Oslo – heroin city

OSLO - a clean, quiet capital surrounded by nature. OR? Truth is, it is also a capital that has a high number of heavy drug users. One of Europe’s highest in fact. And that is something that I am having difficulties adjusting to.

I grew up in Oslo – then I lived abroad for a number of years. These days I spend my summers there, as a tourist, and every single summer I end up frustrated about how in-your-face the drug abuse is. And if I experience it like this, surely it must shock other tourists who are expecting anything but to feel like they’re at the film set for Requiem for a Dream.

Being a rather small capital (500.000 inhabitants only), the city center is condensed. You can easily walk from one end of the city to the other in fourty minutes. In other words – the dodgy areas rub shoulders with the rest of the city – and I would go as far as to say that you’re never far from somebody shooting up heroin. Consequently you’ll find USED syringes left behind on lawns, in gutters and in the elevators at the tube stations. It really is ugly. And it’s completely true. I have seen it myself, and I have felt repulsed by my own government who allow this to happen.

I have never been to any other place where heavy duty drug abuse is so visible. All these pictures were taken right behind the Oslo Stock Exchange, which in turn is a stone’s throw away from the central train station, some of Oslo’s biggest shopping centers and the city’s main pedestrian avenue ‘Karl Johan Street’.

Is this what tourists expect when they come to Oslo? Am I being a prude? Or do you people out there agree that this is shocking?

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42 comments on “Oslo – heroin city

  1. SOME PEOPLE COMPLAIN ABOUT DRUG ADICTS IN OSLO AND A FEW NEEDLES ON THE GRAS.TIS IS NOTHING
    WHAT I HAVE SEEN IN VANCOUVER CANADA. THOUSANDS OF DRUG ADICTS ON THE STREET DAY AND NIGHT
    AND ALSO LOTS OF NEEDLES ANY WHERE ON THE GRAS ON THE SIDEWALKS AND SO ON.IF SOMEONE WANTS TO SEE
    IT PLEASE VISIT EAST SITE VANCOUVER.

    ERNEST FROM GERMANY………………

  2. Hi Ernest,
    Yes, I am ‘some’ people complaining about drug addicts in Oslo and a ‘few’ needles on the grass… Actually, I am not complaining about the junkies themselves, I see them as extremely unfortunate people living hard lives stripped of illusion and hope. I am complaining about an ill functioning drug policy in a city so small that 8.000 injecting drug users stick out like a sore thumb!

    You are comparing Oslo to Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. You claim their drug related problems are MUCH bigger than Oslo’s. I am wondering – have you been to Oslo? Have you seen the thousands of drug users hanging around the central train station, an area located smack in the middle of the city? You will bump into them (day and night, as you say) on your way to the new opera house, or simply when you go shopping in one of the city’s most popular shopping areas. You will see drugs and money exchanging hands, you will see some of the junkies collapsed on the pavement because they’ve shot up too much. You will see them on the tube, where it is actually quite intimidating to spend a tube ride a few meters away from someone high on heroine. I have grown up here, I have seen it develop, and every time I go back it leaves me with a bad taste…

    Vancouver is slightly bigger than Oslo, and judging by the information I have been able to gather, there are in fact more injecting drug users in Oslo than in Vancouver. 8.000 in Oslo and 6.000 in Vancouver (these are 2011 numbers). I realize that these numbers are rarely accurate, however, they do indicate that it may be worthwhile checking your facts prior to commenting.

    Thanks for stopping by!
    Vibeke from Oslo

    • Hi photito,

      I wonder…have you ever been to Vancouver? It’s really no different than what you’ve described as the situation in Oslo. The Downtown East Side is right next to Vancouver’s Chinatown, as well as Gastown, a major shopping area and tourist destination. There is an open air drug market on the corner of two main streets, less than a block from the Vancouver Police Department. It’s also the site of the first safe-injection site in all of North America (Insite).

      As a recovering heroin addict, the Downtown East Side is an area I know all too well…and it really is THAT bad. I’ve seen firsthand the horrible conditions these people live in, the apartments are almost dirtier than the streets, and the DTES has the highest rate of HIV infections in all of Canada I believe.

      I’m not saying that Vancouver’s problem is necessarily bigger than Oslo’s, but it is significantly huge and, I believe, at least on the same level.

  3. Wow I don’t think I would be able to deal with living there. Again I understand that photos can be miss leading but from what you are saying I would have a hard time adjusted to seeing needles in the parks and so on. Wheres the law enforcement and why arent they trying to change it.

    • ‘Where’s the law enforcement and why aren’t they trying to change it?’
      My thoughts exactly. Obviously the politicians are trying to find a way to reduce the problem, and one on their measures was to introduce an injecting room for the city’s heavy drug users. This is something that many junkies are making use of, but due to very strict guidelines, i.e they don’t allow the users to mix drugs (something most users tend to do appearently), they are not allowed to help each other inject in the injection room, and for now the injection room has limited opening hours.
      As far as the police doing something about the situation, I am not entirely sure what they are doing. In the past they have shifted the drug users from one central location in Oslo to another. Now, to me, they seem to have resigned, and hence the accumulation of heroin users are left to go about their daily routine of buying and selling drugs, shooting up and creating an uncomfortable atmosphere in the city center.
      Luckily, Bluegreen Kirk, once you move away from this particular part of town, Oslo is still a very safe city. But I agree with you, living anywhere close to the central train station is a big no no.

  4. i have recently watched a show on the national geographic channel about the heroin abuse in oslo and it honestly shocked me. i have always pictured oslo as a very progressive and scenic place and i did not have any idea that such a thing was happening there. i had once watched a documentary that featured the same drug abuse in canada and likewise, it surprised me heaps.

    i am just curious… would the issue of drug abuse in oslo be “less shocking” if it were not that apparent or protected by your governement? i mean, would it be a little bit “more ok” if you do not see them conduct their activities in the streets and merely do it covertly? my country, the philippines, also has serious problems with drug abuse but it’s not as obvious as in olso or in vancouver, as it is not condoned by our government. but despite being out of public view, it remains a disturbing matter, nonetheless.

    i appreciate you sharing these pictures and your thoughts on this issue. it’s an eye – opener.

  5. Hi Del, thanks for stopping by, and for letting us know about the National Geographic documentary. I have seen a few clips from it, and agree with you – it is shocking. However, the shock factor when it comes to Oslo’s heroin addicts, is indeed that they are high visibility. I have no vision of a drug free society, as I believe it will always be part of city life. So, to answer your questions, YES – in my opinion the severe drug statistics would be more acceptable if the drug abuse wasn’t carried out so openly.
    As mentioned in an earlier reply, I sympathize with the junkies and their obvious suffering and hard lives. However, I also expect to be able to go to the city center of my home town without having ‘their business’ forced upon me. These days, I often bring my young children to Oslo, and there’s NO WAY I will go anywhere near the most challenged areas with them.
    All in all, I feel the city (which, like you say, is a progressive and scenic place!) is crying out for a better drug policy. I would be interested in finding out how your government goes about the drug related issues.

    Vibeke

  6. Now I understand why I felt so uncomfortable last summer spending 2 hours at the Central train station in Oslo last summer!
    About 15 years ago I spent 17th of May in Oslo (Norways National day, for those who don’t know) and it was a great party. The city center was packed with happy people with their Norwegian flags in their hands. Some, including myself and my friends, were perhaps drinking a bit too much – but everything was nice and beutiful an under control.
    My short visit last year was anything but nice and beautiful. After reading your article I still have difficulties understanding that many of the strange people I saw at, and around, the train station probably were drug adicts. What a shame… And I who always been so proud of my Norwegian blood. Stockholm is probably not better, but as a bigger city there are more hide-aways.
    Cecilia (1/4 norwegian and 3/4 swedish)

  7. Hi Cecilia! Nice to hear from you;) You drinking too much? Never! I agree with you, it is a huge shame that Oslo has such a serious and very visible drug problem… But hey – 17th of May is just around the corner, so my suggestion to anybody considering a visit to Oslo on Norway’s National Day is to stay well clear of the area around the Central Train Station. Everywhere else should be as beautiful as only the 17th of May in Oslo can be! xxx

  8. Oslo har blitt en gangske skitten by, ja. Selv om dophandelen og dopmisbrukere må ta en del av skylda for at Oslo ser ganske grå ut, er det også en del andre problemer man ender opp med for tiden. Hele byen er nedtagga, fulle av tiggere og generelt forsøplet. Spesielt rundt brugata. Men som du sier; dette er det første turistene møter (de henger jo ofte utenfor sentralbanestasjonen), og det virker straks ganske trist.

    • Enig Remi! Oslo er i ferd med å bli storby på godt og vondt… Brugata og tilhørende område kan man gudskjelov unngå, det blir straks bedre så fort man kommer seg vestenfor domkirken.

  9. It´s everywhere like in Oslo…
    I have been livin in Spain for two years. Instead for detox program I chosed livin
    in the street…I was cocaine and heroine user for ten years and two more in Spain
    in La Coruna. Penamoa was little “drug-city” and ther you could see everything:
    trafficking,old needles,prostitution…everything! A few needles is not a big problem,
    tousands of them…that´s problem!!!

  10. I have been livin in Spain for two years. Instead for detox program I chosed livin
    in the street…I was cocaine and heroine user for ten years and two more in Spain
    in La Coruna. Penamoa was little “drug-city” and ther you could see everything:
    trafficking,old needles,prostitution…everything! A few needles is not a big problem,
    tousand

    • As a former drugaddict(late 90s in my teens)in oslo i totally agree things are getting worse-now i ve been studying(in canada actually,toronto though were its more hidden ..but still addicts all over the globe-what i think is sad is that you frar for your kids -i mean they are mostly harmless ppl & i ve been raped ,had a girlgang knocking my tooth out +mone of them drug addicts-but most likely drunk..i Tje norweg.goverment is themain problem,ok no respect for ppl throwing needles n stuff but this is the mijority of tje addicits..

  11. Hey, my name is Trevor. I’m from Poland. Wanted to thank You for posting these pictures here. My mum is actually a person who leads the anti-drug abuse courses here organised by goverment. That’s what we do here; she goes to school and speaks to children at their early age about 9-10. I suppose it results in good facts that in my city (150.000 inh.) the problem is hardly visible. I personally know one man who is heroinist, but You wouldn’t see needles on the streets, never. However, I’ve been to Oslo 4 years ago, and like someone from above mentioned comment, I was surprised to syringes in train station tolilet or few needles on the streets, yet I did not know back then till now that there is a huge problem in Oslo, even bigger than in Vancouver which is well known to me as a sadly one of the biggest junkies spots… the blog like this indicates that problem exists and i find it usefull, the more we see it, the more concious we are and that may change something step by step.

  12. This is my first time to Oslo and it took me less than a day to figure out this large group of people that I see hanging around the train station and the shopping were high on something else but maryjane. It’s pretty obvious they look so ill. I won’t be back not because of the drug abuse hut it is too dam expensive. Thirty dollars for a hamburger. Eighteen dollars for a Guinness forget it.

  13. Why compare? One city is bigger, another has more appeal to users because of the facilities, what does it matter? Without help drug users will be a problem where ever they live. If a government took care of all its citizens, it would take care of its drugs users too. Give them what they want under controlled circumstances. Make sure they use clean needles, give them places where they can shoot up, or smoke or snort or whatever they want. Provide them with controlled substances of good quality, and don’t force them in any kind of program they don’t want. Only then things will improve. No more criminals that get rich on their sickness, no more stealing, robbing, break ins etc, less people in prison ( in Holland 80% of the prison population has committed a dope related crime) less people calling on healthcare, no more needles in your backyard, less prostitution, etc. I know, this is not really easy to do, in Europe we have the Schengen declaration. And don’t forget all powers that earn millions on dope smuggle/sell. It is time we regard dope users as people with a disease and not as criminals. Give them lives worth living the way they want it. Give them back their dignity they lost in doing so many bad things to get their money for dope. Arrest them and a court assisted drug rehab does not work at all, as long as the addict is not at the turning point of kicking the habit, nothing will help, no arrest nor forced rehab, it only will cost society a lot of money. Science and experience have proved that forced rehab don’t work already years ago. (this in answer at the comment made above by Warren) They only thing that might work is giving information at schools, inform the youth what a life on dope means. Wow, this comment got much longer as I intended it to be.
    Hope all goes well and also hope to visit Oslo some day, seems like a beautiful city to me, with or without drug users ;-)
    Greetz from a Dutch Lady

  14. Pingback: The Free Society and Its Limits | Online Library of Law and Liberty

  15. I visited Oslo this summer and was completely shocked. I live in Toronto, Canada and am used to big cities, drug users, homeless people, etc. Perhaps because Norway is one of the richest countries in the world and because it is home of the Nobel Peace Prize, it has such a positive image in my mind. When I got to Oslo and saw all the heroine addicts all I could think was “this is SO RANDOM”. I know every big city has its problems and drug users, but it was such a smack in the face since it was visible everywhere. I also travelled around the rest of Norway and Scandinavia for a while and can honestly say no other major city in the area had such a visible drug using community. You couldn’t really ignore it anywhere you went.

  16. It’s a pretty disgusting thing in Oslo and photito is right – The policy in Oslo is not good. I lived in Oslo for a few years and you get worried walking on the streets downtown with your kids that a needle will stick into their feet. People overdosing and being resuscitated on the street is an everyday occurrence in the heart of the city. The reason is that Norway – and Oslo by extension – Is trying to do stuff socially for the addicts while other nations are brushing this under the carpet. So who is doing this wrong? The ones that are doing something right or the ones that are doing nothing right?

  17. As =Oslo was a racist paper, which encouraged heroin use, a new street paper was needed.
    I wrote my own new street paper,
    and called it +Oslo.
    Pluss Oslo – PREVAB – The Prevention of Abuse.
    prevab.webs.com/plussoslo.htm

    • Hi Jim,

      I am not sure what your agenda is here, but to call =Oslo a racist paper is quite harsh. I happen to support the people (users) selling this magazine in order to feed their addiction. And although I am aware that =Oslo has had internal problems in the past, it has certainly never promoted racism.

      Good luck with your Pluss Oslo street paper!

      Vibeke

    • I did visit your website, but if I am honest, I only get an impression of you being judgemental toward substance abusers and showing a large lack of knowledge about them. Writing down a stereotype drug abuser as someone with missing limbs or fingers, missing or black teeth, dirty etc shows a real lack of knowledge to my humble opinion. Further more, the website is one long accusation against another street paper, with perhaps some solid points, but also some real far sought facts. However your goals, like making people aware of child abuse are admirable, the fact you see yourself as an abused child too, because your father was on benefit once and got money from the state and you did not see much of that money, is ridiculous. You must have gotten food, clothing and shelter, so I can imagine that’s how that money was spend. Al in al I do wish you success with your street paper. In that you are right, there is always room for more of those.

  18. I do not feel sympathy for the drug addicts…….the majority of them are sociopaths who do not feel empathy for other humans and only seek to take care of their own selfish needs. I would feel sympathy for a non drug abusing person who walked on a used needle and had to endure an agonising wait to find out if they had been infected with HIV.

    • I don’t know how many drug abusers u actually know, but you are judging a group of a variety of ppl and that seems silly to me. Just as you can’t say all black ppl are lazy, all gypsies steal, all Jews play the violin and all gay ppl would f*ck you in the ass, see how stupid this is??? I work with addicts of all kind, and they are just as diverse as any group.

      • Hello Dirkje, you are correct you do not know how many drug abusers I actually know. Enlighten me please, where in my comment have I used the word ‘all’?

  19. Erlik Oslo are getting fat off the heroin trade,
    while making the homeless go hungry.

    Tax funded =Oslo discriminated against Oslo’s poorest residents, including me, so I wrote my own mag and calied it +Oslo.
    They then broadcast false allegations, in an apparent attempt to have the public boycott my mag.

    HYPOCRITES: Anlov P. Mathiesen, editor of =Oslo, expressed sympathy for the homeless Romafolk of Oslo, yet ruined their chance of a job. He said it was petty of me to copy his product to provide the job. Well, you do some pretty sleazy things yourself, Anlov. How many of your sellers have died from overdose, Anlov?

    Should you give a gun to a suicidal person?

    If you give money to a junkie, the thing he is most likely to spend it on is heroin.

    You may see where the money spent on =Oslo goes in the video:

    Afghan Heroin: The Lost War – Full Version

    http://lionandlambministry.com/index.php/liontube/video/369/Afghan-Heroin%3A-The-Lost-War—Full-Version

  20. PLEASE READ MY SITE CAREFULLY BEFORE COMMENTING

    I’m trying to help people. Now I stand accused.

    Excuse me Dirkje, but bad habits should not be encouraged. In criticizing heroin use I might be saving lives – and saving limbs.

    I did not say the evidence of heroin use, which I listed in my website, applied to ‘all’ heroin users.
    I did not use the term ‘all’ with regard to any of the things I said about them.

    Photito said =Oslo never promoted racism. Erlik Oslo might not promote racism, but they practice it. If you read

    =OSLO BARE FOR NORDMENN REBECCA SHIRIN JAFARI 21. juli 2008, oppdatert 20. juli 2008 19:39, Fra: Dagsavisen.no,

    which is translated into English in my website, you’ll see that =Oslo discriminates racially.

    -Jim Dixon of +Oslo prevab.webs.com/plussoslo.htm

    • Hello Jim,
      No need to excuse yourself, everyone is entitled to his/hers opinion. I am a great fan of free heroin, it solves a lot of problems. The addict doesn’t have to steal, work as a prostitute,
      pan-handle, annoying others or so. Give them heroine, places to shoot up, or smoke, snore or whatever they do, where their health can be monitored, and maybe their lives can be rather “normal”. It would also mean no more “black money” on the drugs market, no more overcrowded prisons, for 80% of the crimes are drug related, no more overworked policemen, no more thefts, burglaries etc. You talk of addiction as a bad habit, I see it as a disease and I think that is the difference. A patient should not be denied his medicine. And I do think you contradict yourself, by I criticizing heroin use, you think you safe limbs and lives? At the other hand you say an addict will do everything to get his dope, so why should an addict give a damn about your criticism? And no you did not say “all” heroin users, you spoke of the majority, which I find as much appalling and judgemental as “all”. But, indeed, everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. I will read your website once more, and maybe I will come back to this. I do wish you all the best for 2013, and as I said before, there is always room for another magazine, as long as the idea is transparent and honest. Have a nice Newyears Eve.
      Greetings from a Dutch lady,
      Dirkje

      • Hello Dirkje,
        You say that I said “an addict will do everything to get his dope.” Please tell me where you got that from, as I don’t recall making such a comment. Maybe its true that if the state were to “Give them heroin, places to shoot up, or smoke, snore or whatever they do, where their health can be monitored… maybe their lives can be rather ‘normal’.” But the Norwegian state is not doing that, so men who want fast money, such as asylum seekers, will continue to push it, and make more clients by offering free samples to kids and other vulnerable targets (maybe your kids) as well as harassing homeless people to buy drugs, bacause they stereotype the homeless as potential buyers. Then there is the fact that most of the heroin which makes it to Norway comes from Afganistan and is trafficked through neighboring countries, and funds terrorism. There is also the fact that their health is not monitored and many lose teeth fingers or limbs – and many die. You said “(I) talk of addiction as a bad habit, (you) see it as a disease “. Its that sort of thinking which encourages heroinists. They must be told that it is a bad habit, that they should quit before it kills them. When one is quitting a bad habit, one needs plenty of encouragemant. The idea behind =Oslo was to provide a source of drug money The addict doesn’t have to steal, work as a prostitute, pan-handle, annoying others or so,
        pan-handle, annoying others or so. But, hey, did it ever occur to =Oslo that addicts are people too? It seems selfish that they would provide an easy way to get dope money just to make the addicts less anoying and capitalise off their plight.

      • Hello Dirkje,
        You say that I said “an addict will do everything to get his dope.” Please tell me where you got that from, as I don’t recall making such a comment.

        Maybe its true that if the state were to “Give them heroin, places to shoot up, or smoke, snore or whatever they do, where their health can be monitored… maybe their lives can be rather ‘normal’.” But the Norwegian state is not doing that, so men who want fast money, such as asylum seekers, will continue to push heroin, and make more clients by offering free samples to kids and other vulnerable targets (maybe your kids) as well as harassing homeless people to buy drugs, because they stereotype the homeless as potential buyers. Then there is the fact that most of the heroin which makes it to Norway comes from Afghanistan and is trafficked through neighbouring countries, and funds terrorism. There is also the fact that the health of the Oslo addicts is not monitored and many lose teeth fingers or limbs – and many die. You said “(I) talk of addiction as a bad habit, (you) see it as a disease. A patient should not be denied his medicine.“. Its that sort of thinking which encourages heroinists. They must be told that it is a bad habit, that they should quit before it kills them. When one is quitting a bad habit, one needs plenty of encouragement. The idea behind =Oslo was to provide a source of drug money so he addict doesn’t have to steal, work as a prostitute, pan-handle, annoying others or so, but, hey, did it ever occur to =Oslo that addicts are people too? It seems selfish that they would provide an easy way to get dope money to make the addicts less annoying and capitalise off their plight. -JIM

  21. SHOULD HEROIN BE ENCOURAGED?

    Many Norsk have the idea that junkies can never quit.

    This is not true. Many have quit. So stop encouraging them!

    HEROIN CAN COST AN ARM AND A LEG – LITERALLY.

    IS IT KIND TO MAKE HEROIN ACCEPTABLE?

    Erlik Oslo (=Oslo) is a way to get drug money, without doing crime or going to jail. It makes addicts less likely to quit.

    It also promotes drug use as a reaction to hardship, justified, and socially acceptable. These make more money for Erlik Oslo.

    Should you give a gun to a suicidal person?

    Let’s save lives. Let’s promote an alternative to =Oslo.

    See how at: http://prevab.webs.com/plussoslo.htm

    • With the danger I repeat myself, an addict only quits when he is ready for it. No lack of free heroin will do the trick, no “good do’ers” , no family, no lovers, no children, no prison, nor health or what so ever. You don’t get them to quit easier by denying them what they crave. Science and experience showed us that much. People are much likely to think about their circumstances when they are fed instead when they are needy.

  22. As this post about heroin use in Oslo has been the most read on our blog in 2012, I just wish to add to this discussion that I believe the focus should be on finding a way for the heavy drug users in Oslo to:

    1 – Find a way to prevent them from littering the streets of down town Oslo with their needles and generally threatening behaviour (i.e buying/selling of drugs, shooting up, loitering and begging for money.)

    2 – Keep =Oslo as their magazine. I’ve taken note of the heavy criticism in the comments above against this street magazine, which was made in order to give the drug users a dignified way of earning money. I, for one, do not have the time to check the ins and outs of what goes on behind the scenes of every single magazine I buy. But I do know this; =Oslo has an amazingly high standard, both when it comes to content, lay out and photography, as well as having a solid profile. This has made their magazine stand out, and has allowed them to win several awards. Now, the question begs itself – if the founder of +Oslo is so opposed to =Oslo’s philosophy, why make another magazine with such a similar title?

    I will not enter into any further discussions about drug abuse in Norway, as it is not a field I am overly qualified to debate. However, I wish you all – editors of street mags (well done!), junkies and especially their families, and not to forget, the followers of this blog – A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Vibeke

  23. Hey there, I’m a new blogger coming from Karbach, Germany who found you on http://photito.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/oslo-heroin-city/. Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? I’m working on beginning my own
    website soon but I don’t really know where to begin. Do you think I should start out with a free site like b2evolution or shell out some cash into a pay site? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed.

    .. What would you say?

  24. not only did I find Oslo to be a very unattractive capital city, now I’m learning it’s full of drug users too…I don’t care if other cities in the world are just as bad or worse – these pictures really turned me off, Oslo is off my Must Visit list. I’ll stick to fjords

  25. Hi there, Im Sarah. Me and my boyfriend are planning to go to Oslo for a week… I really would like to know if the drug situation got any worse/better. Could you please help me out? I’ve never been to Oslo and would not like to end up in some kind of “bad neighborhood” full of needles. We are definitely going visit the opera, the polar ship museum, the reptiles museum, the viking ship museum, sculpture park and a big forest (I forgot the name). We are also going to check the centre, pubs and bars.. Should I be worried about a specific place? Can we just walk around at night to see buildings or is this dangerous?

    • Hi there Sarah, sorry for the late reply but things have been hectic. Oslo has a problem as our article explains. However truth be said the addicts in Oslo do have more social benefits and care than most. This means that they rarely need to resort to violent crime. In other words, they are more of an eyesore than anything else. Oslo remains a safe city and you should not worry at all about this issue, just keep away from the main train station. When walking around at night just take the usual precautions as in any other city although Oslo is probably as safe as they come. All the places you mention are great. The forest is beautiful at Songsvan and you can even get to it by metro. Dont forget to walk along Aker Brygge and stop for some prawns.

      Enjoy
      Spencer

      • Hello Spencer,
        I was worrying for nothing, Oslo is amazing and safe! We had luck with the weather so we visited a lot of different places. I only saw 4 or 5 junkies in the streets but I guess you have them everywhere, besides, they weren’t dangerous or anything. We never had any trouble when we went back to our hotel at night. One thing that shocked me was a junkie laying on the floor and two medics were helping him, there was a lot of blood. I really did not see what was really happening..

        Oslo is safe and fun, there’s a lot of places where you can go for a walk but just like any kind of city, don’t go where you think is not safe to go.

  26. I am a North American living in Oslo for the past 6 years, so I have a very good understanding for the city. On the surface, the impressions of Oslo is that is is a pleasant city with a lot of healthy energetic people. Unfortunately, under that thin veneer lies a rotten truth. I live in the city center, and when I take my dog for a walk in the morning I make a point of scouting the playground and park for needles. Invariably they can be found everywhere. It’s very disturbing. As a parent I can say it’s horrifying to think my children play here. I have discussed this issue with people who have lived here their entire lives, and I am dumbfounded by how unaware Norwegians are to this problem. The child of one woman that I work with has been pricked by a needle in the park a few years ago. He had to undergo HIV testing for some time. This also happened to one of the people who works in my child’s kindergarden. If you want to see how pervasive the problem is, you only need to open your eyes to see that it’s everywhere. If you don’t want to see it, it’s easy to miss it – until you step on it.

    So in short, this blog post is not at all an exaggeration.

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