Twenty Hours in Norway’s Capital City
Olso is pretty far north and in the summer that means it gets late well, late. This is no problem if you are a night owl, but if you go to bed early, it may feel like you are the kid in bed who can hear the other neighborhood children playing outside. Oslo, like the rest of this petrol-rich country, is expensive and if you combine this with the late sunset it could be a recipe for a wallet-disaster. Lucky for you, there are a few ways you can save money.
First, choose your hotel wisely. Comfort Hotel Xpress is a slice of rock n’ roll mere minutes from Oslo Sentral. The rooms are chic, clean and modern, the staff incredibly polite and helpful and the overall experience top-notch.
Second, much of what the city has to offer is free. Oslo City Hall is a must. This is not only home to city government, but also to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony (all of the other Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden). The building was started in 1931, delayed due to WWII, and completed in 1950. Outside there are giant wood relief carvings depicting scenes from Norse mythology AND an Astronomical clock (bonus!). Inside there are giant murals, tapestries and the best art and design Norway has to offer. Take an hour or so to wander through the halls and meeting rooms and think of how your city’s city hall compares (hint: no contest). After city hall, take time to wander around Askerhus Fortress and harbor areas as well as the city’s main drag, Karl Johans Gate, which connects the train station to the Royal Palace.
Finally, picnic. Nothing eats up your budget faster than sitting in restaurant being waited on. Stop off at grocery store and pick up a loaf of bread, some cheese and a few beers (hey, we’re from Wisconsin, remember?) and find a place to eat your DIY dinner al fresco. If you absolutely want to eat at a restaurant, Hell’s Kitchen (across the street from Comfort Hotel Xpress) offers delicious pizzas at a reasonable (for Oslo) price.
Know Before You Go
Oslo City Hall is open from 9-6 every day and entrance is free. Askerhus is free to walk around, but entrance is 70Kr and it is open in the summer from 10-4 Monday-Saturday and 12:30-4 on Sunday. Outside of the Royal Palace, there is a changing of the guard ceremony every day at 1:30 pm.
Oslo is well worth a day or two of your time.