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Is Oslo Norway the Best City in Europe?

Is Oslo Norway the Best City in Europe?

At the end of our 47-day small group tour to Europe, we finished up with a small group tour to Norway and the Fjords by Scenic Rail and Ferry.  The first city on our itinerary was Oslo.  This city on the fjord has been changing for the last few years and continues to change.   It might just be the best city in Europe.  Let us tell you why.

Iconic:  OK, we all know the cities associated with these famous icons - the Eiffel Tower, Colosseum, Stonehenge, Statue of Liberty, Leaning Tower, Edinburgh Castle. Oslo has it's icons too like the Iceberg-like Opera house and the spectacularly new Munch Museum that practically overhangs the fjord.  In every way, these buildings are as attractive and impressive as can be seen in any city.

Attractions:   There are plenty of good things to do in Oslo.  First of all, visitors scream with delight upon visiting the stunning and new Munch Museum.  Putting Oslo high on the cultural map is the newly opened National Museum.  Visitors on our small group tours to Norway just love walking on the roof of and touring the iceberg-like Opera house.  The amazing Vigeland sculpture garden, the Nobel Musuem, Royal Palace, Viking Museum (temporarily closed), Kon-Tiki museum and the culturally rich Norwegian Heritage Center are exciting and entertaining destinations.  There is much more than that in this lovely city - markets, pedestrian malls, waterside and mountain views.  There are also fjord excursions, walking tours, concerts and other events. 

Clean and Safe:  It takes a keen eye to spot any graffiti, trash, waste. cigarette butts, or signs of urban decay in Oslo,  Not that it can't be found if looked for, but it is a very clean city.  Crime?  Take the normal precautions as you would in any city, but the incidence of pickpocketing and other similar crimes is much lower than what can be found in other parts of Europe.   In fact, Oslo is a bit on the sleepy side when it comes to night-time hours.

Cheap Airfares to Norway:  With startup airlines like Norse Atlantic Airways with super-low fares to Norway, it is cheap to get there.

Top-Notch Transportation Train Transportation Across Norway:  The Oslo Central Train Station is one of the most eye-appealing in Europe.  Great scenic rail connections all over the country to Flam, Bergen, Stavanger and the rest of Norway.   

Top-Notch Local Transportation:  We love riding trams! So much fun.  And they will get you anywhere you need to go quickly and inexpensively.  There is an extensive bus and metro system too.  

Food:  It seems that the main meal in Norway is breakfast.  And let me tell you, breakfast is the best here.  Anything you want, including eggs, meats, fruits, waffles, pancakes, cheeses, great coffees, pastries, salads are all available.  In 2014 whent The Professor first went to Norway, lunch and dinner options were admittedly limited.  Now Oslo offers a full range of good dining options with lots of restaurants and cafes.  The Professor particularly likes the food halls like Vippa for a diversity of good and inexpensive meals. 

Weather:  I love Italy, but who wants to spend the summer months in scorching heat?  Oslo, from April through September offers mild and pleasant temperatures so you don't lose your cool.  Lots of sunlight in the summer too. 

Crowds:  What crowds?

Hospitality:  In general, people in Oslo speak better English, maybe better than we do in North America.  People are incredibly friendly and hospitable.  Service is polite and efficient.

It is Expensive, Isn't It?  That's the big questions people have about Oslo and Norway.  Airfare to Norway is less than average.  Transportation costs, once in Norway are cheap.  Visitors can visit nearly all museums and attractions in Oslo plus have all local transportation (ferries, busses, trams, metro) with the Oslo card.  For about $28 a day ($23 for seniors), that is a bargain.  Food prices are right in line with what would be found in London, New York, Dublin, and other big cities.  Alcohol is a little bit higher than average as well as foods purchased at convenience stores.  But food prices have moderated greatly since The Professor first visited in 2014.   We stayed at the Hotel Thon Opera (with the biggest breakfast I have ever seen, included in the price), a 4-star hotel perfectly located in the center of the city, in a deluxe room, for about $235 per night.   Try to get a deal like that in New York, Rome, Paris, Austria, or Germany. 

The Professor thinks that Oslo is the best city in Europe.   Why not take a small group tour to Norway with The Professor?  



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