If you are on a budget, then visiting the most expensive City in the World can be terrifying. But there is no need to skip the city if you stick to our Oslo Guide and use an Oslo Pass.
And if you choose to go in the off-season, like we did in October, then you are likely to save even more money and miss the crowds over summer and winter. Just be warned that it may mean some places will have limited opening hours.
Oslo Panorama from Holmenkollen Ski Jump
The first thing you will want to lay your hands on is the the Oslo Pass. It is guaranteed to save you money with free entry to over 30 museums, free public transport around Oslo and a few extra savings like discounts on meals.
You can choose between the 24, 48 or 72 hour cards. We had the 72 hour card (495 NOK or US$87) and it was perfect for the autumn season, because we didn’t have to rush around trying to fit everything into 48 hours. Plus it is just too cold to get started too early in the morning or carry on late into the night.
If we didn’t have the Oslo Pass then we would have spent 860 NOK (US$151) on transportation and entry fees. That’s a saving of 365 NOK (US$64). And to be honest, we probably could have squeezed a few more attractions in if we really wanted to.
3 Day Oslo Guide – Recommended Sights
While we were busy in Oslo and saw a lot, we were not run off our feet and exhausted each day. Plus it was the middle of October and the temperature hovered around 6 degrees Celsius. So we didn’t like spending too much time outdoors even though we do love the cold.
We also used our Oslo guide book, that comes free with the Oslo Pass, to plan our days to maximise the time spent in each area.
Holmenkollen is situated about 20 minutes out of Oslo city on the Metro 1 line and well worth the trip. We spent a few hours checking out the HUGE ski jump overlooking the city of Oslo.
As well as the world’s oldest Ski museum, which tells this history of skiing through the ages from several thousand years ago. A must for any snow adventure lovers like ourselves.
We have never been more confused by a park than we were at Vigeland Park.
We have no idea what the statues represent or why they even exist, but surely a man being attacked by four flying babies is a little bit weird in anyone’s book?
What about creepy babies riding on the back of a naked lady with her hair braided between her teeth?
While completely freaky, the Vigeland Park is the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist (Gustav Vigeland), and is one of Norway’s most popular tourist attractions. We highly recommend that you go and check it out for yourself and have a laugh.
Noble Peace Center
The Noble Peace Center was probably the highlight for both of us. Especially as they currently have an incredible exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi showing. While he is the world’s most famous Peace activist, he has never won the Noble Peace prize.
It was also enlightening learning a little bit more about the Noble Peace prize as we were both surprised at how little we actually knew about some of the worlds greatest Peace activists who have won over the last century.
You can easily spend a day over at Bygdøy, so catch the ferry across (or Bus 30) in the morning, and spend the whole day exploring the Peninsula. While there are six museums on the Bygdøy Peninsula, we only had time to check out three of them.
The Viking Ship Museum is home to three well preserved Viking Ships that give an insight into the conquerors who ruled the seas several thousand years ago. Still can’t believe they used to sail these ships across the North Sea to pillage the UK.
The Polar Ship Fram exhibition provides a detailed insight into the lives of the Norwegian Polar explorers from the beginning of the 20th Century.
You can follow in the footsteps of heroes such as Roald Amundsen, the first man to make it to the South Pole, onboard the Polar Ship Fram and see what their lives were like when they took these crazy adventures.
Memorial at the Holocaust Centre to the Norwegians killed during the Holocaust.
While extremely moving, the Holocaust Centre is a must for anyone that wants to learn a little more about the Holocaust and how it affected Norway.
We were the only ones wandering around the graphic displays and barely spoke to one another the entire visit. And when we did speak it was barely a whisper. Very sobering, but a must visit for everyone.
The Akershus Castle sits prominently above the Oslo harbour protecting the city from invading forces. While the cannons may now be clogged up and pigeons the greatest invaders, the views and scenery are worth the stroll around the grounds.
Unfortunately we didn’t realise that the Castle was closed during the week in winter so missed out seeing inside. But it is free to wander through the gardens and snap the autumn colours.
Oslo Guide to Getting around
While the city is easily walk-able with most of the main attractions within a 20 minute walk of one another, there are a few that you will need to catch public transport for. And if you have brought the Oslo Pass, then you are sorted.
Just jump on any of the trams, buses or metro line to get around Oslo. Also highly recommended if you are visiting in late Autumn or during Winter when it gets pretty cold!
Oslo Opera House from the Batservice Hop-on Hop-off Ferry
If you have the 72 hour Oslo pass then you also have the chance to use the Båtservice Hop-on, Hop-off ferry to explore the Oslo Fjord for free. The ferry runs year round and stops at the city center, the Opera House and across the harbour to Bygdøy Peninsular for a few popular museums.
Extra Travel Information
Get your Oslo Pass from any of the visitor centers or you can buy it online.
We stayed at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia with their awesome buffet breakfast.
We don’t recommend flying into Oslo with Ryanair because you actually land 120 kms from Oslo City center and it costs US$130 return on the bus! We found out after we booked.
Visit Oslo during the shoulder-season, such as October, to avoid the crowds and higher prices.
Disclaimer: We were provided with an Oslo Pass from the Visit Oslo Tourism Board but all our recommendations are always our own and we would definitely have brought one anyway!
Tips for Making Any Overseas Trip a Romantic One
Vacations are a great way to leave our everyday lives behind to spend some stress free time with the one we love. Travel in itself can be quite romantic but there are definitely ways you can spice up your holidays even more.
Follow these helpful tips to make sure your romantic holiday gets off on the right foot and continues to head down the tunnel of love and passion. You can easily turn any part of your travels into a special romantic affair.
Choosing the Right Destination
A romantic trip starts with selecting the right destination. There are definitely cities and regions which are much more prone to sparking romance than others. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but generally destinations such as popular European cities, beach getaways, Asian resorts, luxury ski resorts, or tropical islands make for a good choice.
Couples should pick a destination which they both will enjoy as this will of course make it far easier to express their love for each other.
Choosing the Right Time
It is a good idea to select a time that will be most appropriate for your holiday. Choose a time that is easy for you in regards to taking time off work or from household duties. This will make it far easier to feel relaxed while on your holiday, allowing you to focus more on fuelling the romance.
You may also want to research when the best time is to visit your chosen destination so as to avoid peak crowds or unideal weather conditions.
Choosing a romantic date to travel such as an anniversary, honeymoon, or birthday can also turn any holiday into one filled with more passion. Travelling during Valentine’s Day can make for an especially romantic holiday of which there are many perfect Valentine’s Day destinations.
Fly Business Class
Although your destination may be exhilarating, the flight or flights to get there can be stressful. Minimise the stress of flying by booking business class where you’ll enjoy the VIP treatment with far more comfortable seats which many times convert into a bed allowing for a decent rest while in the air.
As a bonus you can many times be granted access to luxurious airport lounges when flying business class which makes waiting for your flight much easier as you are treated to free food and drinks along with clean bathrooms and seating areas.
Public transportation can not only take longer to get to your hotel or attractions in your chosen destination, but they can also kill the mood for you and your loved one. By booking private transfers via your hotel or on your own, you can avoid buses, trams, and trains which can be crowded and noisy.
Choose a Nice Hotel
It may be difficult to find romance if you are staying in a dodgy motel or hostel. Be sure to book quality accommodation which has private en suites and clean furnishings. Remember that your vacation is supposed to be an escape, so make that escape the best it can be with premium toiletries, fancy marble bathroom floors, plush pillows, quality linen, and a nice hotel room view. All of these luxuries will make for a far more romantic getaway.
Nothing can ignite romance more than delicious food although preparing it isn’t always that much fun. One of the best aspects of travelling is that it gives us an excuse to not have to cook.
Seek out popular restaurants that offer a romantic setting, quality service, and mouth watering flavours that will leave you passionate for more than just satisfying your hungry stomach.
Get Dressed Up
Although you and your loved one may look good in any light and attire, it is never a bad idea to put on your Sunday’s best. It can sometimes be difficult in our everyday lives to find occasions to get all dressed and made up, so why not make your holiday abroad an excuse to do so.
Although clothes may not necessarily make the person, a nice dress or suit and tie can go a long way to giving us a little extra special glow to spark a bit of romance.
Log Off and Put the Phone Away
Nothing can kill a romantic dinner or event than the sound of message notifications, phone calls, or emails. Any holiday should be an excuse to remove the stress of the online world or work and with romantic holidays this becomes even more paramount.
You want to be focusing your attention on the love you and your partner share or if travelling solo you want this time to focus on the beauty of the destination you have selected which may in turn bring you a bit of romance. Disconnecting is all about reconnecting; so log off and put the phone away!
Reduce the Risk of Stressful Situations
Stress can kill romance very quickly. When we are stressed we can easily find ourselves getting into silly arguments or bouts of criticism. Your holiday is supposed to be an enjoyable experience so don’t let it turn sour by making the possibility of stress to creep on in.
Don’t try to overload your itinerary with too much and avoid setting too rigid of a timeline. Prior planning is important to avoid any unwanted surprises or disappointments when it comes to securing reservations for flights, hotels, or activities.
Should anything go wrong during your travels, you want to have the peace of mind you are protected by travel insurance from InsureandGo. Travel Insurance can help when the unforseen happens while you are overseas.
How to Plan a Trip to Iceland
If you have ever heard the amazing stories about Iceland, they are all true! If you’ve come this far into doing research about how to plan a trip to Iceland, I’m here to help you cross the bridge and fill in gaps so you can make your dream a reality.
As someone who has done this trip, I’m able to assist in every step of the journey. I’ve boiled this down into cliff notes so you can do your own research after reading them and dig deeper into tours that will fit your personal preferences and budget.
First off, you are going to need to trust the Internet. It’s a big place with a lot of information that can help you get there in one piece and not be stressed out. Long gone are the days of visiting a travel agency and having someone plan everything for you – for a fee! It’s your adventure, and you can know that every item is covered online, you just need to know how to look for it.
The best tip I can give you is to leverage the various Facebook Groups about Iceland.
Resource: When In Iceland Facebook Group.
Next, you’ll want to decide when to visit Iceland.
The winter months will allow you to have more freedom as the tourism numbers are down. However, this comes with the caveat that it will be below freezing and there will be very little sunlight! The sun is only out for approximately six hours during the month of December!
On the positive side, this allows you a great opportunity to view the Northern Lights, which is a marquee attraction in Iceland.
Conversely, the Fall and Spring will bring you better temperatures and less snow, but there will be a much slimmer chance of viewing the Northern Lights.
Lastly, there are the Summer months. While you will see a greener country and experience a lot of beauty on that end of the spectrum, it does come with a much higher price tag. Be prepared to spend more money if you choose to visit Iceland in the Summer.
Also, you’ll want to have an agenda. If you are one to take things in on your own and adventure into the wild, Iceland will be a perfect escape for you. There are also guided tours that you can hire and they will accommodate to your every need or desire. Simply ask anyone in the aforementioned Facebook group and they can steer you in the right direction.
You can of course, do public transportation in Iceland. It’s entirely safe and used by many people.
Iceland is a fantastic, unique place to visit. If you need any help planning your trip, please visit my Iceland Tour guide resource and leave a comment. Happy Travels.
Overlooked and Underrated Euro Vacations
Here’s a quick list of places to possibly include in your next European itinerary. 2018 is the year of the underrated vacation spot in our humble opinions, and we want to honor it.
This place is in this author’s humble opinion easily and hands-down the most underrated little corner of Europe.
And honestly, between the two, the Spanish side of Basque country is going to cost you probably around 50% what the French side will, and most people in the know will agree that the Spanish side is at least 100% more fun!
There are two ways to do the Canaries: simply fly in and enjoy them, or treat yourself and a loved one to a romantic Canary Island cruise.
Best time to visit is definitely either spring or fall, as it does get quite cold in the winter and quite hot in the summer. If you are a beach bum, on the other hand, summer is best (but there will be a lot more tourists in the summer).
This city is often overshadowed by Rome, Florence, and Venice, but it actually is arguably the best-preserved city in Italy and has the best historic city center. The cuisine here is absolutely to die for, and you won’t have to pay inflated tourist prices like you will in the aforementioned places either!
If you can, try to make it for the famous Palio, a horse race that has been going on literally for centuries.
Just as Siena is overshadowed by other bigger Italian cities, Brussels tends to stand forgotten next to London and Paris. But Brussels has key elements of the two metropolises, as well as its own unique and delicious cuisine, its own beer (considered by more than a few experts to be the worlds best), and easily the worlds best chocolate, both in solid and drinkable form. Belgian chocolate will seriously change your life forever.
This is one of the world’s best summer beach destinations. It’s incredibly beautiful, and by Western European standards, almost outrageously cheap.
Hipster tourists are starting to come in and drive prices up, but it still remains a great bargain by any standards, and most importantly, it’s a bargain without really having to give up any of our beloved amenities.
Budapest could be called the poor man’s Prague, but in reality that name isn’t very fair. For one thing, Hungarian culture and Czech culture are actually extremely different (for one thing, the Hungarian language isn’t in the same family as the rest of Europe, it’s its own thing completely, like the Basque language).
Prague is gorgeous, but it’s getting almost as expensive as the rest of Europe too, and honestly Budapest’s history and culture is much more interesting, especially for the seasoned traveller.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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