I finally got to transfer my Iphone photos from Oslo to my laptop, so now I can offer you a nice Oslo guide 🙂
It was probably one of the most spontaneous trips until now (we bought the tickets only one month before getting there and we had no idea what to visit there until we got on the plane and finally had time to read a travel guide and to mark what seemed worth seeing).
My first conclusion is that Oslo is the great place for a city break!
“The city break” concept means visiting a town only for a couple of days, maximum three.
However, many cities are really worth seeing for much more than that. That is not the case for Oslo.
Don’t get me wrong, it is stunning, but relatively small in population (it is home to only half a million people) and in surface (you may casually walk from one place to another – the distances are insignificant).
*Best time to see Oslo: mid-April to late September
Number of days: 3
We left Bucharest on the 22nd of March and got back on the 26th in the early morning, so we had plenty of time to explore the city without getting exhausted.
How to get there: by plane
We flied with WIZZ Air (which was a huge disappointment and I do not recommend it to you – you can not check in online because this flying company does not offer you a given place in the aircraft, meaning that you have to fight for that window seat) and we had delays at both flights. Not cool arriving back home at 2 in the morning…
However, it provides a direct flight from Bucharest to Oslo, so you don’t have to worry about a stop in Frankfurt or Paris or Copenhagen.
Still, the Oslo airport that WIZZ Air is landing on is not in Oslo (or actually anywhere around it). The airport is in South, in the Sandefjord, which is at about one hour and 45 minutes to the capital with an express bus (which is really expensive by the way – 480 NOK per adult, one Norwegian krone being about 0.11 euros) or at one hour and a half by a special train leaving from the terminal.
There is another airport, closer to Oslo (still at 55 km away), but there were no direct flights from Bucharest there.
How to get around: by foot – the public transportation is expensive and it’s not worth it if you can walk as well. Plus, Oslo is smaller than you would expect, so distances are not a problem if you like wandering on city streets. However, if you go to the Bygdoy peninsula, you must get a bus as it’s quite far from the center.
Where to stay at: try a hostel experience or a mid-level hotel, remember you did not come to Oslo to check in at the 5 stars hotel that looks the same everywhere on the globe
What to see and what to do:
Reaction to the description in the guide: oh my God, a park with sculptures that show people’s emotions and life stages? WE MUST SEE THIS.
Reaction to real life: Okay, some of these are really nice. But do they had to be shown naked?
And what is the thing with the trees full of kids? Sorry, but I’m not good at understanding metaphors.
The rest of the park is super nice however. It’s extremely clean and serene, so it’s perfect if you need some quiet time.
After missing the last boat trip by just a half an hour, we decided to go and see the Akershus castle and domain, which is in the port.
It was open and the walk there was really pleasant, however many attractions were opening in mid-April or even May, so we didn’t get to see the Akershus church. Bummer.
The National Library
You might have noticed my soft spot for libraries, so it was no surprise I wanted to see the Norwegian National Library so much.
It is indeed amazing, full of old books, but also really technological-updated.
Tip: Free entrance
We got on a boat to see an island (it wasn’t for tourists because those function only on Saturday, Sunday and Monday during winter months) and it was pretty nice (except for the wind).
Be prepared to pay extra for leaving the ZONE 1.
The Bygdøy peninsula
We got there by bus, after the boat trip (you get there easily in 15 minutes, although the maps may confuse you) and we stopped at the Viking Ship Museum ( not really much to see, but if you are interested in the subject, this is something for you).
Then, we walked until the FRAM Museum which consists of the Norwegian boat FRAM that was the first one to reach BOTH the most northern and the most southern places ever.
I am shipping this place so much. (Got the pun? Still no? Okay…)
‘This is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! Is this the original boat? May I climb here? Can we see a movie about it? Is there public access to the engine? May I go again? OH MY GOD, did you just project the Northern Lights on the ceiling while I was on the magnificent ship of Roald Amundsen? I may rest in peace now.’ – Laura, the hyper-active and ultra-curious 8 year old version of me
Open inside and outside. Do not miss climbing on top of it, as you can see there lots of parts of the city. The building is considered to be the second most beautiful opera in the world, after the one in Sydney.
The City Hall
That must be the most beautifully interior painted city hall I have seen by now.
That big empty space may be considered useless, but it’s actually great for concerts.
Tip: Free entrance
The Royal Palace and Gardens & The Changing of the Guard
Definitely not as spectacular as the Buckingham Palace, however it’s still worth a visit.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go inside, as the King was home. Bummer.
What to eat: traditional pastry (try the skoleboller – it’s delicious!), smoked salmon, their special soups, Norwegian goat cheese
WB Samson cafe
Worth a shot (got the pun? worth a shot/shot of strong coffee? neah? Well, at least I tried).
the WB Samson are great local coffee shops spread around the city.
If you are a sweet tooth like me, then go and ask for the Skoleboller, which is basically a Scandinavian cousin of the donuts, filled with an illegally sweet vanilla cream and covered in industrial amounts of coconut flakes. #NoRegrets
Amazing spot to eat. The atmosphere was perfect and the interior was fantastic!
Try the restaurant’s specialty: beef cheek.
I know it sounds weird, but after being cooked for 4 hours, it’s delicious!
- Bring warm and puffy clothes with you in Oslo. After you think you have enough, add some more.
- Don’t bring too much cash with you. You can pay most things by card 🙂
I hope you have enjoyed this post!
Have a great week-end!