Walk on the roof of the Opera House
The Norwegians have an open door policy to exploring nature and climbing mountains, so when the Oslo Opera House was unveiled in 2008 the same concept was to be applied. Visitors are encouraged to step onto the roof of the building, exploring the various angles, levels and views of the city it has to offer. The building is modern and slick, finished with a stunning white marble roof that gleams in the daylight. On sunny days you can sit out on the roof and enjoy a drink, you may even be lucky to see one of the scheduled outdoor plays and concerts that are scattered across the Summer months. Inside is a performance hall for internationally renowned ballet and opera, you can find out all details of upcoming shows on their website.....
Explore the Ekebergenparken
This stunning sculpture garden is situated up in the forest about half an hours walk from the city centre. From there you can see panaramic views of Oslo, and there is plenty of green space to get lost in for hours. The individual sculptures are dotted around the park, and are mostly contemporary in style by world renowned artists. Expect to see work from Damian Hirst, Salvador Dali, Sarah Lucas and James Turrell. Entry is free and the park is open day and night. This is a perfect place to have a picnic, go for a run or just to relax in on a summers day. We only saw a very small amount of the park on our visit to Oslo but it's somewhere we would like to come back to if we are ever in Oslo again. If you are into contemporary sculpture rather than classic then we would recommend this park over the Vigepark.
Get Immersed in Contemporary Art
Overlooking the Fjord, the Astrup Fearnley Museet is a private contemporary art gallery designed by world renowned architect Renzo Piano (the guy who designed the Shard). The gallery is complete with a modern sculpture garden, indoor/outdoor cafe, trendy shop and it makes a lovely setting for a read on a sunny afternoon. There are two parts to the building; the permanent collection which specialises in art from 1960s to the present day including European and American pop art, post-modern appropriation art from 1980s and contemporary international art, and the temporary collection which changes every couple of months. We saw the 'Chinese Summer' exhibition on our visit which was work from the first generation of Chinese artists in the 1980s who rejected traditional formal appoaches to making art. There were definitely some interesting pieces in there which were thought provoking, and so we would recommend coming here to check out one of the shows. Both the permanent and temporary galleries are included in the ticket price, and discount is offered to students with a valid ID card. The gallery is closed on Mondays.
Get Nobel at the Peace Centre
A visit to the Nobel Peace Centre is a couple of hours well spent. The museum is home to the internationally renowned Nobel Peace prize awardees and their work, and it tells the story of Alfred Nobel who founded the peace prize. The centre aims to foster engagement and thought on challenging topics such as war, peace and conflict through a series of permanent and temporary exhibitions. The shows are extremely well curated and interactively displayed which makes for a thought-provoking experience. We were lucky enough to see a show on this years Nobel Peace prize winner President Juan Manuel Santos and the Colombian people, and 'Detours' which is a temporary exhibition showing the stories of people displaced by war. Students get a good discount, as do families and seniors. Children under 16 go free. Visit the website here for more details....
Admire the Barcode
Those who love modern architecture will be blown away by the slick geometric design of the Barcode Project by the Bjørvika waterfront in central Oslo. The Barcode consists of 12 high-rise buildings which are differently proportioned in width and height, giving the illusion of a Barcode from afar. The space in between each building has been cleverly curated for public use and includes gardens, bike lock-ups, seating and outdoor restaurants, and importantly allows in light to the street behind. Each building has been designed by a different architectural firm, making each one have its own individual character and quirks. Walk along Dronning Eufemias Gate to admire them up close, nipping into each side street as you go, and then cross over Nylandsvien bridge to admire them from the front.
(so you can find it again next time)