True, I am back from another new country but first, before I dive any more into my adventures in Iceland I want to finish up with one of the final posts from this Summer – Oslo! As you may recall, the last stop on my epic Scandinavian journey was to Norway. Unlike the other countries I visited I spent more time outside the capital than in, spending time in Bergen and Flåm along with half a dozen other towns I can’t pronounce the name of as I cruised through the Fjords and explored the countryside. I ended with a return back to Oslo and a full day of exploring the city. The Norwegian Fjords were definitely my part of my visit to the country but in the Oslo I liked the Vigelandsparken sculpture garden, the Opera House, and biking around the city on a beautiful day.
Being back to work is a bit tough but it is a short week for me as I am off to one of my best friend’s wedding this week in chagrin – the fun doesn’t stop! These are not geographically arranged or in any real order based on favorite spots because I do not want to impart any bias!
1) Take a Walking Tour! Oslo is is a gorgeous city but many of the famous buildings and statues need an explanation! I opted for the Free Tour Oslo which is touted as an Historical Walking Tour of Oslo and it covered all of the top sites in the downtown area many of which you will see on this list!
2) The Opera House: The Opera House was one of my favorite landmarks of the city – shaped like an iceberg and home to the national opera and ballet it is only a few blocks from the center of town and definitely a “must see”, especially since you can walk on the roof!
3) Vigelandsparken Gardens: I wrote an entire post about The Naked Statutes in Olso’s Vigelandsparken which I highly recommend you read and then make your way to this park on the edge of the city with more than 200 naked statues all built by the same artist.
4) City Hall: The City hall may not look like anything from the outside, just an odd brick structure, but if you you are lucky enough to catch the 49 bells playing contemporary music (think Rihanna) it might give you a better idea of what is inside – bright colorful murals, gorgeous displays of the presents to states, and a lively entry hall that is constantly buzzing.
5) Akershus Fortress: Atop a large hill this 13th century fort has great views of the city, two museums (though I didn’t go in), and a great path down to the Inner OsloFjord, more commonly known as the main harbor.
5) Pipervika Harbor: Any visit to Oslo shoudl include a visit to this central hub where you can find Street performers, delicious food stalls, and a plethora of public transportation – from ferries and trams to the bike share, need I say more?
6) The Oslo Tiger; Pose with it and snap a picture, it’s what everyone does – locals and tourists alike. There is also a large ax nearby and bathrooms right inside in the Oslo Central Station #protip. I loved learning on my walking tour (see point one) that the citizens of Oslo actually voted for this statue to be a tiger because Oslo was once known as a very dangerous city!
7) The Nobel Peace Center: Worth a visit – most of it is in Stockholm mine this one is Oslo but did you know Nobel invented dynamite? It is located in the Pipervika Harbor and I thought it was well worth the $12 price of admission between the permeant and temporary exhibits.
8) Karl Johans Gate: Walk along this famous street that leads from Parliament to The Royal palace – not as much a gate as a gorgeous street with restaurants with outdoor dining on one side and a park on the other and you will pass famous things like the Grand Hotel where the Nobel Peace Prize laureates stay!
9) Visit National Museum : Formally called The National Gallery of Norway or the Nasjonalgalleriet, this was one of the surprises on my trip. I went to the museum in order to see only one piece of art – The Scream by Norwegian Expressionist Edvard Munch but I ended up staying for nearly two hours (that is a lot for me and a museum) in order to take in works from many of my favorite artists. I wandered from room to room taking in the the works by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Picasso, and Rodin all of which were pleasant surprises because I only came for the Munch.
10) Visit the Royal Palace: The changing of the guards is understated and i you have seen it at Buckingham Palace you can skip this one but it is worth visiting the gardens and gorgeous grounds!
12) Rent a Bike. A bike is a great way to get around the city of Oslo and I chose to rent one from Oslo Bysykkel – you can see more here – as they have more than 100 stations. I spent around $10 US for a three day pass which allowed me unlimited 45 minute rides around the city for the day – it was so much fun and all the rides were less than than cost of one taxi ride!
Which of these things to do in Oslo would you do first?