48 hours in: Oslo

Nor­way's cool cap­i­tal com­bines achingly hip bars and clubs with a plethora of great mu­se­ums, gal­leries, cul­ture and cui­sine. But be warned: It doesn't come cheap,

Selling Travel - - Contents - says Adam Coul­ter

“Thief Is­land was once rife with rob­bers but to­day is packed with in­de­pen­dent­ly­owned cafes and bars, restau­rants, gal­leries and an out­door bathing area”

Day 1: Vik­ings and views

Morn­ing: Oslo is set in a large cir­cu­lar bay dot­ted with is­lands and in­lets and the eas­i­est way to get a feel for it is to jump on a tourist boat from the main har­bour. The boats hop across to Byg­doy, a penin­sula which is home to a num­ber of mu­se­ums.

The Viking Ship Mu­seum (khm.uio.no) has full-scale recre­ations of the orig­i­nal long­ships as well as arte­facts and his­tor­i­cal films; the

Kon Tiki Mu­seum (kon-tiki.no) tells the story of ex­plorer Thor Heydryal, who set out to prove it was pos­si­ble to travel from South Amer­ica to Poly­ne­sia by wooden craft – and suc­ceeded; the Fram Mu­seum (fram­mu­seum.no) pays mov­ing trib­ute to Nor­way's Po­lar ex­plor­ers; and the Nor­we­gian Mar­itime Mu­seum (mar­mu­seum.no) hon­ours the coun­try's ship­build­ing, fish­ing and marine his­tory. Each costs 100KR (around £10), but there are dis­counted tick­ets for mul­ti­ple en­tries or buy an Oslo Pass for 395/595KR (24/48 hours) for free en­try to 30 mu­se­ums, free public trans­port and dis­counts in shops and restau­rants. Lunch/af­ter­noon: There’s a lovely lunch spot where the Kon Tiki, Fram and Mar­itime mu­se­ums are clus­tered, with a large grassy area with benches for pic­nics and a beach. If it’s warm, grab a few pro­vi­sions from a lo­cal su­per­mar­ket, or you'll find kiosks out­side the mu­se­ums sell­ing good-qual­ity fast food such as hot­dogs. Al­ter­na­tively, restau­rant Lille Her­bern (lille­herbern. no) is in a stun­ning set­ting over­look­ing the bay and spe­cialises in lo­cal seafood dishes. The re­turn boat leaves from here.

Evening: Start in the city's new­ly­de­vel­oped wa­ter­front area – Tju­vhol­men, or 'Thief Is­land' – so called be­cause it was once rife with rob­bers and drug-deal­ers. To­day you'll find it packed with one-off cafes and bars, restau­rants, gal­leries and an out­door bathing area. There’s even a cool ho­tel named af­ter the area (thethief.com).

Clients vis­it­ing in the sum­mer should take the glass lift up the Tju­vhol­men (lit­er­ally ‘the sneak peek’) tower 54 me­tres up for stun­ning city and bay views. Oslo’s nightlife is ex­pen­sive but if you fancy a late night drink head back to the cen­tre to Magic Ice (magi­cice.no), where ev­ery­thing from the bar to the fur­ni­ture is carved from ice. Al­ter­na­tively try the rooftop bar at the Radis­son Blu Sum­mit Bar (radis­son­blu.com) for cock­tails and a hipcrowd.

Day 2: Brekkie & bat­tle­ments

Morn­ing: Start your day the Nor­we­gian way with smoked salmon and a hard-boiled egg. If you want to ven­ture out of your ho­tel then Kaffe Bren­ner­iet (kaf­febren­ner­iet.no) is in a prime spot over­look­ing the har­bourfront. From here it's a short walk to the Ak­er­shus Cas­tle com­plex – it's free to wan­der around the out­side, to a pond, plenty of bat­tle­ments and grassy ar­eas for kids to run around. The site in­cor­po­rates the Nor­we­gian Re­sis­tance Mu­seum (forsvaretsmuseer.no), an ex­hi­bi­tion de­tail­ing the Nazi oc­cu­pa­tion. Those with time on their hands sh­old head to the Munch Mu­seum (munch­museet.no), show­cas­ing the work of the city's most fa­mous artist.

Af­ter­noon: A 35-minute walk takes you to Oslo's trendi­est neigh­bour­hood, Grün­er­løkka, a for­mer in­dus­trial area pop­u­lar with artists and packed with bou­tique shops sell­ing orig­i­nal clothes from young Nor­we­gian de­sign­ers, vin­tage clob­ber, jew­ellery, ce­ram­ics and art. Check out Mathallen (math­al­lenoslo.no), a large in­door food mar­ket which show­cases in­de­pen­dent food pro­duc­ers. Grab a snack and en­joy it in Birkelun­den Park or along the river bank.

From the top: Oslo's fu­tur­is­tic Opera House over­looks the har­bour and has a walk­a­ble roof; the Dam­stre­det dis­trict of cen­tral Olso has cob­bled streets and old wooden houses dat­ing back to the 1700s; Ak­er­shus Cas­tle from the sea

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