A Peaceful, Easy Feeling of a City
Oslo is known the world over for three words: Nobel Peace Prize. The city, while not defined by this coronation, does its best to showcase the winners of this prestigious honor. Think Mother Theresa. Barack Obama. Numerous, relative unknowns who've dedicated their lives to peaceful service. You can see them all at the Nobel Peace Center, which is housed in a now defunct train station. From here, take a walk by the Grand Hotel where the Nobel Laureates stay while in town. Located on Karl Johans gate, the shopping-lined street that links Oslo's main train station and the Royal Palace.
That alone should tell you how compact the city is. Right out of the station, you're near palaces and prize-winners. There's a pedestrian bridge right there too – which connects to the Oslo Opera House. And even if you don't like opera, it's worth a visit just to see the view of the surrounding islands and water from the roof.
You'll see this, and nearly 20 other sights on our Oslo City Sightseeing Tour. It begins with an open-air double-decker bus that lets you hop on and off at will for 24-hours. See the Viking Ship Museum, the Norwegian Open Air Folk Museum and the Vigeland Sculpture Park, one of the most popular places in Oslo for locals and tourists alike.
With more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and cast iron, the pinnacle of the park is The Wheel of Life, a sundial from the 1930s. This "wreath" depicts four people and a baby floating in harmony. It is a symbol of eternity, and implies the overall theme of the park: man's journey from the cradle to the grave.
To see the rest of this happy country (Norway consistently ranks high on "Happiest People on Earth" lists), check out Norway in a Nutshell. You'll see more of Norway by combining rail, ferry and bus travel through spectacular scenery, at a pace that suits you rather than a tour guide. The Nutshell routes travel from Oslo through spectacular forest and fjord scenery via Flåm to Bergen on the coast. A short 2 hour ride north from Oslo can bring you to the Winter Olympics town of Lillehammer. Further hours on the same route will arrive to Trondheim.
Travel the routes of the Vikings through mighty glaciers and deep green forests. Unlike the Vikings, you'll easily conquer all of Norway – with a Eurail Norway Pass from Rail Europe.
Contributed by: Rachel, E-business Editor, who has experienced much more of Europe than she ever imagined, traveling by train.