We’d like to explore Oslo before getting on a cruise. Any suggestions on sites, lodging in June would be greatly appreciated.
What are you interested in? What do you want to see and do?
Some sightseeing suggestions:
- Norwegian Folk Museum
- Vigeland Museum and Sculpture Park
- Munch Museum
- Historical Museum (Viking exhibits are good)
- Botanical Garden
Viking Ship Museum is closed.
We stayed at the Thon Opera Hotel, great location next to the train station, and super included breakfast. We did a tour of the Opera House, Fortress, and Nobel Peace Center. Nice city.
Rick's top sightseeing suggestions for major cities are available right on this website.
Rick's sightseeing priorities for Oslo -- Click on At a Glance
In case you are not aware, Norway is very nearly cash-free. You will see plenty of signs indicating that stores, restaurants, etc., do not accept cash. You're unlikely to encounter a place where you cannot use a credit card. If you just can't stand the idea of having no local currency in your pocket, get as little as you can stand, because you're almost certain to be scrambling to get rid of it before you board your ship. Because no one uses cash, it is extraordinarily difficult to find a bank-owned ATM in Oslo. You may have to settle for a non-bank machine.
For lodging suggestions we had a lovely stay at Grand Hotel Oslo. It is diagonal from the Parliment building. Rooms were very plush and felt virtually soundproof. It has a very classy feel. We really enjoyed our stay here but it is on the pricier side. Then again all of Norway is pricey. And I will second that statement about credit card usage. We used absolutely no cash during our stay in Norway, everywhere even in the fjord country we used credit cards only.
@ acraven's link to Rick's Oslo page above doesn't work.
This is the correct link- https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/norway/oslo
I was looking, as I have had an e-mail this morning from someone (from Seattle) who was at Vigeland Sculpture Park yesterday, and was very impressed with it. I just wondered how often Vigeland was mentioned on the forum (the answer seems to be- not often). I certainly hadn't heard of it, largely because Oslo has tended to be a connection point for me, not a destination.
But I am being given a huge thumbs up for Vigeland from one visitor anyway.
My contact is a non transit user at home, but is hugely impressed and enthusiastic about the Oslo public transport system, and how easy it is to use.
Thanks, isn31c. I've corrected my link so it doesn't cause anyone else a problem.
I also vote "Yes" on the Vigeland park. I like Millesgarden in Stockholm even more, but it's farther from the center, thus more of a time commitment.
City transit can definitely be handy in Oslo; the city's not totally flat.
Good list in the 2nd post - also the National Museum. Good historical and art exhibits. Opened in a new building in 2022. Fram Museum, Kontiki Museum. We were disappointed in the Norwegian Maritime Museum, but some reviewers enjoyed it. There is a ferry you can take to the "museum island" with those places and Norwegian Folk Museum.
We stayed at the Radisson Blu by the station. Taxi queue if you need to get to the port for your cruise. I don't advise taxi's as a regular means of transport in Oslo. Rates vary depending on which company you use. If you do want to use a taxi, ask the driver what the fare will be before you get in. We had drivers claim they didn't know how to get to our destinations - major sites for which I had addresses.
Vigeland Sculpture Park was a highlight for us in Oslo with all the sculptures in the park.
We also walked on the Opera House roof, and ate wonderful seafood.
We enjoyed our stay at the Grand Hotel.
We spent last Tuesday in Oslo before flying home on Wednesday.
We used a walking tour we found online as a guide. We started by going to the roof of the Opera House for some good views. From there we walked over to Karl Johan Gate past Parliament to the Palace. It was off-season, so the palace wasn't open for inside tours. From there we headed up to Vigelandsparken. After a walk through the park to see the sculptures, we had lunch at a restaurant in the park. On the way back to the train station, we looked for and found some stumbling stones. We took a route past the waterfront (the Nobel Peace Center was closed) and the old city hall. My husband's great-great uncles are credited with bringing skiing to the US, so we were disappointed the ski museum that it was closed for renovations. It should be open when you are there in June.
Vigeland Park is a worthwhile top attraction. So is Akershus Festning—a historic fortress with its castle’s origins dating back to the 13th-century. Walking the waterfront from the Opera House, with the area’s contemporary architecture, past the Nobel Peace Center to Akershus Festning, with its historic architecture, gives a great overview of Norwegian historical architecture. To see an 11th-century Stave Church about as old as the Borgund Stave Church, visit the National Volksmuseum located in Oslo’s outskirts.
The best-of-the-best Munch artwork— including Munch’s favorite “Scream” canvas— is in The National Museum.
The Munch Museum rotates displays of the versions of the "The Scream" that it owns. I have heard from visitors who have been disappointed to be there at times when the print was on display.
We stayed at the Hotel Bristol this summer. It is a short walk from the National Theater train stop. The hotel was very nice. We heard that their breakfast was outstanding but due to jet lag we slept through our opportunity to partake. Another site to explore is the Norsk Folkemuseum a short bus ride from the Viking Ship Museum (closed at the moment), the Kon Tiki and the Fram Museum.
HAs anyone stayed at any of the Choice Hotels? I'm especially interested in Comfort Hotel Grand Central and the Comfort Hotel Karl Johan.
The Munch Museum rotates displays of the versions of the "The Scream" that it owns
While there in September, there were 4 different versions of The Scream, in the same darkened room section, but each one illuminated and displayed only for 15 minutes at a time, in a cycle. I would hope you find time to see many of the other works on several floors, and after you’ve seen one of the Screams, come back 15 to 29 minutes later, and you’ll see another. Repeat.
Even if you don’t stay at the Grand Hotel, as mentioned above, at least have Brunch there. Best $30 you can spend.
The Opera House is wonderful on the outside, and it’s fun to explore the slanted roof (stairs are there, too, if you want), but we also attended a performance one night, and it was exceptional. While La Traviata won’t still be on the playbill in June, there are other performances that will be, if it’s not too late on June. We also took a tour of the Opera House a couple afternoons later, and seeing the “backstage” operations was fascinating.