Oslo is Norway’s showcase city – a city you should visit once in your life. There is a lot to discover: world-class art in museums and galleries, top restaurants and the unique location between the Oslofjord and the wooded mountain ranges around the Holmenkollen.
Norway’s capital Oslo has always been one of Scandinavia’s most popular city break destinations. The creative architecture, museums, fashion, art and music scene offers visitors exciting entertainment. And there is always more to discover: In recent years, several new neighborhoods with interesting sights have sprung up in the city center. For example, the high-rise buildings in Barcode, the new Munch Museum and soon the new National Museum. In addition, Oslo is decidedly green. More than half of the city is covered by forests and parks, and the fjord even extends into the city center. Visitors can easily get around the city center on foot or by bicycle. So there is a lot to discover in Oslo.
Tip 1: Royal Palace Oslo
The Royal Palace is located at the end of Karl Johans Gate on the Bellevue Heights in the west of downtown Oslo. The 173-room building is built in the neoclassical style of lightly plastered brick. It serves not only as the residence of the currently reigning king, but also as a residence for state receptions.
The castle is one of the most noble guest houses in Norway. The residence is owned by the Norwegian state. Unlike many other castles and palaces, the Oslo building is still fully used by the Norwegian royal family.
The construction of the Royal Castle in Oslo was started in 1824. The building was intended for King Charles III John, who was also appointed King of Sweden in 1818.
The king had firm ideas about his future seat of government. He chose the Bellevue Heights as the site. The leveling of the hilly terrain was very costly. It was not until 1836 that the castle was finally completed.
The Royal Palace in Oslo was thoroughly renovated and modernized in the 1990s. King Harald V and his wife Sonja were given a contemporary apartment on the second floor in the south wing of the palace. Crown Prince Haakon and his wife Mette-Marit also reside in the imposing building.
The most important rooms include the Small Banqueting Hall, the Grand Ballroom, the Mirror Salon, the Bird Room and the two Dining Rooms. Every Friday, the King meets with the Cabinet in the Council of State Room.
Tip 2: New Munch Museum
Oslo, a dynamic and vibrant modern city, has added a new museum. The MUNCH Museum. Oslo is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. You will find innovative architecture, museums and neighborhoods about the vibrant fashion, art and music scene.
In October 2021, the new MUNCH Museum was formally opened. This museum is tailored to great art experiences. The building was designed by Spanish architecture firm Estudio Herreros.
The new museum offers 13 floors of art and culture, inspiring those who want to experience Munch’s life and art firsthand. This museum is one of the largest museums in the world dedicated to a single artist, at the opening there will be 7 inaugural exhibitions with a total of over 410 Munch works. MUNCH also houses collections donated to the city of Oslo.
Munch is one of the most famous artists of the turn of the century. The most famous work is “The Scream” and is one of the most famous works of art in the world.
Tip 3: Akershus Fortress
Akershus Fortress is a medieval castle built in the 13th century to protect Oslo. Today it houses two interesting museums that document the history of Norway’s defense. The fortress was first a fortified medieval castle in the 14th century and was later transformed into a Renaissance castle.
The fortress has never been besieged in its history. However, in 1940 it was taken without a fight by the Nazis when Norway’s government evacuated the capital after the unprovoked German attack on Denmark and Norway.
Today, the halls of the fortress are used by the government for official functions. In addition, the castle fortress and the royal mausoleum are also located within the castle. An audio tour will give you an deeper insight into the history of the castle.
Tip 4: Frogner Park
The Vigeland Sculpture Park, the Oslo attraction, with works by sculptor Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) is located in Oslo’s Frogner Park. With over 212 sculptures, the Vigeland Sculpture Park is an absolute highlight for visitors to Oslo. 40 years of creativity – the total work of art of the Vigeland Sculpture Park with the wrought iron gates, fountains, sculptures as well as bridges.
Gustav Vigeland made all the sculptures himself and is also responsible for the park design and sculpture arrangement. The numerous sculptures show the development – from embryo, to infant and other stages – of human life. The park symbolizes the cycle of a human life. The Vigeland Sculpture Park also houses the largest collection of roses in Norway, with about 150 species.
The Monolith, one of the most famous sculptures, is a 14-meter high column at the highest point of the park. It was carved from a single solid block of granite. 3 stonemasons worked on its production for 14 years under the supervision of Gustav Vigeland. The 121 human figures reach toward the sky as a kind of metaphor for man’s desire for the divine and spiritual.
With the 32-hectare Vigeland Park, Gustav Vigeland created a total work of art.
Tip 5: Oslo Opera
The award-winning Oslo Opera House is one of the most spectacular opera houses in the world, somewhat reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House. The snow-white building was built on stilts into Oslo Bay.
Since the building is almost completely surrounded by water, it resembles a floating iceberg. Large parts of the building are below sea level, just like an iceberg, and the opera house reaches 16 meters below the water.
The building is not only impressive from the outside, there are also numerous superlatives inside. There are 1,500 interior rooms on a floor area of 38,500 square meters. The main hall seats 1,358 visitors. The large opera hall, which was modeled in size and shape on the hall of the Semper Opera in Dresden, is illuminated by Norway’s largest chandelier. The diameter of the chandelier is seven meters, it weighs 8.5 tons and has 8,500 light-emitting diodes. The interior of the opera hall is dominated by dark-tinted oak wood.
From the roof of the opera house there is a magnificent view of the sea.