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How to spend 3 days in Oslo, Norway

When I think of Norway I think of strength and beauty.

The city of Oslo is a true example of this.

From old to new, not just in architecture but from a background steeped in history and tradition which is still celebrated today.

Norway’s relationship and appreciation for the simple things such as nature and laid back lifestyle is equally balanced with its modernistic buzz of the the city.

From a young age, the mysticism of Norway has always drawn me in, from its uniquely beautiful landscape to Nordic folklore and music scene.

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Despite being a metropolitan city, Norway’s cultural past is still very prevalent, even without having to look very far.

Oslo’s Viking past can still be admired and is sure to trigger a little bit of your inner Pagan roots.

I’m sure will you will fall in love with Oslo’s charm just as much as I did.

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Even though I didn’t get to see everything on the itinerary, the intent was not to be just a ‘guide’ but to share with you what I enjoyed and learned.

Fistly, get yourself an Oslo Pass

I purchased mine on the second day. (Everything on day one was free)

The Oslo Pass includes free transportation operated by any NSB and Ruter within zones 1 and 2 of the city (Train, metro, tram, boat and bus) including the ferry to Bygdøy.

The Pass also includes free entry to over 30 attractions, museums and even discounts on restaurants. Saving you a small fortune against what you would pay separately. (and hassle)

Since there’s are already a bunch of guides about the Oslo Pass, I will leave a link to the official website here.

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If you’re planning a trip for a few days then I highly recommended you get yourself a pass, I purchased the 48 hour passes.

*Just bare in mind that the Oslo Pass does not include airport transfers. I have included some information about this at the end.

Overall, Easy, convenient and no fuss.

Alrighty then lets begin.

Here are some of my highlights in Oslo.

3 days in Oslo

Day One

On the morning of the first day I decided to start early and focused my attention to a few of the main architectural attractions. First stop being Akershus Fortress and surrounding grounds.

Akershus Fortress

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Akershus Fortress is a medieval castle built around 1290 by King Haakon V and served as the residence and protection for the Norwegian Royal family. Over time the fortress has also been used as a military base and prison.

Nowadays Akershus Castle is still used for military space but also open to the public. Inside you can visit the Norwegian Armed Forces museum.

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The beautiful grounds which surround Akershsus Fortress are certainly worth the stroll. Offering stunning views across the Fjord and the harbour.

Along with many other families in the area, this was the perfect spot to enjoy a light breakfast which I prepared earlier.

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It was amazing to just sit and take it all in, watching the boats glide past whilst enjoying the scenery surrounding. I dropped on lucky with such a bright day, it didn’t feel like late September.

Mathallen

For late lunch I visited Mathallen. You can’t come to Oslo and not check out the atmosphere of this place.

Mathallen is a popular food hall famous for its wide selection of unique international cuisine and traditional Norwegian dishes.
Mathallen is also a market. Selling anything from alcohol to chocolate.

Although a tad expesnive the quality is top notch! I promise you.

Oslo Theatre

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Last up for the day one was Oslo Theatre, connecting land and sea. An important cultural landmark.

Designed to reflect the landscape and modern city. Oslo Opera house certainly makes a statement with it’s grand reflective glass and marble exterior.

One thing I found out is that the Opera House is one of few buildings where you can walk up the exterior and admire the views from the rooftop.

It’s unique ramp-like style allows for large numbers of people to sit and enjoy a beautiful sunset by the Fjord.

However, during late fall and winter just be sure to bring a warm jacket and umbrella, the winds do kick up from time to time.

3 days itinerary in Oslo Norway

Day Two

Today was all about exploring the museums over at Bygdøy (also known as the Museum Peninsular)

It soon became very clear just how much there was to see, so I recommend you dedicate a whole day exploring the museums.

Taking the ferry over to Bygdøy

To get there could only mean one thing, a Ferry across the Oslo Fjord.

The ferry ride to Bygdøy takes around 10-15 minutes and greets you with stunning views along the way.

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Once arriving at Bygdøy, you will be signposted towards the museums. Just a quick five minute walk through the residential streets.

Where to go.

The Norwegian Folk Museum

This Norwegain Folk Museum is a must for any of you history lovers out there. Here you will learn all about the history and lifestyle of our ancient Nordic ancestors.

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Crammed with original pieces and excavations, the museums holds a variety of exhibits including the day to day life of a Viking age household, items which include clothing to cooking tools and hand crafted bronze jewellery.

Other topics include the myths and legends of Scandinavian folklore, Sami Culture and a timeline of how Norwegain society has developed over the ages.

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Did you know that the Norwegain Folk Museum is the worlds first outdoor Museum?

Outside is a wide area dedicated to showcasing a collection of (reconstructed) builds from the middle ages right through to the 20th century.

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The area is split into different eras and regions in time and set out like a walkable timeline made up of a of mini ‘villages’.

Not only do you get to experience a beautiful walking tour of Norway’s past but the natural beauty of the greenery which surrounds the museum is simply stunning. See?

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Stave Church

The most popular attraction (and my personal favourite) is the Stave church. Originally from Gol (Hallingdal region, Buskerud county) the Stave church was reconstructed and moved to Bygdøy and is now serves as a museum and an important piece of Norway’s preserved history.

Back in the early 90’s members of the Norwegian black metal scene began a series of arson attacks against Christian churches. Within a period of four years there had been almost 50 church burnings.

Insane right?

Whether you’re religious or not, you can’t ignore the beautiful craftsmanship which goes into these churches.

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Vikingship Museum

For me this was the ultimate highlight of my trip to Oslo, the Viking ship Museum. A bucket list destination I’d been looking forward to visiting for years.

To come face to face and experience some of Norway’s most beautifully preserved Viking ships was a tremendous moment.

I felt I was home, as if I’d come back full circle and returned to my Nordic homeland.

Visiting the ships was my personal way of honouring my Scandinavian ancestors.

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If you’re only here for a day or two, please visit the museums of Bygdøy.

It truly is a magnificent experience.

Day Three

Sadly this was my last day, so I decided to keep it easy and explore more of the city centre. By this point my feet were aching after spending hours at the museums yesterday.

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Karl Johansgate

Karl Johansgate is serves as the main street stretches through the city centre and all the way up to the Royal Palace.

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A bustling shopping area filled with lots of restaurants and designer stores.

I particularly enjoyed the walk up towards the Royal Palace, enjoying small stops along the way to check out the National Gallery, Parliament buildings and greenery around us.

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Another gorgeous day.

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Royal Palace

Built by Karl Johan, a 19th century Swedish King who ruled Norway after Sweden took Norway from Denmark and the home to the Norwegian Royal family during winter.

One thing I noticed on my way to the Palace was how walkable the grounds were.

For a palace which houses the Royal Family you would expect to see large gates and high security.

But here there were no railings or barriers to be seen, just a solitary guard manning the front entrance to the building, that was it.

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In comparison to other palaces (for example Buckingham Palace, in London) it is simple in design. Not the usual pompously designed building with fancy embellished and statues.

It was a peaceful location but would pick up momentarily for the changing of the guard.

Lorrys traditional restaurant.

I had previously looked it up specifically as it was one of the few traditional eateries where you can try the national dish, fårikål.

You can read more about the Scandinavian dishes I tried here.

Vigeland Sculpture Park

Frogner Park (also known as Vigeland) is a park and regular spot for both tourists and families to gather.

A must place to enjoy the art within this natural setting.

Throughout the park you will see beautifully unique art installations.

Created by Gustav Vigeland a Norwegain artist, was commissioned by the City of Olso to create life like human statues (mainly made from granite and bronze) which depict Norwegians in everyday life.

Well… maybe not this one below in particular.

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Located at the top of the hill is the Monolith (Monolit) the grand heart and center of Vigelands pieces. Surrounded by 36 smaller statues which is said to represent the circle of life and unity.

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Visiting Vigeland was the ideal way to relax and reflect upon my busy few days.

The park is a peaceful escape from city life.

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Lastly, something quirky

Noseblod Records

The last location I wanted to include is a famous record store called Noseblod Records, originally known as Helvete.

It was the record shop owned by Mayhem guitar player/songwriter Øystein Aarseth better known as Euronymous and the central hub of activity for the original Norwegian Black Metal scene.

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A regular meeting place for Varg Vikernes (ThuleanPerspective on YouTube) of Burzum, the band Emperor, and Darkthrone and other bands of the Norwegian Black Metal community.

Only carrying music of the most extreme bands of the time, this shop and it’s infamous basement was the place where the church burnings of the 90s were conspired.

Here you will find an abundance of extremely rare tapes, vinyls, CDs and shirts from all across the extreme music spectrum, and the infamous basement where the original Black Metal community gathered.

I would just like to add that even though I am a fan of Black Metal music, I do not condone any acts of arson or disrespect to anyone and their religious beliefs.

I simply found the history of Norway’s extreme music scene interesting to learn about.

So folks…. I really hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing about it.

Oslo for me was a truly fascinating experience and highly recommend anybody passing through Europe to check it out.

Below I will include some useful tips on getting to and from the city.

Once again thankyou for sticking around and I hope to connect with you soon.

Happy travels xo

Getting to the city from the airport

Oslo Lufthavn (Gardermoen) Serves as Oslo’s main international Airport and has frequent transport systems which makes it easy to travel between the Airport and City.

*Please note that the Oslo Pass does not cover transportation to and from the Airport.

Purely for efficiency and price, my recommendations are:

Flytoget Shuttle Trains Offer direct routes every 10 – 20 minutes between Lufthavn (Gardermoen) and Oslo city centre. This is the fastest and most efficient way to travel and only takes 19 minutes. Tickets cost NOK 160 each way and run between 05.30am and 00.50am.

NSB Trains Provide a frequent service between Oslo S (Main Station) and Lufthavn (Gardermoen) Airport and takes approximately 25 minutes each way. A one way ticket costs NOK 101. Hours of operation run between 05.54am and 11.54pm

Reindeer Patties and Pickled Herring – Experience a taste of Scandinavia

Reindeer Patties and Pickled Herring – Experience a taste of Scandinavia

Having been to Norway and Denmark, (Oslo and Copenhagen respectively) and searching for the real traditional Scandinavian meal.

In my opinion, I have found that Scandinavian cuisine’s reputation is Pescetarian heavy yet still quite fulfilling to the stomach and the taste buds; it’s designed to keep you full and satisfied for those long winters.

Today I will talk about a few dishes I tried native to Norway and Denmark.

Norway 🇳🇴

Fish Soup.

We will start our culinary journey in Norway with homemade fish and shellfish soup or Hjemmelagde Fisk og Skalldyrsuppe.
Being a seafaring people Norwegian food is very fish-centric.

This soup in particular was very creamy with plenty of freshly-caught shellfish such as shrimp, crab as well as cod.
The cod pieces in particular, were perfectly cooked and melted in your mouth, top that off with a freshly made creamy soup-base and it makes a soup worth remembering.

I can see why this would be a favourite among Norsemen.

Reindeer Patties with Lingonberry Sauce.

By far the most unique dish I tried in Norway was Reindeer patties or Reindyrskaker, served with a special gravy, potatoes, as well as lingonberries.
Seeing this on the menu, we knew we had to try it as we simply do not get reindeer meat in the US or the UK.

On the first bite, the patties were very gamey tasting, and did not fall apart like a normal cow patty; it stayed intact, but was very well cooked and combined with the gravy and lingonberries, had a uniquely hearty flavour to it.

Lingonberries on their own are very tart with a subtle sweetness that catches you at the end, but combined with the gamey flavour of the reindeer patty and the gravy it all made sense with each other and worked very well.

Fårikål

My personal favourite; the dish I’ve been sought after ever since I learned it was Norway’s national dish. It goes by the name of Fårikål (f-OAWrr-ee-kOAW-LL).
It is basically just lamb and cabbage stew with potatoes.

It is slow cooked and seasoned with peppercorns and the natural juices of the cabbage. The lamb falls off the bone and just combined with peppercorn seasoned cabbage and some potatoes makes this an extremely hearty meal full of satisfying sensations.

Being such a cold and windy country I can totally see why this is the national dish of Norway.

Denmark 🇩🇰

Smørrebrød

Just 300 miles south, in Copenhagen Denmark, we’re looking at a different kind of national dish, one that is quintessentially Danish. You haven’t been to Denmark if you haven’t tried these, I am talking of course about smørrebrød (sm-UHH-reh-br-UHH-d).

Smørrebrød is simply just an open-faced sandwich with rye bread as the base/foundation, and toppings which are well… literally anything you want and I mean ANYTHING.

You really can indulge and get creative with an array of interesting toppings and flavours.

You can really appreciate the detail put into the edible pieces of art.

Whatever toppings you want, there’s a smørrebrød of it. My personal favourite combination is frikadeller (Danish pork meatballs cooked in butter) with bacon & fried onions, as well as pickled herring.

Hot lemonade and ginger

Enjoy with a stroll along Nyhavn and the grand theatre with some homemade hot lemonade with ginger… perfect for cooler days (and sore throats)

Pork roast with brown potatoes and red kale

I believe my favourite meal in Scandinavia, had to be Denmark’s national dish, Flæskesteg med brunede kartofler og rødkål (Pork roast with brown potatoes and red kale).
My Danish friends have made of for us in the traditional style, with gravy and caramelized potatoes (hence the brown potatoes).

It’s traditionally served at Christmas/Yule but it can be eaten at anytime (kind of like an American thanksgiving dinner, except pork is in season all year round).
This was probably the most hearty meal in I’ve had Scandinavia, everything combined, the pork, the gravy, the caramelized potatoes, and the red kale all was a dynamic and perfect synthesis of flavour.

The caramelized potatoes and the red kale add sweetness to the savoury dish but it’s not overpowering. It all ties together with a pint of traditional Danish ale from Amager Bryghus.
It’s perfect for the rather unpredictable weather of Denmark.

Pølse (Hotdog)

I especially loved pølse (p-UHH-Lseh) or sausage/hot dog topped with crispy onions. It especially went well with some Tuborg beer.

Pancakes/Crepes

Not traditionally a Scandinavian dish but definitely worth a mention. I’ve noticed pancakes (which in fact look more like crepes) topped with fruit, honey and Nutella seems to be a recurring theme in Mainland Europe.

Definitely worth a try nevertheless.

Overall the food I’ve had in Norway and Denmark were dishes to remember and it’s a lot more dynamic than what is perceived.
I encourage all readers to try all these dishes listed above and keep in mind there are many other yummy discoveries to try as well.

I hope you enjoyed this post…. I made myself hungry writing it.

If you would like to read more about my Scandinavian adventures, feel free to check out my more detailed post on
Norway, Oslo – Adventures and Mysticism

Happy Travels. XO