On a whim we booked a weekend city break to Oslo. Ryanair had one of their fab deals and we snagged return tickets for around £20 each! Of course you need to think of airport transfers and accommodation after that but you can’t turn your nose up at the prospect of travel for £20. Nothing will enrich your life quite like travel, and frankly.. I probably spend more than that on coffee in a month!
Where To Stay
Norway has a reputation for being jaw clenchingly expensive so booking affordable accommodation on our terms was the only way. We decided to book through Airbnb. We both love Scandi style and didn’t feel we would get that (to the same extent) staying in a hotel.
There are some fantastic options on Airbnb (here and here) , we decided to stay in the Grünerløkka area. We read that it is more of a hipster area, independent coffee shops and stores galore. Ideal for those Insta pics!
I have to say the architecture in Oslo is beautiful. I could have taken pictures of buildings all day. What a difference it makes to use simple understated colours, the buildings look far more interesting..but maybe it’s just a change from all the granite I see!
Where To Eat
36 hours doesn’t allow for much food exploration. We had scoped a couple of places out before we travelled and The Nighthawk Diner always came up trumps. An American diner..Ok, we weren’t getting the full Norwegian breakfast experience but with such good reviews, it was a must visit!
Peter went for pancakes and coffee while I had eggs benedict and chips (with tea). Maybe not the traditional British breakfast but surprisingly easy to eat at 9am! In fact, this was a highlight of the trip. I was so cold and wanted something warming and this was perfect. I am not condoning chips for breakfast everyday.. but..
We stopped off for a lot of coffee. Bizarrely, to my Scottish eyes.. everyone was drinking coffee from a bowl! It’s common practice in Europe.. It was lovely, I embraced it. One thing though, the coffee is much stronger than your Starbucks and Costa drinks..Peter enjoys a caramel latte but was told in no uncertain terms, only real coffee was sold. You can always visit a chain if this is an issue for you, but try some local coffee houses as well! I love that the outdoor seating has warm blankets, the perfect mix of hot and cold.
On our second morning we visited a local patisserie for breakfast where we indulged in more coffee and some VERY sweet breakfast danishes. We also made sure to try the famous brunost (brown cheese) on a hot cross bun. I loved it, Peter didn’t. Either way, try it!
Another place to try is the Mathallen. Here you can buy food from bakers and butchers and patisseries or you can eat in from a selection of places.
Where To Visit
Obviously, 36 hours in Oslo is not a long time. You want to experience and see as much as you can. My tip would be to choose what you want to do before you get there.
There is the famous Vigeland Park which a lot of people recommended while we were there. We just didn’t have the time. We also had boat trips and the Viking boat museums highly recommended but again, not enough time.
We made the decision to eat, walk and explore with the time we had. As I said we both love Scandi style so wanted to get some shopping in. We like to get a feel for the culture so we visited The Palace which has such magnificent views and The Opera House which is beautiful and white and angular. A bloggers dream for outfit photos. Of course, we also visited Edvard Munch – The Scream!
We stumbled across a couple of outhouse thrift shops. Keep your eyes peeled for these. There were vinyls and books aplenty. They also have the most beautiful secondhand Scandi furniture which I would have loved to buy but alas..
Also, make sure to keep an eye out for all the interesting graffiti in the art district. You will ooh and ahh everywhere you turn, I guarantee it!
When it came to shopping, I was underwhelmed. I had visions of everyone being beautifully dressed and wanting to grab every basic in every store. The reality, yes, people are very well dressed but the shops didn’t have the quality I was expecting. I had been fully prepared to buy a suitcase as I only took hand luggage.
Of course they have Zara and Monki etc which are always a fail safe, but I can buy those at home. I had hoped to see a variety of similar stores, if that makes sense?
On the other hand, homeware stores are a dream. An absolute dream. If you love the style as much as I do, go to as many stores as you can and take note of the names to stalk the websites at a later date!
Personally I think Granit was one of my favourite affordable home stores. Even better, I could actually take some items home!
I really loved Norway and I would absolutely, no doubt about it, return!
Would you love to visit?