It’s your anniversary, your husband’s birthday, the celebration of her new job, or just any other reason to say I love you. What do you do? Sure, you can book the standard night out but what if you could step it up a notch…tell him how much he means to you or tell her that she really is that special! My husband and I have set out to explore Europe’s most exciting cities and hidden treasures to give you a tried and tested Date Night itinerary. This time, we’re travelling to the Norwegian capital, Oslo.
Whether it’s the cutting-edge restaurants, breathtaking architecture, buzzing neighbourhoods or a superb fashion and art scene; Oslo, one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, gives you and your partner many reasons to walk hand and hand in this perfect city for two.
A city by design
One look at the Oslo’s Opera House and you know you’re in for a different experience. Completed in 2008, its innovative design, surrounded by a fjord, is one of Norway’s most striking cultural landmarks.
The building, designed by architecture firm, Snøhetta, looks similar to a sliding glacier. White granite combines with Italian marble to create the illusion of glistening ice.
From the ground, the roof of the Oslo Opera House slopes steeply up, creating an expansive walkway. Visitors can stroll up the incline, stand directly over the main theatre, and enjoy spectacular views of the city.
A city of heritage
Next to the Opera House you’ll find the extraordinary boutique hotel, Ameriklinjen. Its classical and modern Norwegian design is home to 122 rooms and was once the old headquarters of the Norwegian America Line, a shipping company that operated passenger and cargo ships between Norway and the United States in the 20th century. From your hotel window, you can gaze at the city fjords.
The Neo-Baroque interiors leave no detail unattended. From designer bathroom amenities to the stylish uniforms of the staff, to personalized crockery in the restaurants; the Ameriklinjen is a design-led property that will tempt you to stay inside with your loved one.
But when you do go outside, the hotel is ideally located in Jernbanetorget Square (just steps from the Oslo Central Station) and is the perfect base to visit all the city has to offer.
A city by land
The streets of Oslo are filled with shops, restaurants, cafes and entertainment spots, giving you plenty of reasons to stop and enjoy the city at your own pace.
Check out Oslo’s famous medieval church, Gamle Aker Kirke and then take a short walk further down the road, arriving to Damstredet and Telthusbakken.
There you’ll find narrow streets with small wooden and brick houses from the 18th and 19th century. The colourful houses provide a romantic touch to your stroll. Make sure to steal a kiss at the nearby Kjærlighetsstien (‘the love trail’).
City sights not your thing? With its proximity to nature, Oslo lets you escape to the wilderness with ease. Situated in the east of Oslo, Østmarka is a unique woodland in terms of its geology and vegetation. In summer, it’s a great place for you to go hiking, biking, fishing and swimming in the lake.
Looking for more outdoor fun? Walk along the Akerselva river which stretches eight kilometres and enjoy waterfalls, repurposed factories and cosy eateries.
Hike to the top of St. Hanshugen park to enjoy stunning scenery. Or the Ekeberg hills which is the view that famously inspired Edvard Munch’s Scream.
Insider’s tip: Move around the city easily with the Oslo Pass, covering all public transport in the city, as well as entrances to all the major museums in Oslo.
A city by water
Experience Oslo by water, travelling down Norway’s famous fjords. With access to many islands as well as the city centre, channel your inner Viking atop a wooden sailing ship, rib-boat, guided kayak tour or swimming.
Insider’s tip: Take one of the little white ferries that make up part of Oslo’s public transport (i.e. free with a Ruter ticket) and go island hopping on the little islands Hovedøya, Lindøya, Nakholmen and Gressholmen just outside of the city centre.
A city of warmth
Heat things up! Exotic treatments, floating sauna rooms, and much more in Oslo’s booming sauna scene, ensures you and your loved one, plenty of steamy nights.
One of Oslo’s new favorite saunas and culture hubs is SALT, an art project that combines art, music, food and architecture with spectacular wooden constructions. Located by the fjord, SALT has three different saunas: Árdna, Skroget, the Naustet sauna, as well as the Barrel Saunas.
Another option is the sauna rafts at Sørenga. These charming rafts float on the fjord next to the Oslo Opera House. The sauna can house twelve people at a time, and there is even a hatch in the middle of the floor that leads straight down into the water.
Can’t take the heat? Do as the locals do and plunge into the ice-cold fjord afterwards for a truly “awakening” experience.
A city of history
Stir up emotions, spark conversations and dive into the fantastic culture scene of Oslo by visiting several of its fantastic museums on offer.
Not to be missed are the Munch Museum and Vigeland Museum, immortalising Oslo artists Edvard Munch and Gustav Vigeland.
The Fram Museum lets you cuddle up on the deck of the world’s strongest wooden ship, underneath projections of northern lights.
Walk through greatness and gaze at the different faces and stories of those who have changed our world at The Noble Peace Prize museum or witness one special story of adventure and passion at The Kontiki Museum.
Insider tip: Several museums in Oslo are open late on Thursdays, if you’d like to experience that magical evening ambience.
A city by night
Oslo’s restaurants offer plenty of options for an intimate and flavourful evening out. From a traditional romantic atmosphere to edgy alternative tastes, offering sexy interiors and equally attractive dishes to go with it, you won’t lack a, table for two, for your perfect evening out.
The Best Cocktail Bar in Europe
On the ground floor of the Amerikalijen, discover Pier 47, named after the famous pier in New York where passengers first stepped foot in America.
With its charming interior, the cocktail menu “Decades of Our History” takes centre stage, reflecting the modern-day explorer.
Inspired by worldwide travel, combining ingredients from all over the planet, one can spend hours sipping the exotic taste combination and be transported back in time.
Creations are performed by head bartender Adrian Michalcik, a season pro who has been inventing making his “art” or over 10 years and was among the top six bartenders at the World Class global finals in Miami.
Oslo made memories that will last a lifetime and provided the perfect backdrop for a wonderful weekend of love.