Oslo at a Glance
Accommodation in Oslo123RF
It's not easy to find a proper place to live in Oslo.
Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen
Before 1985, Aker Brygge was nothing but a shipyard and major hotspot for mechanical industries. Today, the neighborhood attracts many tourists with its shops, restaurants, bars, and cafés. Those who love Oslo’s nightlife and cultural activities will enjoy life in Aker Brygge. After all, the waterfront along the coastline is a lively, crowded place in the daytime and at night.
Tjuvholmen, on the other hand, is one of Oslo’s newest neighborhoods. The district boasts an impressive, diverse architecture with lots of unique outdoor areas. Different galleries and art installations are located here as well.
Oslo East and West
As is the case in most cities, Oslo’s east is a cheaper neighborhood than Oslo’s West. Grønland is characterized by traditional pubs and modern bars, cheap vegetable and fruit markets. Tøyen and Kampen are only a stone’s throw away and well known for their charm and the traditional wooden houses. Oslo’s east also holds historical significance as some remains of medieval Oslo have been discovered here. In addition, the area offers a magnificent view of the city.
The west is more expensive in terms of rent and closely located to Majorstua, which is well-known for its buzzing nightlife and shopping opportunities. The area also has quite a few modern, luxurious apartment buildings as well as small shops and bars, restaurants and parks. All in all, Oslo’s west is quite cozy and charming.
Holmkollen is located in Oslo’s Northwest and includes probably the most popular residential area in the city, Nordmarka. Tryvann and Frognerseteren, on the other hand, are close to nature and great places to start your hikes or cycling tours. The area is connected to the rest of the city by metro. At the same time, the surrounding forests and hills are within easy reach. The Holmkollen Ski Museum and the ski jump are located in this area as well.
Offering both the hustle and bustle of the city and the serenity of Oslo’s rural surroundings, Holmkollen is indeed very popular among expats and Norwegians alike. Other neighborhoods in Oslo include Bygdøy and Grünerløkka.
The Apartment Search
The apartment search in Norway’s capital can be quite a drag for expats. Not only is the real estate market highly competitive, the rents are also exceptionally high. Finn.no is by far the biggest marketplace, offering ads for rentals and more. Unfortunately, the page is available in Norwegian only and includes mostly long-term rentals. Hybel.no, on the other hand, is also available in English, although some of the ads may be in Norwegian. Hybel is probably more suitable if you are looking to find short-term rentals for up to eight months. You should also take a look at the classified sections of local newspapers, like Aftenposten.
Alternatively, you can use the apartment service of a professional agency. These agencies either have their own apartments or rent out apartments on behalf of their clients. Frogner House or Oslo Apartments provide these services, for example. Keep in mind that this option is rather costly. If you plan on living in Oslo for a few years, hiring a realtor or going on a good old-fashioned apartment hunt may be a better choice for you.
Cost of Living
As we have mentioned before, the cost of living in Oslo is quite high. One-bedroom apartments can go for as much as 8,000-12,000 NOK and two-bedroom apartments can cost 15,000 NOK in monthly rent or more. The exact price, of course, depends on the location of your apartment of choice and on what it is equipped with (furniture, kitchen, etc).
Please remember that you may be asked to pay up to six months of rent (but usually less) as a deposit. This is a completely normal procedure. Once you have moved out and the owner has made no claims for repair, you will get your deposit back. The size of your deposit may vary and depends on your landlord. However, it is usually not to be negotiated.