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Oslo, a very natural capital

Oslo, a very natural capital

Pedestrian, Other, 8 km, 1 day

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Rhadhusplassen Oslo
Architecture, castles and historic districts

The port of Pipervika lies at the innermost point of Oslo's fjord, where it was established under the shelter and protection of the Akerhus fortress eastward. On the other shore, bars and sidewalk cafés sprawl along Aker Brygge's wharves while fishermen offer customers shrimp and other fried food. The old warehouses have been refurbished into an ultra-modern complex that is both shopping gallery and recreational centre.

Before exploring the fjords that are among the most beautiful scenery in Europe, take the time to visit Oslo! The oldest capital of Scandinavia concentrates on quintessential cultural and gastronomic Norway. And a ski (and telemark) resort is located in the city itself! Start the route with a look around the centre of town and the port.

National Gallery   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

Universitetsgaten 13 164 Oslo
Museums and art

This important collection is presented in a style which is initially disconcerting, yet extremely thought-provoking. For example, one room juxtaposes The Scream and The Dance of Life against works by Gauguin, Courbet and Monet; elsewhere a landscape by Johan Christian Dahl sits alongside Cézanne's view of the Jas de Bouffan. Other rooms presnt the evolution of Norwegian painting in a more conventional format.


Bygdøy   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

Huk Aveny 287 Oslo
Architecture, castles and historic districts

The peninsula of Bygdøy reaches out into Oslo's fjord. It lies to the west of the capital and is home to six large museums, most of which are devoted to Norway's maritime activities. It is a residential area with a great many gardens to the north (home to the Oscar I Palace, built in the mid-19C in the English neo-Gothic style). It can be reached by car or by boat, from the dock in front of the town hall.


City Hall  

Fridtjof NansensPlass 0037 Oslo
Architecture, castles and historic districts

Its two tall red-brick towers are beacons for boats coming into the fjord. Highly functional in style, it has a a modern decor in homage to the nation's history through its daily life. It is here in the City Hall salons that every 10 December, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death (1833-1896), that the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded (the other Nobels are given in Stockholm, Nobel's country, by the Swedish Academy).


Karl-Johans Gate   Interesting

Karl Johans Gate 162 Oslo
Architecture, castles and historic districts

Karl-Johans Gate was cut in 1840 from east to west, from the central station to the new Royal Palace. Karl-Johans Gate serves all the official buildings or their immediate areas: the cathedral, the Parliament, the university, the National Theatre... and the Royal Palace. The first half of its length it is a pedestrian zone lined with great hotels and fashionable cafés; it then heads into the Palace gardens, coming to an end on Karl-Johans Square.

Aker Brygge is the former docklands. The warehouses have been fully redeveloped and today feature restaurants, cinemas and commercial galleries. The most famous Norwegian businessman, Kjell Inge Rokke, has also set up office there. In summer, residents leave Oslo and take their sailing boats to the beaches Katten and Ingierstrand where the water is 18°C.

Museum of Norwegian Folklore   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

Museumsveien - Bygdøy 10 287 Oslo
Museums and art

Set in parkland, this museum looks back over the cultural history of Norway since the Middle Ages. 158 buildings illustrate the rural wooden architecture of different regions of the country. The most representative come from Setesdal, Numedal, Telemark and Gol (fine stave church). Inside its large buildings, there is an ethnography section focusing on Sami culture and displaying a collection of traditional costumes and folk art.


Museum of Viking Vessels   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

Huk Aveny - Bygdøy 35 B 287 Oslo
Museums and art

Like people of other civilisations, the Vikings believed that this life continued into an afterlife. For this reason they buried their dead among the objects that would ensure a transition between the two worlds: jewels, clothing, weapons... For the richest, servants were sacrificed with their masters. It was in this way that the funerary ships were found when they were unearthed from their burial mounds at the end of 19C, providing traces of maritime techniques, more tangible than Viking myth.

The peninsula is accessible by boat from port or by bus 30. It’s a peaceful and radiant place with its woods, beaches and traditional houses. The museums are a must!


In 2008 Oslo was blessed with a futuristic opera house decorated with marble and glass to resemble an iceberg out of the water ... Located on the shores of the Oslo Fjord, this building is as large as four football pitches and is the largest cultural building in Norway! The horseshoe-shaped hall is dressed in oak and offers exceptional acoustics. During your stay, treat yourself to an evening at the opera!

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