In 2014, we visited Scandinavia for the first time. Well, almost. Technically Finland isn’t considered Scandinavia but it has a similar climate and lifestyle. This is not a part of the world I ever expected to visit but was so surprised that I’m itching to go back again and again. We took a flight to Oslo, and I’ve since gone back again thanks to Norwegian Airlines which has direct flights from Marrakech a few times a week. This is the perfect excuse to go!
But, one thing you must prepare for is the cost. Oslo is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world. By booking a cheap hotel in Oslo and making a plan, you can enjoy the city on a tighter budget. Just don’t forget a warm jacket. Even though spring is arriving in many locales, Oslo is still cold and snowy!
Take a Winter Walk
The Oslo Guidebureau offers daily walks on Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with different themes to take you through Oslo. Dress warm and be ready to learn more about the city. Themes like art, history, design, Edvard Munch, and the Akerhus Fortress are a few of the different themes. There is a fee; however, those who purchase an Oslo Pass receive a nice discount.
Considering how cold it can be in Oslo most of the year, it’s not surprising that there are many indoor museums and attractions. The Oslo City Museum illustrates the history of the city through exhibits and holds one of Norway’s largest painting collections. The Film Museum discover the history of the Norwegian film industry. The Intercultural Museum documents the history of immigration and cultural change in Norway through time. Their goal is to promote understanding and communication. Times and days of opening vary, so be sure to check before you go.
The Norwegians have a word for getting outside, it’s “frilluftsliv,” and while there isn’t really a good English equivalent, the word embodies Norwegians love of and need for being outside. In Oslo, enjoy outdoor sculpture parks like the Vigeland Sculpture Park or Ekebergparken Sculpture Park. You can take a tram north of the city to Oslomarka to hike or ski. There are also plenty of free public beaches on the water, though you may want to save swimming for summer months. For a small splurge you can book a seat on a fjord sightseeing cruise.
Norwegian History and Culture
There’s no shortage of history and culture in this Scandinavian capital. Stop by the Karl Johans Gate on your way to the Royal Palace (Det Kongliege Slott) and watch the changing of the guard promptly at 13:30 daily. The Oslo Museum of Cultural History is free for all visitors under 18 and is full of interesting exhibits including a Viking ship. You can opt for a guided tour of the Norwegian Parliament at no cost or visit the Oslo Cathedral built in 1657 and has recently been completely renovated.
Use public transportation in Norway, it’s easy and goes nearly everywhere. The Oslo City Pass covers all public transportation costs as well as free and discounted admission to more than 30 museums and attractions. Whenever we travel, we’ve used city cards such as this and found them a great value.
Have you visited Oslo? Any other low-cost tips to share?
I’m participating in the #HipmunkCityLove campaign where I’m sharing some of my best hints and tips for travel around the globe!
Photo by Tuli K via Trover.com