#Innsider’s guide to Oslo
With an enviable collection of important art on show in its world-class museums, Oslo is an excellent city for the culture lovers. There are also plenty of outdoor pursuits for the energetic; it happens to be the only European capital that can offer hiking, cycling, kayaking, sailing, ice skating and skiing, all within its city limits. Due to the strength of its currency, visitors will tell you it’s pricey, but you don’t have to max out your bank cards on a getaway here. Read on for our top #innsider tips to get the most out of your trip.
Ah, that crisp, clean Scandinavian air! Oslo has 40 islands, two rivers, dozens of parks, and rolling green hills, all flanked by the blue waters of the Oslofjord – perfect for an action-packed adventure.
Need to shake that fear of heights? A 15-minute trip on the metro will take you to Holmenkollen and the jump site of the 1952 Winter Olympics, which has the largest ski jump hill in Oslo and a tower that stands over 200 feet off the ground. Climb to the top to see one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the city, the Oslofjord and the surrounding country.
During the summer months, those seeking a breath of fresh air shouldn’t miss out on a walk through the many nature trails along the Aker River (Akerselva), also known as Oslo’s ‘green lung’. Fancy a more relaxing stroll? Head to the unique seafront boardwalk at Aker Brygge wharf.
Heading to Olso in the winter? Try out cross country skiing along one of Oslo’s many (and well-marked out) public skiing trails that stretch out for 1,600 miles. Many seasonal ice skating rinks are also open to the public with free admission, including the Spikersuppa Skating Rink in the city centre.
What a scream
Oslo is hot on the art scene, and no visit here is complete without coming face-to-face with Edvard Munch’s famous The Scream at the Munch Museum. You can also climb aboard an enormous ship at the Fram Museum, see two of the best-preserved Viking ships in existence at the Viking Ship Museum or gaze with morbid fascination at Damien Hirst’s cows in formaldehyde at the Astrup Fearnely Museum. Phew!
Arguably the most attractive part of town, Tjuvholmen is the place to see some impressive European contemporary architecture. It’s also brimming with museums, galleries and top notch restaurants serving all-the-rage Nordic cuisine (#innsiders try fish, seafood, moose and reindeer).
Built in 1299 as a royal residence, Akershus Fortress is a great place to discover Oslo’s rich history and a beautiful place to soak up a summer day. Located in the city centre by the Oslofjord, #innsiders can picnic in the grounds of the city’s most important medieval monument. Admission into the castle is free with the Oslo Pass or 70 NOK (US$11).
Don’t break the bank
Oslo is often referred to as one of the most expensive cities in the world, but a visit here doesn’t have to blow your travel budget. The compact city centre means it is the perfect size for exploring on foot, and many of the main attractions have free entrance. At the always-free National Gallery you can see works by Picasso, El Greco, Matisse, and Van Gogh. Plus, if you don’t want to shell out the entrance fee for the Munch Museum, you can also see several versions of The Scream here (Munch created four versions in total, both as paintings and pastels).
Even if you don’t fancy paying for a show, the Oslo Opera House is well worth a look, just for its remarkable design – its angled walls covered with Italian marble and white granite make it appear to be rising from the water. The best thing? You can walk all over the thing! Grab a coffee-to-go, chill out at the top of its sloping roof and enjoy some fantastic views.
If that’s not enough to please your pockets, Vigeland Sculpture Park grants you free access to no less than 212 incredible sculptures by Gustav Vigeland, beautiful fountains and tree-lined lawns – all within Norway’s biggest park (Frogner Park) and just a few minutes’ walk from the city centre.
A place to stay
Our Park Inn by Radisson Oslo Hotel is situated right in the heart of this waterfront capital. Historical sites like Akershus Fortress and the Royal Palace are just footsteps away. Guests here can also easily walk to Karl Johan, the city’s vibrant main street with cafés, nightlife and high-end stores. Book now.
What are your favourite tips on seeing the best of Oslo? Share your #innsider tips on Twitter @parkinn to help others when planning a visit!