With a population of around 620,000, Norway’s capital Oslo is one of the smallest in Europe. But don’t be too quick to assume it doesn’t have a lot going on for travelers. It’s definitely worth the trip and is just a short flight away from many of the capitals in Europe.
If you’re headed to Oslo this summer, here are a top 5 places to visit in Oslo.
Named after the sculptor, Gustav Vigeland, Vigelandsparken is the world’s largest single-artist sculpture park. It contains over 200 sculptures made of granite, bronze and wrought iron. Each year the wondrous collection of sculptures draws 1 to 2 million visitors.
While the park is filled with many captivating sculptures, perhaps the most impressive is The Monolith. It can be viewed at the highest point in the park, looming 46 feet high and weighing several hundred tons. The 121 human figures of which the monument is composed took three stone carvers 14 years to complete. The park is free to visit and is open year-round.
The Royal Palace
Oslo’s Royal Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in Norway. It is home to the Norwegian royal family and has 173 rooms. Guided tours available during the summer take visitors to many of the most impressive rooms, including the Great Hall, the Bird Room and the Council Chamber.
In addition to the palace, visitors can explore Palace Park, which is a popular summer recreation area. They can also witness the Change of Guards ceremony, which takes place daily at 1:30 p.m. It is a colorful, exciting event popular with both Norwegians and foreigners.
Construction of the Akershus Fortress (also known as Akerhus Castle) began in 1299. For most of its history it has served the purpose of defending Oslo from invaders. In continuous use for over 700 years, it has never been successfully captured by a foreign military. For a time the fortress also served as a prison.
Today it is a military area, but it is open to the public daily. In addition to the castle, visitors can also tour the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum, the Royal Mausoleum and Norway’s Resistance Museum. Located in the center of Oslo, the fortress is easy to access and able to be explored by guided tour in the summer.
National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design
The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design consist of what were formerly four separate museums: the National Gallery, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, the National Museum – Architecture and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
The National Gallery is home to Norway’s largest public art collection. Perhaps its most famous artwork is, The Scream by Edvard Munch. The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design houses a collection of 35,000 items, including antique Greek vases, ancient tapestries and Royal Norwegian apparel. The Museum of Contemporary Art offers visitors a collection of 5,000 works of contemporary art from around the world.
Norway’s largest amusement park, TusenFryd literally means “Thousand Joys.” It is located just over 10 miles outside of Oslo. With dozens of fun attractions, it is a popular destination for family travel. In the summer, visitors can enjoy the waterpark, BadeFryd, which has a river, swimming pool and huge slide.
Oslo is a fun city to visit year-round but is especially enticing in the summer, when the weather is warm and many of the public attractions that are closed in colder months are open to visitors.
Ready for a summer trip to Oslo? Find cheap tickets on CheapOair and start planning your Norwegian getaway today!
Anis Salvesen is the marketing manager and blog editor for Tripping, a metasearch platform for vacation rentals.
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photo: via Flickr