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Fly to Oslo – the capital where you can hike in the forests and swim the fjords right in the city.
- City Guide
- City Guide
Oslo City Guide
Due to it’s unique location, there are plenty of things to do in Oslo from hiking in the forests, swimming in the fjords and shopping.Oslo is situated in an amphitheatre, with the city centre close to the Oslofjord, and the rest of the city around in all all directions. Oslo is one of the largest capitals in the world by area when you consider the area the city takes up, but most of this is forest, making the city much more part of the natural area surrounding it. The forested area of Marka (Nordmarka, Østmarka, Lillomarka) is extensive and its not unknown for moose to be seen in winter.
There’s a beautiful waterfront which has become a popular centre in Oslo for both tourists and residents. The inner city centre is bounded by Oslo Central Station, the Royal Palace and the seafront. The city itself is compact and easily walkable. The main street to get to know is Karl Johans gate, the pedestrian street connecting Oslo and the Palace. However, several of the neighbourhoods close to the centre hold interesting sights and entertainment offerings, so to explore these you should make use of the city’s comprehensive and modern public transport system.
If you are planning to fly to Oslo and you want to get to know the city, Oslo has developed into a real bike city. It offers the use of the ¨Bysykler¨ at over more than 100 places in Oslo. Try a guided bike tour with the like of Baja Bikes and Alternative Tours Oslo.
Getting out of Oslo
Taking a train in Norway means you get see some of the spectacular countryside in Norway. One of the best is the Bergen Train from Oslo and Bergen – a seven hour journey across one of Europe’s highest mountain plateaus, and takes you to through spectacular sceenry. One of the most amazing train trips you can do in your life is to take a detour atMyrdal and hop on board the famous Flåm Railway.
The Myrdal Flåm Railway is an incredible trip down the steep valley to the fjord by Flåm. The journey takes about an hour and is an engineering masterpiece. Twisting tunnels that in and out of the mountain, extremely high gradients and the awesome Kjosfossen waterfall make this one of the highlights of any trip to Norway. The Flåm Railway is open all year. If you prefer cycling, Rallarvegen is Norway’s most scenic cycling route – and the lower parts of Rallarvegen runs along the Flåm Railway. Flåm itself on the Aurlandsfjord has charming museums, fjord safaris or a kayaking trips available.
Hotels in Oslo
When flying to Oslo, its worth knowing that it is an expensive place to stay. Nevertheless, there is something fo all price ranges from hostels to top hotel chains. Getting a hotel in Oslo can potentially be difficult in peak periods. There are also relatively few hostels for backpackers and people on a budget. During Nobel Prize week, room price may double!
The historic Grand Hotel is a landmark in Oslo situated on the main street – Karl Johannes Gate. The hotel is a mix of classic tradition as well as the more modern style. An elegant deluxe hotel that is a lovely place to stay in Oslo. https://www.rica-hotels.com/hotels/oslo/grand-hotel/
The Grand Hotel Oslo, Karl Johans Gate is where Nobel Peace Prize winners stay when coming to Oslo for their award. It has an excellent view over Karl Johans gate, but it is pricey. The Grand Café was Henrik Ibsen’s daily café.
The Radisson Blu Plaza hotel is famous for being the second tallest hotel in Northern Europe. With 37 floors, the hotel is contemporary and is in an ideal location to explore the city with popular attractions nearby.
For those travelling on a budget there is Bogstad camping as well as the Anker Hostel.
Eat and Drink in Oslo
Whilst in Oslo you will want to try some of the Norwegian cuisine including moose, reindeer and lutefisk which are common in restaurants. Norway is also famous for it’s seafood. Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen is home to many of the best seafood restaurants in the city. Oslo is also the place to find all of Norway’s Michelin-starred restaurants if you’re into fine dining – and can afford it!
Most cafes and restaurants serving traditional food are upmarket, but there are a couple of good spots to get on meat cakes and brown gravy, lutefisk and other delicacies. Aker Brygge is a noisy and vibrant waterfront area located south of the city hall – but it can be pricey unless the weather makes it worthwhile in the summer.
The cheapest restaurants are Asian restaurants which in many cases serve good food at low prices. The cheapest of food of the lot are Hot Dogs. They are referred to as “pølse” and are available as street. Sven’s near Vika Atrium, delivers a fast food version of the dietary staple – lutefisk. Ask for the sides of herring, pickled vegetables, and salted meats.
If you are drinking alcohol, Oslo is expensive. But if you insist on drinking when you visit Oslo, the places with the highest density of pubs are Grünerløkka and Aker Brygge.
Explore Oslo – shopping and sightseeing
Oslo is surrounded by forests, hills and lakes ideal for hiking, cycling, boating and skiing. There’s loads to explore in Oslo with plenty of attractions to see. The 80 acre Vigelandsparken sculpture park is a popular tourist attraction.
The Oslo Opera House is Norway’s entry into the top league of cultural architecture. It is shaped as a glacier or a ship, the amazing building seems to float by the Bjørvika inlet. You can climb the building on the marble for a unique view of Oslo. The building has 1100 rooms!
If you want to view the city then the Holmenkollen ski jump has an observation deck that offers panoramic views of the city and doubles as a concert venue. During the annual ski festival, Holmenkollen draws the world’s best ski jumpers. The Ski Museum leads you through the 4000-year history of Nordic and downhill skiing in Norway. There are exhibits featuring the Antarctic expeditions of Roald Amundsen and Scott. You can also climb the 114 steep steps to the top of the tower, and if you are brave, try the ski-jump simulator
The Norsk Folkemuseum is a large open-air museum with more than 140 buildings, mostly from the 17th and 18th centuries, gathered from around the country, rebuilt and organised according to region of origin. Old barns, elevated storehouses and timbered farmhouses. One of the most interesting exhibitions focuses on the life and culture of the Sami – Norwegian’s indigenous people.
To find out about Norway’s most famous author, visit the the Henrik Ibsen Museum. If you prefer art, go to the Munch Museum but remember that some of Edvard Munchs more famous pictures are on display in the National Gallery, so don’t complain that “The Scream” is not on display! For explorers, find out about Thor Heyerdahl at the Kon-Tiki Museum which show his balsa raft Kon-Tiki on which he sailed the south pacific Easter Island.
Music lovers should visit Blå – recognised as one of the top jazz clubs in the world, with a free jazz/blues/soul concert every Sunday – see www.blaaoslo.no
Getting to and from Oslo Airport
It is easy to travel from Oslo airport Gardermoen into the city by bus, train or car. The airport is based around 47km from the centre of Oslo. The Flytoget airport express train takes around 20 minutes to get from the airport to Oslo central station. The train takes about 20 minutes to reach Oslo Central Station and leaves every 10 minutes. For a cheaper way to get to the city centre when you fly to Oslo. The cheapest way to get into Oslo is via Oslo to Drammen, then on to Kongsberg or Skien – trains depart from the adjacent platforms to the Flytoget express. The trip takes 23 minutes, and trains depart twice per hour.
Flybussen operates buses to Oslo which take 45 minutes to reach the city centre.
Taxis are readily available outside, but are very expensive – and slower than the Flytoget Express.