The cost of living in Norway is undeniably high and Oslo, in particular, is recognised as one of the region's most expensive cities for expats. Almost everything in the Norwegian capital costs more than it would in any other Scandinavian city, second only to Copenhagen. Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey for 2020 ranked Oslo as the 76th most expensive city in the world (out of 209 cities surveyed).

One consolation for expats is that high salaries offset some of these costs. Salaries in Oslo tend to be higher than what is offered in other Norwegian cities. Expats should carefully calculate their budget when planning a move to Oslo.


Cost of food in Oslo

Expats moving to Oslo will likely experience what is known as 'sticker shock' when it comes to grocery shopping in Norway.

Because of the cold climate, most fruit and vegetables are imported. This makes fresh produce much more expensive owing to import taxes. Norway does have fish, meat and dairy produce of its own, though, which makes these products slightly less expensive.

Because of the exorbitant prices, many Norwegians drive over the border to Sweden when they need to stock up on food supplies.


Cost of accommodation in Oslo

Housing is the biggest expense a foreigner will have in Oslo. Prices are high, but get cheaper the further one lives from the city centre. Costs vary greatly depending on the neighbourhood. An apartment in more stylish areas such as Frogner and Majorstuen will be much more expensive than one in more affordable neighbourhoods such as Grønland and Grünerløkka. Electricity bills in the winter months can push the cost of housing up significantly.


Cost of transportation in Oslo

Public transport in Oslo is expensive, but extremely efficient. Because of the high gasoline (petrol) prices, most expats in the city choose to use public transport over driving. Taxi rates aren’t regulated in Oslo, and therefore tariffs per kilometre vary depending on the taxi company.


Cost of entertainment in Oslo

Predictably, going out in Oslo is not a cheap affair. Cinema and theatre tickets are incredibly costly. Eating out frequently can put a significant dent in one's budget, but those who are open to doing some research and venturing out to cheaper neighbourhoods will be able to find more budget-friendly options. Though the prices of cocktails, coffee and fast-food meals often make foreigners cringe, the high quality of products may persuade them that, ultimately, it’s worth the money.


Cost of living in Oslo chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices in January 2021.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

NOK 13,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

NOK 10,000

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

NOK 20,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

NOK 16,000

Shopping

Eggs (dozen)

NOK 39

Milk (1 litre)

NOK 18

Rice (1kg)

NOK 26

Loaf of white bread

NOK 30

Chicken breasts (1kg)

NOK 127

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

NOK 135

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

NOK 110

Coca-Cola (330ml)

NOK 30

Cappuccino 

NOK 43

Local beer (500ml)

NOK 90

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant 

NOK 900

Utilities

Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

NOK 0.90

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

NOK 455

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

NOK 1,300

Transport

Taxi rate (per kilometre)

NOK 14

Bus/train fare in the city centre 

NOK 37

Petrol (per litre)

NOK 16