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