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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Awesome Free Activities in Norway’s Capital

Though Oslo has been said to have some of the most expensive public transportation anywhere, I can’t say that I would declare it too expensive to get away with taking taxis to points of interest, since taxis are, inescapably, still easily sky-high in comparison. So, you have three choices:

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     1. Stay home or travel elsewhere
     2. Rent a car instead
     3. Walk as much as possible, take public transportation when needed and save elsewhere on your trip.

I happen to find #3 works well on trips like this, because I am not one to back down from a challenge. It’s lucky that Oslo is full of cheap and free things to do to offset the cost of getting to them. That just means you can do a lot more than expected, plus still get in a few activities that cost and you must do while you’re there. I’ve compiled a list of cool, free stuff that I would do if I were to travel to Oslo, which is now on my travel wish list.

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Akershus Slott
I’m never going to turn down a trip to a castle. This one is located right along the Oslo Fjord and used to be a prison. The medieval castle is protected by a fort and is full of some very interesting historical artifacts that will be interesting to both adults and to kids.

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Birkelund Fleamarket 
Browsing is always free, but maybe you’ll find a little something for yourself that fits into your budget here. If not, it’s always fun to look…and people watch.

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Det Kongelige Slott (The Royal Palace)
Everyone loves a palace. While you can’t get in, you can see the changing of the guard every day at 1:30pm. You can also take a stroll through Slottsparken, the public park right there that is full of trees and a perfect place to have a picnic.

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Munch Museum
Oslo has a lot of museums, but only one has the famous Scream painting and other works by Edvard Munch.

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Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture
You’ll find me frequenting many museums on my trips, but I like one that is a little bit different. Housed in an old transformer station, the NCDA has free guided tours every Sunday afternoon and features ever-changing exhibits on design and architecture of the Christmas markets, Fashion Week and more.

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Norwegian Museum of Magic
Magic isn’t just for kids, though they adore this museum too. You’ll be treated to a collection of Norwegian magical history that ranges from magicians to wizards. Visitors can expect a mini magic show on Sunday afternoons.

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Oslo Theatre Museum
I love theater and the sets and costumes. You can view such things at the Oslo Theatre Museum that is also housed in an amazing place: the old Town Hall, built in 1641 and the site of the first theater performance in Oslo in some 25 years later.

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Radhus (City Hall)
Does this sound boring to you? Well, maybe that would be true if there weren’t amazing fountains and sculptures out on the grounds to check out or galleries with fantastic murals to wander or the fact that you’re in the place where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded each year.

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Vestkanttorvet (antique market)
Again, “window shopping” is free, but it’s always nice to see the difference between antiques in your own country and another. It’s even possible you’ll find a little trinket or a gift for someone else as you browse the stalls.

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Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park
I think it’s always nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air when I travel. Parks are a perfect way to see what a city is all about and it’s even better when there are works of art to check out as you walk around and take in the quiet atmosphere.

You can definitely get the feel of Oslo by exploring the city and museums, even the free things. It gives you a chance to interact with the Norwegians and really immerse yourself in the culture, all while not emptying your wallet. Let Hipmunk help you find an affordable place to stay and then figure out where you want to eat in order to fortify yourself for your many days of sightseeing.

Stay tuned for ideas on how to take a romantic Oslo getaway.

If you’ve been to Oslo, what are your favorite affordable or free activities?

Disclaimer: This post was inspired by my partnership with Hipmunk - a great site to find low hotel rates wherever you travel. #hipmunkcitylove
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