Combining the booming contemporary art scene, legendary Norwegian architecture, and magnificent landscapes, Oslo is without a doubt, the city to visit now. And when it comes to food, Oslo raises the bar, boasting purest and freshest ingredients, and the best seafood in the world. There are so many reasons why you should visit Oslo, but for Travelmath, these are the top five reasons:
1. The museums
There are over 50 museums in a city with about 675,000 people. You’ll find museums of art, ski, animals, Vikings, immigration, Bible, maritime, and even a mini bottle gallery that displays 12,500 miniature bottles of soda, beer, and spirits. But the most exciting museum to visit is the new Munch Museum, due to open in fall 2020. It’s the world’s largest museum dedicated to one artist – Norwegian expressionist painter Edvard Munch.
Throughout his career, Edvard Munch experimented with painting, graphic art, drawing, sculpture, photo, and film. All his 28,000 works will be displayed in the new Munch Museum. The new Munch Museum is located in Bjørvika, close to the Opera House. Besides the displays, guests can enjoy the restaurant on the 13th floor, attend workshops, concerts, and cultural activities.
In addition to the new Munch Museum, you may want to include the following:
- Kon-Tiki Museum – learn about the Kon-Tiki expedition
- Fram Museum – the story of the Norwegian Polar exploration
- Holmenkollen Ski Museum – the world’s oldest ski museum and enjoy a panoramic view from the jump tower
- Viking Ship Museum – showcases the world’s best-preserved Viking ships
- National Museum – it has the largest collection of Norwegian architecture, art, and design. The new National Museum is scheduled to open in 2021
2. Fresh food
Known as the capital of fresh ingredients, Oslo is also the city for locally grown organic produce and is a seafood lovers paradise. When in Oslo, you must try classic Norwegian food like reindeer, moose, and lutefisk (cured cod). Check out Engebret Cafe, the oldest restaurant in Oslo, for traditional Norwegian food. Another restaurant to visit is Lorry, a restaurant that serves large portions of traditional and international dishes. Guests at Lorry can choose over 200 types of beers to accompany the delicious foods.
Here are some of the restaurants in Oslo to add to your list:
- Lofoten Fiskerestaurant – for the best seasonal food in a casual atmosphere
- Kaffistova – for meatballs, potato dumplings open-faced sandwiches
- Solsiden Restaurant – for amazing seafood
- Ekebergrestauranten – dine and enjoy panoramic views of the Oslo fjord, the Opera House and more
3. Architecture and design
Oslo is a world-renowned architectural destination, and in recent years the city boasts of several radical designs. Take a tour to see the contemporary architecture in Tjuvholmen, a new modern neighborhood, the Barcode Project in Bjorvika, and Vulkan, the most innovative development in the industrial area of Oslo.
One of the most visited architectural marvels is the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet (Opera House). You can walk on the roof of this award-winning building and enjoy the views of Oslo.
You don’t have to venture far to experience Europe’s largest urban forest in Oslo. Fjord Tours offers hiking tours in summer from Holmenkollen to Frognerseteren, where you can see a collection of 19th-century wooden houses. The tour also includes Vettakollen, a viewpoint for the best views of Oslo, and Sognsvann lake for swimming.
If hiking is not on your agenda, you can include a day at Vigeland Park, a sculpture park with over 200 bronze, granite, and cast iron sculptures. Ekebergparken sculpture park is another to visit. Both parks do not charge entrance fees, and they are open year-round.
In winter, go alpine skiing and snowboarding in Oslo Winter Park, cross country skiing in the woods, and tobogganing in Korketrekkeren.
Nine out of 10 adults in Norway drink coffee. Coffee is usually served black, and the beans are lightly roasted. You can find a coffee shop in almost every street. To experience the best, Visit Oslo provided a list of 6:
- Time Wendelboe
- Hendrix Ibsen
- Java Espresso Bar & Kaffeforretning
- Mocca Coffeeshop
- Stockfleths Lille Grensen
Oslo travel tips
1. Check out Oslo Pass for discounts on sightseeing, free entrance to museums and transportation.
2. For hotels in Oslo check out Travelmath’s hotel calculator.
3. Find a list of airlines that fly into Oslo.