Oslo, is the largest city and capital of Norway. A beautiful metropolis, with lot of greenery, surrounding parks and forests and a population of 658,390. A compact city with easy access to public transport and cyclists friendly destination. The European Commission awarded Oslo the European Green Capital title of 2019!
I visited Oslo for three days in early March. Temperature, during my stay, was -2 to 3 °C . Early March is still chilly in Oslo. Weather was variable, from sunny to start to all day light snow showers. Arrived in the capital late afternoon and made my way from the airport to the city center. Most affordable way to get in the city Oslo Airport is train NSB. Oslo Gardermoen Airport is the main and most popular airport of Norway, located 50 km from the capital city center. One way ticket is 105 NOK, almost 11 € . Takes 25 min to reach Oslo S, which is the main railway, the largest and central train station of the capital.
Revolut has simplified currency exchange in my travel. Definitely worth it! Top up in pounds and exchanges money without fees in 29 different currencies. All you have to do is check daily the rates. When in Oslo Airport took me one minute to exchange currency from pounds to NOK (Norwegian Krone) with no extra fees and not wasting time. Check it out here: https://bit.ly/2y9KNUN
Karl Johans gate, is a popular shopping district and one of Oslo main streets, a street full of life, usually full of people shopping, relaxing in outdoors cafes and sightseeing. It was a lovely time in the day, weather was a little chilly but bright and sunny.
My accommodation is 20 minutes on foot from city center, a lovely, modern decorated, 3 start hotel in a nice and safe neighborhood, very friendly and approachable staff, high level of cleanliness and affordable prices.
Ellingsens Pensjonat was a fair choice, great budget hotel and I would definitely recommend it. Room fares per night start from 60 – 65 €.
Before my first Oslo night out, I looked for a budget super market to get all essentials. Rema1000 is a budget friendly supermarket and grocery market. Branches are all over the city. There is is a list of products that Norway can be hugely expensive. Rema1000 are among the cheaper shops. With a budget of 20-25€ you can get essentials as wholegrain bread, vegetables, fruits, ham and cheese, bottles of water, yogurt, multi nuts, fresh salads.
Dining in Tukthuset was quite an experience. Ordered a picanha beef steak with chimichurri sause, containing parsley, coriander and chives and red wine (30 €).
Exotic Pisco sour is a must Peruvian cocktail, made of lemon, egg white and sugar (13 €). My overall experience with Tukthuset was mixed: some good, some bad. Steak was ok, sauce was too oily and service uneven. Ambiance and music was fine.
I joined OssKvinner event during International Women day. OssKvinner is a network for women in Oslo that focuses on women’s empowerment and professional development. OssKvinner organises events that aim to encourage women to interact, support female individuals and share experiences.
The following day woke up to a fresh layer of snow and even lower temperature. Dressed well and walked towards city center.
Full day was a sightseeing one, starting with joining a walking tour of Oslo city center. Met with Irina, our tour guide and other participants in The Tiger, Jernbanetorget. Oslo free walking tour is a free tour, based in tips, lasts one hour and a half and departs every day at 10 am. Meet up is in the main square, next to central station Oslo S. No booking is required, you just turn up and join the tour. Irina, our tour guide, a knowledgeable individual, provided us with lots of information about the city and history of country.
WHAT TO SEE
The Oslo Cathedral is located in a busy surrounding, full of department stores and coffee shops. A nice church to visit in the center of Oslo. Espresso Coffee House is nearby, always busy and one of best coffee chains in the city. Delicious Pastries, fresh sandwiches, nice coffee, fruits cakes (a coffee and a berry cake 10 €).
Oslo has plenty of free things to do. Changing of the guards event, takes place every day outside the Royal Palace. The event takes place every day, Monday to Sunday, at 1: 30 pm and lasts more than 30 minutes. Plenty of tourists were outside the Palace waiting for the ceremony to start . Palace buildings and surroundings look wonderful. Palace is open to the public in summer months. Visitors interested in visiting the interior of palace need to join a guided tour.
A sight not to miss is Vigeland Park. Vigeland park is world’s largest sculpture park designed by Gustav Vigeland.
An impressive park, open to visitors 24 hours, all year round, with more than 200 naked statues in the heart of Oslo! Captured my heart ♥ Sculptures are made from bronze and granite and are naked. Sculptures show different stages of human life, from childhood, adult life to parent life and family and partner relations.
Grünerløkka is a popular artistic neighborhood, full of coffee shops, second hand stores, galleries, graffiti and street art. There are many parks in the area and restaurants in budget prices. A walk by the river Akerselva is highly recommended. Liebling is a lovely relaxed coffee shop, serving coffee and breakfast. Nice environment and great music. Affordable prices as well from 4 €.
Khartoum Contemporary Art Center is a cosy bar and art center, inspired by Sudanese culture, hosting exhibitions, live concerts, talks, performances, projects from Africa, Middle East and more. Music varies from house, afrobeat, funk, jazz to hip hop… Sudanese food at its best, great atmosphere and an interesting music scene. Here you can try for the first time: Camel Beer!! Drinks from 10 €.
The Intercultural Museum is an interesting art hub, specialised in promoting cultural diversity, focused in depicting history and stories relevant to immigration and multi-nationalism. Museum is located in an old police station, exhibitions are interactive and staff is very friendly and informative. Free entry.
The Opera house, Operahuset as Norwegians say, is an impressive building of modern architecture in the heart of Oslo, right in the harbour, next to Oslo S, Central railway Station and Karl Johans gate. Opera consists of the Norwegian National Ballet and Opera, National Opera Orchestra and Ballet School. Modern architecture, a building to impress and one of Oslo”s iconic landmarks. New Opera building opened in 2008 and is free to walk in and to the roof. There is a lovely brasserie, restaurant, cloakroom with small lockers and a souvenir shop inside the building. Views are simply stunning from the top of the building. Walk up to the roof. The view is just amazing! Not to be missed!!
- Budget super market Rema1000 – Kiwi .
- London – Oslo Ryanair flight return 60€ (March 2019) .
- The Oslo Pass provides you with free entry to 30 museums, free travel on all public transport and outdoor swimming pools, discounts e.t.c.
- Oslo Pass Prices: 24 hours: 445 NOK (≈ 46 EUR), 48 hours: 655 NOK (≈ 68 EUR), 72 hours: 820 NOK (≈ 85 EUR).