I was in Norway for a week and a half on a business trip, but I got to spend my first weekend there exploring Oslo on my own. I purposefully didn’t see everything the city has to offer, like some of its museums, because those are things my wife will want to see when we’re able to go back together. So I mostly focused on outdoor sightseeing.
One thing to be aware of when visiting Oslo/Norway, though, is that they are a very cashless society. I withdrew $200 worth of NOK at the airport and never spent any of it. You can even buy subway and bus tickets through the Ruter app that can be linked to a PayPal account if your credit card won’t register.
Anyway, when I first set out to see Oslo, I started at the Opera House by the water, which is one of the more iconic architectures in the city:
The harbor promenade as a whole is fun to walk around, because there are a lot of other interesting buildings, art installations, and activities going on. I chose to walk from there to Ekebergparken next, though in retrospect, I should have just taken the bus. It’s a long walk, and once you leave the waterfront, there’s not much to see on the way.
Ekebergparken is a “sculpture park” up in the hills overlooking Oslo. In the spring/summer, this is probably a really nice park to walk through. In the winter months, the highlights are gonna be the sculptures themselves:
From there, I took a bus to Vigeland Park, which is a more famous sculpture park on the other side of town and probably the most popular attraction in all of Oslo. Personally, I think Ekebergparken is a better park park, but the sculptures in Vigeland are still pretty cool:
The next day, I took the subway farther out of town to the Holmenkollen Ski Museum. Holmenkollen is home to a giant ski jump and many ski competitions. In fact, there was a race happening next door the day I visited. The museum itself is quite small, but you can take an elevator to the top of the ski jump to get a nice view of Oslo in the distance:
With more time, I would have loved to visit some of the other museums of Oslo, but I’ll save those for my next inevitable trip.