A Mini-Guide to Oslo
I like to believe that I'm the sort of person who doesn't pass up a good opportunity when it comes up. I like to try new things and "expand my horizons" in a lot of different areas. I love travel, and I think that's one of the nest ways I am able to push myself outside my comfort zone.
I haven't been everywhere - yet - and I'm by no means a real travel blogger since I still spend the majority of my time and money in the same 100 square miles, but travel has always been a part of my life and I love it. I'm not too bad at finding my way around new places, so I thought it would be fun to do some little mini-guides to places I've been and what I enjoyed and would recommend.
Even though I don't believe that you should only do things that people have recommended (go have your own adventure, dang it), I know that I always appreciate a few pointers or ideas before a trip so I don't go in completely blind.
And with that, I would like to tell you a few things I really liked about Olso, Norway!
The Oslo Opera House
The opera house is famous for its unique architecture, and it's also really easy to find since it's right across from the train station (which is also really easy to find since it's in the middle of the city). You can walk around and up to the very top of the roof and get a great view, take a formal tour of the inside - which is truly amazing, and get a really cool version of hot chocolate at the cafe inside. There's also a more formal restaurant, if you want to be extra fancy.
It's a good way to start the day since it doesn't take a lot of time, and you can always walk around. Plus the views from the top may help you orient yourself.
The Royal Palace
I haven't ever visited an active royal palace that is so....relaxed. You can basically go all the way up to the building and touch it if you want. The park that surrounds the palace is very open and there were locals picnicking all over the place. You can take a tour of the inside, but make sure you look at all the requirements to purchase a ticket. They only offer tours at certain times, and there are only certain places you can buy the tickets. And, of course, you can't take pictures inside. It's a really nice place to walk around and take a little rest if you need it.
Oslo is already a really easy place to find your way around, and the palace is probably the easiest thing to find. You take the main street all the way up and there it is, sitting at the very top. It's a fun walk to make since there are lots of shops and restaurants on the way there.
Vigeland Sculpture Park
Also known as the "naked park," this h u g e park features statues all by Gustav Vigeland. It's very modern and a bit unusual, which makes it a unique Norway-only experience. You can spend a lot of time here just walking around and visiting the neighboring museum.
You can also take lots of fun and creative pictures with the statues, which you are allowed to touch and climb on all you'd like.
The Viking Ship and Norsk Folkemuseum
Who doesn't want to see a Viking ship that is about a thousand years old? How about three of them? I'm a huge history nerd, so this was one of the places I'd wanted to see for a long, long time. It really did not disappoint.
And for more history, basically right around the corner is the Norsk Folkemuseum, basically a large open air museum about Norwegian history and heritage. I visited another one of these in another part of Norway, but the Norsk Folkemuseum is special because it has a Stave Church. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint.
I have since taken a big long class all about early Scandinavia and Viking Culture, and I could go on and on about the cultural significance of these things and just how much they tell about the lifestyle of the people - but I'll spare you all the details. There are a lot of really interesting documentaries and books out there if you're interested, though.
There a lot of other really interesting and cool things to do in Oslo, but since this is a mini-guide, I'm not going to go in to a whole lot of overwhelming detail. For such a small city, it has an immense amount of culture packed into it. There is also this beautiful and unique blend of the modern and ancient all packed into one place. It's rare to find a European city that can do this. Most of them just tend to have one section that is modern instead of having a 1000 year old building across the street from the largest and most modern shopping center in the country. I'm not complaining, I found it really really cool.
I also loved the Art Museum, where you can see The Scream, and the Askerhus Fortress, which was the Medieval Fortress designed to protect Oslo.
If you do find yourself visiting Oslo any time soon, download the Visit Oslo app for ideas on what to do. It will also tell you if there's any special deals or events going on and is handy to look at if you're not sure what you'd like to explore next.