Country: Norway
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Peak Season: June-August
Shoulder Season: December-May, September-November
Median Temperature: 25.00 C / 77 F
Main Languages: English, German
Primary Modes of Transportation: Bus, car rental, taxi, train, boat
Recommended Duration of Stay: 4 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $150.00/day
Tourist Passes: Oslo Pass
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“Oslo, this wondrous city that no one leaves before it has made its marks upon him.”

The verse from the 18th Century masterpiece “Hunger” by Knut Hamsun truly captures the mystique surrounding the ancient capital of Norway. Whether one is enthralled by the legends of trolls and princesses roaming the countryside or simply just out of adventure, this city never fails to charm many a traveler looking for a Scandinavian holiday. Founded in the early 10th Century by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely devastated by a fire in the sixteen hundreds. Now, as a testament to the indefatigable Norse spirit, it rises once more as spires bearing progress and industry light the skyline of this once torn land of ice.

Oslo occupies an arc of land at the northernmost end of the Oslofjord. It is surrounded by green hills, forests and mountains; with over 40 islands within the city limits. Oslo also has 343 lakes, the largest being the Maridalsvannet, which also supplies the majority of the city’s fresh water supply.

Being the capital of Norway, the city enjoys a healthy political, cultural, social and academic environment. It is also the hub of Norwegian trade commerce and banking. Oslo is also considered a “global city” and ranked as a “Beta World City” by the Globalization and World Cities Study group and Network. For several years the city is listed as one of the most expensive cities in the world along with Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen, Paris and Tokyo. And as an important constituent of world politics, Oslo is home to the Nobel Peace Prize; awarded annually to worthy individuals.

Packing List

  • Winter wear and non-slip boots if travelling in the later part of the year. It is also advised to wear layered clothing so that removing them would be easy if one gets uncomfortable inside restaurants that have central heating.
  • If you intend to go around town, a backpack would do perfectly. However, if you are staying for business, a luggage would equally suffice.
  • An umbrella and raincoat if staying during summertime. Mosquito repellants would also be in demand this season so better stock up just in case the local pharmacy or grocery store runs out.
  • An Adaptor for your electronics (camera, laptop, cellphones). The Norwegian electricity grid transmits 220 Volts and 50 Hertz.
  • Essential medication and a prescription (if you have any) toiletries, particularly Immodium or Pepto Bismol to handle an upset stomach.

Things to Do

  • Buy an Oslo Pass. It can avail you free public transport and free admission to many museums and fantastic discounts on selected activities including restaurants
  • Buy clothes and souvenirs from merchants with a “tax-free” signage as this could mean a 25% savings on Value-added / Sales tax
  • Visit The National Museum and the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. They are worth the excursion if you appreciate contemporary art and architecture. And, oh, all the exhibitions are free of charge!
  • A photo op in the famous Vigeland Park. Designed by Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland, this park is home to life like sculptures of men, women and children in arcane and intense juxtaposition
  • Hiking! Do not underestimate the country’s size even though it is small in population. The beautiful scenery is surely not something to miss when going about the roof of the world

DON'T

  • As with many EU member nations, the importation of prohibited drugs carries a penalty of imprisonment
  • Buy groceries from kiosks and convenience stores as the prices there are likely three times higher if you get them from the local market
  • Restrict yourself to hotels. The Norwegian outdoors is most welcoming and surely, you do not want to miss out on it. Bring a tent and set up camp like most locals and tourists
  • Entertain the idea of joining the “guessing game” being perpetuated in the streets; this would involve you placing a bet that most likely end up with you being scammed
  • Leave your valuables unattended. Also, while in crowded places watch out for pick pockets that may take opportunity on you. Avoid leaving mobile phones and wallets and other personal effects on café tables unattended