I can’t say Oslo was on the top of my bucket list before we found $350 round-trip tickets out of Orlando that flew directly to Oslo. It just wasn’t a destination I had heard a lot about. Turns out, there are endless things to do in Oslo.
I can only name one person I know who has traveled to Norway – my dad – for business. He has traveled all over the world for work and I remember distinctly that he felt like Norway was the one place he had ever been that truly took his breathe away. That was enough convincing for me to know that Norway was a spectacle to see.
The Logistics: How We Got Where
After doing a lot of research on visiting Norway before our trip, I still didn’t feel confident about getting around, how to best see the fjords, and just on what to expect in general. I want to share everything we did in both Oslo and Bergen, two of Norway’s biggest cities and tourism spots, starting with Oslo.
We flew overnight on Norwegian Airlines from Orlando straight to Oslo, which was just over 8 hours. This was our second international Norwegian flight, and it was just as comfortable and affordable as I remember from our Europe trip in September 2016. Upon landing in Oslo, we walked to the Arrivals terminal and purchased tickets to Oslo’s Central Station at the ticket booth right outside of the train station area of the airport.
The Central Station is about 20 minutes away from the airport.
We followed this ride with a 20 minute walk to our Airbnb, which was located just across a small channel of water (walking bridge distance) from the Opera House.
We got to our Airbnb around 3pm, and put all jet lag to the side as our excitement to be in Norway took over. Plus, it felt like we were in an IKEA. Really, all of Norway did and we loved it.
With no better way to explore than by foot, we dropped our luggage off at our adorable Airbnb apartment and headed off.
Oh, and first things first, COFFEE.
If you only have 24 hours in this city, here are some awesome things to do in Oslo:
The Opera House
A must-see site according to every travel resource is the Opera House. This is definitely true. It’s very obvious that design is Oslo’s expertise as you see buildings curving into all kinds of crazy shapes.
Sleek and chic are Oslo’s specialties. The Opera House is stunning on the inside and out. What was neat about this one as opposed to others I’ve seen around the give is that it’s an obvious local hangout.
The steps were crowded with families and young people sipping away on beer and wine on this Friday afternoon, as well as teenagers performing all kinds of tricks on their skateboards. The sloping ceiling is a perfect place for walking, boarding, and viewing all of Oslo from the top.
It was the warmest day of 2017 when we arrived on April 7, so many locals were just laying on the Opera House rooftop taking in all the warm rays.
Crow Bar & Bryggeri
We continued back to the direction we came, from the Central Station, and followed our walking navigation instructions to a craft brewery we found called Crow Bar & Bryggeri. We winded down cool narrow, cobblestone streets. It was a very impressive first look at Oslo as a city.
Crow Bar was right up our alley as fans of craft beer, but be warned: we spend $12 per pint on average in Norway.
Want to save money? Seek ethnic cuisine.
There were so many restaurants we had our eyes on for dinner, but one way to save money in the notoriously expensive Scandanvia is to eat Asian cuisine. It was the best Vietnamese I had ever had, and it didn’t hurt that we saved some cash dining there as opposed to dropping $50 per plate on some traditional Nordic cuisine.
We walked our exhausted selves back to the strip of trendy-looking restaurants that lined the water by our Airbnb to end our evening with a cocktail or two before diving into our cozy beds. We came across a beautiful Italian restaurant called Cargo and posted up at the bar, where we still found ourselves hours later after chatting with our Swedish bar tender, Carl, who gave us endless great recommendations for Amsterdam, Berlin, and Copenhagen.
I wish we had more time in Oslo. I also wish we had been there 4-5 years from now, as there is a ton of ongoing construction that promises architecture that’s never been seen before, up and coming hot spots, and room for more residents.
However, we were eager to see the fjords and as Oslo is the biggest hub of Norway, it was a great jumping off point to head west to Bergen the next day on a 7-hour train. It sounds like torture, but I never wanted that train ride to end.
This city is just one of the many options for an unforgettable visit to Norway. See all of the things to do in Oslo for yourself!