Oslo

I’m working on compiling a list of restaurants, places to see, etc… for my friends who would like to visit Oslo. This page is work in progress currently.

Oslo - Torshov

Oslo - City Hall

Oslo is the capital of Norway. A beautiful city of barely 586,860 people [thank you Kristine], Oslo does not have your typical capital city, busy feeling. In fact, there’s not much hustle and bustle at all – it’s very calm. Of course, being a native of Kuala Lumpur, this is solely my opinion :)

If you’d like to experience all four seasons at their best, Oslo is the place to go.

Winter in Oslo is cold. The locals thrive in this weather with winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, sledding, etc. A certain contented feeling is eminent in the city when it is cold as Norwegian people love a good winter – perfect with enough snow and below zero temperatures. The common belief is: There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. In the beginning, I didn’t believe this adage; nowadays, I think it is true. If you wear your layers as recommended, with a scarf, hat, gloves and good shoes – you will enjoy the weather too!

One thing to note during winter is the importance of a good pair of winter shoes. What are winter shoes? Stable boots or hiking shoes with non-slip rubber soles. Snow is beautiful in winter, but snow can also turn to ice on the ground. Walking on ice is a useful skill, but it is only learned after taking a few tumbles on the ground ;) This is one of those things where you should take a leaf out Marilyn Monroe’s book: “Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world!” I say, with the right pair of shoes, a girl can survive winter with nary a bump or a bruise.

Spring in Oslo is magical. Yes, I’m a little bit biased as Spring is my favourite weather (15 C *happy sigh*). I love walking in the breeze with boots and a trench coat or a leather jacket coupled with a floral scarf and huge sunglasses. Oh wait, this is not meant to be a fashion post – sorry, men! Okay, let’s start again. So Spring in Oslo is great for hiking and biking. I mean, you can do all this in Summer too, but Spring is just too pretty to miss out on. This is when the tulips bloom beautifully around apartment buildings. Norwegian people love to dine al fresco at restaurants and cafes. The “tradition” of drinking a beer outside is known as “utepils” which literally translates to “outside beer”. As the snow melts and the days get brighter, people of Norway yearn for their first “utepils”, usually possible in April.

Summer is when most tourists visit not just Oslo, but Norway itself. I do agree that summer is the best time to visit Norway but you might have to adjust your expectations. A warm sunny day is precious, and we do get a month or two of warm weather coupled with some days or weeks of rain. The best part about summer is the Norwegian strawberries.

Autumn in Oslo is usually rainy. This is the best time to invest in a rain jacket as if it is windy and rainy then your umbrellas will be rendered useless. On a dry day, you will see beautiful red and brown leaves all around you. Yellow leaves are a little bit hard to find. A sunny autumn day is perfect for long walks in the streets with stopovers at cafes. Norwegian people make Fårikål, which is a lamb and cabbage dish, in Autumn. Though I have never tried Fårikål, I’m a big fan of the dish because this is the only time I can find lamb in regular supermarkets as opposed to the butcher only.

In case you are visiting Oslo, here’s a list of things you should consider doing for your trip:

1. Eat

  • Brown cheese – anywhere
  • Cafe Kaffe
  • Kaffistova – for authentic Norweigan food, especially during the Christmas season
  • Åpent Bakeri
  • Koloni Hagen
  • Olive & Nan
  • Nam Fah Thai
  • Tabibito
  • Tasty Thai
  • Cosmo Sushi

2. See

  • Karl Johans Gate
  • Grünnerløkka
  • Vigelandsparken
  • Folkemuseum
  • Den Norske Opera
  • Akershus festning
  • Slottsparken – the park around the King’s castle

3. Buy

  • Freia chocolates
  • Salmon
  • Trinkets
  • Scandinavian style sweaters

5 responses

    • Haha – indeed. I didn’t believe it in the beginning, but now that it is my 4th winter here, it is 100% true. Layering and dressing accordingly (of course throwing fashion out the window) makes such a difference.

  1. Hi, I stumbled across your blog and find it so amusing to read about Oslo through your eyes as I am a Norwegian myself who live in Oslo! However, I have to correct you on the number of inhabitants here – according to Statistics Norway, there are approx. 586 860 people living in Oslo now :-)

  2. No problem! I noticed that the Wikipedia article does say that within the metropolitan area there is about 1,5 mill. inhabitants, however that is a pretty big area compared to the city centre, which I think you want to refer to :)

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