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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Hit the Waterfront in Oslo


5. Oddball Day

The National Museum of Cultural History features re-creations of small villages and ships made by the Vikings.  

Get out of the city center for a day while biking and boning up on Norwegian history. Start off with a traditional bun with goat cheese and jam ($6.50) at Baker Hansen opposite the National Theatre before picking up an Oslo City Bike near City Hall. Purchase a day card ($7) for the bike (be sure to bring your own lock) and the Oslo Pass for museum access ($18 for 24 hours) at the VisitOSLO office nearby. Once you’re ready, head out of the city along the fjord toward the museum-packed peninsula of Bygdøy, passing through the Royal Estate, the official summer residence of the King of Norway. From here, bike west to Paradisbukta, a beach where you’ll find a circular memorial in honor of the 2004 tsunami victims. If it’s warm, bike farther west to Huk Beach, where city dwellers go to shed all of their clothes and take a swim. Afterward, stop for a bite inside a former post office at Café Hemma Hos before making your way to the National Museum of Cultural History. Oslo City bikes have to be switched after three hours, so stop by the stall first and then explore this open-air museum comprised of more than 150 buildings depicting 500 years of Norwegian life. Hop back on your bike and ride over to the Viking Ship Museum, where you’ll gaze upon vessels and artifacts from the distant past. Afterward, if you’re tired, you can catch a ferry back to the City Hall area from Bygdøynes (by the Fram Museum), or just enjoy the leisurely hour-long bike ride back. Return your bike at the location nearest your hotel, take a rest, and then head out in time for sunset drinks on the water at the Mediterranean-influenced Sanguine Brasserie, where you can order up dishes like seafood soup ($23) and braised pork rib with bean cassoulet ($49).

Published on Mar 8, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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