Oslo is a city where the Nobel Prize is awarded every December 10
Oslo is the capital of Norway’s northernmost European state tucked away in one of countless fjords. Here, every December 10, the prestigious Nobel Prize is awarded in various fields and activities. Oslo lives the peaceful life of a European capital today a rich and contented state.
Norway was a poor fishing state in ancient times. Today, it is one of the richest countries with a gross social average twice the European average. Norway discovered oil in the sea and since then the lives of all residents have changed significantly. But modesty, effort, hard work and awareness of the power of nature are forever inscribed in the collective memory. Oslo has been named the most expensive city in the world in recent years. Still, 2013 UN research says Norway is the happiest country in the world just behind Denmark. The analysis considered life expectancy, Norwegian health, freedom of life and social support.
Oslo is located in the depths of the fjord among the small islands where the sea has inland. It has a long history of trade and shipping, an extraordinary natural hinterland full of forests and water, polar winter light and summer midnight sun, and urban culture and order. Oslo is also blessed with lush nature enriched by a series of landscaped parks. That is why Oslo has been declared the greenest metropolis. The city respects nature and has a high ecological culture. Oslo won the title of Green Capital of Europe 2019 due to the lowest level of carbon dioxide emissions. Life in Oslo is not as hysterically fast as in other big cities because the population has not exceeded 600,000 for a long time. Norwegians love life in nature and many have decided to live outside urban areas. Oslo is located over 450 km2 and more than 1.4 million people live in the wider area. Numerous ferries connect with the beautiful nature of the island. A few minutes from the city center there are ski resorts and Nordmark forests. There are two rivers within the city limits and there are 343 lakes of which Maridalsvanet is the largest. Although the Norwegian winters are long and icy, the atmosphere in the city is the most beautiful then. For example, in the 80s of the last century (when Norway was far from today’s standard) the sidewalk of the main street Karl Johans Gate had underfloor heating so it was always dry (dk there was snow and ice around). My favorite means of transportation is a bicycle, although Oslo is a hilly city with a range of 0 to 300 meters above sea level. In winter, Norwegians prefer to go skiing to the train that will take them to the city for work. They live in low, colorful houses scattered around the surrounding hills. An old law from the last century says that the fence around the house should not be larger than 1.2 meters so as not to alienate themselves from neighbors who live quite far away anyway. The population density is about 14 inhabitants / km. Candles are a favorite interior item here. The custom says that if you are waiting for guests then the threshold and the whole house should be lit with candles. Life flows in harmony with nature, whose wealth and beauty are highly respected. Norwegians are slender, healthy and with an eternal smile on their faces, and with their immediacy and spontaneity they break down all prejudices about the “cold peoples of the north”.
Oslo is also a city with many parks
One of the most visited locations in Norway is Vigeland Park. The largest sculpture park by one author in the world is the life work of Gustav Vigeland. The park was built for 10 years from 1939 to 1949. More than 200 bronze, granite sculptures and wrought iron sculptures depicting scenes from the daily lives of people from birth to death with strong emotions. The sculpture “Angry Boy”, for example, became a symbol of the park and then the whole city. Norwegians go to the parks as soon as the precious rays of the sun appear. A favorite vacation spot is Frogner Park with an area of 45 hectares, which includes Vigeland Park. The park includes the city museum, stadium, outdoor pool complex, the house of the noble family after which the park was named, a children’s playground, a restaurant, a coffee bar. Frogner is the most beautiful park in the city although the royal park Slottsparken is very impressive. Here is also the largest collection of roses with about 150 species of roses.
The main street is the pedestrian zone of Karl Johans Gate
The main street is the Karl Johans Gate which leads from the main train station to the royal palace. In this pedestrian zone are the Parliament building, the National Theater, the National Gallery, the University building. The experience of the city center is completed by strategically located cafes and restaurants. The Royal Palace was built in the first half of the 19th century. It is located at the end of the main street Karl Johans Gate, named after the King of Sweden and Norway, and whose statue stands in front of the palace. It is engraved on the pedestal: “The love of the people is my reward.” Around the palace there is a park on 22 hectares with several artificial lakes, one of which is called the “King’s Mirror”. The palace is on a hill, so part of the street closes during the winter and turns into a ski resort. Here the royal palaces are not enclosed by walls as “forbidden cities” but are quite accessible which is typical of Scandinavian monarchies Akersus Castle is an important location for the historical experience of the city. It was built as a medieval fortress to defend the city. It was later turned into a Renaissance castle and a royal residence. Today, concerts and various ceremonies are held here. The change of guard in front of the castle is every day at 13.30, so a visit is usually planned then. On the ground floor is the Norwegian Museum of Resistance with exhibits from the period of Nazi occupation of Germany. The main religious building is the City Cathedral from 1694
Norway and Oslo have excellent museums
The value of Oslo is the fantastic choice of museums and the well-designed museum settings / institutions. There are as many as 5 museums on the Bigdo Peninsula. The Viking Ship Museum (now closed for renovation and will be open in 2026 as The Museum of the Viking Age) is one of the most visited museums. Magical Norwegian nature preserves the legend of the fearless Vikings in the form of “oil on canvas”. The glorious Viking times are also witnessed by the incredibly well-preserved wooden ships from the 9th century – Oseberg, Gokstad and Tuna. The Fram Museum is dedicated to the eponymous ship from the three-year polar expedition 1893 to 1896 led by Fridtjof Nansen. The wooden ship was preserved from the ice (in which it was trapped for 1055 days) due to the gay construction. Visitors can feel the original polar cold due to the polar simulator. There is also a frozen version of the ship. The Kon-Tiki Museum is named after an expedition of researcher and writer Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002) who sailed across the Pacific Ocean (from Peru to Polynesia) in 1947. This exciting journey is evoked by his book Kon-Tiki. The museum exhibits objects from Peru, Polynesia and the Galapagos, as well as the ship “Ra II” on which Heyerdahl sailed from North Africa to Barbados in 1970. Nearby is the Norwegian Maritime Museum, which shows the significant role of the sea in the life of Norway from the Viking Age to the oil wells. In front of the museum is a monument to sailors killed in World War II. The nearby Holmenokolen Ski Museum celebrates the tradition of skiing and is the oldest museum of its kind in the world (founded in 1923). Every Norwegian tourist guide has a photo of the Holmenokonen ski jump built in 1892 and restored 14 times since then. The ski jump gives an amazing view of Oslo. A special attraction is the ski simulator and for the braver descent down the steel cable (Zip-line).
The Nobel Peace Prize Museum has been the site of this award since 1901. The interactive museum setting provides insight into all the winners. The luxurious Grand Hotel of 1874 is across from Parliament. The winners of the award stay in the hotel and every December 10 they greet the Norwegians from the balcony, thanking them for the indicated part.
Culinary scene in Norway
The neo-Nordic style kitchen brings Oslo a reputation as an interesting culinary destination. The choice of restaurants is wide from Maaemo with 3 Michelin stars to traditional fish and fast food variants “polsa” (Norwegian hot dog variant). The meat of reindeer and whale is reminiscent of beefsteak with a deep taste of fish. Explore and relax the once industrial district of Grunerlokka full of miniature bars, burger bars, vintage boutiques and small temples of Scandinavian design. The best time to visit Oslo is from May to August when the temperature is 16 to 22 degrees C and daylight lasts 24 hours. Oslo is a Nordic beauty that effortlessly combines nature with urban and modern trends at any time of the year. This harmonious connection will be seen from the lookout on Ekeberg Hill.
The Viking Ship Museum is now closed for rebuilding. We will reopen as the Museum of the Viking Age in 2026.