A few weeks back I visited my beautiful, Norwegian friend Maria.
We lived together throughout our studies in Bath, so not having her close by in London has caused a lot of heart ache. When I think of Maria, I think of a mama bear. When the world weighs down on you, Maria will make your heart feel lighter. When you're feeling ill, she will tell you exactly what to take and how often. She's a silly yogi with a love for DIY and long walks in the fresh air.
She is a person that gets shit done, and it so happens, also the best person to show you around.
After spending my first day walking around and on top of the Oslo Opera House, Maria took me to a house party her friend Marte was throwing. Can I just say I had heart eyes the entire time I was there... her flat is literally life goals.
You can't go to Norway and not visit the Viking Ship Museum. These ships date back to the 9th century and it is incredible that they survived the Viking Age. Did you know that they sailed all the way from Norway to North America, Africa and Greenland?! Imagine, having the Vikings wash up on your shores... it must have been absolutely terrifying!
These ships are being discovered in remote areas all across Scandinavia. The Vikings believed that they would joining the gods in their afterlife, so they buried their honoured members inside the ships with their possessions such as, tools, jewellery, animals, food and drink. My favourite was the Oseberg Ship from 834 AD, not only because it was so well preserved, but because it honoured only two females. Whoever they were, they must have been badass.
Must See Spots
- Oslo Opera House: This was by far my favourite part of Oslo. Walk along the waterfront and visit the contemporary Opera House which is home to The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet which has been. Its all white marble everywhere and you can walk all over the building and the roof.
- The Viking Ship Museum: Exhibiting the remains of Viking burial ships that are more than 1,000 years old. Located in Bygdøy.
- The Royal Palace: Built in the 19th Century for King Charles III who reigned as king of Norway and Sweden, is now the permanent residence of the Royal family. It is surrounded by two beautiful parks called Frognerparken and Ekebergparken.
- The Nobel Peace Center: I can't believe I didn't know that the Nobel Peace Prizes are awarded in Oslo each year!
- Vigeland Park: A 79-acre park with 200 sculptures which were made by the artist Gustav Vigeland. The "Angry Boy" is the most famous sculpture and it has become a trend to be photographed while holding his hand, leaving the hand a shiny gold.
- Shop in Grünerløkka: Apparently Oslo is hipster too! This is a bohemian area covered in graffiti with lots of small, independent shops and coffee houses.
Where to Eat (and not break the bank)
- Mathallen: The "food hall" close to Grünerløkka is a modern style hawker with high-quality products from small-scale producers and foreign imports. I found food in Norway to be one of the most expensive things and this was the best value-for-money. It's buzzing with people and also a great place to have fresh fish. Beware-drinks are still pricey! I made the mistake of getting a beer with my food, which cost a thrifty £8.
- Tjuvholmen: An old shipyard which has been recently revamped into a luxurious space to chill out and spend your moneys. The neighbourhood is a colourful display of current trend of architecture and also is home to several galleries like the Astrup Fearnley Museum. There are many restaurants dotted along coast line, so I would recommend a wander and see what strikes your fancy!
Let me know if you have any other places to recommend!
puss puss x