Oslo has been an important player in the world of business since its early centuries of established leading up to now. We are about to dive into the capital of Norway, which is also the government center and maritime economic hub for trading, banking, shipping, and more. Oslo is strategically placed on the Oslofjord as this allows them to be home to largest shipping companies in the world and with collectively over 6,000 ships dock here weighing over 6 millions metric tons. Below we have a compiled list of places of where you should check out in this beautiful, sophisticated city that has so much to offer!
Norwegian Parliament & Storting Building
We begin our journey around Oslo with the heart, the government buildings, in order to gain more insight on both everyday life and history. These buildings may not be the most extravagant or interesting, but their walls contain rich amounts of history and foundation of the country. The Parliament of Norway was established in 1814 and the members of this supreme legislature have been gathering in the Storting building since then. If you wish to tour the Norwegian Parliament building for free, you must come early as there is a first name first serve basis. Visiting these two adjacent buildings from the outside will be a great experience in itself.
This is another historic building that deserves attention simple due to the fact that this theatre has been established since 1899 but it can be traced back even further to 1829 when its was originally the Christiania Theatre. From this bit of information, we can already back the statement that this is the most popular performing arts venue in Norway. After dropping by the Parliament buildings, you can easily walk to this attraction as you pass the infamous outdoor skating rink.
The Spikersuppa Rink is an outdoor ice skating rink that resides between the Norwegian Parliament and the Nationaltheatret. Many come during the evenings to enjoy the beautiful lights while they glide along the ice with friends and family.
The Royal Palace & Palace Park
The Royal Palace, located in the middle of the Palace Park, was built during the beginning of the 19th century for King Charles III of Norway and today King Harald V and Queen Sonja resides here since 1991 when Harald’s father King Olav V passed. The Palace Park grounds are accessible to the public so it’s a great place to bring a picnic and enjoy lunch here in the beautiful greenery.
Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art
The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, a fairly new contemporary art museum located on the coast facing the Oslo Fjord, was designed in a fascinating way to intrigue the public. The museum is mainly known for their 6 to 7 yearly international art exhibitions and for their purchase of an infamous Michael Jackson with Bubbles painting for over $5 million USD in 2002. For a fresh new perspective on art and architecture, be sure to visit this stunning museum.
Also located facing the Oslofjord and directly across from the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, lies the Akershus Fortress. The Akershus Fortress was originally built as a castle during the Medieval Times to serve as protection for the royal family of Norway. Today, this historic structure that dates back to 1290s, is a museum to the public to enjoy so that you can transport themselves to a truly groundbreaking time.
Oslo Opera House
The Oslo Opera House, also located on the Oslofjord, is the home of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet and Norway’s national opera performances. The building exterior is famous for its contemporary design so it’s worth it just to stop by and admire this beauty along the fjord.
The University’s Botanical Garden
The University’s Botanical Garden is located inland from the city center and is known to be the oldest botanical garden of Oslo since its creation being in 1814 by the University of Oslo. The University’s Botanical Garden was brought about to extend awareness of plant species and research to the public of over 7,500 types of plants. Today, the botanical garden shares the same grounds with the Natural Museum of History so you are able to visit both in one day if you wish.
Frogner Park & The Vigeland Sculpture Park
Then on the opposite side of the city resides Frogner Park which today is a public park that was initially intended for the Frogner Manor. Within the park grounds are fascinating permanent artifacts that are found at the Vigeland Sculpture Park. Over the centuries of ownership, Frogner Park has been renovated from being a baroque style in the 18th century to a romantic style in the 19th century. Early in the 20th century, the grounds were expanded and the Vigeland Sculpture Park was established so be sure to take a stroll through Oslo’s largest green space for a relaxing time.
The Bygdoy Peninsula is about a 15 minute drive west from Oslo’s city center and is known for several museums that are hosted here: Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, Viking Ship Museum, The Fram Museum, Norwegian Maritime Museum & Kon-Tiki Museum. These museums all cover significant portions of maritime history and other Norwegian ways of living. Visiting the Bygdoy Peninsula will help you truly grasp the past and present lives of the Norwegian culture and all of these museums are within 5 minutes drive or less of each other!
The Holmenkollbakken is the infamous Olympic sized ski jumping hill and is located about 25 minutes drive north from downtown Oslo. At this ski jumping hill, the Winter Olympics were hosted here in 1952, several FIS Nordic World Ski Championships and Ski Jumping World Cup were held here, and along with the Holmenkollbakken Ski Festival since 1892. Since its opening in 1892, the ski jumping hill has increased in size and has been renovated countless times in order to keep up with the world records and talent. Also there is a museum to take a look deeper into the history made here located at the hill’s base.
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