About Oslo city break
The diversity of Oslo, with its museums, parks and nearby fjord and forest make this compact city ideal for a city break.
Duration: 4 days
Oslo was founded in the 11th century and is Norway's most populous city with over half a million people. Its location near the Oslofjord is perfect for recreation: swimming, fishing, sightseeing and island hopping and the hills and forest surrounding the city are ideal for hiking. This diversity of activity means that Oslo is perfect for a city break.
Highlights to visit in the city include a wealth of museums and galleries. Many Norse traders and explorers hailed from Norway and we highly recommend the Viking Ship Museum which displays two of the best preserved Viking longships in the world in addition to other discoveries like sledges, tools, textiles and household utensils.
The Norwegian Folk Museum, one of Europes largest open air museums, contains 155 houses from all parts of Norway and a stave (mediaeval wooden) church from 13th century. These exhibits details daily life in Norway from the 16th century onwards.
Add to this the Oslo City Museum and the Resistance Museum, documenting life in Norway during WW2, and you'll see that Oslo is a culturally vibrant place to visit.
If you want to see the original painting 'The Scream' by Edvard Munch, it's located in Oslo at the National Gallery. This also has the country's largest and finest collection of pre-1945 works . Although the emphasis is on Norwegian artists, there is a strong post- Impressionist section with works by Van Gogh, Manet and Cezanne. Munch bequeathed his work to the city and you can visit the collection at the Munch Museum.
One of the grand architectural triumphs of the world and one of the more recent features on Oslo's skyline is the multi award-winning Opera House, completed in 2007. Home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, it is situated in the Bjørka neighborhood of central Oslo, at the head of the Oslo fjord.
The complex slants upward from the fjord and seems to rise up out of the sea. Visitors can stroll from the edge of the fjord up the ramp-like structure to the apex of the building. From here, you can take in the panorama of Oslo, with an even more invigorating view when seen at night.
Oslo is blessed with several parks: Frogner Park lies a few miles from the centre - it is here that many come to spend their leisure time. In the centre is Vigeland Sculpture Park, Oslo's most visited attraction. This displays over 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) celebrating the human form and life in all its aspects. The centrepiece is a towering granite monolith depicting scores of intertwined bodies. Vigeland gave all his works to the city in 1921 in exchange for a studio, assistants, living quarters and a salary. The studio is now a museum.
Another major draw is Palace Park by the Royal Palace, where you can watch the daily changing of the guards.