It was my boyfriend’s 30th birthday this February and we both wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t been before. We decided on perhaps visiting a Nordic country before finally settling on Oslo.
The tickets were cheap (£30 return) but with the weather being as cold as -9° we know why. We visited from Friday – Monday and stayed at an AirBnb based at; Osterhaus gate, which is near the town centre, making most things within walking distance for us.
TIP: You cannot use Euros in Norway but Norwegian kroner.
We took hand luggage, packed to the brim with layers upon layers of clothing. Which I’m really glad we did, I felt prepared for the bitter weather. Do message me if you would like to see what I packed. It was extremely icey so I wore my Timberland boots everyday, however we did see people wearing ice grips which attach to your shoes / boots. I wish I knew about them, as they would of saved Adam and I from slipping every five minutes!
Top of our to do list was to eat at Mathallen; a huge food hall, which happens to be one of the best according to: https://mathallenoslo.no/en/mathallen-among-the-best-food-halls-in-europe
Top 10 food halls:
1. Time Out Market, Lisboa
2. Dinerama, London
3. Mathallen, Oslo
4. El Nacional, Barcelona
5. Papirøen, København
6. Torvehallerne, København
7. Market House, Altrincham (Manchester)
8. Foodhallen, Amsterdam
9. La Platea, Madrid
10. The Kitchens at Old Spitalfields Market, London
We ate at Bistro Budapest where I had a soup and a sandwich, that was delicious and we drank at Smelteverket. Now one thing we noticed straight away, was how expensive everything was! We both ordered two beers here (cans of 330ml) which came to around 160 Norwegian Krone (about £15!). Both of us brought £350 each which we thought would well do us for the long weekend … but we had to make adjustments.
We bought alcohol at the duty free shop before-hand, which saved us a lot of money and went to the supermarket to buy breakfast / snacks / lunch bits. We then had enough for our planned excursions.
TIP: Bring snacks like cereal bars or nuts with you, as a family pack of crisps at the supermarket was almost £5!
My research on Trip Adviser told me that Aku-Aku Tiki Bar was a decent cocktail bar, and it was! Only small; the furniture and decor are vintage and the walls are lined with straw matting. Tiki style drinks are served and the music is a mix of Hawaiian and Exotica tunes, sending out a nice, chilled out vibe.
Viking Ship Museum
This museum on the Bygdøy peninsula has the world’s best-preserved Viking ships and finds from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord. The Viking Ship Museum shows discoveries from the Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune ships, plus small boats, sledges, a beautiful cart, tools, textiles and household utensils.
Every so often they show a projection film of the history of a Viking ship, which was really interesting and gave you more of an incite.
TIP: We used our ticket from the Viking Ship Museum to get free entry to Historical Museum (which you can do within 48 hours).
Vigeland Sculpture Park
The Vigeland Park (within Frogner Park) is the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist: Gustav Vigeland. One of Norway’s most popular tourist attractions, the sculpture park showcases 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron.
This was a stunning park, if not a little eerie; with 850 meters worth of art that are meant to represent “circle of life”. We walked around the sculpture park for a good hour, trying to imagine what focus of life the artist had depicted in his work.
For my partner’s birthday meal, I had booked Chinese cuisine: DINNER (about 3 weeks in advance, just incase) https://dinner.no/en/ . We both thought it was one of the best Chinese foods we have ever ate at and considering the modern (and pricey looking) venue we were shocked the bill only came to £70.
On a Sunday, Blå holds a lovely arts & crafts market, (think ‘Up Market’ in London), selling handmade jewellery to original painted canvases. This is only up the road from the food hall: Mathallen and later on you can enjoy a relaxing walk alongside the Akerselva river.
The National Gallery
Considered a pioneer in expressionism, Edvard Munch’s work is certainly not to be missed. The Munch collection, left to the city of Oslo by the artist, consists of paintings, graphical prints and drawings.
TIP Admission free for all on Thursdays. Otherwise you have to pay NOK 50
Studying Munch’s work in High School I used his much admired painting The Scream as my focal point and in place of the sexless character, I used my pet cat Tiger. Since High School, I have been a huge fan of his work; so seeing The Scream in real life was a massive Bucket List tick for me! Being an Art lover, it was certainly worth the visit, not to mention the other pieces the museum holds.
The National Museum has a drawing studio, where you can sit and draw a sculpture.
When you are done, you can hang your drawings on the wall to share with others.
It did get to a point where me and Adam were sick of piling layers of thermals on, it did become a chore. However, necessary; unless we wanted to become a frozen Vigeland sculpture.
For me personally, we could of done what we did in 3 days, but nonetheless, it was a nice break away. A change of scenery and somewhere totally different to where we choose for our normal city breaks.