Travel Tuesday: Top 5 Things Not to Miss in Oslo
Norwegian Tripper Kristian Salvesen shares with us his 5 favorite attractions in Oslo, Norway.
1) The Vigeland Park: A common reaction from others when they find out where I am from is as follows: "You from Norway? I've been to Oslo. I went to that place with all the statues, the...?" It's called Vigelandsparken in Norwegian. It is the largest sculpture park made by one single artist in the world and is filled with more than 200 sculptures sans attire made of bronze, granite and wrought iron. My favorite sculpture: the Monolith. It is 46 feet (12 m) high and has 121 human figures carved into it. It's one of those massive creations that you could spend hours just marveling at. I take most guests visiting me from abroad there; it is very easy to get to with public transport, and it's open year 'round. So it's a definite must-see.
2) The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet: This building is a more recent addition to the city, opening in April of 2008. It has the distinction of being the world's first opera house to let visitors walk on the roof. How cool is that?! For those with a more intellectual bent, here is a factoid for you that was covered in the Norwegian press but not very prominent in the descriptions I found of the opera house online: Snøhetta, the Norwegian architects who designed it also designed a number of prominent buildings worldwide including the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center Site in New York City.
3) Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower: Holmenkollen has hosted a number of well-known events including the 1952 Winter Olympics. Since 1892, it has hosted the annual Holmenkollen Ski Festival. It was completely demolished and rebuilt from 2008 to 2010 for the 2011 Ski World Cup. There is a ski museum inside the ski jump and has the distinction of being "the world's oldest museum specialising in skis and 4,000 years of skiing history." Another popular attraction there is the observation deck at the top of the jump tower from which you can see the panorama of Oslo below.
4) The Royal Palace (kongehuset): If you walk to the end of Karl Johans gate, one of the main roads in Oslo, you will find yourself at the Royal Palace. The king and queen live there and it's where foreign heads of state usually stay. I know little royal trivia, but I do know that the father of the current king, King Olav V, was very popular and known as a man of the people. He would actually ride through the streets of Oslo on public transportation.
5) The Viking Ship Museum (Vikingskipshuset): Yes real viking ships are housed here. The items on exhibit include tools and items from everyday Viking life such as utensils and textiles. But the main attraction is of course the Viking ships. And the most popular ship is the Oseberg ship, which even though it's from the 800's is completely intact! It was found in a burial mound.
Kristian currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area, but if you want tips about visiting Oslo or other parts of Norway, you can connect with him via his Tripping profile.