Oslo, living the local experience for a day

Oslo, living the local experience for a day
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Going to Oslo and living the local experience for a day. Is it worth traveling to another country for one and a half days?

Is that enough time to experience a new place?

If you are asking us, it is a big yes! Of course, one always prefers to go on a getaway for more days, but sometimes that’s not possible. It is hard when you don’t have any more holidays left and you want to visit your friends, whilst seeing a new city at the same time. That’s when you decide you have to take the chance. 

Our Travel experience

Oslo, living the local experience for a day

Our favorite part of all our trips starts already at the airport, after we pass security, and we grab a coffee and something to read. Travel for us begins there. The feeling of relief and relaxation starts the minute we are drinking and reading while in the queue waiting to board the plane. The next favorite moment comes when we are inside the plane, setting everything up to get comfortable, and we start daydreaming about the place we are going to and what we are going to see and experience there.

All these small rituals are where the real travel experience begins when you leave things behind and are going somewhere new.

Welcome to Oslo, Norway -Velkommen til Norge 

We were supposed to arrive at around 23.30h on a Friday, but our flight was delayed by 1.5h. When we finally arrived in Oslo, we still had a 40min bus ride ahead of us until we reached our friend. It was pitch black and raining outside. We were tired, cold, and eager for a warm shower and bed to sleep in. 

We arrived around 3 am and our friend Jenny was standing at her doorstep, looking relaxed with a smile on her face. She had been waiting all this time! We felt so sorry for keeping her waiting, but it was a great feeling to meet up and chat for a bit. Jenny is one of those people that can make you feel at ease straight away no matter what circumstances you are in. 

Scandinavian “hyggeness”

Oslo, living the local experience for a day - Hygge

Once we entered the lovely Scandinavian apartment, where we were staying, it made us feel super cozy, relaxed, and warm, a feeling of “hygge”. We were staying at one of Jenny’s friends, who we met for the first time the next day. Here is some Norwegian hospitality for you. The place brought back fond memories of Denmark: the Scandinavian style decoration with its simplicity, minimalism, and hygge vibes. There were no odd color combinations and everything fitted perfectly without feeling impersonal. What a great start!

What can you see in Oslo for 1.5 days?

Hike Vettakollen

Usually, when you think of visiting Oslo, maybe you consider the Opera, or the Viking Ship Museum. For us, since we had locals to guide us we lived the experience like a local.

The next morning, Jenny & Agnes were our guides for the day. Our Norwegian experience started early in the morning by going to the local supermarket and buy, some essentials like brown cheese or Brunost, waffle toppings like Nugatti, chocolate spread similar to Nutella that kids in Norway love, and last but not least the Kviklunsj, aka Norwegian kit-kat. Kviklunsj is the essential sweet you bring with you on a hike in Norway, which traditionally Norwegians eat after hiking.

Oslo, living the local experience for a day

We spent a lovely time chit-chatting while having some delicious homemade waffles and freshly made coffee. Our plan for the day was to visit Vettakollen. This is a 419 meters hill located in Oslo and from there you have a great scenic view of the city. It is quite popular among locals to go for a walk with friends and family, or exercise in nature and is very accessible by metro from the city center. The path first takes you through a road and some typical houses and slowly merges into an old forest that has not been cultivated for hundreds of years. The trail is well signaled, wide, and a well-maintained rocky path. If it rains it can be a bit slippery so best is to take good shoes that adhere easily. It’s about 1-1.5h to the top and it offers stunning views of Oslo and fjord. 

Oslo, living the local experience for a day

When we reached the top, we sat and of course had our must-eat treat Kviklunsj while absorbing the view of the fjord. It was sunny and the air was fresh and crispy cold. The views were beautiful, typical of the Nordic landscape. Norwegian nature is so green and majestic. It is worth going there. Apart from Vettakollen, if you still have energy and time you can also explore surrounding areas like Lake Sognsvann. We didn’t go there but continued our Norwegian experience in Fuglemyrhytta.

Fuglemyrhytta & Frognerseteren
Oslo, living the local experience for a day

Our next stop was Fuglemyrshytta. This self-service cabin is worth visiting just for its location, with a panoramic view of the city, and its architectural appeal. It is part of a network of huts for walkers and hikers, owned by the National Norwegian Trekking Association DNT, which is the biggest outdoor activities organization in Norway. They have a wide network of cabins spread all over the country that is available to hikers via an annual membership. Every person can access these cabins and stay in them overnight. All you need to do is follow the rules and leave everything clean after use. It is a great idea and for nature lovers, one of the best ways to explore the country.

Fuglemyrhytta is very modern looking, with an interior in wood. The view from inside is impressive. You can see the Oslo Fjord, Nesoddlandet and Holmenkollen. While brewing some coffee, we enjoyed the atmosphere of the place. After taking some pictures, we went on with our tour to the next stop: Frognerseteren.

Oslo, living the local experience for a day

Frognerseteren is an old-fashioned restaurant/café located in the neighborhood of the same name. It offers Norwegian traditional food. and has a great view of Oslo from the top. The atmosphere inside was very cozy, hyggelit, it was the cherry on top for us. The restaurant itself is a unique example of craftsmanship. For the art lovers out there, the architecture is “dragon style” inspired by Norwegian stave churches and national romanticism. We sat next to the fireplace, toasting for a bit and ordered some bites to eat along with a nice beer to drink. After recharging some batteries, we headed back to Oslo and for our night program.

A night in Oslo

Oslo at night

To end an already full day, we ate some delicious dumplings at an Asian fusion restaurant called Golden Chimp. The place was simple, modern looking, and had amazing king crab dumplings. If you go there, you have to try these! After dinner, to fight the Norwegian cold we grabbed drinks at a local café/bar called Gråbein. A young and hipster type of place cool to hang out and see how part of local nightlife is like in Oslo. It was close to Jenny’s house, and not far from the city center, a 15min walk. At some point in the evening, a man came in and started talking in a poetry style narrative about his personal story and experience as an African immigrant who moved to Norway. It was unexpected but interesting and everyone stopped talking and paid attention to what he was saying. 

We exited the bar a bit drunk and decided to walk along the quiet and empty streets of Oslo. It was a dark and cold night, the air was fresh and there was no wind. We had the best time ever!

Oslo city center

Oslo city center

The next day, we said our goodbyes early in the morning as we had to leave that day. Although we were very tired, we didn’t waste any time sleeping. We had an afternoon flight, so we had enough time to check Oslo city center and the iconic Opera house. After a delicious crunchy croissant and hot cappuccino, we wandered our way there. Walking in the streets of the city, It didn’t feel like a busy capital, considering it was Sunday. From what we saw, Oslo doesn’t have a historical center like for e.g. Copenhagen, but it does have a mix of old and modern style buildings and a pleasant waterfront, apart from different neighborhoods we didn’t have time to explore. 

A weekend in Oslo is a good getaway, but of course not enough to explore all what the city has to offer. It’s a place to go back and visit again.

Oslo city center

Budget for this trip

Oslo and in general Norway is quite expensive, so you have to factor in that there, things will probably be double the price of what you find back home. We were lucky to have friends that could take us in and knew the right places to go and eat. Apart from meals and drinks, here’s a rough breakdown of what we spent for a weekend:

  • Flight tickets (Dublin-Oslo): 168€ for 2 people
  • Bus airport and back (Oslo): 66€ for 2 people
  • Meals, Drinks, & others: around 400€ for 2 people

For more inspiration on short breaks, you can take a look at our trip to Lithuania or our break in Nice & Monaco.