Why Oslo should be next on your holiday list

As our first ever holiday together, Liv and I ventured to Oslo in Norway. This is a part of a series of Throwback Travel posts.

Having previously visited Sweden and Denmark, I wanted to tick another beautiful Scandinavian country off the list.

Oslo City Centre

We visited in May and it was unexpectedly hot with my other half getting sunburnt on day one! I was on hand to buy sun cream and painkillers (not that easy with my limited language skills), but obviously being Scandinavia it will be a lot colder at other times in the year.

Looking out over Oslo

We stayed at the Thon Hotel (Munch) – like a Premier Inn level of chain hotels which came with a continental buffet breakfast included in our stay. We found it a little difficult to find this one after I’d left the local library’s copy of the Oslo guidebook on the plane and had no Google Maps. Our Norwegian was non-existent so we struggled to locate the hotel as we moved off the edge of our city centre map. It was a cheap and cheerful base and they even chilled our champagne for us at reception.

Oslo city centre

On the walk between the hotel and the City centre was the Nasjonalgalleriet (National Gallery of Norway) and we took a peek on one of our days.

Works of Art

The Royal Palace in Oslo is great to look out over the city from the top of the hill. Time it right and you can watch the changing of the guards too. Take some more time to see the ducks and the fountains in the beautiful surrounding Palace gardens.

Oslo Royal Palace

Ducks in Oslo Palace Gardens

Views from Oslo Palace

Views from Oslo Palace looking down Karl Johans gate

A real hidden gem to discover is the Oslo Reptile Park. As well as a variety of reptiles they also have monkeys. Upstairs we saw some snakes and had a chance to hold them after asking the staff. Entry is fairly cheap and it’s a really good way to get away from the busier attractions in the city centre.

Getting acquainted with the snakes at the Oslo Reptile Park

Keeping up the tradition with our other city breaks, we found another city and another Opera House to tick off the list. Oslo Operahuset is in the city centre not too far from the central station and looks out onto the waterfront. It’s a huge, modern building (opened in 2008) with a brilliantly designed sloped roof.

Oslo Opera House

The most unexpected element is that you are encouraged to walk up onto the roof and admire the sights from the vantage point.

Oslo Opera House views

The waterfront offers a great place to sit and chill out with nearby ice-cream stands and the local chain is called Hennig-Olsen. They made quite a bit off us in just a few days as we took a liking to the Oreo flavour!

Hennig Olsen Oslo Oreo

His and hers Oreo and Vanilla


They see me rollin’ #Norway #Oslo #pennyfarthing

A photo posted by Josh B (@jb_new) on

For a coffee shop that resembles Central Perk in Friends – check out my post on visiting Friends Fest here – give the chain Espresso House a try, comfy seats and tasty sweet treats.

Espresso House spread

Creamy Espresso House hot chocolates and cakes

Wanting a nice spot to sit and chill with a healthy fruit/vegetable juice or coffee? Joe and the Juice has just what you need – a juice bar that originated in Denmark and has friendly staff and nice music playlists offering plenty of good vibes. They now also have a number of UK branches as well including one just down the road from me in Richmond.

Joe and the Juice Oslo

Below the statue of former US President Franklin D Roosevelt that overlooks the harbour, you can find some nice waterside bars for a drink and a snack.

Waterside drinks in Oslo

Waterside beers in Oslo

We also stumbled across the Oslo Middelalderfestival which is the annual Medieval festival held at Akershus festning – the medieval castle built as a fortress to protect the capital of Norway. It has also been used as a prison in the past.

Police Horses on Parade

Norwegian police horses on parade

Aker Brygge is the really stylish waterfront area downtown with shops, restaurants and bars galore to choose from. Being with an Olivia, we had to eat at the namesake restaurant Olivia and were not disappointed by the food or the cocktails.

Olivia Oslo

A nice football and drink discovery was Beer Palace which provided a nice spot to watch the Champions League Final and of course have a beer. (Just because I was on holiday, doesn’t mean I can’t follow the football).

Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid Champions League Final 2014 at Beer Palace Oslo

The final recommendation would be the American diner Beach Club that serves up great burgers near to Aker Brygge with an impressive outdoor seating area. It used to be near to a Boxpark with a number of temporary shops.

Views down in Aker Brygge

Down the water at Aker Brygge

As a destination you may think it will be fairly expensive but we ended up over-budgeting and coming back home with Norwegian Krone!

It’s a beautiful city with lots to see and do – make it your next destination.

Oslo Views



  1. June 9, 2017 / 5:39 pm

    seems like a good trip,I like the photos you took and Oslo sounds amazing


    • June 11, 2017 / 6:17 pm

      Thanks very much. Oslo was a great holiday. These were before we bought our flash new camera but the photos seemed to come out well.


    • jggb11190
      December 16, 2016 / 9:33 am

      Definitely should be on the list! Hope you enjoy it

    • jggb11190
      December 16, 2016 / 9:34 am

      So much to see and do and the weather was great when we went!

  2. December 15, 2016 / 5:37 pm

    Looks so fun and is beautiful! I can’t wait to start traveling! I’m definitely going to by this on my list. Great post. PS , how are you holding that ! So scary lol

    • jggb11190
      December 16, 2016 / 9:37 am

      The snake was cool, he was just chilling! Scandinavia on the whole is really nice, I still need to go to Finland and Iceland and want to see Stockholm.

  3. December 7, 2016 / 12:44 pm

    Great post guys, very informative. Love the fact that people go up onto the opera house to enjoy the view, health and safety rules in the UK would never allow it haha. Look forward to your next post, The Austin’s (www.360honeymoon.com)

    • jggb11190
      December 8, 2016 / 10:42 am

      Lots of nice high views in the UK but this was just a really cool way to look out over Oslo! We’re off to Berlin this week for Christmas markets

  4. December 5, 2016 / 2:25 am

    Beautiful Oslo.. Looked so hot. In May right? By the way.. was that football player on TV of Atletico Madrid? What a vacation Josh (Y)

    • jggb11190
      December 5, 2016 / 9:58 am

      It was amazing and really sunny and hot in May 2014 when we went. The football match was Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid in the Champions League Final

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