OsloThey say good things come in small packages, and this compact yet culture-packed city is living proof of that. Founded by a Viking king in the mid-11th century, Oslo has literally risen from the ashes with reports of the city having burned down several times throughout its history. This once sprawling country town has blossomed into a thriving metropolis with a sophisticated art scene and marvelous museums—not to mention the world’s most northern Michelin-starred dining establishment. There’s plenty of green space too, with virgin forests and hundreds of hiking trails that lead to fjords or mountains. The distinct brown brick building of city hall pays homage each year as it hosts the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize, while the Opera House offers breathtaking performances that are matched by the brilliant white-marble design of the building itself.
Stroll through charming neighborhoods, go in search of bold street art, or take in the innovative architecture along the harborside promenade. See where the coffee revolution began in Scandinavia with a visit to Tim Wendelboe’s local café that draws local and international coffee fiend pilgrims from all corners of the globe. Caffeine fix sorted, head over to Ekebergparken, a park dedicated to sculpture. This vast forested public space overlooks the city and is dotted with many works by Norwegian artists. Visit the historic Ekeberg Stairs for breathtaking views, and the ‘Munch Spot’ that inspired one of Edvard Munch’s most well-known works, The Scream.