Norway’s clean, safe and nature-surrounded capital, Oslo is very likely to be your first stop in Norway. And it’s a great place to indulge in city highlights, such as beautiful urban parks, good museums and soft-adventure boat trips before heading out into Norway’s wilder landscapes (the draw for most visitors to Norway).
The first thing to be aware of is that Norway is a very expensive country, with groceries and restaurants easily costing twice as much (if not more) compared to what you’re likely used to back home. The good news is that the city has plenty of family-friendly hotels and affordable attractions that won’t break the bank. And because Oslo’s center is compact and exceedingly walkable — with wide sidewalks that can easily accommodate multiple lollygagging kids and a stroller, along with fabulous public transport options — you also don’t have to worry about renting a car to get around during your stay.
While Oslo lacks the architectural beauty of its Scandinavian sister, Stockholm, the city has its own appeal thanks to its beautiful fjord-front setting and easy access to wide-open places of extreme beauty just beyond the lights of downtown. Summer is an excellent time to visit, as restaurants and cafes throw open their windows and locals pack the terraces to make the most of sunny days that don’t end thanks to the midnight sun. If you come during the winter months, count on cold, snowy days that see very little daylight, particularly from late October through December. Consider purchasing the Oslo Pass during your stay for unlimited free travel by public transport, as well as museum entry and discounts and restaurant rebates, too.