Next time someone tells you what an expensive city Oslo is, just smile and nod politely. After all, they’re not wrong (Oslo can be very expensive), they’re just not seeing the whole picture. There are many places in this city where not only can you shop at affordable prices, but you can also find unique, vintage treasures – from clothing, to books, to bric-a-brac for the home, to lovely and well-loved furniture. And in some of these places, you can even contribute to a good cause while shopping. Ready to do some serious thrifting?
Sunday market at Blå
In case you were wondering what to do with your Sunday, wonder no more: Just follow all the locals to Brenneriveien where Søndagsmarkedet, a colorful flea market, takes over around artistic venue/hotspot Blå, in Grünerløkka. Surrounded by cool graffiti on the walls, you’ll have the chance to peruse handmade items, vintage clothing and accessories, bric-a-brac for the home and even works of art made by local artists.
Brenneriveien 9, Oslo
Søndagsmarkedet på Blå, Courtesy of Blå
Fretex is a must-stop in every thrifter’s journey. Norway’s biggest second-hand chain and an important part of the Salvation Army, here you can get anything from clothes and furniture to books, records and homeware (and also some redesigned items by the Fretex team), for prices that will make you wonder if you read the price tag right. There are six different Fretex stores around Oslo, and you can use their store locator to find the one nearest to you, but we’re partial to the one in Ullevålsveien because of the big variety of products. Whichever location you visit though, be aware that the merchandise changes literally every day – so if you find something you love, don’t wait until the next day to think it through because it won’t be there. We speak from experience.
Ullevålsveien 12, Oslo
Fretex boutique, Courtesy of Fretex
Everything you see inside Gypsywagon is handpicked by owner Mitsu Husby — and you can literally find everything. From bags, shoes and colorful leggings to wedding dresses and souvenirs, this shop will surprise you pleasantly, and often.
Ruglandveien 89, Oslo, +47 958 46 904
Vestkanttorvet flea market
We hope you’re wearing comfortable shoes, because browsing through the expansive set of stalls in Vestkanttorvet is not for the faint of heart or for the high-healed. Open every Saturday, 9am to 5pm, from March to December, Vestkanttorvet has something for everyone: second-hand clothes, shoes and accessories, beautiful retro homeware and lamps, handmade items and works of art, even a selection of food treats. It’s close to Vigeland Park, so you can relax and inspect your purchases there, afterwards.
Amaldus Nielsens plass, Professor Dahls gate, Oslo, +47 481 54 738
Vestkanttorvet flea market, Courtesy of Vestkanttorvet
Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
There are not many places where you can feel at home… and actually bring them home with you afterwards. Fuglen is one of them: this beautiful vintage shop, where you can buy Scandinavian design furniture from the 50s and the 60s, also doubles as a coffee shop (by day) and a cocktail bar (at night). So basically relax on the couch, order something to drink, and ponder which of the items that surround you should be your next purchase. While you’re pondering, one of Fuglen’s many cool events might start taking place somewhere near you.
Universitetsgata 2, Oslo, +47 22 20 08 80
Røde Kors Secondhand
If you want your shopping to contribute to a good cause, then you should definitely stop by Røde Kors Secondhand, a boutique run by volunteers, part of the Norwegian branch of the famous humanitarian organization Red Cross. Here you’ll find anything from half-price IKEA furniture to quality clothes and accessories — and you’ll know that anything you buy will help make a positive difference.
Osterhaus’ gate 12, Oslo, +47 966 81 486
Røde Kors Secondhand, Courtesy of Røde Kors
Situated in what is probably Oslo’s most vintage-friendly street, Ny York (named after Grünerløkka’s old pet name) is a cool destination for your vintage and second-hand needs. You’ll find both women’s and men’s clothes, accessories and shoes that are full of character and history, as well as some handmade jewelry that will make your final look that much edgier.
Markveien 58, Oslo, +47 924 49 442
Birkelunden flea market
Another flea market that will spoil you for choice. Situated inside Birkelunden public park, this market is open yearly on most Sundays, from noon to 7pm (or until it gets dark in the winter months). Here you can find anything from homeware from the 40s to books and DVDs from the 00s — and everything in between. Peruse carefully, hidden treasures may await you in every stand.
Birkelunden public park, Oslo
Birkelunden © Barbro Andersen / Flickr
Everybody knows that the smell of a new book is a magical thing — rivalled only by the smell of an old book. At indie bookshop Schous Bøker you’ll find a big collection of the latter: second-hand books from practically every genre, many first editions, comic books and some selected vinyl. The place also serves coffee and hosts some live music events, so don’t be surprised if you become a regular.
Schous plass 7A, Oslo
Inside Schous Bøker store | Courtesy of Schous Bøker
UFF Vintage Heaven
Another one for a good cause: Inside UFF you’ll find a big selection of second-hand men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, shoes and accessories, along with sportswear and traditional Norwegian dresses and sweaters. All the clothes are donated and the profits go towards the HPP Federation’s (Humana People to People) development programs in Africa and India.
Jernbanetorget 2, Oslo, +47 489 59 717
UFF Vintage Heaven exterior | © Metro Centric/Flickr