Oslo, Norway

Oslo, Norway

It has been a busy couple of weeks, between evacuating to Atlanta for Hurricane Irma, getting back home and putting everything back together, and then heading off to Europe for over a week.  We were definitely tired, but we were even more grateful that the hurricane was so weakened as it passed our home.  We didn’t know if we’d still be taking the trip as the storm was brewing, but getting to Oslo and spending time with my family was such a relief.  I had forgotten what it was like to be a tourist in Oslo, but the Wanderer did a good job reminding me.  Norway is a beautiful country, and the people are very kind and welcoming.

Today’s post is mainly about the trip overall and about the Oslo portion.  Rome and Barcelona will be broken out separately.

Total Expenses

Date Cost Description
Flight – Round Trip from Tampa
9/15/2017 $70.49 Car rental + Gas for the drive from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale
5/18/2017 $244.28 Fort Lauderdale to Oslo – Norwegian Air (two tickets)
6/27/2017 $95.68 Oslo to Rome – Vueling Air (two tickets)
6/27/2017 $71.54 Rome to Barcelona – RyanAir (two tickets)
6/27/2017 $71.77 Barcelona to Oslo – Vueling Air (two tickets)
5/18/2017 $339.80 Oslo to Fort Lauderdale – Norwegian Air (two tickets)
7/19/2017 $50.00 Spirit flight from Fort Lauderdale to Tampa (two tickets)
$943.56 Total Flight Total Cost for Two
Lodging
9/16/2017 $0.00 Hotel in Oslo – 1 night – thanks Dad!
7/19/2017 $212.65 Hotel – Rome – 2 nights
7/19/2017 $227.74 AirBnB – Barcelona – 3 nights
9/22/2017 $0.00 Stayed with family for a night
9/23/2017 $0.00 Hotel in Oslo – 2 nights – thanks Dad!
$440.39 Total Lodging
Transportation
9/16/2017 $0.00 Picked up and dropped off from the Oslo airport – thanks family!
9/17/2017 $33.57 Rome train from the airport to the city
9/17/2017 $33.62 Rome train from the city to the airport
9/19/2017 $44.37 Taxi to AirBnB in Barcelona
9/22/2017 $10.80 Subway in Barcelona back to the Airport
9/22/2017 $0.00 Picked up from the Oslo airport – thanks family!
9/25/2017 $46.12 Train from Oslo Central Station to the airport
9/25/2017 $0.00 Picked up from the airport and taken home – thanks family!
$168.48 Total Transportation
Food
9/15/2017 $40.10 Dinner and Beer at Fort Lauderdale Airport
9/17/2017 $49.15 Dinner in Rome – Lasagna and Tortellini
9/17/2017 $11.51 Gelato near the Trevi Fountain
9/18/2017 $37.82 Dinner in Rome – Pizza!
9/18/2017 $11.51 Gelato near the Trevi Fountain
9/19/2017 $41.43 Lunch in Rome – Spaghetti and Linguini
9/19/2017 $14.41 Gelato near the Colosseum
9/20/2017 $42.60 Brunch in Barcelona – Chicken Paella and Breakfast Eggs
9/20/2017 $9.99 Gelato outside the Gaudi Cathedral
9/20/2017 $45.85 Dinner in Barcelona – Tapas near the Beach
9/21/2017 $16.36 Lunch at the Olympic Stadium
9/21/2017 $10.76 Gelato along the main corridor
9/21/2017 $52.08 Dinner in Barcelona – Baked Chicken
9/22/2017 $6.60 Breakfast at Starbucks
9/22/2017 $12.11 Two hot dogs from the gas station
9/22/2017 $16.62 Norwegian Candies
9/25/2017 $31.54 Groceries to take home
9/25/2017 $10.90 Lunch at airport in Oslo – more gas station hot dogs
9/25/2017 $30.55 Dinner at Fort Lauderdale airport
$491.89 Total Food Cost
Experiences
9/18/2017 $62.85 Cash that covered the Dome tickets (6 euros per person), three magnets, a mini Colosseum statue, and entry to the Mies van der Rohe house (5 euros per person)
9/18/2017 $38.31 Tickets to the Vatican Museum
9/19/2017 $28.82 Tickets to the Colosseum and Forum
9/20/2017 $97.57 Barcelona Bus Tour
9/24/2017 $0.00 Oslo 24-hour Tour Pass – thanks Dad!
Gifts/Souvenirs
9/20/2017 $19.13 Magnet and Statue of the Gaudi Cathedral
9/17/2017 $28.85 Hadeland – tin statue and holiday ornament
9/17/2017 $79.25 Hadeland – Glass vase for wedding sand ceremony
9/25/2017 $20.37 Duty Free Wine and Candy for my aunt, who babysit the cat and dog
9/25/2017 $19.11 Book from the airport book shop
$394.26 Total Extra Cost
$2,438.58 Total Spent for 10 days in Oslo, Rome, and Barcelona
  $1,219.29 per person

Flights

We used Norwegian Air to get to Europe, and had a direct flight from Fort Lauderdale to Oslo.  I have family in Norway, so it works out well to fly in over the weekend and spend some time with them.  We made a point to start and end there to get both weekends with family.  However, there are also direct flights going to other European destinations, and you don’t have to start and end in the same place, so keep a look out when planning your own trips!  This is where Google Flights comes in handy.  We could have gotten a direct flight from Rome or Barcelona or any other destination back to the US.

For our European hops (Oslo to Rome, Rome to Barcelona, and Barcelona to Oslo), we used Google Flights and just adjusted our dates to see which flights were the cheapest for which destinations.  We were flexible with dates and times.  Since we only had one backpack each, we didn’t have to worry about baggage fees or which airline we’d use.  We had a flight with Vueling for two legs and RyanAir for one leg.

The Tampa airport is closest to our home.  We were able to secure one-way return tickets with Spirit airlines for the day we got back, only $25 a ticket.  The drive to Fort Lauderdale is approximately 4 hours, and no one wants to make it after 9 hours on a plane. Flights down were in the $150-$200 per ticket range, so we rented a car in Tampa and then drove it to Fort Lauderdale and turned it in there.  Only $70 including the gas, and we were able to pick it up at 9pm the night before and had it dropped off by 7:30pm the day of.  We saved a lot of money flying with Norwegian Air, and there are major perks with direct flights, so it was definitely worth it.

Overall, we saved thousands on the flight simply by packing smart and being flexible.

Lodging

The Norwegian Culture Museum

My uncle lives in a house outside of Oslo, and he has an extra bedroom in his basement that we slept in when we visited him.

My father has an apartment in Oslo that is the perfect size for his current needs.  Rather than have an apartment with extra space no one is using, he puts his guests in a hotel one subway stop away when they come to visit.  Overall, it’s a great way for him to save money on living costs, and he still has a larger dining table for entertaining at home.  (Less work, too!  No room to clean or sheets to wash.)

Transportation

My family picked us up and dropped us off for the most part while we were in Norway.  We did take the Subway around Oslo, which came free with the 24-Hour Oslo Pass.  We also took the Airport Train from downtown Central Station.  It’s very easy to get around on the subways, and most of the areas that are fun to visit are easily accessible via walking or the subway.

Food

My uncle’s and my stepmom’s cooking.  Nom nom nom!  I’m not advocating using their house as a restaurant.  However, you should never underestimate the frugal benefits of time with family.  We bought a couple of groceries at the end of our trip before we left to take home with us, and I did get some gas station hot dogs to eat.  Sounds odd, but when you grow up in Norway, this is the kind of thing you regularly get fed on car trips.

We did take a bag of groceries with us on the plane when we left Florida, and they lasted through Rome.  Once they ran out, we stuck to the two meals a day. Food was our biggest expense, and is a lot easier to plan for when you only have one destination or go for a shorter time.

Adventures in Oslo

On our first day, my dad took us on a boat tour of the Oslo Fjord.  (He has a cruiser that is docked downtown.)  We also visited a fishing town and toured the old Oscarsborg fort.  We only spent one day in Oslo before our flight to Rome.

The church where my grandparents are buried

After Rome and Barcelona, my uncle and aunt took us around the outskirts of Oslo and we stopped at the church where my grandparents are buried and where my mom and dad got married back in the 80’s (although they’re divorced now).  We stopped by my grandparents’ old house, were kindly let in by the new owners to see their renovations, and got to eat an apple from their apple trees (which I had been picking and eating since I was a child).  We also visited the glass factory near their house and picked up a vase that was hand blown at the factory.

My dad took us up to Holmenkollen, a local ski jump (no snow!) and the statue park with the angry child.  Both are free to see.  He also drove us around the area.

The Viking Ship museum

Oslo has a special pass to most of the museums for tourists.  We got the 24 hour pass since we only had a day, and it allowed for free use of subway, buses and the ferry.  We took advantage to see the Nobel Prize museum, the Viking Ship museum, the Culture Museum, the Kon Tiki Museum, the Fraga Museum, and the Munch Museum between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, and then we went straight to the airport for the flight back.  No bags-still-at-the-hotel runs!  The benefits of traveling light.

More frugal travel…

3 Replies to “Oslo, Norway”

  1. Yes, I’m glad I found your blog, I love the frugal lifestyle. Super impressed with your cheap flights. We went from Molde to Bergen last month and everything was expensive so we stuck to eating at Spar.

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