14 May 2023Trip to Oslo
Traveling to Scandinavian countries is a unique and unforgettable experience. As someone who had never been there before, I was pleasantly surprised by the stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and welcoming locals.
To make the most of your day in Oslo, start with a quick breakfast at Oslo Raw Frogner, a beautiful place that pays close attention to details. Enjoy a big portion of acai bowl or avocado before heading directly to the Opera House.
This iconic and impressive building is stunning both inside and out, with incredible views of Oslo from the rooftop. Take a guided tour to explore the opera from the inside, including the stage, behind-the-scenes, and the costume department, and learn about its history and architecture. You won’t regret visiting for an opera, concert, or event.
The entire harbor is an incredible place to explore, whether you want to take a relaxing walk, lounge on the beach (weather permitting, of course), or just enjoy the views. The area is clean and well-maintained, and people take great care not to damage anything.
Next, head to the Munch Museum, a must-visit destination with 13 floors of art featuring not only Munch’s works but also those of various expressionists and impressionist artists. You’ll find not just one, but two more versions of Munch’s famous “Scream” painting that change every hour. The museum also offers an interactive exhibition about Munch’s life. Don’t forget to visit the Sky Bar, which offers breathtaking views of the Oslo harbor and is the perfect place to watch the sunset.
Finish your day with a visit to the restaurant Katla, where the chef combines flavors from different countries in the same dish to create something truly innovative and experimental. The restaurant is both spacious and intimate, with an open kitchen and a varied menu. If you want to try something new and create great gastronomic memories with excellent service, this is the perfect choice for the evening.
On your second day in Oslo, start your morning at the Paradox Museum. It’s a unique concept that exists in several countries, but it was my first time visiting one. The museum is filled with optical illusions that are perfect for taking photos and having a good time. It was fun and I truly enjoyed the experience.
Afterward, head to the National Museum of Arts, which is truly fascinating. As a huge fan of art, I was in heaven. The museum boasts the largest collection of art, architecture, and design spanning a large time frame from ancient to modern times. I was captivated by the exquisite decorative art pieces, such as faience pottery and glasswork from different countries, especially from Norway itself, where production began in the 18th century.
The museum has an impressive collection of dresses, shoes, and accessories, including the exquisite coronation gown of Queen Maud from 1906. One of my favorite exhibits was a room dedicated to Norwegian folk tales, where different trolls and princesses are portrayed with added sound and light effects, making for a truly immersive experience.
There are also several halls dedicated to famous old European masters, such as El Greco, and a collection of masterpieces from Manet, Degas, Monet (during his visit to Norway), Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Modigliani, Picasso, and many others. The museum also features many works by Norwegian artists, including works from the well-known Munch, presenting works from his different periods of life and different styles. And this list is far from inclusive, as there is so much more to see and discover.
After a morning of exploring, there is a nice café on the first floor and a roof terrace with a bar. As another option, enjoy a delicious lunch at the harbor. Although it can be crowded, especially on sunny days, the vibrant atmosphere is worth it. There are many restaurants to choose from, but if have some patience proceed further, and head deeper into the harbor to try Salmon for seafood or Dognvill Burger Tjuvholmen for meat lovers. Treat yourself to some ice cream nearby to cool off.
After lunch, take a boat ride to explore the city’s skyline and the islands of Oslo Fjord. Among other things, you would be able to see the 13th-century Akershus Fortress which is also possible to visit once you finish your boat ride. If you’re a fan of Jo Nesbo’s novels, you’ll feel like you’re in the story when you see these colorful, but so far-from-life, houses.
In the evening, visit Posthalen Drinkhub, a fantastic concept built in a former city post office. There are plenty of different bars that specialize in various drinks where you can order from your table using an app and get your order almost instantly. My favorite bars were Bacco Wine Bar, Tukan, and Guilty Pleasure, making it a great place for a night out.
Starting the day with BFF Oslo in a genially authentic American-style restaurant was an amazing experience. The pancakes are big but tasty, and the egg benedict and avocado toast are perfect. And of course, the milkshakes were a highlight with a huge variety to choose from. I just wish I had room to eat more!
After a delicious breakfast, take a leisurely stroll through Slottpark. See the official Norway royal palace residence and learn about its history. From there, head to the Ibsen Museum, which is dedicated to the famous playwright Henrik Ibsen. Ibsen is second only to Shakespeare in the world of playwrights and is known as the father of realism. His most famous play is “A Doll’s House.” He spent the last years of his life in this apartment and wrote some of his plays there.
Next on our itinerary is the Fram Museum. The museum tells the story of the history behind all modern explorations to the North and South Poles. You will be able to step inside the ship from the 1880s and explore it from the inside. Walking through the cabins to get an immersive experience of what the expeditioners, those brave and obsessed men, had to go through. The Fram was the ship that made its epic voyage exploring new areas in the Arctic and Antarctic. It was truly fascinating to see it up close and learn about its history.
Nearby there is another amazing museum dedicated to the adventurer Thor Heyerdahl.
Who hasn’t read the book or watched the movie about his adventures? The museum has an original balsawood raft called Kon-Tiki with which he and five other crew members crossed the Pacific Ocean in 101 days, covering 8,000 km with the most rudimentary equipment. The expedition was about crossing the Pacific Ocean from Peru in the western direction to prove that the ancestors of Polynesians were from South America and to demonstrate that the ancient inhabitants of South America had the technical ability to inhabit the island of Polynesia. The whole crew reached the earth safe and sound, and the theory was proved. The raft was preserved, delivered to Norway, and now exhibited there. Another boat, the papyrus boat Ra II, was also on display to show that prehistoric civilizations on both sides of the Atlantic could have been in contact with each other. Thor Heyerdahl’s life is an endless source of inspiration. “Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.” – Thor Heyerdahl.
I also wanted to visit the Viking Museum, which is an important part of Norwegian culture. Unfortunately, it was closed during our visit, but I learned that it has real preserved 9th-century boats.
In the end, head to the San Francisco Bread Bowl restaurant for a cozy dinner. The restaurant is known for its special soup in sourdough crusty bread, garlic fries, and refreshing lemonades. They also had a variety of cocktails.
As my trip came to an end, I reflected on all the amazing experiences I had in Oslo. I couldn’t wait to come back and explore more of what Norway had to offer.