Thoughts on traveling to Oslo in December

A few thoughts on traveling to Oslo in December (outside of tourist season, April – September)

  • I had most of the tourist attractions to myself. I could spend as much time as I want at the ski museum and had the top of the Holmenkollen all to myself. I was legitimately startled when I came face to face with another person at the Kon-Tiki museum. 
  • Hours are shorter for most places and some attractions don’t operate at all. For example,  the Kon-Tiki museum was only open until 4pm, a free walking tour only operated on weekends, and the bike tour I found is by-appointment-only. Certain ferry routes and the Homenkoller giftshop were closed completely. Always, always check ahead and try as best a possible to communicate with a human (email or phone call). 
  • Fewer people in general means empty restaurants and good service.
  • It’s cold! I was pretty prepared for this, but do be sure to pack your thick socks, warm boots, and a good set of hat and gloves. Everyone in the city is pretty bundled, so you won’t stick out as a tourist too much of you’re used to warmer weather. (Or better yet, buy a hand-knit hat or pair of gloves at a Christmas markets.)
  • It’s festive! I’m not much of a Christmas person (there, I said it), but the lights, garland, markets, warm bevvies, and evergreen trees everywhere really got me into the spirit of the season. 
  • It’s ridiculously dark. I mentioned this several times, but my mindset was mega thrown off on the first day when it was pitch black by 4pm. If/when I go back, I’ll be researching museums, bars, or attractions that stay open late to combat feeling like I should be in bed when it’s really only 5pm!
  • Look into skiing! Apparently you can lug your skis or snowboard onto the T-bane and hop off (almost) directly onto the slopes. 
  • Winter is also northern light season. I’m booking that next time fer sher.

And if I have the time, I’ll gladly spend another couple of days exploring Oslo!

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