After Bodo, I had plans to go back to the capital of Norway to spend a relaxing weekend. I had an early morning flight ($103 on Norwegian), which took an hour and a half. Even on such a short flight, it was nice having the row to myself!
Transportation: The fastest, cheapest way to get from Oslo Gardermoen airport to the city center is to take the Flytoget express train. The journey takes 20 minutes, and the app is really easy to use. It displays the upcoming train times, and you can easily purchase tickets via the app in English ($25 from the airport to Oslo S station.)Entrance to Flytoget from the airport The app clearly tells you when the next departure is, and when it arrives.Oslo S (Central Station)There was a large display of live Olympic coverage outside the station.
I found Oslo to be small and very walkable, therefore I didn’t feel the need to take any taxis. I took the Oslo T-bane or metro to see my friend’s hockey game in Furuset, 20 minutes from Oslo, which was really easy to navigate with directions from Google maps.Station entrance I bought the 24-hour pass, even though I only ended up using the T-bane once because we drove back to Oslo. The 24-hour pass was $13. The machine has an English option, although at this point in my trip certain words were becoming really familiar since Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian are all similar.I took the 2 line toward Ellingsrudåsen from Stortinget to get off at Furuset.Monitors clearly display when the next train is coming.Hockey in Norway
Stay: I wanted to choose a centrally located hotel that was near the train station. Hotell Bondeheimen was a great choice (3 stars, $169 for 2 nights on Hotwire with free breakfast.) It’s located a 5 minute walk from museums and the Royal Palace, and about 10 minutes to Oslo S. I arrived at 10AM, so this hotel also gets points for letting me check in so early!Typical European twin bed setup. Small, but adequate, bathroom with heated floor.I was surprised to see an ice machine in this hotel. Ice is a rarity in Europe. The rooms also had mini-fridges, which was the first I saw in Europe.
Eat: My hotel was attached to a popular restaurant, Kaffistova, which I didn’t realize and actually read about before booking my hotel. The hotel smorgasbord breakfast is served in here. Kaffistova serves traditional Norwegian food, and since it was conveniently located and well-known, I figured I’d try it. I was quite sick of meatballs and potatoes and smorgasbord breakfasts at this point, so I ordered the egg/beef burger on an open faced sandwich with potatoes and beans, but I guess the cashier thought I said bacon because that’s what I got. I’m not a big fan of pork (especially undercooked pork, for that matter), and since the bacon looked very undercooked, I ended up taking it off, rather than sending my food back. If you aren’t into traditional Scandinavian food, there are plenty of trendy restaurants, sushi, kebab, and fast food restaurants in Oslo as well. I again saw TGI Friday’s and several Burger King’s and McDonald’s. Norway is known as being expensive, and even cheap meals will cost you at least $20/person.The food at Kaffistova was just okay, it definitely wasn’t worth $23.Kaffistova is well known for its meatballs, they even have a reindeer variety. If I were to come back, I’d get the Norwegian meatballs with potatoes and peas, which is what I had in Bodo.
Sundays in Oslo
My last day in Oslo was a Sunday, where everything pretty much shuts down, like in much of Europe. Coming from New York, it’s strange to see clothing stores and pharmacies closed on a Sunday in a capital city. I walked by the Royal Palace and museums, but wasn’t interested in going to them, since I had already done so much on this trip and there was still more to come. The only museum I was interested in going to in Norway was the Viking Museum, but it wasn’t near my hotel and I was short on time. There were a lot of bars open at night concentrated in an area a 10 minute walk from my hotel. Karusell had carnival-themed decor and played deep house music.Oslo CathedralNational GalleryRoyal PalaceOslo at night
Early morning flight out of Oslo. I loved Norway; the friendly people, nature, and natural beauty will definitely have me coming back. I’m so happy and grateful I got to see the Northern Lights, and I’m already thinking of coming to the Lofoten Islands on another trip!