The perfect 48 hours in Oslo

As part of the Travelers Insight blog parade “The perfect 48 hours in…” I would like to make a suggestion for two wonderful days in Oslo . In principle, a longer visit to the Norwegian capital and the surrounding area is also recommended, but if you have limited time or are still looking for suggestions, you will hopefully find something here.

Oslo is one of those cities that cannot offer countless sights like some other European capitals do. What impresses you here are less grand streets and historical buildings churning out, but rather the special flair of the fjord and the very own charm that this city exudes. An absolute must for Scandinavian fans!

Day 1 – Explore the city center

Look out into the city center from the opera in the morning

The opera house in Oslo is not far from the main train station directly at the harbor and thanks to its unusual architecture it is accessible and therefore ideally suited as a vantage point of the city center from the roof . The angular shape is modeled on an iceberg, the facade is largely covered with noble Carrara marble slabs.

There is even more modern architecture to admire right next door, so to speak: in the Bjørvika district . The barcode is the silhouette of a few long, narrow skyscrapers, which are always at a certain distance from the next building, but all of which have their own architectural details . From a distance – and seen from above – the sight resembles a barcode, hence the name.

From the opera you continue towards the city on Karl Johan , the main street in Oslo, which leads from the train station directly to the royal palace. In the city center, the distances are short, everything can be easily reached on foot. On the way to the castle you will pass the cathedral, the parliament building, the grand hotel, the national theater and the university.

Grand Hotel in Oslo

The impression is not misleading: Oslo is a very green city. Around the royal castle , which is located on a small hill, there is a large park – the castle park. So it is ideal for a short break from the exploration tour before continuing to the famous town hall .

One can probably argue about the beauty of the town hall, but the fact is that it has a high symbolic meaning and appears every year through the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize

Oslo City Hall

What strolls through the city is already noticeable, are the many electric cars – easy to recognize by the license plates, which start with EL. Accordingly, the necessary infrastructure is also available here: You can see charging stations and special parking spaces for e-cars in many corners. Norway is a pioneer in the field of electromobility, which is mainly due to the fact that the state is consistently promoting it. The acquisition costs are often lower compared to cars with a combustion engine thanks to tax advantages. In the meantime, however, one is also faced with the challenge of adapting the infrastructure in the future to the rapidly increasing number of electric cars.

In the afternoon up to the fortress

View from Akershus Fortress to Oslo City Hall
View from Akershus Fortress to the town hall

Akershus Fortress, an originally medieval castle that was later converted into a Renaissance chateau , is only a stone’s throw from the town hall . From here you have a great view of the town hall, the fjord and the harbor or you can take a look at a cruise ship, if one has docked.

Food and accommodation

The Aker Brygge district is home to a variety of restaurants – from fish restaurants to Italians, there should be something for everyone here. The open-air restaurant Lekter’n , which is located on a floating pontoon in the fjord, exudes a special flair . From here you have a great view of the fjord and Akershus Fortress (provided there is no large ship in front of it). In terms of food, you shouldn’t expect anything more than solid performance here.

There is enough accommodation in the city center, but you can also spend the night a bit outside the city center. Thanks to the T-bane, Oslo’s subway , the distance to the city is quite straightforward. The Oslo route network is manageable and therefore ideal for people who are not particularly well versed. Tickets are available in the stations at the Ruter machines (white # on a red background), for example as a single ticket or 24-hour ticket

Day 2 – From Holmenkollen out into the fjord

Enjoy the view from Holmenkollen in the morning

The second day starts with a trip to Holmenkollen, the mountain northwest of Oslo, on which the Holmenkollbakken ski jump , known among winter sports enthusiasts, is located. To do this, take the T-bane to the Holmenkollen station and then walk the last bit up the mountain. But the way up the mountain is not only worthwhile for ski jumping fans, because the view over the city and the fjord is very impressive.

Holmenkollbakken ski jump
Holmenkollbakken ski jump

A ski museum is located below the ski jump , in which, among other things, the history of skiing is illuminated. The entry also includes the viewing platform at the highest point of the ski jump, namely above the jumping facility. From here you have the best 360 degree view of Oslo . If you want to save yourself the entrance fee for the ski museum, you can move around freely in the spectator stands and enjoy a very nice view from the mezzanine.

Those with a head for heights who would like to experience a ski jump for themselves can “zipline” with adequate safety (except in winter) or, in good English, swing down from the jumping facility on a zip line.

Discover and relax in the Vige landsanlegget at lunchtime

On the way back from Holmenkollen you can use the Majorstuen exit directly to visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park . Alternatively, tram 12 stops right in front of the park ( Vigelandsparken stop ). The sculpture park is the life’s work of the Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland. There are over 200 stone and bronze sculptures to marvel at. The most famous of these are the Sinnataggen , the defiantly stamping child, the Monolitten and the Livshjulet , the wheel of life. The park is open all year round and there is no entry fee.

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