Whether you’re stopping in Oslo on your way to the fjords or have been drawn there by its rich maritime history and unique cultural vibe, don’t be surprised if you fall in love. The comfortable living standards and high salaries mean many expats choose to settle here for good.
As a result, the city of Oslo is a thriving cosmopolitan mix with over 30% of residents coming from abroad. If you’re coming to Oslo to work, study or settle, you’re going to need to get your hands on some Norwegian Krone.
Life in Norway isn't cheap, so it’s worth doing your research to make sure you get the best deal on your currency exchange. Use this guide to help you avoid the rip offs and finding the best places to exchange your cash in Oslo.
Any trip to Norway is going to be pricey. You’ll be needing quite a lot of Norwegian Krone in your wallet to see you through. But at least you can make your currency exchange by keeping these things in mind:
- Educate yourself on the mid-market exchange rate. Know the true value of your home currency.
- Compare the exchange rate you’re given with the one online using a currency converter. Make sure the deal you’re getting is truly fair.
- If you can, avoid exchanging your cash in and around airports and hotels. These spots are notorious for worse prices.
- ATMs are a great option for quick cash. Check with your local bank at home to see if they have partnerships with any banks located in Oslo. You may be able to save money on fees by using their ATMs.
- Avoid letting foreign ATMs do any sort of conversion for you. Choose to be charged in the local currency (NOK), instead.
The mid-market rate is the only real exchange rate. It’s the rate that banks use to trade money on the global markets and the same one you’ll find on Google. It’s the base rate (quoted without any commission or fees) listed when you search online for your currency compared to another. The mid-market rate is the benchmark you should use to assess whether the rate you’re offered in Oslo is fair.
Don’t trust those ‘Zero% Commission’ signs, the fee is normally hidden in the poor exchange rate you’re given. You can find the real mid-market rate by using a currency converter online on your smartphone. This will show the mid-market rate for the currency you wish to change into Krone (NOK), and will track the rate as it fluctuates.
You might need to shop around to get a good currency exchange deal. Make sure you take into account any fees (these could be in the form of commission or transactional charges), as well as the advertised exchange rate. Airports and hotel exchange services are unlikely to offer good rates, so try to find a branch in town instead.
Alternatively, a generally good option is to withdraw cash directly from an ATM. If you’re thinking of doing this, ask your bank at home if they work in partnership with any Norwegian banks. If they do, you might be able to use their ATMs for reduced fees while you travel. Also be sure to advise your home bank if planning to use your card overseas.
If you’re using a foreign bank card in an ATM in Norway, you might be asked if you’d like the transaction to be charged in your home currency. The messaging on screen may lead you to believe this is your best option, but it is actually a potential rip-off. You’ll usually get a fairer rate by choosing to be charged in the local currency, so opt to be charged in NOK instead.
Try to budget for your trip so you know how much currency to exchange. Having Krone left over at the end of your travels isn’t a great idea. If you change the cash back to your home currency, you’ll be charged for conversion twice. So spend what you exchange to avoid double fees.
If you already have cash in your pocket you need to exchange, you’ll need to find a place to get it changed. Changing currency in Oslo is not too difficult, but you’ll need to still make sure what you’re being charged. To find the fairest deal, you’ll not only need to check on the fees, but also the exchange rate that you’re offered.
Here are some suggested exchange services if you need to exchange currency once you arrive in Oslo.
Offering 7 locations throughout Oslo, use the Forex Bank branch locator and type in “Oslo” to find the one nearest to you. (Be prepared - the site is only in Norwegian.)
General inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Office hours vary. Some are open weekdays, others have weekend hours. See branch details for more info.
- Oslo Bussterminalen (bus terminal): Schweigaardsgate 6/ Bussterminalen
- Storgata branch: Storgata 19-21
- Sultan Market branch: Schweigaards gata 17
- Bus terminal branch: M-F 6:30-21:30, Sat 7:30-21:30, Sun 9:30-19:30
- Storgata branch: M-F 8:30-19:30, Sat 10:00-18:00, Sun 12:00-18:00
- Sultan Market branch: M,W,F 7:30-20:30, Tu 8:30-19:30, Th 7:30-19:30, Sat 9:30-20:30, Sun 11:30-18:30
Karl Johans gate 1, Oslo (Entrance from Jernbanetorget)
+47 23 897122
Mon-Fri 9:00-20:00, Saturdays 9:00-18:00
Alternatively you can use TransferWise and get an even better deal. If you have a Norwegian bank account, or know someone who does, you can transfer money between accounts using the real mid-market exchange rate.