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Top Rated Attractions in Oslo

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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.

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.

Akershus Fortress

This striking waterside fortress was originally conceived as an opulent royal residence, but later fortified for military needs. The magnificent Akershus Fortress was originally built in the 1290s to guard Oslo's vulnerable eastern waterfront against invaders while accommodating the royal family of Norway. Over the years it has performed crucial roles like operating as the country's primary military base and seat of the government with distinction; however these days it is mainly used for hosting important official functions. Some of the fortress' most popular attractions include Akershus Castle church, the armory door and the royal mausoleum where King Haakon VII and Olav V were buried alongside Queen Maud and Märtha.

Norwegian Nobel Institute

This handsome building on Drammensveien near the Royal Palace is the home of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Every year the Committee selects a Peace Prize winner, based on the criteria that Alfred Nobel (the Swede who left a fund for an annual Peace Prize) specified in his will. Up to 1946, the Peace Prize was awarded at the Institute, but today, the award ceremony takes place in Oslo's Town Hall. The ceremony takes place on 10 December every year, to mark the day of Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.

Det Gamle Biblioteket

Oslo's main library was established more than 200 years ago, when Carl Deichman bequeathed his vast collection of books to the city. Today, the Oslo Public Library houses over one million volumes. You will find the library building not far from the Trefoldighetskirken and the Goverment Offices. It is within easy walking distance of the city center. Supplementing the main building, there are 16 more specialized branches of the library scattered throughout the city.

Oslo Cathedral

Many of the cathedral's contents date back to 1697, the year the building was consecrated. Alexis de Chateauneuf, the architect of the Trefoldighetskirke, restored the cathedral between 1849 and 1850, and further work was done on the structure from 1948 to 1950. The cathedral is located close to Stortorget in the center of Oslo. King Harald and Queen Sonja were married here, as were Crown Prince Haakon Magus and Mette-Marit. The cathedral is also used for concerts and the crypt house exhibitions. Admission is free.

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