Oslo, NorwayLocation: Europe
Oslo, Norway is one of the exciting ports of call on a Disney Cruise Line European Cruise vacation. One of the largest capital cities in the world, it covers 175 square miles within its limits and is flanked by the Oslo Fjord to the south and lush forests and mountains to the north. This modern municipality is a mix of old-world charm, gleaming skyscrapers, expansive parks and an abundance of cultural attractions, with more than 50 museums in the city.
Things to See and Do
For families traveling together to this dynamic and ancient city, there is a wide world of sights to see and unique experiences to turn into memories.
Urbanites generally head straight for the Karl Johans Gate District, approximately a mile from where the ship docks in the Harbour, the largest port in Norway. In this bustling area of interest, you encounter popular restaurants and cosmopolitan stores, as well as the impressive Royal Palace, the 19th-century residence of the royal family. The sprawling palace grounds are open to the public, and make for a leisurely family trip.
More history can be found in Oslo's many museums, 2 notable ones being the Viking Ship Museum—which houses no less than 3 authentic Viking ships—and the Munch Museum, displaying an incredible collection of paintings by the illustrious artist of "The Scream."
Meanwhile, shoppers can peruse the wonder-filled boutiques at Aker Brygge, which is just around the harbor from the docks.
Local Culture and Flavor
The unique appeal of Oslo is apparent when you walk through the downtown area or shop for Scandinavian specialties, such as lingonberries, Nordic sweaters and troll figurines. Beyond the most apparent things, however, there is so much joy to discover in Oslo. Locals are friendly and helpful, and tourists are well taken care of in all the major hotspots—from museums to landmarks to restaurants, from the most chic to the most traditional.
Past and Present
Oslo's history is as rich as the culture it has produced. The city was founded around 1050 by King Harold Hårdråde and was originally located east of the Aker River. Around 1300, the Akershus fortress was built by Haakon V and was under Danish rule from 1397 to 1814. In 1624, it was destroyed by fire and Christian IV of Denmark-Norway built a new town farther west under the walls of the Akershus fortress and called it Kristiania. In the 19th century, Norway and Sweden were ruled as one prosperous kingdom under King Karl Johan.
In 1905, the country separated from Sweden, and Kristiania became the capital of an independent Norway. Twenty years later the city was renamed Oslo and was established as a university town throughout the rest of the century.
Modern-day Oslo is a metropolis of more than a half-million people and a rainbow of cultures. Discover a cosmopolitan confluence of awe-inspiring sights and unforgettable experiences on your visit to Oslo—a city that takes your breath away.
Fun Facts & Tips
In general, store hours are from 9:00/10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Oslo is where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded.
Traditional Norwegian cuisine includes specialties such as gravlaks (cured salmon) and lingonberries.