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The First-Timer’s Guide to Oslo
Travelling to Oslo? Here are some of our top picks tips for discovering and experiencing Oslo - especially for first timers.
It’s not always easy finding your way around a new city, or knowing what the must-sees are. So, if you’ve just booked your first visit ever to the Norwegian capital, but have no idea how to spend your days, don’t worry, we have the top visits listed for you!
Oslo Opera House
This you cannot miss. The Oslo Opera House has become a landmark since it was opened in 2008. Situated beautifully by the waterfront of the Oslofjord in Bjørvika, Oslo, it is an incredible piece of art with its marble and glass exterior. It has won several national and international awards because of its extraordinary architecture, and was named World Cultural Building of the Year in 2008. The opera boasts three big stages and a total of 1100 rooms. If you won’t settle with admiring the beautiful exterior of the opera, you can visit their website and see what performances are available when you visit.
This is an area full of life and activity. It’s situated in the city center just by the waters of the Oslofjord. Aker Brygge used to be a shipyard area but was remade into this new and hip city area in the 80’s. Since then it has evolved and now it’s one of Oslo’s most popular neighbourhoods where you’ll find a wide range of restaurants, stores and entertainment. In the summer months Aker Brygge is full of people enjoying the beautiful view
Karl Johan Street (Karl Johan Gate)
Even though this street might be a bit touristy, it is a street you cannot miss. It’s the main street of Oslo and there is a reason for its popularity. Carl Johan Street takes you from Oslo Central Station all the way down to the royal castle. Along the way you’ll pass many shops, restaurants and other sites, among them the National Theatre.
Stay close to the street at Comfort Hotel Xpress Central Station.
The Royal Palace
The Norwegian Royal Palace was built in the 19th century to be the residence of King Charles the 3rd and is now the residence of the current Norwegian monarch. The palace has 173 rooms and is surrounded by a big and beautiful park where you can admire plants, trees, flowers and statues. The perfect walking area on a sunny day!
This park is a must see for everyone who hasn’t been in Oslo before. The Vigeland Park is packed full with sculptures made from bronze and granite, 212 to be exact. It is not only a popular attraction for tourists, but also for the locals, as they are more than happy to hang out here during the warmer months, enjoying a picknick or the sun. In the park you’ll also find a café and the Vigeland Museum. Gustav Vigeland is the artist who modelled all of the sculptures you can see in the park, all in full size, without any help. It’s easy to spend some time strolling around here.
Photo: @emyrslo via Instagram
The area of Grünerløkka is one of the most hip in Oslo. It is known as a working class area but has gone through a transformation the last 20-30 years and becoming very popular. This is the area where you’ll find lots of cute little cafés, and restaurants as well as plenty of shopping and second hand stores. Definitely a place to visit if you want to discover the trendy parts of Oslo!
1,000 tonnes of steel and 60 metres tall, Holmenkollen is a modern, state-of-the-art ski jump designed by the Danish architecture firm JDS Architects. It is one of Norway’s most visited tourist attractions for a reason; the view from the top is truly astonishing with its panoramic view of Oslo and its surroundings. Every winter Holmenkollen hosts World Cup Nordic events. Inside the jump you’ll find the world’s oldest ski museum that displays 4000 years’ worth of skiing history.
Are you ready for your first visit to Oslo yet? If you’re still to book your stay, here’s a list of Nordic Choice Hotels in Oslo.
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