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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Hit the Waterfront in Oslo

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3. What to Do


Oslo Opera House, opened in 2008, is the city's most popular attraction.  

Scale the sloping marble ramps of Oslo Opera House, a stunning structure that sparked the waterfront boom when it opened four years ago in the Bjørvika area. Operas, concerts, or ballets can be seen almost every night of the week ($9–$148), but many visitors come for a view from the rooftop overlooking the fjord. For a peek inside the main auditorium and its impressive seven-ton chandelier, book a 50-minute guided tour in English ($18; Saturdays at 2 p.m., Sundays at 1 p.m.).

Catch the contemporary art collection—and the newest architectural addition to the Tjuvholmen area—at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art ($11), scheduled to reopen this year in a swooping building designed by Renzo Piano. Since 1993, the privately owned museum has mounted international exhibitions that often overshadow those of the public Museum of Contemporary Art, and its permanent collection is among northern Europe’s finest, including works by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Matthew Barney, Cindy Sherman, and Bruce Nauman.

Survey the work of Norway’s master painter at the Munch Museum ($17), where the collection includes 1160 paintings, 4500 drawings, and 18,000 prints. Currently on display are Munch’s star works such as The Scream and Madonna, as well as “The Modern Eye,” a traveling exhibition dedicated to his late works and their relation to the contemporary era.


Published on Mar 8, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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