Framed by a fjord and forested hills, Oslo, Norway defies expectations. The view from Holmenkollen ski jump is just one of many highs in a city that combines a modern metropolis with breathtaking natural surroundings. Go for a picnic in the Vigeland Sculpture Park or take a dip at a popular Oslo beach en route to the Viking Ship Museum.
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High above Oslo, the neighborhood of Holmenkollen affords inspirational views of the city and a peaceful refuge from the hustle and bustle below. Holmenkollen is easily reached by metro and borders the popular Nordmarka recreational area. Holmenkollen is ideal for hiking and camping in summer and cross-country skiing in winter.
Holmenkollen is also home to one of the top attractions in Oslo: the Holmenkollen ski jump. The view of Oslo from the jump tower is second to none. The ski jump also hosts the oldest ski museum in the world, the Holmenkollen Ski Museum. The museum covers 4,000 years of history with all types of skis on display, from those used by Vikings to Olympic athletes and Norwegian polar explorers.
If you're brave enough, the Korketrekkeren toboggan run, the longest in Oslo, is also not to be missed. Almost as terrifying is the statue of the Holmenkollen troll, which occupies Gratishaugen hill. The 6.7-meter (22-feet) high rock statue is the handiwork of Norwegian sculptor Nils Aas.
Viking Ship Museum
The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo is the most visited in Norway and a fascinating window into the Viking age. The museum holds the Viking ships Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune, as well as other finds salvaged from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord.
The three Viking ships date from the 9th century, and two of them—Gokstad and Oseberg—are remarkably well preserved. The ships were discovered in royal burial grounds and meant to carry the dead over to the other side. Among the other rare treasures on display in the Viking Ship Museum are jewelry, weapons, tools and textiles excavated from the graves.
The Viking Ship Museum is found on the Bygdøy peninsula along with the Kon-Tiki Museum, which charts the expeditions of Thor Heyerdahl, and the Polar Ship Fram, which ferried the Norwegian explorers Nansen, Sverdrup and Amundsen to both poles. Nearby, Huk and Paradisbukta are two of the most popular beaches in Oslo come summer.
Vigeland Sculpture Park
Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo is a unique collection of more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and cast iron, all crafted by Gustav Vigeland (1863-1943). Gustav Vigeland was also responsible for the design and layout of the park, a monumental work of art that took a lifetime to complete.
Vigeland Sculpture Park was first opened to the public at the turn of the 20th century, but Gustav Vigeland did not live to see its completion—most of the sculptures were installed around 1950 after his death.
Vigeland Sculpture Park is divided into five main areas: the main entrance, the bridge, the fountain, the monolith plateau and the wheel of life. Together they symbolize the journey from cradle to grave through happiness, grief, fantasy, hope and dreams of eternity.
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A little piece of Thailand in the heart of Oslo. What a place, what a fantastic meal, what an experience!
Eva, air hostess
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Buy fresh shrimp straight from the boat at Rådhuskaia. If you're lucky, you might buy shrimp from one of Norway's richest men.
Kirsten Flagstads Plass 1
Have you ever gone for a walk on an opera house? In Oslo, you can! Don't forget your sunglasses even in winter - you don't want to go snowblind.
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|Capital: Oslo |
|Inhabitants: 500,000 |
|Language: Norwegian |
|Currency: Norwegian krone (NOK) |
|Time zone: GMT +1 || |
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