Have Fun Visiting the Land of the Midnight Sun
If your destination is Norway’s exciting capital city of Oslo, you will most likely be spending much of your time deciding what to do first.
1. Vigeland Park and Museum. Here you will see nearly two hundred sculptures that were created by Gustav Vigeland. The works were given to the city more than 80 years ago by the artist.
2. The Norwegian Folk Museum. This place is truly a wonder to behold. It is an open-air area and there are about 150 buildings. Part of this attraction is like a huge living history museum complete with workers in full costume. The 15th century Stave Church is one of the star attractions. The other buildings are a bit younger, i.e. from 1600 to 1800.
3. Akershus Slott & Festning (Akershus Castle and Fortress). First construction on this magnificent stone piece of architecture began around the year 1299. The medieval castle offers tours of the grounds and structure. Look for the changing of guards and see if you may be fortunate enough to catch a concert on the grounds. The castle as it appears today was restored in 1899. Tours of the castle itself are offered only in May through September.
4. More than a dozen outstanding museums are found in and around Oslo. No matter if you are seeking a history museum, maritime museum, art museum, or any other type, you will not be disappointed in what Oslo has to offer.
5. Shopping! There are many fantastic places to shop in Oslo. Two are Akker Brygge and Karl Johans Street. Akker Brygge is a shopping area that was once a shipyard and Karl Johans Street (a main street in the city) offers many shops, restaurants, and Norwegian Cafes.
6. Oslo Reptile Park. If you like icky, creepy crawly reptiles like snakes and crocodiles, as well as lizards and poisonous spiders (shivers!) to boot, stop by this spine-chilling (to some people!) attraction. Watch the reptiles being fed at 5 p.m. each day if your stomach can handle it!
7. The Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Tower. The museum is found inside of the ski jump. Whether or not you have an interest in skiing, you will be glad you stopped by this area when you see the view of Oslo from this height and location. If you are into lofty heights and spectacular views, also try the Tryvannstarnet Lookout Tower. Be advised that there is a rather long walk uphill (taking at least 15 minutes) to reach the tower. If you can handle it, however, it is worth the walk. You will be able to see Olsofjord and even a part of Sweden from this 1,900 ft. elevation.
This former Olympic town offers many sports and skiing options, but there are also other attractions. As just one example, there is an art museum in town that houses one of the country’s largest art collections. There are also some bars and clubs here for the nightlife scene although there are many more nightlife options in Oslo, of course.
8. Hunderfossen Amusement Park. Meet trolls and fairy tale characters at this amusement park complete with a castle. Inside you will find things like a pool, cave, wax museum, and many other things to do. The attraction is home to a water park also. Much of this park has a carnival atmosphere and it is a good choice to spend some time especially if you are traveling with children.
9. Skiing. There are many well-know ski slopes here in the city were the 1994 Winter Olympics were held.
10. Lillehammer Olympic Park. Here is where you will find ski things such as the jumping arena and stadium, Bobsled and Luge tracks, and other Olympic offerings of athletic ways to spend your time.
11. Mount Floyen. This is an incredible attraction if you don’t have a problem with heights. You will be taking a cable car (funicular) to the top of the mountain and the views are breathtaking. If all the sightseeing on the way up made you hungry, there is a restaurant at the top of the mountain. You will see the city, fjords, and islands from this splendid view.
12. Hanseatic Museum. See what the city was like in the days when trading was done here. The building is done in medieval style. This is just one of the museums found in Bergen from art museums to those with Middle Ages themes and lots more in between.
13. Bergen Aquarium. More than 50 tanks are on display here with outside areas for the seals and penguins. This is a fun way to spend an afternoon.
14. Fish Market. This “Fisketorget” is a flea market, pier, boardwalk, etc. Whatever you want to call it, it will provide hours of great shopping, eating, and entertainment.
15. Churches and Cathedrals. Be sure to see the 12th century St. Mary Church, Fantoft Stavkirke, Domkirken (Bergen Cathedral) and more religious sites in Bergen.
16. Castles. Visit the Royal Residence castle and Bergenhus Festning both found in Bergen.
17. The Flam Railway. This is a railroad ride traveling from Bergen to Aurlandfjord. It is a relaxing train ride where you will see some beautiful countryside.
18. Kristiansand Dyrepark. This is a fun amusement part and zoo. Spend time among animals in a simulated habitat and then visit the zoo that covers 150 acres. There are many things to do here, especially for children including a water slide and a track for bobsledding.
19. Christiansholm Festning. This is a fort dating back to the mid 17th century. It was used to protect the area from Swedes and pirates. Nazis used this fort during the Second World War.
20. Oddernes Kirke. Portions of this church were built in circa 1040. It is dedicated to St. Olav and has an ancient cemetery. It will definitely be worth your time if you can catch a glimpse of the tombstones and grounds.