Tourist and Practical Information
- Oslo was founded around 1000 AD and is the capital of Norway since 1299 AD.
- Home to Norwegian parliament and monarchy.
- One of the greenest cities in the world with low density due to reserved recreation areas.
- Home to the annual Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.
Snapshots of Oslo from Visit Oslo Instagram page
Travel within Oslo
Public transport within Oslo is highly coordinated. You pay for one hour use of any kind of transport (except taxi): train, metro, tram, bus or boat, and you have unlimited transfer within that time. The rates are:
|1 hour||30 kr (50 kr when bought onboard)|
|24 hours||90 kr|
|7 days||240 kr|
There are two types of tickets that you can buy, paper and electronic card. Tickets for duration more than 24 hours can only be bought electronically using the magnetic card. Electronic cards can be bought at most Narvesen newsagent shops and 7-Elevens usually located adjacent to the metro stations. Once you have an electronic flexicard, you can recharge it with money using the vending machines with your credit card at metro/tram stations. You may also buy 1 hour tickets from the bus or tram driver, but if you buy just one (rather than eight) they are more expensive. More information about fares can be found here.
Note! All electronic tickets must be validated before starting the journey! This is done by swiping the ticket through the small white machines found on the buses and trams and on the metro platforms.
The metro/subway/tube lines run every 15 minutes, and every half hour after about 10:00PM. Metro stations are marked with a circled T. If you know the street address from where you are leaving and street address of your destination, the following website will provide the most optimal connection http://trafikanten.no/en/
Currency and Credit cards
The currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone, NOK. Major credit cards are accepted in hotels, restaurants and shops. The exchange rate is (June 22, 2015):
1 EUR = 8.78 NOK
1 USD = 7.70 NOK
Electricity in Norway is 230 volt - European standard (two round pins).
Tap water is potable and of high quality.
If you are planning to do some sightseeing, it may be worth buying Oslo pass.
Here are some selected most popular sights to visit. (The descriptions are copied from wikitravel.)
- Frogner Park, (T-bane, tram 11-19, bus 22-25-45-46 to Majorstua, tram 12 or bus 20 to Vigelandsparken), with the Vigeland Sculpture Park is a large green area about 10 minutes by subway from the city center. In addition to being a nice green recreational area, it is also decorated with hundreds of sculptures by the Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland. There is a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere here, although the sculptures are a little depressing. If your children want to climb the statues, nobody will even bother to look twice at you. There is also a cafeteria, and two museums, the City Museum of Oslo and the Vigeland Museum. If you fancy an outdoor swim, Frognerbadet is situated next to the Frognerpark with 3 pools, several diving towers, and a water slide.
- Botanical Garden, (tram 17 or bus 31 to Lakkegata skole or t-bane to Tøyen, walking distance 200 metres), . Located just south of Tøyen park, the garden is a wonderful and relaxing area. Free entrance, opening hours 1 Apr-30 Sep: Sa-Su 10AM-8PM, M-F 7AM-8PM, 1 Oct-31 Mar: Sa-Su 10AM-5PM, M-F 7AM-5PM.
- Viking Ship Museum. In addition to two 1100 year old Viking ships (apparently the best preserved in the world), it also contains various other Viking artifacts and a Viking burial chamber, complete with ancient skeletons. 80 NOK Adults, 50 NOK Students / Pensioner, Children and 7-16 years 30 NOK, Family (2 Adults, 2 Children) 150 NOK.
- The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. A large open air museum featuring typical buildings from various periods in Norwegian history. This includes a city building that shows living conditions from the 1850s to the 1980s.
- Henrik Ibsen Museum, (Tram 13-19 or bus 30-31 to Slottsparken. Located in the crossing between Arbins gate and Henrik Ibsens gate.) This museum has just re-opened, and is a treat.
- Munch Museum, (T-bane, bus 20-60-67 to Tøyen). Features paintings by the Norwegian painter Edward Munch. Be aware that some of Edvard Munchs more famous pictures may actually be shown in the National Gallery, so don't complain that "The Scream" is not on display!
- National Gallery. Featuring Norwegian art from the national-romantic period, as well as some art by international artists. Free entrance.
- Nobel Peace Centre, (Tram 12 to Aker Brygge, bus 70-74 to Vika or walk from T-Nationaltheateret). Includes some confronting exhibitions as well as an exhibit for every winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
- Emanuel Vigeland Museum, (T-bane line 1 to Slemdal). Only open a few hours every Sunday afternoon. Among Oslo's best hidden secrets. Gustav Vigeland's not so well-known younger brother erected the building as a museum for his art in 1926, but later decided it should serve as a mausoleum, with his urn placed above the door. The main attraction in this museum with no windows is the 800 square meters fresco "Vita", (Italian for "life"), showing the human life from conception till death, but other examples of his art are also on display.
Buildings and structures
- Royal Palace (T-Nationaltheateret, tram 13-19 to Slottsparken. Located at the end of Karl Johans gate, the city's main avenue.). Tours inside the palace are arranged in summertime, this year from June 21. The tickets for the tour must be bought in advance from a post office. If there are vacant spots in a tour, they sell the remaining tickets at the Palace itself to people waiting in line who don't already have tickets. Don't count on getting tickets on the spot unless you are quite ahead in the line since a lot of people buy them at the post offices. There are about 2 tours in English on weekdays.
- Oslo City Hall, Oslo City Hall (Norwegian: Oslo rådhus) houses the city council, city administration, and art studios and galleries. The construction started in 1931, but was paused by the outbreak of World War II, before the official inauguration in 1950. Its characteristic architecture, artworks and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, held on 10 December, makes it one of Oslo's most famous buildings. This is the location of the conference reception.
- Opera House, (all trams and buses to Jernbanetorget or Oslo S then take the footbridge from the seaside exit of Oslo central station, next to the Airport Express train terminal). Norway's first entry into the top league of modern architecture. Shaped as a glacier or a ship, the amazing building seems to float by the inlet Bjørvika, giving a stunning impression. Climb the building on the marble slopes (summer only) for a unique Oslo view. Shame, however, with the main highway currently passing close to it.
- Stortinget (Parliament), (located on the main street, Karl Johans gate, in the city center. Take T-Bane, any line, Stortinget station, exit Egertorget.) It has free guided tours in English and Norwegian lasting about 45 minutes, which assemble outside the back door of the Parliament (on Akersgata). There is a limit of 30 people per tour, so it is advisable to be there at least 10 minutes prior to the start of a tour
- Holmenkollen, (T-bane 1 towards Frognerseteren.) The ski jump located on the west side of Oslo, which was rebuilt for the World Ski Championships in 2011. It first opened in 1892 and has been re-built many times since then. It had more than 1 million visitors every year, and was one of the biggest tourist attractions in Norway. There is also the oldest ski museum in the world, opened in 1923. Walking and mountain bike riding are popular activities here during the summer.