Cities in Six—Oslo, Norway

Visual, virtual visiting—six photos at a time

Oslo, the capital city of Norway, sits at the north end of the fjord bearing its name.  The city is in eastern Norway, about 100 kilometres from the border with Sweden.  Oslo was founded as a trading post around a thousand years ago during the Viking age.  At one time known as Christiana, to honour King Christian IV (1588-1648), it reverted to its original name in 1925.

Although Oslo deserves an extended visit, we had just over twenty-four hours at the tail end of our trip to take in the city.  After purchasing a 24-hour tourist passes, which gave us unlimited access to public transit and museums, we made the best of a short stay.  These photos are from our 2012 visit; we have yet to return for a longer stay.


Viking Ship Museum.  One of several museums on the Bygdøy Peninsula in western Oslo, the Vikingskipshuset houses three Viking-era burial ships, along with other Viking Age goods.  We got there when it first opened for the day; later there were tour buses pulling up with hoards of tourists.



Kon-Tiki Museum.  This dimly-lit museum features the raft that Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl and crew sailed from Peru to Polynesia in 1947.  Rather a subdued setting for the artifact of such a courageous journey.



Fram Museum.  The polar exploration vessel Fram, which we toured above decks and below, was employed by Norwegian explorers Nansen, Sverdrup, and Amundsen.  Roald Amundsen used the Fram to reach Antarctica, where he became the first to arrive at the South Pole in 1911.





National Theatre.  Oslo’s National Theatre is often considered the home of Henrik Ibsen’s plays (which include Hedda Gabler, A Doll’s House, and Peer Gynt.)  If I had taken ENGL 212 Poetry and Plays before this visit, I would have shot this photo from a different angle to include the statue of Ibsen, instead of this one of Bjornson.







Oslo City Hall.  Notable as the location for the ceremony awarding the Nobel Peace Prize each December.  (The other Nobel Prize ceremonies are held in Stockholm, Sweden.)





Royal Place.  The official residence of the Norwegian monarch (currently King Harald V) sits stately at the end of a long avenue, and is surrounded by a public park.  The palace is open in the summer months for guided tours.







Travel note:  Oslo’s excellent Gardermoen Airport is 47 kilometres from the city, but frequent high-speed Airport Express Trains whisk passengers between the airport and Oslo city centre.  You can also take the 6-hour train journey from Stockholm, Sweden, or a ferry from Copenhagen, Denmark.