5 of Oslo's Top Attractions

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Norway's beautiful capital is a major global hub, yet only around 20 percent of its extension is truly urbanized, so in addition to city streets it's possible to spend time in parks, woodlands, hills, and lakes. Oslo's major avenue, Karl Johans gate, is lined with pedestrian-friendly areas. Oslo's main pedestrian boulevard begins at Oslo Central Station on the waterfront and winds its way past several prominent tourist attractions, including the Royal Palace and National Theatre, as well as ancient university buildings and the Oslo Cathedral. Much of this is reachable on foot or easy/inexpensive public transportation, and for the farther flung areas as well as day trips and longer excursions, check Cars-Scanner, which allows you to book a car online with a discount of up to 70 percent.

What's more, thanks to its active cultural scene (it's counted as an international center for theater and art) as well as a vast range of fun activities, and position as an international center for theater and art, Oslo is routinely ranked among the world's best cities to live.

Akershus Fortress


Built in the 1290s, Akershus Festning (top) perches majestically over the Oslo Fjord. There are numerous things to do and you could easily spend an entire day taking them all in. The gardens and ramparts are a great place to spend some time admiring harbor views before exploring the little church where King Håkon VII (1872-1957) is buried, the medieval defensive ramparts, and the halls large and small. Also on the grounds is the Norwegian Home Front Museum, also known as the Norway's Resistance Museum (Norges Hjemmefrontmuseum). Coming here means learning a lot about the German occupation, which lasted from 1940 to 1945. Guided tours of the fortress are available during the warm-weather months

 

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The Royal Palace

Situated on a rise above the city at Karl Johansgate's northwestern end, Norway's the magnificent 173-room Slottet was completed in 1825, with highlights including the Cabinet Parlour and Cloakroom, the White Parlour, the Mirror Hall, the Great Hall, and the Banquet Hall. Throughout the year visitors are welcome to explore the grounds and gardens, see the changing of the guards, and take one of the four daily tours in English. The Norske Nobelinstitutt, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize, sits immediately south of the palace. Slottsplassen 1.

 

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The Museum of Cultural History


Acutally a "four-fer", spread among a quartet of museums: in city centre: the Ethnographic Collection (historic artifacts from Scandinavia and across the globe, notably an excellent array of Egyptian antiquities including mummies), the Coin Cabinet (coins, medals, and other forms of currency daating back 2,600 years), the Historical Museum (especially strong in Scandinavian prehistory and the Middle Ages); and out on the nearby Bygdøy Peninsula, the Viking Ship Museum (unfortunately closed for a couple more years, expected to reopen as the Museum of the Viking Age in 2025 or 2026).

 

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Vigeland Sculpture Park


The Vigelandsanlegget in Oslo's renowned, 45-hectare (111-acre) Frogner Park is home to more than 200 dramatic works of sculptor Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) in bronze, granite, and wrought iron. More than half are placed in five thematic groups along an 853-meter (nearly 2,800-foot) axis, such as the fountain ensemble, which includes the 17m-high (56-ft.) Monolith (above), made up of 121 interconnected human statues and interpreted as a vision of resurrection, embodying humans' longing and striving for spirituality. Nobels gate 32.

 

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The Fram Museum

Also out on the Bygdøy Peninsula, the Frammuseet museum of polar exploration takes its name from the first Norwegian ship built exclusively for that purpose, in the 1890s, and used by the likes of Roald Amundsen. In addition to the Fram and a pair of other historic vessels: such as the Gja (the first ship to successfully navigate the Northwest Passage, in 1905). the museum boasts a raft of often dramatic and iteractive exhibits and recreations. (Incidentally, if this subject interests you, also do not miss the nearby Norwegian Maritime Museum and the Kon-Tiki Museum, documenting the 1940s and 1950s exploits of world famous explorer/adventurer Thor Heyerdahl.).