5 Reasons Why Oslo Did NOT Live Up To My Expectations

For some people Oslo can be a perfect travel destination. It’s clean with a low traffic, very safe with a low crime rate, easy to get around and it attracts tourists with its impressive nightlife. Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it. At least not as much as I thought I would have enjoyed it. I even kind of regret not going to Sweden or Spain instead. To be honest, the only one reason I liked being there was Megan  – a fellow travel blogger who showed me around the city and, together with her boyfriend, invited me for a typical Norwegian meal, which was absolutely delicious!

a girl posing for a photo in Oslo
That’s Mega. We stopped at the Opera House to take some photos

Here are my top 5 reasons why I didn’t like Oslo:

1. Unpleasant Norwegians – It was winter time (early December) when I arrived in Oslo. I knew the weather was going to be freezing cold, but did not expect people to be cold as well. Every time I asked a local for direction, I was ignored. Nobody wanted to help me out with getting from one place to another and when someone finally stopped by, I was advised to take a taxi. Norwegians seemed to be in a hurry all the time and they did not like anyone to interrupt them. They seemed not to like Oslo visitors at all. They hardly ever smiled, always made funny faces when I was struggling with buying a subway ticket and pushed me a few times on the bus when getting off which I found very rude.

Oslo Bay

2. High prices – I need to admit that living in Oslo (even when doing couchsurfing) for under $25 was nearly impossible. I spent a half of my daily budget on a daily metro ticket and the high prices just knocked me down. I always knew Oslo is the most expensive city in the world, but realize how expensive it is when you go to the supermarket, see the price of a yogurt and start screaming “Whaaaaaaaaaat!?” Honestly, it’s really expensive. I have never ever in my life paid nearly $10.for a breakfast roll and small fruit yoghurt  It was a joke for me!

Norwegian brewery known for its julebrus, or christmas soda , which has a golden brown color, and a taste reminiscent of champagne. Delicious!
Norwegian brewery known for its julebrus, or christmas soda , which has a golden brown color, and a taste reminiscent of champagne. Delicious!

3. No appetite for food – because of the high prices I hardly ever dined out. I simply could not afford it with my budget. I was doing some shopping in a supermarket and cooked at my host’s place. I prepared some Chinese food for us two on the second day of my stay and it was my one decent meal of the day. The meat and fruits are very expensive so I tried to avoid them as well. Unfortunately, I had no chance to try out many Norwegian dishes and I felt very disappointed with that.

Norwegian chocolate fingers
Norwegian chocolate fingers. I still remember their kind of coconut and mint flavor.

4. Feeling bored and depressed – My host was working all day and I was on my own for most of the time. For the first day I felt lost and lonely until I met Megan. This girl made my day. She took me for a proper walk around Oslo and spent the whole two days with me. We had an awesome day, plenty of food, laugh and shopping.

Oslo city center

5. Dark winter days – It got dark very early at 4 pm and it was freezing cold. The cold weather made everything even worse. I struggled with taking photos as my hands were freezing, my feet were always cold (despite my winter shoes and a couple of warm socks) and my face skin was getting purple. I am Polish and I am used to extreme weather conditions but Oslo was too much for me.

Sinnataggen, Vigelandsparken
Sinnataggen, Vigelandsparken

The taste of Norwegian hospitality and cuisine

As I mentioned earlier, Megan and her Norwegian boyfriend named Andre invited me for a traditional Norwegian dinner consisting  fat meat with bones called Pinnekjøtt (cured, dried lamb ribs), Norwegian sausage, potatoes and salad followed by Christmas soda. Yummy!

Pinnekjøtt (cured, dried lamb ribs)
A Norwegian preparation of lamb or sheep ribs that’s often served at Christmas dinner. The ribs are brined, air-dried, and sometimes smoked. It takes forever to make them and they are very salty and chewy.
A plate of Pinnekjøtt
A plate of Pinnekjøtt

The table looked just perfect for us three with little candles.

Two people sitting at the dinner
Megan and Andre
My huge plate !

The dinner was yummy, but Norwegian cuisine is way too fat and salty for me. I would either put on weight or have to work out for hours to maintain my weight when living in Norway. That night made my day and the guys cheered me up!

See also  Snapshots of Oslo

To sump up, for an out-going person like me living in Oslo was very difficult. I found extremely hard to meet and get to know others, especially Norwegians and didn’t get any help from locals when being lost. The high cost of living scared me off and the weather made me feel even more depressed.


Close this search box.

We want you to know! Some links on this page may be affiliate links. We may earn a small commission from what you buy. 
It will never cost you extra, or make us bias, but helps us run this blog and occasionally get a good cup of coffee. 
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Picture of Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
Do you want to contribute?
Publish your guest post on Etramping!