Oslo – Expensive and Exceptional

Oslo – Expensive and Exceptional

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Sights of Oslo
Buildings of Downtown Oslo

Several buildings of interest exist in downtown Oslo and give a tourist an insight to the historical and cultural heritage of Oslo. The Royal Palace is one such building which is located at the end of the main drag of the city called Karl Johans Gate. Oslo Cathedral and the surrounding Krikeristen which is the old bazaar is also worth exploring as it is populated by artists displaying their talents .The Oslo City Hall is a building on water front. Open to the public it has a magnificent main hall with murals depicting scenes from Nordic history.

Akerhus Festning
This is a medieval castle built in 1299. It affords gorgeous views of the Oslo fjord and has two museums full of memorabilia from Norwegian military past.

The ski jump located on the west side of the city can be accessed by metro. This ski jump was opened in 1892 and it has the oldest ski museum which was opened in 1923.One can access the top of the ski jump and take in the gorgeous views of the city. This ski jump attracts more than a million visitors a year and is also popular in the summer when people coming to walk and ride bikes here.

The Nobel Peace Center
This Center features pictures of every Nobel Peace Prize winner over the years.

Oslo has a number of museums The Henrik Ibsen Museum is a visual delight and a shrine to the playwright Henrik Ibsen. Another Museum is devoted to the melancholy but fascinating works of the Norwegian artist Edward Munch. This museum is another must see for any tourist to Oslo. The National Gallery features contemporary artists as well as Norwegian Art. At one time all these various Museums used to charge entrance fees. Later it was decided to provide complimentary entrance for tourists to these museums on the procurement of the travel related Oslo Pass.

The peninsula called Bygdøy outside the city center is infested with museums. It is accessible by ferry from Aker Brygge during the summer months or by bus.

Folk Museum
The museums located here include the Folk Museum which is an open air structure devoted to buildings from Norway’s past.

The Viking Ships Museum
The Viking Ships Museum contains the well preserved Viking ships which were excavated from the burial mounds in the southern part of Norway. The 9th century ships are in excellent condition as they were embalmed in clay. Like the Egyptians the Vikings buried their dead royals with all goods they believed they would need in the after life. The hoard of treasures which have been discovered are also on display along with the three ships. The ship in the best condition is the Gokstad while the Oseberg is a delicately carved with animal head post . The Oseberg served as the burial chamber of a Viking queen.

The Kon Tiki Museum
The museum contains the famous balsam wood raft the Kon-Tiki used by explorer Thor Heyerdahl to cross the Pacific ocean in 1947 in order to prove the theory that the settlers from Polynesia could have sailed the 4300 miles to Peru from Polynesia is a raft similar to the one he used. The Museum also contains the reed raft Ra II used by Heyerdahl to sail the Atlantic in 1970 as well as a taxidermy of a white shark and artifacts from his various voyages to Easter Island and Polynesia.

The Norwegian Maritime Museum displaying exhibits from Norway’s maritime expeditions and the Fram Museum featuring the Fram vessel the world’s first ice breaker ship are also located here.

The most famous park in Oslo is the Vigeland Park which features the sculptures of celebrated Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland. 200 pieces of his work adorn the park. These sculptures feature human forms and his most famous and admired work is the Monolith  located in the center of the park. This worke was carved from a single stone and contains several writhing human forms. The Angry Boy featuring a boy stamping his foot is another popular work. More examples of his work can be found in the nearby Vigeland Museum.

The Toyen Park is another verdant expanse popular with the locals in the summer. The Botanical Gardens located on the south of Toyen Park are another popular summertime haunt for tourists and local residents of the city alike.

Apart from Parks and Museums a tourist in their itinerary must include a picturesque ferry ride to one of the islands of the Oslo-Fjord. The ferries operate in the summer time from Vippetangen.

Oslo is one of the most expensive cities of the world but it has a number of accommodation options to suit every budget. Grand Hotel Oslo is where the noble peace prize winners are put up. Hotel Continental Oslo is another luxurious hotel with a popular café called Theatercafe which is a trendy people spotting locale of Oslo. A more moderately priced hotel is the Radisson SAS Plaza Hotel at Sonja Henies Pass 3, it is the tallest hotel in Northern Europe with 37 floors and is located close to Central train station. Rooms here start at 1300 kr and include a substantial buffet breakfast. There are a number of hostels available for the younger and more budget conscious tourist some of these are Holtekilen Hostel, Haraldshiem Youth Hostel and Ronnigen Youth Hostel.

Dining and Shopping
Aker Brygge on the waterfront is the hub for restaurants and bars in the summer months but it can be frightfully expensive too. Stortingsgaten which runs parallel to the main Karl Johans gate avenue is another locale for more moderately priced bars and restaurants. Another area for budget dining is Torgatta and streets around it. This area has a number of Asian restaurants and shops as has the area of Gronland called ‘Little Pakistan’ for its concentration of South Asian restaurants and stores selling products from the subcontinent.

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