Well actually the title could be 24-hours in Oslo because we found out that is all you really need to see the Capital of Norway. I trust my opinion of their capital city will not offend the wonderful Norwegians. It is just that my husband and I scheduled 48-hours of time in Oslo and afterwards felt we only needed 1 day. Don’t get me wrong, Oslo is a clean and beautiful city that is easy to get around. But in our opinion compared to the rest of Norway it fell a little flat. Maybe one reason we felt this way is because we live in NYC and try to avoid big cities while on vacation. Or maybe the vibe of Oslo didn’t touch us deeply like the original capital city of Trondheim did. Either way you cut it we would like to share some of our dos and don’ts peppered with travel tips.
+Get a 24-hour Oslo Pass. You can download the Oslo Pass App right onto your smart phone. It gives you access to free transportation (buses, trams, local trains, and some ferries). It also gives your free access to most museums and attractions and many discounts on other things to do.
+Visit Bygdoy Peninsula (museum island). This area is close to the city center and has some of Oslo’s best museums and waterfront views. My favorites were The Fram Museum, The Kon-Tiki Museum, and The Viking Ship Museum. Take the bus from the city center to get there and take the small ferry back to the waterfront.
+Rent a bike and explore on your own. Oslo has a City Bike system that allows tourists to rent bikes for short terms (I paid 50 NOK’s for 24 hour rental). These bikes are okay but aren’t the easiest to drive. We were lucky to get a free bike rental at our hotel. Take several hours to explore this pretty bike friendly city. Just watch out for the tram tracks, your front wheel can get stuck in them if your not careful.
+Visit Frogner/Vigeland Park. Here you will find a beautifully designed park that has an airy and open feel. You will also get to check out the many interesting nude statues created by Norway’s most famous sculptor Gustav Vigeland. Some of these statues are a bit strange but nothing too crazy.
+Check out Karl Johan’s Gate. This is Oslo’s main street. It is closed off to vehicular traffic and you will find many street café’s, vendors, shops, and the likes on this vibrant street.
+Visit the Waterfront Opera House. I know this one may sound a bit cliché since Oslo’s Opera House is pictured in most tour guides and pamphlets. But I have to say I am glad I stopped by for a visit. While we were there the local TV station was filming some music group. As we climbed on the roof of the building we were able to enjoy the company of many tourists and Oslonians as the music blared in the background.
-Don’t Stay at the Smarthotel. The Smarthotel should be called the tiny room hotel. Seriously this hotel is cheap for Oslo ($125 per night) but the rooms are way too tiny. Unless you don’t mind sleeping in a human hamster cage, I suggest a place we loved on Airbnb. This spacious 1 bedroom place (for the same price $125) had a great host and great spacious accommodations with balcony.
-Don’t rent a car in Oslo. You do not need a car to get around Oslo. Parking is limited to paid street spots and garages. The public transportation system, walking, and biking are all better alternatives.
-Don’t eat out for every meal. Norway is an expensive country to visit when it comes to the cost of food and alcohol.Even the fast food restaurants can be costly. Buy food for breakfast and lunch at the local market and then eat out for dinner.
-Don’t take the Flytoget. If you fly into Oslo’s airport don’t waste the extra money on the Flytoget train to the city center. Take the local NSB train from the airport to Oslo S or the National Theater stop. It is takes an extra 5 minutes but it is almost half the price.
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