Oslo Virtual  Tour and  Travel  Guide
by   Ed Prifogle 
ed
 
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City Description

os2Oslo is set at the head of the Oslofjord amongst forests and mountains. As Norway's capital city, Oslo, is an eclectic mix of neo-classical structures, modern buildings, theatres, shops and waterfront cafés. A compact and friendly city, Oslo is a popular destination for both leisure and business travelers.
Oslo City Facts
Oslo Population – 758,949 (Source: UN Population Division 2000 estimate)

Norway Population – 8,898,000 (Source: UN Population Division 2000 estimate)

Currency – Norwegian Krone (NKr)

Time Zone – GMT + 1 hour (2 hours in summer)

Language - Norwegian


World-class Oslo, a town of 500,000, has become good at survival and rebirth throughout its nearly 1,000-year history. In 1348, plague wiped out half the population, and it has burned down too many times to count. Nearly destroyed entirely by a fire in 1624, it was redesigned and renamed Christiania by Denmark's royal builder, King Christian IV. After that it slowly gained prominence as the largest and most economically significant city in Norway.

 
Viking Ship
ship
During the mid-19th century, Norway and Sweden were both ruled as one kingdom, under Karl Johan. It was then that the grand main street that bears his name was built, and Karl Johans Gate has been at the center of city life ever since. In 1925, an act of Parliament finally changed the city's name to Oslo, its original Viking name. Today, Oslo is Norway's political, economic, industrial, and cultural capital as well as home to both the Nobel Peace Price and the Norwegian royal family.

Oslo's citizenry has increasingly embraced global and European trends. There are now many more exclusive shops, fancier golf courses, and restaurants with more eclectic menus. This new, hipper Oslo caters to a much broader range of tastes than the Oslo of yesteryear. For urban souls of all ages, there are cafés, clubs, shops, museums, galleries, and cultural events. For lovers of art and the outdoors, there are museums and plenty of places to hike, sail, stroll, and ski.

Where to Go and What To Do

Oslo Attractions
Time Off
Boat trips along the fjord offer spectacular views, and vast tracts of unspoilt natural beauty provide a peaceful retreat and excellent opportunities for hiking, skiing and sleighing. Visitors can discover the city's rich historical background by exploring the medieval Akershus Castle, or the Viking Ship Museum's fascinating display of three ninth-century burial ships. Others might prefer to travel to nearby Holmenkollen to see one of the world's highest ski jumps or stroll around Vigeland's Park with its beautiful gardens and impressive collection of nearly 200 bronze and granite sculptures.

rath
Rathaus

Munch Museum
Tøyengaten 53, Oslo
Tel: +47 22 67 37 74

Vikingskiphuset
Huk Aveny 35, Oslo
Tel: +47 22 43 83 79

Norsk Folkemuseum
Museumsvn 10, Oslo
Tel: +47 22 12 37 00

Nasjonalgalleriet (The National Gallery)
Universitetsgaten 13, Oslo
Tel: +47 22 20 04 04

Slottet (The Royal Palace)
Central Oslo

Fram-Museet
Bygdøynes, Oslo
Tel: +47 22 43 83 70

Kon-Tiki Museum
Bygdøynesvn 36, Oslo
Tel: +47 22 43 80 50

The National Theatre
Stortingsgaten 15, Oslo
Tel: +47 22 41 27 10

Vigelandsparken (Frogner Park)
Middlethunsgaten, Oslo

Akershus Slott og Festning (Akershus Castle and Fortress)
Akershus Slott, Festningspl., Oslo
Tel: +47 22 41 25 21

 
   
    
 
 

City Description


Fast Facts
From Frommers-Norway

American Express-- American Express Reisebyrå, Karl Johans Gate 33 (tel. 22-98-37-00), is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm, Saturday from 10am to 3pm.

Area Code-- The country code for Norway is 47. If you're calling from outside the country, the city code for Oslo is 2. Inside Norway, no area or city codes are needed. Telephone numbers have eight digits.

Babysitters-- Hotels can often enlist the help of a housekeeper for "child-minding." Give at least a day's notice, two if you can. You can also contact the tourist office, which keeps a list of available sitters on file.

Bookstores-- Oslo has many bookstores. The most central and one of the best stocked is Tanum Karl Johan, Karl Johans Gate 43 (tel. 22-41-11-00).

Currency Exchange-- Banks will exchange most foreign currencies or cash traveler's checks. Bring your passport for identification. If banks are closed, try automated machines at the Oslo Sentralstasjon to exchange currency. You can also exchange currency at the Bureau de Change at the main Oslo post office, Dronningensgatan 15 (tel. 22-97-60-00).

Dentists-- In an emergency, contact the Tøyen Senter, Kolstadgate 16 (tel. 22-67-78-00), which is open daily from 11am to 2pm and 7 to 10pm. If you can wait, volume 1B of the telephone directory lists private dentists under Tannleger (literally "tooth doctors"). There's rarely a language barrier.

Doctors-- Some larger hotels have arrangements with doctors in case a guest becomes ill, or try the 24-hour Oslo Kommunale Legavakten, Storgata 40 (tel. 22-93-22-93). A privately funded alternative is Oslo Akutten, Nedre Vollgate 8 (tel. 22-00-81-60). For more routine medical assistance, you can contact the biggest hospital in Oslo, Ullaval, Kirkeveien 166 (tel. 22-11-80-80). To consult a private doctor (nearly all of whom speak English), check the telephone directory or ask at your hotel for a recommendation.

Drugstores-- A 24-hour pharmacy is Jernbanetorvets Apotek, Jernbanetorget 4A (tel. 22-41-24-82).

Emergencies-- Dial the Oslo police at tel. 112; report a fire to tel. 110; call an ambulance at tel. 113.

Eyeglass Repair-- Ulf Jacobsen Optiker, Karl Johans Gate 20 (tel. 22-42-85-14), is a big supplier. Most contact lenses are in stock, too. Unusual prescriptions take about 2 days. Hours are Monday and Wednesday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, Tuesday 9am to 6pm, Saturday 10am to 2pm.

Internet Access-- You can tap in free at the Rådhuset, the City Hall on Rådhusplassen (tel. 22-46-16-00). There is also free service at the library (see below, in this section) where you must sign up for slots.

Laundry & Dry Cleaning-- Washing and drying can usually be completed in an hour. You must have your coins ready to put in the machines. Dry cleaning is extremely expensive in Oslo, and many establishments take more than a week to return clothing. Try Oslo American Rens, Griniveien 1 (tel. 22-50-57-41), which promises 24-hour service.

Libraries-- The Oslo municipal library, Diechmann Library, Henrik Ibsens Gate 1 (tel. 22-43-29-00), is the largest in Norway. It has many English-language volumes, a children's department, and a music department. Hours are Monday to Friday from 10am to 8pm (to 6pm in summer), Saturday 9am to 2pm.

Lost Property-- The Lost and Found Office, Hittegodskontoret, Grølandsleiret 44 (tel. 22-66-98-65), is open May 15 to September 15, Monday to Friday from 8:15am to 4:30pm; September 16 to May 14, Monday to Friday 8:15am to 3pm.

Luggage Storage & Lockers-- Facilities for luggage storage are available at the Oslo Sentralstasjon, Jernbanetorget 1 (tel. 81-50-08-88). It's open daily from 7am to 11pm. Lockers cost 25NOK to 45NOK ($3.35-$6) per day, depending on size.

Newspapers & Magazines-- English-language newspapers and magazines are sold -- at least in the summer months -- at newsstands (kiosks) throughout Oslo. International editions, including the International Herald Tribune and USA Today are always available, as are the European editions of Time and Newsweek.

Photographic Needs-- Try Preeus Photo, Karl Johans Gate 33 (tel. 22-42-98-04), for supplies, including black-and-white and color film. Film can be developed in 1 hour. It's open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 3pm.

Police-- Dial tel. 112.

Post Office-- The Oslo General Post Office is at Dronningensgatan 15 (tel. 23-14-90-00 for information). Enter at the corner of Prinsensgate. It's open Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to 2pm; closed Sunday and public holidays. You can arrange for mail to be sent to the main post office c/o General Delivery. The address is Poste Restante, P.O. Box 1181-Sentrum, Dronningensgatan 15, N-0101 Oslo, Norway. You must show your passport to collect it.

Radio & TV-- The most important broadcaster is the Norwegian government, which owns and controls programming on the NRK station. Oslo receives many broadcasts from other countries, including BBC programs from London. Radio Norway International broadcasts on MHz frequency.

Restrooms-- Clean public toilets can be found throughout the city center, in parks, and at all bus, rail, and air terminals. For a detailed list, contact the Tourist Information Office.

Safety-- Of the four Scandinavian capitals, Oslo is widely considered the safest. However, don't be lulled into a false sense of security. Oslovians no longer leave their doors unlocked. Be careful, and don't carry your wallet visibly exposed or sling your purse over your shoulder.

Taxes-- Oslo has no special city taxes. You pay the same value-added tax throughout the country.

Transit Information-- For information about tram and bus travel, call Trafikanten (tel. 22-05-70-37), located in front of the Central Station. For information about train travel, go to the Centr
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