Oslo - an exciting place
Oslo hosts several higher educationinstitutions, the largest being the University of Oslo. The total number ofstudents counts around 70,000. The city is an exciting place to live and study,and provides all the usual activities and amenities of a modern capital.Although the city is quite small as capitals go, approximately 611 491inhabitants (2011), Oslo can boastof activities for almost anyone.
You may choose from hundreds of local and international restaurants and cafés,shopping malls and stores, cinemas, theatres, art galleries and museums. Andfor those who enjoy the night scene, Oslo has a bustling nightlife. The capitaloffers plenty of bars, discos and dance clubs, many with live music. In fact,Oslo is said to have one of the best live music scenes in Northern Europe.
The heart of downtown is on thewaterfront, where cruise ships from all over the world find their way throughthe Oslo Fjord. There are many small islands and beaches, which during thesummer can be easily reached from the city center.
The center of Oslo houses many shops, galleries and museums to visit. There isfor example the Munch museum, museum of modern art, the Akershus fortress andthe Holmenkollen Ski jump.
To the north, the city borders on a hilly, forested area with lakes, rivers andseveral thousands kilometers of paths and trails, for skiing in the winter andhiking and cycling the rest of the year. It is easy to move around in thecapital even if you don't have a car. The public transport system is extensiveand is the easiest means of travelling. Most people walk, cycle or use publictransportation.
Trafikanten onJernbanetorget by Oslo Central Station gives information about public transportin Oslo and Greater Oslo area. Buses, trains, boats, ferries, and undergroundmay be municipal, regional, governmental or private, but all participate in acommon ticket system. A ticket for Oslo may be used on all forms of publictransport.
Single tickets are quite expensive. When you get your student ID at HiOA youcan buy a 30-day student card, which is the cheapest way to travel if you usepublic transport regularly (345 NOK). If you travel less, a week card or couponcard is recommended.
There are also several night services during the weekends. You can use yournormal public transport card, wich makes it cheap to travel during the night.This is a much cheaper solution than using taxi’s.
Supermarkets in Oslo normally havewide opening hours. Many open at 7 or 8 a.m., and close at 10 or 11 p.m. OnSaturdays the opening hours are more limited, mostly from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.Other shops in Oslo open at 10 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. On Sunday nearly allthe shops are closed. Only some tiny shops are open. If you need any food onSundays, look for shops as Joker and Bunnspris, for example at the centralstation. Immigrant shops in for example Grønland or Grünerløkka are also openon Sundays. Most shops and restaurants accept common credit cards as VISA,MASTERCARD or EUROCARD (no Eurocheque card, however)
To give you an idea of livingexpenses in Norway, we have made a list of some of the most common groceriesand a few other price-examples:
- Milk: NOK 12 per liter
- Bread: NOK 20-30
- Butter: NOK 15 per 250 gram
- Cheese: NOK 80-120 per kilo
- Lamb: NOK 60-80 per kilo
- Pork: NOK 60-100 per kilo
- Grilled chicken: NOK 40-50
- Egg (dozen): NOK 20
- Rice: NOK 15-25 per kilo
- Cigarettes: NOK 60-80 for a packet of 20
- Beer: NOK 20 per bottle
- Newspapers: NOK 20
- Cinema: NOK 85-100
Food in Norway is considered veryexpensive. There are some easy ways to keep the costs a bit lower. Look for thecheaper supermarkets: Kiwi, Rema100, Bunnpris. Shops as Ica, Meny and CoopPrixor CoopMega are more expensive. Find some immigrant shops at Grønland,Grünerløkka or Torggata. They offer a wide range of products, often forreasonable prices. Dairy products, canned and frozen food are often relativelycheap in common supermarkets. A range of fish products can also be quite cheap.Look for brands as First Price and Euroshopper or supermarkets housebrands tofind cheaper alternatives.
Wineand spirits can only be bought in special state-owned shops, Vinmonopolet, (aspeciality of Norway, Sweden and Finland) and the prices can be frightening.The cheapest wine costs about NOK 80, and the cheapest brandies, whiskies,vodkas etc. start at about NOK 200 a bottle. Supermarkets only sell beer andcider, with limited opening hours.
It is rather expensive to dine inrestaurants, but there are a number of small cafeterias, including the studentcafeterias on campus, offering meals at reasonable prices. A main course in arestaurant will start at around NOK 100. A bottle of wine will cost from NOK180. A beer (1/2 litre) will normally cost from NOK 60, although there are pubswhere a glass of beer can be bought for about NOK 35. Look for immigrantrestaurants to find food for reasonable prices.
There are many places to go out inthe weekends. There are many bars, clubs and stages, with something foreveryone, with very varying prices. For most of the places downtown you have tobe 21 to get in. That’s why so-called kitchen parties are quite popular amongboth Norwegian and international students. People will gather at someone’sstudent house, to have a drink and enjoy the evening, and sometimes to godowntown later in the evening.
Norway is known for cold winters,reindeers and skiing. The spring and summers in Oslo however, can be verypleasant, with temperatures around 15-25 degrees Celsius. Many students takedisposable grills to one of Oslo’s many parks to enjoy the sun. Winters can becold, with temperatures down to minus 15 degrees Celsius or even lower. Thismakes the hills north of Oslo perfect to go skiing during the winter.
Tourist information :