Well Planned Travel

A Well Planned Trip to Oslo

Oslo, not the most beautiful Scandinavian capital city, Stockholm and Copenhagen have this, and even not the most beautiful town in Norway, I prefer Bergen and Trondhiem.  Olso still is a great city to visit with lots of things to do and wonderful culture. Getting There: Oslo has an international airport that serves airlines from around the world.  You can also get there by train, there is a direct train from Stockholm that takes about 4 1/2 hours.   A ferry is a popular way to get to Oslo, you can take a ferry from Germany or Denmark.  If you choose to fly into Oslo, it is a great airport and has a express train from the airport to Oslo's central train station. Where to Stay: Oslo is a very expensive country.  Finding an affortable hotel is not always easy.  I recommend checking out the Thon Hotels.  Thon Hotels is a hotel chain that is all over Norway.  They have different levels of hotels and there are several in Oslo.  You can find good consistent quality through out the chain and if you find one that is your price range, you can expect a good stay. What to See To start your time in Oslo I recommend going out to the Bygdøy peninsula which is known as the museum peninsula. On the Bygdøy peninsula there is the Fram Museum, Kon-Tiki Museum, Norwegian Maritime Museum, The Viking Ship Museum and the Norwegian Folk Museum. Fram Museum The Fram Museum is a very interesting museum about Norwegian polar history.  Norway has 40% of its land above the Arctic Circle and has a large polar history.  The centerpiece of this museum is the ship The Fram.  The Fram was the first ship specially built in Norway for polar research.  The first expeditions was done by the famous Fridtjof Nansen on a drift in sea ice over the Arctic Ocean in 1893-96, the Fram was brought back by Otto Sverdrup who took the Fram on its second trip.  The second expedition was with 15 crew members that went to northwest Greenland.  The third trip and the most important was with Roald Amundsen who originally got permission to use the Fram to go to the North Pole, but changed his mind, went to Antarctica and was the first person to reach the South Pole.  This is an excellent museum that talks about this history, other polar history, more ships and of course the Fram which you can go into and walk around.
The Fram Museum

The Fram Museum

The Fram

The Fram

DSC_0322 Kon-Tiki Museum Right next to the Fram Museum is the Kon-Tiki Museum.  The Kon-Tiki was a balsa wood raft that on the 28th of April, 1947, six men led by Thor Heyerdahl, departed from Peru, set out to cross the Pacific Ocean to Polynesia, to demonstrate that this type of ocean voyage could have been carried out 1500 years ago.  This was a hugely popular thing that happened in the fifties and after, there were books, a documentary that won an Academy Award as well as a more recent Norwegian movie released in 2012.  The Kon-Tiki Museum has the original raft, as well as other exhibitions. Viking Ship Museum The highlight of the peninsula is the Viking Ship Museum.  At this museum there are three viking ships all which had been dug up in Norway.  The first, the Oseberg ship from around 820 was a burial ship with two women buried in it found on a farm.  The second, Gokstad ship was built in about 850 was later used as a bural ship in 900.  This was found on a farm by two boys who dug up a bural hill and found the ship.  The Tune is the third ship and is the least preserved because it was found first and they did not dig it up properly.  This museum is absolutly wonderful and is a great way to see the most perseved viking ships found.
The Viking Museum

The Viking Museum

The ships have intricate detail.

The ships have intricate detail.

Norwegian Folk Museum The Norwegian Folk Museum is Norway's largest museum of cultural history and features the world's oldest open air museum and large indoor collections.  This museum is very large and you should leave plenty of time to visit this place.  In the summer the open air museum has people in costumes, lots of activities and folk music.  But if you go any other time of the year it still is worth it.  The pre site here is the Stave Church.  This church is from Gol and was built in the 12th century.  In 1870 the congregation became to large and they built a larger church.  1881, the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments bought the stave church, and King Oscar II offered to finance its re-erection in the public park.  Especially is you do not make it to any other Stave Church when you are in Norway, make the time to go to the Folk Museum just to see this church.
Stave Church

Stave Church

DSC_0354 DSC_0344 DSC_0346 Another part of the open air museum that I really enjoyed was the Countryside exhibit.  Here you will find a walking history of farming in Norway.  With beautiful old wood buildings, farming, animals and very interesting sod roofs.  This is one of the highlights of the museum.  They have a variaty of old farm buildings from many regions of Norway.
Take a walk in the Countryside exhibit.

Take a walk in the Countryside exhibit.

Lots of sod roofs

Lots of sod roofs

Next I would go to the area called the Old Town.  This contains old buildings from Oslo and its surrounding suburbs.  There is a mix of both timber and brick houses and if you are there in the summer there are a lot of exhibits going on.  You can also visit a pharmacy museum, a general store, bank and a prison.
Old Town

Old Town

Like what it was in the 17th and 18th century, there is a mix between wood and brick buildings,

Like what it was in the 17th and 18th century, there is a mix between wood and brick buildings,

If you were to pick a couple of museums, I would recommend starting at the Viking Museum, go to the Folk Museum and finish at the Fram.  This could take you all day.  After you have finished at the Fram, it is fun to take the ferry across the harbor which lets out right by the City Hall.
Take a ferry across the harbor from the Fram Museum to the City Hall

Take a ferry across the harbor from the Fram Museum to the City Hall

Central Oslo City hall The City Hall is worth a visit, it was build in 1950 and houses the city council, town council and administration.  It is popular for its unique arcitecture and art.  Inside of the building you can find art from Norwegian artists from 1900-1950.  While that does not seem very impressive, it actually is quite nice.  Make sure that you see the carillon which is the town bells that basically are a gigantic musical instrument.
Oslo City Hall

Oslo City Hall

Noble Peace Center The Noble Peace Prize is given at the Oslo City Hall and right by it is the Noble Peace Center that is a museum about the peace prize.  There is a section on the current winner as well as past winners.  There are many changing exhibits, which are hit or miss.  The museum also can be highly political so be aware.
Noble Peace Center

Noble Peace Center

Munch Museum When Edvard Munch died, he left his entire collection of work to the city of Oslo.  Because of this, the Munch Museum has over half of all of Munch's work.  Munch's most famous work The Scream was stollen out of this museum in 2004 and later recovered and returned in 2006.  If you are either a fan of Munch, just want to see the Scream or want a good introduction to him, this is a great museum to go to. Walk Around Central Oslo After you seen the museum, make sure that you take the time to walk around the center of the city.  Oslo is very compact and has beautiful tree lined streets.  Between the Parliament and the National Theater is the Spikersuppa Park that is lined by shopping streets.  In the winter there is also iceskating.  Make sure that you stop by the Oslo Cathedral as well. Photos of Central Oslo DSC_0278 (1) DSC_0279 DSC_0282 DSC_0287 DSC_0292 DSC_0291 DSC_0294 Central Oslo Sights Off the Beaten Track Two places that I recommend out of central Oslo is the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Ski Museum and the Vigeland Park.  The Ski Jump is easy to get to by bus and it takes you out of central Oslo and up into the hills.  You can see amazing views of Oslo and the fjord from here and see some interesting houses.  Vigeland Park is the world's largest sculpure park done by one artist.  It is a very popular place to go and walk around, especially on a nice day.
Holmenkollen Ski Jomp

Holmenkollen Ski Jump

view from the ski jump

view from the ski jump

Eating Oslo is a very very very expensive place to eat and I recommend only eating out at a resturant once a day.  The best place to find some food is the Aker Brygge.  The Aker Brygge has shopping, cafes and resturants all along side of the harbor.  I do not recommend shopping here because it is really expensive.  There are many different resturants and it is a great place to hang out as well. Enjoy your time in Oslo, and remember it is expensive.