Visiting Oslo - What to See and Do
(Oslo Gardermoen Airport OSL, Norway)
is a remarkable city, much to the delight of millions of tourists annually. Budget travellers may find life here somewhat tough, due to the high expense of the city. However, the sights and sounds of Norway's capital are among Scandinavia's most alluring. Whether tourists visit during summer, winter, spring or autumn, Oslo is bound to satisfy.
From the brilliant Royal Palace to the local cathedral, this city boasts a stunning array of magnificent architecture. Oslo's green areas rank amongst the city's main attractions too, with both the Frogner and St. Hanshaugen parks standing as significant sightseeing landmarks in the capital.
The city boasts something of a unique history, which is explained in several major museums dotting the destination. In addition, art galleries have become a symbol of local cultural development. Acclaimed Norwegian painter Edward Munch is well exhibited within the city. Of course, one of the largest footballing events in the world, Ekebergsletta, is part of Oslo's outstanding calendar as well, drawing in thousands of participants from all parts of the globe.
Ten things you must do in Oslo
- Even though the Royal Palace doesn't have the extravagance or global reputation of Buckingham Palace in London, it is still just as breathtaking. Since 2002, public tours have been operating here, allowing visitors to access the lives of the Norwegian monarchs of then and now. Watch the Royal Guardsmen during the changing of the guard if time permits.
- Surrounding Oslo's main church is a Cathedral Bazaar, which now features a plethora of artisans and handicraft vendors plying their trade. Visitors can explore the stalls and merchandise of the market. Many of the items are handmade, and prices are certainly negotiable. Several restaurants and cafés provide restful stops for shoppers.
- The Akershus Festning is a waterfront fortress and castle built during the 13th century. It stands almost in the heart of Oslo, and so tourists can add this site to their downtown sightseeing list. Two military museums are found onsite, but many visitors prefer to simply wonder through the narrow hallways and crevices of the castle. It is difficult not to let the large stone walls intimidate.
- Ski enthusiasts, or those simply interested in outdoor attractions, will have a fascinating experience at Holmenkollen. This ski jump was used for the recent ski jumping World Cup in 2011. The world's oldest winter sport museum is located near the jump. In summer, it is also possible to try mountain biking and trekking throughout the area.
- Even though Norway boasts quite a number of famous art galleries, the National Gallery certainly trumps them all. Much of the art on display inside the gallery comes from Norwegian artists, like Edward Munch. However, there are numerous international artists who have works displayed within the halls of this landmark.
- Just a short distance outside the city of Oslo is the peninsula known as Bygdoy. Here, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History stands proudly for tourists. It is an open-air museum with plenty of sites depicting Norway's historic culture between 1850 and 1980. Attractions like the old woodstore are highlights within this museum.
- Close to the city centre, the Frogner Park is famous for being decorated by sculptures, which were created by Gustav Vigeland. The park has several museums too, including the Vigeland Museum, and a wonderful swimming spot called the Frognerbadet. This is why the park is particularly popular during the summer months, especially since its swimming pools come with slides and diving towers.
- Tours of the Oslo fjords are a must, as there are several famous spots for cruising and embracing these magnificent attractions of Mother Nature. It is best to visit during the warmer months of July or August, as swimming is another popular feature of these trips. Most of the cruise ships ply the waters for just a short time after leaving Oslo.
- St. Hanshaugen is widely regarded as Oslo's best parkland area. It is perched atop the highest hill in the city, providing charming views of Norway's capital. Visitors should spend some time in the park to relax, rejuvenate or maybe even jog. Worth noting, just under a kilometre away is the popular Karl Johan Street.
- Ekerbergsletta is among Scandinavia's most adored festivals. Held during the Norway Cup in August each year, Ekebergsletta is constantly known as the world's largest football tournament. However, this isn't about the spectators, it is very much about the players. There are more than 25,000 football players that usually participate in the event. Visitors always have great fun at the tournament.