Norway’s capital of Oslo is notoriously expensive for those of us who aren’t from Nordic regions. While this is true when it comes to things like dining out, transport and accommodation, there are exceptions to the rule. One of these is its thrifting landscape.
If you know where to look, you can pick up pre-loved goods like designer and vintage clothing, literature and furniture in different corners of the city. Here are 10 frugal destinations to add to the itinerary when next in Oslo.
Sunday market at Blå
The Søndagsmarkedet takes over the area of Blå in Grünerløkka
Sundays done right should start with coffee, include moseying about, and end with bargains in tow and a beer in hand. To acquire these bargains, make like a local and head to Brenneriveien, where Søndagsmarkedet pops up every Sunday from midday to about 5pm. This flea market takes over the artsy area of Blå in Grünerløkka, and promises to yield handmade items, vintage clothing and artwork from locals.
You can purchase Scandinavian furniture from the '50s and '60s at Fretex boutique
As Norway‘s largest second-hand chain with nine stores in Oslo alone, Fretex is a must-stop on every thrifters quest for unique goods. Of these nine destinations, Ullevålsveien gets our vote for the variety of goods: you’ll find designer clothing, books and interior furnishings. Plus, it’s part of the Salvation Army, so it’s about as guilt-free as shopping comes.
Vestkanttorvet flea market is located next to Norway's oldest sculpture park
A much larger affair than the Sunday market at Blå, Vestkanttorvet flea market (located next to Norway’s oldest sculpture park, Vigeland Park), features over 100 stalls. Since 1989, between the months of March and December, locals have woken up early on a Saturday to head down to this market at 9am in the hope of stumbling across quirky wardrobe and home items. First come, first served!
There are not many places where you can feel at home… and actually bring a piece home with you afterwards. Fuglen is one of them: this beautiful vintage shop, where you can buy Scandinavian design furniture from the ’50s and ’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.
Marking all products with ‘dead stock’ (meaning it wasn’t sold at the time and never worn), ‘vintage’ or ‘second-hand’, Ny York makes shopping a breeze. You’ll find all kinds of women’s and menswear, along with accessories of a bygone area, in this Grünerløkka treasure trove.
Another flea market that will spoil you for choice, this market is situated inside Birkelunden public park and 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 2000s – and everything in between. Peruse carefully, because hidden treasures may await you in every stand.
A haven of antique books spanning most genres, with many first editions, Schous Bøker is a literature lover‘s dream. Offering free (yes, free) coffee and with a few armchairs dotted around, we don’t blame you if you don’t ever leave…