What you need to know about OsloOlso is one of the world’s best cities for relaxing and enjoying the view, particularly around the harbour front or from Tryvannstårnet, the city’s observation tower. It stands at 117m tall on a 570m hill on the outskirts of Oslo, and provides a breathtaking view across the capital city.
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In recent years Oslo’s waterfront has undergone huge redevelopment, including the spectacular Opera House – a huge modern structure of Italian marble, granite and glass that seems to rise from the water. Oslo’s national gallery is home to the country’s biggest collection of European and Norwegian art, including works by Picasso, Monet and Matisse, and Norway’s most famous artwork, The Scream by Edvard Munch. But if you prefer people-watching to culture and history, you’ve come to the right place; simply find your favourite park or café, and watch the world go by in this beautiful and alluring city.
Food and drink
Oslo has a fantastic selection of international dining, inspired by a diverse migrant population and a growing affection amongst the locals for great quality world foods. You’ll find a great selection of Moroccan, Turkish, Greek and Asian restaurants in Oslo, as well as plenty of French and Italian bistros. The locals love dining at Aker Brygge, a former shipyard on the harbour that has been redeveloped into a high-end destination for shopping and dining, with lots of great restaurants and bars to choose from. For fresh seafood and tasty oysters, head to one of the fabulous fish restaurants on the wharf, with has lovely views over the harbour, or grab a light bite at one of Oslo’s many trendy café and coffee houses.
Oslo’s network of buses, trams, underground trains and ferries is clean, efficient and well-organised – this is Scandinavia, after all. You can buy tickets that are transferable across all modes of transport, with discounts for under-16s and over-67s. If you’re planning to see lots of the city, t’s also worth considering an Oslo Pass, which gives you unlimited free travel on public transport, free admission to museums and discounts on main attractions and restaurants. The harbour area and city centre is best enjoyed on foot, and much like Norway’s neighbouring Scandi cities, Oslo is a wonderful city for cycling, with lots of dedicated cycle lanes and a well-used community bike network.
Events and festivals
Oslo’s most famous music event is Norwegian Wood, a five day outdoor rock festival held in the city’s Frogner Park amphitheatre in June. It attracts international rock stars past and present, as well as Norway’s biggests rock acts. If your music tastes are more diverse, you may enjoy Øyafestivalen in August, a four day music festival that is mostly Scandinavian acts representing dance music, pop, rock and heavy metal, but the programme has also included the likes of Kanye West, Pulp and Nile Rogers. The event takes place in different venues across the city, with the main open-air stage in the city’s Middelalderparken.
Destination Guide: Scandinavia 20 December 2016