24 hours in Oslo, Norway

In March I had a crazy idea...I wanted a spontaneous trip to Norway. I found a super cheap deal for 2 nights in Oslo that I wanted to book. When I told my best friend she asked if she could come too, the only problem was that she couldn't make it the first night as she was working too late. No problem! We just went for 24 hours instead...

The night before our flight we took the coach down to London, where we were flying from the next morning. We had Starbucks while we were waiting for our coach transfer and spent the night in a Premier Inn. We checked that we had brought everything we needed for one night and Abbie had decided that shoe polish was absolutely essential for a 24 hour trip...

The next morning we got ready to board our plane!

The view from the sky was incredible...snow covered mountains, pine forests and large bodies of water. That view alone made this trip worth it.

On the train to Oslo we were mesmerised by the scenery; adorable little Scandinavian houses alone in fields of snow, pine trees dotted around looking like a perfect Christmas card scene. We were so excited to play in the snow in Oslo! We got off the train, ran out of the station and...no snow. Oh. Not exactly what we had in mind. We got lost on the underground system, we couldn't navigate the lines at all. We asked a lady standing by the chart and she very kindly told us which train to take in which direction, and how many stops until we get off.
When we got off the train our journey didn't end, we still had to find our hotel. Google maps took us the wrong direction at first but we eventually found the hotel. We still had the find the entrance though. It was tucked around the back of the hotel. We walked up to reception, the receptionist was talking on the phone and signalled that she would be with us in a minute. As she put down the phone she said something in a strange dialect neither Abbie or myself were used to. Panicked and confused, we struggled to form a sentence between us. The woman looked mortified and apologised 'Oh I'm so sorry! You speak English? You look a little Norwegian'
We smiled. 'I guess that's a huge compliment!' said Abbie as I checked us in.

Our room was lovely. A big, open room with a large industrial style bathroom. The nightlights next to our beds had photos of squirrels on them. We took half an hour to get our bearings before we ventured out for our Norwegian adventure.

We had planned to get a teapot full of hot chocolate from a famous hotel with good reviews. We were both hungry and we happened to walk past the hotel!
'This is it!' I was so excited that we had found it so easily. We looked at the menu and our faces fell. It was very expensive. And there wasn't a single vegetarian option on the menu.
We looked at the hotel next door and it was slightly cheaper with veggie options so we walked inside. The waitress came over to us and said they were not serving food yet, just sandwiches from the buffet. Defeated again, we left.
Around the corner we found a swanky looking bar and bistro, the menu was reasonable and had food we both liked so we entered. The bar tender surveyed us and led us to our table. He asked us something in words we didn't understand. Again, we both panicked.
'Oh sorry, you look a little Norwegian.'
'Thanks! It's the second time we've heard that today.' We laughed.
He brought the menu to us and then paused. 'Uh, it's only in Norwegian...'
'Oh, we'll try to figure it out!' And we did.

The food was delicious, really good lasagne and ratatouille. I noticed a couple of men eyeing us from the corner with a confused expression on their face. Slowly, I noticed more people surveying us as they entered. Could they tell we weren't Norwegian? And then it hit me.
'Abbie...' She looked up from her phone. 'Have you noticed something about this place?'
She shook her head. 'Look at the rainbow bottles and the sign outside of the door...I think we're in a gay bar.'
'Oh my God! You're right!' We both started laughing

After our lunch at the gay bar (which was delicious), we went to explore more of the city. We found a little shopping centre with some posh looking shops and food stalls inside, and a bizarre statue of Kate Moss. We ended up in a district called Grønland, which looked strangely familiar...very much like Green Lane back home in Birmingham. We laughed at how similar the names were, and how alike the areas looked; lots of run down buildings and similar fast food takeaways.

Strange Kate Moss statue

We headed back to the hotel for a rest and to plan our big night out. We had originally planned to go to some bars and stay out all night in the hope of making friends with some locals...we were so exhausted that we decided against it. After watching some skiing on TV in Norwegian (and making up a storyline as we didn't understand the language), we decided to head to a waterfall which was supposedly very close to our hotel.

We walked for 45 minutes in the cold night. We did not see any waterfall, or even a river for the waterfall to come from. We were very disappointed. As we turned a corner, we heard rushing water, we searched everywhere for the source until we finally stumbled upon it. The Mølla waterfall. This is what we came to Norway for. The steps leading down to it were covered in ice and we nearly fell over many times as we rushed down to see it. It was incredible, slightly frozen with piles of snow on the rocks between the falls. There was a viewing platform near the top of the waterfall.

Mølla waterfall

As we walked along the river we found a few more waterfalls and even stumbled upon the Oslo padlock bridge that we had read about! The bridge was covered in padlocks with couple names written on them, but the highlight were the giant sculptures of a padlock and key. Over the bridge we found an art school and a creative district.

Padlock bridge

Walking back to the hotel we decided to get something to eat, we found a pizza place open. We stepped inside and looked at the menu and ordered a cheese pizza...the owner didn't speak a word of English! Abbie repeated very slowly 'a...cheeeese...pizza...please?' The man looked very confused. We managed to communicate by pointing at the menu and making gestures for a large bottle of coke. After about 5 minutes the man understood.

The next morning we had a few hours before we had to leave for the airport so we decided to visit the botanical garden and the Geological and Zoological museums nearby our hotel. The gardens were beautiful; covered in untouched snow with ponds frozen solid. The museums were great places to spend a couple of hours with lots of interesting exhibits about nordic wildlife and rock formations.

Botanical garden

Finally we boarded our plane back to the UK, exhausted but full of memories from our crazy plan to spend 24 hours in Oslo.


  1. Wait, how did I miss the Mølla waterfall in Oslo?! It looks/sounds so cool!

  2. Hahaha love that you ended up in a gay bar for lunch. Sounds like something I'd accidentally do. Fun read!