Oslo is a city that seamlessly blends Norway's 1,000-year-old heritage with 21st century technology. A major banking and business center, Oslo stretches 175 square miles with an excellent public transportation system that includes ferries. An ideal city for nature lovers with 40 lakes, Oslo also has more museums than any other city in Norway. Because Oslo is one of the world's most expensive cities, buy the Oslo Pass to save on admission prices to museums and to get discounts at restaurants, hotels and shops.
Since 1849, the Royal Palace is home to the monarchy, and it houses Norway's major governing offices. Built in a Neo-classical style, the palace took 25 years to complete and stands three stories tall, and has 173 rooms and two wings. However, palace tours are only available from early June through mid-August. Upon request, seniors and mobility-impaired visitors will receive free use of wheelchairs and a private elevator. The palace covers more than 10,000 square feet, not including its park and ceremonial square. Purchase tour tickets at the palace entrance, Norwegian post offices or 7-Eleven stores throughout Oslo.
Situated in the center of Oslo, Frogner Park is one of the city's most important sites. The 79-acre park consists of fountains, bridges, picnic and sunbathing areas and a garden with more than 150 types of roses. Designed to offer many opportunities for sports, the park is open year-round and features Frognerbadet with its three outdoor swimming pools, a diving tower and water slides. Sports enthusiasts can play tennis or soccer at Frogner Stadium in the summer, and sledging, cross-country skiing and ice-skating in the winter. A main feature is the 200 Vigeland sculptures depicting realist and abstract figures.
TusenFryd Amusement Park
Consuming more than 50 acres, TusenFryd Amusement Park (tusenfryd.no/eng) is Oslo's largest family attraction. TusenFryd has 20 restaurants, 35 rides and attractions, including ThunderCoaster with a top speed of 60 miles per hour, SuperSplash water ride and music concerts. Nightmare, TusenFryd's first 3D cinema, lets tourists experience a haunted house with laser guns, wind and water effects, surround sound and rotating platforms. Younger children can enjoy the more relaxed Barnes Fryd water park with a swimming river, water slide and a beach for building sand castles. TusenFryd Amusement Park is opens from late April through early October.
The International Museum of Children's Art
In 2006, the International Museum of Children's Art (barnekunst.no/en) received the Telenor Culture Award for "its outstanding contribution to Norwegian culture." Founded in 1986, the museum contains works of art from children in 180 countries. The museum has a permanent collection of 100,000 pieces and conducts regular art classes for painting, pottery, singing and other crafts. The museum is open four days a week and closes from August through early September. Children under age 2 get in free and seniors receive a discount.
The small island of Bygdoy rests on Oslo's western side. Home to five museums, tourists can visit the folk, maritime, Viking ship and Fram and Kon-Tiki museums. A favorite site is the Gothic inspired Oscarhall, the summer castle of the King of Norway. Bygdoy's sandy beaches are among the finest in Oslo, and hikers and cyclists have plenty of trails to enjoy. Fifteen-minute ferry rides from Oslo to Bygdoy operate hourly from City Hall.
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