Best Things to Do in Oslo (Norway)
My third and final destination in the Nordic countries is Oslo, the capital and the most populated city of Norway (language: Norwegian, currency: Norwegian kroner).
Oslo is located at the head of the Norwegian fjord (a fjord is a narrow sea entrance formed by the flooding of a valley excavated by glaciers). The city is surrounded by hills and mountains to the north, and to the south borders the fjord where there are more than 40 islands in the limits of the city and the peninsula Nesodden.
Oslo is a very quiet city compared to Copenhagen or Stockholm, and it is also the most expensive city of the three so it is not usually such a visited city, but probably after this review you will want to visit Oslo and Norway.
The main symbol of the city is the Oslo Opera House which was recently created in 2008 and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful operas in the world representing an ice floe emerging from the sea.
Along the coast of the fjord you can see the Akershus Fortress, which was erected as a royal castle in the Middle Ages and currently has military functions. It is easy to find since it is a building of more than 700 years old so its architecture stands out from the rest and as a recommendation from its bastions you can see the best sunsets in Oslo.
Next to the Akershus fortress is the Oslo City Hall, where the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is held every year.
Slightly further away from the center is the Royal Palace of Oslo which is the residence of Harald V current King of Norway and his family, Norway is ruled by a parliamentary democratic monarchy.
On the outskirts of the central part of Oslo is the Vigeland Park, or Sculpture Park, which has a permanent exhibition of the sculptures of Gustav Vigeland between 1926 and 1942.
For museums, my recommendation is the National Gallery of Norway that houses the famous work of Edvard Munch "The Scream" and if you want to find out more works of this author you can visit the Munch Museum. And although small but curious you can find also the Museum of Vikings.
If you travel in winter, Holmenkollen is a mountainous area on the outskirts of Oslo where winter sports are practiced and they have a ski jump platform where you could attend to one of their winter festivals.
In my opinion Oslo will be a destination that I will constantly attend in years to come. Firstly, they have the best low-cost airline in the world, Norwegian Airlines, and they have very cheap flights to and from Oslo where their base is located (I have managed to buy incredibly cheap flights from the United States to Oslo or from Oslo to Bangkok for example), and secondly it would be thanks to the natural wonders that can be seen in Norway as are excursions with majestic sights, watching the aurora borealis or the midnight sun.
If you like hiking or nature tours, Norway is home to some of the most breathtaking views in the world. It is very important to note that this activity is only done in summer since it is very dangerous to do it in winter or rainy seasons, the months to venture are June to August with sometimes fortune from the beginning of the season in late April or May or until September if weather conditions allow. The only excursions in the life that must realize are:
* Trolltunga: "tongue of the goblin" is located 700 meters above the Ringedalsvatnet lake in Skjeggedal, this excursion is medium to advanced level since it takes about 10 to 12 hours to complete back and forth. You should arrive by local flight to Bengel from Oslo and from there to the village of Odda where you take a bus to Skjeggedal, it is from this point that it takes 10 to 12 hours to complete the journey. The view from this top is simply breathtaking, it is one of my favorite places in the world and certainly a stage that is worth admiring even once in life but for which you must prepare yourself.
* Preikestolen: is a rock formation on the southwest coast of Norway, whose name means pulpit. It is located in the Lysefjord, in the district of Ryfylke, province of Rogaland. The nearest main city is Stavanger, where several ferries depart daily connecting this town with the town of Oanes. The journey lasts no more than half an hour and from there buses leave in about 20 minutes to take you to the beginning of the road. The level of complexity is low to medium since it lasts from 1 to 4 hours the route and there are usually many more tourists here for the same reason, but it is still highly recommended this tour.
Kjerag: is a mountain located almost to the bottom of the Lysefjord. With its almost 1,000 meters high, climbing to the top can be quite exhausting. This mountain is known mainly for Kjeragbolten, a stone hung between two walls of rock. From 14 June to 31 August there will be a bus departing every day from Stavanger at 07:30 from the ferry terminal. The bus will take you through the town of Sandnes, you will arrive at the village of Ålgård, make a small stop at Byrkjedal (a typical Norwegian place with a souvenir shop and candles), continue around the mountain until you reach Øygardstøl at 10:45. This is where the walk begins. It usually takes about 2.5 hours to rise and the same to go down.
* Atlantic Ocean Road: This is the only excursion you can take in a car and it is one of the most beautiful and dangerous roads in the world, it is 8.3 kilometers long from the section County Road 64 that runs through the Eide archipelago and Averøy on Møre og Romsdal.
In Summer you can find the phenomenon denominated like Sun of Midnight where the sun is visible 24 hours of the day. You can admire this natural phenomenon from various parts of Norway depending on the dates, I recommend if you decide to see it check the dates and places recommended in: https://www.visitnorway.com/things-to-do/nature-attractions/midnight- Sun
And in winter there are several tours to try to observe the Boreal Auroras, although the best months are the winter entry and exit in September, October and March. Hammerfest, Svalbard, Lyngenfjord and the Lofoten Islands are the areas or villages where the Northern Lights can best be seen in Norway, but I also recommend visiting the incredibly beautiful village of Reine in winter.
In conclusion Oslo is a city worth visiting but serves even more as a bridge to the wonders that Norway offers.
I say goodbye to the Nordic countries and I will soon be sharing my review of Thailand my favorite destination this 2016. Until the next time!