This was our second stop on our 2017 European Adventure
(click here to view our trip overview page.
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.
We flew into Oslo from Copenhagen and took the Flytoget (AKA "The Airport Express Train") train which is the fastest way (19 minutes) from Oslo airport to the Oslo Central Station (city center) and extremely convenient as the train station was directly below the airport. Click here to read more about this train service.
Oslo is also famous for its cultural attractions, such as the Viking Ship Museum, the Munch Museum, and the Oslo Opera House. The city has a thriving culinary scene, with many trendy cafes, bars, and restaurants serving traditional Norwegian cuisine as well as international dishes.
- 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 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.
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.
IMAGE CREDITS: Both images are the property of the Comfort Hotel Grand Central Oslo, Norway.
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.
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
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.
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.
The #30 Bus from the Oslo Comfort Hotel Grand Central was the method we selected for transport, required approximately 20 minutes.
There isn’t a ski jump in Oslo Norway but the Holmenkollbakken ski jump is only 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.
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.
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.
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