When it comes to my list of places to visit, Norway is definitely near the top. There’s something about Scandinavia that really draws me in. The fashion, the design styles, the fonts, the landscapes. Just all of it.
So when we saw that we could grab cheap flights to Oslo in the Ryanair sale, I had to get tickets even if it only meant we would have one full day in the city.
And from the moment we arrived, I knew I had fallen in love with both the city and the country.
Here’s just a few reasons why I think Oslo should be on your list of places to visit.
The Change Of Seasons
When you visit Oslo, regardless of time of year, you’ll be guaranteed to get the perfect weather for that season, so if you’re not a big fan of the cold then perhaps visiting during the summer months would be best for you where temperatures can reach the mid 20s.
If like me, you picture Scandinavian countries as cold, snowy and with a crisp bite in the air then head over in late autumn and winter.
We visited in November and although there wasn’t any snow, it was bitterly cold but I think that made the experience all the better for us. There is nothing better than wrapping up warm and making lots of cafe stops for hot drinks when taking in a new city in the wintry chill.
Small City With Big Impact
Oslo is quite a small city in comparison to other capitals around the world which means you can walk to many of the main attractions if you want to get around by foot.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make use of the public transport though. There are plenty of trams to help you experience the city should you choose to.
Don’t be scared to not have a plan here, you’ll get a better feel of the city by wandering.
Incredible Street Art
The city is super trendy and there is plenty of cool street art to see when walking.
If street art is as much your thing as it is mine, then I would highly recommend taking a walk through Ingens Gate and taking the time to go by the art school to see some really impressive pieces like the peacock and the crocodile.
Home to ‘The Scream’
However, if you appreciate fine art more than street art (or both) then take note that Oslo is also home to pieces of art created by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch and stores the original copy of the infamous “The Scream” in the cities National Gallery and for free no less.
Along with plenty of other collections and exhibitions, this was one of the highlights of our trip. It’s really incredible to see such an iconic painting up close and we would recommend that anyone, art lover or not, take a trip into the galleries to view it and the other pieces on display.
Great For Coffee Enthusiasts
Coffee has recently become a staple in my daily routine and I genuinely cannot get enough of it.
You’ll be pleased to know that Oslo has no shortage of great coffee shops on offer from their local chains of Kaffebrenneriet which I imagine is a bit like their local version of Costa or Starbucks.
The city is also home to one of the best espresso bars in the country and potentially the world, Tim Wendelboe.
The goal of Tim Wendelboe is to “be among the best coffee roasteries and espresso bars in the world and to be a preferred supplier of quality coffee and a preferred resource for coffee innovation and coffee knowledge.”
A must visit for any coffee connoisseur.
Incredible Views – The Opera House
In my opinion, there are two places that give the best views in the city and the first would have to be from the top of the stunning Oslo Opera house.
When you search for pictures of Oslo, it’s probably one of the most prominent buildings that you’ll see and for good reason.
This white marble building is a beautiful piece of architecture that lets you….no, encourages you to walk all the way up and over the top giving you great views over the fjords and mountains which influenced the design of the building.
If you’re visiting in summer, don’t be surprised to find plenty of people sunbathing on the sloping roof.
Getting to Oslo can be really cheap, although it’s quite the opposite once you get there but if you keep your eyes on the main budget airlines you can quite often get some cheap return flights from mainland UK to Oslo.
Our flights cost around £20 each way from Edinburgh which is a bargain and definitely worth it for the experience of seeing a new country.
As I said, it’s a bit more expensive once you get there but not quite as bad as the rumours i’m sure we’ve all heard so don’t let that put you off as Oslo is definitely worth the visit.
The Traditional Houses Of Damstredet
One of the most endearing parts of the city for me had to be the Damstredet.
A small street lined with traditional Norwegian designed homes that have been perfectly preserved and inhabited since the 18th and 19th century.
These colourful buildings give you a small glimpse of what life would have been like in the city prior to modernisation and the introduction of more current building methods and designs.
Incredible Views – Karl Johans Gate From The Palace
Remember those views that I mentioned were amongst the best in the city, this is the second one.
At the very top of the main street running through the city, Karl Johans Gate, stands the Royal Palace, which itself is a beautiful building and you should make sure to visit in time to see the changing of the guard. It’s also incredibly strange to us to be able to get so close to the front of such an important building, although you will get side eyes from the guards and shouted at if you get a little bit too close.
Looking behind you from the Royal Palace, you are treated to breathtaking views right over the top of the city centre and beyond.
I can only imagine what the views from the second floor windows of the palace must be like.
So there you have it, 9 reasons why you should visit Oslo.
And those are just nine of the many reasons why it’s somewhere you should consider for a short break.
Hopefully I’ve convinced you, but if not, keep your eyes peeled for future Oslo posts that will show you even more of this beautiful city and hopefully even more content if and when we return to Norway in the future.