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ragnvaeig Oslo - A travel report by Amanda
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Oslo,  Norway - flag Norway -  Oslo
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ragnvaeig's travel reports

Oslo for the unpretentious goth

  18 votes
With its long winter nights, monumental scenery and tradition of death metal, Norway is a forgotten goth travel destination waiting to be discovered. Norway's capital, Oslo, embodies the forward-thinking spirit of the Norwegians...

Oslo seen from across the Fjord at Bygdøy
Oslo seen from across the Fjord at Bygdøy
...while remaining firmly rooted in its thousand-year history. Just wandering aimlessly around the city centre, you will observe several-hundred-year-old houses (the date proudly displayed in large, curled lettering) rubbing elbows with high-rise office buildings. This past winter seems to have been one of the snowier ones on recent record, and the weather was quite cold while I was there, with substantial snow cover for late spring, and a late thaw in the Oslo Fjord. Granted, this means your velvet capes and wolfskin boots will serve well in keeping you warm! The primary purpose of my trip to Oslo was research and academic discourse, so my sightseeing was compressed into a single, frenzied day. I do highly recommend the Oslo Pass, which I picked up at the tourist bureau for NOK 210 in late March 2006. It allows you free public transport around the city, free entrance to most museums...and a couple discounts at restaurants you probably won't visit.

Favourite spots:
Stave Church at Folkes Museum
Stave Church at Folkes Museum
There are several old ecclesiastical sites around Oslo that are perfect photo ops for goths: the Domkirke is probably the most easily accessible, but the better shots are available in the ruins and crypts of the medieval town, and Oslo Ladegård. Unfortunately, these are only open from mid-May to mid-September, so plan accordingly.

What's really great:
Oseberg Ship at the Viking Ship Museum
Oseberg Ship at the Viking Ship Museum
The sheer number of museums in Oslo available with the Oslo Pass is just staggering. Ones of special note for the spookily-inclined are the Norsk Folkemuseum and the Viking Ship Museum (http://www.khm.uio.-no/) out on Bygdøy. The Folkemuseum has preserved buildings from mostly the post-medieval period, but there is a lovely stave church at the top of the hill; fabulous local crafts are detailed in artefacts in one of the permanent exhibits, and offer great goth decorating ideas. The ship museum holds artefacts from local Viking graves, as well as a handful of full-size ships that will bowl you over with their scale. Edvard Munch's disturbingly dark artwork is on display at the Munch Museum ( out in Toyen; the museum's layout is confusing, but you get to have a gander at great art by Munch and his contemporaries. I wasn't able to get to the Historical Museum, but the pictures in the brochure looked fantastic.

The Monolith at Vigelandsparken
The Monolith at Vigelandsparken
Around 600 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland inhabit Vigelandsparken in the northwest of the city. The culmination is a large monolith atop a man-made hill. None of the figures in the sculptures are smiling, and in fact many people find them uncomfortable. Even if this doesn't seem to be your thing, the views from the monolith are fantastic.

Nydalen Park, northeast Oslo
Nydalen Park, northeast Oslo
Gotham Nights ( is Oslo's main goth club, spinning the usual mix of Siouxsie, the Cult, VNV Nation, and Ministry. Their venue is the Rockefeller Music Hall on Torggata, which intermittently hosts the like of New Model Army, King Diamond and Alice in Chains. The club is 18+ and is open from 22:00 to 3:30; tix are NOK 50 at the door.

A statue by Gustav Vigeland
A statue by Gustav Vigeland
I followed other Globo recommendations for reasonably-priced fare. Cafe Divan on Torggata serves breakfast until relatively late, and their coffee is nice. Vegeta Vertshus on Munkedamsvej near Aker Brygge opens at 11:00 and serves lovely vegetarian food at relatively good prices. They have an all you can eat deal for NOK 140. Both are smoke-free establishments.

Other recommendations:
Shadowland on Storgata has exclusively EMB, synth and industrial albums. If you read Norwegian, keep an eye out for issues of Rimfrost, the local goth magazine, which will keep you up-to-date on local events. Keep a special eye out for events by Kjettersk Kjeller (!

Published on Sunday April 9th, 2006

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Mon, Apr 10 2006 - 12:22 PM rating by st.vincent

A good insight into a city I knew nothing about.

Mon, Apr 10 2006 - 11:16 AM rating by madness

Nice report, I d like to be there again one day...

Mon, Apr 10 2006 - 01:42 AM rating by davidx

Having visited twice in high summer, I found your winter report most interesting. There's SO much to see that it does induce a manic rate of visiting.

Sun, Apr 09 2006 - 11:22 PM rating by marianne

You really did a lot in one day sightseeing. Your report gave a very good impression of what possibilities there are in Oslo. After reading I consider a visit, but not in winter. Two questions:
What do you mean by 'tradition of dead metal'.
Is the Viking Ship Museum similar to the Surtton hoo find?
I like the way you give prices, but maybe put in bracket the € or US $ equivalent, as I don't know how much NOK is worth.
Your report is a true joy to read.

Sun, Apr 09 2006 - 10:15 PM rating by terje

Hi Amanda! Good work on your Oslo report!

Sun, Apr 09 2006 - 02:15 PM rating by isaacmolina

Very nice and readable report from a country that I would like to visit

Sun, Apr 09 2006 - 10:20 AM rating by alfonsovasco

Good report and beautiful fotos, espeially amazing stave Church

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