I have been to Oslo a few times prior to moving here. And in all honesty, I never liked it. I mean, I really didn’t like it. When people would mention coming to Oslo to me, I usually told them to pass on visiting and to hit up Bergen instead. Oslo lacked personality, charm, and beauty. And then I moved here…
And my opinion has changed 100% percent.
I finally feel like I’ve found my niche in Norway. I can’t say Oslo is perfect, because I have found no city in the world to be perfect, but it’s the perfect city in Norway for me. Here is why:
1) SUN. You really will never realize what difference the sun makes on a person until you’re in a location (like Bergen) where you just don’t see it. I tried to keep positive in Bergen, but it was a daily challenge. I really am not a person who needs it to be warm every day, but I just need the sun. My body needs the sun…and my mind is what needs sun the most.
I have officially been here one week and two days and haven’t really seen rain yet. And have worn my shades more times in the past week than I have in 9 months in Bergen. I have yet to even acknowledge my umbrella here too…which is a relationship I will be very happy to have fizzle out. (temperature below is in Celsius)
2) Size of the city. Bergen is very small. It is very much the perfect size (around 250,000-350,000 in city area, not including all suburbs) for some people, but not me. I discovered boredom there quite quick. I thrive in bigger metropolises. There is always something going on in Oslo and often times, it is free. My heart is happy.
3) Transportation system. It is impeccable. Of course, every once in a while a bus will be late here and there, but the transportation operations here just amaze me. So many options! In Bergen, there are frequent buses and the Bybanen comes around when it is supposed to, but if you’re not directly on a line, you really must go a bit away to catch the nearest bus, etc. Here I have countless options…T-banen, trains, trikk, buses galore, ferries, etc.
And all of it is included in my bus pass. EVEN NIGHT BUSES. Night fare charges were one thing I hated about Bergen’s transportation system (truth be told, I was told that Oslo just recently converted to not charging extra for night transportation!)
4) People. Believe it or not… I have found people in the Oslo area to be friendlier than people in and around Bergen. I always heard the opposite… but people in Oslo have been way friendlier to me. When I go in stores, I get said hello to almost always and asked if I need help… and people actually say thank you to me or excuse me if they bump into me.
Not always, but more so than Bergen. The expat community here is also fantastic! The one in Bergen was excellent too, but many people had children… I have found many expats here in Oslo who don’t have children and it is nice to hang out with people who have similar priorities as you do sometimes.
5) Options. 3 airports. Endless amounts of buses/trains to international locations. I just feel like I am a person with choices again. If I want to go to Stockholm for the weekend, I just hop on a bus. If I want to head to Copenhagen for the weekend…I can hop on a train or cruise ship down that way. Roundtrip ticket to China is $500. Swedish border is less than 45 minutes away. Ahhh… it feels nice to have things at my fingertips once again. It really does.
There are many more reasons why I am enjoying it here…but these are some of the important ones (to me). Don’t get me wrong… Bergen is FANTASTIC and definitely the right Norwegian city for some people…but it only took me a week of living in Oslo to discover that Bergen was not the Norwegian city for me, and never really was.