This cosmopolitan Norwegian capital city is easy to explore by foot from the cruise port. On sunny days, head to the outdoor green spaces. On cloudy ones, hit the design shops and stellar museums — or cozy up in a café. Even with so much right in the city, you’ll want to take a bus, cab, or ferry to the outskirts, where treasures such as the centuries-old stave churches await.
What We Love
Ekebergparken: A visit to these hilly grounds, populated with monumental sculptures from artists such as Maillol, Rodin, and Renoir, will change your definition of a walk in the park.
Tjuvholmen: This stylish harborside district, anchored by the Renzo Piano-designed Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art and the Thief Hotel, is packed with pulsing galleries and restaurants.
Best Known For
Viking Ship Museum: This cultural institution displays a trio of well-preserved vessels — some with elaborate ornamentation — that date back to the age of Norsemen. The intact ships were excavated from ancient burial sites.
Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park: The Monolith, a massive granite column, presides over this 80-acre property lined with bronze, stone, and wrought-iron sculptures from Norwegian-born artist Gustav Vigeland, who also designed the Nobel Peace Medal. Check out the museum on the grounds that hosts temporary exhibits.
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Who It's Best For
Museum Buffs: From the Nobel Peace Center to the Edvard Munch Museum to the 13th century Akershus Fortress, this city has no shortage of art- and culture-focused outings to fill your days in port.
Seafood Lovers: A bounty of fresh catches from the sea — salmon, herring, cod, mackerel — turns up on plates pickled, poached, cured, and pan-seared.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Winters Are Dark: The sun sets early and days are often gray and cold; pack sweaters and heavy jackets.
Prices Are High: This isn’t a destination for budget travelers. A day of eating, sightseeing, and shopping can add up to a pretty kroner.
Lisa Cheng is a New York-based writer for ShermansCruise who also writes for Travel + Leisure.