This small vibrant capital of Norway has become a popular tourist destination. It is packed with new and funky neighbourhoods, a cutting edge food scene, museums, parks and is surrounded by the stunning Oslofjord.
The Operahuset or Opera House, is the landmark of the city. It is situated right in the head of Oslo Fjords, and the angled roof is what makes this building special. Visitors are invited to climb up the Opera House where you will have a panoramic view of the Norwegian capital.
Akershus Fortress is another landmark in Oslo and is easily accessible from the nearby Oslo Central Station. It is one of the most important historical sites in the Norwegian capital. The Akershus Fortress and the adjoining castle were built way back in 1299. Many parts are still preserved for tourists to get a glimpse of what Norwegian architecture was like centuries ago. From the top of the castle you can get a panoramic view of Oslo city and also the Operahuset.
An arm of the University of Oslo’s Cultural History Museum is the Viking Ship Museum with its many jaw dropping finds from four different Viking burial sites around the Oslo Fjord. The museum is on the Bygdøy Peninsula and shines thanks to the Oseberg Ship.
Frogner Park is a joyous park for its installations by 20th Century sculptor Gustav Vigeland. There are 212 sculptures in total, in bronze and granite from Iddefjord. Vigeland’s works are Realist and their subjects are bizarre, from a man fighting with babies to a woman being ridden by a baby using her platted hair as reins. Many of these works like the Angry Boy (Sinnataggen) have become identifiers for Oslo. After the sculpture park visit the Vigeland Museum in the Neoclassical building on the southern border.
The Inner Harbour of Aker Brygge is a stylish waterside development with an upmarket shopping precinct and many dining options. On a summer’s day, there are at least 2,500 al fresco seats at the waterfront restaurants.
The Neoclassical Royal Palace is now home and the official seat of King Harald V and Queen Sonja. This plush stucco clad palace is couched in the Royal Palace Park, which can be visited on a guided tour during the summer months.
City Hall is a monumental Functionalist building inaugurated in 1950. The City Hall has a red brick facade and two towers, 63 and 66 metres tall. Those bricks were fired especially for this building and are larger than modern bricks and more akin to those that were used in medieval constructions. Inside and out the City Hall is decorated with depictions of Norwegian historical figures by some leading artists from the middle of the 20th century.
From Oslofjord you can enjoy many kilometres of narrow sounds, little wooded islands with holiday homes, unfrequented coves and tranquil bays. The best way to experience fjord is to board a boat from Pier 3 by the City Hall.
At the home where Henrik Ibsen spent his final 11 years, the Ibsen Museum now stands giving you a privileged glimpse into the life of one of Norway’s cultural giants. After Ibsen passed away in 1906, the interiors of this elegant house were taken apart, ending up with Ibsen’s family and a host of museums. The attention to detail is mind boggling and even the textiles like curtains and tablecloths look like the originals.