Best of Oslo, Norway - Top 10 Attractions

For a healthy dose of Viking culture and a good smattering of art and history museums, go to Oslo, Norway. For Oslo, a small capital by most measures, with a mere 500,000 people, has a surprisingly large collection of good museums - most of them easily accessible from the city center and, with the Oslo Pass in hand, inexpensive to boot - as well as a wealth of Scandinavian architecture, both historic and modern.

For first-time visitors to Oslo, however, since it is easy to be overwhelmed by the city's offerings, here are Oslo's 'Top 10' tourist draws.

1. Oslo's Opera House

Oslo's new Opera House, inaugurated in April 2008, Oslo Attractions tickets offers is absolutely, positively, a 'must-see'. It is Oslo's bold, New Millennium statement to the world, aptly made with granite and 36,000 slabs of white marble. Partly submerged in the sea, the $700-million architectural masterpiece rises from the fjord like a massive sheet of ice, with its angular slabs, like giant ski slopes, surprising at every level. The opera house is home to both the Norwegian National Opera and the Norwegian Ballet.

2. Holmenkollen

Holmenkollen is one of the world's most famous ski jump arenas and easily Oslo's foremost attraction. The arena was originally built at the end of the 19th century, and renovated extensively in 1952 for the Winter Olympic Games. Holmenkollen is situated 357 meters (1,000 feet) above sea level, and the ski jump tower, which is one of the principal attractions here, is another 60 meters (180 feet) higher, with spectacular all-around views from the top. There is also a ski museum here, the oldest in the world, devoted to the history of skiing which goes back some 4,000 years! Holmokollen is in the Marka region of Oslo, and open to the public year-round.

3. Vigeland Sculpture Park

Located within the larger Frogner Park in the western section of Oslo, Vigeland Park is noted for its wealth of granite and bronze sculptures by Gustav Vigeland, one of Norway's most famous sculptors, for whom the park is named. There are more than 200 Vigeland sculptures here, and there is also a museum with Vigeland's work located just across from the park, open to the public Tuesday to Sunday year-round. The park is open to the public 24 hours, all year..

4. Oseberg Viking Ship Museum

One of the most popular museums in the city, the Oseberg Viking Ship Museum houses three of the world's best-preserved Viking ships. The ships are more than 1,100 years old and were found nearly a century ago in Oseberg, which is near Oslo, in the county of Vestfold. The museum also has exhibits demonstrating fabric and weaving techniques from the Viking era, as well as an assortment of tools and weapons. The museum is open daily