Posted by: Sarah | May 27, 2010

A Weekend In Oslo? Here’s A Quick Tourist Guide!

Just recently we had some friends come and stay with us in Oslo (Di and Mal – it was a pleasure having you) and in typically military-style fashion, I pulled together a packed agenda to make sure Di and Mal saw the best of Oslo in just 3 days.  Perhaps I was a little ambitious but we did manage to tick off most activities.  There’s so much to do in Oslo and Di and Mal were keen to experience a typically Norwegian weekend doing what the locals do.   I figured perhaps this itinerary was worth sharing should others want to plan a weekend trip to Oslo.

Other itineraries can be found here at the Visit Oslo site –

Friday night – See how you feel and how tired you are after travelling.  Peppes Pizza is a good choice for quick food.  If the weather is nice, take a walk around the local area.  Try avoiding Central Station at night as there can be some dodgy characters around there.  If you’re staying in Oslo city center, pop to Ya Ya’s Thai restaurant.  In the summer you can sit outside in one of the many cafes in the area – actually you can do that in the winter too since they supply fleece blankets and outdoor heaters!  Don’t worry – you won’t slip over – the pavements in the town center are heated!  Yes, that’s really true :-)

Saturday day – Go into Oslo and do a tour.  If you’re feeling adventurous, avoid the “Hop on.  Hop off.”  It’s really expensive.  Pop into a Narvensen instead and ask for a “Flexikort” – approx£18.   If you’re using the tram, train, bus or boat, just give it to the conductor and they will stamp a section on the card.  You can travel on any transport system for up to one hour.  I suggest walking around the center – start at the palace and walk all the way to the end of Karl Johan’s gate.  Take a right and you’ll get to the Oslo Opera House.  Walk back via the back streets (not at night!) and pass the castle on your left .  Walk down to the dock side and take a look around the lovely waterfront cafes.  If it’s really nice, grab a couple of disposable BBQs (they’re everywhere in Norway), bread and prawns and have lunch on one of the islands like Hovedøya with some wine – a typical Norwegian thing to do when the weather is good.  Take beach wear – if it’s hot you will want to join the Norwegians for a swim in the fjord.

Saturday night – Go to Smia Galleri – a lovely little restaurant near to where my friend Line lives.  Nice food, out-of-the-way and fairly reasonable for Norway – menu in Norwegian only though! 

Sunday – Visit the folk museum on Bygdøy to get some idea about the culture in Norway – a lot of it is outside so not so fun in the rain.  If you’re lucky you might see a wedding in the typically Norwegian Stave Church.   There are a few other museums on there like the Kon Tiki museum, Viking museum and The Fram museum – first ship to go up close to the north pole.   If you have time, take the tram up the hill to the new ski jump and maybe take a walk around Frognerseteren where we can do the typically Norwegian thing and go walking to a hut and then eat waffles with coffee – however this takes time*.  Limited on time?  Then just take the Number 12 tram to Frognerparken, an amazing sculpture park not far from the center of Oslo.

Monday – Take the 143 bus to Bærums Verk – a nice little old village with cute shops and cafes and it will give you a glimpse of how folks live outside of Oslo in the suburbs.  Or you can go the other way (east of Oslo) and catch a bus to have lunch at Ekeberg Restaurant which is on the hill – supposed to be nice for lunch, has a fantastic view of the fjord and nice walks.  It’s quite historical.  Max Manus stood up there in WW2 watching the dockyard explode after his resistance team loaded the place with bombs.  We haven’t been there before but I hear good things and it’s on our list. 

* When walking you really need to know that 1 Norwegian mile is the same as 10km.  So when you ask directions and how far away the waffle van is, keep this calculation in mind.  Eliot and I learned the hard way.

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