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Top Rated Attractions in Oslo

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Vigeland Park

Vigeland Park is the world's largest sculpture park dedicated to the work of a single artist, and an ode to one man's obsession with the human form. The park displays over 200 sculptures fashioned from granite, bronze and wrought iron by the Norwegian artist, Gustav Vigeland, created over a period of 20 years from 1924 to 1943. In fact, the park itself was designed by the famed sculptor and is actually a mammoth installation in Frogner Park. Vigeland's work varies from depictions of humans engaged in everyday tasks, to more symbolic and abstract works like The Monolith, a 14.12-meter (46.33-foot) high sculpture composed of 121 human figures intended to represent the human desire to reach out to the divine. Other notable sculptures include The Wheel of Life and The Fountain. Although each is a masterpiece in its own right, the interplay with the layout and architecture of the park creates a whole that is more amazing than the sum of its parts. Today, Vigeland Park is one of Oslo's most popular attractions, visited by over one million tourists each year.

Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

Norsk Folkemuseum, the open-air museum that has been giving visitors a peek into a life-sized past for over a century, contains more than 150 authentic buildings from different regions. The buildings date from as far back as medieval times, including the 13th-century Gol Stave Church. The permanent exhibition features sections on handicrafts, traditional clothing and the culture of the Sami people. A souvenir shop, cafe and restaurant are located on the grounds.

Fram Museum

Fritjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen and Otto Sverdrup all sailed this 100-year-old ship (called the Fram) on their daring Arctic expeditions. Covered by a uniquely-shaped building on the Bygdy peninsula, the ship lends weight to the museum's focus on Norway's crucial role in the history of Arctic exploration. Visitors can now visit the ship's interior and see all its original contents and, best of all, can be sure to leave the ship with great knowledge about marine exploration.

Sognsvann Lake

Sognsvann Lake, and its surrounding countryside, is one of the most popular choices for a city-dweller's day out, both in summer and winter. During the hottest months, the lake is excellent for swimming and sun-bathing, and when the lake freezes over later in the year, it becomes a huge, natural ice rink, popular with skaters of all ages. Sognsvann is the terminus for the Sognsvann branch of the underground, so it is very easy to get to, whether you come from the city center or from Majorstuen. Marked trails take you straight into the woods, with a variety of alternatives for short and long walks. In the winter, the same paths, now snow-covered, are used for cross-country skiing.

Holmenkollen Chapel

Beautifully set next to the small mountain lake at the Holmenkollen ski jump, this log chapel was designed by architect Holger Sinding-Larsen in 1903, in a Nationalist style inspired by medieval stave churches. It was built to seat up to 300 students, but nowadays the congregation is more likely to consist of the elegant residents of this upmarket neighborhood. The chapel is popular for weddings. Old as it may appear, the actual church is in fact a copy made in 1996 of the original which was destroyed in a fire some years before.

Akerselva Park

Akerselva is a pleasant park with walking paths along the Akerselva river. Walks start eight kilometres upstream, by lake Maridalsvannet, Oslo's main source of drinking water, and end at Vaterland Park by the harbour (close to the Plaza Hotel). Discover traces of the industrial revolution in old buildings that were once mills, factories and workshops. Artisans' workshops are open to the public at Frysja. The Museum of Technology is just a stone's throw away from the walking paths. Fishing and swimming are possible at several spots along the route, as is canoe hiring towards the lower end of the river: take up the challenge of mooring elegantly while being observed by the in crowd at riverside jazz café Blå. Your reward: a lovely atmosphere and great music. For more details about the river and proposed walking routes , contact a tourist information center or see the Oslo kommune/Park- og Idrettsvesenet map of Akerselva.

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