36 Hours in Oslo, Norway
My best friend since middle school and I have never taken a trip abroad together. We had always talked about some grand Euro-trip, but the timing was never right. One day we both finally say ‘screw it’ and made the time. Originally the plan was just Copenhagen and Amsterdam, but my friend, Olivia, is absolutely obsessed with Norway and wanted to tack that on to our trip too. I am so, so glad we did. Here’s what we got up to in the short time we were in Oslo:
We stayed in Grünerløkka, a sweet little neighborhood filled with cafes and vintage shops. It couldn’t have been easier to get there from Central Station and nearly everything was walkable for us from our AirBnb. I arrived around 10pm and after nearly 20 hours of travel I pretty much walked into my room and fell straight asleep.
We started our first morning off perfectly with lattes at Tim Wendelboe, a world famous coffee roasting house right next to where we were staying. Olivia warned me about how Norwegians say hello, but hearing “hei hei” (pronounced “hi hi”) for the first time was such a treat. It immediately boosted my mood! After coffee we decided to just wander around the neighborhood, slowly heading towards Central Station.
Just as we reached the main downtown area, it started to pour. And I truly mean it poured, this isn’t just a California girl’s exaggeration. We took refuge in a KB (Kaffebrenneriet, a popular coffee chain all over Oslo) and had quiche and more coffee to wait out the rain.
When it didn’t look like it would stop any time soon, we hopped on a bus to the Viking Ship Museum. I’m devastated that the weather wasn’t on our side because the bus also drove past the Folk Museum and it looked like a dream! Olivia said you could spend all day there (she’s been before) so if you have more time and better weather, go for me!! The Viking Museum was great, especially the projector show that was almost too IMAX-y for me -___-
We then filled our tummies at Mathallen Oslo, a giant food court that surprisingly was having a Mexican culture event that day. There were also stores selling whale and reindeer sausages which we did not partake in. We spilt a taco (haha!) and an order of fish and chips. Not exactly Norwegian fare, but delicious all the same. There were also plenty of opportunities to sample cheese :)
While we were eating, a follower of mine who lives in Norway sent me a message about a weather alert she received. Because we didn’t have Norwegian phones we didn’t get it, but she thankfully let us know that a big storm was heading our way! The high winds were already knocking down trees where she was, so we had about an hour to get out of harm’s way.
Knowing this, we made a quick stop at this cool graffiti covered area and hustled home. We got there just in time before strong winds and some pretty rough rain pelted down. It lasted an hour tops, and then we headed out to Villa Paradiso to eat pumpkin pizza and pumpkin pasta. We devoured it all.
The next day was our last half-day in Oslo, and we made it count! We started the day at Godt Brød, an amazing bakery in the neighborhood, and then headed to Central Station to leave our bags in the lockers until our ferry (more on that later!)
We wandered around downtown until we finally reached City Hall and oh my goodness, prepare your eyes.
The entire interior was painting in the most stunning murals I’ve ever seen. Add that to the ocean view and the result is actually jaw-dropping. It is completely free to walk around and you can’t miss it!
We grabbed lunch around Aker brygge (the restaurant was called olivia so how could we not go?!) and then headed to the ferry port to catch our DFDS Seaways ferry to Copenhagen at 4pm! We were lucky to catch a glimpse of the Opera House which we unfortunately didn’t have time to visit - next time!!