Oslo: The Viking Capital of Norway
The Royal Palace Oslo Norway
Oslo is the capital city of Norway. It is located at the head of the Oslofjord inlet and at the foot of a large forest giving it lovely natural beauty. the city has a fascinating Viking past, while at the same time being a modern and progressive city with a vibrant nightlife and many bars, cafes and restaurants.
There are many sites of architectural, cultural and historical interest throughout the city. Visit the main pedestrian street, the vibrant Karl Johan's Gate which is full of shops, cafes and entertainment. The Oslo Domskirke is the city cathedral. It was built in 1697 and here you will be rewarded with a view of outstanding examples of stained glass. The Royal Palace is a treat, if for nothing but to sit in its stunning grounds. You can spend two days exploring Bygdoy where you will find excavated Viking ships at the Viking Museum, the largest open-air museum in Norway and the Kon Tiki Museum which houses the famous balsa-wood raft that Thor Heyerdahl used to cross the Pacific Ocean in 1947.
Norway contains other excellent museums as well. Be sure to visit the Norwegian Folk Museum which is the most extensive museum of cultural history to be found in Norway. The Resistance Museum can be found at Akershus Castle. It provides an account of the German occupation of Norway and there you can visit the deep dungeons and then the luxurious upper floors. There are many high quality art galleries in the city, such as the Munch Museum which contains Munch's famous "The Scream" and the International Children's Art Museum that hosts hands-on workshops.
Of architectural interest is the newly opened Opera House, the Royal Palace (mentioned above), the buildings of the University, the cathedral and the Kirkeristen which is the old bazaar that surrounds the church. The city is also full of natural beauty and stunning parks. You can wander around the beaches that are part of the Bygdoy peninsula or visit some of the city's parks, particularly the gorgeous Frognerparken. The section of the park known as Vigeland Park contains approximately 200 bronze and granite sculptures and is a treat to behold.
The city hosts a number of international fairs and conferences and during these times it can be difficult to find accommodation. If you plan to visit at a time such as these, make sure to reserve your accommodation long in advance to avoid disappointment. There are two hostel chains in Norway that run 110 youth and family hostels so finding budget accommodation should not be a problem if that is what you are looking for. It is possible to find hotels that range greatly in price and so if you are traveling on a budget, you may find a small family run hotel that will suit your needs. Besides for luxury hotels, you can find quaint old wooden hotels or charming historic hotels that have unique and distinctive atmospheres. You can also stay in a pension or a private room that can be found throughout the city and around the countryside.
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