Although the movie, “Frozen,” may have brought attention to Scandinavian countries and ice and snow, never fear that great adventures abound there year-round. Oslo, the capital of Norway, has a tourist information bureau in a brand new office adjacent to the grand central train station (www.visitoslo.com). Visitors can arrive at Oslo’s airport, hop on a train to the city center, and let their fingers do the walking on touch-screen information screens to let the fun begin. Choices abound — whether cultural, historical or sporty — and the information center will help visitors set their priorities.
On a recent visit, I chose to concentrate on art and history and visited seven cultural museums, a sculpture park, the Munch Museum of art, and a fortress in two-and-a-half days. Certain attractions open to visitors in the summer are closed during the off-season, such as the Royal Palace, so visitors must plan their itineraries accordingly. Still, the Royal Palace has a park-like setting, and yellow-leaved aspens surround the large edifice which is flanked by soldiers standing guard and monumental statues.
Food and dining out can be expensive in Oslo, but shopping at grocery stores or opting for take-out food may be an option. Well-placed hostels (such as the Oslo Central Hostel (www.hihostels.com/hosels/oslo-central) two minutes from the main pedestrian street) make overnight stays somewhat affordable (about $55 a night in a four-bed dorm). Oslo Central Hostel is a year old and serves a sumptuous breakfast and internet access via a couple of computers, and a day locker for luggage made my stay as easy as it could be. The front desk staff is terrifically helpful and speak English.
In the next couple of weeks, I will write numerous stories focused on what to do and see in Oslo, Norway accompanied by slide shows. From the friendly, helpful, beautiful people to the multiple transportation options that run on-schedule to the multitude of historical, cultural and artistic attractions that abound in this scenic waterfront venue, there is little frustration and heaps of fun. Start with “Visit Oslo” website link above and sign up (subscribe) for my story alerts.