A Wintry Weekend in Oslo

Wednesday 13 February 2013

You can find the details of our trip here.

Oslo was the perfect city for a short weekend getaway.  It's small enough that we were able to see practically everything we wanted to see in the time we were there and we didn't have to rush to do so.  Despite the chilly below 0 temperatures, we bundled up and walked our way around the sites

{A very special thank you to Megan who so kindly sent us some very helpful tips and who treated us to a coffee & pastry when dropped by to say 'hello.'  It was so nice to finally meet in person!}

Oslo has more of an urban feel than we are used to in Stavanger but it is still small enough to feel comfortable.  We loved that we could basically walk everywhere - in fact, aside from the train to and from the airport, we walked to every site.  I'd like to check it out in the spring or summer when the trees have leaves, the sidewalks aren't icy and the climate a little warmer.  We know as well as anyone living in Norway that things really come alive on a beautiful day.

The Palace & Slottsparken

I've never seen a palace so easily accessible by the general public as the Royal Palace in Oslo. Tourists and locals alike can quite literally walk right up to the front door.  Unfortunately for us, palace tours are only done in the summer so we could only admire it from the outside.


Frognerparken is the largest park in Oslo and the number one tourist site.  It is home to 212 statues constructed by Gustav Vigeland.  The statues are undressed people doing typically day to day activities with the exception of a few open to interpretation.  It was quite impressive and one couldn't help but smile at the giggling and blushing tourists.

Aker Brygge

Aker Brygge is a newer area sitting on the waterfront of the Oslo fjord.  It's home to shops, restaurants, hotels, apartments and some modern architecture.  I imagine this to be quite a bustling area during the summer as the boardwalk was lined with ice cream shops currently closed for the winter.  

Akerhus Fortress

The Akerhus Fortress sits across the water from Aker Brygge.  At one time, it was a medieval castle built to protect Oslo but it also served as a prison and was at one point surrendered to the Germans during WWII.  Currently, it's open to the public although there is still a military presence.

The Oslo Opera House

One of my favourite sites in Oslo was the Opera house.  Located just beside the Central train station and our hotel, this stunning building appears to rise from the sea.  We happened to arrive just in time for sunset and my goodness, it was beautiful.  Joe walked up the path along the side of the building and stood on top to take in the views - I found it a bit too slippery so I stayed below.  Both the exterior and interior of the building are quite impressive.  I hope to see a show the next time we visit Oslo so I can take in the auditorium.

This trip was our first time being 'tourists' in Norway.  We've never really looked at any of our time here as 'travel' because it's currently our home.  In any case, I looked at Oslo in a bit of a different light.  While we certainly enjoyed our time there, I could see why it's not a top tourist destination.  It's expensive, like the rest of Norway, and if you're just popping over for a weekend, it's difficult to get over the cost.  We noticed ourselves 'traveling' a little differently than normal too - we didn't stop off for  beer throughout the day because it's so darn expensive.  I also didn't do any shopping because I typically wait until we're out of Norway to buy things at a more reasonable price.  Oslo also doesn't have the same natural beauty that Norway is so famous for.  It's not an ugly city by any means but it doesn't have the same breathtaking quality of Western Norway.

With all of that being said, we did quite like Oslo and it certainly made us excited to see a few more sides of this country that we're lucky enough to call home for the time being.


  1. I never knew about those statues before! How fun :D The opera house looks beautiful! I'd love to visit Norway someday, although you're kind of worrying me about the prices!

    1. Well, there is no way around it - it's pretty expensive - but, Norway is also extremely beautiful!

  2. thanks for the shout and stopping by :)

    and i totally think you captured oslo perfectly in your words and photos of the place. it really is not the place id ever suggest travelers to visit if they want to see norway's beauty. and the city lacks personality big time and can't seem to find its identity. all that said, living here is just fine :) but of course, COLD!!!!

    hope to see you again <3

  3. Can't wait to visit there in the summer!

  4. That Opera House is so, so stunning.

  5. I really dont like the cold, but wow that looks amazing there! :)


  6. You know Oslo looks different than I expected. Lovely though. Glad you had a nice trip! :-)

  7. The next time you are in Oslo, make sure to take the outside lift at the Oslo Plaza. On the top floors there is a bar with great view over the city! It was a bar there when I was up there i august last year, but it may have turn into a restaurant since then.

    I totally agree with you about Oslo. It's not the nicest city in Europe, not even in Norway. It's all the people in the summer that makes this city, not it's buildings or natural beauty.

    1. Thank you for the tips! I will most certainly look into the Oslo Plaza next time we're in the city!

  8. Glad you enjoyed your time being a tourist of sorts in your new home country. Perhaps Oslo is one of those places you just have to save for a summer holiday instead of visiting in the dead of winter.

  9. great pictures! that aker brygge area looks really quaint and seems like it would be a really cool place to go in the summer time!

  10. Looks like you did everything I did on my trip over New Year's Eve. Did you watch a show at the Opera House (also my fave building)? I watched Die Fledermaus, which was very funny! Next time, try to head to Grunerlokka in East Oslo - it's very edgy, urban & contemporary with cool eateries & basement bars. I loved it! When I'm back in Norway later this year, you'll have to send me some tips of things to see & do in West Norway! x

    1. We did Grunerlokka - just no photos :)

      Definitely let me know if you need any tips for W. Norway! I'd be happy to help!


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