Norway’s capital city offers a lively mix of galleries, museums, shops, restaurants and nightlife, with magnificent forests, islands, ski trails and the beautiful Oslo Fjord close at hand.
Oslo still ranks as one of the world’s most expensive cities, but the “Nordic City of Light” has awakened to the attraction if city fun, and developed into an unexpected metropolis. In 2010 it was the only Scandinavian city to make it into the top 10 city break destinations at the World Travel Awards, the industry’s biggest and most prestigious award worldwide.
Oslo’s cultural rebirth in recent years has been in part conscious, in part a natural outcome of injections of money in the right place. On the back of the oil boom came money for the arts and a flourishing of the arts scene. The new face of Oslo is represented by the magnificent white marble and granite Opera House, at the heart of the newly developing Bjørvika waterfront district.
But in many ways Oslo remains the features of the ideal city of the 19th century. Within easy walking distance (and this is a perfect city for walking in), nestled around the northern tip of the fjord and the central boulevard, Karl Johans gate, are all the accoutrements of a capital – the Royal Palace and its park, Parliament, City Hall, a fortress, a cathedral, the National Theatre and excellent museums, the city’s biggest draw.
The attractions not in this compact grid of streets are just a few stops on the tram or T-Bane (metro) – Vigeland Park, the Munch Museum, the Nordmarka wilderness – whole the sights on the Bygdøy peninsula, Oslo’s other big draws are a short ferry ride away.
Oslo – the Nordic City of Light, written by Tor Kjolberg
Feature image (on top): Modern architectire in Oslo – Barcode