This small, cosmopolitan city, which is bordered by both the sea and mountains, is vibrant and full of culture.
By all means, travel to Oslo to pay homage to the two most famous sons of the city: Edvard Munch and Henrik Ibsen. But don’t go without learning about its modern cultural life as well. Visit one of the city’s many museums, learn more about the vibrant contemporary art scene at one of the commercial galleries, or simply be amazed by the design feats of its famous architects. You can also stroll through the areas made famous by Karl Ove Knausgrd’s autobiographical Min Kamp novel series and the seedy alleyways depicted in Jo Nesb and Anne Holt’s Norwegian-noir crime novels.
Oslo is one of the world’s most overwhelmingly green cities, despite the fact that its skyline is filled with construction cranes. With one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world, great and well-used public transportation, and a genuine dedication to sustainable food production and green space, it has earned the honour of being designated European Green Capital for 2019. Numerous picturesque parks can be found throughout the city, and the ski slopes and forests of Nordmarka as well as the waterways and islands of Oslofjord are all easily accessible from the city’s centre.
Oslo’s culinary culture, which was solely recognised for its expensive hot dogs and trendy restaurants, is currently having a Neo Nordic moment and has established itself as a distinct culinary destination. This delectable transformation includes everything from the Maaemo restaurant, the world’s most northern three-Michelin-starred eatery, to its deservedly buzzed-about neighbourhood coffee scene, to the celebration of traditional favourites like peel-and-eat shrimp, and yes, even polse (hot dogs). Pizza and sushi are also popular in the city, and both foods are increasingly competitive on the international level.
Has Oslo evolved into Scandinavia’s hottest late-night party city? If you walk around Mllegata on a Wednesday, you might think so. You’ll notice that this is a city that knows how to have fun, with a grungier, wilder, realer edge than Copenhagen or Stockholm, whether you’re working your way through a list of the newest natural wine from Burgenland or Sicily, getting your hands in the air with local DJ acts or an international indie band, drinking a local beer or sipping cocktails made from foraged spruce or Arctic seaweed.