48 hours in Oslo, Norway
August 1, 2015 9:45 AM   Subscribe

What should my husband and I absolutely not miss when we are in Oslo in a couple of weeks' time? We are staying three nights in the city: arriving Wednesday 12th August in the early evening and leaving Saturday 15th early afternoon. However, we have a day ticket to the Oya Festival on the Friday (the festival site does not open til 1pm though), so in terms of actual sightseeing time we have one evening, one whole day and a couple of half-days.

We have read a bit about Oslo and browsed on Tripadvisor etc to get a sense of what there is to do and see in the city, but as we have such a limited time I thought I'd ask others' opinions on the real musts.

I realise that suggestions for what to do are highly personal, so here's a bit about us! We are a late twenties/ mid thirties couple without kids. We love exploring new places and have travelled a bit, but we tend not to do city breaks so much.

Things we love doing in new places:
- Eating! We would love suggestions on places to try typical Norwegian cuisine (not too high end. We realise Oslo isn't cheap and we're willing to pay a reasonable amount for a meal, but we're not after really fancy food), as well as other food types too
- Walking around to get the feel of a city, including around parks
- Taking photos of interesting architecture / day-to-day happenings and random oddities
- Seeing sights that are 'typically' of that city / country; doing things that cannot easily be done in any other place

We also really want to see the Fjords - what is the best way to do that and how doable is this in our time frame? We would be happy to devote the full day to this if recommended, leaving the half-days for other stuff.

Things we are not so interested in (or at least on this trip):
- Museums and galleries (I think with such limited time we can't really devote any time to these)

We are staying in the Citybox hostel/hotel, which I believe to be fairly central. Any suggestions about specific places to eat here would be welcomed. If anyone has any specific tips or advice about the festival, that would be great too!

Thanks in advance!
posted by schmoo to Travel & Transportation around Oslo, Norway (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It's 5 hours each way to Myrdal (7 to Bergen), then an hour to Flam, which would be the nearest jumping off point for one of the big fjords. I wouldn't, it would not be a fun day. Consider going to either Holmenkollen or the TV tower to get a good view over the Oslo fjord. It's a short train ride up the hill above Oslo from central station. Entry fees for both.

Frognerparken is the best known of Oslo's parks and justly so, full of works by Norwegian sculptor Vigeland it is a great place for a stroll and is free. You can walk or tram to get there easily.
posted by biffa at 10:05 AM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

Architecturally, I loved the modern art museum as seen from the outside, and it's an easy walk.

If you do decide to fit in one museum, I would recommend the Folk museum - it's an open air museum where they've brought examples of traditional buildings from different parts of Norway. I loved wandering around, looking at the traditional bakery and watching a folk dance display. They also had an exhibition about Sumi culture, and a photography exhibition. We got the ferry there then walked back via the sculpture park.
posted by kadia_a at 12:28 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

If I ever get to Oslo, I'm going to the Vigeland sculpture park.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:16 PM on August 1, 2015 [4 favorites]

I was just there. You'll want to see the Opera House and also the Vigeland sculpture installation, which is truly a one-of-a-kind work of art that touched me unexpectedly.

Most beautiful of all was the City Hall, a truly stunning building. They offer tours.
The castle was awesome for my toddler and I enjoyed it too - I mignt have had even more fun if I'd had time to read all the info and take in more history.
A trip to one of the little islands was also quite nice.
posted by Cygnet at 5:51 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Please, please, please visit the sculpture park, as bonobothegreat and Cygnet have suggested. Like Cygnet, I found it unexpectedly moving in a way that is hard to describe, and it probably takes only about two hours max. Additionally, it is free, which you will be very happy for, because though you realize Norway is expensive, it's sort of unbelievable when you actually see (and have to pay!) the prices in person.

Have a cozy good time (which is a thing there!).
posted by just_ducky at 10:50 AM on August 2, 2015

Vigeland sculpture park is awesome.
posted by number9dream at 3:13 PM on August 2, 2015

I agree with the above, Vigeland sculpture park is really quite something. I would also strongly consider the Viking Ship museum, I really loved it when I visited.
posted by Admira at 12:12 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you everyone for your suggestions. We will go to the Vigeland sculpture park for sure!
posted by schmoo at 8:10 AM on August 9, 2015

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