Oslo Basic Information
The enviable Oslo lifestyle doesn’t come cheap with the strong Norwegian Krone and oil-fuelled wealth meaning higher wages, a higher standard of living and in turn, eye-watering price tags. For example, a Starbucks latte is almost AU$10 and a beer around AU$14! On the flipside, caviar and cheese are cheap so stock up! For more essential Oslo info, see below.
As Norway is one of the Schengen Convention countries, Australian passport holders going to Norway on holiday for less than a total of 90 days within a 180-day period do not need a visa to enter the country. Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia. Please be aware that this information is only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your local Embassy or Consulate of Norway.
Norway uses the Norwegian Krone as currency. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and the Norwegian Krone changes constantly so keep an eye on the exchange rate and purchase the currency when the rate is at its best. For safe spending while overseas, consider using a credit or debit card.
The regional cuisine in Norway tends toward the hearty, calorific and fishy. Staples include dry-cured salmon or gravlaks, lutefisk – dried fish softened in water and lye and served typically with mashed potatoes and swedes, and brunost – a sweet brown cheese eaten on toast for breakfast. Also try multekrem - a dessert of cloudberries and whipped cream, pølse – a bright-red hotdog wrapped in a thin flour-and-potato wrap from a street stall, and the national drink of aquavit – a potato-based spirit flavoured with bitter herbs and spices. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the local nosh in Oslo is all hearty helpings though, the capital is also home to 3 Michelin-starred restaurants including the famed New Nordic cuisine of Maaemo. For less pricey options, head to Sentrum and Aker Brygge where you’ll find Asian, Indian and Mediterranean cuisines alongside regional fare.
Oslo is known for having a lively after-hours scene. The majority of bars, clubs and pubs are clustered around the city centre known as Sentrum, specifically the Youngstorget downtown. For waterfront pubs and microbreweries to sample the local craft beer, head to Grünerlokka and Aker Brygge. High-end scenester spots can be found in Frogner and Majorstua, (make sure you try a cocktail made with the local firewater, aquavit) and go to Grønland for the cheapest beer in laidback venues. Clubbing in Oslo offers up an eclectic music scene with live hip hop and jazz as well as DJs spinning everything from progressive house and drum’n’bass to classic pop. Check out Blå in Grünerlokka – an Oslo institution and a consistently good night out. For something a bit different, one of Oslo’s biggest music exports is Norwegian black metal, and you can check out the extreme scene at live venues like Rockefeller or John Dee in Sentrum.