to travel Norway on a budget (YouTube)