Another day with rains and grayish sky. It has been liked this for days in Hamburg. The new semester has started again, master has recently become busier with his school jobs, which means no more traveling… While staying at home, I recall about our last adventures and the trip to Oslo in summer was the first thing that came up in my mind.
Oslo – Norway’s capital and its most populous city – left a strong impression on me because of its greenness. The name Oslo is probably derived from the word Ás (or Ås in modern Norwegian), which refers to the deities in Old Norse, and lo, meanings “meadow”, yielding roughly “the meadow of the gods”. The city lies at the northernmost end of Oslofjord and like the rest of Norway, Mother Nature has managed to make her mark here with soothing green hills, woodlands, and deep blue lakes.
Besides its natural beauty, Oslo also boasts overwhelming man-made beauty. The city is home to world-class museums and galleries rivaling anywhere else in Europe, varying from a 14th-century fortress to the distinctive Fram museum to the extraordinary open-air showcase of works by Norway’s best-loved sculptor, Gustav Vigeland.
The most spectacular attraction lies, however, at its waterfront. Within a couple of years, the old harbor has been transformed into a modern glamorous promenade filled with new restaurants and bars, a futuristic-looking museum, and even a man-made beach. The centerpiece of the city’s rejuvenation is the magnificent Oslo Operahuset (Oslo Opera House) which powerfully evokes a fjord-side glacier. Nevertheless, it seems the change won’t stop there as city leaders want to make Oslo become the cultural capital of the whole Scandinavia.
- English is widely spoken in Oslo, as well as in other parts of Norway. So don’t worry if you cannot speak Norwegian.
- Norwegians are friendly and it is not difficult to start a conversation with them.
- Credit card and some European bank cards are widely accepted, we did not even have to exchange money (10 Nkr = around 1€).
- In comparison to the winter season, the price for accommodation sinks during July and August.
- Restaurants in Oslo are generally expensive. Another option: the Mathallen Oslo. A trendy, post-industrial-like food court offers high-quality food for a good price, and the best part: you don’t have to eat alone.
- Taxi is expensive and unnecessary because all attractions and the airport are easily accessible by public transport.
- Oslo Pass is in my opinion quite convenient if you intend to visit many attractions. It grants 24/48/72 hours access to all museums and free public transport within Oslo region (including the boat to Bygdøynes Penisula) plus discounts at many cáfes and restaurants. The pass can be either ordered online and pick up at the Tourist Center or bought directly there.
Have you been in Oslo? Do you have any tips or recommendations for me? I would be glad to hear from you.