Not everyone gets a prize for visiting Oslo

The Life: It is not just Nobel prize-winning laureates that might want to travel to Oslo.
Oslo can be dark in the the winter months, but the spring and summer months are marked by an outpouring of activity. Vegard Giskehaug for The National
Oslo can be dark in the the winter months, but the spring and summer months are marked by an outpouring of activity. Vegard Giskehaug for The National

It is not just Nobel prize-winning laureates who might want to travel to Oslo, the capital of Norway. While the city can be dark and gloomy in the winter months, which last from October to April, the short spring and summer months are marked by an outpouring of activity that gives the place tremendous charm.

Like many things in Scandinavia, the city works well. The public transport connections are fast and efficient. From the airport you can find yourself in a high-speed train that whisks you to the central station. From there tram and bus links take you all over the city.

Rather like the residents of the UAE, Norwegians like their shopping centres, probably for the same reason: they create a pleasant environment that is not affected by either searing sun or bucketing rain or snow. Oslo is not a cheap place to shop, but it's convenient.

Aker Brygge is the newest shopping centre, built on the site of an old ship building yard and featuring a range of shops and restaurants, a cinema and a harbour. You can't beat a shopping centre with a harbour.

You can get a boat from the harbour to the Oslo Opera House, the city's iconic new building that was completed only in 2008. A blend of marble, glass and granite, it rises from the water like a volcanic island. It's the largest building constructed in Norway for more than 700 years, when Nidaros Cathedral was completed in Tronheim. It is popular during the day as a place to visit - it's probably the only opera house in the world that allows you to walk on its roof - and as home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet it puts on a variety of modern and traditional shows, but thanks to the city's small population, there were still tickets available for Peter Grimes on the day.

The business district is easy to access and well served by trams. Taxis are also readily available but are quite expensive. Etihad Airways flies there via Paris or London.

The Quote: I want to travel. Maybe I’ll end up living in Norway, making cakes. Eva Green, actress

rwright@thenational.ae

Published: August 29, 2011 04:00 AM

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