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No major metropolis in Europe can claim waterfalls within its city limits, other than Oslo, Norway’s capital and most populous city. With its natural beauty, Futurist architecture, grand museums and gourmet restaurants, it's easy to see why this compact city is such a popular tourist destination. Book a flight to Oslo with Qatar Airways and enjoy an eclectic adventure in Europe’s winter wonderland.
Café, gallery and culinary cultures thrive here, especially during summer when the sun bathes the city until 11pm, extending your sightseeing hours. But even in winter, when the average temperature can drop to -4 Celsius, Oslo can still get your adrenaline pumping. Skiing, hiking and other outdoor pursuits are within striking distance of the city, which is located along the scenic Oslofjord.
In Oslo, historic buildings share space with modern structures. The Royal Palace, the official residence of the Norwegian monarchy, is a neoclassical building surrounded by manicured lawns and a well-maintained public park. Guided tours are run every day in summer; and make sure not to miss the changing of the guards ceremony at 1:30pm.
The Oslo Opera House, one of the city’s architectural marvels, opened its doors to the public in 2008. As the cultural epicentre of Oslo, it hosts concerts, ballets and other performances. But you can also enjoy its exterior – climb the roof, where you can enjoy sweeping vistas of the city.
The city’s museums also have plenty to keep you enthralled during your trip to Oslo. The Viking Ship Museum, home to two of the best-preserved Viking ships in the world, is a great place to start your day. Here you'll also find a Viking burial chamber and other artefacts. Fans of artist Edward Munch can visit the Munch Museum. For his most famous works (such as The Scream), head for the National Gallery. Meanwhile, families will enjoy an educational day out at the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology.
Travel to Oslo and you'll discover that island-hopping in Oslofjord is one of the most fascinating activities in the summer months. Discover pristine beaches at Hvervenbukta and Ingierstrand, a 1930s bathing-resort, or head for the island of Hovedøya, which has a nature reserve. If it's fresh water swimming you're in the mood for, Frysja is the place to be.
Surrounded by forests, Oslo is ideal for biking or walking. Take the tram or train to Maridalen for an afternoon of exploration, or enjoy skiing and sledding in the Holmenkollen area, in the winter. The city has many green spaces, so pack a picnic and make for Sofienberg Park or Frogner Park, which are ideal for family strolls. In Frogner Park you'll find three outdoor pools and water slides, ideal for cooling off on hot summer days.
To experience Oslo’s natural spectacle, take a stroll on the Beier Bridge, along the Akerselva River, where the Waterfall at Mølla can be found.
There are restaurants in Oslo catering for all tastes, from budget snacking to fine dining, so you will find yourself spoiled for choice.
Norwegian cuisine focuses heavily on preserved meat, fish and cheese. Look out for specialities such as kjøttkaker (a rival to Swedish meatballs), Fårikål (lamb and cabbage stew), Norwegian salmon and brunost (brown cheese with a caramel-like flavour). Popular desserts to try include multekrem, a whipped cream and cloudberry concoction.
For international cuisine, try the Torgatta area, home to Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants. Traditional Norwegian food is often served in old hall-style establishments in the Storgata area. For fine dining, the Frogner district or Gabelsgate have plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants to try.
There's no shortage of choice when it comes to shopping in Oslo, although the city is perhaps best known for its interior-design stores. Bygdoy Alle and Karl Johans Gate are the two main shopping streets, the former selling Norwegian-designed furniture and home accessories. Mollergate Street is a good place to find quirky home accessories and designer pieces.
The city's Vestkanttorget Flea Market at Professor Dahl's gate is the ideal place to spend a Saturday morning, browsing for pre-owned bargains. For high-end shopping and clothing boutiques, Bogstadveien and Akersgata are the places to head. Oslo also has its fair share of malls – Oslo City, House of Oslo and Byporten are all worth visiting. Don't forget to check out GlasMagasinet, the city’s oldest shopping centre, dating back to the 19th century.
Essential facts about Oslo
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip