Prague is relatively cheap and Oslo is pretty damn expensive for a middle class American tourist. Six days in Prague eating out in restaurants two times every day, drinking copious amounts of beer, buying souvenirs and traveling all around the city on public transportation cost less than $300 for two of us. Less than 24 hours in Oslo cost $97 with no alcohol involved. $10 pints of beer in Norway is a bridge too far for me to cross.
Prague Airport to City transportation
32 CZK/$1.41 USD for a 90-minute public transportation ticket good for bus, metro, tram and even ferry boats across the Vltava River to your destination.
Travel from the airport involves a bus and usually a tram or metro, depending on your destination. All my trips into Prague city center involved Bus 119 from the airport to Nádraží Veleslavín, where there is a metro station and a tram stop. In the past I have always taken Metro into the city, but for this trip it was quicker to take Tram 26 to reach a tram stop closer to Clarion Hotel Old Town Prague than the nearest Metro station.
Except for the airport to city trip that takes 45 minutes to 60 minutes, all other trips I took around Prague were done in 30 minutes or less on a 24 CZK ticket, and that involved some trips of fairly long distance and multiple transportation modes involving tram, bus, Metro and ferry rides.
I rode far more trams this last week in Prague than on any previous trip to the city. I really enjoyed traversing Prague by tram as a way to get a better feel for city layout and neighborhoods. The tram allowed me to spot restaurants, second hand stores and sites in neighborhoods for future reference. Metro is fast, but you don’t get any sense of Prague neighborhoods traveling underground.
A bus ride through Prague 6 took me by Hotel International, a Soviet era building constructed 1952-56 in the ‘sorela’ socialist realism style and originally intended to be used as a military barracks. The building was used as a hotel instead after completion and was Czechoslovakia’s premier hotel In the 1950s. The 200 room property was a Crowne Plaza ten years ago. A suite here in summer 2019 is under $150 per night.
I would probably never have been aware of this place if not for riding a bus across Prague 6 while traveling to Prague Zoo.
And we even rode a ferry boat across the Vltava River on our 24 CZK ($1.05) trip to Prague Zoo.
We stopped at a riverside pub for beer and then took another bus and tram on a separate 24 CZK 30-minute ticket to get back to Clarion Prague Old Town. We were too late in the afternoon for the zoo or botanical gardens, but we had a lot of fun anyway paying $2.10 for a ride across Prague.
Oslo Airport Transportation
NSB slow train OSL to Oslo Central Station = 105 NOK/$12.29 one way or 420 NOK/$49.14 round trip for two persons.
On my first trip to Oslo in 2014 I was curious why there were about 50 people in line waiting to buy Flytoget train tickets to the city from the airport kiosks? There were a bank of kiosks labeled NSB with nobody buying their tickets there.
I went to a counter to ask a Norwegian, what’s up? He told me Flytoget are tickets for the fast train.
How long does it take to get to Oslo on the fast train?
How long does it take to get to Oslo on the slow train?
Flytoget.no ticket price 196 NOK = $22.93
nsb.no ticket price 105 NOK = $12.29
I’m a slow rider.
The NSB ticket is also good for public transportation once you are in Oslo. We took the train to National Theater and walked a kilometer to The Thief hotel on the Akerbrygge waterfront.
For some reason Google Maps was showing an 11 minute walking route outside the terminal and 1 km walk on the streets to reach the Oslo airport train station. Since I had been to Oslo before, I knew it was not necessary to go outside to reach the train station. The station is accessible directly from inside the airport terminal via an escalator to the train tracks one level below.
Dining in Prague
Breakfast was included in both Choice hotels I stayed at on reward nights in Prague and Oslo, Norway. Generally, we ate two restaurant meals each day in Prague for lunch and dinner.
Two meals, a vegetable side and 2 or 4 beers typically cost $20 to $25 in Prague.
This was a restaurant I chose due to not being able to locate the restaurant I was trying to find and Kelley was getting pissed off. I liked the place so much that we dined there twice, even though it was on the opposite side of Prague Old Town from our hotel.
These two meals + 2 pints of Pilsner Urquell totaled 422 CZK = $18.55.
After dinner at U Betlemske kaple, we found Zazemi, a pub filled with young people and students nearby that had reggae playing over the sound system. We ended up hanging out there for a couple hours as the oldest people by far drinking the cheapest beers I have ever found in a Prague Stare mesto/Old Town pub.
Oslo, Norway dining
In Oslo airport waiting 15 minutes for the train, I purchased a pepperoni pizza slice for 35 NOK/$4.09 USD.
A few hours later walking around Oslo when we were feeling hungry, I looked up restaurants on Google Maps and Illegal Burger came up as a $$ priced restaurant near our location. Knowing Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in the world for restaurant prices, I promised to keep my mouth shut about prices.
Well, I tried to keep my mouth shut.
- Cheese Royal – 140g cheeseburger = 106 NOK = $12.40 USD
- Fish Gourmet Deluxe – 110g fishburger = 118 NOK = $13.80 USD
- French fries = 42 NOK = $4.91 USD
- mineral water 300ml = 42 NOK = $4.91 USD
$36.02 USD for two burgers, fries and one small bottle of water.
A beer at Illegal Burger would have been 85 NOK/$9.94 USD.
To give Kelley equal say, she thought her fish burger was exceptional.
Over the past five years I have spent around 4 weeks in Norway. Thinking back, this was actually the first time I paid for a meal in a Norwegian restaurant. I have eaten many dinner buffet meals in hotel restaurants at half a dozen Clarion Collection hotels around Norway.
Loyalty Traveler – Six days in Norway and $6 spent on food (Sep 9, 2014).
On the way back to The Thief we passed by a Subway sandwich shop. I bought a foot long Saturday special ham sandwich for 69 NOK/$8.07 USD. Subway shops are prevalent and a real budget saver for cheap food in Norway.
We had a quick breakfast buffet meal at The Thief and access to more food at the SAS lounge in Oslo Airport the following morning. I had a free breakfast beer in the lounge before our flight to Copenhagen.
24 hours in Oslo cost $48 for a slice of pizza, two burgers, fries, a bottle of water and a Subway sandwich.
When we fly back to Oslo this summer I plan to book a Clarion Collection hotel. The deal with Clarion Collection brand in Nordic Choice Hotels is both breakfast and dinner are included on a reward night stay.