24 Hours in Oslo (what is there to see and do in the Norwegian capital)


Most travellers heading to Norway fly into Oslo Airport and head straight off to cruise the fjords. Moon Norway guidebook author David Nikel suggests you slow down and spend at least a day exploring the Norwegian capital first.

If you have never visited Oslo, there has never been a better time to plan a trip than now. As the summer months

24 Hours in Oslo

24 Hours in Oslo

beckon, the surrounding forests become lush and verdant offering a scenic backdrop for the hustle of sailboats that make their way into the fjord.

For those who haven’t been to Oslo in a decade or so, they will return to find a city transformed. No longer is it in the shadow of Stockholm and Copenhagen. Now the reinvigorated waterfront and modern architecture has breathed new life into the city making it compelling to stay a while even if it is just for a day.

Start at Aker Brygge, a boardwalk development of shops, restaurants and bars at a former shipyard. Continue to Tjuvholmen, a former execution spot for thieves in the 18th-century, this town within a town has swanky apartments, offices, a supermarket, upscale restaurants, and even a pebble beach.

Art lovers shouldn’t miss the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art and its quirky sculpture garden.

Across the harbour, you’ll find Akershus Fortress, a renaissance castle that has served multiple uses over the years. Dip into the museums if you have an interest in medieval or World War II history, otherwise just explore the grounds and enjoy the views across the water.

Continuing east, the revitalised Bjørvika bay in the Sentrum borough, has long been designated as the city’s new cultural quarter. This is where you will find the Opera building, the beach promenade, as well as trendy shops and seafront restaurants.

Must visit
Although some way out of the city centre, Vigeland Sculpture Park is well worth the short ride on the city’s efficient metro or tram system. Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland was obsessed with the human condition and it shows in his life’s work that fills the park.

These 212 bronze and granite sculptures depict everything from angry infants to pensive pensioners. At the park’s heart is a 14-metre high monolith, said to represent the human desire to reach out to the divine, which took Vigeland and his team over 14 years to carve.

It’s worth taking time to continue past the monolith and walk the entire length of the park to the “wheel of life” sundial. The four humans and baby locked together in a circle are said to represent eternity and harmony.

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