Founded more than 1000 years ago, Oslo received capital status only in 1905 with the re-establishment of the Norwegian kingdom. Three-quarters of its territory is a real “countryside”: forests, lakes, islands – even the geographical center is located in a huge forest. Oslo is the only capital in the world where you can go skiing in winter and swim in the sea and relax on the beach in summer. See citypopulationreview.com for weather information.
At the same time, it has dozens of art galleries, about 50 museums and an unusually rich cultural life. Everyone who comes here will find their own Oslo. Someone is the capital of a kingdom with a beloved king and queen, someone is a city of modern art, where the most daring architectural projects are being implemented, such as the futuristic building of the Opera House, which looks like an alien ship that has landed on the shores of the Oslo Fjord.
The most popular beach within the city is “Hukkoden” or simply “Huk” on the Bygdøy peninsula. You can get to it by bus number 30 from the National Theater or by boat from the Aker Brygge embankment. The rocky coast alternates here with green lawns and small sandy areas. The northern part of the beach is given over to nudists. There is a cafe, water bike rental, beach volleyball courts. There are no sun loungers and umbrellas – they are replaced by pine trees and smooth boulders.
To the north, a 10-minute walk from the “Hook” is a beautiful and less crowded beach with the speaking name “Paradisbukta” (“Paradise Bay”).
Entrance to all beaches in Norway is free.
Many Norwegians prefer beaches on the islands – there are about 40 of them in Oslo. Some have special bathing houses with stairs leading straight into the water. More than 100 years ago, they were built for dressing up, and smugglers used them for illegal alcohol trade. The islands can be quickly reached by ferry from the Vippetangen terminal next to Aker Brygge. Ferry number 3 follows a circular route to the islands of Howedoy, Lindoy and Nakkholmen, ferry number 94 to Langoyene with a long sandy beach, which is well suited for families with children. Fans of warm water can choose the beaches on Songvann Lake with a very gentle approach, where there is all the necessary infrastructure.
In winter, many people in Norway, young and old, go skiing. More than 2,600 km of trails for cross-country and alpine skiing have been laid in the city of Oslo.
Public transport in Oslo is equipped with special compartments for ski equipment.
The largest ski resort in the capital is Trivann Winter Park (off. site in English), located in the upper part of the Holmenkollen district, where you can get from the city center in 20 minutes – first by metro to Frognersetern station line 1, then by resort shuttle.
Trivanna has 18 slopes of all difficulty levels – from black to green with a maximum vertical drop of 81 m. The length of the longest one is 1500 m. high class and 5 ski schools. At night, all trails are lit, you can ride until 22:00.
The skiing season lasts from late November to mid-April.
But you can climb the observation deck (it is also the starting point) of the Holmenkollen ski jump without skis. This is one of the first designer ski jumps in the world – the national pride of the Norwegians. More than 450 km of flat tracks are laid at its foot, and the stages of the Biathlon World Cup are held.
The Karl Johans Gate pedestrian street is home to the world’s leading stores, including H&M, Benetton and Zara. There are also several large shopping centers and department stores here: Oslo City, Byporten, Glasmagasinet, Steen & Strom, Paleet and Aker Brygge. And on Akersgata Street, the popular design house in Norway, Moods of Norway and House of Oslo, with two dozen firms specializing in interior design and lifestyle, work.
On the east bank of the Akerselva River is a favorite place for young Norwegian designers – Grunerlökka. Frogner and Bygdøy Alle are famous for interior design and antique shops. There are many exclusive boutiques selling everything from lingerie to kitchen utensils. In Greenland, many shops are owned by immigrants selling fruits, vegetables and spices. Here you can also get good discounts on exotic textiles and gold items. Other famous shopping spots are Majorstuen, Bogstaveien and Hegdehogsveien.
The cutest souvenirs from Oslo are troll figurines, the most practical are the famous Norwegian sweaters, warm and expensive. A good sweater can replace a jacket and costs 1800-2700 NOK. Silver jewelry with runic symbols and souvenirs exploiting the former glory of the Vikings are very popular: magnets, T-shirts, beer mugs. In specialized stores, a strong Scandinavian “Akvavit” is sold, which is driven from potatoes and insisted on cumin or coriander. The most authentic souvenir is “rosemaling” – a traditional flower painting on wood. In the 18th century, Norwegians covered furniture, walls, and even the whole house with bright ornaments. Now they limit themselves mainly to small forms, painting wooden utensils, panels, caskets.
Cuisine and restaurants in Oslo
Norwegian cuisine is simple and thorough. Its main hit is “lutfisk” – dried cod soaked in an alkaline solution of a very specific taste and appearance. But some argue that the dish is quite edible. Next in popularity are herring and salmon – fried, pickled or smoked. Local specialty Oslo herring – boiled herring rolls with white cream sauce. In any self-respecting institution there are dishes from venison, elk, snow partridge. Traditional delicacies include whale meat steaks. The best fish restaurants with specialties can be found on the promenade of Aker Brygge. Many mid-range restaurants, cafes and patisseries are located north of the railway station and on the way from the Cathedral to the Royal Palace.
It is not customary to leave tips in restaurants – they are already included in the bill.
Food in Oslo is not cheap. Street fast food will cost 80 NOK, a standard set at McDonald’s – 110-125 NOK, lunch in an inexpensive restaurant – from 180 NOK, a good dinner – from 480 NOK per person. The prices of drinks also bite: cappuccino – 40-45 NOK, beer – 92 NOK. Establishments with Asian cuisine are more humane in cost.
With a limited budget, a direct road to food markets or to Rimi, KIWI, Lidl supermarket chains, and then to a picnic in one of the Oslo parks.