Oslo is a great place to hangout for ± 24 hours.
I’m going to give an honest account of the events that took place in Oslo, Norway between 6pm on March 17, 2017 and 5pm on March 19.
My husband and I arrived in the Oslo airport and awaited the arrival of out friend, the Pip. Foti sniffed out a pizza place and we sat down to sample Norwegian pizza and have a beer.
Pip arrived and we got the NSB LOCAL train to Oslo Central Station (Oslo S). I capitalize LOCAL because it is like 3 minutes slower than the FlyToGet airport service and about 1/3 of the price.
We arrived in like 25 minutes and someone (??) busted out their Google map on their phone and was leading the way. I’m sure to this day nobody will take responsibility as being the one who led us around aimlessly for about an hour, in the dark, in Norway, basically in winter.
Finally we found our hotel and checked in. We stayed at the modest Citybox Oslo because in case you didn’t know, shit is super expensive in Norway.
Let the party begin!
By party, I mean Pip bringing her bottle of twist top wine from Heathrow duty-free to our room so we could peruse TripAdvisor together for a place to eat. The results were ‘meh’. Wine in the warm hotel room was more inviting than the cold, harsh streets of Oslo.
Foti being the provider/hunter that he is, went out to find us nourishment. Pip and I opened the bottle that we brought from Greece and anxiously awaited the return of Foti the Great with a plethora of Norwegian street food goodies.
He came back with Subway.
Not just any Subway sandwich, but some weird compressed “burger” type patty (think McRib) and then some other horrible option that I don’t remember because I buried it in the deep recesses of my mind. Dude couldn’t just have gotten some turkey or an Italian BMT?!
We had breakfast at Rent Mel which was downstairs in our hotel and they had nice hearty, Scandinavian sandwiches. We sampled the traditional cinnamon bun for breakfast dessert and were on our way.
First stop was the Opera House which is an uber modern, fun jungle gym for adults to crawl all over.
We really had no plan of attack for the day besides the Opera House. We quickly learned that Oslo isn’t a city that you can just wing it and stumble upon something cool.
We strolled along the harbor and found ourselves at the main port. Boat to an island with numerous museums, you say? Day with no plan- sorted!
OK, so it wasn’t really an island, but in my mind it is a picturesque island where professors and smart people live in their cute Norwegian (New England) houses.
The Viking Ship Museum was our first stop and it was pretty cool. Legit viking ships that have been preserved, there for your viewing pleasure.
Luckily we found Café Hjemme hos Svigers between museums or it would have been pre-packaged mini-market food for lunch. We had burgers and they were really nice. Perhaps it was partly the relief that we found an actual restaurant that made the food taste so good, but we all left very happy!
The Fram Polar Ship Museum is my #1 thing to do in Oslo. It was a very informative (dare I say captivating?) museum. Sometimes I just wander around at museums and pretend to be paying attention, but this one had my attention. There was a story to be told about these early Arctic explorers, and they did an excellent job of telling that story.
After we returned to the city, we walked along Aker Brygge to the very end. This district is very modern and geometric. It’s full of restaurants and shopping with a museum/park on the point.
We eyed up establishments to perhaps stop and have a drink at as we found ourselves without a plan, once again. We opted for Louise Restaurant & Bar and enjoyed a glass of wine while people watching.
When the time came for dinner, we were back at the old conundrum of ‘where to eat’. Scanning TripAdvisor was not really helpful since it was Saturday night in a city that doesn’t have on over-abundance of restaurant options, so obvs all of the high ranking places would be booked full. So we took to the street.
We walked, and walked. Everywhere was full or didn’t meet the ‘traditional Norwegian food’ idea that we had in our heads.
Finally we found Stormkjøkkenet and it looked really cool– a great design and lively atmosphere. On my map above, I have it marked for drinks, because that is what I would recommend it for. The food was very bland and meh. I guess we got our traditional Norwegian food after all 😉
#2 thing to do in Oslo- have breakfast at Egon near the central station. At first we though it was just a breakfast buffet for hotel guests, but upon asking, found that it was open to the public. This is where you can truly sample some traditional Scandinavian food and not get stuck with a main course of boiled fish.
The best thing I tried (besides cinnamon rolls) was Brunost. Make sure and try this brown cheese when in Norway!
Our train for Stockholm was leaving around 5pm, so we opted to head to the National Museum of Art. After the museum priming that took place on Saturday, I was ready. Bring on the art! I enjoyed the museum and the layout took you through different periods and styles.
After the museum it was back to Rent Mel and then we killed some time at the station by consuming some tubed meat products. Gotta love the hot dog obsession found in this part of the world!
Next stop Stockholm!
Photography credit (the good ones) @PipTheGreek