My first full day in Oslo was…well, a very full day. To put it lightly. I had two days in Oslo, but we covered so much in the first 24 hours that I could’ve been very satisfied if I’d only had 24 hours in Oslo. I guess that’s what happens when you have two Norwegian friends to show you around their city!
We went on a very well-designed walk through Oslo, planned by Kristina, which hit every major attraction (and all FREE!) So I’ve decided to write this post like I did my favorite walk through London’s Southwark area, and give you a map. If you ever find yourself in Oslo, you can just click this link and there’s your map to the best, busiest, most lovely 24 hours in Oslo!!
1. Vigeland Park
We started the day in Vigeland park, the world’s largest sculpture park made by just one artist! It’s incredible – Vigeland sadly died when he was 23 which means he made this gigantic park and more by then! Mind boggling…I’m 22 and still have difficulty telling my left from my right, so…
^ My two Norwegian tour guides for the day, Kristina and Lene!
2. Bogstadveien – shopping (veien=road)
From Vigeland Park, we walked along Bogstadveien which is a great shopping road. My friends recommended Bik Bok and Monki as the best Nordic brand stores to buy clothes. I got a really cute pair of sunglasses at Monki for only 100NOK, definitely needed as it was blazing sun in Oslo!
From Bogstadveien we came to the back of the King’s park, a lush green space with big trees. The Queen has a park, too, but it’s closed to the public. We came through the park to the front of the palace, where we saw the flag was flying – which means the King was home!
4. City Hall
Next stop…city hall! Not to get married (although this is where Kristina’s parents were married!), but to admire the colorful and meaning filled murals. Basically a free museum! It’s not much to look at on the outside, but once you enter the large brick building you find yourself in a vast hall with 3 story tall murals on each side. You can explore each room and even see “Life” by Edvard Munch on the second floor.
^my favorite of the paintings. My Norwegian friends translated the protest signs for me- it shows citizens fighting for rights for the poor, sick, old, and to vote. It represents everything Norway stands for!
^the controversial painting depicting (naked) Norwegians enjoying Oslo in summer. The boy by the door is sticking out his tongue because the artist was mad they put two doors in his mural.
5. Aker Brygge – harbor
This quite posh area is home to great restaurants, some modern art museums, lots of docked yachts in the harbor, and a beautiful path alongside the sea. We walked around, and then settled in a sunny spot overlooking the harbor for lunch.
7. Opera House
The Opera house is a gorgeous modern building on the harbor of the west side of Oslo…but when it was built, the architects miscalculated a few things. First, every year it is sinking! Second, they didn’t mean for people to walk on the roof, but it’s so perfectly slanted that every day dozens of people traipse up the roof for views of the Oslo Fjord and Oslo itself. Including us!
8. Grill in a Park
A summertime classic in Oslo is grilling! This was so much fun. We bought some food and a disposable grill and headed to the nearest park (there are tons in Oslo). So many people were lying out in the grass eating freshly cooked burgers and smoky corn. It was wonderful.
9. Akerselva and Kuba park – river
Akerselva is the main river that runs north-south through a section of Oslo. Once you get to Kuba park, a long narrow park along the water’s edge, you can walk along the river (it’s difficult to elsewhere in the city). It’s peaceful and wild and there are lots of nice bars and books tucked in along the river edge.
10. St Hanshaugen Park
For us, this was the perfect place to end our day of walking Oslo, as our airbnb was in St Hanshaugen neighborhood (highly recommend!). The park itself is gorgeous, especially around sunset. Haugen roughly translates to hill… Meaning the park is just one big green hill with great views of the city at the top!
And there you have 24 hours in Oslo – walking route handcrafted by Norwegians and approved by tourists (me)! My health app definitely showed a spike in walking on this day, but it was worth it to see all the major central sights of the city!
My second day in Oslo was a bit different… you can read here about how I saw the outskirts of Oslo!
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