21 hour layover in Oslo, Norway…. just enough time with a little planning and a lot of luck!
We arrived to the Oslo Airport at almost midnight on Saturday night, but not too late to appreciate the beautiful green space creation!
When I was booking our initial flights I had the option of a short layover that would keep us at the airport before we continued to Finland (which might have been ok with this fun slide/play area inside the airport)
or this 21 hour layover that would hopefully give us just enough time to see a bit of this Nordic country! I had specifically booked an airBnB that I knew would allow late night checkin. It actually was handled completely by codes (no keys) and worked out perfectly for us. Also, because this was technically a layover, we were able to book our large bags straight through to our next stop in Finland and only had a small backpack with what we needed during our stop in Oslo.
I did consider purchasing the Oslo Pass… www.visitoslo.com 395 kr/41 euro AD, 210 kr/22 euro CH for 24 hours…but then I made a plan for our day and ran the numbers and decided against it for us, but there were other stops on our year when purchasing the local city pass definitely was a great plan…..for our plans in Oslo it would have given us 15% off our boat cruise (cost for 2 hour cruise 315 NOK AD, 150 NOK CH…. so 45/22.50 savings), free entrance to the Museum of Science & Tech (value 150 kr AD, 100 kr CH), free entrance to the Reptile Museum (value 115 kr AD, 85 kr CH)… and free travel on public transport, but we used Uber. (NOTE – NOK is the currency code for Norwegian Kroner and the currency symbol is kr…. depending on the site you may see it either way and often pricing is also listed in Euro’s.)
We managed an early start (for us)… knowing we only had the one day in Oslo. And we made the most of it. We started the day with a boat cruise on the local Oslo fjord using Batservice Sightseeing www.boatservice.com .
This was certainly my favourite part of the day. It was a gorgeous morning and I loved seeing the city from the water. We learned that while most of the world (land mass) seems to be sinking with water levels rising… the water level in Oslo is actually going down… and falls by 1.7 mm per year. (This little tidbit came from our Captain on the boat tour, but this link will take you to a great article explaining it further. www.sciencenordic.com/mind-bending-physics-scandinavian-sea-level-change ) We also learned that Norway is 97% powered by water sources and is able to export much of their energy production as well. Also huge thanks to the deck hand who gave me great info on the best way to visit everything we wanted and in which order (uber) and then suggested we take the regular city commuter train www.stromma.no to the airport later instead of the Flytoget www.flytoget.no which she said is more costly… and really only saves about 3 minutes (only 1 station stop added). A good reminder to never be afraid to talk with the locals.
Just beside the boat dock we found the Nobel Peace Centre www.nobelpeacecenter.org/en (what an amazing find in this lovely city!) And in the sidewalk area there was a sort of tightrope activity for the kids to try! We then took the advice from the local as we ordered an uber that took us to the Museum of Science & Technology www.tekniskmuseum.no . It was a huge museum with an amazing children’s section and the added bonus of a Lego exhibit and a hands on Lego section for the kids to work on their own creations.
To hear Tim tell the story of our day, this was his favourite part as he loves to be creative and use his imagination.
From there we continued to the Reptile Museum…a little difficult to find as the Uber driver couldn’t pull up right in front but with a little help from my phone and google maps we made our way to it. www.reptilpark.no Alex was quite looking forward to this stop all day, and they all did like it, including holding a snake, however it was quite small compared to the reptile zoo we have in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada), but a fun stop for kids who like reptiles (um… most of them! LOL).
After a very full day we made our way back to the airport… next stop – Helsinki, Finland.