Bargaining in Oslo? Not so much.

Travel Tips — By Anne-Sophie Redisch on September 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

In general, Norway is a non-haggling country. The only one I know who haggles is my mother. Her method is simple: when the sales clerk asks for, say 249 crowns, she’ll simply respond “we’ll round that to a nice, even 200, won’t we”. And oddly, she gets away with it most of the time, both in Norway and in other non-haggling countries, including the USA. I’m not sure whether they are charmed by her cheekiness or just too stunned to say anything but yes.

Norwegians do bargain – but only on fairly large purchases (like a sound system, or a fancy fridge). But for most visitors’ purposes: not so much. An exception might be when buying trinkets from stall-holders at markets held in conjunction with festivals and other events. Give it a try! Also, if you’re buying large quantities of something, it won’t hurt to ask for a discount – although don’t expect more than 10 %. Some shops offer best price-guarantees and will refund the difference if you find the same product at a lower price elsewhere. But in general: don’t expect great bargaining opportunities in Oslo.

That’s not to say you can’t find bargains.
– Lots of attractions are cheap or even free

The Oslo Pass includes free (or reduced rate) entrance to many of the great museums and discounts on car hire, skate hire and Tusenfryd Amusement Park. Best of all, it includes free transportation on busses, metros, trams and the great Oslo fjord ferries.

– A meal for less than 100 NOK can be had at numerous restaurants, including Cafe Sara or any number of restaurants in the colourful Grønland/Tøyen neighbourhood.

– There is such a thing as a free lunch: the Krishna movement offers a free vegetarian feast with meditation, music and singing every Sunday at 1600 (4:00 pm)

Grünerløkka market photo courtesy of Geir Halvorsen on flickr’s Creative Commons

Tags: bargaining, bargains, Norway, Oslo, Scandinavia


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