Pros and Cons of Moving to Oslo

Why live in Oslo? There are many reasons to choose Oslo as your next home, if you have a choice. Since most government organisations - both state and non-profit - are located in Oslo, and most businesses - especially international companies - have a presence in Oslo, it is likely that you will move to Oslo if you are coming for work. The exception is if you work in oil and gas or shipping, which has a large presence in Bergen and Stavanger in the east of the country.

Some reasons to consider moving to Oslo:

  • Location – in the southeast of the country makes it attractive for international travellers or those who need faster access to the Scandinavian and European markets, particularly Sweden and Denmark.
  • In Oslo - as in the rest of Norway - high wages and good work-life balance (depends on your line of work) coupled with guaranteed benefits - such as insurance, parental leave and medical coverage.
  • Small-town feel compared to most big cities, although it still offers most of what any capital would offer.
  • Proximity to mountains and water makes it ideal for those who like nature and outdoor activities.
  • Security and safety, due to low crime rates and great family benefits.
  • Quality child-care
  • Low-cost, high-quality education.
  • English proficiency is fairly high among Norwegians. You can expect to be understood by most Norwegians and if they sense you don’t speak the language, they will quickly switch over to English to communicate with you.



  • Clean
  • Reliable public transportation
  • Easy to get around
  • Good infrastructure
  • Low traffic
  • Safe; low crime rate
  • Low corruption, high transparency
  • Cultural events and offerings
  • Access to international community
  • Easy access to nature
  • Outdoor activities
  • Long, light summer days
  • Night Life and other entertainment


  • Extreme seasonal weather
  • Cold winter temperatures, down to -20 degrees Celsius (though rare)
  • Snow and rain
  • Dark autumn and winter days (but lighter than further north)
  • High rents and higher real estate prices
  • High cost of living
  • Can be difficult to meet and get to know others, especially Norwegians
  • If you don’t like outdoor sports or don’t ski, the winter feels very long
  • Bureaucracy
  • Difficult to navigate public sector systems due to Norwegian documentation
  • Shops close on Sundays
  • Most shops close at 5pm, just after work hours (except grocery stores)
  • Alcohol is regulated by the government and not sold on certain days

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