Date of stay: Jan 2013
Tour or pre planned: Pre planned
A city is what you make of it and on my travels to Oslo I met some people who couldn’t wait to get out of the city. It was the middle of winter, and they had exhausted the museum that Oslo had to offer. Fortunately I had a different experience; I stayed away from the history side of things, and went for the outdoors.
Oslo is a lovely city nestled in the south east of Norway. It has plenty of parks and is apparently very nice in the summer time. It has a great geography, with part of the city up on a hill with great outlooks over the city. Oslo is also only a short drive away from some amazing scenery around the fjords.
Make sure you dress warm, because it can get down to -25 degrees Celsius on a bad day (we had blue sky days and it was only -15 degrees, a bit milder)
Things to do:
Sledding: we hired sleds for 125 NK (all day hire) from Frognerseteren (on the number 1 metro train line) Sled hire. The general idea is that you sled down the track (about 2km long, takes about 5minutes to get down), then jump on the train back to the top station to do it again. Very fun and well recommended
Visit the opera house: there are plenty of musicals/events on so have a look, if you are lucky you can get cheap tickets last minute. We went to a musical for 100 NK each, it was a great time, even if it was in Norwegian. During the day, you can also climb up onto the roof of the opera house, which again gives great views over the city and harbour.
Ice swimming: speaks for itself, go for a jump in the fjord. It might sound crazy, but it is very rewarding, once you have warmed up.
Visit the Olympic park: go on the train to Lillehammer station. You can look at the massive ski jumps, and where the cross country skiing is. You can also hire skis and have a go.
Take a ferry out to the 4 main islands in the harbour: an easy way to escape the city, even if you are still within a stone’s throw of it. Some really nice walks are around these islands, and holidays homes which I’m sure are very nice in the summer. You can buy a public transport ticket with includes all trains, buses and these boats.
Things to watch out for:
Money: Norway is the most expensive country in the world. Keep an eye on your budget. ONE beer from the supermarket (500ml) was 27 NK which is about £3.20 British Pounds ( or $6 NZD, $5 AUD)
Don’t lick the poles: Not only is it very unhygienic, but if you have ever watched the movie Dumb n Dumber, you will know why.
The Norwegian smile: It's very rare as Norwegians are well known for not being very open with their personalities, so they can be hard to crack. Once you have something in common with a local then they tend of open up and are very nice people on the whole.
Would you recommend this destination: Yes
Overall rating: 4 out of 5