Thursday, 13 December 2012


Oslo Debrief: How to have fun on the semi cheap

Architecture Collage

As pointed out yesterday, I made a sly trip to Oslo last weekend. Steven had a milestone birthday last month (*cough* 35 *cough*) and as we hadn't been on a solo trip away since having both kids, I surprised him. I snapped up the flights on the super-cheap, and only realised afterwards that Oslo is pretty much the most expensive place on earth. I admit I panicked, but I did a lot of research and we didn't end up spending a fortune.

Oslo Accommodation Collage

As we normally do, we stayed in an apartment rather than a hotel. Beyond being cheaper and having more space than a hotel room, it's also a lot more pleasant to hang out in and you can make some of your meals in. One of the most expensive things (relative to costs elsewhere) in Oslo is drink. So we bought a bottle in duty free to bring over, and stayed in at night gorging on Sons of Anarachy. After being out all day in -10deg weather, it was no big deal to hang out in our warm flat.

Oslo food collage

We didn't have a sit down meal while we were there; street food and cafe food rock. We pretty much ate pastries and hot dogs all day long; I regret nothing.

Vigeland Park Collage

The one place we absolutely wanted to visit was Vigeland Sculpture Park, which is completely free to get into.  We did take the tram there but it was a fifteen minute walk back to the centre after.  The public transport system in Oslo is amazing; there are buses, the underground, and trams.  A single ticket gets you an hour on any / all modes of transport within the zone you pay for.  For a city-centre population only a little bit bigger than Edinburgh, the transport is amazing.  Side-eyeing you so hard, Edinburgh Council.  Anyway, Vigeland Park is fantastic.  There are more than 200 statues ranging from the sublime to the WTF.  If you like to see naked people doing strange things, this is your Mecca.

Vigeland shenanigans collage

Or if you like to see fully clothed people doing strange things with naked statues, this is also the place or you.  So many shenanigans.

Waterfront Collage

Other free and lovely things include the harbour...

Opera House Collage

And the Opera House.  This is the number one Building That Would Never Be Allowed In The UK.  The roof is on a slant upwards from the ground on both sides, and then once you climb that, on a slant upwards from the middle to the top.  It was covered in snow and ice and there was nary a security guide to make sure people were behaving themselves.  The views across the water and city are amazing.  I only fell over and was helped up by a Chinese person once.
Graffiti Collage

Like we do most places, we just walked around and around and around without a real plan.  Here's a graffiti enclave we happened upon courtesy of me having a map fail.

Viking Collage

We did pay to get into the Viking Museum and it was interesting but there's a limit to how much time you could spend there.  And that comes from someone who did a degree in medieval history and literature.

Folk Museum Collage

And also next door we paid for the Folk Museum; between the two we spent the better part of the day. The Folk Museum had a gigantic Christmas market (which was bigger and better than the one at City Hall) and traditional Norwegian handicrafts like knitted Justin Beiber hats.

Us Collage

And lest you think that we only took pictures of things, we also took turns taking pictures of each other in front of those things.  Despite carrying my 18-55mm lens around in my handbag the whole flipping time, I shot everything on my new 50mm f/1.8 lens and it did a really great job.


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  2. I love this entire post. Especially the side-eyes to the council - awesome. Glad you had a great time, Oslo looks beautiful. Allison x

  3. Looks wonderful! The habour looks fab kx

  4. Oooh! I love the frosty upside down baby statue. And since when was 35 a milestone birthday?! That one passed me by... althoug Mr PW has a crazy work colleague who just bought his wife a super expensive watch 'because she'll only be 50 once', and Mr PW's response was 'well I'll only be 32 once. And I'll only be 33 once. And 34' etc etc.

  5. Wow! Thank you for taking us along on your adventure :) I love the Sculpture Park, how unique! And fun :) The Viking Museum looks great too, but I adored the Folk Stuff! Love! :) thank you for sharing. xoxo melzie

  6. Looks amazing, I would love to go, thanks for the tips on doing it cheaply

  7. Brilliant photos and glad you enjoyed it!