Travel Guide to Oslo

Coffee at Sukkerbiten

The view from Sukkerbiten, a cafe next to the Royal Opera House. Image: Nora Hoel.

Norway is most often associated with winter and snow, but as spring approaches, Oslo is showing itself from its most charming side.

If you want to visit Oslo, the ideal time is spring or early summer.

By July the city is too quiet with locals traveling abroad for the summer, but in May and June the city is still bustling with people.

With its small size and limited options, Oslo is often ignored in comparison to other major cities in Europe.

However, the proximity to nature is making the capital of Norway an increasingly more popular travel destination.

Central Oslo is surrounded by the Oslofjord and forest.

There are several public beaches available for when those rays of sun finally hits the North, and a great selection of parks around the city.

For a beach day, try Sørenga in central or the different beaches at Bygdøy in the west side of the city.

If the water seems too cold, enjoy the fjord from land by taking the Havnepromenade, a hike around the harbor, starting at Frognerkilen and ending at Sørenga.

Along the way you will pass the historical fortress Akershus Festning, the Opera House and the Town Hall.

Another great way to get around Oslo is to use the city bikes.

It is affordable and most major streets in Oslo are equipped with bike trails. It is even legal to ride your bike on the sidewalks!

The most famous park in Oslo is Frognerparken, and although it has become quite the tourist trap, is it worth a visit.

The park holds a collection of sculptures from the artist Gustav Vigeland and a small rose garden.

Oslo nights

Street photo from Oslo showing the light summer nights. Image Nora Hoel.

Another must do if you are in Oslo during the summer months is to take the local ferries out to the islands in the Oslofjord.

Bring a picnic basket and swimwear and enjoy a day out in the fjords.

Not only is the destination beautiful, but the boat journey back and forth is worth the trip alone.

Oslo has a surprisingly diverse community for its size, so if you want to discover more international cuisine, go to the area of Grønland.

You can also travel up towards Grunerløkka, to what is considered the hippest area of Oslo, for a great selection of bars and restaurants. Torggata is another increasingly trendy street for a night out.

For a budget tip, go to the bar Mekaniske at Grønland, where you can bring in take away from other places. The beer prices are a bit steep, but so is the case in most places in Oslo.

They also have a selection of cardboard games and a great beer garden for when the sun is out.

Tøyen is another up and coming area of Oslo with a growing selection of good bars and places to eat.

The area also holds the botanical garden and the Munch Museum.

The Munch Museum is another must see if you are visiting Oslo for the first time.

So is Astrup Fearnley, the newly refurbished contemporary gallery that boasts a beautiful view of, you guessed it, the fjords.

Astrup Fearnley is currently exhibiting the works of Takashi Murakami.

Reasonably priced flight tickets to Oslo can be found from all major airports in London.

To prepare you for your upcoming trip to Oslo, here’s a short introduction to Norwegian.

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