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Explore Oslo - An Exclusive Guide

Our exclusive guide to Oslo will show you just what to see and do, from visiting world-class museums to exploring the most vibrant districts, and discovering this city’s green lifestyle.

A perfect day in... Oslo, Norway

This rising star is a cultural hotspot, with world-class museums, delicious Nordic cuisine and a laid-back, outdoorsy lifestyle that makes Oslo a hugely rewarding stop on any itinerary.

The Royal Palace; photo credit VISITOSLO-Didrick Stenersen

What to see in Oslo

It calls itself the winter capital of the world – and with good reason – but Oslo comes into its own in Spring and Summer when this green and cultured city is ripe for exploring. The long days of June and July in particular bring with them a host of festivals and cultural events that add a sparkle to the city.

To get to grips with Oslo, begin at the startlingly beautiful Norwegian National Opera House in the recently revamped Bjorvika district, right on the shores of Oslofjord, with a slew of trendy restaurants, bars and galleries. The opera house itself is a contemporary slab of white stone and glass that seems to rise from the water, a popular attraction for tourists but also something of a local hub. Visitors can climb to the roof for lovely views of Oslofjord and the city skyline.

Changing of the guards at the Royal Palace; photo credit VISITOSLO-Didrick Stenersen

Directly opposite is the new Munch museum, a striking building designed by architects Estudio Herreros and home to the world’s largest collection of Edvard Munch’s weird and wonderful expressionist creations.

For more museum action, don’t miss the brand new National Museum, the largest arts and cultural centre in Scandinavia, opening in June 2022. This sustainably-designed marvel is a combination of three current museums, bringing arts, craft and design under one very impressive roof. The huge illuminated exhibition hall will house contemporary international exhibitions.

Maaemo–King crab; photo credit VisitOSLO-Anders Husa–andershusa.com

What to do in Oslo

The heart of the city is the old centre, focused on the elegant thoroughfare of Karl Johans gate. This is where you’ll find most of the city’s shops, hotels, galleries and cafés, with stately 19th-century buildings including the Grand Hotel and the National Theatre. At the far end is the neoclassic Royal Palace, home to HM King Harald V and HM Queen Sonja, and surrounded by a graceful park. Head to the Palace at 1.30pm each day to catch the changing of the guard; there are palace tours in the summer months.

The Opera House; photo credits VisitOSLO-Didrick Stenersen

Known for what it calls friluftsliv – outdoor living – Oslo is proud of its green spaces, from bucolic city parks to the islands and waterways of Oslofjord and the dense forests of the city’s outlying hills. The area of Nordmarka is the place to head for hiking and biking in summer and skiing and sledding in winter. The expansive parklands of Frognerparken, in the north-west of the city, are worth a stroll for the extraordinary Vigelandsparken, home to hundreds of wondrous sculptures by beloved Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland.

Ski-lovers, meanwhile, should head to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump which hosts skiing events, festivals, open-air concerts and is home to a museum dedicated to the snowy sport.

The Scream; photo credit VISITOSLO-Didrick Stenersen

What to eat in Oslo

Oslo is something of a rising culinary star, having recently shaken off its staid reputation and attracting a raft of experimental chefs who make the most of Norway's delicious, organic produce and fresh-as-it-gets seafood. Seasonal and sustainable is the name of the game, whether that’s sampling salted cod, a Norwegian staple for centuries, or haute cuisine sushi.

The city is now home to three Michelin-starred restaurants, including Maaemo, which recently moved to the hyper-contemporary Barcode district. Head here and to Bjorvika for the most buzzing restaurants and bars, and beautiful fjord views to boot.

Munch Museum; photo credit VISITOSLO-Didrick Stenersen

For more information, go to visitoslo.com

This article has been written for review purposes only and does not suggest sponsorship or endorsement of AARDY by the trademark owner.

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