15 Apr Oslo
Welcome to Oslo
Oslo is Norway’s capital and largest city on the country’s southern coast. Its population is approximately 700,000, making it the third-largest city in Scandinavia after Stockholm and Copenhagen. The city has a long history, with settlements dating back to the Viking Age, and it has historically been the capital of Norway since 1814. Still today, it is known for its beautiful natural surroundings, including the Oslofjord and the nearby forests and hills.
Oslo is also known for its high quality of life, excellent public transportation, thriving cultural scene, and strong economy; a popular destination for tourists and expats alike and reputation as one of the most enjoyable livable cities in the world.
Other notable landmarks in Oslo include the Royal Palace, the Akershus Fortress, and the Munch Museum, which houses an extensive collection of works by the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, including his famous painting “The Scream.”
One of the most iconic landmarks in Oslo is the Vigeland Sculpture Park. This expansive park is home to over 200 bronze, granite, and cast iron sculptures by Gustav Vigeland, including his famous sculpture “The Angry Boy” and the impressive 46-foot-tall Monolith. The park is open year-round and is free to enter.
For history buffs, the Viking Ship Museum is a must-visit. Here, you can see three incredibly well-preserved Viking ships and artefacts like sledges, beds, and horse carriages. The museum also has a film and exhibits explaining the Viking Age in Norway.
If you want a unique cultural experience, check out the Oslo Opera House. Known for its striking modern architecture, the opera house hosts performances by the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. Even if you’re not a fan of opera, it’s worth taking a tour of the building and enjoying the panoramic views of the city from the rooftop terrace.
A trip to Oslo would only be complete with a visit to the Munch Museum. Here, you can see an extensive collection of works by the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, including his famous painting “The Scream”. The museum is also home to several other works by Munch and temporary exhibitions by other artists.
For a taste of local culture, visit the Grünerløkka neighbourhood. This trendy area is home to numerous cafes, bars, restaurants, vintage shops, and street art. It’s a great place to relax with a coffee and people-watch or to try some traditional Norwegian cuisine like fish soup or reindeer stew.
How To Get There
One of the first things you’ll notice about Oslo is its clean and efficient public transportation system. You can take the Flytoget express train from the airport to the city centre in just 20 minutes. Once you’re in town, the subway, tram, and bus systems are easy to navigate, and you can purchase tickets at any kiosk or smartphone.
Plane: Oslo Airport, also known as Gardermoen Airport, is 35 kilometres north of Oslo and is the largest airport in Norway, serving both domestic and international flights and is well-connected to most major cities in Europe and beyond. You can take the Flytoget express train from the airport to the city centre in just 20 minutes or take a taxi, bus, or rental car.
Train: If you come from other parts of Norway or neighbouring countries such as Sweden or Denmark, taking the train to Oslo can be convenient and scenic. Several daily trains run between Oslo and major cities such as Bergen, Trondheim, and Stockholm, and the train journey offers stunning views of Norway’s countryside.
Bus: Buses are a cost-effective way to travel to Oslo, especially if you are coming from nearby cities or countries. Several long-distance bus companies operate services to Oslo, including Flixbus and Nettbuss.
Car: If you drive to Oslo, you can take the E6 highway, which runs south of Sweden to Oslo. However, going to Norway can be expensive due to tolls and high gas prices.
Where To Stay
City Center: If you want to be in the heart of the action, staying in Oslo’s city centre is a great option. Most places are within walking distance of many of the city’s attractions, restaurants, and shops. Several hotels and apartments exist, including the Grand Hotel Oslo and the Scandic Victoria Hotel.
Grünerløkka: This trendy neighbourhood is known for its hip cafes, bars, and vintage shops. If you want to experience a more local and bohemian vibe, staying in Grünerløkka can be a great choice. There are several affordable hostels and apartments in the area, as well as the stylish Scandic Vulkan Hotel.
Frogner: This upscale neighbourhood is known for its elegant architecture, parks, and museums. If you’re looking for a more luxurious stay, Frogner can be a good option. The Frogner House Apartments and the Thon Hotel Gyldenløve are both highly rated.
Budget Options: If you’re travelling on a budget, Oslo has several affordable hostels and guesthouses. The Anker Hostel and the Citybox Oslo are both popular choices.
No matter where you stay in Oslo, booking in advance is a good idea, especially during peak travel seasons. Remember that Norway can be expensive, so be prepared to spend more on accommodation than other European cities.
Where To Eat
Oslo is a city that takes its food seriously, with a diverse range of restaurants and cafes serving everything from traditional Norwegian cuisine to international flavours. Here are some places to consider when looking for a bite to eat in Oslo:
Mathallen: This food hall in Grünerløkka is a paradise for foodies, with over 30 vendors offering everything from artisanal cheese and charcuterie to fresh seafood and craft beer.
Maaemo: If you’re looking for an exceptional dining experience, Maaemo is a three-Michelin-starred restaurant that showcases the best of Norwegian cuisine with an innovative and artistic approach.
Vulkanfisk: For fresh and delicious seafood, head to Vulkanfisk in the Vulkan neighbourhood. The fish market offers a wide variety of fish and seafood, and the restaurant serves fish soup and fish and chips.
Fuglen: This quirky cafe and bar are a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike, serving up excellent coffee, cocktails, and light bites in a retro-inspired space.
Illegal Burger: For a quick and satisfying meal on the go, check out Illegal Burger. They offer juicy and flavorful burgers made with locally sourced ingredients.
Lofoten Fish Market: This fish market and restaurant is located right on the Oslofjord and offers stunning views alongside its fresh and delicious seafood.
Olympen: For a taste of traditional Norwegian cuisine, Olympen is a classic restaurant that has been around since 1892. They serve up dishes like meatballs, pork belly, and salmon in a cosy and authentic atmosphere.
No matter where you eat in Oslo, be prepared to spend more than in other European cities. However, the quality of the food is often worth the higher prices.
Oslo is a charming and cosmopolitan city offering a unique natural beauty and urban sophistication blend. The city is surrounded by forests, lakes, and fjords, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and boating. Whether interested in art, history, or simply enjoying the beautiful surroundings, Oslo has something for everyone. So pack your bags and explore this beautiful city for yourself!
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