Going to Oslo (also with a low-cost company) might be expensive, so the best combination would be a cheap flight to Sweden (Stockholm or Gothenburg) and then a bus to Norway. From Stockholm to Oslo it usually takes around 8 hours straight, but it’s absolutely worth it! It’s the best way to enjoy some amazing landscapes: you basically cross the Scandinavian peninsula! The price for a round trip was around 30-40€ and you can purchase the tickets here.
Here are some pictures that I took from the bus:
After 8 hours I finally made it to Oslo, which –to be 100% honest – I expected to be different from what I had already pictured in my mind.
WHAT IS EMBLEMATIC?
I spent only 2 days in Oslo and I saw just a couple of things, so I guess I’ll need to come back there to extend this list. But here you can read what you can’t miss:
It’s a lovely district on the east side of the Akerselva, the river that runs through Oslo. During the 19th century it was turned into a working-class area, but nowadays it’s one of the most hipster areas of the city! One of the things that I really enjoyed was to walk along the river drinking a cup of hot chocolate.
One of the most famous clubs in the area is the so-called “Blå”, where you can enjoy some good jazz, R&B, and independent music. Take a look at their official website, so that you won’t miss the chance to dance and have fun in this amazing place!
It’s a huge sculpture park named after Gustav Vigeland, who created more than 200 sculptures! Monolitten is probably the most famous statue and… hear ye, hear ye… no entrance fee is required! Because Oslo is one of the most expensive cities on the planet for tourists. But you can learn how to deal with it. Maybe. I still have issues about it.
The Oslo Opera House is the national theatre in Norway, located right in front of the wonderful Oslofjord. Completed barely 10 years ago (2007), it is now one of the most famous symbols of design and modern architecture in Oslo and Scandinavia. Guided tours are held in English and Norwegian, but performances are usually in Norwegian. The price for a guided tour is 100 NOK (10,60€) but you can get a reduction by buying the Oslo Pass.
- Sognsvann lake
Whether you go there in summer or winter, you will think only one thing: “WOW, that’s AMAZING!”. This was my reaction. I even cried, but I’m an oversensitive person that secretly cries for everything, so don’t tell anyone. Back to Sognsvann: it’s a lake where you can swim or sunbathe, eat or drink with your friend during den 17nde Maj, or if the weather isn’t very pleasant, you can just go there for a walk and clear your mind. It’s actually very close to the city center and you can reach it with the T-Bane (Subway).
Pølser, pølser og pølser ! That’s what (I think) Norwegians love to eat. Or at least that’s one of the cheapest things you can find at the store, especially if you’re a student attending a BBQ party! Another dish that seems to be very popular is “Pyttipanne”, consisting of vegetables and meat, all chopped and fried together. It’s clearly a peasant dish since it was originally prepared with leftovers.
I’m not an expert in Norwegian cuisine though so this section might not be 100% accurate. So.. Norwegians or experts in Norwegian cuisine, let me know what I must try next time I’ll visit your beautiful country!
THINGS I LEARNED
- Something that really shocked me about Norwegian (and Swedes too, actually) is the “weird” sounds they make to show you their interest in what you’re telling them. Like “mh, mh” and aspirations that make them sound as if they’re dying. Linguists call it “ingressive sound”, I call it “funny sounds that I want to repeat without success in order to sound more Scandinavian”.
- Small talk is to avoid at all costs! It’s something that I had to learn the hard way because Norwegians tend to feel embarrassed. Maybe this doesn’t happen with the youngest or Norwegians that have lived abroad, but on a national scale, that’s something people avoid when meeting someone they know.
- Norwegians make fun of Swedes. Well, I must admit that every Nordic country makes fun of Sweden, while the poor Swedes make fun of Norwegians. But they secretly love each other, they just won’t admit it. Maybe.
WHAT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY FOR YOUR TRIP:
- A windbreaker, like anywhere else in Scandinavia. I know I’m always writing the same old suggestion, but trust me, you’ll thank me in case you were thinking about not to bring one with you.
- I went there in “summer” (*Summer in Norway is a week where you can see some sunshine and then it’s cold again), but temperatures were hardly above 10°C. This means that a scarf was absolutely necessary too! I bought it in Oslo as I arrived at the station… best purchase ever!