>>>Oslo: cheap things to do in the most expensive city
Photo: Visitnorway.com

Oslo: cheap things to do in the most expensive city

Oslo, a frequent high-flyer on the lists of the most expensive European capitals, has a generous and affordable soul: its parks, its museums with the Oslo Pass, and its streets that boast thousands of years of history or a contemporary design.
T
he most vivid memory you’ll have of your visit to Oslo (Norway) will probably be that of Gustav Vigeland’s sculptures in the park named after him. More than 200 bronze humans that interact, show emotions and symbolise stages in life. It’s impossible not to feel an affinity with any one of them. And it’s free, like many of the most memorable activities you can do in one of the world’s most expensive cities.
The 200 sculptures in Vigeland Park, inside Frognerparken, exhibit the work of Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland, who also has a house-museum there.
Photo: Terje Borud - Visitnorway.com/Vigeland-museet/BONO

Sleep and eat on the cheap

The cheapest way of sleeping in Oslo is to camp out in the forest or on the island of Langøyene, with views over the fjord. There are also campsites and hostels in the centre that won't break the bank. The cheapest streets for eating out are Grønland, Grønlandsleiret and Torggata.

The most affordable way of visiting a European capital is putting some sturdy shoes on and walking around it. In this Norwegian city you can use this system to explore the eight-kilometre walking trail along the Akerselva river, passing forests, waterfalls and industrial ruins, or for getting around the Botanic Garden in the city centre and home to plant species from across the world.
The landscape, more inviting in spring, has so much to offer around Oslo, with forests and fjords, that the best thing you can do is to invest between 35 and 65 euros in an Oslo Pass to use on public transport and museums for periods of 24 to 72 hours. With the Oslo Pass you can gain free entry to over 30 museums and tourist attractions, unlimited use on public transport, free parking, free entry to swimming pools and tourist hiking trails plus discounts on bike and ski hire.
The Viking Museum displays the best preserved Viking ships in the world. More than 1,000 years ago, their job was to carry their owners to the kingdom of the dead.
Photo: Swasdee / Shutterstock.com

Island hopping with the ferry

It's very easy to put a cruise together yourself in Oslo. With your normal transport ticket you can tour the fjords and their beaches by hopping on and off all the boats that sail between Rådhusbrygge 3, Hovedøya, Lindøya, Nakholmen, Bleikøya, Gressholmen and Langøyene.

What’s in those 30 museums? The most iconic include the National Gallery, with a major collection of Nordic paintings starting in the 19th century, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. But what’s most surprising about Oslo are the themed museums, like the ones on authors connected to the city. The Ibsen Museum is located in the playwright’s house and the Munch Museum has a collection of 28,000 artworks. The Norwegian capital is where you can see a Viking ship rescued from the ice (in the Viking Museum) and dioramas depicting all the Norwegian action during the Second World War, displayed in a small space next to the Akershus fortress. Plus there’s the Maritime Museum, the Folk Museum, featuring 155 traditional houses from all over the country, the Kon-Tiki Museum and the Nobel Peace Center, a showcase for the prize presented at City Hall.
Sandvika Fjord is one of the stops you can make if you opt for one of Oslo's most affordable activities: island hopping on the ferry.
Photo: Erik Jørgensen - Visitnorway.com
But Oslo itself is an open-air museum displaying a thousand years of history. A tour could start with the medieval remains in Gamlebyen and the Akershus fortress, dating back to 1300, and continue with the Renaissance area of Kvadraturen and the wooden houses in Damstredet and Telthusbakken, built in the 18th and 19th centuries. A good place to finish is Grünerlokka, the neighbourhood where Munch grew up. Then you jump to the Oslo of design, notably the Tjuvholmen district filled with contemporary buildings, including the Sneak Peak tower, the set of tall, slender buildings known as the Barcode and the striking Oslo Opera House, the minimalist Viking vessel that seems to float on the fjord.

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