Oslo - A Thousand Years of Civilisation
The capital city of Norway boasts modern architecture, viking history, and diverse art and educational venues. It is situated a short distance from magnificent natural scenery and recreation as well, making it a well-balanced and fascinating destination.
Tracking the festivals, avoiding the rain
May until October is the best time to visit Oslo for good weather and top festivals. The city is busiest from June to August. Rainy weather tends to arrive in late summer.
Constitution Day, a national holiday, is May 17, with events for children. A free open-air festival with music is the first Saturday in June. In mid-June and mid-August, the rock festivals "Norwegian Wood" and "Øya" take place, plus the "Oslo Jazz Festival". The "Oslo World Music Festival" ends October. In mid-October, "Films from the South" showcases films from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East.
Preparing for an Energizing Norwegian Holiday
Skiing is nearby at "Holmenkollen." Alcohol is expensive and tightly controlled, with limited licensing hours, designated shops for spirits purchase, and no consumption in public areas. There's no smoking in bars and restaurants. Overall, the cost of living in Oslo is higher than London and the UK, although basic meals out are a bit cheaper.
Best transport and accommodation options
The Airport Express train "Flytoget", takes only 20 minutes for around 180 NOK. The cheapest option, the regional NSB train, takes 23 minutes, costing about 90 NOK. Taxis are roughly 750 NOK. A backpacker hostel is around 200 NOK sharing a room, 3-star hotel about 1,600 NOK per person, per night, 1,800 for a holiday apartment. Camping: about 500 NOK/day for huts, 195 NOK/day for a campsite.
For most visits, use Travelcards at about 90 NOK/day, 240/week, or "Oslo Pass" which combines transit, museums and other discounts for 320, 470, and 590 NOK for one, two, and three 24h periods respectively. Remember to validate tickets before use.
Taxi costs run about 45 NOK to start, then 13 NOK/km.
"Oslo Bysykkel" Bike sharing system uses smartcards available at the tourist information for about 100 NOK/day, but there are limited bike lanes.