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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.

Bygdy Peninsula

Bygdy is a peninsula packed with leisure activities for everyone. Many of the city's museums are situated here, and you can easily spend the whole day visiting them. The Vikingskiphuset are a must. There are also great beaches, which are excellent for swimming and sun-bathing. You could see the King's farm, or visit a small castle used as a summer residence by a previous king. Alternatively, take a pleasant stroll among the many magnificent houses of this affluent residential area (home to former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland). The best way to get there in the summer is by ferry from the pier in front of the Town Hall. Bus number 30 will get you there all year round.

Viking Ship Museum

The brainchild of Professor Gustafson, the Viking Ship Museum or as the locals call it Vikingskipshuset, was established after a considerable number of ancient ship wrecks and archaeological findings were discovered at the legendary Nordic burial sites of Tune, Gokstad, Oseberg, and Borre during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. The museum's talking point is definitively the magnificent Oseberg Ship, which was excavated in its entirety, making it extremely rare. Two more Viking ship remains apart from Oseberg form the focal point of the museum. Other things to look out for include art and artifacts from the Viking age, most of which were found as part of the wreckage. An on-site shop offers attractive souvenirs and books.

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