Gol Stave Church
Oslo's rich culture
Oslo, Norway was the second country in our Scandinavian tour. After leaving Denmark we took a regional jet to the capital. The capital city sits on the country's southern coast. It is known for being a great place to live in Europe, its famous museums and numerous fjords.
Norway is rich in Viking history with many of their key attractions centered around these historical places. We sent 2 days in Norway before heading to Sweden, this was enough time to see all the city's top attractions. Norway is also known for their fjords, but we had been to Alaska so chose to pass on visiting these.
How we got to the city center
After the short flight we caught the train from the airport into the city center. Their public transportation is very easy to use buy a multi-day pass for your stay.
What we did
For our first day we chose to pair the local attractions that were in the heart of Oslo. And the second day we took the bus to the Bygdøy peninsula to visit the Viking Ship Museum and Norsk Folk Museum.
The Royal Palace was built in the first half of the 19th century as the Norwegian residence of the French-born King Charles III of Norway, who reigned as king of Norway and Sweden. Starting in March daily guided tours are provided. You should get tickets in advance because very few are available at the door. Similar to other palaces in Europe its well appointed with period piece furniture and art. During the tour some of the rooms you will visit are the Cabinet Parlor, Banquet hall, Council room and bird room. The tour is roughly two hours.
Our next stop was the Akershus Fortress, a medieval castle built in 1299 by King Hakon to protect Oslo as a military base, as well as serve as the royal residence. In the sixteen century it was modernized reflecting the Renaissance architecture style. Today, it is a museum open daily to the public there isn't an entrance fee.
It is a sculpture park & museum displaying the works of Gustav Vigeland a famous Norwegian artist. Instead of visiting the museum we walked the park where you can see over 200 works throughout the grounds. There wasn't an entry fee for this attraction either.
For day two we walked backed to the train station to catch a bus to the Bygdoy peninsula, it was a short 5-minute walk from our hotel. The bus service was very convenient to use during your stay in Oslo. On the peninsula there are two must visit attractions. Norsk Folk Museum and Viking Ship Museum.
Norsk Folk Museum
One of the 160 structuresAnother Church View
It is an open-air museum containing over 160 structures capturing how they lived so many years ago. One of the main attractions at the museum is Gol Stave Church which dates back to the 12 th century. The entire attraction depicts how Norwegians lived from the 15 th century to present day. In addition to the outdoor exhibits and structures they also have indoor exhibits that feature fork art and period piece costumes all reflecting the local culture during this time period. It is must do when in Oslo.
Oslo's Viking Museum
Taking the same bus line our next stop was at the Viking Ship Museum. This museum houses three well preserved Viking burial ships. Each ship (Osberg, Gokstad, & Tune) was at one time an ocean vessel, only used for burial by wealthy owners, all are beautiful craved each is unique based on the time period. The museum does offer tours, we did the museum on our own. As with Norsk, they are open most of the year check the website for exact times.
Our hotel was Clarion Collection Hotel Folketeateret, located very close to the train station. The room were a good size and very clean. Unfortunately, there were dark and extremely hot at night. Breakfast was included in our room rate, it had plenty of options to choose from. In the afternoon they offer afternoon tea, cakes and a light meal which we enjoyed prior to heading out for dinner. The staff were very friendly.
Oslo Dinner OptionsAmundsen Bryggeri
Amundsen Bryggeri, we chose this based on their extensive local beer list and they took reservations. This is a local hangout after work. The beer was of good quality and fish & chips were tasty.
VulkanFisk, located in an old warehouse area filled with food stalls about 15 minutes from the central train station where we were staying. The area offers many options for dinner. We wish we would have known that the food stalls closed at 6 pm during the week because there were many stalls we wanted to try. For dinner we had the shrimp and fish of the day included in the prices was bread and a salad.
After two full days learning about the Norwegian history, we returned to our hotel to pack for our last stop in Sweden. During our entire visit all the Scandinavian people were welcoming and helpful all three countries provided a deep culture and historical experience.
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