Norway Oslo Oslo OSL

Early spring walk through sunny Oslo

a building next to a body of water

The first week of April in Oslo meant snow-covered hills around Oslo Airport on the 50 km train ride to the city and limited appearance of green buds on trees once in Oslo city center. Still, the clear sky and daytime temperature rising to the low teens in European measure, mid-50s for Americans, on a fine early spring weather Saturday meant people were enjoying sun, cafes and parks around Oslo as we walked the city.

My desire to fly SAS Scandinavian airlines home to Monterey via Oslo-Copenhagen-San Francisco for $477 round trip meant a $65 Norwegian Airlines ticket from Prague to Oslo provided flights back to California for $304 one way with flights back to Oslo, Norway for $239 in summer. While Kelley has spent time in Copenhagen and Stockholm, this was her first time in Norway. This was my seventh trip to Norway since 2013.

a sign on a building
Oslo Gardermoen Airport train station in terminal

On my two other trips into Oslo City my train station destination was Oslo Central Station. Google Maps showed Oslo National Theater Station would drop us off closer to The Thief, our hotel for the overnight stay before our flight to California. Loyalty Traveler - The Thief Oslo steals any negative connotation of Choice Privileges.

a building with a sign on it
Oslo Nationaltheatret stasjon-Oslo National Theater Station

As most people departing the station walked in the direction of Studenterlunden, the narrow city center park established in 1837 located between the National Theater (1899) and Stortinget (1866) – Norway’s Parliament building in the heart of 19th century Oslo architecture, our walking route to The Thief led us along newer streets and mostly deserted sidewalks surrounded by modern buildings.

Not providing the urban scenery I wanted Kelley to experience for her first impressions of Oslo’s extensive waterfront, I veered off from the direct route to The Thief to walk along the Aker Brygge waterfront to Tjuvholmen, a showcase of modern urban renewal on a peninsula extending into Oslo fjord. One of the modern buildings is The Thief hotel.

a clock tower on a dock
Oslo Aker Brygge waterfront
a group of people walking on a sidewalk
Oslo Aker Brygge

Kelley wondered why a luxury hotel would call itself The Thief?

a statue of a person lying on the ground
The Thief

‘Tjuv’ is Norwegian for ‘thief’. According to wikipedia, Tjuvholmen peninsula is where thieves were executed in the 18th century. This area was developed as docklands in the 19th and 20th century.

These days Tjuvholmen is the site of Oslo urban renewal with high end residential apartment buildings, a public swimming area with beach and docks, the Astrup Fearnley Museum and Tjuvholmen Sculpture Park.

While the water in Oslo Fjord is chilling in April, I have been on these swimming docks in September when locals were in the water and sunbathing on the docks.

a building next to a body of water
Oslo Tjuvholmen swimming docks
a body of water with land in the background
Oslo Fjord
a dock with boats on the water
Oslo Tjuvholmen harbor
a group of people sitting on a dock next to a body of water
Oslo Tjuvholmen Sculpture Park
a building next to a body of water
Oslo Astrup Fearnley Museum of modern art

Aker Brygge is considered one of Norway’s premier waterfront developments. The area is a popular spot for dining, waterfront cafes and the terminal point for ferry commutes for towns around Oslo Fjord.

a building next to a body of water
Bridge from Tjuvholmen to Aker Brygge
a boat on the water
Oslo Aker Brygge ferry
two people sitting on a dock
Oslo Aker Brygge port

My photo below of the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo at the Aker Brygge waterfront was taken several years ago. The backdrop to the Peace Center has changed and not too photogenic with the massive new National Museum under construction directly behind the center.

a white building with many windows and a garden
Oslo – Nobel Peace Center
a group of cranes in front of a building
National Museum of Norway opening in 2020

Interestingly, Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) was born in Stockholm, Sweden and developed numerous patented technological and engineering achievements during his lifetime. He made a fortune through his invention of dynamite.

Even wealthier than Alfred Nobel was his older brother Ludvig, credited with creating the Russian oil industry in Baku, Azerbaijan in the 19th century. According to Wikipedia, the story is when Ludvig Nobel died in Cannes in 1888 a French newspaper mistakenly printed an obituary for Alfred Nobel with the description Le marchand de la mort est mort (“The merchant of death is dead”) and went on to say, “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.”

Alfred Nobel, a bachelor, established the Nobel Prizes in 1895 providing 94% of his wealth to endow annual prizes for physical science, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace. His will stipulated the Nobel Peace Prize would be determined by a committee of Norwegians. The Nobel Peace Prize is the only one of the prizes awarded in Oslo. The other Nobel Prize ceremonies occur in Stockholm, Sweden.

two scooters on the street
National Museum
a building with columns and a sign
Oslo National Theater

Two statues in front of National Theater depict Henrik Ibsen, the world’s most performed dramatist after Shakespeare, and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, poet and winner of the 1903 Nobel Prize for Literature.

a statue of a man in a robe
Henrik Ibsen statue in front of National Theater, Oslo

The ice rink in Studenterlunden park was past the season for ice, yet still too early in the year to be a fountain pool. Children played in the large dry concrete space.

a statue of deer in a park
Studenterlunden Oslo city park
a building with a circular roof and a circular building with trees
Stortinget – Norwegian Parliament building
a group of people walking in front of a building
Stortinget – Norway Parliament

Grand Hotel Oslo is where President Obama stayed when he was presented the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

a building with flags on top
Grand Hotel, Oslo (Scandic)
a person walking on a street
Royal Palace Oslo

The Royal Palace seen from Grand Hotel on Karl Johans Gate.

a building with a statue in front of it
Oslo shopping
a group of people outside of a building
Polar Bear store, Oslo

It is not everyday I see polar bear taxidermy. This was the second polar bear I had seen in six hours since arriving in Norway. I mentioned to the receptionist at The Thief that Kelley found Oslo quite cold after Prague. He joked the weather had warmed up enough that the polar bears weren’t wandering the streets.

Of course not, they’ve all been shot and stuffed for souvenir shop displays.

a polar bear statue in a store
Oslo Airport polar bear
a group of people walking on a street
Oslo Cathedral (1694-1697)

Oslo City Bike offers 235 stations for bicycles at 49 NOK ($5.76 USD) for a 24 hour pass or 399 NOK ($46.93 USD) for a season pass valid from April to November.

a row of blue bicycles
Oslo City Bike

Honestly, there were far more people riding around Oslo on electric scooters than bicycles.

Keep Lofoten Oil Free

On our way to Illegal Burger we passed by Youngstorget Square where a live concert was happening at a rally against oil drilling in the Lofoten Islands of Arctic Norway.

a large building with people in the background
Oslo Oil Free Lofoten rally

After our meal we walked into the square and spoke with a young woman about the event. She explained it was a rally for a ban on oil drilling around Norway’s Lofoten Islands. A Labour Party major platform decision on April 6, 2019 came out in support of a permanent ban on oil drilling for  the Lofoten, Vesteralen and Senja islands. The oil drilling ban was significant enough to make international press coverage in a country with a one trillion dollar sovereign wealth fund built primarily from oil revenue.

a barrel with a statue on top
Lofoten Oil Cod – Oslo
a landscape with a body of water and mountains
Oil Free Lofoten –

In 2015, I flew to Evenes Airport and spent three nights in Harstad. My plan was to travel to the Loftoten islands, but I became ill the first day and spent most of my time hanging out at Hotel Articus.

a view of the sky from an airplane
Lofoten Islands, Norway

Oslo Cathedral

a building with a tower
Oslo Cathedral

Oslo Cathedral originally 1694-1697 was rebuilt in 1848-1850. Oslo has had a cathedral since the 12th century. St. Hallvards Cathedral was the main church in Oslo for 500 years until it burned down in 1624.

a statue of a man in front of a building
Engebret Cafe 1857 Oslo’s oldest restaurant
a statue of a woman sitting on a stone bench
Sitting Girl with Headphones’ – Marit Krogh, Bankplassen, Oslo

Horses outside Akershus Fortress were a surprise to come across in central Oslo, a city filled with fast modes of transportation.

a horse in a pen
Horses outside Akershus Fortress walls.
a stone path with grass and a fence
Akershus Festning (Fortress)
a stone wall with a building in the background
Akershus Fortress Oslo

Walking through the park space outside the fortress took us back to the waterfront at Oslo City hall and Aker Brygge.

a statue of a man sitting in a chair
Franklin D. Roosevelt statue Oslo

Curious as to why there is a statue for Franklin D. Roosevelt at the edge of Radhusplassen – City Hall Square, a quick web search led me to this TripAdvisor explanation from FDR historian Scott Larsen.

The reasons why there is a statue of FDR near the Oslo Harbor is simple: President Roosevelt helped Queen Marthe and her three children – today one is the king of Norway – escape Norway when the Germans invaded Norway. Also, they came and lived at the White House shortly afterwards with the crown princess and the president becoming friends. After WWII, both the princess and former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated the statue as a thank you for this American president’s help and kindness toward  Norway and the Norwegian royal family. – FDR Historian and writer for Norwegian American newspaper, Seattle. Scott Larsen –

a dock with boats and buildings
Oslo Aker Brygge port and view to Tjuvholmen
Oslo City Hall with a statue in front of it
Oslo Radhuset – Oslo City Hall

And basically we were back at the waterfront of Aker Brygge and minutes from our hotel after walking around Oslo a few miles.

a group of people walking on a sidewalk
Aker Brygge Oslo in evening shade
a building next to water
The Thief Oslo
a map of a city
Our Oslo Walk on Google Maps

Loyalty Traveler Oslo


  1. Hotel Review Clarion Royal Christiania Oslo, Norway (Sep 6)
  2. Oslo, Norway walking on a summer day (Sep 6, 2014).
  3. Hotel Review Clarion Collection Hotel Bastion Oslo, Norway (Sep 7)
  4. Clarion Collection Folketeateret Oslo is recommended Nordic Choice Hotel (Sep 27)