City Guide: Oslo, Norway
WHERE TO STAY
We all know Scandinavia has one thing that is incomparably, just the best: interior and furniture design. If you really want to have a taste of typical nordic living, your best bet is none other than our dear friend AirBnB. Ideally filled with items from MUUTO, Ferm Living and the latest collaboration collection from IKEA: enjoy.
In terms of neighbourhoods, the Grunerløkka district is somewhat to be considered along the lines of a Shoreditch of London: trendy, young and upcoming. Best for those who are looking for a quiet place at night and a lively one during the daylight.
WHAT TO SEE
Oslo is a considerably small city: you don't need much more than 3-4 days to complete a 360° tour of the main spots. Luckily, you can learn a little about the history of the city and enjoy a walk around the city for free thanks to the Free Oslo Tour.
One of the main spots and an absolutely-not-to-miss one is the Opera House: home of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, situated in the Bjørvika neighborhood. The building is built on angles to ground level, creating a large white area that blends in with the water as if it was emerging from it - just like an iceberg. Visitors are invited to walk onto the rooftop and enjoy panoramic views of Oslo.
Another one not to miss is Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, a stunning building designed by Italian designer Renzo Piano and hosting some of the best Norwegian contemporary art - expect interactive design and beautiful orange lighting. Another one to add to the list is the Munch museum, for all the modernist artist fans out there - be aware: the Scream is unfortunately not held at this museum but at the National Museum instead.
WHERE TO EAT
When it comes to food, Oslo has plenty of choice - unfortunately not that much for who is vegan/vegetarian/allergic to particular items as their cuisine mainly focuses on fish, meat and everything else coming from its mountains, wilderness and such. The Norwegians love a stylish brunch in a cute restaurant so brace yourself for a classic breakfast at Miss Sophie - here you will find your classic avocado on toast and blueberries pancakes. If you are in for something more low key try Nordvegan - homemade vegan food - or Fru Hagen - a classic lunch spot, especially on a sunny weekend.
Norway is also known for their traditional baked pastries, such as cardamom and cinnamon buns, always best when accompanied by delicious coffee. Hit Godt Brød Grünerløkka for your take-away pastries and sip on a cup of dark roast at Tim Wendelboe.
WHERE TO SHOP
As mentioned before, Scandinavian design is to be considered always a good investment, whether it is furniture or clothing. Invest in designer pieces at Filippa K or Samsøe & Samsøe and visit the Hay house where you will find all pretty house holds such as pots and prints.
THE OUTDOORS & MORE
Oslo is a fairly small city to visit - if you have a little bit of time left on your hands, it is worth taking a ferry and visit one of the islands surrounding Oslo. Considered as one of the main tourist activities, island hopping can give you a chance to experience the true Norwegian outdoor lifestyle - get your hiking boots and picnic baskets and set off for a day trip in Hovedøya or Bleikøya islands. You can find all information here.