Shopping for essentials in Oslo
A go-to guide for finding all the essentials and resources that don't break the bank as you navigate the unfamiliar terrain of a new city and get settled in Oslo.
Here's an overview of the larger chains, specialty shops, convenience stores and farmers markets.
There are two main types of grocery store chains in Norway:
- Low-price markets where you will find everyday items.
- Higher end grocery stores with a large selection of different brands and specialty foods.
The major chains have similar prices but different product selections. They typically offer their own, low-price generic brands for staple products.
Kiosks, gas stations and convenience stores have longer opening hours but offer a limited selection at higher prices.
Some of the smaller independent specialty shops offer foods from different countries, including reasonably priced produce and bulk products. The Grønland neighborhood in Oslo has a high concentration of specialty shops. Preparing familiar dishes can be a nice way to feel at home.
Seasonal farmers' markets are organized on weekends in neighborhoods in and around Oslo. Visit bondensmarked.no/ and select Oslo in the top right corner to locate farmers' markets near you. You can also buy food directly from farms through REKO ringen which posts pick-up points in various Facebook groups.
While most grocery stores are closed on Sundays and public holidays, some kiosks and independent stores are open. A few gas stations with food marts are open 24 hours.
The website Visit Oslo, provides an overview of holidays and other dates that affect operating hours.
Tips for thrifty shoppers:
- Some stores have shelves for products that are close to the expiration date, offered at reduced prices.
- Check the price per kilo (kg) to compare the price of products in varied packaging sizes.
- Too Good To Go is an app where restaurants, cafes and grocery stores sell surplus food at low prices to reduce waste.
Buying used goods and furniture
Finn.no is Norway’s largest online marketplace. This website — and the Finn app — is used not only for job searches and finding a room or flat to rent, but it also has a great selection of things and household goods and furniture you may need after moving to Oslo — often very reasonably priced.
In the section "Torget" you can search for "gis bort" – that way you'll find items which people give away for free, but keep in mind that you'll often have to pick the item up directly from the person who offers it.
- tise.com is an app for buying clothing, shoes etc.
- Marketplace on Facebook is also a place to start when searching for what you need.
Flea markets - Loppemarked
Flea markets are a very popular way to buy second hand and used things (anything you can think of – books, sports equipment, kitchen utensils, clothes etc.). Loppemarkeds are organized by schools on school premises. They often take place during spring in March/April and autumn in September/October.
Before Loppemarked schools collect unwanted items from anyone who want to donate. You can find real treasures for a really good price. A little advice when going to loppemarkeds; plan what you need and go there early as the best things go first!
Fretex has many stores in Oslo, and receives new goods every day. These stores cary used items in good condition, often almost like new and for a great price. You can find unique items such as clothes, home accessories, books and many other things as well.
Marita second hand store
You can find two shops in Oslo, with everything you may need for your home. They can also deliver to your home, for a small fee.