So, you’ve got a few days to spend in Oslo? The first thing that anyone will tell you is that it’s expensive. The second thing people will tell you is that it’s really expensive. But, if you are a frugal traveller, here are some ideas to help you stretch your travel money.
First, take a walk down Karl Johans Gate to the Royal Palace. On this central drag, you will find beautiful restaurants, gardens, and a wide thoroughfare. It’s the perfect place to people watch. Grab a baguette and some smoked salmon and at a grocery store and sit in the garden enjoying the view.
Walk around the Palace gardens and admire the guards as they march around the property. *Note that on Fridays at 4pm in the summer, the palace is open to the public and an english-language tour is offered.
Then head towards the harbour and walk along the water’s edge (more cafes and people watching). The people spinning cotton candy are also fun to watch. If it is a particularly warm day, there is a spot to swim off of the dock. The water is cold and fresh, but it seems like the thing to do when the sun is shining. Try to catch a glimpse of the Oslo Opera House when walking along the promenade.
After you dry off, catch a ferry to Bygdøy to check out the Viking Museum. Also, a short walk from the Viking Museum is the Kon-Tiki Museum where you can learn all about Thor Heyerdah’s expeditions across the Pacific Ocean in a handmade raft made out of reeds.
There are lots of fabulous museums in Oslo, but if you are tight for time, head to the National Gallery to see Edvard Munch’s masterpiece the scream. Entrance to the National Gallery was included in the price of the Viking Museum Ticket. (There is also a Munch Museum across town if you want a total immersion of his work and his collection.)
Also, if you can find a hamburger stand that sells reindeer burgers, grab one if you are into that sort of thing.
I also want to mention that alcohol rules are pretty strict. For example, stores can’t sell beer after 8pm on weekdays, and 5pm on Saturday. No alcohol sales are permitted on Sundays or holidays in stores. Also, it’s hard to come by a shop that will sell you a bottle wine. In short; plan ahead.
Thorvald Meyers Gate is a great place to go for a casual bite or cocktail. The area is a bit hipsterish and a lot of fun. Take a stroll around the area and see if you can find the warehouse that has been converted into a market. (It’s close to the river.)
Save a good part of your day to roam around the Vigeland Sculpture Park. (It’s free!) There are more than 200 sculptures that were created by artist Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943). Grab a picnic at the market and sprawl out on the beautiful and lush acres of this open air gallery.
And most of all, have fun!