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Land of the Midnight Sun

When listing great travel destinations, Norway is not a name that readily comes to mind.  However if you fancy something different and wouldn’t mind being blown away by the splendour of the North, make the land of the midnight sun your next destination.

 

Those who visit Norway return with stories recounting some of the most breathtaking sights ever seen on the planet.  Norway, and its capital Oslo, holds some of Europe’s greatest treasures, both natural and man-made.

 

When to travel?

May through to July is the best time to go to Norway when it is early summer.  Not only will you avoid the bitter cold but you can also catch the beautiful midnight sun, which only sets between May and July.  If you prefer the cold and want to ski, there are slopes that are open year-round not far from Oslo.

 

Where to stay?

The Grand Hotel is the ultimate in luxury accommodation.  Opened in 1874, it is one of the most famous hotels in Norway and it’s not hard to see why.  Each year the winner of the Nobel Prize stays in the hotel’s Nobel Suite. Each of the hotel’s 294 rooms is the epitome of luxury and opulence; you will feel like sheer royalty during your stay.

Standard rooms start from $240 per night.

 

Soaring 37 stories into the skyline, the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel is the tallest building in Northern Europe.  The hotel is centrally located and just a short walk from all the major attractions in Oslo.  Each room is stylishly decorated and most offer magnificent views of the centre of Oslo.  Be sure to visit the 34 SkyBar and experience truly breathtaking views of the city.

Standard rooms start from $310 per night.

 

What to see and do?

Oslo and its surroundings are incredibly easy to navigate, and most locals speak flawless English.  Most attractions can be reached by foot or on a short ride on its excellent public transport system.

 

Start your day at the Akershus Castle, where kings dwelled and epic sieges took place.  Inside you’ll see commanding halls, the royal mausoleum, and banquet spaces where the country’s royalty still holds events.  The Nazis once used Akershus as a prison but today it houses the Resistance Museum that details the German occupation and Norway’s defiance to it.

 

Take a serene stroll through Vigeland Park, the large commons peppered with hundreds of sculptures by Gustav Vigeland.  They don’t leave much to the imagination; so don’t be alarmed at what you might see!

 

When in the main town you will notice an odd tower-like structure hovering in the distance.  This is the world-famous Holmenkollen Ski Jump.  Over a century old, it was remodeled for the 1952 Winter Olympics.  Take the elevator to the top floor and see the best aerial view of Oslo.  Then learn more about the culture and history of the sport in the adjoining Ski Museum.

 

When you have worked up an appetite from all the sightseeing, there are plenty of casual local ‘cafs’ to visit for a bite to eat.  For a truly memorable dining experience however, Norway is home to five internationally acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurants, all in the capital city.  Maaemo is the first ever restaurant in Scandinavia to be awarded two Michelin stars within just over a year of opening.  The nine-course menu is approximately $350 per person.

 

Click here for the full list of Michelin-starred restaurants.

 

Oslo is a truly buzzing town for locals and tourists with plenty to do and see throughout the day or night.  Rich in history and culture, the city is not often on the top of our travel lists, but it’s well worth the trip!

 

Source: http://au.askmen.com/fine_living/travel_archive_60/78c_travel_tips.html

http://au.askmen.com

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