Just Traveling Thru Oslo, Norway


This was our second stop on our 2017 European Adventure (click here to view that trip overview page).

We flew into Oslo from Copenhagen and took the Flytoget train which is the fastest way from Oslo airport to the city center and extremely convenient as the train station was directly below the airport.

We chose Oslo as the start of our “Norway in a Nutshell” tour which allowed us to see some fjords and the Norwegian countryside which was the motivation for this part of the trip. You can find more info about our Norway in a Nutshell tour here.



Interesting Facts about Oslo, Norway
  • Oslo residents are Norway’s healthiest.
  • Most of Oslo consists of forest.
  • The city used to be called Christiania.
  • Oslo is the European Green Capital for 2019.
  • The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo.
  • Trafalgar Square's (London) Christmas tree is a gift from Oslo.
  • Oslo hosted the Winter Olympics in 1952.
  • Oslo is Norway's most ethnically diverse city.
Where is Oslo Norway   Map
Where is Oslo Norway on the map?

It lies at the head of Oslo Fjord in the southeastern part of Norway. It is north and slightly west of Denmark and it is about 378 miles from Copenhagen to Oslo by car. It is approximately 330 miles west and slightly north of Stockholm Sweden if traveling by car.

Oslo is the capital of Norway and has a population of about 697k as of 2020. The original site of Oslo was actually east of the Aker River. The city was founded by King Harald Hardraade about 1050, and in approximately 1300 the Akershus fortress was built by Haakon V.

Click the map icon above to view an Oslo Norway Map.

Staying in Oslo, Norway
Comfort Hotel Grand Central

There are lots of choices for places to stay in Oslo (see our Hotel list link at the bottom of this page). We chose to stay at the Comfort Hotel Grand Central, which was immediately adjacent to the train station. For our purposes this was perhaps the best play to stay in Oslo, Norway. It was so convenient to the trains and transportation for touring the area and right in the downtown area. There was a lot of activity and food options close by, however the rooms were quiet and comfortable. The room was not huge, which is typical in Europe but it was adequate to accommodate our luggage and clean and comfortable. We recommend it for short stays.

We had the hotel name and we knew that it was close to the train station. When we got off the train, we came outside of the station, and used Celeste's cell phone map app to try and find the hotel, imagine our surprise when we realized it was right there in front of us!
Click here to go to their website.

Exploring Oslo
Jernbanetorget Transportation Center

Our hotel is just around the corner to the left of the bus. The light rail station is underneath the area where the buses are lined up, and the Oslo Central Train Station is just left of this area as well.
NOTE: This image is the property of Ralf Roletschek via Wikidata

 Quick Facts 

Jernbanetorget is both a rapid transit station on the Oslo Metro and a light rail station of the Oslo Tramway. The metro station is in the Common Tunnel used by all lines under the city centre. It is located between Stortinget to the west and Grønland to the east. Until the construction of the station at Stortinget, Jernbanetorget was the end station for the eastern lines in downtown. Along with the Oslo Central Station, Oslo Bus Terminal and the tram and bus station above ground, Jernbanetorget is the largest transport hub in Norway.

The above information was extracted from Wikipedia.

Oslo Opera House

Oslo Opera House: The home of The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the National Opera Theatre in Norway. The building sits on the eastern side of the Oslo Harbor near the Havnepromenade.

The harbor and Opera House were practically in the front yard of our hotel's location, a walk of perhaps 100 yards and we were standing on the harbor seawall.

 Quick History Lesson 

In 1999, after a long national debate, the Norwegian legislature decided to construct a new opera house in the city. A design competition was held and, of the 350 entries received, the judges chose that of Snøhetta. Construction started in 2003 and was completed in 2007, ahead of schedule and 300 million NOK (~US$52 million) under its budget of 4.4 billion NOK (~US$760 million). The gala opening on 12 April 2008 was attended by His Majesty King Harald, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and President Tarja Halonen of Finland and other leaders. During the first year of operation, 1.3 million people passed through the building's doors.

The above information was extracted from Wikipedia.

Viking Ship Museum Oslo Norway

The museum is most famous for the completely whole Oseberg ship, excavated from the largest known Viking ship burial in the world near Tønsberg in Vestfold County, Norway.

All the Viking ships at this museum were ocean going vessels before they were hauled onto land to be used in burial rituals for their wealthy owners. In the burial mounds, archeologists unearthed skeletons, beautiful wood carvings and a diverse range of artifacts from the fascinating world of the vikings.

Imagine sailing in the North Atlantic in a ship that is approximately 71 feet long with a beam of 16.7 feet? I've travelled through the North Atlantic in a Navy cargo ship that was 500 feet long and we would get bounced around in ways that would make us all cringe! I cannot begin to imagine how the Vikings could travel in their much smaller vessels!
Click Here to visit their website.

Oslo Viking Ship Museum Route Map

The #30 Bus from the Oslo Comfort Hotel Grand Central was the method we selected for transport, required approximately 20 minutes.

 
Viking Ship Museum Refurbishment
 
The Viking Museum is currently closed for refurbishment. The new Viking Ship Museum in Oslo is not expected to open again until after refurbishment is completed in 2026. The new museum will be three times the size of the existing museum and will have many more artifacts from the Viking era. Click here for more information about the new museum.
Holmenkollbakken Ski Jump

There isn’t a ski jump in Oslo Norway but the Holmenkollbakken ski jump is about 65 minutes north of Oslo by light rail train via the Jernbanetorget Station. From the train station it was about a 10-15 minute walk up a seriously steep hill.

You can see in image # 1 that the tower is tall; 42 meters in height, and the landing slope is 37 degrees at the steepest and 115 meters long.

Image # 2 gives you an idea of just how steep the ski jump is - the area where the skiers ride down reaches 37 degrees in pitch. This is the only "all steel" ski jump in the world.
NOTE: Click here to go to the Holmenkollbakken Ski Jump Wikipedia Page.

 Quick History Lesson 

Holmenkollbakken is a large ski jump hill located at Holmenkollen in Oslo, Norway. It has a hill size of HS134, a construction point of K-120, and a capacity for 70,000 spectators. Holmenkollen has hosted the Holmenkollen Ski Festival since 1892, which since 1980 have been part of the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup and 1983 the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup. It has also hosted the 1952 Winter Olympics and the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 1930, 1966, 1982 and 2011.

The above information was extracted from Wikipedia.

Holmenkollbakken Troll

Not sure if you can see it or not, but the troll's daughter is sitting on his lap. Statue was created by the famous Norwegian sculptor Nils Aas. The statue is 6.7 metres (approximately 22 feet) in height made entirely of concrete.

View of Oslo from Holmenkollbakken

You can see Oslo Harbor in the distance, approximately 12 kilometers away. This entire area, situated in the hills above Oslo, was so pretty that we really began to wonder why the Vikings would ever want to sail away from here?

Getting to the Ski Jump is straight forward, just catch the train from downtown! Trains depart approximately every 15 minutes from Jernbanetorget station and require a 30 minute ride.

Is Oslo worth Visiting?

We were impressed with Oslo in the short time that we had there. It is architecturally interesting and a beautifully scenic and clean city. There are numerous museums and it is easy to get around - very walkable and the public transportation system is very good.
Click here to view an article about average temperatures in Oslo, Norway.

Some Useful Links
 
Additional Oslo Information Links
 
  • Top Sites in Oslo, Norway:
    Good article from the "Culture Trip" site. click here to go to the article.
  • Oslo Norway History:
    Comprehensive information about Oslo, including; history, demographics, etc, on the 'Wikipedia' site click here to go to the article.
  • Oslo Norway things to do:
    Good list of activities and various things to consider on the 'Crazy Tourist' Site, click here to go to the article.
  • Viking Norwegian History:
    Good article to improve your Norwegian Viking knowledge on the 'Visit Norway' Site, click here to go to the article.
  • Things to do on Oslo Norway Trips:
    Interesting list of suggestions on the 'Visit Oslo' Site, click here to go to the article.
  • Oslo Norway things to do:
    A great set of suggestions & ideas on the 'Lonely Planet' Site, click here to go to the article.
  • Oslo Norway Hotels:
    Complete Google Search results list, click here to view the Search Results.
  • Oslo Norway Restaurants:
    Complete Google Search results list, click here to view the Search Results.
Trip Related Pages
Trip Overview
Copenhagen, Denmark
Oslo, Norway
Norway in a Nutshell Tour
Bergen, Norway
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Bruges, Belgium
Lake Hallstatt, Austria
Grindelwald, Switzerland
Susten Pass, Switzerland
Lake Como, Italy


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Note: All images on this page are the property of Just Traveling Thru, LLC unless otherwise noted.

Note: If you are interested in our European Tips & Warnings, Click here. Or perhaps our methods for Trip Planning Click here.



 
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