Oslo, the capital of Norway, with its Viking tradition, a lot of museums, open spaces, Bygdøy Peninsula and waterfront wishes a warm welcome to families with kids.
PLACES TO VISIT
The Royal Palace is the official Seat of King Harald V and Queen Sonja. The Neoclassical palace was built in 1849. During the summer, you can have a guided tour of the staterooms. Get in front of the palace at 13:30 for the changing of the guard.
Oslo Opera House is undoubtedly a landmark in Oslo’s harbor. It houses the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. Made of white granite and Italian Carrara marble, this angular building resembles an iceberg. The view of the Oslofjord from the roof is extraordinary.
Frogner Park with 212 Gustav Vigeland’s bronze and granite bizarre sculptures is a must-see. The most famous sculpture is the Angry Boy, in a 100-meter-long installation known as the Bridge. You can also visit the Vigeland Museum.
Visitors can choose a guided tour to explore the building of the Norwegian Parliament, or Storting building, constructed in 1866.
Oslo City hall, a red brick façade with two towers faces the Oslo Fjord. Its interior is decorated with marble, frescoes, and sculptures.
Oslo Cathedral is the main church in Oslo with regular services but also royal and state events.
Akershus Fortress from the 13th century located by the fjord used to be an Oslo’s defense line. There are guided tours in the summer.
Take one of the Oslofjord Trips. You can choose between seeing the iconic sights of the city from a boat, or get a view of nature, like fjord safaris, a day cruises or fishing trips.
OSLO FOR FAMILIES
Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology is a great place for the whole family. There are over 100 interactive installations. Theknoteket is a digital workshop where you can build marvelous designs, inventions or visionary cars. The Science Centre and the National Museum of Medicine are places to learn and play at the same time. You can also get refreshments and meals at the Museum café and do some shopping at the Museum shop.
What can be better for kids than a climbing park? Families should visit the Oslo Summer Park, among the largest in Scandinavia. There are 12 trails with different degrees of difficulty, with the Tiger Leap, the most thrilling one. You will get the equipment necessary for the activities. You can also have a barbeque in the park or rent a bike.
Your teenagers will probably enjoy Popsenteret, Norwegian pop music Museum and activity center. There are permanent and temporary exhibitions and interactive activities.
Their place of interest can also be the International Museum of Children’s Art where they can see what other children create. There are children’s drawings, paintings, sculptures and more from 180 countries.
Children will never refuse to go to an amusement park so take them to TusenFryd, Norway’s largest amusement park, with great games and attractions. It is suitable for different age groups. Besides rides on rollercoasters and other activities, you can do some shopping and have a meal, too.
Take your kids to watch feeding different animals on Tuesdays at 5 PM at Oslo Reptile Park. There are over 100 animals, chameleons, monkeys, boa constrictors, geckos, a black widow, and many other interesting species.
The Natural History Museum is always the right place for children. The one in Oslo established in 1814 consists of The Zoological Museum, The Botanical Garden, the greenhouses and currently closed Geological Museum. Visit it for free on Thursdays (except during school summer holidays and on public holidays).
It’s unlikely that your kids find Oslo boring, but if so, take them to Leos Lekelend Oslo, an enormous playground with trampolines, slides, mazes and other activities.
Every child loves swimming and other water activities. Visitors can spend some time at Tøyenbadet Public Bath near the center of the city. They can enjoy two indoor swimming pools and two outdoor swimming pools with different water activities. The water temperature reaches 280C and 320C in the children's pool.
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
There are numerous museums and galleries. If you have enough time, visit the following: Viking Ship Museum, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, The Kon-Tiki Museum, Fram Polar Ship Museum, The National Museum, Munch Museum, Nobel Peace Center, Nasjonalgallerit with the famous Munch’s painting Scream, Jewish Museum, Ibsen Museum, and others.
There are a lot of family-friendly hotels in Oslo. You can choose the central location, to get to the top tourist sights on foot easily. You might get free buffet breakfast, free in-room internet, bike rentals, kids’ meals, free cribs and playgrounds. In the apartments, you can also expect to have in-room kitchens.
WHAT TO EAT
A former industrial brick building, Mathallen Food Hall has been a food centre for five years. There are over 30 restaurants, bars, speciality food shops and street food stands. Traditional Norwegian food is Lefse ( simple flatbread dish), Kumla (potato dumplings), Lutefisk (gelatinous fish dish), Whale Steak (a steak from whale meat), Krumkake (Sweet Dessert), Fårikål (mutton or lamb, cabbage, and potatoes in their jackets). Naturally, you can get pizza, burgers and national dishes from countries all over the world.
· Oslo city center isn’t very big, so visitors can do a lot of sightseeing on foot.
· Some attractions have free entrance for children under 2 and reduced-price tickets for older children.
· All attractions should be available to wheelchairs.
· If you self-cater from the shops, you can avoid pricey Oslo restaurants.
TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Oslo is from May to August. The weather is pretty warm (average temperature is 22 degrees Celcius) and the accommodation is available at reasonable prices.
Visit the islet of Hovedøya, just 800 meters across. Although small, its exuberant green nature is an excellent place to recharge.
Stay for a day at Hukodden beach on the peninsula of Bygdøy in the shallow water, either on the sand or on the green surface.
Spend some time in the park at the little river in Grünerlokka, a fashionable district.
Travelers can get to Oslo by plane, train, bus, ferry or car.
Getting around the city is easy with trains, buses, trams, and a metro system.
Oslo can boast of so many interesting things, open spaces and kids-friendly places that it must inevitably be on your list of must-visit places in Europe.
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