• Travel

A Winter Weekend in Oslo


I have done several blog posts on Oslo and I don’t want to bore you with too many more but, as you can probably tell, I was a fan of the city so thought I would  share an overview of my itinerary.

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As with most of my trips the plan consisted of wandering aimlessly, checking FourSquare when overly lost and taking advice from our local Airbnb host.

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Transport

Flying Ryan Air and arriving late at night I was expecting a hellish journey into the city but at Rygge busses are scheduled to match the flights so it was as simple as hopping on the modern coach outside, paying around £15 (on the bus) then getting dropped at the central station just over an hour later.

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This was the same procedure for the return journey, you simply have to check your flight time on Rygge-Ekspressens website and it will tell you which bus to get. There is also a train if you would like to skip the traffic, but it was more expensive.

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Feeling confident after our easy airport transfer I took a tram to our Airbnb apartment instead of opting for the ease of grabbing one of the many taxis. The tram system itself is super efficient and simple to use however I did have trouble working out how to buy a ticket so took a few illegal rides which I would not recommend due to the astronomical fines if caught. The next day we managed to purchase a ticket (£9 for 24 hours, £23 for 7 days) from a metro station and grabbed the train, which was again surprisingly easy and clean.

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Shopping

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Though Norway is known for being incredibly expensive, food in the supermarkets was almost comparable to the UK so I opted to eat in at least one meal a day, yet another benefit of having our own little apartment. There are many supermarkets scattered throughout Oslo though I tended to stick with Rimi as I found it had the best selection.

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Alcohol is considerably more expensive but if you are partial to a little drink whilst on holiday you can pick up beer from the supermarkets until 8pm on a weekday, 6pm on a Saturday. No alcohol is sold in shops on a Sunday and if wine and spirits are more to your taste then you will have to find a Vinmonopolet (state owned shops) which, though less numerous, have locations around the city centre. Due to the price and restriction I would advise to do as the locals do and stock up in duty free at the start of your trip.

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We walked for miles in Oslo, starting out in the spectacular Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park then into the city centre, which was clean modern and a shopper’s dream.

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There was everything from high end designer to some of my high street favourites including H&M, Weekday and Monki at the same prices as the UK but in much quieter surroundings.

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Though the shiny shops were of course tempting my preference was for the weird and wonderful finds at Bla Julemarket and the independent offerings in the trendy Grünerløkka area.

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Since splurging was not financially viable so close to Christmas I made the decision to just window shop and spend my time visiting some of the local attractions such as the Port area and beautiful fjord.

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We also stopped by the National Academy of Art…

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and Holmenkollen Ski Jump which were all brilliant ways to spend an afternoon.

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Eating and Drinking

Sticking with tradition, a huge chunk of my holiday revolved around eating.

I think everyday should start with a hearty breakfast – this was provided by Nighthawk Diner, a joint so popular at the weekend it was literally queued out the door.

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Not being known for my patience I did not join the hoard and returned on a Monday when it was a little quieter. This allowed me to peacefully chow down on diner classics in the cool train car setting without feeling crowded.

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The other place I had breakfast was was Cafe Laundromat which served the same style of food but being such a superb venue got an entire post to itself.

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If you are like me and require a caffeine fix every couple of hours there is a pretty decent chain called Espresso House.

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Though good my preferred choice was Fuglan a cool little coffee house with filled suave students either chatting loudly or hunched over their MacBooks . The decor was like a comfortable 70’s lounge with quirky details, like the Scrooge McDuck lamp I desperately wanted to take home.

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For lunch we checked out Mathallen Food Hall which had a phenomenal choice of delicacies under one roof.

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Being a vegetarian in Norway limited my options but I managed to grab a rather pricey but tasty cheese platter from Ma Poule, one of the French vendors that had expanded from London’s Borough Market.

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If the choices in the food hall are not quite to your taste then just outside was Dognvill, a classy burger joint serving up really great meat (so I was told) and a hearty veggie option made of smoked eggplant, paprika, portobello mushroom, garlic, paprika coulis, and spinach for around £15.

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If like me you have a never ending appetite and still have room for dinner again Cafe Laundromat was a stellar selection for simple homely fare at around £15 or if you want something a little more exotic Tasty Thai was an authentic little place just across the street.

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To finish up the evening I would highly recommend Schouskjelleren Microbrewery. Tucked underground in the cellar of Schous Bryggeri the dark setting with a roaring fire, large leather seating, and stained glass windows made me feel as if I had stumbled upon an inn that wouldn’t look out of place in Games of Thrones.

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Not only was the setting warm but the beer was amazing and the bar staff incredibly accommodating.

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I went to Oslo to relax and celebrate my other half’s birthday so didn’t pack in as much as I usually would on a holiday but I hope that you find at least some of what I did come across useful.

Have you guys been to Oslo? Do you have any recommendations if I head back?

*pictures taken by myself and Pablo de la Pena from Shed.

4 comments

  1. I’d love to go to Oslo, I find Scandinavia really fascinating. I want to do the Oslo to Bergen train as it’s supposed to be stunningly beautiful. One day!
    Cx

    1. Emma says:

      I really wanted to go to Bergen but we didn’t have enough time, it is on my must do list for next visit. It was my first trip to Scandinavia I am so keen to see more.

  2. Elle Adams says:

    Why have I only just discovered your blog? Stunning layout, template and even more beautiful photography! Love this post too hun, Oslo is never somewhere I ever really wanted to check out before but I definitely do now! 🙂

    Elle
    http://www.theellenextdoor.com
    xx

    1. Emma says:

      You are too kind and have absolutely made my Monday!! If you do go to Oslo I would love to know how you get on.

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