A magical 48 Hours in Oslo, Norway.
By Cacinda Maloney
When you only have two days in a major city, you need to be prepared and ready to zip off and enjoy the day, which is what happened to me recently on a side trip to Oslo, Norway. I was so excited to return, as it is a gorgeous city and a “DO NOT MISS” city in my opinion, well all of Norway is “DO NOT MISS”, but that is another article!
You can start your day arriving at the airport and be happy to know you can practically fly (figuratively speaking) into the city center using the FlytoGet Airport Express train that runs every 10 minutes and only takes you 22 minutes to get there! It is the best invention for zipping into a city I have ever seen. You can buy your train ticket at the kiosk, but if you are having trouble because you don’t have a chip credit card or don’t speak the language, no worries, as there are two information booths right beside the kiosks and the ladies speak English and are very helpful.
Once you arrive into the main train station, you will need to have directions to your hotel in the city center. For this trip, I chose to stay at the Radisson Blu, which for some odd reason is actually located right outside the train station and easily accessible going out the South/Byporten Shopping on the North exit. I happened to arrived at 9 30 am (bright and early) and got lucky in that my room was ready on the 26th floor and it could not have been more comfortable or picture perfect. I do recommend it for easy access, lots of rooms (which makes for a more possible that your room will be ready if you have an early AM arrival, like I did) and for being centrally located.
In the past I have also stayed at the THON hotels in Oslo, which was an easy walk right out side of the main exit of the train station. I specifically stayed at the Thon Hotel Astoria. It is one of Oslo’s most centrally located hotels, situated close to the main street Karl Johan and the Oslo Central Station. It is only a short distance to Oslo’s shopping districts, tourist attractions, restaurants, bars and bustling city life. It is less luxurious than the Radisson Blu, and more on the value side of hotels, but perfect nonetheless depending on your price point. I would stay here again as well.
Once you get situated you will be ready to see the sights that make Oslo such a magical place:
The Viking Ship Museum: This place is wonderful and a MUST SEE for any visit to Oslo. You will want to spend time wandering around and learning the history of these Nordic vessels and its’ famous lady ship captains. It is one of my most read articles, and you can read it here.
The Vigeland Sculpture Park: Enjoy the afternoon walking the full length of Vigeland’s famous sculptures, as they resemble happy Nordic life.
The park is the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist and is as interesting as it is huge (80 acres)! The artist is Gustav Vigeland and it represents his life work from 1907-1942 of 212 sculptures. They are whimsical and magical all at the same time and you will enjoy seeing the faces of each of the statues. You can make your way down to the end of the garden to see his masterpiece water fountain and then up the stairs to visit the largest sculpture piece, the Monolith Plateau, which is made up of 46 human figures stacked on top of each other and carved from a single piece of granite! (By the way, his brother Emanuel is also an artist and even though you won’t have time in 48 hours, he has a mausoleum that is certainly worth a visit when you come back.)
The Norsk Folk Museum: This is A MUST for any visit to Oslo and I have to confess that I missed it the first time around. It was absolutely my favorite thing on my itinerary on my second trip to Oslo. This is where I finally got to visit my first Stave Church and I was thrilled. Not only does it house the Stave Church, but it also allows Nordic history to come alive as the world’s first open air museum. Here is where they have more than 150 buildings that have been relocated from throughout Norway that represent housing from the 1500s to the present.
TIP: The Viking History Museum and the Norsk Folk Museum are very close together, so do these on the same day.
The Vigeland Mausoleum: Not to have his brother show him up, Gustav Vigeland’s brother created a very interesting mausoleum a bit outside the city center. Although this will be a bit too difficult to manage in your 48 hours if you don’t have a car, so leave it for your last visit, as it is one of Oslo’s best kept secrets and one I found that is incredible. The mausoleums main attraction is its dark, barrel-vaulted room, completely covered with fresco paintings.
There are so many more things to do in Oslo, but there are just a few that I truly enjoyed and cannot recommend enough for you to go see this amazing city.
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