OSLO, NORWAY: All roads lead to Rome, the say. But you can also arrive in the capital of Norway in some slow and magnifique ways you may never forget. There are two luxury ships arriving in Oslo every morning, one from Kiel in Germany and the other from Copenhagen in Denmark. The final part of the journey will include scenery from the ships in Oslofjorden with all the cliffs and rocks at breakfast and before arriving Oslo.
The capital of Norway is attractive especially in summer, when it is covered in sunshine. Expect world-class museums, fine dining, glitzy shopping centres, the Royal Castle, nightlife, plenty of outdoor activities and to pay 12 euro for a pint of beer.
Check in. Oslo has plenty of hotels and small B&Bs and the standards are quite high. Everything in Norway is expensive, however accommodation is at a regular European level. We recommend Hotel Christiania, perfect located next to the harbour and the Central Station and close to the 17th-century dome, Domkirke, and its arcades. Thon Hotels are a cheaper alternative with 15 hotels in Oslo. thonhotels.no
Norwegian food. Seafood plays a dominant role and Norwegians consume seafood an average of more than three times a week and above all they eat farmed salmon. But also cod, smoked and salted fish, fish soup and pickled herring and gravlaks, consisting of salmon marinated in a dill mixture and served with a piquant mustard sauce. You might be surprised by the nation’s gastronomic diversity and be ready for pancakes, Jarlsberg cheese, fruit jam, sour cream, hot dog and salted meat of lamb – followed by a layer cake filled with whipped cream and jam (bløtkake)
Lunch. There is no system of warm school lunch, and all children bring a packed lunch to school. It usually consists of open sandwiches with cheese or salami toppings. Food Hall at Vulkan is a center for Norwegian food culture with over 30 specialty shops, cafes and eateries offering food and drink high quality, with emphasis on special items that are not found elsewhere city. Here both chefs and most people shop for everything from raw materials from Norwegian small-scale producers to foreign special imports.
For an excellent lunch or dinner we recommend “Stattholdergaarden”, Address: Raadhusgate 11. Many years ago the owner, Chef Bent Stiansen, won the desirable Bocuse d`Or, a contest considered the culinary World Cup. The Chef is still going strong with one Michelin star.
Hot Dog. Thick, meaty and tasty with countless of garnishes. This is how they make a hot dog at Wurst, a former cocktail bar serving the hottest dog in Oslo. The sausages are grilled for five or six minutes, served with bread or potato cakes and all you need. Wurst.no Paul´s Boutique is located a bit off central Oslo, but still worth the short trip to Alexander Kiellands plass. This is the place for tea, coffee and freshly pastry during the day, while the nights is the place to enjoy cocktails.
Walk in the park. A popular choice is the Frogner Park, located in the Frogner area. Here the highlight is the Vigeland Sculpture Park with 212 bronze and granite sculptures. Entrance is free.
Overlooking the city Ekebergparken is a relatively new sculpture park filled with 31 art works by some of the biggest names in contemporary art. The visionary Christian Ringnes spent 35 million euro on art and to build the park and he hopes to build a tramway from the new Munch museum to the sculpture park. Next to the park you will find the renewed Ekeberg restaurant.
Events. Norway’s Constitution Day is May 17th with Children’s parade, which is greeted by the royal family from the balcony of the Royal Palace. Some 100,000 people, many dressed up in national costumes, are gathered in the city to participate in the main festivities.
Afternoon opera, Saturday afternoon opera with “Opera to the people”. The doors and ticket sales start at 2.30 pm. Sale of wine, beer, coffee, sodas and snacks.
More to explore. Start by the fjord and a visit to the opera house. Norway’s home of opera is a striking structure of granite, marble and glass, resembling two slabs of ice. Operaen.no The Nobel Peace Centre occupies an old railway station at Radhusplassen and hosts an exhibition and offers insights into previous Peace Prize winners.
Akershus Fortress is a former castle and fortress built in the 1290s upon cliffs by the harbour. Entrance is free, and you can explore the two museums located inside, the Norwegian Armed Forces and Norwegian Resistance museums, and the sweeping views of the city from the towers.
Avoid. Oslo has some problems with organized robbers mostly from Eastern Europe. They will distract you and then rob you and they often occur in crowds. There is a hotel bar on Aker Brygge charging 15 pounds for a drink of Gin & Tonic with lemon and ice at daytime. Name of the hotel; The Thief.
Meet the locals. Try to catch them on May 17, the Constitution Day, waiving the flag, when they wear capes and silver-buckled shoes, parading through Oslo like delegates at a Lord of the Rings convention. Today the Norwegians are all millionaires, the Saudis of the North, immune to the global economic crises and don’t care about paying 12 euro for a beer. Norwegians may seem a bit shy, but talking about the weather is a Norwegian “ice-breaker”. Their humour tends to be dry and witty, with a touch of irony. If you travel to the North, tell a Norwegian their country is the most beautiful in the world and you have a very rich friend for life.
Explore the famous sights of Oslo:
- Norwegian National Opera & Ballet
- Vigeland Sculpture Park
- Norwegian Parliament
- The City Hall
- Norwegian Folk Museum
- Viking Ship Museum
- Kon Tiki Museum / Fram Museum
- Akershus Fortress
- Nobel Peace Center
- Holmenkollen Ski Jump
Make it Happen!
Touch Down: Oslo’s main airport, Oslo Lufthavn, lays 47km northeast of the centre. Main airlines arrive from European cities and from Bangkok, Dubai, Doha, Moscow, New York, and Miami. Train is the most convenient transport from the airport to the city. Oslo offers public transportation by busses, trams, subway, ferries and local trains. More information visitoslo.com
Stay: Hotel Christiania or Thon Hotels
Eat: Grosch, Address: Bankplassen 3. Lunch café in the National Museum of Architecture with a charming, informal atmosphere. The menu consists of hearty sandwiches and a selection of small dishes. For dessert you can choose between temptations like crème brûlée, homemade cake and chocolate mousse.
Play: Horgan's Bar & Restaurant; On Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, Horgan's fills up with a people who party the night away to varied music from some of Oslo's best Djs. The popular Student Thursdays have free admission.
Mini Guide: The Oslo Pass gives free entry to more than 30 museums and attractions, free travel on all public transport, free entry to outdoor swimming pools and lot of discounts around the city. Expo Arte Jewellery Design is a gallery, workshop and shop with jewellery in gold, silver and platinum. The gallery mounts several exhibitions every year featuring unusual and often thought-provoking work by international artists.