Shrimp from the boats in the harbour
It's a summer tradition to buy fresh shrimp from the fishing boats at Honnørbrygga near Aker Brygge harbour down by the City Hall. You buy a bag of freshly cooked shrimp and peel and eat it as it is. The seagulls will clean up. There is running freshwater in spouts where you can clean your hands afterwards.
The shrimp (sold by the 100g) can be fairly expensive, yet most people choose taste and tradition over price...
It is a tourist trap, because if you look at the shrimp the chance is that their antennas are broken - a sure sign they have been frozen. I presume this happens when the local catch is too little.
Unique Suggestions: The shrimp is very good...
But if you find somebody selling shrimp with intact antennas, it will be shrimp from the Oslo fjord or Skagerak somewhere - and it will taste even better...
Fun Alternatives: Naaa, no real alternative to this, if you like it, eat it...
- Arts and Culture
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Make sure you have a valid ticket
very often, people working for the buss/train and tram service will do a ticket check.If you don’t have a valid ticket you’re fined 750 or 900NK
every time I see these people I start to panic, even if I have a valid ticket. Maybe it has been expired? And there's no way to run I’m stuck
Unique Suggestions: Don't try to run away. They’ll get you anyway. Don’t try to hit them or yell at them, they'll get the police to come and get you.
they're not always dressed in uniforms. Soone of your fellow travelers, can suddenly demand to see your ticket. So you never know who the mule is. It makes it so much funnier.
Recently we also had some problems with some fake controllers. People are creative. If it's not possible to pay with Visa, there's something wrong.
Fun Alternatives: look for another way out. In Majorstua station there are different opportunities. There are two ways out and they’re always located in the midway. Try not to look nervous, they will come, demanding to see your valid ticket.
If you're on the metro tell them that you're a foreigner and that you thought that you were supposed to pay on the metro or you just didn't understand the system, eventually that you were waiting for a conductor to come. If you're lucky they'll let you go with a warning. Or you can try to speak a strange language that they definitely don’t understand and just hope they'll call an interpreter;)
If it still doesn't help and you have to pay,explain the situation at the Trafikanten at Oslo city. The people working there are usually very nice.
It can be quite amusing listening to the excuses people have for not having valid tickets you’ll also see some great actor performances. This could be a good motivation for learning Norwegian.
- Study Abroad
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Eating at Egon is terrible expensive!
One should think that a norwegian girl wouldn't be surpriced by the norwegian prices Think again!
a week ago I went to Egon to have a meal together with a friend. We left the place because of the hilarious prices. You don't even get table service!
For instance: a baked potato with bread: 103NK
a hamburger 135-174 NK
a look at the menu :
there are other places to eat if you don't want to be totally ruined, try Peppes instead
Why is it so expensive ? Do they prepare their food in space ?
annoying street sellers in Oslo
In the main street of Oslo- Karl Johan Street you'll meet an annoying amount of street sellers. If you first pay some attention to them, you may be ending up supporting then different organizations, and 5 sponsor children in Africa. It can be quite expensive.
These days, they’re selling Omega-3 fatty acid, and Elexia membership.
Unique Suggestions: Unique Suggestions: don't walk in the middle of the street, walk near the shops making it more difficult for them to get you.
Don't walk slowly, that will give them more time to get you.
Walk fast, and don’t look at them. Pretend that you're in the hurry.
You should wear sun glasses and listening to you IPod. That way you're not so attractive.
If they still get you and ask for your support, don’t try to speak Norwegian. Or you can say that you're already a member
expensive toilets/rest rooms
Unless it's a emergency, it can be quite expensive to use the toilets there. They charge 10 NK and sometimes you have to pay in a machine that doesn't change. So if you can wait...
Using the toilets at MC Donalds (Majorstua) is free. but they're are not happy for people
using their WC without buying something.
If you're in Majorstua you can also go to the library and use their WC for free.
if there's no sign.
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It’s way too expensive. For a normal check you'll have to pay up to 1000 NK, it’s even more expensive if you have to do something more. Don't take any advice from them; some will add it to your bill.
The dentist school in Oslo often treats people for half the price. They are supervised by their teachers. But they only take more "interesting" and bad cases. So if you have 60 teeth and/or teeth like a vampire, they may be willing to treat you.
If you have to pull out a tooth and your dentist think it's too complicated he/she will refer you to the dentist section at the hospital and you only pay normal consultation fee.
if you need a dentist, you should try out this person. He's cheaper than average Norwegian dentists
Oslo have 3 airports, don't cet confused :)
A lot of VTers are confused about the 3 airports around Oslo, and how you can get to and from them, or between them.
And for the record, so nobody gets angry with me, Torp and Rygge is not in Oslo, Torp is actually in Sandefjord and Rygge is in Moss, but they are not that far from Oslo.
The 3 airports are:
Oslo International Airport Gardermoen (OSL) located about 20 minuttes north of Oslo. This one is the major one, so if you are looking connecting to domestic flight this is the airport you want to go to, unless you have several hours before your connecting flight.
Airport website: http://www.osl.no/index.asp?languagecode=9
You can get to and from Oslo using bus or train, there are 2 bus companies that operates this route, Flybussekpressen and Flybussen. Busses are generally a bit cheaper than train, but from Gardermoen I would reccomend the Airport express train, it is a lot faster, and a lot more comfortable, specially if you are going into Oslo City Centre. Airport express train website
Gardermoen also have huge selections of trains and busses to other places in Norway, post a question on the Norway forum if you have any problems figuring it out :)
Sandefjord Airport Torp (TRF) located in Sandefjord about 2 hours southwest of Oslo. This airport also have international flights, specially RyanAir and Wizz Air have a lot of flights here.
Airport website: http://www.torp.no/Default.aspx?Language=EN&pkMenu=131
You can get to and from Oslo using bus or train, there are 1 bus company that operates this route, the Torp Ekspressen. There are also a number of companies that stops close to Torp (Fokserod), but that means you have to find a connecting buss to Fokserod (which is doable, but unneccesary if you are going to Oslo. If you are going down the south coast of Norway, i.e Kristiansand, however this is a good option)
Website of Torp Ekspressen
There is not a trainstation within walkingdistance from Torp, but there is a free shuttle bus between Torp Airport and Torp Trainstation. If you are going from Trop to Oslo Airport Gardermoen (OSL) the train is a good idea, because it goes past Oslo to Lillehammer, Gardermoen is one of its stops after Oslo. Website: http://www.nsb.no/?lang=en_US
Moss Airport Rygge (RYG) located in Moss about 1 hour southeast of Oslo. This new airport is mainly operated by Norwegian at the moment.
Airport website: http://www.en.ryg.no/
You can get to and from Oslo using bus or train, there are 2 bus companies that operates this route, Rygge Ekspressen and TIMEkspressen, the last one also takes you to Sarpsborg, Halden and even Stromstad in Sweden, so be carefull about which direction you embark on the airport.
Website of Rygge Ekspressen
TIMEksressen timetable (PDF)
There is not a trainstation within walkingdistance from Rygge, but there is a free shuttle bus between Rygge Airport and Rygge Trainstation. Website: http://www.nsb.no/?lang=en_US
For more information about Oslo, please visit my Oslo page
Hotel room shortage, BOOK EARLY!
There is a general shortage of hotel rooms on Oslo, so if you call a travelers agent and they tell you that everything is full, then they are probably right. So the only thing you can do about it is: BOOK EARLY! Even other cities around Oslo tends to get booked out due to this problem, I have heard of people who had to go all the way to Lillehammer (just so you know Lillehammer is 2 and a half hour away by car or train) to get a room, and that was when they tried to book one week ahead.
I found tourist traps in Oslo to be pretty obvious. They were loudly signed with international brands like Burger King & TGI Friday's. Egon is a bit better but is still focused on mainstream food.
Unique Suggestions: Choose Egon over TGIF. They are both near the Grand Hotel.
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Knitwear on Karl Johans street
On stalls along the Karl Johan main street in Oslo you will find sweaters and jackets apparently of Norwegian design. However, the design is inaccurate, the wool quality inferior and it it is all made in south and East Asia. The latter is not such a problem, but given the inferior quality of the seaters, do not buy if you want a proper souvenir from Norway. However, they're ok for wear if you just face it being fake.
Unique Suggestions: Make sure the knitting is good enough and the design more than just approximate.
Fun Alternatives: Buy the real thing at Hus Flid shops; genuinely hand made items.
- Arts and Culture
In the summer they have these tourist trolleys and double-decker buses that offer trips to all the sights around town. I can't remember the exact price - 300kr or something. At any rate, it's not necessary. Buy a day-long ticket (dagskort) for 60kr at any local kiosk (e.g. narvesen) or public transport office and you can use bus, boat or subway for the entire day. All sights are easily within reach via public transport. Just make sure you stamp this card, otherwise you may get a nasty fine.
Holmenkollen - not that great
The famous ski slope of Holmenkollen is actually nothing more than just a ski slope. It's ugly too if you ask me. So don't bother to pay money to get on top of it, unless youre actually going there to ski.
Unique Suggestions: Well once you're up at Holmenkollen you might as well do a little walking. The view over Oslo and the Oslo Fjord is beautiful from here, especially in the sunset.
Fun Alternatives: Just outside Oslo lies Baerum and from here you can reach Kolsåstoppen which provides you with a stunning view of Oslo, the fjord and the surrounding areas. Sure, you will have to walk uphill for a while, but it's definitly worth it once you reach the top. Don't forget to bring snacks and something to drink.
- Mountain Climbing
- Hiking and Walking
I only include this here because it can get you a bit hung up. There are very few kiosks that sell tickets with an actual person in them. These machines are supposed to be easy but you either have to speak Norwegian, or know exaclty where you are going. It is also a good idea to have spare change on you. Sometimes they won't accept bills. They are color coded and there are a few words you can pick up to help you out. You select the trip you want, it tells you how much money to put in and then it issues you your ticket (and change). Pretty easy....after a bit of figuring it out.
Unique Suggestions: You will have to use this sometime....might as well figure them out.
Fun Alternatives: Find a ticket that you can have for the entire time you are in the city if you are on your own a lot. If this gets too much you can always walk it. It is not worth the fine if you don't have a ticket.
- Work Abroad
expensive or not
after hearing about how expensive norway and oslo is from tourist i started to read where have these people been shopping...
yes of course near all the tourist stuff... like aker brygge (very expensive shopping area) and karl johan street ...
if ur on a budget in any country i think its imporant that u research enough so u dont use more money than u have to or have in ur wallet
as on example go to grønnland (area behing the hotel oslo placa over the river) where u can get cheap dinners and fruit etc
Unique Suggestions: aker brygge is nice to sit with an ice cream and watch people but not a palce for a beer unless u want to pay the price.... beer is cheaper in other parts of town
- Budget Travel
- Skiing and Boarding
Don't stay only in Oslo!
I am not trying to describe Oslo as a tourist trap, but it can easily become one. Usually capital cities are easiest to reach and with some budget airlines flying to Oslo it doesn't have to cost much either to reach it.
Still one has to be honest and admit that Oslo is not by far the best Norway has to offer. It cannot compete with the attractions of other great European capitals, it cannot compete with the picturesque beauty of Bergen or Trondheim and although it does have some nice natural surroundings Oslo bay for instance cannot compete with fjords of Western Norway as it is not fjord at all (although locals insist on this).
Fun Alternatives: Norway is a huge country and it is impossible to try to see all of it. You don't have to aim to the Nordkapp if you want to see some of the best features of Norway. If you have a week or so then the best thing to do (in my opinion) is to take the Bergen Railway ("over the roof of Norway") to Bergen, definitely the most beautiful of Norwergian cities. This can be combined with popular "Norway in a Nutshell" tours that include the Flaam railway and some of the most spectacular fjords. Please visit Travelogues on my Norway page for photos and description.
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