By special request from Mr. Kriek Lindemans
Some ideas on what to do on a short weekend trip to Oslo:
Visit of Oslo center
Start out by walking around the Karl Johans Gate – Stortingsgata area. Right between these two streets, you will find a green area where there are sometimes street shows (not so sure if also in the winter…), cafes, and a small mall. The “park” is flanked by the beautiful and original circular Parliament building on one side and the National Theater on the other side. Further down in that direction is the Royal Palace, which is surrounded by a small park.
Just a five-minute walk away, straight towards the south (go towards City Hall), will take you to the pier, which is quite a lively area, especially if you walk east towards the popular Aker Brygge (which hosts a popular shopping mall).
From the pier, you can take a fjord tour / mini cruise. They have tours of different durations (ranging from 50 minutes to full-day tours with a combination of bus and boat), but for a short weekend visit, I would recommend the 50-minute tour or the two-hour one. Tickets can be bought at the pier, but it is best to check the schedule online.
From the pier, there are regular boat departures to Bygdoy, which is the area that has some of the most popular museums. (You can buy your ticket on the boat – the best deal is a 24-hour ticket, even if you just do a return trip.) You might have time to visit two of the museums, as they are rather small and can be visited quite thoroughly in about an hour each (if you read every single thing. If in a hurry, you can do it in 30 minutes in a rush).
Kontiki Museum – Displays the original vessels (papyrus and other rafts) of several expeditions by local Thor Heyerdahl. Definitely worthwhile.
Viking Ship Museum – Of course, while in Norway, you should not miss the Viking Ship museum, which has the best preserved Viking Ships found to date. There are actually only three of them, so you will get through the museum quite quickly, but it’s worth the visit.
To get to one museum to the next, you will have to take the ferry boat (just one stop – a really quick trip).
The Vigeland Park
You can’t go to Oslo without visiting the Vigelandsparken, which you can easily get to by taking the metro, bus or tram (take the number 20 bus or 12 tram to Vigelandsparken). This is quite a unique sculpture park that was designed in its entirety (sculptures, fountains, design, architectural layout of the park) by Gustav Vigeland, who was smart enough to get the local government to build him a house in the park. Walking leisurely through the park will take you an hour at most (if you can, join a guided group), but you can run across it in 15 minutes 😉
If you still have time, go to the ski simulator next to the tower in Holmenkollen (a bit further away and a longer metro ride). You can experience how it feels to ski in a thrilling, steep downhill slope through this realistic simulator (which I unfortunately have not tried yet).
Tip: Check at the tourist info office or the hotel for opening hours and boat schedules and beware: Oslo is a very expensive city – see exchange rate – but beautiful and with really friendly people. Have fun!