Operahuset (Oslo Opera House)
This architectural marvel is only a short stroll from Oslo’s Central Station (Oslo S). I was amazed at the way this work of art blended in so seamlessly with the water. The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet both call this amazing building home, and many performances and shows are held here when touring Norway. The exterior is build from Italian marble and white granite which makes it sparkle in the night like a modern floating iceberg of Oslo’s fjord. The coolest part of the Oslo Opera House is that visitors can walk on the roof of the building! I highly recommend doing this at night as well for a beautiful view of the city. The Oslo Pass will get you a 20% discount on a tour of the Opera House (Adult Admission: NOK 100, £10, $17), but you can climb and walk around free of charge.
Located in one of the most remotest marathon locations, the North Pole Marathon takes you to sub-zero temperatures on top of 6-12 feet sheets of ice on top of the freezing Arctic Ocean. Rather than a land run, this is literally a run on ice marathon. No where else in the world can you say you’ve run 42km on ice! This Norwegian marathon also includes a helicopter flight around the polar region.
Oslo City Hall
ver wondered where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded? You may have known it took place in Oslo, Norway, but the actual location is at Oslo City Hall. I had the privilege to visit this famous site, and walk in the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest leaders, thinkers, and game changers. Walking up to Oslo City Hall, I was overcome with disappointment. This building had won “Oslo’s Structure of the Century” and is a well-known icon around the world. I was unimpressed with the brick facade, which in all honesty reminded me of a library from the 80′s. BUT. Walking inside I was surprised to find beautiful murals and some of the most spectacular artwork I had ever seen. I was not expecting it at all, which made it even more incredible. When you visit a place like the Sistine Chapel, you work it up in your head. By the time you are actually there, in front of some of the greatest art work of all time, you can’t help but feel a little disappointed. Maybe this is just a Jessica thing, but I live for the unexpected surprises. Oslo City Hall has the most beautiful interior, and after the shockingly ugly welcome (take my opinion with a grain of salt, I am not an architecture expert) a total surprise it was.
Norwegian Folk Museum
The Norwegian Folk Museum is the place to go if you want to get a lifetime’s worth of Norwegian history and culture in and you are short on time. I learned so much about the Norwegian people on my visit, and it was definitely a highlight of my entire trip to Norway. This is the largest open-air museum in the world, and it definitely won’t disappoint. You are free to explore the grounds on your own, so you can discover incredible buildings from Norway’s past along each path you choose. The highlight is the Stave Church from Gol, a breathtaking wooden church that dates back to 1212. You can also walk around farm houses, a typical 1950′s Norwegian town, and many other regional parts of Norway that have been recreated. The indoor exhibits are definitely worth a look and feature traditional costumes and folk art- I especially recommend the exhibit on the Sami Culture. Admission is free with the Oslo Pass, otherwise NOK 110 (£11, $18) for an adult ticket.
Viking Ship Museum
The Viking Ship Museum is great to combine with the Norwegian Folk Museum as it is only a five minute walk down the street. If you are into the Vikings, definitely check this place out. The main attractions are the Oseberg and Gokstad ships, both pre-dating 1000 AD. The exhibits tell you all about the life of everyday Vikings, the methods they used for ceremonial burials, and displays items such as beds and a horse cart that have been found in archaeological digs. The museum is quite small, as most of the focus is on these extraordinary ships, so it can easily be thrown in to a 24 hour itinerary. Admission is free with the Oslo Pass, otherwise an Adult entry costs NOK 60 (£6, $10).
Vigeland Sculpture Park
The Vigeland Sculpture Park is a little bit quirky, but a whole lot awesome. One of the world’s largest sculpture parks done by a single artist, Vigeland features over 200 sculptures along its manicured lawns from its namesake sculptor Gustav Vigeland. The Sculpture park is actually located inside the larger Frogner Park, which is also great for a stroll or picnic in the warmer months. Admission is NOK 60 (£6, $10) or free with the Oslo Pass.