If you can’t decide between a ski holiday and a city break, get to know Norway’s spirited capital. Oslo has so many museums and attractions that you can combine all the cultural delights of a city break with adrenaline pumping activities, especially if you want to grab a chance to explore a winter wonderland on skis.
What to see and do
Take the underground for the 35-minute ride to Voksenkollen (line T1) to arrive at Oslo Winter Park and have a blast on its 18 pistes served by 11 lifts, which stay open until 10pm as the slopes are floodlit. Non-skiers can easily explore its cross-country skiing trails, or ski guide ReidunLøvstuen can get you started. You might even see the Northern Lights.
To get your heart racing you can stand at the top of Oslo’s futuristic new ski jump, four stops down the line at Holmenkollen. You can do the jump, albeit in a simulator, next door. The centre, which includes a ski museum, is set in an elegant 19th-century cliff-top suburb, with restaurants, wooden houses and observatories overlooking the fjords.
Back in the heart of the city, follow the half-frozen waterfalls of the Akerselva river to arrive at the unique Wallman’s dinner show. Inside one of the giant 19th century warehouses you find beautifully laid tables arranged around a stage. And the performers, who also strut catwalks between the tables, are your waiters and waitresses for the night, bringing exquisitely prepared courses in between medleys of Abba and Queen.
See Edvard Munch’s eerily evocative Scream, actually four paintings, as they are rarely exhibited abroad, two having been stolen – and recovered – while the fourth was sold to a private buyer last year for $120 million. The Munch Museum has two, but you can see the one at the National Gallery for free if you go on a Sunday.
From the old to the new, the Astrup Fearnley museum of modern art, which opened recently, has been built of wood on an island by the architect of London’s Shard, Renzo Piano. It greets visitors with a giant manga doll and holds work by Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. Avoid paying separately for museums as the popular Oslo Pass gives you access to a huge number of attractions, plus unlimited travel on local transport.
Where to stay
The Folketeateret is a curvaceous art deco theatre, in an elegant, covered arcade of cafés and salons, that has been turned into a boutique hotel with stylish, modern rooms. It offers an excellent breakfast, afternoon tea and buffet dinner in the price of your stay, which cuts costs dramatically.
Radisson SAS is the tallest hotel in northern Europe and has a pool and spa on the 35th floor included in the price. However, the glass-fronted sauna with its views across the city may not be for the self-conscious, you will prefer to sip cocktails on the 34th floor, where you can see the floodlit slopes you may have skied earlier that day.
For further information see visitoslo.com
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