Top Six Things to Do in Oslo
Having always in the past wanted to go to Oslo for a long weekend, I stopped in the Norwegian capital for a couple of days after my trip to the Arctic. Oslo’s waterside location is stunning: the city sits at the top of a horse-shaped fjord. Regardless of the city’s relatively small size (the population is just over 600,000), it is grand, energetic and prosperous. I had the most wonderful time exploring this city, and I would highly recommend it as a potential city break destination. Here are my top picks of what to do in Oslo.
1. KARL JOHANS GATE
Spend an afternoon exploring Karl Johans Gate, the epicentre of Oslo, and its ambient surroundings. Karl Johans Gate is a bustling tree-lined promenade, surrounded by many well-known grand hotels and restaurants. Nearby, you will come upon the imposing Royal Palace, home of the Norwegian Royal Family. Have lunch at the Grand Café, a historic old-fashioned restaurant, and a former favourite eating establishment of Henrik Ibsen, Norway’s most famous playwright.
2. OSLO OPERA HOUSE
Climb all over Oslo’s most prominent performing arts centre, opened in 2008. Oslo Opera House is the most unlikely playground for both locals and tourists; I had such fun scrambling all over this building’s gentle slopes of white Italian marble. From the vast rooftop of the Opera House, you can enjoy great views of Oslo’s city centre.
3. AKER BRYGGE
Spend a few hours wandering around Aker Brygge, Oslo’s new and lively waterfront development. Here you will find many restaurants, bars and shops, as well as the most beautiful apartments. I really enjoyed an al fresco lunch of Norwegian salmon and people watching at Louise Restaurant & Bar. Afterwards, dedicate an hour or two to sunbathing with the locals.
4. THE VIKING SHIP MUSEUM
If you only have time to go to one museum, you must make your way to the Viking Ship Museum. This relatively compact museum is most famous for a completely Oseberg ship, excavated from the largest ship burial in the world. This impressive ship, measuring 21.5 metres long by 5.1 metres wide, dates back to the early ninth century. It was discovered practically intact along with a wide assortment of grave goods as well as two female skeletons. The Oseberg ship was excavated in the early twentieth century, and it is one of the finest objects surviving from the Viking age. There are also two other ships on display, as well as copious other fascinating Viking objects: sledges, horse carts, clothes, ornaments, and many other household objects.
5. THE MUNCH MUSEUM
You cannot leave Oslo, without seeing Edvard Munch’s world-famous painting The Scream, currently on display at the Munch Museum alongside a world-famous fossil of Ida, the oldest complete fossil of a primate (it is 47million year-old!). The Munch Museum is dedicated to the life and oeuvre of Edvard Munch, Norway’s most famous artist. The museum is home to more than half of the artist’s entire portfolio of oil paintings, as well as at least one copy of all his prints.
6. EKERBERG RESTAURANT
For a truly special dinner with breath-taking views of the city and the harbour, head to Ekerberg Restaurant. This restaurant is situated on a hillside in Ekerberg Park, a short-taxi drive from the city centre. The restaurant serves up delicious food, and provides perhaps the best locale in the city for watching the sunset. You can also enjoy a sundowner and more simple food on restaurant’s terrace.
And some more random shots around the city…