Take the next flight to Oslo and:
- take a stroll in the sculpture park overlooking the city
- warm up with a mug of coffee and a bolle (cardamom bun)
- see a show at the spectacular modern opera house
Oslo is a city where summer means a seemingly never setting sun, autumn and spring are pleasantly temperate despite the fact that Oslo is on a similar latitude to St. Petersburg, and winter is warmed by the glow of lamps and the city’s rich cultural diversity.
Well known for its Viking history and as the seat of the annual Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony, the 1000 year old city of Oslo is both the capital of Norway and its largest city. Within its own area of 454 km², Oslo’s center begins just adjacent to the Oslofjord and from there the city spreads outwardly and uphill. Beyond the city’s residential outskirts lie plentiful forests, accounting for most of Oslo’s size. The center faces the seafront which extends out into the bay and meets the North Sea. With the Central Station to the east and the Royal Palace to the west, all in all, the city center area is small and easily walkable. Of the total population of 850,000, about 20 percent is estimated to be of foreign backgrounds, making Oslo an increasingly multi-national city. airBaltic flights to Oslo land at Gardermoen airport, located 48 km outside of the city in Ullensaker.
The official language of Oslo is the Bokmal form of Norwegian, known as Book Norwegian. A second and lesser used form, the Nynorsk, or New Norwegian may also be found. A small group of Finnish speakers exists, as well as a pocket of Sami speakers, a language similar to Finnish. English is widely spoken so travel to Oslo confidently.
See and Do
From your hotel, make way on foot through this easily walkable city, starting at the award-winning, ship-shaped Opera house and climb atop to see spectacular views of the city in the summer. The main street of Karl Johans ends at the Royal Palace and along the way you can also see one of Oslo’s many museums, which can be visited with an Oslo Pass to save on ticket costs. Travel to Oslo’s Rådhuset or City Hall, home of the annual Nobel Peace Prize with a hall of impressive murals in the entranceway. Also in the center, find your way to the medieval Akershus festning, built in 1299 and an example of the period’s fortresses, and get lost within its eery stone corridors, or catch a glimspe of the Oslofjord from its towers. For those tourists set on exploring the pride of Norway’s art, head off next to the newly re-opened Henrik Ibsen Museum, the Munch Museum showcasing the painter’s distinctive work and of course, the National Gallery, where entrance is free.
If your city-break allows for extra time, do take a summer ferry out to the peninsula of Bygdøy, where you can explore the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, an open air museum covering much of Norway’s history, as well as the Viking Ship Museum, sure to be a delight with its skeletons and two ancient vessels from the age of raiders in horned helmets.