My husband has visited over 80 countries in the world without really trying. He accompanies me sometimes, when he has time and appetite. As a result, he has been to Afghanistan, Angola, Sao Tome, Mauritania – some pretty obscure travel destinations. However, as we met after I had travelled extensively in Europe, he has never been to Scotland, Ireland, Germany or Norway or any number of ‘normal’ countries in Europe..
So, I have decided to take my husband on monthly date nights to European cities that he hasn’t been to before. I am also secretly trying to get him to visit 100 countries. This month, its Oslo!
Its not a detailed post, (really its just an excuse to publish our photos), but here are our tips for how to have a date night/weekend in Oslo
After a delayed flight from London, we only got to downtown Oslo at 2pm, so we checked into our hotel (right next to the station) and headed out ….
Take the ferry to the Bydog peninsular
The peninsular of bydog reminds me of cape cod – enormous white wooden villas, trees and lots of yachts. It is also home to a handful of excellent museums. To get there, take the ferry included in the oslo pass from Aker Brugge
Visit the Norwegian Folk Museum
I mostly went to this museum to see this for the beautiful old stave church, and it was worth it. For the more down-home among you, you can see them working the traditional farm on the weekends
Check out the viking ship museum – just like amazonprime
okay, this was purely for entertainment, inspired by watching vikings on prime. the ships are quite beautiful
And then wander over to the Kontiki Museum
I found this museum oddly irritating as it was about six white guys who built a raft to prove you could get from Peru to easter island on a small vessel. Given my ancestors were canoeing around the pacific a millennium ago, i am not sure why we should celebrate that some white guys can do it.
Cross the road to Norways most famous museum – the Fram museum
This was the boat with which the norwegians conquered the south pole before anyone else figured out how to deal with the ice. It was great to visit, you actually get to wander around the ship interior.
Wander around the peninsular
The peninsular is lovely, especially on a September day, with the sun shining and the harbour full of yachts
Wander around downtown
After taking the ferry back to town, we spent a couple of hours meandering around town before dinner. There were lots of nice buildings, but it was these loos donated from france (with the national motto of Liberte, egalite and fraternity) which caught my eye. They were donated to celebrate 200 years of the Norwegian constitution, which was to some extent based on the french constitution
Have dinner date at a Michelin starred restaurant
We went to Galt. It wasn’t cheap but it was amazing. The highlights were a cured lamb flat bread snack, and halibut with griddled cabbage. I would go back in a heartbeat. 10 courses, and then we had to walk back to the hotel to digest.
Check out the Vigeland installation at Frogner Park
We got up relatively early and had a huge Nordic breakfast (mackerel, eggs, rye bread, bacon, sausage and fruit). Then we headed up to Frogner park to see the sculptures. Mr Vigeland was a man before his time, most of his works were completed in the early 1900s. Frogner park has over 200 of his sculptures and they were extraordinary
Don’t pee on the walls
Check out the Astrup Fearnley Modern art museum
Its a lovely museum on the harbour. Small but perfectly formed with an excellent cafe. Also check out the sculpture garden next door
Wander around grunerlokka
Grunerlokka is a hip and happening neighbourhood with some spectacular graffiti. There is a small but love sunday market at bla. And after a wander you can head to mathallen for lunch (its an upmarket foodhall). From Mathallen it is an easy half hour stroll along a stream back to town
Walk on the roof of the opera house and check out the interior
The opera house is a lovely structure, but the highlight was walking up the sloping roof to check out the views of the harbour. We were fortunate that there was performance going on when we visited so we heard some of it
It was an excellent weekend, where we ended up walking about 15km each day. Also is delightful, really lovely, wonderful food, and easy to stroll around. Though bring your wallet, as everything is eye-wateringly expensive (average salaries in Oslo are almost double what they are in London, and so are the prices)
Oslo, September 23, 2018
- Stayed at Opera Thon – right next to Oslo Central Station (Oslo S).
- Definitely use the Oslo Pass – its 400 NOK for 24 hours for free entry to most museums and free public transport. Given most museums were 120 NOK, it was a good deal, and included the ferry to the bydog peninsular
- Flights are super cheap with Norwegian
- Take the NSB/local train to town – its only 23 minutes, a couple minutes slower than the private express train which is double the price