How To Travel Oslo: The Historical Viking Charm

Girls Who Travel | How to Travel Oslo

Oslo! Heard you were looking for a cool city break. Oslo’s a great choice – it’s a city that mixes old and new perfectly. It’s not just Norway’s capital, it’s also the biggest city there.

Oslo’s got something for everyone. Want to explore history? The city’s packed with Viking vibes and cool museums. Feeling like a nature lover? You’ve got stunning fjords and lush forests right on your doorstep (perfect for a hike or bike ride!). But Oslo isn’t all about history and nature. It’s a vibrant, modern city with a real buzz. There’s a great food scene, trendy shops, and a nightlife that’ll keep you entertained.

Girls Who Travel | Oslo For Women: How To Travel The Historical Viking Charm

Norway’s Culture And Historical Significance

Oslo has a rich history dating back to the Viking Age. (Yes, they’re all tall here!) Norway has strong ties to the Viking past. The Vikings were a seafaring Norse people who lived in the late eighth to early 11th centuries. They explored, traded and settled in various parts of Europe, leaving a lasting impact on Norwegian culture.

Concepts like “hygge” (a sense of cosiness and contentment) and “friluftsliv” (embracing outdoor life) are integral to Norwegian culture, emphasizing a connection with nature and a focus on well-being.

Historial Landmarks Everyone Should Visit:

Akershus Fortress

Oslo’s not all about trendy cafĂ©s and hipster vibes. Akershus Fortress is a real bruiser of a castle that’s been around for centuries. Think towering walls, dramatic harbor views, and a whole lot of history.

Built way back in the 1290s, this fortress has seen some battles! It’s basically a symbol of Norway’s resilience – a place that’s withstood invaders and come out stronger. The main castle has been everything from a fancy palace to a prison (yikes!). Today, it’s packed with interesting exhibits that tell the story of Norway’s past.

So, if you’re curious about Viking history or just want to explore a cool old castle, Akershus Fortress is worth a visit. Plus, the views from the top are unreal! This place isn’t just a tourist attraction, it’s a reminder of Oslo’s long and fascinating history.

Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo is a must-visit for anyone interested in Norse history, Viking culture, and maritime archaeology. It offers a unique opportunity to see incredibly well-preserved artifacts from the Viking Age.

The museum houses three well-preserved Viking ships: Oseberg, Gokstad, and Tune. These vessels were excavated from cemetery mounds in the early 20th century and date back to the 9th and 10th centuries.

One of the main cultural details included in the museum are burial mounds and ships which emphasise the importance of burial practices in Viking culture. The inclusion of ships in burials shows credibility in the journey to the afterlife. The Viking Maritime Museum also contributes to the understanding of the maritime history of the Vikings, shipbuilding techniques, and the importance of seafaring to Viking society.

Girls Who Travel | Oslo For Women: How To Travel The Historical Viking Charm

Royal Palace

Oslo’s got a real royal connection too. The Royal Palace is the official digs of Norway’s Crown Prince. It’s basically a grand ol’ place where important royal stuff happens, like meetings and fancy ceremonies.

You can’t just waltz straight in (security and all that!), but visitors can explore the grounds, catch the changing of the guard ceremony (complete with a parade!), and even take guided tours (gotta book those in advance!). It’s a cool way to see a bit of royal life up close.

The palace itself is pretty impressive. It overlooks the city centre with a grand staircase leading up to the main entrance. Inside, there’s even a Royal Chapel open to the public.

If you’re lucky enough to visit in the winter, you might even spot King Harald V and Queen Sonja! They usually stay at the palace during those colder months. But come summer, they swap it out for their summer digs, the Royal Lodge outside the city.

Oslo Opera House

Perhaps my favourite attraction of all, the Oslo Opera House is a striking and modern cultural institution on Oslo’s waterfront. Known for its contemporary architecture and cultural sense, it is one of the most popular areas in the city.

The Oslo Opera House was designed by the renowned Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta. The architecture’s design was selected through an international competition in 1999, and the Opera House officially opened in 2008. The building’s characteristics include a modern and innovative design with clean lines, a roof a down to the ground that seems to rise from the water, with Italian Carrara white marble on the exterior that gives it a unique, elegant look. Be careful, though, as when the sun is shining up high, the bright exterior of the architecture can give you temporary flash blindness which is what happened to me!

What stood out to me the most is that the visitors are encouraged to walk on the sloping roof, which serves as a large public plaza offering panoramic views of the city and the Oslofjord.

The City of Opera is home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. It is a venue for operas, ballets, concerts, and other performances.

I personally think that The Oslo Opera House is evidence to Norway’s commitment to art and culture, providing a modern and dynamic venue for performances and inviting the public to engage with the building in a unique and inclusive way on the self. It has become an integral part of Oslo’s culture and a symbol of the city’s vibrant art scene.

Munch Museum

The Munch Museum is dedicated to the life and works of the renowned Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. The museum is home to the largest collection of artworks by Munch, including iconic pieces such as “The Scream.”

Girls Who Travel | Oslo For Women: How To Travel The Historical Viking Charm

The museum’s collection includes an extensive collection of paintings and drawings by Edward Munch. The artworks span different periods of his career and provide insight into the artist’s evolving style and themes.

Another standout work in the collection is Munch’s portrait series, “The Madonna,” which explores themes of love, death, and the human experience.

Vigeland Park

Vigeland Park is known for its iconic sculptures by Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland. The park is an integral part of Frogner Park and one of the most popular attractions in Oslo.

Girls Who Travel | Oslo For Women: How To Travel The Historical Viking Charm

Oslo has a truly unique park – Vigeland Park. It started taking shape way back in the 1920s, thanks to a sculptor named Gustav Vigeland. He poured his heart and soul into this place until his death in 1943, and finally, in 1940, it opened to the public.

The star of the show here is the Monolith, a giant, carved granite column that’ll make you crane your neck. But it’s not alone! Winding around the Monolith are 36 different sculptures, each one depicting a different stage of life, from being a tiny baby to a wise old soul. These figures aren’t shy – they capture the whole gamut of human emotions, from love and joy to anger and frustration. It’s a pretty powerful display.

And speaking of powerful, you might recognise one of the park’s most famous sculptures – “The Angry Boy.” This grumpy little dude has become a bit of a symbol of Vigeland Park. So whether you want to ponder the meaning of life or just snap a pic with a grumpy bronze boy, Vigeland Park is worth a visit!

Girls Who Travel | Oslo For Women: How To Travel The Historical Viking Charm

The park has a bridge decorated with several bronze sculptures depicting human figures in various poses and interactions. These images demonstrate Vigeland’s expertise in capturing the nuances of human emotions and relationships.

Sustainable Living

Oslo is committed to sustainability and environmental protection. The city has implemented policies to encourage eco-friendly transportation, including an extensive public transportation system and a focus on cycling.

Oslo has a well-developed and efficient public transport system including buses, trams, and metro (T-bane). The city encourages residents to use public transportation to reduce their reliance on private transportation.

Girls Who Travel | Oslo For Women: How To Travel The Historical Viking Charm

Oslo, just like it’s fellow Scandi comrades, has invested in bicycle infrastructure, making it easier and safer for residents to ride. The city’s bike share system and dedicated bike lanes contribute to a sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation system.

The Norwegian concept of “friluftsliv,” is embraced fully in Oslo. It allows people to spend time outdoors, hiking, skiing, and pursuing other nature-based activities.

Oslo promotes sustainable architecture and urban design. Many new buildings are equipped with energy-efficient designs, and an emphasis is placed on the use of environmentally friendly materials. The city is also encouraging the installation of green roofs, which not only provide insulation, but help improve air quality and ecosystems.

Oslo’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in its broad approach to environmental issues. The city’s policies not only address environmental concerns, but also contribute to the quality of life for its residents.

Culinary Scene

The city has a diverse culinary scene, with many restaurants serving traditional Norwegian and international cuisine. Seafood, especially salmon and cod, stands out. Lutefisk (dried fish reconstituted in a lye solution) and rakfisk (fermented fish) are some of their traditional dishes.

Oslo’s got a cool waterfront area called Aker Brygge. It’s basically a hive of activity – packed with restaurants, cafĂ©s, and shops galore. I loved hanging out here, soaking up the vibe and checking out the views of the Oslofjord which are seriously stunning.

This place is especially popular with women – there’s something about the mix of shopping, dining, and people-watching that makes it super fun. And foodies, listen up! Since it’s right on the water, Aker Brygge is seafood heaven. Loads of restaurants specialize in fresh fish and shellfish dishes, so you can basically eat your weight in deliciousness while enjoying the view.

Oslo is a Vibrant City

Oslo might seem like all clean lines and modern design, but there’s more to it than that. This city is a cool blend of old-school traditions and new-age vibes. It’s a place steeped in history, but also totally forward-thinking.

And the best part? Oslo caters to all kinds of travellers. History buffs can geek out over museums and ancient sites. Nature lovers can hike stunning fjords or explore lush forests. City slickers will love the trendy cafés, shops, and nightlife. Basically, Oslo has something to surprise everyone. So, ditch the guidebooks and get ready to experience Oslo for yourself!

Rachel Galvan

Rachel is an intrepid world traveller, lifestyle connoisseuse, and Girls Who Travel's resident beauty advisor. She is a lover of the ocean, flowers, movies, journalism, and has a penchant for medium-sized tattoos. When she is not busy with life, she writes stories of her globetrots as well as tips & tricks on how to make the best out of travelling.

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