MODERN ART AND SUNSHINE DAYS: A weekend in Oslo

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We took advantage of the Bank Holiday weekend to visit Oslo. We were greeted with amazingly clear skies and great weather, so we decided to spend the afternoon exploring the city centre and the views by the sea.

We walked around the area between the parliament and the royal palace, a lovely stretch with a beautiful square with lots of trees and fountains. Around the royal palace there’s a nice park, so we spent some time there watching people go by.

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We then headed towards the Astrup Fearnly Museum of Modern Art, following the nice promenade with lots of bars and restaurants and great views of the port. Everyone was out enjoying the sunshine, so we spent some time taking it all in before making our way back to the flat.

On Saturday the weather was even better, so we started the day going for a picnic at Ekeberg park. This park has great views over Oslo, and there are lots of sculptures by famous artists such as Louise Bourgeois and Damien Hirst.

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We then headed to Toyen and followed this route to find some local street art. We stumbled upon Siste Sang, a local brewery, and got a couple of beers for the road (2 bottles for 84kr). Arriving at the city centre, we had an early dinner at Nordvegan (meal for two for about 230kr), a nice vegan cafe with yummy food.

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To finish the day we stopped at Dr Jekyll’s, a really cool pub with an impressive selection of beers from around the world (2 beers for 180kr).

Sunday started a bit colder and overcast, so we headed to the Munch Museum. This is a nice museum with a great selection of Munch’s artworks displayed in five large rooms (tickets for 120kr).

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We then went back to the city centre for lunch. We tried our luck at Git Bit, but as that was shut we ended up back at Nordvegan for another nice meal. The day was clearing up, so we headed to Oslo Fortress to check out the views over the city and explored for a couple of hours before going back to the flat for a chilled night in.

We had a couple of hours left on explore on Monday, so we decided to check out Vigeland Sculpture Park. This is a beautiful park with lots of sculptures by Vigeland – the obelisk was a unique highlight! Then it was time to leave the Norwegian sunshine and head back to grey London.

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HOW TO DO IT:

  • Stay: We stayed at this nice flat, which was only a few metro stops from the city centre. Norway is very expensive but accommodation prices aren’t too bad.
  • Money: Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world, and it’s definitely easy to spend a lot (a beer costs around £9). But it’s also possible not to spend too much – self-catering makes a huge difference. Public transportation costs are similar to those of London, and we took advantage of the good weather to visit parks and spend time outside, so we ended up not spending too much.
  • Transportation: Oslo has a good network of metro, trams and busses. The airport bus to the city centre costs about 250kr return and takes about 30min. You can buy a 24-hour ticket for 90kr and covers all different methods of transportation, so it was our preferred option. Having access to mobile data was a huge help, as it made it easy to navigate all the different routes. In the city centre most places can be visited on foot.
  • Food and drink: Norwegian food is not particularly veggie-friendly, and there weren’t many veggie places around, but we found some good options on Happy Cow. Self-catering was a great help, and also a good way of saving money. Alcohol is equally expensive (a pint of beer starts at around £9), and local regulations make it somewhat difficult to purchase alcohol outside of bars.
  • When to go: The good weather had a huge impact on our trip, as we joined the locals in enjoying the sunshine in local parks. After this experience, we’re hoping to go back to Denmark when the weather is good, as visiting Scandinavia in the winter is a very different experience.

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