If you can choose any place you want for you dream journey, why would you choose Oslo out of all places? Especially from Finnish point of view Oslo in the beginning of December seems as an odd choise. The main reason for Oslo for us was that we found ridiculously cheap tickets to the Caribbean via Oslo.
Despite the fact that Oslo wasn’t really on our bucket list, it turned out to be a wonderful and easy first stop for the beginning of our rather long and multi-stop journey! We had a very early start for the journey as we had been up since 3 in the morning. So with very little sleep we were to explore the city – and so we did on foot all 12 km!
Oslo has a lot to offer. Here’s our top three for the little time we had:
1) Easy downtown: Oslo’s main streets from the central station heading towards the royal palace are beautiful even during a coldish wintery weather. We managed to have a nice -2/+2 celcius weather. We had no winter gear really (since we were equipped for mostly tropical weather), so everything warmer we had we wore in layers. Karl Johans gate was easy, nice and very clean all the way. Lots of people shopping on Saturday. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast in a hundred year old corner cafe. Walked around sightseeing the king’s palace and harbour area with the Nobel Peace Center and a bit strange looking City Hall (in which I hear they actually gave out this year’s Nobel peace price).
2) Medieval fortress: castles are exciting even if you’re not a seven-year-old kid. It’s so cool to imagine that people just a few hundred years back have actually lived, worked and fought in it. The Akerhus Fortress has a museum guided tour to explore what living was like in those times and showing utensils, furniture, paintings and actual war fighting equipment with history explained. Who would not like that? For Leevi the most exciting was the dungeon and cannons.
3) Christmas market: We visited Oslo in the beginning of December (3.-4.). You could really find a Christmas spirit in the downtown X-mas market on Karl Johans gate and the park between National theatre and Stortinget . A row of decorated little booths with smells of smoked chesnuts and glögg, fireplaces and jingles, kids playing around and adults greeting each other. A big fountain had been turned into an ice skating rink (in which you could go with shoes too), a nostalgic carousel and sky wheel brought extra activities for whole families to enjoy.
Oslo in a heartbeat
All in all Oslo treated us well. The city is easily accessible from the airport as the Flytoget express train runs smoothly and often. Prepare for everything being quite expensive though. Nice thing about many public places is that you don’t have to pay for your child. But like in any big city, train tickets, accommodation, meals in restaurants and tickets eg to attractions are rather expensive. We will break down our daily spending for each destination little later on, but Oslo will definitely be in top of the most expensive ones.
For a weekend getaway it is perfect. During summertime you could see a lot more as ferries run and you can just enjoy outdoors much more in general. We had originally planned on visiting the Viking museum, but skipped it since ferries didn’t operate. We also ended up staying the second day morning all in our hotel room, fixing stuff for the trip and surfing for further information. That was well needed – afterall, we were all really exhausted to begin with and our journey was just about to begin. There would have been so much more to see in Oslo, but hey – that’s a good reason to return!
Enjoy Oslo, and take you purse with you.