What to See in Oslo, Norway

Oslo Souvenir Ideas1. Hadeland Glassware 2. Dale of Norway Sweater 3. Linie Aquavit 4. Roros Tweed Wool Blanket
5. Norway/Sweden Map Pillow 6. Melkesjokolade Chocolate 7. Cheese (Jarlsberg or brown cheese)
8. Porsgrund Porcelin vase 9. Ostehøvel (cheese slicer) 

When going on vacation bringing back souvenirs is what people to remember the trip or to give as gifts. Quickly buying something at the airport souvenir shop usually has less meaning than the souvenirs you pick up when you immerse yourself in the city and culture. Above I included a list of a few things that Norway is known for and can add a little Norway to your home. I forgot to included a Norwegian Troll in the list. When my dad went overseas for work when I was a child he brought my brother back one of those trolls. I remember him clearly (the troll). He had black hair, overalls, and was carrying a walking stick. He also had a bobble head and every time I went in to my brother’s room it would quietly nod at me like it was acknowledging that I shouldn’t be going in my brother’s room while he wasn’t there. I wonder if he still has that troll.

When I think of Norway my thoughts immediately go to Vikings. Probably because my mind usually thinks of historical facts about locations first and Norway has a huge viking history. So a visit to the Viking Ship Museum would probably be a good place to start if your interest sways that way because it houses the world’s best preserved Viking Ship. Below are a few places that should go on your “Do Not Miss” list for Oslo.

  1. The Norsk Folk Museum – This museum includes both an indoor collection and the world’s oldest open air museum. They feature the daily life and living, in Norway from the 16th century to present. During the summer months it offers many activities that you can participate in. It also contains Gol Stave Church which dates from the 1200’s and is one of five medieval buildings the museum has.
  2. The Historical Museum – This cultural museum is home to the only complete Viking helmet ever found, which in its self would make going to the museum worth it (to me at least). It is actually many museums in one, including the Classical Antiquities Collection, the Ethnographic Museum, Collection of National Antiquities, Runic Archives, and the Collection of Coins and Medals.
  3. Oslo Opera House – is actually considered a work of art. The structure is built to look as if it is coming out of the water and allows you to climb and walk all over it, even the roof. So climb over it (for free) and then go in and watch a show.
  4. The Vigeland Sculpture Park – this huge park is the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist (Gustav Vigeland). It with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and cast iron. It is open all year and has free entrance.
  5. Karl Johans Gate – The main street in Olso’s City Centre you will find you find discos, night clubs, bars, jazz clubs and cafés between all the stores, shopping centres and hotels. A great place to walk around and do some shopping, sightseeing, and there are many tourists sites along the way.
  6. Walk along the waterfront just for the sake of walking – along the walk you should pass the City hall, Opera House, and Akershus Fortress and you can get a lot of touring done in one day.
  7. Akershus Fortress (Akershus slott) – a medieval castle dating from 1299 that was also once used for a prison. You can walk (or picnic) on the grounds for free. An admission is required to enter the castle.
  8. City Hall – while it doesn’t look extremely interesting from the outside, the interior of the City Hall is decorated with Norwegian art from 1900-1950. Murals cover the walls, and it has a marble floor. Admission is free.
  9. The Munch Museum – Edvard Munch is one of the most renowned Nordic painters. The collection consists of paintings, graphical prints and drawings. The exhibitions are constantly changing to keep the museum fresh. Admission is free for those under 18 and is free with an Olso Pass as well.
  10. National Gallery – Houses Norway’s largest public art collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures is found in the National Gallery, established in 1837. Free admission for children, free admission on Sundays, and free admission with the Oslo Pass.

Oslo is an expensive city but you can cut down expenses by doing a little research and planning. Many tourist destinations have free admission during different times of the year. I noted that in the list above if applicable. You can also refer to this article from National Geographic that gives you a break down of free things to do in Oslo. Pair that with and Oslo Pass and you can save a lot of money on your next trip. Don’t forget that different times of year will offer different tourism options. Oslo offers a huge variety of things to do for tons of winter fun.

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Sara