At a Glance
When to Go
Oslo has several airports, each about an hour from the city. The closest and largest is Oslo Airport Gardermoen, and from there the express train takes approximately 20 minutes to Oslo Central Station and costs about US$30. Local trains and airport buses will also take you around Oslo and the outskirts.
Though not a highly populated city, Oslo covers a lot of ground. The city is walkable but also offers the standard transportation options (metro, tram, bus) as well as bike rentals—Oslo's version of London's Boris Bikes. You can use the same ticket on all public transit within the city, and a standard 24-hour ticket costs just under US$14. There are also taxis aplenty, but be warned—they are expensive.
Food and Drink
Norwegians love nature and activities such as hiking, skiing, and sailing. The Nordmarka woods, at Oslo's front door, are used year-round. The Oslo fjord is dotted with islands, making for cozy day trips in the summer via ferry or private boat. Oslo's other attractions that retain a Norwegian feel include a medieval fortress, several theaters, urban coffee shops for people watching, and the world-famous opera and ballet house designed by the same Norwegian architects responsible for the library in Alexandria, Egypt.
The largest festivals are Norwegian Wood and Øya Music Festival, both held in the summer. The Oslo Open House festival happens in September, when government buildings, the Royal Palace, and gardens normally closed to the public throw open their doors to let visitors have a snoop. Oslo has a wine festival in February, the Holmenkollen FIS World Cup Nordic Ski Festival in March, and a medieval festival in the Old Town in May.
What the Locals Know
Alexandra considers herself a citizen of the world, after living in Denmark, Wales and New Zealand (and visiting around 70 countries), but she hails from Drammen, a small city close to Oslo. She holds an MA in creative writing and has been published in several online magazines, like National Geographic's Intelligent Travel Blog. She also blogs at Sopiesworld.net. Her favorite places in the whole world are her family's cabin in the Finnemarka woods in Eastern Norway, and Port Isaac in Cornwall.