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5 Hours In Oslo

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Organized tours

This year Oslo is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the painter who gave it “The Scream”. So it is a good opportunity to book early and choose one of the new coach tours that include the Munch Museum on their itinerary (3,5 hrs, €48). Take a trip back in time to the Akershus Fortress in the Old Town (Kvadraturen) and walk up pictureresque Karl Johan street (for pedestrians only) to the Royal Palace which is open to the public from late spring (Monday – Wednesday – Friday, 1,5 hrs, €20). And if you find yourself pining for the fjords, take a two – hour islet hopping cruise with views of the brightly colored houses as well as of the imaginatively designed Opera House (€34,50)

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Whilst the main attraction of many cities is their historical center, Oslo draws visitors to the sea. The spectacular Opera House stands in an imposing location right on the water, its minimal framing and special glass affording panoramic views of the city and the fjord. And if this is not enough to monopolize your interest for the next 5 hours, take a walk in front of City Hall and Parliament and stop for a moment on Henrik Ibsen Gate. You are now at a key intersection with the Palace standing imposingly on the right and on the left, the final residence of the great playwright. Part of the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, which boasts the largest outdoor exhibition space in the world, the Ibsen Museum is just 5 minutes from the impressive National Theater. And from the main stage of the Theater, a short walk to the life work of renowned sculptor Gustav Vigeland. Over 200 of his bronze and granite sculptures “guide” you through Frogner Park, an open exhibition now known as the Vigeland Sculpture Arrangement and on to the Vigeland Museum directly south of the park. You might then be tempted to discover Oslo’s seafaring past at the Norwegian Maritime Nuseum on the Bygdoy peninsula. The museum is situated close to both the Fram Museum which tells the story of Norwegian polar exploration and the Viking Ship Museum, with fully intact Viking ships on display.

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You are in the realm of “King” salmon but it is also the land of tuna tartar, Atlantic lobster and Norwegian cod. At a table on the veranda of the new Ekeberg Restaurant, you can combine exquisitely prepared dishes with an amazing view. Try the sensibly priced Spring Banquet menu with three courses for just €38. The Engebret Café was once regularly frequented by Ibsen, Grieg and others and is the oldest restaurant in the city, celebrated for its traditional cuisine. The adventurous who make the ascent to the Holmenkollen ski resort, the finest apple pie in the city awaits at Frognerseterens for €8.


Even your shopping in Oslo is likely to be accompanied by a sea breeze, particularly if you choose to visit the area of the marina and the bustling district of Aker Brygge. Extending along the seafront you will find one of the trendiest shopping centers with 70 brand name stores and other outlets. Leave the hip neighbourhood of Tjuvholmen with an eco friendly, organic shopping bag as a souvenir from the brand new Astrup Fearnley Museet. Your bag will be emblazoned with a sketch of the plan for the futuristic contemporary art museum by architect Renzo Piano.

Getting around

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Trains run every 10 minutes, from Gardermoen International Airport to the city center in 25 minutes for €11, while for an extra €7 you can take the shuttle and be downtown in just 19 minutes. Once in Oslo, a one-hour simple ticket costs $6, while from April you can rent a bicycle at 100 locations around the city for €8 per day.

Alex is an often traveler and blogger. He likes writing about his travels, new Expedia coupons and cheap flight tickets.

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