Image by Alexandra von Gutthenbach-Lindau from Pixabay
Norway’s capital and home to some half a million citizens, cheerful and cosmopolitan Oslo is the oldest of the Scandinavian capitals.
Its location at the head of an inlet known as the Oslofjord and at the foot of some deep and enchanting woods connects this modern and progressive city inextricably to its Viking past. Oslo is home to some fascinating and enlightening museums and architecture and can boast the title of the gourmet capital of Scandinavia.
Karl Johans gate
Begin your tour of this casual and laid-back city with a stroll along Karl Johans gate, Oslo’s main pedestrian street lined with shops catering for every taste, trendy pavement cafes and entertaining buskers.
Pay a visit to the city cathedral, the Oslo Domskirke, which dates from 1697 and features some stunning and elaborate stained glass. At the top of Karl Johans gate stands the royal palace whose grounds are perfect for a picnic or an opportunity to relax and soak in the sunshine.
Take a day or two to fully explore the delights of Bygdoy, whose peninsula is home to some of Oslo’s most popular attractions, including an open-air museum, fascinating excavated Viking ships at the Vikingskiphuset and the Kon Tiki, Thor Heyerdahl’s famous balsa-wood raft.
While on the peninsula, relax and enjoy the sea breeze on one of the beaches dotted around or simply stroll along the waterfront. Savour the history of Norway by paying a visit to the Norsk Folksmuseum, the largest open-air museum in Norway.
This fascinating and fun-filled experience is one of Oslo’s most popular attractions and features over 140 restored buildings ranging from rustic barns to timber farmhouses. Delight in the live folk music and try your hand at some traditional Norwegian dancing with some local experts.
Another of Oslo’s major plusses is the quality of its parks and gardens. Particularly impressive is the Frognerparken, an idyllic setting where broad lawns, secluded ponds and gently flowing streams lie under the shade of a wide and beautiful variety of trees.
The section of the Frognergarden known as the Vigeland Park is an absolute must. Containing in its charming grounds some 200 granite and bronze sculptures by Gustav Vigeland, Norway’s celebrated sculptor, the park offers surprises and delights at every turn.
Spoil yourself with some of the best cuisine in Scandinavia, immerse yourself in Oslo’s history and culture, stroll its leafy streets and have a bite to eat in the outdoors. Take the time out to appreciate the many charms of Oslo, a city whose charisma captivates every time.