Oslo Hotels , Flights and Travel Packages
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Oslo , is the capital and largest city of Norway, and the third largest city of Scandinavia. Following the latest reform of January 1, 2004, the city is divided into fifteen boroughs (bydeler) that are to a considerable extent self governed. Each borough is responsible for local services not overseen by the City Council, such as social services, basic healthcare, and kindergartens. For convenience, and as most of the boroughs do not contain that much of interest, the city can be divided into five larger districts.
Sentrum (Sentrum) Central downtown area.
West (Bygdøy) "The Museum Peninsula" and the poshest area in Norway
Inner West (St. Hanshaugen, Frogner)
Inner East (Sagene, Grünerløkka, Gamle Oslo)
Outer West (Ullern, Vestre Aker, Nordre Aker)
Outer East (Alna, Bjerke, Grorud, Stovner, Nordstrand, Søndre Nordstrand, Østensjø)
Oslo Landmarks & Popular attractions :
Buildings and structures :
The Opera house : is Norway's first entry into the top league of modern architecture. Awarded the 2008 prize for best cultural building at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona, and the prestigious Mies van der Rohe award for best European contemporary architecture in 2009, its appearance is stunning. Shaped as a glacier or a ship, the amazing building seems to float by the inlet Bjørvika, giving a stunning impression. Do visit the cheap pub at the theatre boat Innvik, close to the Opera house, for the very best views. Also, climb the building on the marble slopes (summer only) for a unique Oslo view.
The Royal Palace : Located at the end of KarlJohans gate, the city's main avenue.
The University of Oslo : The building is currently only housing the Faculty of Law, the rest of the university is situated at Blindern. Periodicly concerts will be arranged in the "Aula" housing 11 of Edward Munch pictures.
Oslo Cathedral : Dominates parts of the down town scene. Kirkeristen, the old bazaar surrounding the church, is now used by artisans and craftsmen, and holds a couple of cafes and restaurants.
Oslo's City Hall (Rådhuset) : is located by the waterfront, with Fritdjof Nansensplass on the inland side. It's open to the public, with a spectacular main hall featuring huge murals with typical Nordic socialist themes. There are also some displays of historical artifacts in the side rooms upstairs. This is where the Nobel Peace Prize is presented to it's winner every year.
Akershus festning : is a medieval castle and fortress built in 1299, located close to the city center. There are several excellent viewpoints to the Oslofjord and surrounding areas. The stone walls create an exciting atmosphere, and you are free to roam around in tight passages and staircases. There are two museums here, both related to Norwegian military history.
Holmenkollen, the ski jump located on the west side of Oslo , which was rebuilt for the World Ski Championships in 2011. It first opened in 1892 and has been re-built many times since then. It had more than 1 million visitors every year, and was one of the biggest tourist attractions in Norway. There is also the oldest ski museum in the world, opened in 1923. Walking and mountain bike riding are popular activities here during the summer.
Stortinget (The Norwegian parliament) is located on the main street, Karl Johans gate, in the city center . It has free guided tours in English and Norwegian lasting about 45 minutes, which assemble outside the back door of the Parliament (on Akersgata). There is a limit of 30 people per tour, so it is advisable to be there at least 10 minutes prior to the start of a tour.
Architecture : Oslo has only scattered monumental buildings where in particular the Parliament-Palace axis (upper part of Karl Johan Street) has a certain Parisian grandeur. The charm of Oslo can also be found in the affluent inner-city suburbs of for instance Frogner and Fagerborg as well as above St.Hanshaugen park. Northern Europe has a distinct wooden house tradition. Wooden houses are not allowed downtown, but these charming houses can be found in large numbers in villa suburbs such as Bygdøy and Holmenkollen, or former workers' areas such as Rodeløkka, Kampen, Vålerenga, Damstredet or Telthusbakken.
Henrik Ibsen Museum : Located in the crossing between Arbins gate and Henrik Ibsens gate. This museum has just re-opened, and is a treat.
Munch Museum : Definitely worth a visit if you want to enjoy paintings of the famous Norwegian painter Edward Munch. (The museum had been closed, but is now reopened with security improvements.) There is of course also the National Gallery, featuring Norwegian art from the national-romantic period, as well as some art by international artists. National Gallery entrance is free.
Nobel Peace Centre : Includes some confronting exhibitions as well as an exhibit for every winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Emanuel Vigeland Museum : is among Oslos best hidden secrets. Only open a few hours every Sunday afternoon, Gustav Vigelands not so well-known younger brother erected the building as a museum for his art in 1926, but later decided it should serve as a mausoleum, with his urn placed above the door. The main attraction in this museum with no windows is the 800 square meters fresco "Vita", (Italian for "life"), showing the human life from conception till death, but other examples of his art are also on display.
The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History : is a large open air museum featuring typical buildings from various periods in Norwegian history. This includes a city building that shows living conditions from the 1850s to the 1980s.
Viking Ship Museum : which in addition to two 1100 year old Viking-ships (apparently the best preserved in the world) also contains various other Viking artifacts and a Viking burial chamber, complete with ancient skeletons.
Norwegian Maritime Museum : which houses a huge collection of ships and boats and records the impact of Norway's seafarers on their own country and the world.
Kon-Tiki Museum : displaying Tor Heyerdahl's balsa raft Kon-Tiki, and Ra II, as well as some other artifacts from Easter Island.
Fram-Museum : features the vessel Fram, the worlds first ice breaker and the last polar expedition ship made of wood, and presents a history of polar exploration (with a strong Norwegian focus)
The Holocaust Center : is also located at Bygdøy, in the former residence of the Norwegian World War 2 collaborator and nationalist leader, Vidkun Quisling. The center houses exhibitions and provides research on Holocaust and the plight of religious minorities.
Some other museums are:
Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology : A fun and very interactive place for both children and adults.Contrary to information in the common tourist brochures this building includes the "Norwegian Telecommunications Museum", included in the same ticket price.
Tramway Museum : Displays the history of Oslo's trams, buses and metro.
Frogner Park : with the Vigeland Sculpture Park is a large green area about 10 minutes by subway from the city center. In addition to being a nice green recreational area, it is also decorated with hundreds of sculptures by the Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland. There is a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere here, although the sculptures are a little depressing.
Botanical Garden : Located just south of Tøyen park, the garden is a wonderful and relaxing area.
St.Hanshaugen : is a delightful public park on the highest hill in central Oslo. Great view of the city and surroundings. 1
Slottsparken (Palace Park) : surrounds the Royal Palace at the top of Karl Johan street. Oslo's most central park is a pleasant grass covered area with majestic old trees.
Birkelunden and Olaf Ryes plass : Two cool parks in eastern Oslo, situated in the Grunerløkka, a so called Greenwich village look-alike area. On sundays a market is open.
Sofienbergparken : A lot of activities all day long and especially in the weekends; ballplay, pick-nick, public barbecue, specially nice area for children.
Things to Do in Oslo :
Visit the wooden housing areas of Oslo like Kampen , Vålerenga , Rodeløkka and Telthusbakken . They are a "must" for lovers of old wooden town houses. These areas were likely to be erased from Oslo in the seventies by eager town planners who wanted highways for cars rather than living areas for the citizens, but luckily they were stopped by idealists who really loved their city. Their effort made these parts of Oslo into something special, even though other Norwegian cities have bigger wooden areas. Still these areas are a plus for Oslo and their inhabitants as well as for the tourists. In summertime, you can also take one of the ferries out to various islands in the Oslo-fjord .
For fresh water swimming, Akerselva is considered clean north of Nydalen. The best spot may be at Frysja . Visit Ekebergsletta during Norway Cup (beginning of August every year), billed as the world's biggest football tournament (about 25,000 participants). Lots of fun and football. Held annually at the beginning of August.
Visit the local city district Grünerløkka, a part of the city filled with cafés, bars, small fashion and designer shops, nice parks. The river Akerselva runs on the west side, with a selection of (well hidden) bars, clubs and cafés nearby. Take walks or a bicycle ride in Oslo's many forests. Nice gateways to the beautiful nature are T-bane to Frognerseteren , Sognsvann, Bogerud, Skullerud or Ellingsrudåsen , or the train to Movatn or Snippen . The area around Holmenkollen is well suited for cross-country skiing, but also a nice area for hiking during summertime. While you are there, you can also visit the ski-museum which is located close to the ski-jump. Take a walk down to Vippetangen and catch the small ferry to one of the small islands just a few minutes away. Great place to relax and go for a swim in the sea.
Oslo Flights & Airports : Oslo Airport (OSL) is Norway's largest airport, located in Gardermoen, 45 kilometres north-east of Oslo. The largest airlines in Norway, Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle , operate direct flights to many European destinations from Oslo Airport, as well as large domestic networks. Flights by about 30 other airlines make this airport easy to reach from most of the world.