Spending New Year's in Oslo, Norway
A Trip to Oslo
Oslo is the capital of Norway, and my second favorite city in Europe. The possibilities are endless in Oslo, with cruises to various islands in the Oslofjord inlet, to the myriad of museums and cultural icons. Given the population of 634,000, Oslo is surprisingly very peaceful and relaxing. There are a ton of huge, beautiful parks to explore, as well as walking the bustling city streets.
Considering it was New Year’s, it was incredibly cold. Being so far north, it is comparable in latitude to Sitka, Alaska. I’m sure you can understand how cold it can get there in January!
How Did I Get There?
Traveling wise, I went on this trip alone. By that, I mean I went to the airport alone and flew alone. However, I spent my time in Norway with a friend from back home.
A few months prior to this trip, a friend hit me up on Facebook saying she was looking to travel to Oslo for New Year’s and wanted to know if I wanted to tag along. I was totally down, I had heard a lot of great things about Oslo, especially for New Year’s.
So I started saving up and checking for flights.
I checked RyanAir first considering how cheap they always are, but there were no flights from Frankfurt to Oslo. The only option I had was to fly a regular commercial airline. Since it was in Europe, the prices were still very affordable. I managed to snag some tickets for $200 round-trip.
I believe my car was already broken down by this point, so I had to ask a friend for a ride to the airport to avoid shuttle fees or train fees. We would pay each other $20 each way, or $40 round trip.
In Oslo, I managed to find a small, but cozy, Airbnb very close to public transportation for only $200 for the three nights.
What Did We Do There?
We arrived on New Year’s Eve, in the evening. So that first day was spent mostly traveling, but once we both met up in Oslo, we dropped our stuff off at the Airbnb and got ready for a New Year’s party on a rooftop in Oslo.
She found about this through a Facebook event post, and we both agreed it would be pretty cool to experience. We assumed it was a fancy party, so we dressed up. However even though we were dressed up, people were even MORE dressed up than us, which was crazy.
The party was fun, they played good music and served plenty of food and drinks. I don’t remember being blown away by the food, I don’t think it was all that good. But, it was food nonetheless!
After the party, and eventual fireworks celebrating the turn of the New Year, we walked around the city trying to make our way back to the Airbnb. The nice thing about the Airbnb was that it was by the very last train stop. That made for a relaxing ride, we didn’t have to worry about counting or missing stops.
The following day is when the walking began. Being a big city, a lot of the attractions were very spread out. We didn’t tour any of the major landmarks, such as the Akershus Fortress and Royal Palace.
We spent a lot of time by the Oslofjord inlet, as the water was beautiful and there were plenty of picture opportunities. It is also the home of the famous Oslo Opera House, built in the mid 2000’s. I thought it was a super modern or futuristic ship from afar, but as we got closer, we noticed it was a giant, beautiful building.
The cool thing about it was that you could climb up to the roof. The roof offered insane views of both the city and the inlet. Coming down, we headed back towards the city, and stopped by the Oslo Stock Exchange. It was a pretty small building, and I didn’t realize it was a stock exchange until I researched this post!
We didn’t head back into the city to see the stock exchange however, we were headed for Frogner Park. Frogner Park is a 79 acre public park that houses Vigeland installation as well.
Vigeland is famous for its monolith and statues and sculptures that represent humanity as a whole. I am not an art connoisseur, so I’m not going to attempt to interpret these pieces and their true meaning, but you can read about them all here.
By the time we got done with Frogner Park, it was dinner time. After a dinner at the Hard Rock Café, we headed back to the Airbnb for the night.
The following day, and the last day in Oslo, we decided on going to the Viking Museum. I love history a lot, especially history I can see up close and personal. It is especially interesting considering it was Viking history. Because Vikings are awesome!
They had numerous full ships on display, as well as old tools, money, and trinkets that they found unearthing the ships.
After the museum, we decided to check out the inlet again. When we made it to the inlet, we discovered that there were ferries that take people to various islands scattered throughout the inlet. At the time, the only option we had was Hovedøya. I say that as it was a bad thing, but that’s far from the truth. Hovedøya was an economic powerhouse for Oslo in medieval times. It also housed many military installations over the years to help defend Oslo.
Even today, there are replica 19th century cannons perched on top of the hill on Hovedøya.
We cruised out there during the evening, the last ferry of the day. We spent time exploring the abandoned monastery and beautiful beach. The views from the top of the hill were amazing too, as they provide an amazing view of the city, especially now that the sun was setting.
We stayed there until it was dark, and actually had to run to catch the ferry. We thought we had more time, but upon checking the pamphlet, we didn’t have any time and were actually about to be stranded there.
We did make it…by sprinting across this little island and to the dock.
We made it back after the whole fiasco, and I got a few hours of sleep. That’s why I hate super early morning flights so much. The time I had to be at the airport was at such an awkward hour, that the busses nor the trains were no longer running.
I had to walk all the way across town in the middle of the night, alone. I had all my luggage with me, so I stood out like a sore thumb. This was not safe at all. I ended up sleeping on a bench at a bus stop, just for a bit. I thought I would make it to the airport by catching the very first bus of the day. But after further considerations, I decided it wouldn’t be possible.
I hiked all the way back across town to a shuttle service that was open 24 hours. I was lucky, they still had a bus available going to the airport.
I made it, and I learned quite a lot by being practically homeless in Oslo for a few hours.
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