Biting-cold winds straight off the harbour, local nibbles like smoked whale, and re-living the wild Viking era are just some of the cultural delights Oslo offers. The harbour is vast and wide but the climes are so cold that it freezes hard enough in winter for the locals to skate to work!
In the warmer times you can get the ferry around to various points including the Viking Ship Museum which is a highlight. Showcasing incredible finds dug up in the 1890s from deep within the burial mounds of the richest folk from 1050 AD, discoveries included chests of food, rich tapestries, gold horse bridles (and horses), and enough goodies to last them in a very good afterlife. All this was put to sea with the deceased buried in incredibly shaped boats which were built with not one measuring tool – only by sight and hand. Part conquerors, part artisans, all brave and unafraid of the cold, cold north, these vikings seemed a strange but superhuman lot.
Other things to do include Frogner sculpture park which has many creations (some odd, some nice) framed by grassy spots to sit in the watery sunshine. A nice walk back to the harbour takes you through leafy, grand suburbs where boutiques and coffee houses abound.
Accommodation-wise we chose to stay in a good Airbnb.com location close to town and to use the local handbooks to pick and choose places to eat around the ‘cool’ spot Grunerlokka which has great interiors and fashion stores, and some good bars to sample.