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Weekend Escape: Oslo – the hub of culture and creativity

Sun 10th January 2016

Escape to Oslo

Getting away to one of the coldest cities in Europe might not, at first glance, seem like the escape you’ve been dreaming of. But like the first whisper of a scent that is somehow both familiar and peculiar, Oslo’s spell will have you entranced.

So cast aside thoughts of the chill factor for a moment. Wrap up warm. And head into this beguiling, beautiful and utterly cool city.

With a thousand years of history behind it, Oslo’s past as a Viking stronghold still feels present and familiar. There are countless museums for those wanting to dive deep into the narratives behind Viking history and beyond – discover beautifully preserved longships, get creepy inside a 1,000 year old burial chamber, or explore the Nordic simplicity of a medieval castle – no ostentation here, but a wonderful view of what makes the heart of the city. And nearby is the National Gallery, with a wealth of Impressionist and Danish masters – as well as that most iconic work of all, Edvard Munch’s The Scream.

Beyond its rich history though, the city buzzes with new life.

The Royal Palace and its park are a delicious rush of greenery – perfect for catching the sun. And the city itself is flanked all around by lush natural beauty. Let scented forests, deep valleys and glittering inlets bring out the intrepid explorer in you, whisking you into the darkest fairy tales you thought you’d once forgotten. Don’t miss the stunning Oslo Fjord – 100km long, and full of incredible views of nature you thought were only ever possible through an Instagram filter.

That fresh and bracing love of the outdoors might be what gives Oslo its relentlessly youthful feel. This is a city that teems with energy – head to Tjuvholmen, the newly emerged artier district, where sleek, glass-skinned buildings showcase contemporary art, sculptures emerge from the rugged ground, and Nordic nosh is on hand to tempt you from the array of tantalising restaurants. Relax in one of the coolest hotel bars in the city – the poetically named Thief Hotel – with a priceless view over the Oslo Fjord waterfront and the glittering cityscape around it.

A riveting natural canvas, coloured with impossibly blue lakes and skies, dark wooded forests and endless hills provides the perfect backdrop to a city that thrives with culture and character. Treat yourself to an incredible experience in one of Scandinavia’s incredible gems.