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Travel to Oslo

 
 

Oslo

1 July 2014

Enjoy our guide to Norway's capital city

Nestled by the water and extensive woodlands, Norway’s capital city, Oslo, is perfect for strolling around on foot, giving ample opportunity to take in the varied architecture, superb museums and vibrant nightlife. And the residents’ love of outdoor activities means there are plenty of things to do within the city limits, such as kayaking, hiking and sailing. While Norway itself is a relatively young country, the history of the region is captured in the wonderfully preserved ninth century Viking ships, which can be seen in the city’s Viking Ship Museum. And with 18 hours of daylight in the summer, there are plenty of parks in which to enjoy a barbecue before heading into town to indulge in the vibrant café and bar scene.

Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower
As Norway's most visited tourist attraction this spectacular ski jump was opened in 2010 and features the latest ski jumping technology and engineering. The start house is a dizzying 64 meters above the ground and its construction required 100 tonnes of steel. While the jump is worth the visit alone, inside the structure is the Holmenkollen Ski Museum, the oldest of its kind in the world. It details and highlights artefacts encapsulating more than 4,000 years of skiing history and polar exploration.

The Viking Ship Museum
An absolute must visit, The Viking Ship Museum showcases 9th century Viking ships discovered in Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune, as well as other finds from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord. One of the highlights is The Oseberg burial ship, which was excavated by Norwegian archaeologist Haakon Shetelig and Swedish archaeologist Gabriel Gustafson in 1904 and 1905. The ship contained two prosperous women who had been buried in 834AD. Tapestries adorned the inside of the ship and the bodies of the women lay on a raised bed. They had numerous burial gifts with them including clothing, jewellery and animal tributes, some of which can be viewed by visitors.

National Gallery
Boasting Norway’s largest public collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures, the National Gallery’s main draw is Edvard Munch's haunting The Scream. While there are paintings by Cézanne and Manet, it is art from Norway that dominates. The permanent exhibition shows highlights from the collection and national icons from the romantic period until the mid-1900s. On Sundays entrance is free.

The Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park
The famous park is filled with 212 bronze and granite sculptures, but it is also a hang out for residents and visitors to Oslo. Also known as Frognerparken, this is the place to soak up the summer sun while enjoying a barbeque. The Monolith is the most impressive of the sculptures, a column more than 14 metres tall and carved in one single stone consisting of 121 human figures. There is also a museum and a café to enjoy.

POPULATION: 634,000
LANGUAGE: Norwegian
CURRENCY: Norwegian kroner
CLIMATE: Oslo has a humid continental climate. Because of the city's northern latitude, daylight varies greatly, from more than 18 hours in midsummer to around six hours in winter.
FAMOUS RESIDENT: Henrik Johan Ibsen, 19th century Norwegian playwright, theatre director and poet.
WHAT IS OSLO FAMOUS FOR? The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by a committee of five people chosen by the Norwegian Storting (Parliament of Norway).
DID YOU KNOW? Norway is regarded as the birth place of modern skiing.
WHAT TO EAT: Brunost, a brown sweet cheese.

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