A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to go to Oslo, Norway with some of my closest girl friends from school. We spent just under a week there, soaking up the sunshine, taking in the magnificent views and exploring the beautiful city.
We rented an Air B and B just outside Oslo and it was honestly the best decision we could have made. At night it was lovely to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre but reassuring that we were only a couple of stops away on the tube should we need to pop back in. The apartment we rented was airy, clean and somewhat minimalist – yet still full of interesting books, magazines and articles. Having access to our own kitchen was so helpful as Oslo is not the cheapest city to visit and self catering definitely helped bring down our costs.
Seeing the sights – Day one
Our first full day in Norway was possibly my favourite. We began the day looking around a well preserved fortress, which had beautiful views of the city and interesting statues scattered around the grounds. We then ventured on to the harbour, passing the Town Hall and Nobel Peace Centre Museum. We walked up to the palace which was a stunning building set back in a beautiful location. I was pleasantly surprised at how open the building was, compared to the likes of Buckingham Palace. There was a lovely touch just behind the palace in the form of a wishing tree. People from all over the world had posted their wishes in a box that had then been laminated and attached to the tree. I so enjoyed reading all the messages and walking underneath the hanging branches.
Later, we went onto the famous sculpture garden, which possibly had the biggest collection of naked statues I have ever seen. We had great fun trying to recreate some of the statues and learning about particular ones. Here, we enjoyed our homemade lunches before heading back towards the harbour to the Royal Opera House.
Seeing the sights – day two
The Royal Opera house was easily one of my favourite places that we visited. I loved the setting, the concept- being able to walk up the side of the building onto the roof and the general atmosphere. This was helped enormously by the weather that shone for us. The inside of the building was just as spectacular as the outside, a true masterpiece of a building. I would have loved to have seen something there, will definitely have to add that to my wish list if we return there again!
Finally, I must mention the museums. On our penultimate day in Norway we decided to buy a 24 hour Oslo Pass which was honestly the best decision. The pass was around £36 which may seem expensive, but it covered all our public transport (ferry, bus, tram, train, subway) and the entry fee to all the museums we wanted to visit. We began the day at the Folkland Museum which was an open air museum that had buildings from across the different centuries. The building were in remarkably good condition and it was so interesting learning about Norway’s history through them. Our second museum of the day was possibly my favourite, The Nobel Peace Centre Museum. There were so many incredible exhibitions which were thought-provoking and very moving. A room I thought was particularly outstanding contained information about every Nobel Peace Prize Winner over the last century- beautifully displayed with just the right amount of information. Would highly recommend, was definitely worth the visit. Our final museum of the day was The National Gallery, which I enjoyed immensely. They had rooms upon rooms of paintings, including Munch- surprisingly there was more of his work here than in the Munch Museum. The museum had a drawing room which I thought was inspired- there was a large bronze sculpture in the middle with ample clipboards, paper, pencils and rubbers to draw the sculpture at your leisure. You could then pin your drawing on the corkboards around the room along with hundreds of others. It was fascinating to see how so many different people recreated the same sculpture.
All in all we had an unforgettable time in Norway and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Whilst it is a little on the pricey side, it is a vibrant city full of history and architectural surprises. An absolute must-see.