Norway’s Fascinating Capital: Cultural and Enriching Attractions Only in Oslo

Oseberg Viking ship Oslo 

Clean and pristine, Oslo is a city with wealth and beauty as well as a thriving art
and scene, and fascinating history. Polished neo-classical buildings grace
the spotless streets, contrasting beautifully with pockets of tall glassy and ultra-chic

With one of the strongest economies in the world most things don’t come cheap, however things are not always as expensive as you might think, and this wealth and fortune makes Oslo (and Norway in general) a very special travel destination with extremely high standards to enjoy in all aspects of a visit.
Oslo city

Being surrounded by unspoilt hills, lakes and forest, the great outdoors is always within reach, and is greatly appreciated. People living in Oslo respect the countryside enormously and simply love to enjoy the wonderfully fresh air; skiing in winter, hiking in summer, and eating and drinking al fresco in the city in up-and-coming Aker Brygge all year round no matter what the weather.

Viking Ship Museum (Vikingshipshuset)

An enormous simplistic building houses the intact genuine Oseberg Viking ship
along with other expertly restored Viking ships and fantastic artefacts with wonderful
English descriptions. The cost is surprisingly reasonable – around £7 per adult, and
a discount is applied for students. Photography is allowed, and great little coves in
the walls afford higher up vantage points for taking photos of the full lengths of the

The Oseberg ship is the only one of its kind in such perfect condition, and it is a fine
example of such an ornate Royal Viking ship. The interesting plaques describe the
details of this stunning structure’s use for short and important ceremonious journeys,
and the other impressive, more stout and robust ships’ longer journeys and practical

The fascinating carvings, jewellery and fabrics, and the mystery of the
wooden 'monster' heads make this experience much more than a simple trip to a
dusty museum - this is a journey through history to ancient times which teach us
much about our culture today.

Nobel Peace Prize Centre

Oslo Nobel Peace Prize CentreSituated at the recently renovated and trendy part of town by the water - Aker-Brygge - this interactive and educational learning centre, museum and exhibition space is housed inside a beautiful Neo-Classical building just opposite the imposing and modern-looking town hall where the Nobel Peace Prizes themselves are actually awarded.

Exhibited at the time of writing, the chemical warfare exhibition shows stunningly captured photography of the UN arms control experts in the field, in dangerous war zones such as Libya; and various artefacts and information demonstrating the devastating impact of chemical weapons used in various conflicts throughout modern
Oslo Nobel Peace Prize Centre

Wandering around the fantastically interactive displays in the rest of the Nobel Peace Prize Centre is a delightful and stimulating experience. The dark prize-winners' room is addictive, with its atmospherically illuminated interactive touch-screens depicting individual prize winners and fascinating information about their work. Downstairs,
great sensory boxes for children, centred around food, are found along with the huge
colourful, visual displays on world-wastage, human consumption and the changing
Oslo Nobel Peace Prize Centreplanet. The enormous state-of-the art screens for choosing and reading about the various ways individuals can help save or change the planet make inspiring reading, and it is almost impossible to come away from this experience without feeling just a little guilty for even being there at all, unless you cycled all the way to Oslo...

Holmenkollen Ski Jump

Oslo HolmenkollenOslo's enormous iconic ski jump can be seen from the city in various locations, perched on a hill in the Nordmarka area - Oslo's Northern municipality. The little museum at the ski jump is great for a little skiing history, and a fantastic simulator lets you experience the jump for real from the dizzying heights at the top (as real as you'll get unless you're a professional anyway).

Vigeland Sculpture Park

Oslo Vigeland Sculpture ParkOslo Vigeland Sculpture ParkNorwegian-born Gustav Vigeland's incredible array of figurative sculptures never cease to amaze visitors and locals alike. In this large and wide-open park space, the prominent and wonderfully carved obelisk rises above the surrounding stone carvings. This exquisitely depicted tower of humanity climbing and thriving, signifies the humans' ascent to the top over one-another and makes a unique and provoking centre-piece.

On the way into the centre of the park crossing the bridge over the river, the locals' favourite sculpture 'Angry Child' can be seen amongst his adult counterparts, and his metallic hand glints in the soft light, worn shiny by the many visitors holding his hand posing for a photo.

A museum about Gustav Vigeland and his works can be found near the entrance to the park. As most places in Oslo, the park can be reached by metro, bus, or tram (the Frogner Plass stop on the tram).

Oslo Opera House

Oslo OperahusOslo OperahouseRising up, seemingly from the water of the Oslofjord, is the sleek glassy blue and white Opera House. This modern structure is a wonderful place to wander around outdoors, enjoying the wide-open spaces, slanting edges, and of course the opportunity to walk on the roof and marvel at the view.

Hotels & Restaurants

Four-star Radisson Blu hotels are great luxury or high-end options, with their
wonderfully extensive breakfasts. Good deals can be found at the Nydalen hotel
which is further out than the city centre one but literally opposite a T-bane station.
A unique and stunning 4-star hotel up in the hills near the Oslo Vinterpark and
Holmenkollen is the Rica Holmenkollen Park Hotel. It has spotless stylish rooms and
a grand foyer with beautiful modern art and very welcoming staff. There are also
fantastic views of the city and the Oslofjord, and a bus stop right outside.

Eating out in Oslo is a delightful and classy experience. In place of greasy-looking
cheap eateries, the streets of this city are lined with a fantastic variety of beautiful,
genuine restaurants, often without the price tag that you would expect.

Norwegian chain Egon is an atmospheric grill-type restaurant, with tasty dishes
and a lot of choice on the menu. and a pizza buffet is available in the early
evening for around £10 each. Head to Olivia in Aker Brygge for a high standard of
Mediterranean food and a beautifully decorated interior. Main dishes are between
£14-£16 each at both of these highly recommended restaurants.

Lise Griffiths
Copyright 2014


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