Relocation

Location Guide: Oslo

Welcome to Oslo, Norway

Oslo is often referred to as Tigerstaden (the City of Tigers), a nickname which was coined by the author Bjornstjerne Bjornson. The nickname has become something of an official title, with the 1000 year anniversary of the city being marked by a row of tiger sculptures being erected around the city hall.

Both the capital of Norway and the largest city within it, Oslo is also the third largest city in Scandinavia. In 2010 it was ranked as the world’s most expensive city to live in (uh-oh), but depending on the industry, salaries tend to be in line with the cost of living, which potentially makes a career in Oslo very comfortable indeed.

Oslo city is estimated to have a population of around 600,000 and more than 900,000 living in and around the metropolitan area, with more than 26% being from outside Norway. Depending on the area the most notable immigrant communities are Pakistani, Somali, Swedish, Sri Lankan, Iraqi, Polish, Vietnamese, Iranian, Ex Yugoslavian, Moroccan, Turkish, Albanian, Filipino, Thai and Danish. This range of international communities is naturally reflected through the city in small cultural pockets.

Working in Oslo

Norway has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe at 3.2% The average wage for a bus driver to Sales person, is around £2000-2500 (€2500-€3000 with a minimum wage of almost double that in the UK, at £13.81 (€17.30). However with the luxury pay scales, comes a very high tax rate (40%) and average cost of a rental 2 bedroom house is around £900-£1600 (€1127.59-€2004.60) per month. Overall, the high pay against the high tax and living costs averages out at around the same amount of disposable income you could expect to have in any other European country, depending on the pay grade of your position.

The work ethic In Oslo is good, and a positive work-life balance is definitely ingrained in the culture and long hours are not encouraged. In a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Norway came second on the list of countries with the best work and life balance. In fact, some say that working over time and long hours can cause your superiors to view you with suspicion. It would be great if it was the same everywhere!

Living in Oslo

Oslo has a strong cultural heritage. The city has been the home of internationally renowned artists such as Edvard Munch and Henrik Ibsen, and they both have museums dedicated to them in Oslo. Other places to see in Oslo are the Vigeland Park at Frogner and the famous Viking Museums and Norwegian explorer museums at Bygdøy. Downtown Oslo feature major theatres, a major international concert hall, and many free theatre groups and musical ensembles, as well as several music clubs that draw the biggest names in the music world. Bjørvika, located in the city centre, is the site of Norway’s new National Opera and Ballet House.

The opera house is designed by Snøhetta, an Oslo-based architectural firm that has received world-wide recognition. Oslo is known for its social life and nightlife, with a high density and high quality of bars and cafés in the multicultural city centre. There are several movie theatres, museums and collections to be found and a growing number of excellent international and ethnic restaurants.

Oslo, Gardermoen is Norway’s largest airport, located 37 Kilometres Northeast of Oslo, direct flights are available to 107 airports, including 24 airports in Norway alone! Express trains would take approximately 20 minutes into the city, while a bus would be around 45 minutes, at a cost of around 110 – 170 NOK ( £12-20, €15-€24).

Once you are in the city, there is a comprehensive public transport system, consisting of trains, trams, metro and boats, all run on the same fare scheme and the same tickets are valid for all modes of transport. Taxi’s are very expensive, with additional tarriffs for different times of the day. For example a 2km journey taking 6 or 7 minutes could cost the equivalent of €20! It’s definitely better to stick to public transport as much as possible. Again, the wide travel network makes getting around easy.

The Average Cost of Living in Oslo

Restaurants

Average

Meal at an inexpensive restaurant

150.00 kr

Meal for 2 with 3 courses, mid range restaurant

800.00 kr

Combo meal at McDonalds, etc.

93.00 kr

Drinks

                                              Average

Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught)

                                             70.00 kr

Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle)

                                              70.00 kr

Wine (10 cl glass, depending on brand)

                                              90.00 kr

Cappuccino 

                                              33.00 kr

Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle)

                                              26.00 kr

Water (0.33 litre bottle)

                                              23.00 kr

Transport                                                  

Average

One way ticket 

30.00 kr

Monthly Pass

630.00 kr

Taxi Start 

67.00 kr

Taxi 1km 

16.00 kr

Gasoline (1 litre)

14.00 kr

Monthly Rent and Living Costs 

Average

Apartment (1 bedroom) in city centre 

10,082.00 kr

Apartment (1 bedroom) outside city centre

8,000.00 kr

Apartment (3 bedrooms) in city centre

18,575.00 kr

Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside city centre

13,735.00 kr

Utilities (electricity, heating, water etc.

for small apartment)

1,634.00 kr

1 minute of prepaid mobile tariff local

(no discounts or plans)

0.90 kr

Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)

307.00 kr

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