I went to Oslo, Norway in March 2015, it was my second Northern European country to visit and my second trip to Scandinavia.
How long I stayed
I stayed 3 days and 2 nights, I arrived Friday afternoon and left on Sunday afternoon.
It was March and the weather was as still very cold, it wasn’t more than 4 degrees and the Saturday was overcast making it feel even cooler.
The cost of trip
A return flight from London Stanstead to Oslo Rygge cost £40 return, it would have been £20 but that is a story for another day. 3 days and 2 nights stay at the hostel cost £53, so in all flights and accommodation cost £93.
Where I stayed
I stayed at the Oslo Hostel Central, the hostel was in a good location, being 5 mins walk to Akershus Fortress and Oslo Harbour and 10mins walk from the Oslo central station and Oslo Opera and Ballet House. The hostel was clean and the staff friendly.
What I did
Oslo Cathedral/ Oslo Domkirke
I was privy to watch a youth choir rehearsing for a show, they sounded amazing and truly angelic. Oslo Cathedral/ Oslo Domkirke is gorgeous and I loved the internal decor.
Oslo Ballet and Opera House
I felt like a child at a candy store, I loved that Oslo Ballet and Opera House felt like one giant piece of interactive sculpture. You can walk up the sides onto the roof, the roof has different levels, falls and surface textures to play with. I went there twice, once during the day and the second was at night the view of Oslo were amazing and I got some amazing pictures of the city and of my shadow against the building.
Akershus Fortress sits overlooking Oslo harbour. Akershus Fortress was the first place I went to when I arrived in Oslo, it was a happy accident as I had thought I was going to Old Aker Church but I had misread the map and ended up at the fortress. I visited during early evening, it was quiet and peaceful, a very good place to unwind, I felt serene watching the sun set over Oslo harbour. Entrance is free to the fortress and guided tours can be organised.
Old Aker Church
Old Aker Church is the oldest building in Oslo and was built in the 1100s. A quaint little church that sits high up, the views from the grounds over Oslo are pretty amazing. It is very peaceful, spiritual and a good place to sit and reflect. There are graves on the grounds but I didn’t mind them and I spent an hour there.
I walked from the hostel to the church, the hostel was central located and it took about 30mins to walk there and the same back.
Astrup Fearnley Museet
Astrup Fearnley Museet is one swish gallery, beautifully situated on Oslo bay the modern architecture sits in and compliments the bay area very well.
There is a cafe in the gallery that over looks the harbour, I recommend having lunch there, although it is a little pricey.
Museum of Contemporay Arts/Museet for Samtidskunst
No entrance fee is payable to get into The Museum of Contemporay Arts/Museet for Samtidskunst. The main reason I went to the museum was to see the works by Louise Bourgeois. It was worth the visit as there were other contemporary artist such as Karl Holmquist who I discovered.
The Royal Palace/ Kongehuset
The Royal Palace/ Kongehuset is very clean lines and no drama, you are treated to great views of central Oslo from the palace. The best time to visit is around 1.30pm as the changing of the guards takes place at this time daily.
Just walking around
I walked everywhere in Oslo and I came across many things that made me stop and take a picture.
What I ate
Norway is expensive for eating out generally but you can also find inexpensive good quality food. It was recommended that I try whale meat, however I couldn’t bring myself to try it.
My booking at the hostel included breakfast which was served buffet style. The breakfast was very good with a variety to choose from. Cheekily, as I knew food is expensive in Oslo and as I was on a budget, I made packed lunches at breakfast.
As with Stockholm (read my post on Stockholm) I found a good Sushi and Thai restaurant where I ate most of my dinners. The sushi selection and pad Thai were delicious.
Pastel De Nata
The coffee shop across the road from my hostel did a good deal on coffee and cake for £4 The coffee was good and the cake even better.
My Ratings on Oslo
Oslo was an interesting city, I loved the museum and galleries, there is also The City hall and The Nobel Peace centre to explore.
People/friendliness = 5/10
The people in Oslo were even less friendlier than in Stockholm. Perhaps the northern chill gets into their bones.
Unfortunately for Oslo I went to Stockholm first and so I was forever comparing the two cities. I found Stockholm to be the more photogenic of the Scandinavian siblings. Nevertheless it is not to say that Oslo is not a beautiful place it is, but her sister just got more of the looks.
My motto is good grub is good grub. I didn’t eat any traditional Norwegian meal but the food I had tasted good.
Affordability = 4.5/10
Compared to London my home city, Oslo is expensive but with careful planning you can have a relatively inexpensive trip like I did.
Oslo has a vibe of pride, the Norwegians love their country/city and their country/city loves them back. It also has a chilled vibe which is good for a main city.
Overall = 7/10
Oslo was an interesting place to visit, I loved Akershus Fortress, Old Aker Church and playing on the Oslo Opera and Ballet house. It was a good experience and served to quell part of my desire to visit Northern European countries. At present I have no desire to return but I am grateful I have been.
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Or if you want any advice for your trip leave a comment and I will be sure to do my best to help you.