Oslo Travel Guide
From the refurbished waterfront of Aker Brygge to the snowy hilltops of Holmenkollen, Oslo seems to offer the traveler everything they could ever want: hip cafés and nightlife, a verdant landscape (Oslo is one of the most forested cities in the world) and a culture steeped in arts and history. Where could this town go wrong? continue»
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The best time to visit Oslo is from March to August, when the temperatures rise and there are surprisingly affordable room rates for the city -- between $150 and $200 USD a night. This is also the best time to experience some mild temperatures, which average in the mid 60s -- but it can get chillier, so make sure to bring a coat. Like Stockholm, Oslo can experience nearly 24 hours of daylight, with the famous midnight sun usually appearing in June or July. On the flip side, there are winter days of near total darkness. This is matched with frigid weather and temperatures diving into the teens and 20s.Best Times to Visit Oslo»
Oslo isn't organized by a simple grid system, but the city's main attractions are in central Oslo, known as Sentrum, and within walking distance of each other. Sentrum also holds many of the city's municipal and business offices.
The main street in Oslo's city center, Karl Johans Gate, connects Oslo's Central Train Station in the east to the Det Kongelige Slott or Slottet (Royal Palace) in the west. Around this thoroughfare you can find many of the city's best hotels and restaurants. If you're looking for traditional Oslo, try staying or eating in Gamlebyen (Old Town), located just south of the Stortinget (or Parliament Building). The area also contains some of Oslo's better-known landmarks, including Old Town Hall and the Norway's Resistance Museum, which chronicles and exhibits Norwegian resistance to Nazi Germany during World War II.
Oslo's well-regarded museums and concert halls are also scattered throughout Sentrum. Just north of the Akershus Fortress is the highly recommended National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, which contains a large collection of Norwegian art, including a version of The Scream by Edvard Munch. Did you know he created several?
South of Sentrum
South of the city center, along the Oslofjord, is the Akershus Festning (Akershus Fortress), an old castle that was once used to protect Oslo's harbor, and is now open to public visitors. The bay is also home to the Norwegian Opera & Ballet, which hosts several operas, ballets and concerts throughout the year in a state-of-the-art new building. Just west of the opera house, the trendy Aker Brygge waterfront district is highly recommended for great restaurants. Also an upscale residential neighborhood with plenty of shops, travel writers say Aker Brygge is also excellent for walking and relaxing along the waterfront.
Oslo Suburbs & Outskirts
Attractions in eastern Oslo also include the Botanic Gardens and the city's zoo. For younger travelers, the nearby hip neighborhood of Grünerløkka, just northwest of Sentrum, is popular with younger travelers for its many popular cafés, bars and nightclubs.
Many worthwhile Oslo attractions can also be found on the outskirts of the city. These include hilly Holmenkollen, an excellent accommodation option for winter sports enthusiasts, and Marka, Oslo's forested recreational area that contains ski trails, lakes, and opportunities for hiking bicycling, fishing and jogging.
Oslo is considered to be one of the safest capital cities in Europe. However, as its status as a tourist destination has grown, so have the incidents of theft. Keep an eye out for pickpockets, especially in Aker Brygge and other crowded areas.
The best way to get around Oslo is on the trams or buses, as they're widely available and conveniently connect passengers to points throughout central city and the outskirts. When you're arriving in Oslo International Airport (OSL), you can take a train, bus, taxicab or rental car into the city center. Around town, you'll find walking and biking are cheap alternatives in warm weather.Getting Around Oslo»