Oslo - The Nearly Perfect City?


It’s always a pleasure to visit Oslo, my favourite Nordic capital. From the moment you arrive and are greeted by the duty-free arrival shop that sells Bamsee Mums and the cheapest alcohol you will find for your entire stay, and then the Oslo Airport Express train that gets you to the city centre within 20 minutes you are reminded everything about Oslo is simple, beautiful and a pleasure.

This trip was about sharing my experience of this city with my parents who had never been before and as I’ve visited many times it’s been a while since I felt like I was a tourist there, so travelling with them meant that I could really enjoy Oslo as a tourist again.

Much of the main areas of Oslo are close together and with no more that an hour walk in any direction you are able to reach all the areas that you’d want to visit quite easily.  Each day we walked for hours and the weather was absolutely wonderful, although maybe a little too hot - but we really shouldn’t complain about that!

Oslo is the perfect city in many ways. Classic Norwegian architecture sitting side by side brand new beautiful buildings. Situated on the water with Lots of outdoor space and parks.  Wonderful shopping areas, fantastic restaurants and very good nightlife, and don’t even get me started on how beautiful the people of Oslo are…

I was surprised how much building work was still going on since my last visit.  The harbour area around the Oslo Opera House, the Barcode District, just keeps growing.  In just a few years the briefly iconic view that looked like a barcode has disappeared as they are building extensively in-front of the original barcode on what looks like reclaimed land.  What they are doing however is keeping a very Scandinavian feel - amazingly well designed.  They have planned out the green space, individuality of the buildings and mixing the living and working areas all together.  All along the water front they have created beautiful spaces where you can enjoy the outside, all designed in a way that any season will be a pleasure.

The current skyline of Oslo with all the construction

The current skyline of Oslo with all the construction

Right behind the Opera House they are constructing a brand new Munch Museum to showcase his work.  This is set to dominate the harbour skyline, but judging by the plans that are around the building sites the finished work will look stunning. I will look forward to visiting when it is all completed, and the progress when i next visit Oslo in September.

Oslo really is a wonderful city and I can’t recommend a visit enough, although be prepared as it will cost you, but it really will be money well spent...

Worth a read - The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Michael Booth

10 Reasons to Love Lofoten

I'm heading back to Lofoten in September, and while I don't want to wish the year away, I can't wait to return

This will be my 6th visit and each time I head back I fall in love with the place just a little bit more

These would be my top 10 reasons to visit Lofoten - but there are a thousand more reasons why you should visit this beautiful part of the world

Make sure you visit before everyone else does....


1 - The beaches

The beaches in Lofoten are stunning, and more often than not you'll be the only one there....

2 - The solitude

The solitude is immense, but it never feels like you're alone - not when you're this close to nature. if you want to switch off this is the ultimate place to do so

3 - The cute huts

They are all over the place and great to photograph, along with the Rorbuer's - traditional fisherman's huts - they really add colourful character to Lofoten. This one must be the most photographed in Norway!

4 - The northern lights

No words needed - Lofoten is the perfect place to see Lady Aurora - this is from the balcony of my favourite place to stay, Reinefjorden Sjøhus, link in the travel guide

5 - The sunsets 

Sunsets in Lofoten are spectacular - and this image is pretty much straight off the camera, no added colour just a 30 second exposure, and I was standng in the same place as the northern lights photo above

6 - The sunrises

These are just as spectacular as the sunsets - make sure you get up to see them, it is the most beautiful time of the day

7 - Four seasons in 1 week

You could well get four seasons in 1 week - this was the following day to the photo above - you just never know what you will get

8 - The hikes

You can walk and hike for hours - the scenery is always spectacular

9 - Water reflections

These are just insane - the reflections can be like a mirror

10 - This view

The picture postcard, iconic view of lofoten - Hamnøy. it was this exact view that first drew me to Lofoten - its been shot by many, but its always breathtaking, and for sure i will photograph it again in September. It will leave you breathless....

What are you waiting for?