The Vikings Are Waking Up!

Once no more than a dreary stop on a cold journey to the fjords and the land of Viking legends, Oslo today has entered the first league of European tourism with its seafood-rich restaurants, astonishing museums and vibrant festivals. Here are seven attractions in up-and-coming Oslo:

1. Royal Palace: 
A good starting point in Oslo, one of Scandinavia’s oldest cities going back a thousand years. This elegant structure smack dab in the middle of a park like a giant garden at the heart of the city is known as the ‘Slottet’. Another of the city’s architectural masterpieces is the Opera House,
one of Oslo’s main venues for classical music.

2. Viking Ship Museum (Vikingskipshuset):
This museum, with its exhibits of 9th century ships as well as armor, sleds, hand tools, wooden objects and handwoven textiles, recreates the age of the Vikings. Every day, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.  Huk Aveny 35.

3. Vigeland Park (Vigelandsparken):
Did you know that this park, adorned with some 200 works by the famous Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland, welcomes upwards of a million visitors a year? Decked with mini lakes, bridges, fountains and gardens, the park also boasts a house and studio once used by Vigeland.

4. Akershus Castle
Stretching along the length of the harbor, this is one of the city’s most magnificent medieval structures. A spectacular view of the city is to be had from the walls of the castle, which harbors in its corridors an old church and a small military museum displaying the personal belongings of Norwegians who resisted the Nazis.

5. Oslo Fjord:
What would you say to boarding one of the tour boats that leave from the harbor and discovering the tiny islands that dot the city’s coastline? Just half an hour from the harbor, the islands offer swimming, sunbathing, hiking and various nature sports depending on the season.

6. Munch Müzesi (Munch Museet):
This museum displaying the works of the famous Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, whose painting ‘The Scream’ we all remember, is well worth seeing. With paintings, drawings and sketches the artist donated to the city, the museum is open daily except Mondays. Tøyengata 53. For an even richer painting collection, you may visit the National Gallery.

7. Taste of Norway: 
Featuring seafood such as salmon, lobster and prawns as well as a variety of game meats, the local cuisine is served with a garlic puree. The best complement to a good Norwegian meal is a plate of blanched winter vegetables.