Hej hej friends! How is it going? School and other life obligations have been a bit overwhelming so I have not been updating as often as I had intended to. I am also at the end of our first travel week, where some students travel with their core course, while others like me, travel within or outside of Sweden on our own. My friends (Julia, Katherine, and Caroline) and I visited Oslo, Norway for a weekend two weeks ago. It was an incredible trip where we got to see a lot within a short time.
Here is a list of everything that we did:
- Aker Bryggae
- Vigeland Installations in Frogner Park
- Oslo Opera House
- Oslo Cathedral
- Royal Palace (guard change at 13.30 daily)
- Karl Johans Gate
- Akerhus Fortress
- City Hall (Rådhuset)
- Munch Museum
- Cultural History of Museum (Folkenmuseum)
- Holocaust Center
- National Museum
- Bible Museum
- Njokobok Restaurant
- Kaffebrenneriet avd Gronnlandsleriet
- Oslo Street Food
- Grains Bakeri
- Dronningens Kebab
Note: Highly recommend getting the Visit Oslo pass at the Oslo Visitor Center in the Oslo Central Station (they offer a student discount when purchased in-person). It probably is the priority of your trip as the pass offers free transportation around the city and access to many museums and sights. The express train from
Now, allow me to highlight some of my most memorable/favorite spots:
Vigeland Installations in Frogner Park
We visited the Vigeland Installations on our Second day, the first thing of the day (after breakfast, of course). The sculptures were one of the most memorable parts of my journey, if not the most. They were created by the Norwegian Sculptor Gustav Vigeland. They depict the wide range of intimate emotions experienced by humans. While walking through the park and marveling at the handiwork, I could feel myself tearing up. Here are some of the most emotionally impactful installations for me:
They reminded me a lot of the precious moments I had shared with my family growing up.
On the website of the Vigeland Museum, you can find more information about the installations. For example, this installation, which shows a baby “balancing” on its head, represents the beginning of life.
I highly recommend visiting these installations if you visit Oslo! We spent roughly an hour at the park, but you can easily spend more while learning about the intention behind each design.
City Hall (Rådhuset)
At the end of our trip, we visited Oslo City Hall. It is where the Nobel Peace Prize is announced every year. Entrance to City Hall is free and I assure you it is very worth the visit! We walked around the different rooms and read about the history and design of the hall posted on the signage. A must-go in Oslo – especially if you are on a budget.
Oslo Opera House
Ahhh the famous opera house – designed for visitors to walk right on its roof! It was a very interesting and memorable experience, making our way to the top of the slanted roof while trusting that we won’t slip. (You have got to wear the right shoes for this “hike”.) The view at the top is impeccable – with views of the library(?), Barcode Project buildings, Munch Museum, the port and some of the archipelago, and the Oslo Central Station area. This spot was one of my favorites not only for the experience, and the view but also for the beautifully designed architecture. It was fun taking pictures at different spots and angles and playing around with the lines and shapes of the building.
When in Oslo, how can we forget the famous Norwegian painter – Edvard Munch? His most famous piece, “The Scream”, is housed in Munch Museum and the National Museum in Oslo. We were lucky to see all three of the publicly available versions of “The Scream” (two at the Munch Museum, one at the National Museum). Other than his most famous art piece, there is a wide range of artworks created by Munch that you can view and learn about at the museum. They also have an exhibition centering on his life – a timeline of his life, artwork, and display of the furniture in the house he spent his last years in.
With our Visit Oslo pass, we have access to 30 museums and sights for free. With the Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities being one of them. When I was looking up museums we can check out, I came across the Holocaust Center and its temporary exhibition – Everyday Racism in Norway. A bus ride away from the Cultural History Museum, we came to the Holocaust Center which is located near an idyllic park and beach, Huk. Unfortunately, we arrived there only 30 minutes before their closing time, but we managed to make our way through most of the permanent exhibition on the Holocaust and the temporary exhibition. The temporary exhibition on Everyday Racism was particularly impactful for me, as the everyday experiences of minorities in Scandinavia are something I want to learn more about throughout my study abroad experience. There, we heard sharing from youths who are of Sami, Jewish, African, and/or Asian descent. The exhibition also seeks to trace back the historical and current roots of racism, with a categorized timeline spanning two walls, showing events that happened in Norway related to “Ranking”, “Antisemitism”, “The State”, “Rebuttal”, “Stigmatization”, “Islamophobia”, and “Extremism” (the Norwegian words of these categories make up “Racism” which is racism in Norwegian). More on learning while traveling in my next post!
We also ventured out and explored the nature-y area near the museum afterward. Norway no doubt has some amazing and accessible nature for you to roam in.
Food in Oslo
I have to be honest with you – finding affordable eats was a bit of a struggle the first two days of our trip. Tip: do your research and plan ahead when and where you want to eat if you want affordable options. We were in some of the more expensive districts (aka. Aker Bryggae) when we tried looking for food under 20 bucks. Alas, we found one eatery at the end, but it was a hangry and patience-testing experience for our group.
To help you locate affordable food, here are a couple of options we liked: Dronnningens Kebab near Oslo Cathedral, Cafes like Grains Bakeri (near-ish the Vigeland Installations), Kaffebrenneriet Grønlandsleiret, and Oslo Street Food (we got a large sharing plate of bites).
All in all, I had an amazing weekend with my friends in Oslo. You can get here by train/flight from Stockholm. I do recommend planning ahead, as some spots like the Vigeland Installations are a bit farther away, while others are in clusters that you can visit successively.
Have a great week! Vi ses!
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