It’s hard to believe our wedding was almost 3 weeks ago! So where did we decide to start our RTW honeymoon? After coming from LA, we traveled with Norwegian Air to Oslo, the capital of Norway! But with our crazy schedule about to ensue, we only had 48 hours in Oslo!
It was so great to see such a beautiful city with lush surroundings, homes both grand and quaint, gentle rain and NO SMOG. Seriously, we were getting high on pure oxygen.
We stayed for 3 nights in Oslo, but the jet lag was REAL on the first night. So, we planned a great 2-day tour around Oslo and we’re pretty happy with what we came up with. Here’s how we spent our 48 hours in Oslo and where you should go on your next visit!
8:30 am Tim Wendelboe
If you thought you loved your coffee, you haven’t seen how they do it in Norway. Norwegians are serious about their coffee and they know what they’re talking about. Start your day off with the best coffee in town at Tim Wendelboe. Located in the heart of Grünerløkka, this no nonsense coffee shop is dedicated to coffee and nothing else, so tea lovers (aka ME) must find a cuppa somewhere else.
Other option: Fru Hagen
9:00 am Grünerløkka
Since most museums don’t open until 10, take a stroll around this trendy neighborhood. Located on the East End, you’ll find the most amazing coffee shops, cafes, grafitti masterpieces and a small waterfall from the Akerselva river. Don’t forget to stop by the adorable street called Damstredet, located on the edge of Grünerløkka!
Other option: Vigeland park
11:00 am Viking Ship Museum
Use those legs and take a walk to the beautiful peninsula of Bygdøy. It takes about 1.5 hours, but it’s worth it to see the diverse scenery such as working class neighborhoods, luxurious brownstones to country-style homes with farm animals to the Royal Estate. Once you’ve reached Bygdøy, enjoy the Viking Ship museum in the center of the peninsula. It’s a very small museum, but it’s impressive collection and interactive learning tools make this a site worth seeing.
Other options: Folk Museum, Holocaust museum, Maritime museum
1:30 pm Cafe Hjemme Hos Sviggers
Now that you’ve walked 4 miles and toured the museum circuit, enjoy some of the best lunch you will have in Oslo. Located on a small road surrounded by ivy and picturesque houses is the quaint Cafe Hjemme Hos Sviggers. Their burgers are as tasty as their portions are generous and I’ve never had a bun with heirloom tomatoes roasted inside. Plus, everything in the cafe is for sale, from the chachkies on the wall to the plates you are eating off of. After lunch, take the Route 30 bus back to your hotel and rest from such a long day of exercise.
6:00 pm Campagneria Bodega
After napping, it’s time to party! Looking to celebrate and pop some bubbly? Champagneria Bodega is a Spanish style tapas bar dedicated to all things champagne. From budget glasses to lavish bottles, rose to brut cava, your champagne needs will be met here all served in 1920’s champagne coups.
Other option: Le Benjamin Bar & Bistro
10:00 am Kaffebrenneriet
After a long night with that champagne, maybe get an extra wink of shut eye. Before visiting the National Gallery, head over across the street and enjoy some more wonderful coffee and… TEA, FINALLY! Made with the West Coast in mind, this coffee chain made us feel right at home. With drinks named Thor’s Hammer and Energy-Tea, you’ll get your stamina for the rest of the day. Don’t forget to try one of Norway’s legendary skillingsboller, or cinnamon buns!
Other option: Tehuset Lille Grensen
10:30 am National Gallery
A trip to Oslo is not complete without visiting the famous painting, The Scream by Edvard Munch. This museum is small but it’s variety is large, from Renaissance paintings to contemporary, Norwegian art. There’s a large selection of Munch and there’s even a small room where you can make your very own art come to life. Now you can tell your friends that you have your own masterpiece hanging in the National Gallery!
12:30 pm The Royal Palace
After the art gallery, take the 5 minute stroll to Slottsparken where the Norwegian Royal Palace is located. Around this time, you will see the changing of the guards which is a brief, yet fun display. Enjoy the park even further by packing your own lunch and having a picnic.
1:45 pm Oslo City Centre
The real hustle and bustle is located here in Oslo’s City Centre where you will find museums, shops, hotels and tourist transportation, like the Hop on Hop off bus. Cruise down Karl Johans gate where you can maybe catch a parade and do some window shopping (because let’s be serious, Oslo is super expensive).
Other option: Oslo Promenade
2:30 pm Etoile Bar
Between the window shopping… and the actual shopping (yeah, I saw you bought that scarf at Zara!)… enjoy one of the best views of Oslo’s City Centre and harbor at the Etoile Bar, located above the Grand Hotel. For those who are enjoying Oslo on a budget, split a beer with your travel companion for you do not want to miss the view!
4:00 pm Opera House
Once you’ve reached the end of Karl Johans gate, just outside of the Oslo Central Station is the contemporary building that is the Opera House. For an impeccable view of the fjords and harbor, walk to the top of the white and blue building. If you’re lucky like us, you’ll catch a seagull to take a selfie with.
5:30 pm Lekter’n
Once you’ve left the Opera House, you are situated very close to the harbor. Walk around and explore the seaside before having an early dinner at the fancy Lekter’n. Although much better in the summertime, this restaurant is perfect for people watching.
Other options: THIEF Foodbar, Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin
Some visitors find that it is best to invest in an Oslo pass for the day. For 320 NOK (or 38.60 USD), you receive access to over 30 museums, free public transportation, discounts at 6 restaurants and a couple of other free sights within 24 hours. (You may also purchase a 48 hour pass for 470 NOK and 72 hours for 590 NOK.)
Based on the cost of various entrance fees, I find this card to be valuable as long as you visit at least 3 museums, eat at 1 of the selected restaurants and transport by bus, subway or boat all in one day.
Since Kevin and I wanted to burn off some post-wedding weight by walking and didn’t want to commit to too many museums, we saved money by not purchasing this pass. If you don’t want to squeeze in too much during your days, I recommend paying the fees individually.