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Top 10 Reasons to Visit Oslo

Oslo is not solely the capital of Norway. This city tends to be a genuine travel gem in Europe, having been transformed into a world-class center of art and design. There are myriads of reasons why you should come and see countless attractions on your own, but here we have selected our top 10 reasons to visit Oslo and explore this stunning city.

The City of Museums

why to visit oslo

If there is a city that features a museum at almost every corner, that is not Paris or Madrid but Oslo. Even though many of the city’s museums have merged over the last several decades, there are at least several dozens of museums that are well worth your attention.

Regarding museums, we are not talking only about art galleries. You can find anything up to your taste. Are you a thrill-seeker? Well, the Fram and Kon-Tiki museums won’t leave you unaffected. Or do you instead tend to prefer experimental and extraordinary art? Then the lifelong work of Emanuel Vigeland, the famous sculptor’s brother, will impress you. Fancying world-class art? The National Museum and MUNCH will absolutely welcome you. Or, perhaps, you are a curious mind who wants to learn more about various things? Head to the Norwegian museum of science and technology and the Holmenkollen ski museum!

Sculptural Heritage

why to go to oslo

If there is a genuine place for admirers of sculptural art, it’s Oslo. Three unbelievably beautiful and impressive sculpture parks are located in this city. The Vigeland Park, which is part of a larger Frogner Park, is known worldwide and is a lifelong work of Gustav Vigeland. Tjuvholmen Sculpture Park features some impressive modern sculptures, and the park is located right near the Gallery of Contemporary Art. Besides, Tjuvholmen is considered to be the center of art and design within the Norwegian capital.

After all, don’t forget to spend a day exploring the recently opened Ekeberg park, which features the works of world-class artists. Exactly in this place, Edvard Munch created his famous masterpiece “The Scream.” But be ready to spend at least half of a day here – the park is absolutely huge. After all, what other city would offer free entry to such world-class exhibitions?

The Home of Explorers

what to see in oslo

Norwegians are well-known to be adventurers and explorers. That is why we recommend you pay a visit to the Fram museum with a knowledgeable guide, who will narrate to you exciting stories about the adventures of Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen. They used the Fram vessel in their expeditions to reach the North and South Poles. This ship is housed in the museum, and you can easily access it! Considering that this ship was the first to reach the South Pole and the first to reach both Poles, it would be a pity not to see it.

Also, don’t forget about visiting the Kon-Tiki museum located nearby. It narrates the story of Thor Heyerdahl, who, with his partners, crossed the Atlantic in a simple wooden boat. You can also drop in Holmenkollen and visit the world’s oldest ski museum, where you can witness precious artifacts related to this sport. The statue of Fridtjof Nansen stands in front of the museum (he also was a known skier), and you can get up to the top of the ski jump and observe the city from the observation deck.

The City of Ibsen, Munch and Vigeland

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Among the top 10 reasons to visit Oslo, one shouldn’t forget about Henrik Ibsen, Gustav Vigeland, and Edvard Munch. These, without exaggeration, legendary personalities have brought Oslo into the world’s spotlight. They lived and worked in this city, bringing it to prominence.

Gustav Vigeland created the world-known park, while his brother Emanuel laid the foundation for the future (present-day) museum. Edvard Munch is known worldwide thanks to his work “The Scream,” which was written in Ekeberg Park in Oslo. Ibsen lived in a house at Karl Johans Gate and even visited the official ceremony of the National Theater opening (pictured above).

The Long-Standing Fortress

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Among the top 10 reasons to visit Oslo, one shouldn’t fail to mention the legendary Akershus Fortress. This castle has stood at the waterfront since the end of the 13th century and tends to be a real symbol of the city.  The saying goes that the one who controls the fortress controls Oslo. One should also mention that this fortress was located on that site long before the city of Christiania (the present-day Oslo) was rebuilt near it.

The First Ski Jump and Museum

oslo things to see

Norway is truly a paradise for skiers. And that’s not only thanks to a vast number of ski jumps and top-notch locations for skiing (observe them here), but also thanks to the world’s first ski jump and ski museum. Just take a metro and head to Holmenkollen. After you explore everything in the museum, you can climb up to the observation deck and get a spectacular view of the city.

Scandinavian Center of Art

oslo things to do

Oslo can be genuinely called the Scandinavian center of art and design, because the city hosts an astonishing number of international exhibitions every year. This reason, among other top 10 reasons to visit Oslo, can be proven simply by observing the number of art galleries that opened in the Norwegian capital during the last decade.

Stunning (And Diverse) Architecture

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Fantastic architecture is another reason why you should come to this city. Who hasn’t heard of the Oslo Opera House or seen the photo of Bjorvika, which is frequently displayed in many pictures of Oslo? Another building to pay attention to is the Statoil headquarters in Oslo. After all, stroll across Tjuvholmen and observe the stunning contemporary architecture. If you prefer classic architecture, don’t hesitate to explore the city’s historic center!

The Stunning Fjord

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Oslo is located next to the fjord of the same name, and several harbors are located throughout the city. It’s up to you whether you would prefer to sit in a riverside restaurant and enjoy the views or take a boat and head to one of the neighboring islands.

Norwegian Cuisine Worth Trying Out

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Even though Norwegian cuisine is not as well-regarded as Spanish or French, it is still worth trying out. Get ready for large amounts of fish and seafood to be consumed. You can, for example, grab a good deal of seafood and fish at Fiskeriet or drop in the particular place called Pjoltergeist. After all, you may head to a restaurant called Maaemo, which features three Michelin stars but tends to be rather pricey (and you should book a table a few months well in advance).

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Oslo: Final Words

These are just the top 10 reasons to visit Oslo, but this list can be endless. This city has something genuinely magical that allows everyone to find something he/she will love. And this magic will keep you returning here again and again.

By the way, you can explore this city on an introductory guided tour by Oslo Walking.

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