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Destination highlight : Oslo, Norway

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

If your idea of fun is hiking up a mountainside, Oslo needs to be on your t0-see list. The beautiful Andrea, who I am currently doing a Worldpacker exchange with, has been living in Oslo for a year with her boyfriend! Lucky duck.

Favourite travel memory?

My favourite memory in the year that I have been living in Oslo is the day that I went ice skating. We caught the train which only took 30 minutes to Lake Sognsvann. It was a freezing cold December day but we got our free skates and took to the lake. It was my first time ever ice skating but it came naturally to me.

We then went and hired skis (again for free, like most other places in Oslo) and spent the afternoon on the mountain then went back home and cozied up by the fire. Best sleep I had in months!

The views were so stunning and it was incredibly special for me because in Colombia there is no snow!

Were there any cultural adjustments?

The cultures are totally different.

The people in Oslo are always polite but it is challenging to have a true connection with them. In Colombia friendship is easy to come by.

Another cultural difference is how often they see friends and family. I talk to my Mum almost every day but that is uncommon. They may only see their family once every month or so and don’t always know what is happening in their siblings life which is confusing to me.

The food quality is different. At home, we have more access to natural organic fruits and vegetables. In Oslo it is expensive and there is a lack of variety. It also does not always taste as good. There are no shared meals daily which took me some time to adjust to.

How did you handle the unavoidable ‘bad day’?

When I have a bad day, I get out into nature. Walking in beautiful places calms me and reminds me of the incredible place that I am living and the reasons why I am thankful that I moved.

I treat myself with something I enjoy such as my favourite food or listen to music. I will usually not call back home as it makes me miss them more.

What is one piece of advice you would give to couples who are about to move internationally to live together?

  1. For the partner that is moving, try to find your own space as soon as possible. Space apart is important. Choose something that is common to you, if you had a gym routine at home do the same in the new country.

  2. Be patient, it’s a big adjustment for both partners. Remember that you love each other and that they are not intentionally trying to annoy you, do anything wrong.

  3. If you start to miss your old life, focus on the endless possibilities of creating your new life in this brand new location.

What's one place in Oslo that you definitely need to add to your bucket list?

The polar ship museum. It is really interactive, you can see how the people on the expedition truly lived. You can watch a movie about the expedition in 4D which is really informative and interesting to watch. From there go to Frognerseteren location for an amazing view and typical Norwegian food or Grefsenkollen location to try Reindeer pizza.

What's your favourite hike in Oslo?

Grefsenkollen. A short hike with stunning views across Oslo. Most popular in sunset but also hosts a great cafe and lots of outdoor seating. Depending how you access it, it is around 3-5km.

Reader question: Is Oslo suitable for someone who has a physical disability/is less mobile ?

Hmmm… I will be totally honest with you, I don’t have any type of disability so it is not something that I have ever considered. In my personal opinion and the situations that I have been in before though, Oslo would be a hard city for someone with reduced mobility. The majority of places to visit are in the mountains and would be difficult to reach without good health and the ability to walk long distances. There are a small number of attractions in the centre of the city that would be accessible and using public transport is definitely an option but the experience wouldn’t quite be the same.

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