A beautiful European getaway destination Oslo, Norway should be on the radar of anyone looking to get off the usual tourist track of Paris, Rome, London and Athens. Perhaps nowhere else in Europe can you experience such beauty in all four seasons, and whether you are there in the middle of their summer, or are taking a winter European vacation there are plenty of activities to enjoy, sights to see and places to visit in Oslo to enchant travelers to this incredible city. Here are 7 of the best tourist attractions in Oslo, Norway:
The Oslo Fjord
It would be an absolute sin to come to this part of the world and not experience the majestic natural beauty of the Norwegian fjords. A hugely popular cruise destination, the fjords make up some of the most breathtaking natural landscape in the world. From Oslo you can grab a boat or ferry to tour the fjords, and you can stop at many of the beautiful islands, including Langayene, a highlight not to be missed. If you are there in the summer relax on one of the gorgeous beaches, or if you are looking for culture and history take a visit to the ruins of an old cloister situated on the island.
Frognerparken, or Frogner Park was once a large parcel of land owned by rich Norwegian families like Wegner and Anker back in the 19th century. However, the city of Oslo managed to acquire this beautiful section of the city, converting into a massive public park. Though popular as a relaxation spot and for its close proximity to the heart of Oslo, Frognerparken is most famous for the incredible statuary housed in the Vigeland Scupture Park. The park contains an incredible 212 statues created by the hand of the renowned sculptor Gustav Vigeland. Prepare to be awestruck by the world famous Monolitten (Monolith) which depicts 121 people trying to reach the apex of the sculpture.
The Viking Ship Museum
Whether or you are a nautical buff or a history buff a tour through this reconstructed Viking ship is not to be missed during your visit to Oslo. It is a wonderful and interesting way to learn about Viking and Scandinavian history, and even children will enjoy the tour. If the ship tour merely whets you appetite for knowledge then take a visit to one or more of the several Norwegian folk museums located in the near vicinity to learn more about the enthralling past of these ancient mariners.
The National Gallery
If you are an art aficionado then you absolutely must pay a visit to Oslo’s National Gallery. Featuring paintings from the 19th century to the present day the Gallery houses the works of such famous artists as G.P. Munthe, H.F. Gude, T. Fearnley, and J.C. Dahl. However, the highlight of a visit to the National Gallery is undoubtedly the exhibit of famed artist Edvard Munch. Here you can view the world famous 1893 painting The Scream, depicting an agonized being clutching its head and shrieking against the backdrop of a blood-red sky.
Holmonkellen – If you are one of those hardy souls who visits this region of the world during the winter time, then one Oslo tourist attraction not to be missed is a visit to this snow resort. Whether you are tobogganing, cross-country skiing, or simply watching your kids frolic in the snow while enjoying a steaming mug of hot chocolate, this is a fun day out for families and couples alike.
Oslo Opera House
Granted, opera might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you are one of those with an ear for opera, then a visit to Oslo’s recently opened (2008) Opera House should certainly be included on your itinerary. The opera and the ballet performances notwithstanding the building itself is something to see. With more than 1,100 rooms and over 38,000 square meters in size this waterfront facility is a stunning piece of architecture.
Last, but certainly not least is the Akershus Fortress, a massive, sprawling castle built in the late 13th century at the behest of King Haakon V to defend Norway following Earl Alv Erlingsson of Sapborg’s attack on Oslo. In the intervening years since its construction it has served as a seat of power, a prison, and was even briefly occupied by Nazi forces.
These are just a few of the best tourist attractions in Oslo, Norway, and visitors to this city will find no shortage of things to keep them occupied while here. If you want to experience a culture and ruggedly beautiful terrain far different from what you’ll find in most of Europe definitely consider adding this great city to your European vacation itinerary.
About the author:
Adrianne Duthie makes her home in Los Angeles, California and is a frequent world traveler. Her favorite destinations are in Europe, but she does branch out from time to time, and has visited more than 50 countries across six continents in her more than 30 years of traveling.