Our third day of our trip to Oslo was a very busy one. We wanted to make up for over-sleeping the day before so we planned on doing quite a few things. Also, this would be our second and last full day using our Oslo Pass, so we wanted to maximize its value.
We started off by taking the train around 30-40 minutes out of the city to visit the site that we had missed the day before. After getting back to downtown Oslo, we spent the rest of the day walking around, visiting a good variety of sites.
Here is what we did:
- Holmenkollen Ski Jump & Museum
- Stopped by the Royal Palace
- The National Gallery to check out works by Edward Munch
- Akershus Castle
- The Nobel Peace Center
We started out the day with a 30 – 40 minute train ride with the destination being the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum. When we first boarded the train wasn’t too busy but within a few stops it was packed with locals heading off for a day of skiing. It seemed like Kim, Lucas and I were the only ones not holding a set of skis or a sled.
While Kim and I are not skiers or fans of skiing, I had read that a visit to Holmenkollen was a must for the panoramic views alone. When we got off of the train, it was a steep, snowy walk up to the Ski Jump & Museum. Not the most fun thing to do pushing a stroller! During the walk I sure hoped all of this effort was worth it.
When we first spotted the ski jump, it was hard to believe that people actually skied down something so steep.
The Ski Museum is the world’s oldest and was filled with lots of information, models and artifacts on display. Even though I am not a skier, I still found the information to be very interesting. My favorite part of the museum was seeing various models of the ski jump in all of it’s different forms since it was first built.
The Ski Jump was really impressive to see. Before entering the museum you can check out the jump from the lower section (still very high up if you ask me). Once inside the museum, you take an elevator and funicular up to the top. The views from here were totally amazing. Too bad it was so cold, windy and icy on the roof!
I wasn’t sure if visiting the Royal Palace/ seeing the changing of the guards would be worth going out of our way for or not. Based on our day’s plans it wasn’t really out-of-the-way so we decided to stop by.
I was a bit surprised that very few people (tourists or locals) were hanging around for the Changing of the Guards ceremony. Around 4 – 5 guards were stationed at the front of the palace, doing their customary marches back and forth. Two of the guards confirmed that there would be a ceremony but after waiting for a while (and past the supposed time of the ceremony)we were getting tired (and cold) standing around.
A visit to Oslo wouldn’t seem right without seeing one of Edvard Munch’s Scream paintings in person. We were getting hungry and figured that our visit to the National Gallery would have to be a quick one. FYI- the National Gallery is free on Sundays. And like all of the other museums we visited, it is also free with the Oslo Pass.
The museum was very busy but we headed right for the room featuring the works of Munch, barely stopping to look at much else. Once we got to the room we were surprised by how quiet it was. It’s not that there weren’t others admiring his works, it was just so nice that it wasn’t packed. I expected the Scream to be crowded. While I didn’t think it would be as bad as visiting the Mona Lisa in Paris, I did picture it being very busy so this was a nice surprise.
Besides the Scream, there are a bunch of other very impressive Munch works at the National Gallery. I really enjoyed our brief visit and recommend a stopping by if you visit Oslo.
Aksershus Castle is only open for visits on the weekend so we hurried over after lunch to check it out. The castle has never been taken over by an enemy which is impressive since it has been around since around 1290.
Getting to the castle was a fun and somewhat tiring walk through the fortress. With the castle being on the water, there are nice views of the Oslo Fjord which we didn’t have a lot of time to take in.
The castle took less than an hour to visit and we got lots of interesting information and facts about it from the included audio guide.
One of the first things we got to see was the Royal Mausoleum. There is also an impressive small church inside, lots of weapons on display and a bunch of large halls to visit.
Visiting the Nobel Peace Center wasn’t originally part of our plan but we heard that it had some interactive displays which were great for kids so we decided to stop by.
We got to the center with maybe an hour left until closing time. This seemed to be enough time to quickly walk through, stopping to only read some of the info.
My favorite exhibit showed photographs of families from around the world with a week’s worth of food. Under each picture lots of info was included- where they live, how many are in the household, what it costs to feed the family for a week and other interesting info. It was pretty crazy to see how some families ate for under $10 per week while others might spend $300.
Lucas’ favorite part of the museum was close to the area I was most interested in. There were giant apples which he loved pushing around as well as some other interactive displays. Lucas also had fun playing with a few other kids in the area while Kim and I took turns reading the info nearby.
There was a room with an interactive book which talked about the life of Alfred Nobel, interesting stuff but I moved on after a few minutes. Another room called the Nobel Field is a digital display with info the Nobel Prize laureates. It looked nice but we found it hard to read.
While Lucas had a good time and we enjoyed our visit, I can’t say that I would recommend stopping at the Nobel Peace Center unless you are going with the Oslo Pass.
That sums up our third day in Oslo. Keep checking back for a post about the fourth day of our trip which we only had since our trip was extended due to an approaching winter storm.
In case you missed them, here are posts about the first couple of days of our trip: