Hunting for bargains in one of Europe’s most expensive cities can feel like an uphill task but shopping in Oslo doesn’t mean you have to dip into your pocket. It’s a good idea to stay away from expensive tourist traps like the vendors at Karl Johans gate. There are several markets in Oslo where you can get some great bargains; as is the case with any market, the early bird catches the best deals, so go before it gets too crowded. If you want some budget eats, Oslo has some great street food options which you won’t have to splurge on.
Vestkanttorvet Flea Market
One of the oldest flea markets in the city, Vestkanttorvet is tucked away in a small unassuming park in the upscale neighbourhood of Frogner. Every Saturday vendors gather here to sell all kinds of clothes, books, odds and ends including kitchenware with Arne Clausen’s famous ‘Lotus’ pattern on them. You’ll also find great deals on high-end clothing brands. Don’t forget to try out the waffles here; topped with sour cream, jam or brunost, these waffles are a must-have.
Birkelunden Market. Credit: CC / Kjetil Ree
Located in the heart of Grünerlokka, this lively market attracts a hip crowd and is a bargain-shoppers paradise. You’ll find all kinds of antiques and vintage wares, utensils, second-hand clothes and everything from old vinyl records to cameras and unique furniture. If you want to make an outing of it, you’ll find a bunch of restaurants and cafes around so you can grab a bite to eat or a cup of Joe.
Blå- Handicraft & Art Market
This vibrant Sunday market is located on the Akerselva River in a retrofitted area that used to be industrial buildings. The whole place is artsy, full of street art and eccentric sculptures. You’ll find lots of handmade things here like ceramics, jewellery, paintings, vintage clothing, knitting and all kinds of accessories. Sometimes, you’ll find musicians playing some amazing tunes live. The whole area has a very Bohemian feel you’re certain to enjoy.
Probably one of Oslo’s best-known food halls, Mathallen is walking distance from Blå and offers a wide variety of typical Scandinavian delicatessen. You can also try all kinds of international dishes here from tapas to ramen and bao. Make sure you stop by Vulkanfisk Seafoodbar for some great fish and chips. Although a bit pricey, the generous offerings of free cheese and other nibbles make a visit worthwhile. The atmosphere of Mathallen is so exciting that spending a few extra bucks there is definitely worth it.