City Guide: Oslo
We visited Oslo, the Norwegian capital on our way to the Seychelles as well as on our return. The two day trips couldn’t have been any different. One day it was cloudy and raining heavily with a cold breeze, the other day it was incredibly sunny and warm.
So in the end we got to see the city from two very different perspectives as you will notice by looking at the pictures. Oslo is by all means a very beautiful city. It has a rich history, royal roots and lots of greenery. With a population of nearly 700,000 people it is a hub for trade, banking, shipping and the maritime industry.
Oslo ranks among the top ten of the richest cities in the world and I can surely understand why people would want to live here, but see for yourself in this city guide!
Oslo Opera House
The Oslo Opera House is situated opposite of the central station facing the Oslofjord. Its design was chosen out of 350 entries and construction works finished in 2007.
Since then the modern building has hosted many shows and operas. Its design allows for visitors to walk on top of the roof to enjoy a beautiful view over the Fjord.
Oslo City Centre – Cathedral and Central Station
From the Opera House we walked towards the Cathedral in the city centre. The Cathedral dates back to the late 17th century, and has undergone a series of renovations between 2006 and 2010. Oslo Cathedral is located opposite of Strotorvet Station, a lively area which even had a nearby flower market on our first visit.
Behind de Cathedral there is a U-shaped stonebrick area, the Brannvakta (Historic Fire Watch) with nice cafés. This area looked particularly appealing and cosy to be, unfortunately as always we were a bit time constraint and didn’t have time to sit down there.
Akershus Fortress in Oslo
Akershus Fortress is a popular touristic site in Oslo, so we surely didn’t want to miss out on this one. Entrance is free and you can walk around the fortress, which was built under King Håkon V. Its aim was to protect the city.
Its mainly been used for military purposes and is still used by the military today, but also once served as a prison. There are also several museums within the fortress nowadays. From one side of the Akershus Fortress you can also spot the City Hall’s Clock Tower:
Oslo – Karl Johans Gate
Karl Johans Gate is THE main street in Oslo. It connects the central station and the Royal Palace.
The approximately 1 km long street hosts many impressive sites and buildings, like the National Theatre, some old University buildings and Oslo Cathedral surrounded by the Fire Watch. So on a rainy or sunny day, be sure to walk along this route as you can spot many sights here.
Royal Palace and Garden in Oslo
Once you have walked up the entire Karl Johans Gate you reach the Royal Palace and the Royal Gardens. We didn’t make a visit inside (partly because of time constraints, and also because there seemed to be some important visitor to be around). When I was scrolling through our Oslo pictures I noticed the immense difference the weather can make on a picture. Look at these two taken just over a week apart from each other!
Behind the castle you will find the Royal Palace Gardens, that you can walk through for free. To be honest I didn’t find these particularly spectacular, but there’s a nice little pond and lots of families seemed to spend their free time there.
From the Royal Palace Gardens we decided to walk to the Vigeland Park. On our way we spotted some really beautiful embassies and villas and just had to take a little détour to enjoy the architecture.
Vigeland-installation in Frogner Park in Oslo
The Frogner Park is a well-know, public park in Oslo. Its main attraction is the sculpture park (Vigeland-installation). There are many different sculptures to be found within, of different size and nature, but all quite interesting.
To be honest these weren’t the sort of “typical” statues I would have expected to see. The installation is the largest of its kind created by a single artist and is the major tourist attraction in Oslo. Apart from the “human sculptures” there is also a nice fountain and a monolith.
Our overall impressions of Oslo
Oslo has many facets and is a very beautiful city to visit. After our two-day trips I can just really recommend visiting it. It is indeed a very expensive place to be, even for tourists, but its worth it and the people are very friendly and welcoming. Apart from the touristic sites I outlined above we came across many more pretty buildings, and I am sure there is still more to explore in Oslo.
Do you have any questions about Oslo? Feel free to ask or share your impressions in the comments!